Time to review the lock down

I am sending this letter to Cabinet members.

Dear Colleague

It is time to review the lock down policy.

You will wish to have as your highest priority taking actions to reduce deaths from this disease. The evidence is abundant that the most at risk groups are the elderly and those with other medical conditions that makes them especially vulnerable to the severe form of the infection.

Policy should make it as easy as possible for all in the at risk groups to self isolate, to prevent infection Efforts need to be redoubled to ensure on line deliveries of food and other items to these households, and proper financial support for those in vulnerable categories who have lost jobs or income over it.

Your review takes place against the background of the good news that NHS capacity has been much increased and is well above current high levels of demand for care from CV 19 patients.

You  need to take urgent action to save the economy. None of us have ever witnessed such a sharp contraction in economic activity, with an all too rapid surge in unemployment. There will also be far too many business failures if this carries on for much longer.  You need to make sure this is the shortest lived downturn as well as the deepest.

This means a new policy of trying to get as many people and businesses as possible back to work, with sensible modifications to working arrangements to reduce risk of infection.  It should be assumed that most businesses re open, with more home working and more remote technology use.  Offices may want to have more people working from home to allow more space for each employee in the office. More business meetings should take place with remote technology even where people are in the same offices. Factories tend to use large amounts of machinery already, reducing the numbers of employees on line and usually allowing social distancing. Where they do not they may need additional automation. You could consider asking people to wear face masks when working with others.

It is urgent to start lifting restrictions. Many more people will lose their jobs if the lock down continues. Many self employed have no income from work. Many small businesses are struggling to pay their overheads with no revenue. There are limits to how much the state can substitute for the loss of income. If we go on like  this large amounts of economic capacity will be permanently lost. An advanced society needs substantial amounts of work to be undertaken so we have the output of goods and services which sustains living standards. It is time to start to get the UK back to work, whilst protecting the vulnerable and reducing the risks of catching the disease for the rest of us in sensible ways.

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  1. oldwulf
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    “Time to review the lockdown”

    I would hope that the lockdown has been under constant review maybe against the background of (accurate) figures and also looking at the improvements made to areas where efforts have fallen short such as testing, PPE and the search for a vaccine and/or drugs.

    • oldwulf
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:38 am | Permalink

      …..and better controls on people arriving in the UK, whether legal or illegal

      • turboterrier
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink


        Second that. A load arrived yesterday according to the news report.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

          And it is probably just as likely that they are as yet uninfected, but will be infected by people here, as the converse is the case.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            How do you know?

          • czerwonadupa
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

            And we & you will never know because unlike other countries we have never tested any of the thousands that have flown in from China, Iran, Northern Italy or New York.
            But it doesn’t seem to worry my Romanian neighbours who have completely ignored the advise of staying at home & self isolating & helping the NHS by inviting visitors & holding out door parties & barbecues over the four days of Easter

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

            Anyway according to your pal Andy they are all doctors so they can probably test themselves.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

            Best that they are returned to France then Martin. So nice to be in agreement.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

            I understand statistics and probabilities, Ed, and I’m choosy about my sources.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

            Yes mainly ones you are fed by China

          • DaveK
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

            So, by coming here “we” are putting them at risk of infection and possible death and adding to the strain on the glorious NHS. I’m with you, they must be sent back and saved.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        “Better” controls? I didn’t think there was any at all. Set off from France, ring 999 – and wait for the multi – thousand – pound – cost, taxpayer funded help to arrive to take us to “Free life Heaven”.

        • glen cullen
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

          Yeah our snowflake politicians will welcome all migrants from France in fear of a backlash from MSM

        • zorro
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

          LOL…. Do you know that I actually think that the Tory Party doesn’t give a damn about illegal immigration? All talk and no trousers or should I say no skirts now. Far easier to boss around our own ciotizens than deal with illegal immigrants.


        • czerwonadupa
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          I saw the camp in Calais still bulging with young men from late teens to early thirties, but no children or women, on Sky news still trying to get to the UK legally or otherwise. But I didn’t hear the reporter ask any of them, why having crossed safe countries & now being in a safe country, France, they only want to get to the UK, in spite of the UK self harming themselves (as we are told by the likes of Prof Brian Cox) by leaving the largest market in the whole wide world which they are presently in..

          • NickC
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

            Czer, Late teens to early thirties?? That’s the children’s camp then.

      • DavidJ
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        Indeed, from my own recent experience, there are no controls and have been none from the start. Not even a question of origin.

    • oldwulf
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      As I understand it, the daily figure of reported deaths:
      * does not necessarily record the death on the correct day
      * does not necessarily say that the death is 100% because of covid 19
      * does not necessarily identify all potential covid 19 deaths

      On this basis I am not sure why the media makes such a big deal about the numbers.

      However, if you look at the 7 day moving average, the trend is still rising. I do not believe that we should relax things just yet.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Deaths always do rise as we cannot bring people back to life yet. The daily death increase (from hospitals) is now fairly flat at about 700 a day perhaps 1050 or so in total. It is surely the case that deaths in the UK (in total due to the virus) must exceed 20,000 already.

  2. Mark B
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    At the time of writing I am still wait for my missive from yesterday to be posted. Why the delay ?

    I am afraid that the lockdown / house arrest will continue until the scientific community deems it safe. They and their models have staked their reputations on it. Make of that what you will 😉

    We are also faced with the likes of President Macron threatening to self isolate the UK if we do not continue with this. If France is to go down, as always, she will insure that ‘les rosbifs’ go with them.

    After all this, will parliament call for the new powers that the government has granted itself to be repealed. Seems odd now that nobody is demanding this. Fine whilst we are effectively under an undeclared State of Emergency, not so when we want to go back to normal.

    Finally. Can our kind host update us on what he likes us to mention or not. It relates to the above and, I am not sure what things he likes mentioned or not ?

    • Stred
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      Jerry. Anything which is too embarrassing or might undermine the government overall policy is omitted. Anything which suggests that some measures may not work and with links to evidence. Minor digs, such as pointing out that the Downing Street cat is allowed out when vets have told us to keep them in, may get through.

      • jerry
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        Wrong attribution?

      • James Bertram
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        Stred, I was very disappointed to find that first time my post was excluded, second time delayed, on the Oxfam report ( (things left out with links ed). All we are asking for is for some balance in the debate.’
        Sir John, sorry to have to write this, but you need to be more blunt in tackling the government’s current policy – crashing the economy shortens lives, and will kill many more people over time than these measures are ever intended to save.

        Reply Don’t put in links I do not have time to read if you want to get posted quickly

        • James Bertram
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

          Thanks for the explanation. I will try and avoid links in the future, (although they supply a quick reference to the supporting evidence for my statements).

          To make more sense of the above post, Oxfam reports (9th April – Dignity not Destitution) that these global lockdowns might push 500 million more people into global poverty; and BrexitFacts4EU yesterday writes that ‘…The ’flu kills. Massive job losses kill. Poverty and despair kill. Lack of exercise kills. Over-eating through boredom kills. Total loss of quality of life kills. All we are asking for is for some balance in the debate.’

          • jerry
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

            @James Bertram; It is simply wrong to call CV19 “flu”, it is not, even if it is classed as a Coronavirus. As regards the claim Poverty and despair kills, there is some truth in that, but just a pity that the some forgot about that during the early to mid 1980s when they threw 5m or so people into poverty and despair. and called anyone who had not “wets”…

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 16, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

            Thatcher had to sort out the appalling mess left by Heath, Wilson and Callahan a great shame she only did about 1/3 of the job. Stopped as she was by the wets and deluded dopes like John ERM Major.

          • jerry
            Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

            @LL; Callaghan/Healey had (following the IMF loan) already set in motion the necessary Monetarist economic policies, and thus the cause of the Winter of Discontent that Tories (and the right wing press) simply exploited, then once in govt those monetarist policies morphed into what might be called a UK version of Reaganomics (Thatcherite?) rather than pure Monetarism.

            Thatcher’s 11 years as PM didn’t actually sort the UK’s problems out, her policies simply hid them behind smoke and mirrors, whilst actually creating even greater problems, especially when it came the (now all to visible problematic) funding & governance of the NHS, the UK’s over reliance on the EU and its Single Market, not to mention the many problems caused by allowing the free market and international competitors unfettered access to our economy.

        • steve
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

          James Bertram

          “All we are asking for is for some balance in the debate.”

          Balanced debate is ok, providing you attack elderly pensioners and accuse everyone else of being a phobe of some kind or other.

          Telling it like it is will not pass moderation.

        • Mark B
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply

          Which is why I put the link in a seperate post, which you deleted. This is why I am asking for more clarity.

        • Lester Beedell
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          It’s fairly common for posts to be deleted, a form of censorship!

      • steve
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink


        “Anything which is too embarrassing or might undermine the government overall policy is omitted”

        But posting hatred of elderly pensioners is allowed.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

          As the BBC used to say about putting Nick Griffin on national TV, if you keep it hidden you can not expose it.

          I find that reading the previous day’s blog is more interesting as some of the more informative, sometimes contentious posts, have been released.

          This suggests any censorship lies with the users not the host. We will all have had posts deleted but only Marty, Andy and Maggie can tell us how many from the other point of view are deleted (possibly Acorn and Hef too)

          It is Sir John’s blog and others are available. I quite like this one.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 16, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink


    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      It is so worrying the way that scientific thought has been politicised.
      The first time I was aware of it was over the fat/sugar “debate” which led to soviet type “shaming” of valuable voices and the obesity explosion we now see.
      So incredibly mediaeval.

      • Andy
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        Scientific thought has been politicised by the self proclaimed populist right. The climate change denying, Brexit backing, Trumpian types.

        Because the science proves you all wrong you dismiss the science. It is no surprise that governments led by these types – US, UK, Brazil – have overwhelmingly failed in their response to Covid 19. Who could have predicted that?

        • Edward2
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

          You keep telling us 97% of scientists have the same opinions so presumably your strange rant is aimed at the 3% who dare to have a different opinion.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

            Real scientists don’t have ‘opinions’ – they have proofs and facts.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

            Which alter as new data, experiments and research improve the original theories.

          • Fred H
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

            for hundreds, nay thousands of years ‘scientists’ insisted the sun went round the Earth…..

        • Man of Kent
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

          Oh dear does it ever occur to you that you have everything back to front ?
          Thank goodness the USA elected someone able to look at the climate facts and decide that Paris was not only against US interests but world interests too.

          He has a greater understanding of Covid and what is best for all so that despite your prejudices he has behaved like China and refused to lock down the whole country.
          Meanwhile Sky and the BBC conflate and confuse the number of deaths in USA and Italy with total disregard for the overall populations .USA is around eight times bigger .
          Common sense and the data show that where the population is dense there is a higher incidence of Covid .

          The warping of data to fit with your non sequitur logic is tragically all that can be produced to justify your liberal preferences .

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

            Then you deny the factual reporting of the consequences of rejecting science and logic, the tens of thousands of dead, the overwhelmed hospitals and clinicians.

            What an extraordinary, imaginary universe you must inhabit.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            Yet it isnt “factual”.
            The reporting methods of nations vary.

            Some are suspected of reducing the numbers other add all the deaths from Covid both “from” and “with” together.

            Man of Kent did not deny he just pointed out the weaknesses.

          • UK Qanon
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

            Man of Kent – 100% CORRECT. Other comments here show they all follow the Establishment MSM narrative. So many in the UK are clueless.

          • Margaret Howard
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

            Man of Kent

            ” Thank goodness the USA elected someone able to look at the climate facts and decide that Paris was not only against US interests but world interests too.”

            If I remember correctly he claimed to be an expert because he had an uncle who worked in the industry.

        • zorro
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

          Rubbish – unadulterated nonsense


        • Anonymous
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

          What a baby.

          It’s like listening to a six former doing soft A levels.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure looking at the numbers that we have to take lectures from France on what to do.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        We should return the promise to France if they don’t get a grip on the rather large rubber dingy s they allow to leave their coast during this lockdown.

        Also, is it going to be so bad if we have to fend for ourselves without France and use our ports and rest of the world shipments. Perhaps our loom and cable and parts manufacturers can be re-opened but in good chosen high unemployment areas with better road and rail links opened up to open those regions up to the rest of the U.K.

        • zorro
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

          The very frustrating thing is that the Home Office has paid them upfront to stop these voyages. Rather unsurprisingly, the French are acting like the french always do… hypocritically imprisoning their own population whilst letting the illegals swan around without a care in the world


      • Mark B
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        It is not the lectures that concern me, it is the Napoleonic style blockade that is threatened if we relax restrictions.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      How can a guess be called science. How can a prediction be called science. That would suggest picking the winning lottery ticket is also science.

      Science was previously seen to be fact based.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        yep.. Repeated process must have identical outcome. then peeer group checked before it could posibly be science.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

          oops my typing iffy today….I blame the keyboarddddd.

      • Reaction Harry
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        After the fiasco of “experts” in the Brexit debate, the politicians had to find a different word this time. If the government makes the wrong choices, they can blame “the science”, instead of themselves for listening to the wrong experts and generally mismanaging the exercise.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        The same as Dustman can be called a Refuse Engineer.

      • Ariane
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        Computer models are not science. But the government has used computer models to determine energy policy since the Climate Change Act 2008 and to determine this lockdown due to Covid-19. There is something very undemocratic, wasteful and unscientific about the use of computer models by governments to determine policies that affect everyone.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          And now that their CV19 prediction has been proved wrong, we need to ensure they bin the ‘Climate Change Cr..’ too. Obviously we all need cars to avoid cross contamination well into the future. Internal combustion else there will be more rescue vehicles than travellers on the road.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Mark B – please stop assuming every post you send will be put on the site. Plenty of mine aren’t ( Who is cheering at the back? ).

      As for the governments new powers of controlling the people – along with some very eager power hungry police showing the true reason they joined, the controllers will fight like hell to keep their new position.

      • Data Please
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        As a newbie and one prone to way too long comments (sometimes including links) I’m surprised that any of mine get published at all.

        Now who shouted Pity.

        If this continues they’ll be asked to leave the room.

        • Data Please
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

          I suspect a couple maybe got too close to the knuckle and Sir John did me a favour, not the Govt by not publishing, for which I’m grateful.

          I’m also hoping that this unashamed fawning will get me to the top of future queues.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink


        I am not complaining and neither do I assume that every post should be put up. I am merely pointing out something, and that something is, why is this being held in moderation ? Not much to ask.

        • steve
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

          Mark B

          “I am merely pointing out something, and that something is, why is this being held in moderation ? ”

          Because the moderator doesn’t agree with what you say, or finds it embarrassing to his Party, or maybe you told it like it is – which is not allowed these days.

          Try an attack on the elderly, that should get through moderation no problem.

          Reply Not so. Things dont get through if they are too long, if that person has already posted lots, if they abuse named individuals or organisations or have links I do not know. I regularly post many items with which I disagree and many that are critical of the government/Conservatives etc

          • Mark B
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

            None of which I did in my post in the previous article. The link was posted seperatly.

    • zorro
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      You are not alone in being censored, don’t worry 🙂


    • UK Qanon
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Mark B – Anything that does not follow the Establishment narrative is not posted.
      They want the minnions to rely on the MSM, as many who comment here make frequent reference to. Job done.

  3. jerry
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    How do we know who is in a high risk group, and no they are not only those with known underlying health issues or the elderly, many people live with undiagnosed conditions for years (either from ignorance or some desire not to ‘bother’ their GP and NHS), others know all to well that they work in a industry or trade that leave them open to health issues, such as COPD.

    • Stred
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      Tesco have been given a list of something like 160,000 people with conditions which make home deliverers essential. They will be able to book a slot on the website. At present all the supermarket home delivery slots are fully booked and not available. However, there are millions advised to avoid shopping because they are too old or they have a condition making them vulnerable that the GPs do not know about. They need a letter and a code to book a delivery. Many are having to rely on neighbours and family, who are limited by having to buy two lots of shopping.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        Plenty of those whose details were handed to Tesco were NOT Tesco customers – but now Tesco have their personal details – wonder what Tesco will do with that info? Can I have the personal details of every Tesco worker? and every MP? So much for the govt and it’s Data Protection.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Exactly…and what all these “know alls”don’t think about are the people with agoraphobia who literally CAN’T go into a supermarket…let alone get there. ( Just like train travel has been ruined for the claustrophobic by hermetic electrical enclosure).
        So much for “equality” and “inclusion” and “fairness” and all the other mendacious rubbish.

        • Otto
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

          Yes and what about trains not having curtains so that epileptics have to suffer strobe/flash light from the sunlight streaming thru tree branches onto their eyes. I’ve heard no complaints yet though.

          Re eyes – don’t touch them but can’t virus droplets drift into them? Should we blindfold them when we go out?

          • Everhopeful
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

            Glad you think it’s funny.
            It isn’t.

    • jerry
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      “None of us have ever witnessed such a sharp contraction in economic activity, with an all too rapid surge in unemployment.[..//..] There are limits to how much the state can substitute for the loss of income. If we go on like this large amounts of economic capacity will be permanently lost.”

      Indeed very few people alive will have seen such a sharp contraction in economic activity before but the world has seen similar events, such as the Great Depression which saw massive lost of employment and capacity will be permanently lost.

      No capacity was permanently lost though, and with the correct support no capacity needs to permanently lost now – I suspect the real issue here is pure monetarist economics, unlike that of Keynesian, simply doesn’t have the necessary tool-sets to allow a govt to support industry etc. in the way needed, monetarism being for fair weather times only.

      This pandemic is going to be a marathon, not a sprint, just accept that please, otherwise there will (likely, on the evidence from other countries) be a second spike and more unnecessary deaths. We need to start thinking outside of the accepted norms and economic rules. Do we need to revisit insolvency rules/laws, perhaps have a UK version of the US Chapter 11 (which appear to give more protection to the business and their assets)?

      • Caterpillar
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink


        Not sure the Great Depression is relevant as many put it down to demand side (though there are explanations in terms of money supply, malinvestment etc.) What has happened now is a choice to massively switch off supply.

        Certainly there are permanent losses to supply side shocks. The textbook example is the real GDP growth rates in the USA before and then for decades after the oil crisis. OK growth rates might not be permanently changed (though they might be or at least decades are a long time) but they impact quality of life, expected years of healthy life and expected years of life. Such impacts are real and for the people with shorter lives permanent. We should not pretend that the lockdown isn’t killing people in the future just because someone who dies at say 80 not 81 now can be labelled as CV19, but the many more in the future cannot be labelled as lockdown.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      Clearly we cannot know all of them but we do know the vast majority of them.

      • jerry
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        @LL; If you do not know all of them how do you know the size of the majority, Unknowns are unknowns, they are not even unknown-knowns!

        At what point would the ‘majority’ of vulnerable’s become to large a proportion of the population, when establishing policy or when the NHS is overwhelmed by a second spike of CV19 infections?

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Perhaps everyone needs a one off mot check throughout the next year.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Indeed certainly building material suppliers, building sites and manufacturing need to re-open up very soon indeed, did these even need to close? Had mass gatherings like Cheltenham, football and pop concerts restaurants and pubs been closed down a week earlier other businesses like these could have easily continued.

    Reopening of pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, nail bars and similar perhaps a little later.

    I am pleased that Boris had two nurses to look after him in hospital. Did every patient get this? How many did the very many people who died in nursing homes (without even being taken to hospital) get?

    • jerry
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      @LL; It’s very obvious that you are a property developer rather than hands-on builder, I doubt you have ever worked on a construction site in your life, nor have you ever worked within a production line environment either, the fact that you do not understand just how physically-close some people have to work to each other if the job is to be done safely or at all.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        Well I now have many interests including property development. I have indeed worked both on construction sites and on production lines in the past. True not all the jobs may be possible but very many indeed vast the majority surely are.

      • Stred
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        I do all of the jobs alone when looking after my properties. With my adjustable props I even put plasterboard up on the ceiling. Bricklaying, roofing, carpentry, plastering, electrics, plumbing, heating, decorating, comms, air con, security all can be fixed alone with materials brought within 2 metres.

        • jerry
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          @Stred; I said construction sites, not DIY repairs!

          Then there is the supply chain, suppose you fell the trees to saw the planks, dig the clay to make the bricks etc?…

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink


      You are not allowed to sit or stand in an near empty park yet, are allowed to stand in a queue (2 yards apart) with complete strangers just to get a loaf of bread. Can’t complain as the people in front of me had to come all the way over from Dulwich (London) to get some basic groceries. My local being the only one open. The whole house arrest thing is a joke !

      • steve
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Mark B

        “You are not allowed to sit or stand in an near empty park yet, are allowed to stand in a queue (2 yards apart) with complete strangers just to get a loaf of bread”

        Yes I find it highly insulting. I wonder if you have any Polish shops nearby ? I refuse to queue for basic essentials such as bread.

        Maybe you could do as I do and visit the Polish shops, no queueing, no shortages, good and polite traditional service.

        When the crisis is over I intend to do two things:

        1) Personally boycott Supermarkets. (and save myself a fortune as a result)

        2) Vote John Redwood’s party out of power.

    • Andy
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      The people who died in nursing homes probably died alone. And of course most patients will not get the Boris treatment. I am a huge supporter of the NHS – it has saved my life, twice – but normal patients do not get two nurses.

      I hope Luis told Mr Johnson has badly Brexit had affected his life. The racism and xenophobia it had unleashed and the uncertainty for millions of EU citizens. I hope Jennie told him that his immigration policy would lead to a greater shortages of nurses as many earn below Priti Patel’s threshold.

      Salary is not a guide to usefulness. Nurses do not earn much but at very useful. Tory Cabinet ministers earn a lot but some have not less proven themselves quite useless.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        You keep repeating the nonsense about immigration and NHS staff.
        The government has already said special arrangements will be in place for essential workers who earn below a set salary threshold.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        Andy…The UK and job vacancies saved Luis from Porto being unemployed in Portugal. He is probably very grateful, as was a Portugese nurse I met a couple of years ago in RBH. She had lived here several years – no prospect of work or a career in Portugal.

      • rose
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        The two nurses will have needed to sleep, like you, Andy. So they will have alternated, not been on duty 24 hours a day. The whole point about IC is that people get 1:1 nursing. You will have done. Other people in situations which could go either way do.

        Why do you always have to be so nasty? Why don’t you go and spew it all out on twitter instead of here?

      • Richard1
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        I am sure Luis did no such thing. EU citizens have had their status made quite clear by the UK govt, unlike many U.K. citizens in EU countries. I know lots of EU citizens. Many of them are relieved we don’t now have the Marxist govt which was threatened before the election, and quite a few are now saying – given how the eurozone is going – that’s it’s possible the U.K. did the right thing.

        Your assertion about unleashing of racism and xenophobia is unpleasant made-up nonsense.

        Your statement about how badly the U.K. and the US are doing relatively is untrue.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        How much do Nurses earn Andy? After three years at Uni what is the starting rate per hour? How much per hour out of hours, per hour weekends and per hour at the bank holiday? How much is contributed to their pension? How much would a private pension saver have to contribute per hour to get the same pension? How much do you want them to be paid for each hour? Not all nurses are the same or qualified to the same level, I understand they have several bands with many grades per band which are reviewed annually.

        Personally I don’t think nurses should be doing 12 hour shifts I don’t think it is safe and they’re so exhausted and drained it can’t be healthy. Why was the 8 hour shift x3 ever changed?

      • steve
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink


        …..actually no, I won’t lower myself to debate your comments.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          Steve – – so often the nonsense is so abhorrent he gets a tide of annoyed responses . . . .just what wind up merchants get off on.

    • villaking
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      @LL: yes, two foreign nurses, one from the EU. That must upset you.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        Why on earth would it remotely upset me?

        My wife is Italian & I have a second home in France. I love Europe just not what the appaling anti-democratic and socialist EU is doing (and has done) to it.

        • Andy
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

          The socialist thing is particularly funny. Considering the EU Council is dominated by the centre right. The EU Commission is led by the centre right and European Parliament has a centre right majority. But, oooh, socialism. Ridiculous.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

            Years ago the left hated the EU.
            Bosses club itvwas called by left wingers like you Andy.
            Now you love it.
            Yet you say the right wing is in control.
            Hilarious nonnse from you.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

            The “centre right” is just a euphamism just socialists pretending not to be. Even people like the dire John (ERM fiasco) Major claimed to be “centre right”. If they leave office with taxes as a % of GDP higher than when they arrive (as they all seem to) they are socialists. 20% is more than enough.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      LL – – the usual ill-informed criticism. Patients have a dedicated nurse alongside for 12 hour shifts, hence special thanks for the 2. Any breaks, comfort or otherwise need a cover. You ought to be ashamed – the nurses are allocated to each and every patient according to assessed condition.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Perhaps but then Gove’s daughter was tested for the virus where others would clearly have not been.

        Many in nursing homes and elsewhere are not even being taken into hospital and are dying alone.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        I suppose you think Boris had to call 111 hang on for an hour or so and get cut twice before getting though (and then being admitted to hospital) too do you? I suspect not.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

          LL – -you lost me somehow – – please explain what the connection between how nurse allocation to stricken virus patients is managed to you hanging on to 111 for an hour?

          One month ago I called 111 as my wife had presentation associated with a heart attack ( after repeat symptoms in RBH, atrial fibrillation found). I ‘hung on’ for about 30 seconds to have call answered, blue light paramedics arrived within 10 mins….I call that fantastic service.

    • Ed M
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      There seems to be evidence that the virus is not passed on via objects (but happy to be corrected if i am wrong) but rather by just a group of people together in close proximity (look at how the virus spread in Gangelt – at a carnival with lots of drinking and partying going on).

      Therefore, I think pubs need to remain shut, as this an opportune place for the virus to spread – lots of people in close proximity, with alcohol making them forget to stay 2 m from each other.

      On the other hand, I suggest the gov focuses on getting the consumer-market back on track again with people being allowed back going into shops to buy non-essentials, whilst still following 2m rule obviously like in supermarkets.

      And we still need to be ruthless about keeping the old and vulnerable in strict quarantine whilst ramping up personal services to them to make their quarantine more safe, more comfortable and less stressful.

      • formula57
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        @ Ed M – no, there is evidence that Covid-19 can be “passed on via objects” in that it is known it endures for (probably) up to 72 hours on some surfaces where they have been contaminated by an infected person and can thus be caught by any person touching same and introducing the virus into their nose, moth or eyes (by touch). There are suggestions the virus can endure for even longer on some surfaces, notably plastics.

      • rose
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        If we are really concerned with the welfare of the old than we will get the economy going asap; otherwise, with no dividends etc they will have no pensions.

        Too much nasty talk of “shareholders” and not enough of what that actually means.

    • Stred
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Sky reported from a nursing home in Sheffield yesterday. Many of the residents had covid and some had died. Those that had worsening symptoms were assessed and the GP decided that it was pointless transferring them to hospital. One old boy had broken his ankle and had been infected when being treated in hospital. He was still perky and didn’t mind being filmed. He had two caring staff looking after him and when asked if there was anything that they could get for him, he asked for some beer. The lesson from this is if you’re old and break a bone, avoid going to an NHS hospital if possible.

    • Doug Powell
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      I think you miss the point. My understanding from Boris’s “2” nurses is that one would have been on the day shift and the other on night shift. To think that Boris had 2 nurses in attendance for 48 hours non stop is ludicrous!

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Thought the same thing lifelogic. So glad Boris is better but he thanked the nurses who never left his side for a second whilst in intensive care. Wonder how many others got such devoted attention. Answers on a postage stamp please.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Certain not at places like Mid Staffs I suspect.

  5. agricola
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Yes it is desirable to get as many back to work as possible using all the ways you suggest. However at present government have almost complete control of the lockdown apart from the acts of a few idiots. What you suggest means that government loses control which reverts to the common sense behaviour of the public. The majority will behave sensibly but more will not.

    Then there is the question of how to do it. Can enough face masks and hand gel be made available at tube, at rail stations and on buses to protect and sanitize passenger users. Can these vehicles be sanitized overnight. Can government steal itself to encourage the increased use of the car and the parking of the same to facilitate isolation in travel, all without penalty. Can a revertion to air travel be subjected to a checking and a sanitizing of passengers and planes. It is a matter of switching the purpose of security personnel to a degree. It needs thought.

    Have government really thought out the concept of home working and what they need to do to facilitate it on a national scale. There is much that could be done to encourage reluctant businesses with tax incentives for the equipment needed in terms of computers and video facilities plus the softwear. Then there is tax compensation for property use by the home worker.

    Government has only now just about got control of the lockdown largely through the good sense and cooperation of most of the public. How you begin to release the brakes on our economy needs to be very csrefully thought through. I would suggest a staggered release to keep it under control, and avoid the need to revert to lockdown because it has been done without thought. This is a new stage in the war and those running it will need to be open minded and fleet of foot to adapt to the changes necessary.

    • agricola
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Well you have managed to moderate one at 05.59 why not one at 05.58. You give us the rules for moderation and then ignore them.
      Today your moderation allows seventeen (17) entries from one contributor but ignores my single one. You may well be busy but I can see one obvious way of making yourself less so.

    • rose
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      My fear is that Huawei are going to have an even stronger case with people saying the quality of the equipment is not good enough for working at home.

  6. Cheshire Girl
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Although I am in the vulnerable group, as is my Son, I can absolutely see your point. I don’t think any of us want to see people on the breadline because of unemployment.

    I really hope that a way can be found to save the economy, while protecting the vulnerable, and reducing infections and deaths. I don’t say it will be easy, but my thoughts and hopes are with those who try to find a pathway through this.

    • Tom Rogers
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      We’re all in a “vulnerable group” since we’re all human and we’ll all going to die. I hate these Newspeak terms like “vulnerable”. We all have problems. Me, you, all of us. One day you will die. One day your son will die. One day I will die. These are facts of life. What gives you the right to hold the rest of us to ransom like this?

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        Tom Rogers:

        Please explain what you mean by me ‘holding the rest of us to ransom’?
        In no way, did my post imply that.

        I am well aware of the ‘facts’. I don’t need to be lectured. Please do not be so quick to take offence, when none was ever intended!

        • formula57
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

          @ Cheshire Girl – quite right!

        • Tom Rogers
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

          I am offended at being put under general arrest (which is what this is, whether I obey it or not) in order to save other people. I would not demand the same if it was the other way round. I accept that one day I must die. I don’t demand that the rest of the world grinds to a halt just for me.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        I don’t mind the inconvenience and the difficulties of whatever is required to save tens or hundreds of thousands of lives, and in so doing to prove that the UK is a worth calling a civilised country, and therefore one which deserves to survive and to prosper.

        If it takes your view on the other hand, then I think that more enlightened countries – and there are many of them – will take a different view for a very long time.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

          Easy for you to be so generous as you do not have try to keep a company running or earn money for your partner and family by going out to work.
          Sat at home on a decent pension I expect.
          Many I know are suffering real austerity.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink


            Germany has fewer strictures than the UK, but because of their correct testing, tracing, and isolation approach – plus whatever treatments – they have only a fraction of the fatalities.

            There is nowhere to hide this fact.

            The UK has squandered thousands of lives needlessly.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

            Depends if you think Germany is on the same curve and dateline as us.
            But I realise you are desperately looking at any nation that might randomly do better than the UK in order to gain a political advantage for your own favourite party.

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

          Doubtless China (where this started and whose mistakes and lies caused this) are being given a free pass.

          Why should the UK be worried about reputation then ?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

            If the local fire service didn’t bother to put out your house fire, because it was started by idiots from elsewhere playing with fireworks, then would you expect them to retain their reputation?

        • Fred H
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

          Martin – – you are possibly right – – -all the other countries are doing ‘it’ better whatever the subject.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

            Many a true word spoken in jest, Fred.

            Not “all” but several, and in important areas, yes.

      • zorro
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        Welcome to the Prison Planet!


      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Yep. The whole reasoning behind the universal lockdown is that we are all ‘vulnerable’, most of us don’t trade on that though. In fact a lot of people with serious conditions hide them and carry on.

  7. Stred
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    The problem is the NHS appears to be running the whole country, with ministers and the media acting as presenters. They have said that it is too early to think about lifting the clampdown. It’s SAVE OUR NHS when it’s really SAVE THE NHS’S NHS. Many jobs are done with single people operating and are low risk. The high risk is in trains and buses but they tell essential workers to leave the risk free car at home. The NHS isn’t interested in the private sector and, if that annoying Channel Four advert is the message, they think that sitting on one’s bum is the only way.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Stred this shouldn’t be political, the service isn’t free for the majority of us. Boris said the NHS saved his life which is a lovely message of thanks to the staff that looked after him but other than oxygen what did they give him? Why do these oxygen machines need nurses to sit alongside the patient 24 hours per day aren’t they electronic? Am I even allowed to ask? Was he given test drugs? A drip? Does everyone in ICU get the same?

      Why aren’t the BBC reporters asking the BMA spokespeople which hospitals in particular have so little ppe the nurses are now being told when it runs out they are to stop treating patients we deserve to know which hospitals not to go to. We were told private hospital beds have been compulsorily taken over by the NHS, for how long? Are people getting their private premiums back? Are patients in these private hospitals? which people are selected to go into private hospitals instead of these NHS hospitals that we are told on every news bulletin are not safe to patients because of a lack of ppe?

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        For some reason the media doesn’t do headlines “NHS unable to cope without private hospitals”.

        Indeed, private health customers are presumably paying twice but not actually getting any service at the moment, because the NHS wasn’t well enough prepared.

        There again, private school customers are being denied service and blackmailed with their sons’ and daughters’ grades being witheld from Universities unless they pay up for a term which they haven’t yet begun.

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

          I want to know how many NHS patients are being treated in our regions private hospitals and how are they selected? All the private hospital pre-booked treatments are closed – fair enough for a month – but how long is the NHS going to be getting this takeover of resources and are they getting used or is everyone paying up for nothing?

          If I ran a private school I would stream lessons with passcodes for pupils to undertake their normal lessons at home, enable questions and answers with teaching staff, take in essays and tests to check understanding and work on in isolation including drama, physical education and music lessons, home school networks do it all the time.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      And not only is that Channel 4 ad annoying, in the top corner where the “4” logo is – they sometimes have “Stay at Home” as well. Brainwashing continues.

      • formula57
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        Have you recalled correctly? Doesn’t it yet say “Stay at Home good, venture out better”? 😉

      • The Prangwizard
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        And the weather presenters on the BBC tell us not to go out. They sre party to the relentless manipulation.

    • cynic
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      It is interesting to speculate whether the lockdown would have been necessary if the NHS had been fully prepared for a pandemic. We were told that measures were needed to give the NHS time to make up for deficiencies in equipment and ITC beds!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        Indeed it is the criminal negligence and incompetence of the pandemic planning and the general lack of NHS capacity and competence that is causing the economic shutdown and lockdown.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

          You might as well blame the military, for the UK’s going to war in Iraq, and the ensuing problems.

          Come on.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

            Not a valid comparison Martin
            Come on.
            The government gives money to the NHS it spends it largely as it wishes.
            In war the armed forces are instructed to attack by the Government.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:13 am | Permalink

          People were tasked (and well paid) to do sensible pandemic planning and they totally failed totally to do even the basic and obvious things. They even conducted and exercise (and buried the results) that showed how poor the planning was.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

            The Government buried the results.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

            They are still available.
            For example you keep telling us about them.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      I don’t have any doubt that the NHS and their agenda is running the country

      The only things that stand in the way of the NHS are those pesky patients getting ill and industry & commerce which are a threat to its power and influence

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        Yes Minister did an episode on that very thing. We laughed once …

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Spoke to a fellow dog walker from a distance yesterday. Turns out he is an administrator in the NHS and working from home for the foreseeable future, on full pay of course, and was telling me of a ridiculous course he was sent on recently to Sunderland (from cornwall) at a cost of £25,000 for four of them for a few days.

      What an utter waste of money when our brave doctors and nurses who are doing a wonderful job and are putting their own lives at risks thanks to a woeful shortage of protective gear. It’s the equivalent of sending soldiers to battle without a helmet or gun. The NHS however is not so wonderful and it will take a brave Government, sadly not this one, to stop kowtowing to the unions and reform it for the benefit of patients and those on the front line rather than the hundreds of thousands of pen pushers in the back offices on salaries those in the private sector and even some of those on the front line can only dream of.

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Alok Shama tells us that the business continuation loan scheme has approved just 4,200 loans from 300,000 applications (with very many more applications still to come as the banks are making application slow and over complex by putting obstructions & barriers in the way). Germany on the other hand have agreed and already paid out 14o,000 loans.

    Why is the bloated UK government and bureaucracy so totally inept?

    • ToriesSavingTheUK
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      “Why is the bloated UK government and bureaucracy so totally inept?”.

      If Labour ever gets elected again we will truly see bloated and completely inept Government. Plus another letter when thy are booted out “There’s no money left”.

      Cherish the Government we have.
      You never had it so good!

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        I think that the newly coronavirus-free people of South Korea, of Taiwan, and soon of New Zealand might disagree.

        UK ex pats in China show life returning to normal there too.

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          New Zealand

          A country the size of England with the population of London and not a global transport hub.

          (Rural areas of England probably compare well)

          It is quite obvious China has not counted COVID – 19 deaths properly.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

            How about anti-communist S. Korea then, anon.?

            Or Germany?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

            Well out of 160 you have found one.
            Well done.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

            Germany is on a different dateline to us

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        I agree Corbyn or Ed Miliband/SNP would be far worse.

      • Richard1
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        Labour would indeed be far worse. I gather that had they won the election and Jeremy Corbyn had got The virus, Diane Abbott would now be running the Country, being Labour’s choice for Mr Raabs position.

        But that is no reason not to be constructively critical when required.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          Pity Dianne is not in charge of tallying up the CV 19 deaths … eleventy eight …

    • Peter Wood
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink


      Surely you’ve figured it out…. the government involved the high-street banks so that the scheme DOESN’T work. There’ll be a few token loans so that they can say they tried, but in reality its just a deception.

    • APL
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic: “Why is the bloated UK government and bureaucracy so totally inept?”

      because it is bloated and a bureaucracy. It achieving its design goal

    • zorro
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      I would suggest that they are not inept and they knew full well that the banks would operate like this because that is how banks operate!

      Cue LL, what’s the difference between the banks and the mafia?

      I would suggest that the government appears to be perfectly happy for the SME small sector to go to the wall. The government now will always be in power with enough people to depend upon it and will protect the interest of those that they serve (not us)


    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      And the Swiss 70’000 loans in a country with 9 million people, 1/7th of our own.
      So we should be on 500’000 loans.

  9. Mike Wilson
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    An advanced society needs substantial amounts of work to be undertaken so we have the output of goods and services which sustains living standards.

    Does it? I would have thought we all, generally, do far too much work. An advanced society would use clean energy. Machines would do much of ‘the work’. Production of goods would be done locally, so you have control of the supply.

    If the present crisis slows one thing it is surely the stupidity of outsourcing manufacturing and having a service economy where we earn a living walking dogs and cutting grass.

  10. Bob Dixon
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Do we have a vaccine for influenza? We have a flue jab every year for those at risk. Many still pass away from flue complications.

    The health ministers first priority is protective equipment for front line health workers.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Th flu jab is for the previous years novel flu. Each year viruses mutate, else we would all be immune. That is why they are saying that if you are immune, having caught and recovered from CV 19, you may still catch CV20 and on and on ad infinitum. I never have ‘last years flu’ jab, I think it weakens my body just when I need all strength to deal with this years flu.
      We need to be assured that the entire economy will not be shut down every year in deference to the new or novel CV.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        good luck when you catch next years flu. Most of us eligible have it and are grateful.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        So it has to be eradicated.

        By the methods being use in Germany and in many other countries.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          which are what?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

            Go on, Fred. Educate yourself.

      • zorro
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        I think that we know the answer to that one, don’t we?


      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        Indeed Lynn. I was reading somewhere that they reckon those that have had the flu jab are more likely to be the ones that die. That would make sense in that it is those over 65 that are the main people offered the jab.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      The annual flu jab is best guess at the strain which is thought to be the most likely to appear and affect the most population. It normally means a different strain is ‘protected against’ every year. There are so many it is not possible to cover them all.

    • Ed M
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink


      flu – not flue ..

      (i made mistake myself ..)

    • Data Please
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      According to PHE [1] :

      In the 2017-to-2018-season:
      “The data show that overall, flu vaccine was 15% effective in all age groups”

      their effectiveness by age group being:

      – 26.9% effective in children aged 2 to 17 years
      (who received the nasal spray)
      – 12.2% in at risk groups aged 18 to 64 years
      – 10.1% in those aged 65 and over

      These numbers are so low, that I’ve read the report twice as I can’t believe I’m looking at the right stuff or interpreting it correctly.

      Especially the 65+ group which I thought were supposed to be main target group for the jabs.


  11. Lifelogic
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    It seems Michael Gove’s daughter can get tested for corona virus so he can go jogging again – and yet many NHS staff and care home workers still cannot (yet this is clearly needed to protect themselves and their patients).

    Still we are all in this together as they like to pretend.

    • ToriesSavingTheUK
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Another anti-Tory remark.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Just a fact. I far prefer the Conservatives under Boris to the dire Corbyn/SNP alternative or indeed Starmer/Ed Miliband/SNP alternative.

        Even so most current Conservative MPs are clearly socialists in essence or LIBDIMS at best. As were/are Heath, Major, Cameron/Osborne, May/Hammond. We shall see if Boris can be a proper Conservative leader and go on to win three elections comfortably as Mrs Thatcher did.

        He just need to read some Hayek while recuperating – and then make a start by cancelling HS2.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

          Boris needs time to recuperate, and he has a baby on the way. Very demanding job being PM. Let’s thank him for all he has done for Brexit and wish him well. I want to vote Tory next time.

      • zorro
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        Really? I am a Tory and didn’t feel ot so.


  12. Everhopeful
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    The best letter ever!
    Let’s hope they listen.
    It is just so obvious that disease or not…this can’t go on.
    There won’t be anything left to go back to!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink


  13. Lifelogic
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Great to see Boris out of hospital, hopefully he can recover at Chequers perhaps while reading some sound economics books on lower taxes, far less government, less government red tape, cheap on demand energy, individual freedom and choice. Freedom and choice in healthcare, broadcasting, housing, education, energy, transport ….. without a rigged playing field. Thus growing the wealth creating sector to repay the vast debt serial UK governments have build up.

    What treatments are Covid patients actually getting from the NHS and in intensive care? Paracetamol, oxygen breathing assistance, monitoring, mechanical ventilators when it gets very bad, turning of patients. What else are they doing or able usefully to do for patients to keep their lungs functioning?

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      +1 for the Boris reading!

  14. Christine
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John
    The current situation is untenable. Just looking at my family, I have a daughter about to have a baby and go on maternity leave with the subsequent drop in income, my son-in-law has had to stop work as a recently self-employed support worker for vulnerable young adults but without the requisite tax return history will not qualify for any government support in June, my son has had to leave his rented property and move back in with me because his work as an IT consultant has dried up (thanks too to IR35) and my pension portfolio on which I depend for income has been decimated. My daughter’s home is in the middle of a renovation project and with no access to building materials the Acrow props remain in situ, the whole of the downstairs is a building site with no kitchen for the forseeable and has been like that for weeks.
    I guarantee there are families up and down this country who are in similarly difficult situations and we simply cannot go on like this. For heaven’s sake let’s not sacrifice the whole economy on the vacuous concepts of Keeping Safe and Protecting the NHS.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Christine. Hear, hear.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      For want of a loaf of bread, Kingdoms and Empires have fallen. If this government wants to see the nasty side of the people they purport to serve, they may well get it.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        concur……and sooner than they might imagine

    • ed2
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Christine, we have a bigger problem. Our rulers seem to be obeying orders from those who do not have our interests at heart. A madness as gripped them and I do not know who or what is going to snap them out of it before it is too late, if it is not already?

      These are very frightening times. I do not think the political class will ever be forgiven.

      • ed2
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        Somebody is persuading them to harm the economy as much as they (can get away with). We cannot be ruled like this.

  15. Norman
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John – I am glad you have put the question. A large part of the nation is in the grip of a powerful emotionalism, which could sweep away all in its path. It’s a difficult call for ministers, for sure. But a sensible phased return to work, using appropriate safe-guards, must now rise up the agenda as a matter of urgency. Were we able to test everyone, I think we’d be surprised how many were already positive, and therefore likely to be immune. To await vaccination will be too late. I am 100% behind your letter.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink


      The problem is as you suggest, without large-scale testing the Government do not have a clue as to how widespread this virus has spread.
      Clearly the figures are far, far higher than simple hospital admissions.
      Likewise it is not proven that once you have been infected and recovered you are immune.
      Thus the herd immunity solution has not even been proved.

      The real problem would appear to be people are infectious before they show any symptoms, indeed some carriers do not show any symptoms at all.

      The most simple solution would appear to be in the design of a proper and effective face re usable (washing of the filter) mask for all.
      It is simple, basic, and would be rapid to produce, would also give everyone a clue as to who is taking infection control seriously, as it is visual.

      • zorro
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        The testing which has taken place in Iceland should give us a good idea….


      • Norman
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but as a general rule, other virus infections across the board, tend to leave a reasonable degree of immunity after natural infection has been overcome.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        Alan Jutson,

        It does not need large scale testing to determine how widespread the virus is. It requires sample level antibody testing. Over a week ago we were told this was being done at, at least, 3500 tests per week with assays being run at Porton Down. The Govt has simply not told us the results.

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:27 pm | Permalink


          I guess if you are doing smaller sampling it depends upon where you get the people from, age, sex, ethnicity, location, etc etc.

          I would rather see a wider range of tests if they are going to be small scale, given the seriousness of the actions taken, and the cost both in lives, economy, and money lost.

          If they have done tests then tell us what they comprised of, and then as you say, publicise the findings/results.

  16. Kevin
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    “proper financial support for those in vulnerable categories who have lost jobs or income over it.”

    Does that include the base rate going back up to 0.75% so that elderly savers do not lose income as a consequence of the two reductions that have occurred during this period? If not, what alternative support for them, and other vulnerable savers, do you propose?

    • Andy
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      None. Everyone else has suffered significant financial pain. You should too.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Well not quite ‘Everyone’ Andy.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      No. Pensioners who rely on interest and dividend payments will get no support, quite the reverse, their income will be cut for years to come. No public sector employee will have their pay cut though, quite the reverse.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        Correct in all respects

        The economic lockdown needs to be stopped today

  17. formula57
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    If agreeing, the Cabinet might consider too:

    – alongside urgent action to save the economy, action to rebuild in place of enterprises that will not survive; and

    – urging the widespread use of face masks by the public (with advice on efficacy so users do not suppose they possess a shield of invulnerability). As a corollary, there ought to be a programme to encourage a cottage industry in simple face mask production.

    O/T I was delighted to see the Prime Minister able to leave hospital care. His statement struck a very sound note.

    • Otto
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      If the virus can enter the body thru the eyes shouldn’t we be wearing eye masks, together with using a white stick.

      • formula57
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        @ Otto – Eye protection is indeed prudent – achieved with goggles, best if they provide an airtight seal to the skin.

  18. Lifelogic
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I see that the Queen ended her Easter message with:- “I wish everyone of all faiths and denominations a blessed Easter.”

    Perhaps next time whomever writes her speeches should also include (what is probably now the majority of people in the UK), those have no religious convictions, divine or superstitious beliefs a Happy Easter Holiday too?

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink


      I think you will find if you listen to the recording she actually did include, and people of no faith, or words similar.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        She said early in the speech:- “They (religious festivals & lighting candles) seem to speak to every culture, and appeal to people of all faiths, and of none.

        But this is not the same, they were excluded from her good wishes. I am sure the queen would not have wished to exclude them.

    • SM
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Your ‘logic’ is letting you down: if you’re an atheist you don’t believe in the religious connotation of Easter – do we commonly wish each other Happy August Bank Holiday, an event totally unconnected with anyone’s religion?

      You really are scraping the barrel with your endless comments, LL.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      or even ‘enjoy the hunt for, and the eating of chocolate Easter eggs.’

    • Norman
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      How nice it would be nice to sit down with you, LL, and with all due grace, prove to you that you are gravely mistaken. True, religious packaging can be extremely off-putting: but it’s what’s inside – or should I say, the empty tomb, that counts.
      Before you appeal to science, many of our greatest scientists were Biblical creationists, (as some still are) – out of which the laws of science are naturally ordered.
      History also bears witness: this was the first Passover since the original, at the Exodus from Egypt, to be celebrated indoors: the same for Resurrection Sunday in the Church: what awesome, glorious parallels, hidden in plain sight!
      By the way, I understand the Queen co-authored the speech, along with her chief adviser. We are truly blessed as a nation to have such a person as Head of State. She also did graciously acknowledge those of ‘no faith’ earlier in her speech.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        I too support the Queen who has done an excellent job for 68 (?) years sensibly keeping out of politics unlike her first borne.

        She mentioned (people of no faith) in passing earlier but they were clearly excluded from her good wishes. I am sure it was a mere oversight but in future they surely should be included at they are probably now the largest group. The phrase people “of no faith” is perhaps somewhat insulting too. I have faith many things and people, just not in imaginary ones without any evidence.

  19. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    I share your desire to get the country back to work, just the debt that government is running up by subsiding the shut down fills me with fear. The consequences of a depression following this recession are terrifying.

    You communication to ministers does not mention public transport. How can we get to work without infecting each other in our populous nation? Too many people, not enough capacity to move us around. Even if the bus driver’s son removes the congestion charge so we can drive, there is nowhere to park.

    Public transport is the conundrum that stops us going back to work in my view as successive governments’ housing polices have made owning a home close to where one works impossible.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Spain is relaxing its lockdown – watch that space as the second wave will be telling

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        It is meaningless, unless you know the extent of their testing, tracing, and isolation programme – if any – along with continuing distancing rules of other types.

        By all means post a summary for us, if you do that research.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

          Tosh – if their death rate goes up then the virus has started spreading again.

          Are you managing to argue with yourself in isolation Marty?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

            Yes, it has.

            However, if it does not, then that does not mean that the lockdown can be lifted here too, unless the UK is also doing the other things that Spain does.

            Most countries are doing far more than the UK – even Venezuela.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            Keep digging Martin

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        A second wave of what? Its no worse than seasonal flu…check the data

        Oh yeah it is worse, we’ve made it worse by this lockdown

        Excess winter UK deaths 2014/15 – 44,000 no lockdown
        Covid19 UK deaths 2019/20 – 10,612 lockdown

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          Chinese, French, Italian, Spanish and USA hospitals, full and building more capacity in tents.

          That doesn’t happen with seasonal flu. I posted the ONS death by week URL yesterday which does show deaths are behind the five year average but that was before 500+ people a day were reported as dying in the last week so those stats won’t confirm / refute your assertion for at least a couple of weeks when they are published.

          From my perspective when this disease goes bad it does seem worse than seasonal flu and it is being readily transmitted among the population.

          The electorate don’t want to see over run hospitals so that is the first issue government has to solve.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

            The Chinese closed their last temporary hospital some weeks ago now.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            When did they tell you that?

          • Fred H
            Posted April 15, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

            Martin’s temporary hospital was so temporary – nobody ever saw it.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        Narrow shoulders. I thought this too. Italy also. China is reporting more cases but supposedly by people coming back into China. This is going to be never ending until we find a vaccine. If just one person can go around infecting people without realising he is positive then what chance have we got of controlling it?

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          Very little – the herd immunity approach has as much chance as any but pictures of full and over run hospitals would have brought down any administration before we become immune

    • Fishknife
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      This is the essential question : How to get mass transport working safely?
      And the answer is two sets of washable masks and gloves (with cotton liners if necessary). One for going to work and one for the return journey, plus two bags to isolate used kit.
      P.S. Why do we not have ‘cottage industries’ washing PPE at every site, in a tent if necessary?

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        It’s a start – the main logistical issue is enforcing social distancing on each carriage or bus. Can you imagine the queues with that many people trying to ride in so little available space.

        • glen cullen
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          Social distancing can’t be enforced as its not LAW, its just a GUIDANCE from PHE (like don’t smoke while pregnant)

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

            Headline – Fights on tube as passengers try to keep distance from each other</b)

  20. peter soakel
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I hope they all make the right decision.
    As far as I can tell, we still have not seen the code for the computer models of projected deaths.
    I dont need a computer model to project what will happen if we do not get the economy going again ASAP.
    Kind regards.

    • zorro
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      And we are unlikely too, the seeming lack of inquisitiveness by the government around this decision will hopefully seal its fate.


  21. The Prangwizard
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    And where are the measures to protect what remains of our businesses and fixed assets not already in foreign ownership from being sold off. Is the Open for Business philosophy still government policy and practise? We know what it means; it is the prostitution of our country – give us your money and will do anything to satisfy you. It tells foreign competing powers we have no confidence in ourselves, that we like others to makes decisions for us. It permeates all levels of the establishment.

    We need change at all levels and most of all this will require the removal of people at high level who believe in the present approach. They are incapable of change. They must go.

  22. Caterpillar
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Dear Govt,

    1. Please recall that flat lining of GDP per capita following the financial crisis led to a flat lining of life expectancy in the U.K. This equates to very many (1 to 3 orders of maagnitude depending on assumptions) more life years than the lockdown is supposedly saving from CV19, even the initial hysterical ones. The longer the lockdown is in place the more life years it is likely to cost. You must recognise that this is a lives vs lives decision and not a lives vs economy decision.

    2. Stop keeping the country in the dark; publish the Porton Down antibody test data and update daily.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Those telling us that austerity caused 130,000 deaths are now telling us that economic damage resulting from the lockdown won’t cause any. Odd.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. I never know whether to describe such people as consistent or inconsistent.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          consistently inaccurate is what you are trying to say.

          • Caterpillar
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:55 pm | Permalink


      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        Yes they have gone strangely quiet

    • James Bertram
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Fully agree, Caterpillar – a lives versus lives decision – and that should include not just UK life expectancies, but damage to the global poor from this lockdown, who already lack the most basic healthcare.
      [Doctors per 1000 is 2.8 in UK; and about 0.2 in Sub-Saharan Africa. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.MED.PHYS.ZS?locations=GB%5D

      • Caterpillar
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        James Bertram,

        Totally agree.

    • zorro
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      That will help very much to shrink the population… there are some people that want that, can you guess who?


      • John C.
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        Well, I’m one, for a start. There are far too many people, but I’d aim to reduce the population in a more humane manner over the next 50 years.

  23. Ian @Barkham
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    While I am broadly in agreement with the thrust of your proposal.

    I would suggest some caution in your approach as in the framework you assume the existence of a service that is already been proven to be unavailable. In Wokingham I know those at risk have no chance of getting onto any Super-Market delivery list.

    My in laws in Lancashire even with the letter from the Government telling them they are on the extreme at risk – there are no online services available. So it means journeys with maximum exposure is the only way to survive.

    It does stand to reason that a service that at best was only getting to 6% of the population before can’t suddenly be ramped up to cope.

    Government is in its ever ending bad concept of micro-managing peoples lives has exposed itself to ridicule and the charge of ineptitude. We must manage, we don’t trust the people to get it done, but in reality the management style of this Conservative Government is one of fingers crossed and hope something might turn up.

    A Government hiding behind the phrase of using science, when that science is just rough predictions in the same way people get to pick lottery numbers – that is not management.

  24. Richard
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Many thanks for this much-needed wake-up call.

    Do please publish the main points of whatever replies you get from Cabinet members.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      I’d also like to know the views of all cabinet members on continued Lockdown

      This is so important the 3rd week review of the SI regulation should be made public…..and I don’t mean the cabinet all agree etc etc

  25. SM
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    John, your letter has my whole-hearted support, and could you please send a copy to President Ramaphosa of S Africa, where millions are now suffering from starvation due to job loss rather than the virus?

    I’m an elderly and somewhat vulnerable individual but I believe this almost global shutdown is now unjustifiable and economically insupportable. I absolutely do NOT want to live for another handful of years knowing that my children and grandchildren will be – in one way or another – paying for my brief extension for the rest of their hopefully long lives.

    And yes, before anyone accuses me of heartlessness, the deaths of younger people that have been caused by the virus are very sad losses, just as they would have been had they been trapped in a road accident or caused by a hitherto undiagnosed tumor. Sadly, life does not come with an 80yr guarantee attached, but “The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on”.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      18 CV 19 deaths in SA so far. Their daily murder rate is a multiplier of that figure. Their daily road death rate is also a multiplier.
      Blindly copying the U.K. etc is costing many lives, we should set a better example!

      • anon
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        SA has a TB vaccination policy. This may give partial immunity. Life expectancy is 60-67. So seniors not present.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          Also Malaria.

      • anon
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        It is a risky balance. Companies may have to restructure. Lose the debt and be ready to move on when lockdown eases.

        Without proper testing, contact tracing and isolation or isolation by testing of all front line staff, those they contact are vulnerable.

        Are people in care-homes or at home being medically or administratively discarded. If so are appropriate palliatives being offered other than paracetamol? This is happening elsewhere.

        This vaccine mutates , reportedly 3 sub-types. It appears to re-activate.No one knows effects other than short term.

        Some vaccines appear to give some protection like TB. Can a vaccine program be rolled out for the older co-horts for Flu TB etc as a mitigation.

        What treatment was Boris given. Was it different in anyway? Blood transfusion? Plasma from recovered, Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquinine & zinc etc?

        Are we using the equivalent of the “Defense Production Act” like a hammer to manufacture supplies domestically.? If not why not?

        • anon
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

          Questions for JR?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          Are people in care-homes or at home being medically or administratively discarded.

          From what I hear yes.

      • zorro
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        A number of people have been killed by the police whilst ‘policing’ this shutdown in SA.


        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

          Standard stuff. Did not need a lockdown as an excuse.

  26. Dunc.
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Thank you John.
    Sanity at last.

  27. Stephen Reay
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    When the government have enough ventilators to give people who get the coronavirus a fighting chance then people can return to work. This lock down was about getting enough ventilators and reducing the numbers. Enconomics will be the driver of this lockdown and nothing else.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      10,000 people have died to date in hospitals in the UK. There have been enough ventilators to date. A ventilator is no guarantee of survival so that should not be the benchmark.

      • anon
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        How many people were not offered treatment? and died at home. Reports in media say we are running out of zipped bodybags source Daily Express:13.4.20.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

          Reports from across Europe suggest that about half of deaths occur out of hospital – so unrecorded as CV in the UK.

          So the toll would be nearer 20,000 if so.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

            Please quote links for your bold claims.

          • zorro
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

            Source please


        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

          Hospitals are not full so everyone should have been offered treatment. Do you have evidence of people being turned away?

          Care homes may be different but in the general population no one should have been denied treatment, that is the whole point of lockdown.

          • anon
            Posted April 15, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

            Question more and await the evasive answer?

    • zorro
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Not so, they have plenty of excess beds and enough ventilators. As it is, over 50% on ventilators will die whilst on the machine.

      Of course, previously ‘mild symptom’ Boris Johnson was apparently at ‘death’s door’ according to ‘friends’ but never went on a ventilator but needed some oxygen treatment….


      • glen cullen
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Johnson recovered, Hancock recovered….sounds just like flu to me

  28. Ian Wragg
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    But they won’t listen. Hancock is revelling in his new spokesman status and the NHS has been elevated to Messiah like proportions.
    All the ones urging lockdown continue to receive tax funded salaries.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Correct. Every single person involved in setting policy have guaranteed salaries.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Correct they will not listen, they do the complete opposite of what we would consider common sense

      HS2 nobody agrees with its build and yet the govt gives approval
      China 5G nobody agrees with its build and yet the govt gives approval
      Migration cross channel nobody agrees with it and yet the govt is inactive
      Lockdown nobody agrees with it and yet the govt is inactive till PHE says okay

  29. Sakara Gold
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    As has been discussed here all week, we cannot be sure of the accuracy of statistics of either cases or fatalities and so it seems that we must be very carefull about the exit strategy. We are not testing enough people outside of the hospital environment to be sure and making decisions based on flawed and manipulated data has obvious risks.

    The NHS has now had weeks of experience of treating patients with the Chinese plague virus, many fortunate people (the PM included) have pulled through, maybe there are less hospital fatalities recorded because our excellent medics have worked out the best way to treat it?

    The public is clearly following the government’s advice to stay at home, they recognise that this is the best way to avoid becoming infected. They have filled their freezers and stocked up on food in preparation for a long period of time hunkered down. If we end it too early and this results in a resurgence, who would guarantee that the public could be persuaded go back to the lockdown?

    Everyone wants it to end so that we can revive our economy. The self-employed and those with unavoidable fixed costs and overheads are suffering, as well as big firms. However, with a second wave of cases expected later this spring from China – as the regime lets people travel away from Wuhan again – we must not let our guard down.

    Today it is reported that Spain, Denmark and Austria plan to gradually end their lockdowns starting next week. Italy has not. Maybe the best strategy is to hold on as we are for a while longer and see what happens?

  30. BeebTax
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    The sooner we get the economy moving again, the better. I hope government is working on plans to get us back to work. That could include a gradual weaning off the current support measures.

    There is a fantastic opportunity now to encourage companies to permanently adopt more home-working, full or part-time. Forego some taxpayer money encouraging this: cut VAT on home-working IT equipment, offer reduced employers NI contributions on home workers, etc.

    The purpose would be to reduce pressure on our transport infrastructure (who would need HS2 if we’re all video conferencing? How many new roads would be needed if there was 30% less commuter traffic?). It would save us money. It would also increase the population’s mental well being, and even reduce those CO2 emissions that politicians were bleating about just a few short months ago.

  31. Iain Gill
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    We need mass repeated testing of the whole population, contact tracing, and aggressive lockdowns of outbreaks. We need everyone wearing masks when they leave the house.
    We need a new Manhattan project to find cures and vaccines.
    In the absence of this we cannot start opening up society.
    People who have had the virus and now have immunity have a superpower, we need to identify them and use them in special ways, remembering they can still pass the virus around on their belongings.

    • Fishknife
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      You have your thumb on one side of the balance, yes, daily testing of everyone would be the perfect, expensive, solution.

    • anon
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Indeed however.

      The virus may re-activate by itself. If this is the case, the old really are in a bad place. We need constant ongoing massive testing to manage this down. Can JR say we are ready?

      The virus is reported to effect not just the lungs ability to get oxygen to the blood but also the “heme” blood oxygen transport system. Reducing the ability of the blood and system to carry the oxygen to the organs.

      People have reported “altitude sickness” whilst having relatively mild symptoms. Some having been used to high altitude.

      So oxygen support at an earlier stage may be helpful, plus protective medicines at Doctor & patient discretion.
      Centrally forbidding promising treatment, with or without trials, on anything other than a patient by patient basis driven from other than the frontline is in my eye s criminally negligent.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      we also need mass availability of face masks, hand sanitiser, oximeters so that every single person in the country can have access

      • APL
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        Iain Gill: “we also need mass availability of face masks, hand sanitiser, oximeters so that every single person in the country can have access”

        There was an article on the news about an enterprising couple who have set up a 3-d printing operation in their front room making straps for face visors which they are selling to the NHS.

        We don’t need government issued masks. The market should deal with demand. The government should get of the backs of industry and let them respond to demand.

        We must not be buying this type of kit from China.

    • Mark
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Forget mass testing of the whole population. It’s not achievable, and the tests are not reliable enough to be of much use applied out of higher risk situations.

      We could move towards contact tracing and quarantine provided it is done in a reasonably effective manner (it doesn’t need to be perfect, but it needs to be rapid in identifying the main contacts of those found to be infected). That becomes a possible way forward because the lockdown will have reduced the numbers of people who need to be traced in each case. We will still need to keep the size of traces needed low, by limiting the numbers of contacts that people have, especially random contacts in public.

      • anon
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        Both support each other by pushing transmission down.
        Particularly if you enable solutions like the private sector provide, rather than hinder them.

        You use what is available whether approved or not in emergency situations, subject to consent, in most situations.

    • zorro
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      ‘they can still pass the virus around on their belongings.’…. For how long, go on, give us another scare story….


      • Iain Gill
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        It lives on surfaces both skin and belongings, they don’t know exactly how long but estimate a day and a half

        • Iain Gill
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

          I am now reading reports it can live on surfaces for 16 days, so be careful out there folks.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      The ‘flu’ kills more people every year (excess deaths 2014/15 44,000) and we’ve never done national nor selective testing for that?

  32. Christine
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Please get the building merchants to reopen. My friend is a carpenter and he has many outside jobs he could do but can’t get the supplies.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Indeed they certainly should be open now. Distancing is perfectly possible to maintain at builder merchants.

    • APL
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Christine: “Please get the building merchants to reopen.”

      Just let industry restart. If it’s left too much longer all the supply chains will be irretrievably broken.

    • ChrisS
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Builders Merchants are on the list of businesses that are allowed to remain open ! However, many, including the two biggest players, Travis Perkins and Jewson, have closed their doors to the general builder and self employed tradesman.

      Jewson, for example, closed its doors without notice to all but builders working on public sector projects. They did not even fulfill the orders that had been accepted and were already in their system with stated delivery dates. Travis Perkins is closed altogether.

      I know this because our business has an account with both firms.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Agree Christine. Our staircase could be completed, a cupboard up in the spare bedroom and our window cleaner could be at work. Oh and our conservatory doors could be fitted. All it take is for us to get out of their way and then to thoroughly clean every surface and door handle in the home or where they have been. I am at as much risk from having to go to the supermarket twice a week.

  33. Dave Andrews
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    We read yesterday that half the staff at the Royal Gwent Hospital is found to be Covid-19 positive.
    Wouldn’t it be better to allow time for the NHS to recover from the disease before loading the depleted staff with the burden of the general public?

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Dave it needs to be a planned re-opening with the most severely infected areas left to last rather than some remote region being locked down because of a lack of capacity in one hospital in another region. China didn’t close down the whole of China.

    • Mark
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Newport (where the hospital is located) has the highest rate of infection in the whole of the UK. It’s not clear why that should be so. But it is therefore not a surprise that there is a high infection rate at the hospital.

  34. Andy
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Not going to happen.

    The simple fact is that because Johnson and co failed at the start – back when then were too busy dealing with your Brexit and saving Priti Patel’s career – that the virus got out of control. Consequently we could end up as the worst affected country in Europe when we had the advantage over Italy and Spain that they had their outbreaks first. What a pathetic, miserable failure of government.

    Meanwhile your Brexit government has collapsed the economy. In one quarter growth has plummeted – probably by the largest amount ever – the jobless total is skyrocketing and it will take decades to pay off the bill. We are already paying off Tory Brexit until the the 2060s we can pay off Tory Coronavirus failures until then too.

    And all the while we can look to New Zealand. I often hear how much you all want to be like New Zealand. A country that has all but beaten the virus with deaths still in single figures. Jacinda Arden is a wonderful prime minister we should hire her.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Italy and Spain have just realised that lockdown is unsustainable – theirs is not a success story.

      You blame anyone but the Chinese government for this it seems.

      Our problem is that the NHS has been very good at keeping people alive with comorbidities that are a COVID-19 risk

      You seem to think that this is a failure on our part when it isn’t.

      • bill brown
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 2:51 am | Permalink

        No but we did start too late

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      New Zealand is a country the size of England with a population the size of London. It is not a global transport hub either.

      It is no joke that there are more sheep than people.

      Are you seriously making a comparison ???

    • R.T.G.
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink


      “…back when then were too busy dealing with your Brexit…”(sic)

      If the democratic outcome had been implemented in a timely manner, some of those who were responsible for running the country could have used their efforts more appropriately by being “busy dealing with” running the country effectively instead of trying to overturn the democratic decision, egged on by the likes of you who were, contemptuously, unwilling to accept it.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      Yes! She could run the Isle of Wight (maybe) between babies – ahhh!

  35. William Long
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    It must be one of the most difficult balancing acts anyone has ever faced. At least, though, we need some evidence that planning for how it might happen is taking place. It is becoming the one glaring gap in the otherwise very informative daily briefing sessions. There may not yet be enough evidence to be precise on timings, but without some indication of how things might be managed people are increasingly likely to give up.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Quite – what are the metrics they are looking for, is it simply to number of infections daily or do we need to reach a testing capacity or beds capacity?

      What is the aim?

      • zorro
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        the daily infections metric is a nonsense when you are ramping up testing massively anyway. Let’s see how they use that staistic too create fear.


        • glen cullen
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          Agree they are trying to create fear

          During the daily brief they now inform us the total number of tests followed by the number of fails NOT the number of pass results

          Creating fear is the game

          • Al
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

            “Creating fear is the game” – glen cullen

            It seems you may be right. The papers today reported that the government is concerned people will be ‘too scared’ to go out when they lift the lockdown, but we’ve just had an Easter where the police had to close parks to keep people home!

            Everyone I know is getting extremely frustrated with the situation, and the apparent lack of progress in support for keyworkers and getting people back to work. While they may view the lockdown as medically necessary, and therefore comply, there will be no problems getting them back into offices or shops if the government gives them the option!

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Planning is taking place. If they publish a plan and then deviate from it one iota the press and Labour party will scream “U-Turn chaos !”. I agree the first part of the daily briefing is useful, the second part where the press ask stupid questions is worse than useless.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Bad golfers always put their ball in a place where they need miracle shots to recover, and none less able of miracle shots than bad golfers.

  36. Johnny Dubb
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    It annoys me intensely that the most experienced people such as you are not more involved. That is just poor management. Agree with everything you say on the economy. If we have a magic money tree then refund tax & vat to self employed and business. Re isolation, the physical and mental health damage to those isolated was not properly considered.
    In our tiny hamlet there are 5 homes. 3 of these isolating, being 1 couple and 2 x singles. When we went to ask (shout) if they needed shopping, both single people said “managing but lonely”, which resonated.
    (btw, total list for 3 homes; bag of tortilla chips, 2 bags of sweets and hot X buns, post a birthday card! #Great Britain!)
    The hidden damage and deaths from missed scans, ops, depression and lack of exercise will be horrendous. Here in the sticks we have loads of space so are lucky. Could not do this in a flat. Lift the lockdown and we can look after the vulnerable much better.

    • zorro
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      indeed, there was the story of the 21 year old girl who needed a liver transplant but the operation wasn’t performed. She apparently also tested positive for COVID 19 but died because of liver failure. I wonder how her death will be recorded?


  37. turboterrier
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Sir John.

    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

    Hopefully they fully understand your line of thinking and concerns.

    As a general said on the D Day beaches “If we do nothing all that will be left is the dead and the dying” The time for sitting around doing nothing has to end albeit maybe a structured controlled one.

  38. Sharon Jagger
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I think we’ve reached a point where being led by the science and being realistic has to be considered.

    I’m listening to LBC where people are calling in with health issues from being cooped up indoors.

    A careful and gradual freeing of the lockdown needs to be done as of next week! Not thinking about it at the end of May which is apparently what Cabinet are considering!

    And as others have pointed out, some outdoor businesses could continue now if they could only procure supplies!

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      I don’t see why garden centres couldn’t open, If they follow the same rules as supermarkets what is the problem? A lot of people find gardening and growing their own veg very relaxing. They are out in the open air and doing something worth while.

  39. a-tracy
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Damned if you do open, damned if you don’t.

    The portal to reclaim furlough doesn’t seem to be open yet, the figures for furlough are just a guess, the government have no idea how many people have just closed down, so all those businesses who furloughed and paid out staff at the end of March haven’t had their furlough money back, the government is expecting them to pay out April’s furlough at the end of April for most monthly payrolls without any turnover for April, are you confident they will be in a position to pay it out or then you will hear all these calm people saying “no, don’t re-open” baying for blood if their wages don’t come though.

    Too many people are not seeing the implications as I’m told “health is more important than money”, but the side effect of the cure may not be palpable. And are we really being held for longer than you’d like because of Frances threats, I’m really interested in how Germany are going to extract themselves from this with Macron’s threats if they come out before he is ready.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Mark my words ”For every week in lockdown another hundred thousand SMEs will close down 50% never to return to trading”

      Not forlough or business loan but closed down with huge never before seen unemployment

  40. Lifelogic
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I just listened to Profile of Dominic Rabb on radio 4. Despite his being an Oxford (then Cambridge) lawyer he seems quite a sound chap. Even once saying (and defending it on Andrew Marr):- “From the cradle to the grave, men are getting a raw deal. Feminists are now amongst the most obnoxious bigots.”

    Needless to say the pathetic Theresa May reprimanded him for this! It bodes well that Boris selected him as his deputy.

    • Richard1
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Yes he seems sound and is articulate. Another positive sign is that, like Boris, he seems to provoke visceral ire and hatred amongst that small minority of sneering leftists who are so grossly over-represented on social media and even in mainstream media.

  41. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I think it is too early yet to stop the lockdown, but certainly a few tweaks could be tried.
    I would have thought it obvious that home delivery (especially supermarket) has to be massively expanded for those who are vulnerable, or still wish to self isolate, as it is just crazy that people stand in long lines just a few feet apart (but cannot go to a Park) because no home delivery is possible, when we have thousands of self employed people with vans standing idle.

    Certainly some people working outside should be able and allowed to work, and indeed many probably would now, if they could get supplies from Builders Merchants etc.

    I mentioned many days ago the Council could still repair our roads and take advantage of low traffic movement rather than waiting until it gets back to normal, and then road closures are put in place.
    Why are the Council recycling centres closed when everyone self unloads, I now have 16 bags of grass cuttings rotting down on my drive, which I am sure the rats will probably use as a nice warm home eventually.

    I could go on with many more simple examples.

    Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    This entire issue has been abused for political purposes by all involved. From the government and the NHS right through to public sector organisations and Labour who see it as an opportunity to expand their influence.

    Johnson’s Churchillian nonsense is pure political theatre, nothing more. I can’t abide such insincere politics. It might impress the naive who have little idea of the contemporary political mindset but for those who have been following politics since the establishment brought down MT, it is nauseating

    And the people really suffering? Your average private sector employee who have become the new slaves of the liberal left’s Apartheid system of the protected and political public sector v the bill-payers of the private sector

    Johnson can continue or end the lock-down. That’s his decision, but I for one will not be deceived by his elevation of the NHS to divine status. It is the most disingenuous act of political behaviour I have ever witnessed and it is designed for political purposes to benefit the party he leads

    And now the private sector will be expected to sustain the entire burden of his ignorance as he refuses to reform the massively wasteful public sector that provides Labour with all its monies and support

    Johnson’s achieved nothing expect lay the foundations of a future Labour victory. He’s deluded if he thinks that the NHS and other medical political groups like the BMA are suddenly over night become pro-Tory supporters which is his true objective

    People should retain their critical faculties and not to allow political leaders use emotion to manipulate their feelings and perceptions

  43. Mockbeggar
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    They could start by allowing nurseries and garden centres to re-open. After all, DIY shops have been re-opened and their stock doesn’t die.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      But not builders merchants.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Well said! Their home delivery service is overwhelmed in most places. Why can’t people buy on line, then pick up their order in the car park, with their receipt?
      It seems that many obvious difficulties can easily be overcome.

  44. miami.mode
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Not much in this missive about protecting NHS workers where lives are at risk. In any other ‘industry’ they would be bogged down with health and safety rules.

    • You know
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      You have not some stain of a soldier in you

  45. jerry
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    “It is urgent to start lifting restrictions. Many more people will lose their jobs if the lock down continues.”

    Better that than loosing their lives, or someone in their family doing so because of work place transmission!

    Economies can be rebuilt, once someone has died they are dead…

    • Reaction Harry
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Look around the world – weaker economies have weaker health provision. We need to protect the economy in order to protect our health.

      • jerry
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        @Reaction Harry; Not so, Cuba has a very good health service, apparently!

        Anyway, the UK had a very good health service in 1950, despite the national debt from the war.

        Italy has (had, pre CV19) a very good health service, and very modern, but the Italian economy is one of the Eurozone basket cases, so we are told by those who hate the currency.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

          In 1950 the UK had a very poor health service.

          • jerry
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Why do you always have to disagree, and ignore context…

            Compared to what the country had in 1938 it was very good, compared to what we had in 1983, perhaps not…

          • Edward2
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            I disagree because what you said was completely wrong.
            The health service in 1950 was poor.

            You gave no context of comparison of prior to 1950.
            Had done so I would not have posted because it was better in 1950 than say 1925

          • jerry
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; You can disagree, that is your prerogative, it doesn’t make you correct. In 1950 the NHS offered free at the point of need services that the UK health care system didn’t offer in 1938 and doesn’t offer today, and hasn’t since c. April 1951.

            Perhaps if you give my comments a little thought between your partisan knees to jerking and your fingers pressing the ‘Post’ button?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 15, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

            Thanks for you reply Jerry.
            You are right of course.

            In all the years I have posted on here I have never once ever seen you admit to being wrong.
            Perhaps you might reflect on that too.

    • Mark
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      A poorer economy will lead to many foreshortened lives. So will a lengthy lockdown because of failures to catch treatable conditions until it is too late.

      • jerry
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        @Mark; There is no reason why a poorer economy will lead to many foreshortened lives, in fact a (poorer) less materialist economy might actually benefit health, for example with less people watching sport on subscription TV, or ‘playing’ e-sports on games-console or computer from the armchair and like might mean more people actually getting outside to play real sports [1], or at least tending to their allotments/gardens whilst growing their own veg. As a nation the UK was a pretty health lot in the third quarter of the last century!

        “a lengthy lockdown [causing foreshortened lives] because of failures to catch treatable conditions until it is too late.”

        Perhaps, but that is part of the balancing act the CMO is going to have to contend with, against the very real risk of many foreshortened lives due to a second wave of CV19 deaths.

        [1] even more so if local leisure facilities were taken back into LA control and run as a service rather than profit

  46. Turboterrier
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    While they are thinking about the contents of the letter perhaps they should also be asking the question especially in the light of concerns being raised by MI6 regarding our relationship with China:

    Did we really need the coronavirus to recognise or at least consider that China could be and is a threat, really? It is very reassuring that all the clever people are in charge

  47. glen cullen
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    Your letter has my support…please publish far and wide

  48. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Do not forget the transport industry – especially lorries who have lost about half their fleet. If they go under, then supply of food and necessities will simply run out and there will be a stoppage of eating – which could well lead to disaster.

    • Original Chris
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      This is a very important point, MS, and our government seems blissfully unconcerned.
      More panic buying on the way as soon as the public really gets wind of this? You can’t blame them as government assurances about supply being restored and there is plenty for everyone have proved wildly wrong.

      Even with rationing (to stop the “middle class hoarders” as Tesco chief arrogantly calls them) of how much you can buy and assurances that delivery slots will be available for vulnerable people (not just those on the very sick register) the “plenty for everyone” has not materialised. With transport/haulage going down, there is another disaster round the corner.

  49. a-tracy
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I read it is in the German hospitals interest to keep patients in hospital rather than send them quickly home as the U.K. does with its home based self-isolation advice (where very few people have home oxygen supplies) because their hospitals get paid for treatment rather than monthly regular allowances per hospital and they had 50% overcapacity in order to do this. Perhaps this is also why their death figures are in the low 3000’s.

    Does every bed in the Nightingale hospital have an oxygen supply? If it does shouldn’t the NHS staff catching this awful virus from their work immediately be put on oxygen in there.
    When a London based medic starts to become ill are they self-isolated at home or given a bed and oxygen? You need to help the NHS staff to protect their own families by immediately ward isolating them when they become ill.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Certainly the idiotic way the NHS is funded gives them a huge incentive to deterred patients coming and kick them out of hospitals or recovery as soon as they possibly can do. The way GPs are funded encourage them to avoid and deter patients too. So this is largely what happens.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      I know something about the German health system and your first paragraph rings true to me. It is an advantage/disadvantage of a part-privatised health system like they have, “overtreatment” which sometimes is an advantage and sometimes not. Still, the difference in the data is striking and will no doubt be investigated fully in due course.

  50. John Brown
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    The relaxing of lock down should not be by region or job etc. but by age as I see that deaths for those infected by the coronavirus are 0.4% and lower for those aged 49 and younger.

    Thus those people who are younger than 50 and have no underlying health issues should be allowed to work, socialise, exercise etc. provided they have no contact with older people or only have contact with them using the current lockdown rules.

    So, for instance, primary schools could open for the children of parents who are aged less than 50 provided all the teaching staff are also less than 50.

    Factories, shops and offices could be staffed only by those below 50.

    • Chris Dark
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Such a move will divide families in a most ghastly way. Many of us over 60 are fit and very healthy. Why should we be left to waste away to skeletons while the rest of the country goes back to some form of normality? Your ruling would divide me from my adult son for many many long painful months, even longer. Also out fitness, both physically and mentally, would deteriorate; at the end of it, we would be worse off and more likely to succumb to disease. My view is one out, all out. Give us our freedom and throw away the cotton-wool cocoons.

      • Martyn G
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        I agree. I would far rather die free than as a government decreed prisoner in my own house.

        • Andy
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          Deeply irresponsible. It is not just you that you are putting at risk. It is everybody else.

          Frankly if you all want to harm yourselves – be my guest.

          But you risk passing on Covid to someone more vulnerable than you. Perhaps someone very elderly. Maybe a sick child. Perhaps a nurse. And that is why your attitudes are deeply irresponsible.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

            I don’t think that they care, Andy.

            Worse still, I don’t think that they have the moral consciousness even to realise that perhaps they should care.

            They are blind to these things, and it is, in my view, a central reason for their cynicism towards the European Union.

            One point that Hitchens made was that you can’t reason someone out of a position, at which they did not arrive by reason.

            I think that in this instance he was right.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

            Yet you are 100% sure of your own opinions.
            So how are you two any different?

        • bill brown
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 2:49 am | Permalink


          You do really write a lot of nonsense

      • John Brown
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Chris Dark,

        My relaxation of lock down by age idea is only meant to be a temporary measure in order to be able to slowly reduce restrictions in such a way that NHS intensive care does not become suddenly overwhelmed.

        If we find after a couple of weeks that the NHS is coping then the restrictions could be eased for the next older group, such as those in their 50s. Followed 2 or 3 week later by easing the restrictions for those in their 60s etc..

        However, I take you point and perhaps those who wish to forget any further restrictions but are older than the age limit could sign a DNV (Do Not Ventilate) undertaking similar to the DNR (Do Not Resuscitate).

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

          The NHS isn’t overwhelmed everywhere now John, we’ve heard there are hospitals with no CV19 patients at all. And some with less than 5. It makes me wonder why it is being blown up as a nationwide problem rather than dealt with as certain hospitals with shortages (sort it out by moving ppe from hospitals that don’t need it right now and get them the next set of stock).

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think we should encourage more age division in UK society, though we should clearly offer support if the older choose to stay isolates. In contrast, it could be argued that the smoking and obese might continue lockdown, as unlike the elderly they could change – of course support should be offered.

      • Andy
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        The age divide will not be bridged. Basically younger people are largely outraged at older people for the appalling way you have run the country and the selfish nature of your policies.

        Even with Covid we are picking up the tab to help keep more of you alive. You could at least all give a semblance of doing your share by forgoing 20% of your weekly state handouts. But I suspect even that is too much for many of you.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

          Yet Blair and Brown were in charge for 15 years
          Didn’t hear you say they were stealing your bright future.

          You are getting 80% of your usual income.
          Consider yourself lucky.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

            Young people should also look at the death versus age figures.
            Who is suffering the most?

        • Caterpillar
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:19 pm | Permalink


          For clarity, as you are operating under incorrect assumptions, I am many years from “state handouts”, so would prefer not to be included in your “you” – though mostly your sweet trolling does put a smile on my face.

    • Mark
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      It is very clear that there is a factor of 10 difference in the rates of infection in parts of London compared with most of the shire counties. That 10 times greater risk has to be factored in, even if only by restricting movement to avoiding public transport. Risk is not solely age related.

  51. Frank McGarry
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I agree with you John. I also agree with the German Prof Kekule as interviewed by the Telegraph on Sunday. Keep the elderley and vulnerable in lockdown but get the kids back to school and most workers back to work. Continue with “smart distancing”.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      The thing is you can’t keep the elderly and vulnerable in lockdown, because these are precisely the people requiring medical intervention from a heavily infected NHS and care system.
      Would that the hospitals and care homes had hermetic hygiene and infection control, and given time they will improve their procedures. For now, herd immunity in the care system will have to supply the lack.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        Please stop using this incorrect term “herd immunity” – it has a specific meaning in vaccination theory nothing to do with the Government’s erroneous and highly misleading usage.

        You mean “survivor immunity”.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

          We cant hide for years.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

            There is no need to hide if the virus is eradicated, as many countries, perhaps most, are doing.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

            Even your favourite South Korea has had over a hundred new cases yesterday.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 15, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

            Wait and see, Ed, eh?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 15, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

            How is Sweden doing Martin?

    • Ed M
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Perfectly said.

      (And look to China where Chinese doing this so well).

      We need to hear far, far more about how the Chinese are getting people back to work, whilst remaining safe, using cheap technology and apps, strict but effective systems for getting people to shop in consumer shops, eat in McDonalds or whatever, work in offices – the financial sector and the rest.

      In fact, we should have been talking about this over a month ago – as a simpleton like me was talking about again and again and again, back then.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        The Chinese quarantine whole areas by martial law (gunpoint)

        We can’t do this in the free world.

        • Ed M
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          Yes, of course, we can’t do that. But, with respect, there’s another BIG point your missing: I saw an excellent, English-translated documentary by a Japanese journalist, for a Japanese audience, based in China, about how the Chinese are doing such and excellent job in using excellent, cheap technologies and apps and various disposable tools as well as certain disciplines inside shops and restaurants and offices to ensure social distancing as effective as possible whilst getting people working and spending as much as poss.

          • Anonymous
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

            Pity they couldn’t have run hygiene in a meat market then.

            And told the truth when it mattered and shut down their own airports.

            With respect, of course.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          The anti-communist, democratic S. Koreans are doing what the Chinese say they did – not what anon says they did – and it is working just as well.

          Maybe they were largely – if not wholly – telling the truth?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

            So we are down to South Korea as the one country that you are using as an example to try to create a political advantage against the UK.
            Let’s hope they don’t let you down.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

            No, there is a very long list.

            All the countries of the European Union apparently have that aim, along with Aus, NZ, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Canada, Russia, Iran, China, Cuba, and Venezuela are doing OK, I read too.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

            What aim?
            We all have the same aim
            Eradicating the virus.
            Testing isnt as simple as you think.
            Test kits give false negatives and false positives.
            And you can be tested today and catch it tomorrow.
            And tracing 10 of millions of people is a huge task.
            You believe Venezuela’s press releases too.
            Again I’m not surprised.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        Ed M

        I do not think I would trust any figures coming out of China given their record over decades.

        • Ed M
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          I am basing my comment on a Japanese journalist living in China who did an excellent documentary (with English subtitles) on this for Japanese TV.

    • Ed M
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      NOT saying ministers are ‘simpletons’ (most are way cleverer than me and Labour ministers – and I am a Conservative supporter) but why has there been such silence on the all the technology and systems available, like in China, to get people back to work as safely as possible? I just don’t get it. Reminds me that leadership isn’t just about brains but also about courage and the ability to just get on with things.

  52. John Probert
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Agreed 100%

    • Prigger
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Agreed 100%

  53. ukretired123
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Smarter working and sensible people self- management with your guidelines are very welcome Sir John as folks now know the consequences only too well after 3 weeks of lockdown.
    Whilst CV19 infections and deaths continue on the vulnerable unfortunately getting the country back on its collective feet and more testing is imperative.
    Well said!

  54. clive
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Good morning .
    Rock and hard place spring to mind , as I wrote earlier in the week the Government is damned if it does , & damned if it doesn’t .
    I fully endorse a return to normality in a timely controlled manner , but now would be good , and without to much delay .
    C19 will with regret, continue to reap and take many lives ,but that now has to be balanced against the health and well-being of the Country.
    The Government has had time to put in place workable solutions to shield the elderly and poorly , of which we are many.This one size (lock down) fits all, is frankly ridiculous .
    The economic destruction needs addressing , before we all fall off the now looming cliff .
    I also believe that if we are to recover in any meaningful form , we need to cut red tape and try everything that’s being put forward,Plasma transfusions springs to mind.This has now passed clipboard territory and endless debates and prevarication . Time is of the essence . Test it , trial it , get it out there if is works. NICE is nice if you have the time .
    Sir John the populous won’t stand for the usual when this is all over . “Lessons have been learned and next time we shall do thing differently” . The Government was voted in because it was seen as bold and decisive , remember Brexit . Now come’th the hour .
    I await the” Hancock Half Hour “with trepidation .

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      I noticed that the goal posts had changed in todays daily brief

      The transport graph was excluded ?

      If someone presented to me a daily brief with different KPIs each time I’d sack him

  55. Christine
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Most of Spain is returning to work this week. Facemasks are being issued to people using public transport. Our Government is discouraging the wearing of facemasks. I expect this is due to the shortage of PPE. All efforts should be made to increase production and get the surplus distributed to the general public. We must get people back to work otherwise the economic damage will be greater than the damage from the virus.

  56. steve
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink


    “This means a new policy of trying to get as many people and businesses as possible back to work”

    Well I for one resent going to work and being told to queue for essentials.

    Put an end to queueing…..or I stop work.

  57. percy openshaw
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Yes to all this, Sir John. However, the government has allowed itself to be boxed in – not least by the unwise paeans of praise to the NHS offered by the PM. Yes, it was a powerful, heartfelt speech but full of political calculation, too; and the wrong calculation at that. He is stuck in a sort of Eurosceptic’s Cameronism, whereby the great trick involves depriving the Labour party of its bogus reputation as protector of the nation’s health. But this is to place “optics” before reality and the reality is that the NHS is more of a hindrance to medical care than a help. One day, it will need to be reformed along French and German lines. More immediately, the speech has focussed government policy exclusively on saving all lives now, rather than offering the balanced approach which saves more lives over a longer period. I fear that Mr Johnson’s judgement has been affected by his ordeal. Finally, he has made himself a hostage to fortune in that if he does relax the lockdown people will throw his own recovery back in his face. This is the result of a government which despite all the media hype appears to trust our bloated, inefficient bureaucracy as much as any social democrat would do.

  58. BOF
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I am wholeheartedly behind you Sir John.

    My fear is that once Governments embark on a particular course of action they stay with it regardless of the damage, in case they lose face and after it is all over the spin will go into overdrive to justify their actions.

    The prize for most unimpressive leadership so far goes to (Haz)Matt Hancock and here in Wales to our Dear Leader of the Welsh Assembly, known by one near to me as ‘Happy’.

  59. Dioclese
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Better out of work than dead, John.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      History says otherwise.

      Navvies who worked on railways, miners down mines, soldiers recruited into private armies….

      We’ll find out why seals dive into seas swarming with killer wales soon enough.

      One suspects that you are not out of work and don’t have a mortgage.

  60. BillM
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    The worst affected Nations within the EU are relaxing their lock-downs despite the high death rates. Why must Britain lag the rest of the World in getting our people back to work? Why doesn’t someone in authority actually take charge and make a positive decision? Virus Information and knowledgeable advice is now in abundance so there really is no excuse for dragging this on. Or are we to face more procrastination becasue we have ditherers running the show?

  61. Original Chris
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Sir John, for all your efforts. You have real insight into the devastation that this current policy is wreaking on our economy, and in particular the SME sector, and you are also very much aware that some of the damage that has already been done is irreversible.

    You are right, in my view, to urge the government to review its policy in order to prevent further irreversible damage particularly to SME and to individuals’ businesses.

    The damage is not only economic, but there are also grave social and health implications of this current policy e.g. cancelled procedures, operations etc for cancer and other non COVID illnesses; deleterious effects on mental health and wellbeing, and more.

    We have become almost overnight a cowed and frightened society, which is willing to give away its freedoms readily (and for how long?), a society that has a foundation on sand, clinging to every soundbite from a media that seems intent on hysteria porn, and a society that is apparently willing to spy on its neighbours (and has shamelessly been encouraged to do so by the police).

    Perfect breeding ground for the Left to establish itself even more deeply in our country. Not helped by our non Conservative government that we have with its social engineering, PC, gender identity politics, and its extending of state powers over the individual. That should be in the realm of the Leftists and not the Conservatives.

  62. Starburst
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    We should get back to work and prepare.

  63. John E
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    In order to let people return to work nurseries and primary schools at least need to be reopened. There was never much of a case in the first place for closing them.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      John e – – the staff will need a minimum of x gloves and masks per day, else become a victum of those which we will find are carriers. Parents, responsible others will have to stay as far apart as possible at the school gates etc. It throws up a massive risk on a fresh rise in infections.

  64. Time Lord
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    The next attack by a virus and viruses will hit the UK in October-November 2020, officially detected or not.
    You have from now until then to get back to work, make hay while the sun shines. These viruses will hit the young too…your economic activists. …then you will be defenceless.
    Go back to work, now. Gear up!

  65. Original Chris
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    The original justification for the current policy was to take pressure off the NHS and to spread the burden. Has this, in national terms, been achieved?

    I suspect it has. However, even if not, I believe there has to be a very swift reassessment of policy as the cost to the economy is too great , simply to save an NHS (which was, if one is honest, failing anyway, with too high bed occupancy, long waiting lists, poor outcomes for major diseases, poor staffing levels, poor procurement policies, top heavy with needless bureaucracy, huge staffing costs, particularly of all those pen pushers, and so on).

    At the moment it seems that we are all having to pay dearly for a health service that has not been fit for purpose for years, and whose fault was that? I would suggest cowardly governments who were not prepared to identify the real problems of the health service, many of which are related to demand being greater than supply. If the government is not prepared to talk about this, let alone address this issue, then they cannot hope to solve the problem. Another result of our PC culture which has flourished under Conservative governments.

    It does seem to me that the inability of the NHS to cope (with normal times, let alone flu and pandemic seasons) has lain fair and square with the government for some years, yet the people are the ones paying for it with this current policy. To add insult to injury, Sunak has informed us that we will have to have high taxation in coming years to pay for the cost of the epidemic to the economy. One has to ask, who has deliberately decided to sacrifice (i.e.crash the economy) for the NHS and where is the cost benefit analysis to justify this?

  66. MeSET
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I hear Trump is forming a …Think Tank…by another name, to decide on when to issue the return it work call.

    There are few times in the history of nations when the military mind must take precedence over all other mindsets ( actual death rates to come, where and when, as could be said by the wary )
    This is the time. Not a Health decision as such but a medium to long term health decision. Such is life. Such is war.

    I should be so logical …phew…my age means I’m on the front line in para-commando bomb disposal units. Likely death is me.
    I’ll be dead right.

  67. steve
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps, JR, we could also review political correctness, blog censorship and the like.

    Being controlled as to what we can and can’t say is no longer acceptable, and certainly won’t be when this crisis is over.

    People are wising up.

  68. Ian @Barkham
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    58,000 health service outlets is the big number that this Conservative Government has chosen to micro manage by its politburo style of centralist management.

    The battle against the virus has been going on the some 3 months now and this Conservative Government is still ensuring the UK is reliant on China for all its PPE. Even though time and time again the quality and standards of equipment is not up to standard.

    At the same time this Conservative Government has ensured UK Industry is not permitted to play its part. Better we the UK taxpayer fund the Chinese State than evolve a self reliant and keep our own people employed.

    I am a Conservative through and through so it pains me to see a Government suggesting it is Conservative when it acts as one of the most left wing centralist dictatorships we have ever seen on these shores.

    Would Labour be any different? No, just more open about it. Please, please set the People free from all this hypocrisy.

    It is easy now to see why ‘Huawei’ is the UK’s preferred supplier.

    That is not being anti Chinese, but anti the UK’s States fear of its People and the way it puts them down.

    • APL
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      “At the same time this Conservative Government has ensured UK Industry is not permitted to play its part. Better we the UK taxpayer fund the Chinese State than evolve a self reliant and keep our own people employed.”

      This. The behaviour of this government is deranged.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink


  69. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I don’t quite understand how people entering China can bring the infection into China, but not people coming into the UK.
    Can somebody help me on this please?

    • Original Chris
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      I am sure a Sir Humphrey could provide an answer….

      Seriously though, it is madness, SJS, and this question should be asked relentlessly of government ministers, and answers obtained.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      Blocking UK borders = racism ( worse than virus).
      Blocking China’s borders = perfectly reasonable ( they must protect themselves after all!).

    • John Probert
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      The government finds itself in a very difficult position and its
      approach is not entirely coherent

      • Mark B
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

        Because they have not been exposed to making on-the-spot decisions that many in the Private Sector have to do on a day-by-day basis.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Joe I just wanted to say that a close family friend has just died (of PSP) ‘pneumonia’ on the death certificate. Your quote from your grandfather ‘pneumonia – the old man’s friend’ has given much comfort. Thank you.

  70. John McDonald
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I do like it when people say the evidence is clear that:- but do not provide it in a discussion.
    Exactly how many over 70’s with no underlying medical conditions have actually died from contracting the virus? How do we explain 90 year old’s getting over the virus?
    The older you get the more vulnerable you get to everything. That goes without saying.
    Not much was done when the message from China was it will only be the old that will have a problem with the virus.
    Even if it does not kill off the under 70’s, but they are all off work on block for 3 weeks plus, that won’t do the economy much good either. Take our dear PM for example, if a cold or flu, he would have just been given a handkerchief and a glass of brandy 🙂

    Do keep a clear view here, it’s not the common cold/flu we are dealing with.

    My information from the NHS front line is not so rosy as forecast from the top. But is that not always the case with everything?

    Anyway it would be good if all the young ones get back to work so I can find a free home delivery slot at Waitrose.

    All keep safe and well

    • Original Chris
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      The answer to the delivery slot issue is apparently helped if you are an insomniac. Delivery slots are released in the early hours, I’ve been told.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Correct its not the same as the common flu…..that killed 44,000 in the UK in the winter of 2014/15

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      It appears that the vast majority are only mildly affected. The odds are that the serious to fatally affected will be below 1% once all the data is in.

  71. Jeff12
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    There is abundant evidence of tampering with the figures. Patients listed as dying from the virus if they merely look like they have a sore throat and never mind the terminal cancer they were actually in the hospital for. There is abundant evidence of empty hospitals, people dying from cancellation of their operations, suicide rates soaring, massive unemployment, looming shotrtgages of everything from food to phones, hyper inflation dormant until the day people try and buy someting with the few pounds they have left. Every single one of those things I lay at the door of politicians and their banker masters. If things get so bad there is blood on the streets I hope there will be a reckoning.

  72. Iain Gill
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    interesting to see sturgeon announce the outcome of the review before anyone in london.


    • Mark B
      Posted April 15, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Not seen it. Does it blame Westminster (code for the English) ? And does it state that Scotland would have been better prepared and protected had they been independent ?

  73. Mike Wroe
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Plasma therapy would seem to be a possibility using the blood of people who have recovered. The Government seem to be dragging their feet to the frustration of scientists by delaying trials. Why?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Indeed it is quite likely to be effective get some trials underway.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      “It’s An Ill Wind That Blows Nobody Any Good”

  74. Ian Pennell
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood

    I trust, Sir that you and your family are well during this difficult time.

    In response to your post, I do agree very much that there is a trade off between saving as many as possible from Coronavirus and preventing later untimely deaths from suicide, lack of NHS resources to fight other illnesses like cancer…caused by a severe Recession and the British Government finding itself unable to support the NHS and other vital Public services well.

    In view of the fact that the International Markets are likely to balk at lending to Britain what is needed to support people and businesses during the lockdown (and help the Economy recover later) and given that the alternative of directly financing Government expenditure from the Bank of England is likely to lead to inflation I wonder whether you or any other MPs in the Conservative Party have considered a Money-Printing Gold-buying Scheme as a route out of the (likely) Economic Crisis.

    In essence, the Bank of England prints new money and uses it to buy Gold or other precious metals (as shares) from UK Gold, Platinum or Silver companies- or from platforms like the London Stock Exchange commodity platforms. These precious-metal backed securities then back up the new money as with a kind of Gold Standard.

    Such a Money-Printing Precious Metal buying Scheme would certainly help support economic recovery by injecting liquidity into the UK Economy, whilst the buying of Gold-backed securities would satisfy the International Markets that the new money printed is backed up -thereby limiting Inflation as a side effect. As the new money feeds back to the Treasury in tax revenues the Budget Deficit is also prevented from getting dangerously high and the Government has more money to support Public Services and Boris Johnson’s “Levelling Up” programme without provoking a Gilt’s Strike.

    I cannot for the life of me understand why no-one in the Government or in the Bank of England has cottoned-on that a Money-Printing Gold-Buying Scheme (or some variant of it) has not been realised and discussed as a route out of the Economic Impasse we are now headed towards. Maybe you could have a word with Rishi Sunak or Andy Haldane, the new Governor at the Bank of England and explain how something like this could work!

    It’s surely worth it if the alternatives are a) Stagflation and Bankruptcy, or b) Voter-enraging Austerity for another decade.

  75. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Seems people fall into one of two categories, those who know there will be a massive cost for this lockdown and those who don’t. We need more of the former in the Cabinet.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      Two categories – Public Servants and Private Employee

      • Mark B
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

        The later that pays for the former.

  76. Data Please
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Is this at last the Sanity Clause ?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Or maybe the “OMG…what on Earth have they done?” Clause?

      • Mark B
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

        I posted the full poem from Kipling, which our kind host allowed, and part of it was about keeping your head whilst others were losing theirs.

        Methinks they just might be coming round to their senses 😉

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      TORT Clause, a civil wrong that causes a claimant to suffer loss or harm

  77. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Just off topic but the usual fuzzy data on deaths announced today.

    “Of the 667 new deaths announced today, 118 occurred on April 12 while 537 took place between 1 April and 11 April, PA Media reports. The remaining 12 deaths occurred in March, with the earliest new death taking place on 26 March. The figures published today by NHS England show that April 8 currently has the highest total for the most hospital deaths occurring on a single day – 737 – although this could change in future updates.”

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Are these figures fed into the graph that we are shown daily Sir John. Are the daily figures revised so that we extent of the increases is shown with figures from previous days amended?

  78. George Brooks.
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Your letter to the cabinet, Sir John, is right on target and as you stated in your letter yesterday to your constituents, it is faced with a very big decision indeed. It is a delicate balancing act between making sure that the NHS is not over whelmed and our economy is not destroyed. All of this will be made twice as difficult by the present clutch of news editors and interviewers that inhabit the media today who are hell-bent on trying to wrong foot a minister and gain a headline.

    The figures we are getting everyday are designed to keep the lockdown in place and I trust and hope that the true figures will be given to the cabinet and its advisors.

    Deaths are levelling at around 900 per day. However taking the figures from 2018 the average number of deaths per day throughout the whole year were 1680 and depending on the month, varied between 1200 and 2000 per day. CV 19 is hastening some deaths very largely amongst the elderly who are going to die anyway.

    The NHS has done brilliantly increasing its ICU facilities and the supply chains and is continuing to do so. PHE has done equally as well in expanding its distribution network from around 250 addresses to over 58,000 in less than 6 weeks.

    A phased return to work should start within the next two weeks especially the self employed tradesmen and those companies that can use the latest technology and have many of their staff working from home

  79. Richard Lark
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    We have been in lock down for three weeks. We are told that we are doing well in obeying the social distancing instructions yet the number of positive tests exceeds 5000 each day.
    Do we know the breakdown of those positive tests between key workers and those who have been self isolating? If there is a continuing large number of infections to those who have been self isolating then we need to ascertain why this is so.
    Of course the lock down should be relaxed in the very near future but it may be some time before the vulnerable and the elderly can return to normal life.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Yes – are we catching this virus in the supermarkets on our necessary visits or is the people who continue to work and commute who are testing positive?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink


      Equally if the 5000 are all care homes/folk already in hospital plus staff then the answer is clealry to maintain isolation for them.


  80. DrPeterVC
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    For the economy to restart it is not just a matter of getting low risk industry going. So much fear has been generated that it will inevitably change the nature of consumption. People are going to be less keen to travel in packed planes – even if they could. The car market will change also which will impact factories. Mass events will have smaller crowds. Pubs, restaurants, coffee shops etc are going to be less popular.

    On the other hand there will be more jobs in logistics, and the lack of cheap labour from abroad (as we know from farming) will generate jobs that may counter those “low skill” jobs lost in the hospitality sector.

    One thing that has become clear is that we need to become much more self reliant as a nation and rely less on global just in time supply chains.

    So I guess my question is what should our economic strategy be?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Football less popular too? Mass event after all.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 15, 2020 at 5:02 am | Permalink

      Great question. Such a shame we do not seem to have people with the right skills to answer it.

  81. Anonymous
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Sir John.

    Economic depression = lives lost too.

  82. margaret
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Saddened to hear about the death of a 17 yr old from Covid-19. Also concerned that ‘it’ is back in China after they got the all clear.
    Some think that the NHS was failing .however that is not the NHS’s fault : It is the way it has been manipulated to bring in staff from all over the world since the 90’s , the pseudo health management , the appealing to private schemes which have turned out to be a disaster. Someone must have thought ‘ it is good , we will break it ‘ and get as much money out of it as we can .. So many are in denial over the misappropriation of monies out of the NHS ( although different non excusable terminology would be used) You want an example ? agencies being paid at very high rates to make new business, but staff don’t get the high per hour money . remember foreign staff being paid £ 10.000 per week for doing a job which nurse were doing regularly for £ 10.0 per hour . It is disgusting !!
    And of course now we have more permanent staff in who have adjusted and learned more they say we cannot function without them . The NHS has always been multi cultural ,but my family had to go to New Zealand to get a DRS job and Nurses travelled all over trying to get one hours work whilst the hospitals were filled with overseas staff. It is not the overseas staff’s fault either , they need money too and would travel to get it . Itwas the whole disruptive situation .

    • Iain Gill
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      The NHS does have a lot to answer for. The politicians trying to treat it like a religion is ridiculous. The NHS is making many spectacular mistakes at the moment. patients should be in room each, and in the conference centres turned into emergency hospitals in a small tent around each bed. Sending all the walking sick people in town to one room phlebotomy clinics for blood tests where they cough and sneeze on each other always was a stupid idea, now it is simply killing people.
      The NHS needs a kick up the bum, as do many other parts of the public sector, sadly all this will allow many of them to avoid any accountability.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      ‘ remember foreign staff being paid £ 10.000 per week for doing a job which nurse were doing regularly for £ 10.0 per hour’ – evidence please Margaret.

      If this is ‘modern slavery’ run by ‘authorised gang masters’ then the Government must put a stop to that immediately. No excuses.

      • hefner
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        A Registered nurse in the UK starts at £24,861 (band 5) for 2080 hrs/year that £11.95/hour.

        An agency nurse with Pulse (no sick pay, no annual leave, no guaranteed hours) gets a minimum of £21/hour.

        Information available from Royal College of Nursing and the Pulse agency.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

          yea but no sick pay, no pension, no guaranteed hours, often working far from home, the most unsociable hours, in the most unpopular depts, etc

          like freelancers in any other walk of life hiring people with that amount of flexibility, prepared to work far from home, or indeed stay away from home, comes at a modest premium

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 16, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          hefner, Where did you get that pay was for a 40 hour week?
          I read it was for 35 hours per week? Which gives a figure of £13.66 minimum, however, you’re forgeting 30% ph enhanced pay for out of hours, 60% enhancements for weekends and bank holiday enhancements per hour, plus the extra 25% contribution equivalent on top for their NHS pension (£3 extra per hour using your figures), full sick pay cover from day 1 of sickness (you couldn’t even buy that level of cover).

  83. Whoosh!
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Raab says “we are not at a time to ” end the lockdown. Ok
    Fire first catapult!

  84. hefner
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    ‘Weekly all-cause mortality surveillance week 15’ published 09/04/2020 on the http://www.gov.uk website. There are the previous four years on the same graph to allow comparisons to be made. Also of interest is the timing of the 2019-20 maximum of the curve. Is that a hockey stick?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      That may indeed tell a story @hef

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:53 pm | Permalink


      There is a little warning on the data,

      “*Note: The recent weeks’ data are estimates with large registration delay corrections and therefore should be interpreted with caution. These estimates may differ substantially to future reports as the actual number of deaths become known”

      Also, unless we know how the Govt is using this data to inform estimates of net lives saved (with and without interventions) it is not that useful, though interesting.

  85. Steve Pitts
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    They have decided not to lift any restrictions for now, which is a mistake certainly.

    • Virus thanks
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Most of the restrictions were a non starter at the start.
      The world has been discussing everything but the virus.
      It has been discussing staying at home, not going to work and not producing any thing even the garments and technology that may help.
      It must feel the most grateful little virus on the planet.

  86. NickC
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    JR, Your letter is excellent and measured advice.

  87. Yossarion
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Would be wise to hold fast and see the results of the easing of lock down by Spain and other countries.
    Interesting on CH4 News tonight they were on the Governments case about fiddling the figures in care homes in England, why this was done by their Scotland corespondent Kieran Jenkins was rather interesting, I guess the issues North of the border are not worth bothering with.

  88. Iain Gill
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    So the French president says France must become far more self sufficient especially in food and pharmaceuticals, really the UK needs to come to the same conclusion and quickly.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Yes – absolutely we must do this…

  89. kzb
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    9 million claiming £2.5K/month is £22.5 billion a month. We borrowed or created £790 billion bailing out the banks. It’ll take nearly three years to reach that total.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      But that’s not the whole story is it?

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 15, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      kzb that is nothing compared to all the public sector staff on full pay ‘working’ at home, got kids you don’t need to bother working for full pay, all of the private hospital staff they have sat at home at the moment waiting to be called up to work, all of the full paid furloughed staff in the ex-nationalised businesses that are wanting full taxpayer bailouts. All the council, librarian staff at home on full pay.

      What is a joke is those working are getting just 20% more and the muggins are just doing it often without complaint and acknowledgement, with just our NHS staff getting perks and benefits thrown at them, early opening hours in shops, free AA cover, free hotels, free meals and it is just complaint after complaint after complaint and whistleblowing and negativism.

      • kzb
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        There’s no increased cost due to the public sector though. They were getting paid anyway. What you should be asking is how come the banks were given these business support loans to manage and they are not paying out. Why give this to the banks to manage?

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 16, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

          my bank offered us a loan weeks ago. Were the banks given the money by the government or were they using savers deposit money and if the latter shouldn’t they be cautious giving out our money instead of that created by central government.

  90. ukretired123
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    The tiny UK £5 computer Raspberry Pi will power ventilators for COVID-19 patients is yet another bit of good news and yet another example of its humble contribution to add to home working remote teaching and STEM subjects which are key to the future economy.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      STEM is dead as the government strategy is to import the cheapest workers from across the world in those fields and offshore as many of the jobs as possible.

      No protection for British intellectual property.

      And a chancellor actively shafting the entrepreneur and supporting the fat lazy tax avoiding consultancies

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Control and co-ordinate rather than power I suspect. The brain of it rather than the power supply. I agree fully on STEM subjects. I would cut the soft student loans for most other subject let people get a job and pay for their own hobbies. We already have about four times the number of law graduates for legal jobs coming through each year. And that is with the absurd number or jobs for lawyers we have in the uk due to the dire and over complex system that pertains.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        Oh I dunno I would fund the art schools that have produced rock stars, those small numbers of rock stars have paid for the art schools many times over in tax.

  91. Billy d'kid Morris
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    I just tried my best to watch the Trump Coronavirus Task Force Press Conference today. It was cut by CNN and others after the main doctor refuted what the media had said he said.

    It was extremely embarrassing for the USA, in my opinion , Their media is really utterly (biased? Ed). It’s not just a Trump taunt.

    Even discussing formally a virus which has killed thousands, they are playing US Democratic Party political games.
    It was awful to experience them . Anything coming out of America in relation to plateaus, curves, mediation, one may as well throw it all on the back of the fire. It is News from Nowhere.
    I cry for America.

  92. Graham Wheatley
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Good afternoon.

    It would also be useful, sensible, and ultimately I believe ESSENTIAL, for the Government to explain to the general public, the logic that it is using to justify the apparent inconsistencies in regard to ‘social distancing’.

    We must queue for the supermarket, keeping 2 metres between us, but once inside, it is (effectively) up to the individual which distance they maintain from other shoppers.

    Given that a 2 metre distance is the official advice from the Government and its agencies, why then is it NOT acceptable for people to be in other public spaces like parks, national parks, community grassland & open spaces, or indeed the beach whilst maintaining that same or greater spacing? (Most people observe a greater distance than 2m in those locations Even in non-crisis times unrelated people keep MUCH more than 2m apart from strangers on the beach.

    Matt Hancock has threatened that there would be a complete ban on all outdoor exercise if ‘everybody didn’t comply’ (obviously we have all seen the exceptions where people are hiking nose-to-tail on some trails, but – as the Government has acknowledged – these ARE exceptions). Why should a person in either a rural or urban environment be banned from going for a daily street-run because of people hiking in the Lake District? Mr. Hancock is behaving like an overbearing headmaster in threatening to keep the whole school behind after class, becasue one boy was caught running in the corridor! It is not logical. And for that reason must fail. There would be mass civil disobedience in regard to a complete outdoor exercise ban. Mr Hancock may also like to take onboard advice from other medical experts that human Vitamin D production relies on exposure to sunlight. Many elderly people are reliant on some form of exercise to keep them fit and stave off other medical conditions. An exercise ban – rather than promoting health – would do the opposite.

    So to repeat my question – “Why is it OK to keep 2m spacing in some places but 3m, 5m, 10m or more is NOT acceptable in other places?”. I have heard quotes from the Police that it is “so that an individual does not encourage other people from going to those same places”. If they are also maintaining the required 2m (or more) then WHAT is the problem?

    This spectacularly fails the logic-test. Other Government advice, when critically examined, also fails, and in so doing it then takes on an air of unwarranted coersion. (For example, criticising people for driving their cars – whilst in that metal shell, the driver is isolated from people in the street and is in fact helping the situation by ENSURING that they are not coming into contact with others. The ‘logic’ behind that criticism is that the driver will eventually have to fill-up and come into contact with people at the filling station. Perhaps you might like to ‘advise’ Mr. Hancock that one is able to use a credit card and pay-at-pump, not having to interact with anybody in the filling station at all?

    If the Police Force (who – last time I looked – ‘police with the consent of the people’) interpret how rigorously Government ‘advice’ (which is not yet Law) is enforced and go over-the-top, then they are in great danger of losing the goodwill of the people. That consent may be withdrawn. We have already witnessed examples of overzealous actions by some constabularies, and by individual officers; drone patrols in our national parks and bullhorns telling (not advising) people to disperse, even though they are 2m+ apart; a man being told (not advised) that he can’t be with his children in his own front garden; a man threatened with being pepper-sprayed because he (rightly in my view) refused to identify himself when challenged about dropping off shopping for his elderly, infirm mother; threats from some forces that they will start to stop & search bags to ‘ensure’ that shopping is ‘essential’. There are many more examples.

    Etc ed

    It smacks of the authoritarian state and is an indicator that these measures are aimed – not at containing the spread ov CV.19 – but at conditioning people to unquestioningly “do as they are told”.

    History should tell us all that that will not go down well with the people of Great Britain.


  93. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    More remote working and fewer people in each office is a nice idea but it will take investment. I doubt if it can be introduced overnight.

    The vulnerable and elderly could self isolate within their own households. However, an important principle is involved. If I’m told that I have to behave in a certain way in order to protect others that’s one thing. But the State has no right to order me to protect myself. That way lies tyranny.

    It has been said that because the State provides health care free at the point of consumption, it is a stakeholder in my welfare and therefore has a right to boss me around. But I didn’t ask it to provide health care free at the point of consumption.

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted April 15, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      It’s not ‘free’ though!
      We all pay for it through (all forms of) our taxes and National Insurance contributions.
      ‘Free’ is a misnomer.
      As is ‘Government Money’.
      It’s not theirs, it’s OURS.


  94. Hanging about
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    “..It’s accurate and quick” Historically, I guess it was…

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Baroness Altman is exactly right on this.

  95. TooleyStu
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    (It is time to start to get the UK back to work, whilst protecting the vulnerable and reducing the risks of catching the disease for the rest of us in sensible ways.)

    Good words, to be commended.

    We need to get back on the horse.. or there may be no horse to get back on to.

    And a proper investigation by the people (not some Lord plucked from a list) into how Imperial College advised the Govt on this outbreak.
    We saw straight through the Chilcot, so a repeat of that will serve no purpose at all.

    Good luck with your efforts.
    Tooley Stu

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 15, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      TooleyStu, did the Imperial College professor say where the government could get a significant number of test kits from in short order to the tune of 20,000 minimum per day?

      Did the Imperial College professor write to government and tell them Mid-February we should stop flights in and out of Italy, Spain etc. before the half term break where a lot of the initial infections came from?

      Did the Imperial College professor say flights from China should be banned or would there have been an outcry like there was against Trump when he said to do this.

      There was also an outcry against Trump when he said that he didn’t want cruise ships to dock in America, yet Australia has shown that a lot of their infection rate came from a single cruise ship that docked there dispensing untested passengers with the virus onto their public transport!

      It’s easy for people to say we coulda, we shoulda, but did they give details of where the tests were, who should carry them out, which labs could test them in a timely fashion, who was this professor writing to Public Health England. Making political points with a desire for basic income for all and help for migrants – what is that about? If migrants are here legally then they have recourse, if not they can go home like the 5000 we have just repatriated from Pakistan a month after the crisis started, why didn’t they pay their own fare back in February my learned Professor? Why weren’t people told come back now or we won’t allow you to come back? We are told migrants pay in a fair amount of tax and national insurance then this week we are hearing thousands of them earn under the National Insurance threshold – yeah sure they do.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 15, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      The investigation should be into why the Government did not follow their advice, which was to do exactly as WHO, Italy, and China plus scientists around the world implored them to do, to avoid the very mistakes made by such as Italy.

      You “saw” though Chilcott as some people “see” pink elephants under some circumstances, I surmise.

  96. Yossarion
    Posted April 15, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    There is a lot of rumor that lock down could be lifted by region, how does that work?, London is a Region and is less than forty miles across, The EU imposed Region of the South West stretches from the Gloucestershire Border to the tip of Cornwall. Tewkesbury to Lands End is a distance of 250 Miles, Tewkesbury to Gretna on the Scottish Border ( Why do they say Scottish Borders? there is only one) is a distance of 240 miles.
    Time to bring back the English Counties after all no doubt this information will still be held at County and district level and will give a much better idea where the hot spots are.

  97. Kevin Ward
    Posted April 18, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    Has there been a response from any of those to whom you addressed your letter?

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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