Prime Minister’s tv address

I am asking about the detail  behind the PM’s statement of approach on Sunday night. In particular

  1. Can Garden Centres open on Wednesday as briefed?
  2. Is it right that Fishing, golf and other sports and pastimes where an individual can avoid contact with others are  now allowed?
  3. Is there any change in the range and purpose of shops which can  now open with suitable precautions?
  4. What are the rules on use of public transport to get to work?
  5. As cars are being encouraged as safer ways of going to work, what additional support will there be to make it easier for cars to get  into towns and cities? What advice is there on staggering hours?
  6. Is there now agreement on the advice and guidance for employers for safe working practices?

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  1. James Bertram
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Now we can travel, will visits to UK second homes, caravan sites, and camping sites be allowed ? – none of which involve any more social interaction than staying at home.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      France now has fewer than seventy deaths a day.

      Italy has fewer than two hundred.

      This country still has around six hundred.

      Why does not someone ask these countries what to do?

      Because they clearly are getting it right.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        Under 300 today
        keep up

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        Last week you were telling us they were two weeks ahead of us Martin so hopefully following the same trajectory our deaths will be lower than theirs in two weeks time, especially if we do more work right now investigating in depth every new case and getting feedback to people on how to repair the covid leak points.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

          And who is arranging all that?

          Because the virus was allowed to spread unchecked for precious weeks, that is now a massive task to do properly.

          I predict that cases will continue to fall in the European Union generally, but rise again here or stagnate, at a few hundred a day until there is radical change

          That’s hundreds of thousands a year if unchecked.

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

            New cases are falling in the U.K.
            I’ve told you which public sector workers I’d suggest be tasked/repurposed with this duty. However, if the public sector can’t do it, offer the contract up for private sector sme’s to quote to do on

    • Hope
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Under fives, young adults and those under fifty statistically very very unlikely to die from Chinese virus. Highlighted, at last, by today’s papers using world expert opinion.

      Johnson currently being ridiculed around the country by every medium, political opponent, following condemnation by world press. Suggest house arrest changed to advice specifically focused to elderly over seventy and those with health conditions. If they choose not to listen they must accept consequences. That is democracy.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink


    • Stred
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Second homes used to work in cities help to avoid travel on public transport, or at least reduce it. The safe way to travel to these homes is by private car. Fines for travelling to second homes are being increased.
      Johnson is great on speeches and communication but clueless on detail and challenging useless civil servants. He continues to rely on them, even though their handling of the care homes and cross infection in hospitals and public transport is causing most of their R problem. He needs to sack a few and get some practical advice.

  2. Iain Gill
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    how can parents in one of the “vulnerable” categories, eg diabetic or pregnant, who have been told to stay in the house and not leave it at all… how can such parents ever get their child to school if the schools reopen? what is the plan for the large numbers of children in this position?

    re the recommendation to move from public transport to cars for travel to work, does that not imply we need garages open to do servicing, and we have insufficient car park space and road capacity? do they plan to open fields to use as car parks etc, open bus lanes to use of cars? etc

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Perhaps Iain an alternative is to write this school year off just close the schools altogether and re-do the school year. Reopen January and give every child an exam to see where they are at, move children up a Year if they are capable of the work of that year group and those that aren’t left down a year to finish in the year below.

    • Hope
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Brilliant article by Kathy Gyngell in Con Woman today with her scathing analysis of Johnson’ s dithering indecision and following Sir Humphrey is spot on.

      This event also shows why it is wrong to have three devolved govts and what a waste of money and bureaucracy it is. Alternatively, England needs its parliament and like the EU votes from all four nations according to size of population and contribution to tax pot and no vetos!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        Easy thing is to give England a vote on Scottish independence. Stop all funding.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Best news ever, a UK Prime Minister basically telling us to keep away from public transport. For years the socialists have been trying to herd us onto busses and trains when Joe Joe public avoids these like the plague.
      A real set back for St Greta of Thunberg and her puppeteers.

  3. jerry
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, might I request you or another MP asks one more;

    7. What safeguards will there be for those who feel the need to carry on self-isolating because they live in a household group were one or more vulnerable people also live, will employers be banned form making such people work, be banned from making them redundant, and for those whose family group member received a Govt/NHS “At High Risk” advice letter will the govt carry on paying their wages as part of the 80% furlough scheme?

    I have no vestige interest in asking, it just strikes me as a question that has not been covered.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      Jerry, wouldn’t you prefer to live in a country where the fragile did not need to self-isolate at all? Because infection rates had been suppressed to a very low level?

      Because that is the policy in France and in many countries.

      They now have fewer than seventy deaths a day, and Italy’s are now below two hundred, a fraction of the UK’s.

      • jerry
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

        @MiC; No, unlike you I have no wish to live on Mars, in a state of constant delusion…

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

          Aus, NZ, S. Korea, Greece, Norway, Germany etc. are very much on Earth, Jerry.

          Their people have that privilege thanks to proper, organised government.

          • jerry
            Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

            @MiC; But the CV19 virus have not vanished from those countries, they do not live in some kind of nirvana free of this global pandemic. There was news only last night that S.Korea, despite all their imposed track and trace nonsense, has seen several ‘hot-spots’ develop. Germany to has seen several local hot-spots.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      jerry, good question. What about the small business who only has a handful of staff and has to keep operational because they have work that has been on hold, if they have one or two of these ‘self-isolating’ workers can they make them redundant in order to rehire or will they have to keep their job open until say the end of the year, then hire someone else to do their work and lay them off when the lockdown person a) is able to come out of their vulnerable household. What happens if this virus keeps going for two years does that company still have to pay what sick pay? sick pay holiday? A 28 week period of SSP/SSP Hol for someone on £20,000 costs an SME £3837.66 with no recharge to the government – that is from their already reduced bottom line.

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        Actually if you rehire you can’t make the original job holder redundant they could have to be dismissed through being incapable of the work the employer has, big hornets nest if the government instructs them not to work because someone they live with has a potential at risk condition, would the government then pay the furlough. So hiring a new employee and training them is difficult and for how long is it going to be before people with underlying conditions are safe. Business will have to turn the work down which could lead to safeguarding employee losing their job anyway.

    • jerry
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear, listening to the PM in the Commons and judging from what has been reported regarding the content of the recently published govt CV19 recovery document, the PM gave a thoughtful common speech last night only for it to be neutered by Whitehall today, common sense once again out of the window.

      The thinking on face masks, for example, is typical Whitehall muddle.

      I hope essential food, and other shops if (re)open, are not going to be allowed to refuse entry to someone without a mask, this is after all govt advice not the law, and if it does become the law then either the govt or the shop is going to have to provide certified single use masks, a poorly made home-made mask or the incorrect design of commercially available masks will have more risks than benefits.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        In South Africa the supermarket Pick and Pay will not allow anybody in without a mask. The queue outside stand patiently until someone leaves the premises and passes their mask to the next one in the queue!
        Have politicians learned nothing about the difficulties of micro-management?

  4. Fred H
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    PM message was confused, contradictory, depressing,
    1. Garden Centres can open, will staff be available, what about stocks to sell – bulbs, flowers now dead?
    2. It should be judgement – Golf, Fishing why not? Archery, Tennis, Cricket net practice, some athletics. Further distance cycling.
    3. Not really.
    4. Avoid – but maintain 2m if at all possible.
    5. None.
    6. No change.

    Libraries ‘could’ be opened with a little care. Local Authority Waste management/tips MUST be re0pened (growing health hazard).

    • jerry
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      Local Authority Waste management/tips should were possible reopen [1] but they should be operated like dumps used to be, dump and go, no requirement to sort recyclables or even place rubbish in to skips, a front loading bucket on a tractor can do that… All rubbish, for now at least, simply going to landfill.

      [1] if not then a new location should be identified were rubbish can be dumped quickly and safely, that is suitable for the operation of a front loader and skips etc.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      This country is perhaps heading for seven hundred thousand dead over five years as some epidemiologists say, while other countries protect their people by stamping out the contagion.

      Meanwhile, English Conservatives get het up about the unavailability of cheap garden furniture, and of imitation stone statuettes.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Give us a link to that claim..”het up about…garden furniture..:
        You are not just making things up are you Martin?

      • Fred H
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        of course Martin you have run a poll to prove your point, haven’t you?
        Vivid imagination at work again.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

          The fact that John felt it necessary to write this post is pretty conclusive evidence of what concerns Conservatives, don’t you think?

    • dixie
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Libraries should be opened so people who use them to access government web services because they do not have access at home nor smartphones, eg Job Centre, can do so.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      My local recycling centre re-opened this morning. There were SEVEN yellow-jackets deployed to manage the rush of cars. The thing shouldn’t have ever closed.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:25 pm | Permalink


  5. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    No low emissions charges for private cars and free parking needed.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink


  6. gregory martin
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    7) Can employers and traders avoid public liability claims ‘of enabling infection’ by following specific Government advice regarding precautions and provision of PPE. May insurers exclude cover in this area.

  7. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    There’s going to be fun and games tomorrow. Many people trying to get to work will be disappointed. There will be more people trying to use public transport than are allowed to. I hope that public transport operators will be up to it. There will be a lot of push bikes brought out of moth balls by owners who are now too big to ride them comfortably. There will be a fair amount of car sharing, which breaks the 2m spacing rule. There will be a lot of cars parked illegally, to which the authorities will hopefully turn a blind eye. And there will be a fair number of people travelling illegally in the back of vans, pick-up trucks and trailers.

    Still, at least some people will get back to work. I am glad that the PM has given the green light to our construction industry and manufacturers. Now all that we need are people who can afford their output. Supermarket executives, order you Nissans now.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      “a lot of cars parked illegally, to which the authorities will hopefully turn a blind eye. ” – -NOT A CHANCE – -they want money desperately – and parking fines are a massive earner.

  8. Abendrot
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Who are you asking? You surely didn’t expect the Prime Minister to get to that level of detail? I hope you watched the BBC analysis after the briefing. Everyone they spoke to was negative about the PM’s address, not least the leader of the opposition who is forever telling the world he wants to work constructively with the Government and then never misses an opportunity to be critical and always fails to provide positive suggestions.

    I did think the PM was remiss to refer to 500,000 deaths, especially when the originator, Professor Ferguson, had revised it down to 250,00. A bad precedent is being created. I suspect the number of excess deaths from Covid 19, in this phase anyway, will be around 50,000, which matches the number of excess deaths in 2018 from the flu. Will we have lockdowns in the future?

    May I suggest that the Government considers a bill to prevent the takeover of British companies, irrespective of the shareholders wishes, as they will be in a weakened condition and I expect, true to form, that we will be among the last out of the blocks when it comes to restarting.

    All in all, I did think the PM did as well as he could under the circumstances. He can expect unrelenting criticism from political opponents and the media, many of whom, even with their giant brains, can’t work out what ‘stay alert’ means. We all need to take personal responsibility; an uncomfortable message for those who believe the Government should hold their hand at every step, and a direct challenge to the socialists who want everyone to be dependent on the Government so they can control our lives from the cradle to the grave.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      What does ‘stay alert’ mean if you are defending or prosecuting in Court?

      • Fred H
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

        a difficult place to Stay Alert – even Judges have been known to drift off!

    • Stred
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Ferguson has not revised the estimate of 510,000 down to 250,000. These figures were for different options, which were not accepted. The figure for what did happen was 20,000, which has turned out to be an underestimate because of the infection in care homes and from hospitals.
      The 50,000 deaths from flu in 17/18 winter was because of an ineffective and under ordered vaccine.

      Not locking down could have resulted in far more deaths than 50,000 and this was not only forecast by Imperial. Other critics of the original government policy used the same forecasting.
      This sort of misguided information on the net is detracting from criticism of the way that the government is failing to get the economy going again with restrictions that make no sense.

    • M Davis
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      Abendrot, your last paragraph sums it up:

      “All in all, I did think the PM did as well as he could under the circumstances. He can expect unrelenting criticism from political opponents and the media, many of whom, even with their giant brains, can’t work out what ‘stay alert’ means. We all need to take personal responsibility; an uncomfortable message for those who believe the Government should hold their hand at every step, and a direct challenge to the socialists who want everyone to be dependent on the Government so they can control our lives from the cradle to the grave.”

  9. Richard1
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    There was no specific info. Perhaps more will come out tomorrow.

    In the meantime it is reported that the hypocritical professor lock-down is refusing to release the source code of his model predicting 1/2m deaths, upon which the lock-down policy is based. This is the equivalent of a physicist announcing a conclusion but refusing to publish the derivations and calculations in his paper. It should therefore no more be regarded as being ‘the science’ than a newspaper opinion piece, albeit by a knowledgeable person.

    If some good is to come out of this appalling Wuhan virus crisis let it be that scientific advice to the government is also scrutinised and questioned rigorously in the way eg that economic advice is. Let’s not just say ‘well that’s what the science says’ just because a scientist has said it. Let us see how the models work, what the assumptions are etc.

    A good place to start would be assumptions on renewable energy – less talk of how many homes a windmill powers and more specific numbers. Then perhaps we should examine the assumptions behind the prognoses for the end of the world due to global warming. Perhaps they will turn out to be valid. But I suspect there are a few professor lock-downs in there, trumpeting alarmist conclusions but being very vague on the assumptions and mechanics of their models.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Correct – also the subsidised wind-farms haven’t brought down the cost of a single household bill… whats there point

  10. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    In my small town a café shut its indoor tables – but carried on serving as a “takeaway” serving cobs etc. But then they put a table and chairs outside on the narrow pavement (clearly not allowing 2m gap, forcing people to walk into the road). The Police HAVE gone past this and apparently done nothing as people have sat there. So why can’t a pub with a “beer garden” of seats outside, open and serve drinks and meals outside?

    • peter soakel
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Could be the problem of the toilets.

  11. Original Chris
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    A tweet by Russell Taylor conveys the tragic and very serious message about the destruction of small businesses by this government’s disease control strategy.

    “A lot of those shuttered shops and cafés aren’t reopening. Those small businesses run by friends and family will soon be gone. Many of the furloughed are already unemployed, but don’t know it. Talk to me about health over wealth when the reality of this kicks in”.

    The latest update by Boris seems vague, indecisive, and a recipe for further disaster. I cannot believe how out of touch he is with the scale of the catastrophe that his disease control policy, (which was aparently based on flawed “science”) has inflicted on the economy, lives and livelihoods of so many people. What are Tory MPs doing about this, other than having a few words reported in the Press?

    • zorro
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Complete blustering incompetence


    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      I think JR has been fighting for us all day. He has not managed to look at this blog until almost 10pm. Reasoning with blockheads is a thankless and sadly, futile task.

  12. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    The fact that YOU ask many questions here JR indicates that Boris message is totally confusing, to even members of Parliament who are the closest people to the decision making process.

    The opportunity to lead the Nation forward, with a clear and controlled message, statement and plan, has been wasted.

    The Government looks like it is confused, sounds like it is confused, and has now made everyone else confused.

    The fact that Boris hinted that a 50 page explanation document will come out tomorrow says it all really.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 5:43 am | Permalink


      Im not really surprised that the tiniest detail was not given last night. If it had been, his broadcast would have probably had to go on for a couple of hours or more.

      Its going to be a very complex thing to get everyone back to work, who can. Doubtless there will be a myriad of rules and regulations to be put in place.

      Everyone is asking for clarity, which will probably depend on several things.

      For myself, I am willing to wait a few days until things are explained more clearly. I would say this whichever Government was in power, as they have to tread a very fine line, to try and keep people safe, and get the economy moving.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

        Cheshire Girl

        Agree with much of what you say, but why tell people to go to work tomorrow/ Monday when the guidance has not even been released, that’s just stupid !

        What he should have said is, nothing will change this week, but we are modifying some restrictions from next week, and in the meantime we will be releasing 50 pages of guidance tomorrow, which will outline in far more detail the new proposals, which will only apply to construction and manufacturing businesses, (if indeed that is the case) everything else remains the same as previously.

        That would have given people and businesses time to absorb and plan around what the new rules will be, and more importantly who will be affected.

        For years we have been told we must use public transport, and passengers have been treated worse than live cattle, now we must use anything else other than public transport.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        The Government can’t ‘get the economy moving’. All it can do is stop strangling it. Boris does not seem to grasp that. He thinks when he says go, everything opens up with its old customer base and turnover and makes the same profit as before.
        You don’t lose half a business, if half the tables are not available in a restaurant (social distancing) you lose the whole business!

      • rose
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        There is also a philosophical difference between conservatives and socialists on this “detail”. Socialists like to dictate every detail of people’s lives, while conservatives like to leave the detail to people’s discretion and common sense. Never has this difference been clearer than since March 23. All along, the government has sketched out the minimum of guidelines and then these have been leapt on by the authoritarians in the form of police, councils, or stasiwoman next door, and augmented into an oppressive code which wasn’t there at the beginning.

        At the moment, employers and employed, with the help no doubt of the unions and government inspectors, are going to work out how to manage the new situation at work. But that isn’t good enough for the Left. They wanted the PM to spell it all out in full legal detail for every sort of business and industry in a ten minute address. Or at least they are pretending they did.

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:29 pm | Permalink


          People just want clarity, transparency, and the truth.

          Its not really difficult.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      50 page explanation – – -will copies be available at all good booksellers? – -oh. I forgot – they are all closed.

  13. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Are non essential journeys still banned ?

    Are you now allowed to go on holiday in the UK (if you want to) ?

    The Holiday refunds farce, any movement or clarification on this ?

    So many more questions now, so few answers.

    Aware it is not easy, but for goodness sake, it should not be this complicated ?

    Who exactly can go to work with only 12 hours notice, what is the Governments advice/guidance on Health and Safety to help avoid Employers finding themselves in Court ?

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Call centres that are shown to have desks packed in like battery hens.

  14. glen cullen
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    If the PMs TV statement was a result of the review of the statutory instrument (si) in a measured and quantifiable way I’ll eat my hat

    It had media, fear and sitting on the fence written all over it.

    Maybe this isn’t the PM that we expected to make clear decisions

    • BeebTax
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      I’m afraid you are right.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      and when he has they have been the wrong decisions.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        you mean 5g, HS2 and the EU

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

          Not the EU, but he was under orders and Frost has done well – Huawei certainly, not perusing the US trade deal with alacrity, etc etc

          • glen cullen
            Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

            I agree – however I was referring to Boris and the EU extention last year and the possibility of a further extention ?

  15. formula57
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Your questions are less the “detail behind the PM’s statement” and more the content that should have been provided.

    We know the Government has been misled and let down by its public sector and other experts: what we needed to hear from the Prime Minister amidst the polished delivery was enough content/detail to show the Government has a grip on the way forward (if it does).

  16. kzb
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    On point #5. it seems the cycle lane lunacy is to be extended. A billion pounds to further obstruct roads, increase travel times and increase business costs. We should be opening up road space not closing it down !

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 5:22 am | Permalink

      Indeed road blocking with islands, anti-car traffic lights, bus lanes, bike lanes, one way streets, environmental areas and the likes is a favourite government activity and has been for years. Then mugging all the car drivers with cameras and parking tickets as much as possible.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        And now he tells us to use the car! He must go!

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Correct – the vast majority of people dont and will never use cycle lanes, they spend tax-payers money to appease the green lobby

    • graham1946
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      We have had 7 weeks of lock-down when traffic has been very light. An ideal time to get the pot holes, which the Chancellor provided some money for, repaired. Has anything happened or are are we waiting for heavy traffic again just to cause congestion and frustration to motorists which seems to be most local authorities main purpose in life?

  17. Peter
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Easy question first. Yes, of course it is right that golf and fishing – which do not involve close personal contact – should be allowed. The same applies to countryside rambles. I would also make a case for parks to be fully available as they are especially useful for families with children living in accommodation without a garden.

    Plod should start concentrating on real crime, not harassing people who are causing no trouble. They prefer a nice horse ride through a park, or a chance to play with a drone in The Peak District unfortunately.

    • BeebTax
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      The police should have allocated more resources to tackling internet fraud, which has capitalised on a Covid, rather than spending their time and our money chastising sunbathers and walkers.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      all because their office desks are not 2m apart!

  18. Mark
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    As there is a certain amount of interest in where new cases are still being found, I have made this zoomable mouseover map which shows the details for England over the past week:

    This says nothing about whether the new cases are in hospitals, care homes or other institutions or among the general public. Infections do seem to have fallen back in most cities, but Kent, Norfolk and Lancashire are hotspots

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Kent far and away the highest.
      Now who’s been arriving in Kent from elsewhere just lately? 😕
      I’m starting to see why this has been kept quiet.

      • Stred
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

        Kent and Norfolk high but Sussex and parts of London low. Very odd.

    • Stred
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      This map probably is a chart of the successful testing, which picks up more cases as a proportion of those that think they may have the infection or need clearance.

    • Chris B
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Excellent, one of the best pieces of data I’ve seen yet. It would be interesting to see a comparison with (say) 5 days ago to give a rough running estimate of the transmission rate.

    • hefner
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Nice piece of work. Will you update it? Keep a history of new cases in all areas week by week?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Interesting but total cases in the last week do not really indicate hot spots. Cases per thousand residents might have been a better indicator.

      Blackpool has about 1 case per 5,100 over the last week whereas Kent has one case per 5,500.

  19. bill brown
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    These are all very relevant and important questions, the PM left more quetions open than the answers he did give/

  20. Mark B
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Some good questions Sir John but in the end all a bit too late. That of course is no criticism of you and others who have tried to get us all back to a near normal as quickly as can be.

    So operation “Get us out of the hole we have dug ourselves, whilst trying to save face !” is now fully underway. Thank goodness. 🙂 Next up, an end to the weekly Clap-a-thon.

    Many thought that this nation could never be like say, North Korea. Oh how wrong they are.;)

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Really? An end to the slimy Clapathon? Great news.
      When I see/hear the saucepans and spoons being rung out for the health service that needed saving from the sick that song “Tomorrow Belongs To Me” always springs to mind.
      Chilling…simply, utterly CHILLING!

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      The PMs statement is a distraction to the forthcoming unemployment figures, the higher than expected furlough numbers and the number of SME requiring government supported bank loan… fact he didn’t mention the state o the economy at all

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        Yes he did – derided it as unimportant.

        • glen cullen
          Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

          I stand corrected

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted May 12, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

            Have you noticed that only the very rich and the very poor (ie people who don’t work for money) can afford to look down their noses at it? Time we removed the whole dirty thing from their lives and kept what we make to ourselves. Then Andy and MiC would be fully occupied keeping the wolf from the door.

  21. Lifelogic
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    All sensible points. Clearly we want to avoid litigation and largely parasitic lawyers having a field day from this situation too.

    A good letter in the Sunday Times yesterday (the first letter) from a consultant geriatrician in Hong Kong. Explaining clearly why densely packed Hong Kong has had only 0.5 deaths per million and the UK has had about 40 per million.

    I too, like Prof. Spiegelhalter (on Marr Yesterday) find the daily briefings/PR stunts rather embarrassing. Indeed they rather pathetic. Spiegelhalter (and Sir Ian Diamond) seem to think many of the excess deaths are not Covid related but due to lack of other NHS activity. I suspect that on balance the lack of other activity will actually have lowered the death rate a little.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      so now the normal death rate has stopped, the only ones are caused by Covid-19?
      Brilliant news for the ones who would have died but will not now.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:18 am | Permalink

        Not what I said at all.

    • Stred
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      My Mrs works in medicine and reckons that Prof Spiegelhalter is brilliant and independent. When he said that the current figure was probably 37,000 and this was the figure that I had worked out from the ONS graphs, she went quiet for ten minutes.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:21 am | Permalink

        Indeed, then what caused the extra (nearly 20,000 on top of this figure) deaths?

        • Stred
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

          See Mark’s chart.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

            That give no explanation for the extra deaths. What caused them in not Covid?

    • Mark
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Speigelhalter appears to have looked at the statistics, and is a statistical expert. My analysis agrees with his. Perhaps you should take a look at it? I’ll be updating it tomorrow when the ONS do their next weekly mortality release which will take us to 1st May.

      It’s quite clear that there has been reduced non Covid treatment in hospitals, with the result that there are excess non Covid deaths.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:17 am | Permalink

        Well clearly there will be a few extra non Covid deaths caused from the lack of some NHS activity and from people deterred from attending A&E but the NHS are continuing most vital activity anyway. I am however confident that the cancellation of many operations will have delayed more deaths on balance. We almost invariable see a decrease in normal level of deaths when doctors and surgeons go on strike. It goes up again when they resume their good works. Do you really think circa 20,000 have died due to lack of other treatments from the NHS?

        I look forwards to your update tomorrow.

      • Stred
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:54 am | Permalink

        Mark. I saw your chart last week and commented but it was moderated. The additional deaths in comparison with hospital deaths is worrying and unlikely to be chosen fot the presentation. The non covid care home deaths are being certified as due to flu and pneumonia according to the ONS and they are recording them as such. The coincidence with the spike in over average deaths and the arrival of Covid makes this unlikely in my view. Adding these alone gives 5k extra for 3 weeks from 3.4 and then a similar number to date. The lack of resuming treatment for non covid patients is odd, given the spare capacity for covid beds. Is the infection separation the reason and why not use the Nightingales if this is a problem.

        • Stred
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

          From Mark’s graph, counting the above average deaths for the last six weeks above the 10,000 level before then, the additional deaths for all categories is approximately 58,000.

      • Stred
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        From Mark’s graph, counting the above average deaths for the last six weeks above the 10,000 level before then, the additional deaths for all categories is approximately 58,000.

  22. Ian Wilson
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 4:47 am | Permalink

    It is now becoming clear the models on which policy has been based and the economy devastated were not peer reviewed, were sloppily conceived and badly flawed. The Sage committee has apparently based their advice on such poor work without checking their quality, without publishing any minutes and until recently concealing the names of members, all contrary to good practice.

    As in a military campaign, some mistakes will happen but it is now all too clear that there have been far too many. We must hope the recovery will be handled better. Above all, as Rupert Darwall stressed in a newspaper, if Boris derails what will be a delicate recovery by his idiot zero carbon policy he and the Conservative party will be toast.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      HS2, the zero carbon lunacy, the climate change act, all subsidies for ‘renewables’, the climate change committee and the Paris accord must all go now. We need a rational energy policy based on real science and sound economics not a bogus religion.

    • David
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      This zero carbon policy is the biggest worry about this so called Conservative government. The scam is sold on the basis of modelling of equivalent quality to that of the disgraced Neil Ferguson.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:34 am | Permalink

        Indeed and climate modelling for 100 years is a far, far more impossible thing to do than the pandemic modelling we do not even have all the inputs. They cannon even predict sun spot activity, volcanic activity, human activity, wars, new discoveries, genetic variations etc. even for the next few years. Was this pandemic in their climate models for example?

        Anyway we are not saving CO2 just exporting it and the jobs that go with it, then pretending we have and idiotically virtue signalling.

    • percy openshaw
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      I agree. Having voted Tory all my life, in good times and bad, I find myself at last so jaded, so disappointed and so betrayed that I shall withhold my support in future. Only until and unless we are presented with Conservative policy will I return. This means low migration, low taxation, small government, no quangos, an end to expensive vanity projects, not to mention the reform – again promised with much fanfare and totally undelivered – of the civil service. I don’t think I am alone in feeling all this; and the Conservative party risks losing its core, disappointing its newcomers and still failing to convert its enemies. Remember the Liberal landslide of 1906?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:46 am | Permalink

        Indeed is Boris just Blair in a blond wig. A social democrat, net zero carbon pushing, big state, high tax, HS2 & red tape pushing economic fool? Or is her a real Conservative? So far it seems he is the former.

        Thatcher won three elections four really with Major as her foolishly chosen man. His gross incompetence then buried them for many terms. Cameron and May nearly did the same. We were rescued by BORIS. Let us hope he finally gets real.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:51 am | Permalink

        When economies emerge from the pandemic, aggressive climate policies should be the priority, according to Dominic Raab, “There’s no choice between cutting our emissions and growing our economy,” Mr. Raab claims. “That’s a myth the UK has helped to shatter over the past decade.”

        So Raab clearly hasn’t got a clue about economics, energy system, competitive industry, physics, logic or engineering. Lawyers are so often totally wrong headed, and he is one of the brighter Ministers.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

          In his ‘first minister’ capacity Raab proved he was over stretched. I’m afraid Boris’ cabinet reflects his own inadequacy.

          • percy openshaw
            Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

            This is also true. When you consider the people who might and should be serving as cabinet ministers, wasted on the backbenches, whilst untried, uncertain performers like Hancock and Raab stutter through their autocues on the podium.

  23. Javelin
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    Go back to work tomorrow but stay at home.

    What is he talking about?

    Here’s how you do it

    1) If you’re vunerable you need to stay at home.
    2) If you come into close contact you need PPE.
    3) If you keep a distance and are not vunerable go back to work.
    4) Everybody wash your hands and sanitise surfaces.

    • Javelin
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 4:56 am | Permalink

      one more
      5) If you operate a business where you cannot do any of the above the Government will furlough any of regular staff or contractors.

      • Hope
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        Well said. Should have been the message seven weeks ago! Plus stop, check, test or quarantine those arriving from Chinese virus hot spots, not allow 18 million in and declare it would make minimum difference!!

      • Stred
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        This is apparently what Boris is saying will need to happen. He did not as Starmer claimed, say that everyone has to go to work today but that we need to be vigilant and work out how to do it. There were helicopter pictures of the A2 at the Blackwall tunnel this morning and it looks like every worker in London has already worked out that they can drive in, psy the extortionate charges to sit for hours in traffic jams watching empty cycle lanes, and work safely alone.

      • rose
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        And finally “stay alert”, presumably an allusion to the well known motto “stay alert and stay alive.”

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      Good job someone appears to understand it!
      You left out the bit about getting off a plane from Wuhan or meeting a boat full of people pulling their dinghy up the beach.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink


      You are correct it was an unclear presentation. Two parts with the first the direction of travel, and the second the clearly important messages would have been much better. Questions from MPs and documentation can then follow with more detail.

      On point 4, I would have even teed up a quick reminder public information film.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        On the ‘Stay Alert’ message I wanted to see clear repetition of how to implement this e.g. businesses being aware of workers temperatures and coughs (to encourage relevant self-isolation), improvement on NHS contactability, clarity on how to get tested to support alertness…

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

          If businesses are allocated the NHS budget then they will probably be prepared to take on the NHS health responsibilities (be aware of employees temperatures etc.)

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Your list could be rephrased along the lines pre-covid19 when it was just the annual flu

      1 If you’re prone to the flu stay at home
      2 Use a handkerchief if needed
      3 If you’re fit and well go to work
      4 Keep to hygiene regulations
      5 The govt will fund sick pay

    • Know-Dice
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Sounds pretty sensible to me…common sense rules…

  24. Andy
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    What a staggeringly incompetent speech. 10 minutes of bluster and nothingness.

    This buffoon has made his career out of ‘winging it’.

    With 32,000 dead and the economy in meltdown winging it is not good enough,

    A competent government would be out of its depth.

    This one – gosh. For the sake of the country we need it to end.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

      You are wrong. It is clear the govt have followed the scientific advice at every stage. It might turn out in a year or so that lock-down achieved little. But it’s clear that the govt did as they were advised based on the evidence at the time.

      The NHS has not been overwhelmed as eg the Italian healthcare system was, as you and a few other shouty leftists constantly predicted. And the death rate has been a fraction of what was feared (and again, loudly predicted by some leftists).

      The death rate is not in fact higher than elsewhere in Europe as constantly asserted by the BBC and left-wing media outlets, it’s lower – lower even on an announced basis as a % of population. and the UK counts non- hospital deaths as other countries do not. We won’t in fact be able to make any meaningful comparisons for at least a year as pointed out by statisticians who know what they are talking about.

      That we have a robust Conservative govt offers the best prospect of recovery when emergency measures are lifted. Imagine if we’d got your bunch of Marxist clowns!

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink


        They have strenuously tried to make it appear to be the case, which is a completely different thing.

        They failed by orders of magnitude on scale and on timing.

      • Nigl
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

        Unfair to the circus industry.

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink



      • margaret howard
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink


        “That we have a robust Conservative govt…”

        Past experience has told us that whenever the word ‘robust’ is used to describe a government’s action, it usually means that we the working public are going to be kicked in the teeth or in this case used as guinea pigs by those ‘elected’ to serve us.

        In this case we are asked to test the water to see if it is ‘lovely’ enough for them to get in with us.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        Richard1 Yes, I agree with much of what you say. I only wish our government had stopped all flights into the UK at and earlier stage. Who is going to make sure that quarantine rules are kept to?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        If the NHS has not been overwhelmed then why have circa 20,000 people died without even getting into hospital? Did they all elect for no intervention? This seems unlikely. Why too has so much of their normal activity been cancelled?

    • ukretired123
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Alright Andy! Can you urgently offer your ideas and help to Dominic Cummins as I’m sure he would like you to work in No 10 to benefit the nation?

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Andy, Richard is correct you have been bleating on here for a long time about listening to experts and how the government must follow expert advice. You consider the WHO experts, the EU experts, the scientists and maths modelling professors experts don’t you?

      Italy and France went into this two weeks earlier than us, as far as I know, they did not alert us or stop flights in, our children and ski crowd went on their half-term holidays to their most infected region do you know if the government was told about this highly infectious disease taking off in that area? People flew off on Winter sun holidays to highly infected Tenerife did Spain, the WHO or the EU tell our government not to send our older, vulnerable people there?

  25. oldtimer
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Good questions to which I would add:
    7 will the government publish the criteria which define the transitions between the 5 levels?
    8 will the government publish the actual data that justifies a decision to transit from one level to another?
    9 will regional variations within England be identified and acted on?
    10 will the government cease using Mickey Mouse numbers in its daily briefings and treat the nation with greater respect and common sense?

    The statement worked for me as a statement of the direction of travel. I am neither offended nor befuddled by the injunction to be “alert” as some seem to be (see one N Sturgeon). But it clearly needs more practical detail to enable the businesses to start to creak back into normal operation. Government bureaucracy, as we have seen, is incompatible with sure footed, slick operations. The more it is removed from the scene the faster the economy will recover.

    Posted May 11, 2020 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Is this PM concocting an unnecessary crisis to contrive a reason to trigger the Article 50 extension?

    Johnson doesn’t know which way to turn and that uncertainty is very dangerous for the nation as it gives the existential threat that is rancid Labour a glimmer of hope.

    It’s been leftist bullshit since 2010. The Tory party’s been in power for a decade and It feels like a progressive wet dream’s taken place. Everything the left have demanded the Tories have delivered to them on a plate


    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      Absolutely no point whatsoever!
      But remember what happened?
      The public allowed themselves to be bullied into a position where Left=morally good and Right= morally bad.
      So last year Boris ( unless one actually believed him) was the unchosen choice. Only option!
      The paper tiger Corbyn was terrifying and now see how quietly, quietly he has been replaced by the Blairite (?) Labour probably really wanted.

      I had thought that this might be to do with Brexit being reversed…but would all the other countries get involved? I suppose they might…but did the US want us to leave? All most odd.

    • jerry
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      @Dominic; If the PM was trying to use this crisis to “contrive a reason to trigger the Article 50 extension” he would be following the advice of the SNP, not starting to ease the lockdown!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      It is not an Article Fifty extension.

      The UK has left the European Union – to the relief of hundreds of millions of people there no doubt.

      It is a provision of the withdrawal agreement.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      It’s been leftist, pro EU, big government, red tape spewing bullshit for as long as I can remember and certainly since Wilson and Ted Heath. Thatcher rowed it back very slightly but not remotely enough.

      I have just had some bills for three of my companies (all the very small ones) for the new accounting software that was forced on to us by the making tax digital lunacy. It costs about £900 PA for the three companies. Thus reducing our profits, wasting staff time and conferring no benefit at all over the old free software we had already. All thanks to P Hammond (and then he complains about low productivity).

    • APL
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink


      That is a very good question. Here is one of my own.

      Given that, we reject the Labour party because of its totalitarian tendencies.


      Written while under house arrest in the former free domain of the United Kingdom.

    • Marvin
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      It is not just a British phenomenon – it is World wide. A collaboration between all countries associated with the EU and the US.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      correct in all respects

  27. Nigl
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    If social distancing is adhered to what does it matter who I see/meet? It is police state rubbish and I have decided to ignore it. I saw an article at the weekend saying that identity theft followed of course by the inevitable buying of phones/taking out loans etc is not a reportable crime. Whereas saying boo to someone on social media is.

    If the police have not got something better to do with their time than stopping me there is something seriously wrong.

    Sod ‘em!

    • BeebTax
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      Quite right.

      They don’t trust us to socially distance, and are running scared, so are extending the lockdown rules unnecessarily. So we’ll start ignoring the sillier rules, and just use our common sense.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink


      I think many people have already interpreted the lockdown as exactly how you describe it (rightly or wrongly) the problem is that 2 metres is getting smaller and smaller, especially when alcohol is involved.

      Given out of 100,000 tests, we seem to still be getting a positive of around 4% that is a huge amount of infection circulating.

      Yes I know we can argue about who is being tested, what age are they, and are they in at risk positions, but it is still a high percentage as far as I am concerned.

      The NHS is only coping (politicians words) because they have virtually stopped all other work, that is not coping at all in my view.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        The NHS has never coped and will never cope. It is a moribund institution. Dead!

        • percy openshaw
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink


    • glen cullen
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      Are the police now issued with a measuring tape or 2m long stick, when on patrol fighting crime

  28. Newmania
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Primary schools will be forced to act as a creche so the government can get everyone working whatever the risk. Secondary schools will not be open because although the educational need is greater they would push up the headline R number which the government would like to suppress.
    The R number amongst teachers and staff dealing with reception children will of course be very high, indeed and social distancing as b any head will tell you would be impossible.
    This group and their families will therefore be taking risks , worse , if anything , than the NHS staff.
    Never mind … MPs are comfy well paid and they need us all to risk death so they can bolster the coffers enough to bail themselves out ,when they Brexit lies are revealed , and they need to steal from our children again

    • Richard1
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      Why are schools opening around the EU – isn’t everything that happens there perfect?

      • rose
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 12:18 am | Permalink

        Including Southern Ireland. Funny how the media clamour to copy them has ceased.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      If our schools open two weeks after Germany and France (the incubation period) in line with what they do we will know in advance the risk ratio. We are also told that schools are open right now to teach the children of key workers what is the resultant R factor on those teachers and their families right now from what is possibly the most asymptomtic children if their parents work in nursing or the care sector.

      Secondary school children should be able to be set work, the work dropped off at staggered time for marking. Online lessons could be organised on the many platforms available now, with question and answer sessions, online pe lessons for yoga, pilates, aerobics skills that pe teachers could teach their secondary year groups that would last for life and could save a fortune in obesity problems. Music tuition can be done online plus music theory.

      Newmania there are many people taking risks all the way through this, the people that make, distribute and supply everyday food which one would argue would kill you faster than this plague if it stopped.

      • Newmania
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        what is the resultant R factor on those teachers and their families right now from what is possibly the most asymptomtic children if their parents work in nursing or the care sector.

        These are tiny numbers and have been handled with great care. Our Primary is going form 10/20 to 300 and thus far there is not a clue as to how this can possibly be safe .I don’t think they care and they certainly have no idea at all about what it takes to say no to your employer with no jobs anywhere.

        Any other subject about which you know nothing you would like to opine on ?

        • a-tracy
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

          That is not what the government said Newmania, they indicated Primary classes would go back like France with smaller classes and not all year groups, children at desks with 2m gaps and teachers moving been classrooms rather than children moving around. However, if schools just wish to close permanently until the disease is totally obliterated then that is an option, it has consequences to workers everywhere but it could all be closed down and the whole school year restarted next year. Thousands are going to be out of work anyway.

          I can opine on anything I wish to that is what a blog is for. I don’t mind being challenged, in fact I quite enjoy it that’s why I blog to make me think wider and read alternatives something you seem to just reject.

    • MPC
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      What a silly post. There’s no evidence that primary school age children are prone to suffering from or even prone to the virus, and good reason for the teaching unions to back the PM’s call for teachers to return to work.

      I thought the PM’s broadcast was clear as a framework and was not intended to be a detailed set of rules. Let’s see if there’s a positive response in the stock market today which would be expected and welcome..

      • Newmania
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        The teaching unions do no such thing but as the magic wall between five years olds is set against the magic border and the magic money they do not know specifically know what to laugh at yet .
        The governments adviser admitted on TV that they had no idea how much children spread the virus. That means my wife is getting it which means I am getting it

        Why should I take that risk .. ?

    • Stred
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      It’s interesting that Prof Ferguson was one of the first to work out that schools are a source of infection. They noticed that when teachers went on strike in Israel and schools were closed. the rate of infection in homes decreased. Re Wiki. Maybe the experts still want to increase infection for their herd immunity theory, or could they just be in a muddle. How teachers are to keep infants from going near each other is interesting. Maybe go back to sitting them in rows 2m apart and going to the back of the class facing the wall if they disobeyed?

  29. Andy
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    I notice Piers Morgan has said no minister will be on GMB this morning because the government is boycotting the programme. Ministers are also boycotting Today and Newsnight – and have been for months. For a while they boycotted Sky News. They also refused to speak to some newspaper journalists.

    Johnson and Cummings are real snowflakes aren’t they? Can’t deal with questions so they sulk. No wonder Bojo was such a disaster at PMQs and Cummings refused to answer questions from MPs. Neither will avoid questions at the public inquiry.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      Avoiding aggressive set ups is sensible.
      Putting your views out as statements on modern media is the way to go.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        I agree. Presenting yourself for some journalist to shout down is of no benefit. Time the Beeb had the plug pulled.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

        I wonder what you would say if Labour ministers had run away and hidden from the media?

        They never needed to do that. They’ve never had anything serious to hide.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

          Labour managed their media exposures with great care as to who was the spokesperson and who was kept off the airwaves.
          And they decided if they should appear and what they should say.
          Very little difference to other parties.

  30. agricola
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    As I said last night, happy though I was with the PM’s statement, there is an awful lot of detail that needs to be filled in to the broad statement of intent. I also suspect the PMs of Wales, NI, and Scotland in particular of political game playing. The Sturgeon will no doubt take every opportunity to establish that Scotland is different and chooses to be different, while holding her cap out for financial support. I hope Covid 19 appreciates these differences.

  31. BeebTax
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    I’ll be out fishing Wednesday, so will be interested to see whether I’m breaking the rules by being alone, outside, in an isolated place, with the nearest person probably 200 metres away.

  32. Alec
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    If we’re really good slaves we might even work our way up to being as free as North Korea one day. I’m so glad I live in a country where our rights can be removed by a bunch of craven politicians in one vote because they were too scared to think critically, lucky us.

  33. Everhopeful
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    The obfuscation is done on purpose IMO.
    Here, there has been very little “lockdown”from the word go.
    Boris wants confusion so that no blame can attach to him.
    The police have already said they can’t “police” the “lockdown comedown”.
    Usually they have no probs policing… let’s say the less obvious crimes…but not with this one!
    No, the powers that be want people to gradually seep out back to work feeling oh so brave and rebellious (as if!) and if they get ‘flu it’ll be THEIR own fault!
    There have been some great and celebrated leaders in history and literature and there have been others who have spent much time WASHING THEIR HANDS!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Actually…thinking about it.
      Confused and scared people DO WHAT YOU TELL THEM
      So maybe that is why last night’s delivery was so bumbling?
      What is the cabinet ( or whoever) planning?

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

        A dear old lady got just within 2m of me in the supermarket, she apologised but the look on her face said it all …she was petrified for being so close you’d have thought she’d contracted the plague

        What a sad nation we’ve become

  34. Ian @Barkham
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    In the circumstances I found Boris handled and presented the situation well.

    It took under 5 mins for the doom and gloom merchants, along with the opposition to rubbish everything he said and tried to get over. There are a lot of people out there in every corner of society that see their aim being to pull the UK down and apart.

    The Governments is loading the gun against themselves with these bizarre daily briefings. How many ways can you keep presenting a ‘guess’ in hope it will become a fact down the line? They don’t inform, they just hype fear and hysteria and give ammunition to the detractors.

    A good conversationalist is the one that listens and hears, not the one that is shouting out the loudest. The Political Class needs to get a grip, Serving we the People is not what happens when they keep trying to tell us how good they are.

    Better no figures than bad figures. The US is worse than the UK on the graph, is furnished with a mumbling caveat as if to excuse the stupidity of the illustration. Its to late by then the snap-shot is out there, the sound-bite absorbed. On and on it goes daily highlighting how stupid and inept this Government is – they might as well say they caused Corvid.

    I have confidence in what they are doing in the real world, but these presentations are just propergander that are so short on reality, they are clearly just ego trips for the presenters. As time goes on with this repetitive charade a big hole is being dug for this Government. Which is a shame as once passed all the MsM headlines, sound-bites and continued sniping, we could be on the right track

  35. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Well delivered by our PM but this should not have been done on a Sunday night, it should have been on Thursday with changes for workers for the following Monday.

    The PM could then have told Parliament first and answered the questions you have posed above.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      I also can’t help but notice that public transport is still off limits.

      How are we supposed to get to work? I would love to work close to my home but the amount I am taxed means I can’t afford to. It would be marvelous to cycle the 20 miles each way to work but even on a pleasant, warm day the exertion would be beyond me, a cold rainy day no thanks.

  36. Ian @Barkham
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Each day we see more and more people ignoring the advice given in the Proper Gander presentations.

    Has Government and the authorities ever though why?

    Its the shoddy incoherent guesses presented as science each day. It rules be asked of the majority that are then ignored by those we are asked to save – just look at this weeks latest TV ad. Self distance is only for the population at large, it would appear the NHS, the Police and so on don’t have too.

  37. a-tracy
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    John, if you’re scratching your head what chance the rest of the public. Stay alert isn’t a bad slogan but we need to know what we need to stay alert to and who we report our alarm to? For example groups of teenagers meeting up from different homes we are alert that this isn’t sensible but they’re not getting the message they’re infecting their parents and grandparents even though they probably aren’t even sniffling.

    Can people drive now from their second homes in the Country back to London too and fro in their own vehicles, that will be especially important to the likes of Gordon Ramsey that thinks rules are for the lower orders, not him.

    Is Boris allowing hairdressers, barbers, nail salons to open today (not essential as food is but there are lots of small salons going to the wall right now and want to re-open safely if they can)? If the worker wears a mask and disposable gloves between clients and the clients are asked to wear a mask, the sinks and chairs are cleaned down between each customer is that alert enough? The rent on their shops hasn’t disappeared.

    Your government won’t even tell us who is getting affected at the moment and turning up in a hospital, just pick a small hospital like Macclesfield – who is being admitted last week with Covid 19, what were they doing in the last seven weeks? How did they catch it? What occupations were they doing? What family risk factors were there? We can’t be alert if we don’t have facts.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      The rents are not being paid in spite of the £10,000 grant for ongoing business expenses. Landlords require rented property to be put in furlough as the Govt did not think through the doling out of grants v paying the ongoing business expenses properly. Mortgages of course must be paid and Landlords got no grant.

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        Lynn, I hear you! I don’t rent out properties but if I did I’d be panicking at the messages to the public right now. If they’re getting 80% of their wage covered I really don’t understand why they need mortgage or rent holiday, at least 20% of most people’s wages are put up for holidays, social, travel, food out, take outs none of these are now possible or essential, keeping the roof over your head is.

        These business loans and grants should have been issued with guidelines otherwise personal liabilities will be settled and they’ll just bounce their businesses if this carries on much longer.

  38. Everhopeful
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Just a warning.
    We are told that bleach is the thing to use against this respiratory virus. Wipe all surfaces etc.
    Got a phone call from wheezing,coughing,terrified friend.
    Had done “click and collect” shop and thought they’d got the lurgi.
    Turns out they’d been spraying ALL shopping and post with a bleach mix…bending down to parcels etc to do it.
    A little googling revealed that bleach etc can cause chemical burn pneumonia!!
    Yes! Pneumonia ….makes you think doesn’t it?

  39. Caterpillar
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Buried in the PM’s muddled presentation yesterday there was an indication that numbers were clearly coming down, but there were localised epidemics in care homes AND hospitals.

    I still haven’t seen data on the nosocomial transmission – is this anywhere in the public?

  40. MeSET
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    “The R number” I’m sorry, I do understand, but still find references to R or A, B, and C, graphs, curves, flattenings, as extremely funny. It is more a complete joke than 42 being the answer to life, the universe and everything. An author before his time, in a few ways…

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      smoke and mirrors my friend

  41. MeSET
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    The worst is yet to come economically and in people’s lives. The lost production is lost forever to our people and is a simple deficit carried forward to the end of time. However there is a compounding deficit which will carry forward.
    In the years 2099 , 2199 though it cannot be detected in any kind of detail then, this lockdown will affect.

    Whatever the imperatives , if any, for lockdown in the first place, the judgement so to do lacked vision.

  42. Donna
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I like Boris; I though he was the best available candidate for Prime Minister considering the stitched-up Party Political and electoral system we have. Usually, he’s a good communicator.

    But last night’s address to the nation was awful …. for a start he repeated the scaremongering propaganda that without lockdown 500,000 would have died when that claim is based on a dodgy model cooked up by a discredited expert with “form” when it comes to predicting catastrophe.
    He then praised us like little children for obeying the draconian lockdown rules and therefore giving us a tiny reward in the form of being allowed to sit down or sunbathe in a park or drive to a different location to exercise. But warning us, like little children, that if we misbehave, he’ll take it away again. “Run along now and if you’re really good, you might be given a sweetie.”

    I’m an adult. I don’t appreciate being talked to or treated like a child.

    • rose
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 12:37 am | Permalink

      You may find it annoying to be addressed as if you are a child but it is something we all have to put up with because of the malicious wreckers who keep asserting that they don’t understand and that the message is confusing. Of course they understand as well as the rest of us but by pretending they don’t, and by endlessly repeating Barnier’s smear word “clarity”, they gradually discredit the government, undermine it, and make the public lose confidence in it. Exactly the same tactic as the EU. Why do so many people fall for it and not think for themselves: now what on earth can Stay Alert mean? It must mean stay alert to the unseen presence of the Wuhan virus; keep washing your hands, keep a distance of at least six feet, don’t mingle with other households, avoid public transport if you can, work at home if you can…And keep alert for the message possibly changing as we move forwards, or even backwards. What is so incomprehensible about that?

      In other words remember the old motto: Stay Alert! Stay Alive!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

        You need to remember that businesses and employees are being told to ‘protect workers’ when opening their businesses. If a worker gets CV19, the business will need to prove that it complied with their requirements. If there are no detailed requirements, it has no defence and therefore cannot risk opening their businesses. This is a litigious era we live in.

  43. Rhoddas
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    We are going to do some fuzzy things when a fuzzy number is at a fuzzy value 🙂

  44. Original Chris
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    With regard to this apparently from Dominic Raab:

    “DOMINIC RAAB has said Britons are free to meet up with relatives in parks as long as they follow social distancing rules – but his comments have sparked more confusion over the official Government advice”. (D Express)

    I would love to meet up with my family and a park would do just fine, but how far am I allowed to travel?

    • Fred H
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      ‘drive as far as you like to go to a public place.’

  45. Mick
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I listen to sturgeon on the tv saying her decision to continue lockdown isn’t political, what a load of bull, if Boris had said right that’s it lockdown should go on for a few more weeks she would have be shouting for a return to work, Shes overestimating her power… her position is nothing more that a puppet of Westminster along with the welsh and Irish assembly’s, you can bet that sturgeon will somehow try and turn this crisis into a new referendum on Scotland’s independence

    • rose
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 12:45 am | Permalink

      Well, she’s missed her referendum for this year. That must be what she is taking out on the PM. And then we’re out properly. Like all the other remainiacs, she is going berserk trying to bring down the government before that happens.

  46. dixie
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I would add – why was quarantining of incoming travellers not imposed at the outset of the lockdown, why is it now being introduced but delayed for one month and why are Southern Ireland and France (France!) excempt?

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:34 pm | Permalink


      Answer. For Political reasons.

      Macron said he would make the UK also do quarantine, at the moment we are exempt.

      Ireland, well that’s just an Irish thing.

    • rose
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 12:48 am | Permalink

      This has been explained many times thus: when our infection rate was high, it wouldn’t have made any difference but now the domestic rate is set to be falling, it makes sense. In about a month, they think.

      • dixie
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        None of it makes sense to me in the context that we were all required to self isolate for 7 weeks or so. As I understand it they did not test or screen arrivals so they could not determine if they were introducing additional infectors or victims at a time when the focus was on reducing infection and load on the medical services.

        Epidemics start with a patient zero so even one person is significant regardless of which wave you are worried about and considering they were testing no-one and still have no idea of infection levels and demographics their attitude is unprofessional to say the least.

        If a person coming from Australia, South Korea, New Zealand or America must be quarantined why on earth are those setting off from Southern Ireland and France not also required to be quarantined, are they somehow immune and not carriers? It makes no sense at all but instead makes a mockery of the last 7 weeks and the humongous damage to the economy.

  47. Pragmatist
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I did not listen to him. I saw a tiny clip online and a tiny clip on TV.
    We are where we are. Boris full of graph. MPs in the main full of graph.
    Persuading teachers to work is a problem. Always is.

  48. SueL
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Dear John

    Can tradespeople who might typically visit homes / gardens restart their businesses. And, if so, what safeguarding measures are they required to follow?

    Clarification will be appreciated.

    Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    ”The coded warning really was about something quite else – far from channelling Mrs Thatcher, it was a white flag raised to the stay-at-home-loving transport unions. No, he won’t be squaring up to them any time soon. And it won’t be him – nor even the Wizard of SAGE – who’ll decide when lockdown really ends and on what terms but the public sector union bosses, stupid.”

    Kathy Gynell getting it spot on, again. She can see through this PM and the continual pandering of Tory PMs to Labour’s unionised client state and their political public sector. And now we have the appalling situation where our lives are being controlled by union bigots who think they can operate our public sector as their only little fiefdoms

    No wonder the Tory-Labour duopoly fear the rise of a true conservative party that in government would smash Labour’s parasitic politics and topped the Tory party’s embrace of a situation that they no longer have the conviction to change

      Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink


  50. Caterpillar
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    On your question 4, it might be worth clarifying what is going to happen to increase public transport provision? Sitting outside London and reading the reports about the tube, I have a rare feeling (for me) of having some sympathy for London, I cannot help but wonder why the Mayor gets an unelected year in office without delivering basic transport.

  51. Cavewell Man
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Any easing of the lockdown is welcome.

  52. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    If people want to partake in a sport that can be done safely then why not? Surely it’s no worse than having to go around a supermarket or wait in a post office. With care, garden centres should open and certain clothes stores could open too with social distancing enforced. After all, the clothes sections in supermarket are open and people are browsing.

  53. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    If some ministers and officials don’t know the meaning of ‘stay alert’ then maybe they should get the schools open asap and go there themselves.

  54. Treacle
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Boris said he was speaking for the UK. But in Scotland (where I live) Nicola Sturgeon says that he was speaking for England only; and she, as always, says the opposite of what the UK government says. Are these emergency instructions a devolved matter or not? I appreciate that this won’t be Sir John’s concern, but it is a question of the utmost importance whether Boris was speaking for the whole UK or only for England.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      bring on the Scottish Independence Ref.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

        Fred H,

        I agree. Here is a two part question. Do you want

        (i)to leave the UK and be an independent country, or
        (ii)to end devolution, close the Scottish Parliament and return all powers to London.

        Given that England is not treated fairly within the Union, I don’t see why the divisive drag of the current middle position goes on and on.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

          I think the Scots should leave. The noisy neighbours go on and on about the union made 300 years ago as if us current English are to blame.
          We of course will be free to buy everything from the alternatives to Scotland. Oil/Gas, Whisky, Tartan goods, Raspberries, Haggis. The Civil Service depts will be brought back into the remaining Union, as will defence bases, shipbuilding. A severance bill will be developed and a monthly fee charged for 10 years to stagger the cost to Scotland.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

        Only after Sturgeon has produced a plan for taking over responsibility for Scotland’s share of our colossal Nation Debt. She won’t be able or willing to. She’ll expect to be able fight an election blindsiding the Scottish people while hoping to walk away and leave the debt to the British people. That isn’t acceptable to me. The only plan that would be would be Holyrood issuing debt and depositing the money raised with HMT BEFORE they’re allowed to go. I look to Sir John Redwood to ask this modern variation of the West Lothian Question.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

          … And what RBS owes the English taxpayer…

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      Whether he knows it or not he is speaking for the U.K. He is PM of the U.K., elected in a U.K. wide election. Scots in their millions voted in the election to Westminster and thereby confirmed our Act of Union.

    • rose
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 12:52 am | Permalink

      Part of British common sense is not picking a fight with an attention seeker. Most of what she is doing is compliant, but she goes out of her way to call press conferences to give the opposite impression. No-one should indulge this unattractive habit.

  55. Sea Warrior
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    The health risks to me playing a round of golf would be LESS than the exceptionally low risk that I will be taking when I go to an outdoor garden centre at the end of the week. No, I don’t play golf – but I do make occasional use of a club, in mid-Kent, for family lunches and the like. Its hotel is closed – and that’s probably right and proper. It’s renowned Sunday carvery is also a bit of a non-starter. (They had to close for the Mothers’ Day event when government emerged from slumber and realised that mass family gatherings were a bad idea!) The golf course is closed too. And the bar. Yet there is no real reason why the course couldn’t reopen and the bar be allowed to serve drinks and snacks outside – or even inside a capacious, open-plan clubhouse. That gets some of the fiscal burden off the sate and some of the employees back to work. The club, to its credit, went into off-licence mode, selling off much of its bar-stock, and also take-away mode, to give some work to the kitchen staff. The management has shown more creativity and common sense than I have seen a government that is doing the equivalent of brain surgery with a chainsaw. Let the thing re-open!

  56. JoolsB
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got another question John. If Surgeon insists on doing something different to the UK Government and insists on furloughing workers in Scotland for longer than in England, will Johnson grow a backbone and tell her she can pay for it herself or will we mugs the English taxpayer be expected to pay for it as usual.

  57. a-tracy
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    This is what I heard:

    1. It is not the time to end the lockdown,

    2. 1st careful steps to modify some of the rules,

    3. Go to work if you can’t work from home but not if you require public transport at peak times because that isn’t safe, lots of transport workers are on furlough and won’t return until their safety is guaranteed, manufacturing and construction workers can work if they can get there under their own steam; car, walk, bike. [this is when driverless passenger transport systems start coming into their own – how are they doing this in Cities that are coming out before us in Europe?]

    4. Maintain 2m social distance with everyone except those you live with,

    From Wednesday
    5. You can sit in the sun as long as you maintain 2m, so if you want to meet your parents friends meet in the park but no closer than 2m, you can visit their home but only if you stay 2m apart from them outside, which is pretty much what people are doing,

    6. Exercise outside regularly with your own family but not with others unless you can maintain 2m, you can drive to the golf club or angling club or tennis court

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      All very good apart from point 4

      No where in the regulations does it state a 2m distance rule, in fact it doesn’t even mention social distancing at all….this was made up by PHE

      Its not a law….its not a regulation

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        I know but it is regularly referred to on the news. The WHO call it physical distancing (so as not to be anti-social) and recommend 1m or 3 feet. Some people haven’t got a clue how wide 2m is Glen, you see that when walking around, we dutifully line up behind each other when people are passing in the opposite direction on a Country lane near us that is just over 2m wide and the other couples just carry on walking past doubled up regardless no more than 1m away!

        At work I walked around with a 2m stick and marked out distances around the photocopier, between doors and desks, fortunately, the tiles are 1m wide on the floor so there is a marker for everyone to see easily, everyone was very surprised how big the distance was.

  58. Lorna Ainsworth
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I am shocked to,see that unlike other countries UK has not even attempted To make changes to transport In line with social,distancing requirements Using the services of someone to redesign how seats are placed would allow for safer seating for a larger number of travelers than the 10% suggested
    No changes have been made to air conditioning systems that is useful in preventing stale air circulating ?
    Most surprising something as simple hand sanitisers placed at doors and entrances has not happened. Why not ? No instructions about wearing face masks on crowded tubes has been given also
    In France the ticket hall is clearly marked with tape on floors to mark two meters
    The Mayor and Transport Secretary need to get this sorted

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      Lorna Ainsworth,

      I agree with this (i) more cleaning of surfaces on public transport, (ii) sannitisers, (iii) vertical flow air conditioning with HEPA filters (ok old stock cannot do this but let’s get it going) (iv) clarification of equivalent risks e.g. how many minutes at 2m in an office is equivalent to 50cm on a train – let me budget my risk.

      There is nothing to aid useful behavioural change.

    • rose
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 12:54 am | Permalink

      The Mayor doesn’t want to get it sorted. Like the Unions he doesn’t want people going back to work.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      Varying business opening hours is the easiest measure to take.

  59. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    According to the ONS deaths caused by Wu flu to date in the U.K. are 2,700 – which is a UK death rate for coronavirus of 1.23%.

    The politicians bought into the Imperial claptrap and now find themselves colluding to increase the number of deaths, terrorising the population and impoverishing the nation for the foreseeable future to justify their decision to abdicate in favour of ‘the scientists’.

    This is going to end badly.

  60. David Brown
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    The PM speech is a small step in the right direction.
    I feel the 14 day traveler quarantine period is setting back the aviation industry that is critical to future recovery and this needs to be challenged and properly understood, along with accepting what the airports are saying.
    We are moving to start to consider the cost of the shut down and some commentators have suggested scrapping the triple lock on pensions,!! mmmmmmmmmm politically very damaging. The PM has said there will be no return to austerity. So it seems to me the option also suggested among others will be tax rises, and a wealth tax. None exactly popular but we are in very unpopular times.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      The 14 day quarantine is indeed pointless and hugely damaging. At best it seems to be to just appear aligned with what other countries are doing. What it does is economic damage and stop immunity to other evolving diseases building. If I believed in conspiracies I’d think it was aimed at a world connected by trains, bridges and tunnels, and perhaps the odd clipper for old times sake.

  61. Stred
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Having read part of the nicely presented paper on what Boris meant, it isn’t surprising that he was accused of being vague. The regulations are like others that the UK civil service always writes. Heavy on principles and devoid of detail. The bureaucrats and lawyers will be interpreting the detailed meaning for years and still everyone will be confused. Why can’t they take questions from the users and give a straight answer?

  62. percy openshaw
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, whether you think so or not, that you are obliged to ask such questions on our behalf is, in itself, a damning judgement on a disappointing and incompetent premier. Yes, he won an election and is able to attract support from unlikely voters; but there his virtues stop. This would scarcely matter were he prepared to discuss policy more openly with colleagues, or to draw on the inherited wisdom of his party. Instead he ignores the former and flouts the latter, presiding as the social democratic representative of upper middle class society; and not as a Conservative. You will no doubt think it irksome or irresponsible of me to suggest his deposition in current circumstances, but I offer this warning: he is untrustworthy and he has done great damage; you cannot therefore hope to convert or control him, which means only one course will do. He must step down.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:53 pm | Permalink


  63. 322
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    It has a devastating document produced in March

    22nd of March

  64. Marvin
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    When attempting to convince the public of a deadly virus, those responsible for creating such a model have made some very basic errors apart from those which have been published. Far from the public being convinced, it has led to much anger and confusion among the greater majority of people. The reasons for this ‘public control’ will no doubt become clear in the near future, and without a doubt will involve ‘Climate Change’ and technology in many ways.

  65. Total joke
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Just watched todays UK Column news.

    So we have the most revolutionary communist government ever, and they are called Conservatives?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Posted By: Rodney Atkinsonon: February 04, 2018
      If you google it I don’t need to publish the link and that save JR from having to read the post.

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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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