Dear Constituent

Unemployment has risen sharply, and many people on furlough are worried about whether and when their jobs will return. I have been pressing hard for more people to be allowed back to work in safe ways.

I am pleased to report some progress in recent days. Many of you wanted Garden Centres to re open and waste tips. Both have done so this week with social distancing rules in place.

The Government passed its new Agriculture Bill through the Commons this week. I wrote about my contribution yesterday. I am pressing hard for more of the government support to be grants to assist the expansion of market gardening. There is considerable scope for the UK to grow more of its own fruit, vegetables and flowers, and to expand the glass house space to do so. It will also create many more jobs for local people to help.

Builders are resuming work and homes can be bought and sold again. Car factories are starting up and other industrial production is underway. There will still be a substantial hit to output and incomes, given the way social distancing limits how much can be produced in any given factory.

The government has set out a timetable for limited returns to school before the summer break. Some of you are very keen to see the schools re open, conscious that children need formal education and will miss out without school. Some are nervous about safety. The good news is CV 19 does not  normally cause health problems for children. The bad news is grandparents may need to stay isolated from their grandchildren for longer, especially where they are vulnerable through other medical conditions.

The worst affected areas remain leisure, entertainment and hospitality. There will be delays before they are allowed to re open, and substantial restrictions on how many people they can serve once they are allowed to trade. Shops too are struggling, with more being done on line. There are no easy answers to these problems, where the businesses themselves are going to have to adapt to changed circumstances.

I have successfully urged a strong response from the Bank of England to make money available and from the Treasury to provide grants and loans to individuals and businesses who have lost their incomes. I am now urging the government to put in place more policies for economic recovery. These include tax  cuts to assist the self employed, small businesses and individuals wanting to buy a house or  car .

I passed on wishes to allow more sport and outside activity. It was easiest making the cases for fishing and golf which have now been relaxed. All of us can now go for walks or runs as often as we like.

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258 Comments

  1. Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    “Shops too are struggling, with more being done on line. There are no easy answers to these problems, where the businesses themselves are going to have to adapt to changed circumstances.”

    Abolition of business rates would be a good start.

    To quote Ronald Reagan:
    If if moves, tax it.
    If it keeps moving, regulate it.
    If it stops moving, subsidise it.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      One of the garden-centres I use adapted to the crisis by introducing, on its website, an ordering service, for home-delivery of stock. Such business changes aren’t cheap to implement. The change went live in the very week that the government allowed the centres to re-open to the public. They should never have been shut. The government needs to give more warning to businesses of when changes will be effected. Two weeks would be my recommendation.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        Home delivery – click and collect, will result in increased business. A good investment.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      If John really wants to get people back to work in safe ways, then he needs to get his government to make available face masks for the entire public, as the successful countries have done in their fight against this scourge.

      However, since they couldn’t even get them for all NHS and care workers who needed them, I’m not expecting much on that point.

      • Posted May 16, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        Thanks Martin … but I prefer to arrange my own face covering to a standard and design of my own choosing. I would not wish to add to the costs and bureaucracy of this covid-19 thing.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        Face masks/coverings only prevents the infected from transmitting the virus it doesn’t stop the healthy from receiving the virus

        In the old days people with a cold or flu would use a handkerchief

        • Not Bob
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          I have hundreds of FFP3 face masks, I will not even give one to my 80-year-old mum (after researching it), I am now convinced she needs to socially interact with other humans to get natural flora and bacteria for her immune system.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 17, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

          What do you mean”only” then?

          That’s 99% of the job done.

          Isn’t it?

      • SM
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        Why does the Government have to provide the public with face masks?

        I have made my own, as have various friends, and many women here in both the smaller and larger communities have each made many for charities and other good causes without charge. They are necessary here in SA because you must not leave your property (nor are you allowed onto commercial premises etc) unless you are wearing one.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 17, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

          And make it legally required to wear one in public places, at work, etc.

          Yes, that especially includes joggers and cyclists.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        You know it can’t be done. You want the country shut down in something resembling a general strike so this is why you make impossible demands.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        Looking ahead, to air travel in the next few weeks, it seems obvious that the airlines should be responsible for providing any face-masks that they mandate their customers should wear. The airlines can buy in bulk and, more importantly, ensure that the masks are of an appropriate quality. And if they put their logo on the mask, they get free advertising too.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        Wouldn’t that be a job for Public Health England or NHS procurement?

      • villaking
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        “If you are healthy, you only need wear a face mask if you are taking care of a person with Covid19”. WHO advice. Please don’t suggest yet more pointless impositions on free people

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        So with a population of 1,439,323,776 billion that wouldn’t include the PRC I presume, the genesis of the virus or Frau Merkel’s Germany, often quoted as a paragon, with a population of 83,783,942 million

      • Not Bob
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        When all this started I imported thousands of face masks from Spain, but now I have them all sitting here (I refuse to sell them), after having researched it more I do not believe they do any good. They make us breathe in our own air that can weaken our immune system and we need natural flora and bacteria from close social interaction. I know also believe they are a tool of oppression and humiliation.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Breaking News

      Interesting development (announcement) today in the German Press/TV….16/05/2020

      The German Heath advisory has stated the Covid-19 vaccine should be available by Dec 2020 or early 2021. It was noted, for those who not wish to take the vaccine, it is not obligatory. However, if an individual is admitted to a hospital (and does not have a Covid-19 vaccination certification) and is subsequently diagnosed with Covid-19 virus they will be personally liable for all costs associated with any medical assistance for Covid-19!

      This is a significant announcement and paves the way for a new social enforcement?……”A new normal”

      • hefner
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        Sounds fair enough. The vaccination is not compulsory. Good.
        Most Germans have a private insurance to cover medical costs. How do you think the private insurance company would react if a non vaccinated person would have to receive care in the hospital for Covid-19? I guess that all new insurance contracts would have a clause specifying that the person being covered is either vaccinated or that the expenses are not covered.
        So please explain why you felt compelled to write down the comment above?

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted May 18, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

          hefner

          Reply: I suggest you keep up with international current affairs, rather than your own myopic Remoaner bubble!

    • Richard
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Another way that the Government could help businesses re-open would be to apply the WHO’s recommendations on Physical Distancing: “Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and others.” (like France & Italy) https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

      Particularly since UK new infections peaked 38 days ago on 8 April, we now know Covid19 has been in Europe since December and increasing evidence that the whole UK seems well on the way to herd immunity. http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2020/05/16/dear-constituent-8/#comment-1117037

  2. agricola
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Well here in Spain five of us had a leisurely menu del dia at a local restaurant outdoors. Enjoyable and we hope it was not too premature.

    The UK car industry will not fully recover until government stop imposing their premature crazy green policy upon it. Assist customers financially to make the green decision when appropriate but stop trying to force the issue like a shotgun marriage.

    If government wish to destroy city centres, then have the guts to say so. Imposing frivolous cycle lanes and taxes on car entry is destruction by stealth and will be no economic help post coronavirus.

    If government have not got the Hauwei/China message by now, (words left out ed)e Chinese advocacy has not failed.

    There is still no economic arguement for HS2, get rid of it and spend the money on inter city transport where it counts and can make a profit. I have long argued that there is a strong case for inter UK city air transport which could be profitable at £20 a seat. Especially when there are so many aircraft sat on the ground and people waiting to fly them.

    The rest of what you say has merit if anyone is listening in government.

    • SM
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Totally agree with all your points, Agricola.

    • agricola
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      You may leave words out but we all know that one ex Blairite senior politician is taking the chinese shilling to push chinese interests in the Uk. Denial is aiding and abetting. Perhaps you approve of paid lobbyist MPS and ex members of government. An absolute traversty of democracy in my view.

      Reply I do not repeat allegations against any named individual or company that I cannot prove myself. If you want to pursue campaigns against individuals please go to OTHER media who have the lawyers and libel proficiency it needs to run a successful campaign.

      • agricola
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        To paraphrase a view on parliamentary corruption: nothing is really wrong with it, it saves the government money by boosting our salaries. Possibly there is nothing wrong with it, but even if there was, we can do nothing about it because it is self policed and too deep rooted, so its too late to do anything about it. Learn to live with it, like a cancerous wart.

    • graham1946
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Regarding cars, it is good to hear that Reanult/Nissan are in talks to move some production from the EU to Sunderland.

      Didn’t our EU experts on here tell us a little while ago that car making in the UK would cease and move to the Continent? Rather like the Banks all going as well. Keep it up boys, you know nothing, just wishful thinking against your own country.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        graham1946

        There are two constantly moving forces (often apposing), Political interests and Business interests. One is toothless without the other. I will put my hat on business wealth creators, not incompetant political blowhards!

        Interestingly, there are circa 100 MPs in Parliament with some STEM education, the rest are professional debaters with little usable substance.

        Fortunately, John Redwood is one such individual with usable substance!

        • graham1946
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

          There is a third – the section that cannot accept the referendum result and even now are doing their best to at least get us the worst possible terms with the EU. You know who some are – ex PM’s and Chancellors. We need to be on guard. The fact that Barnier says the talks are not going well is good – lets hope Boris does not weaken. I’d be worried if Barnier was satisfied with things.

      • Newmania
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        Given that almost all of that production is destined for the EU market that seems highly unlikely and as for the Banks something like 10% of their functions have moved onshore but no-one suggested the City was going to disappear overnight. Overall the working South and London will do a lot better out of Brexit than the people who voted for it .

        Hardly surprising the people who voted of it were poorly educated and excluded from the knowledge economy . Brexit will accentuate such divides but we will all be worse off .

        • graham1946
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

          Plain wrong. See my reply to MiC below.

          Banks – they have not moved 10 percent to the EU. They have expanded operations in the EU, and some jobs have transferred there mainly to Germany but London is still the principal financial centre and has expanded. It is not going to disappear at all, let alone overnight and despite all the dire predictions before the referendum. It just hasn’t happened despite your desire to see the UK fail and your snobby statement about poorly educated voters says a lot about you and your ignorance despite no doubt a superior education to everyone else.

        • Posted May 17, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

          So Enoch Powell (the polymath) Peter Shore, Barbara Castle, jeremy Corbyn, the McWhirter brothers. All poorly educated? 😂😂

        • anon
          Posted May 17, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

          Exit the EU at pace. No sensible negotiation is possible, this has been obvious for decades!

          Rapid trade deals with ROW means lower tariffs when we exit the EU. So the UK/ROW trade will increase.

          Major manufacturers can move outside the EU and then sell easier to rest of the world? So UK production may well increase to meet UK and ROW demand.

          The UK generally imports from the EU not sells.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Have you understood the detail of that though?

        I understand that it is to be production for the UK market only which will come here, whilst that for the whole world, currently here, will leave.

        Are you sure?

        • graham1946
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          No, I don’t understand that. The Renault Captur and Kadjar are possibly moving to Sunderland entirely because Sunderland have half a million p.a. spare capacity and the Nissan Juke and Qashquai are made the same way with the same tools. Nissan have a 4 billion investment in the UK and it is their flagship operation and are committed to the UK especially at a time when car sales are on the floor. In addition Nissan is closing its van plant and moving it to South Africa from the EU, so its no use squirming and making up facts about rest of the world manufacturing. Try again and do try to support the UK for once.

      • Steve Reay
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        The French unions might have something to say about this, but as I used to work for Nissan it will probably happen . One of the most efficient and flexible workforces in the world.

        • graham1946
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          Nothing to do with the French Unions. It is being moved from Spain and we know the French don’t give e fig about anyone but the French so don’t worry about that.

    • ian wragg
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      It would seem the crisis is being used to further the aims of Extinction Rebellion and the UN Agenda 21.
      The problem is that their preferred method of herding us all onto public transport is proving to be a disaster. The government has trashed the car industry and tries to force us to go electric when suddenly they find we don’t have the installed capacity or the infrastructure to support electrification.
      The easy way is to trash the economy to supress demand.
      Never waste a good crisis.

    • Andy
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t it ironic. A Briton who has exercised his right to free movement to move to Spain votes against free movement – denying young people who were denied a vote a right he has enjoyed. There is a word for that.

      As for Nissan Renault, car manufactures will mostly not stay in the UK after Brexit because of the trade barriers Brexiteers are erecting. But they will not move overnight. They will wait until their existing models have reached the end of their lives and will then mostly make new ones in the single market.

      If you think Nissan Renault is going to stay in Brexit Britain long term you need to look up Renault.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 17, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

        What trade barriers?
        The UK wants free trade.
        It is the EU that wants barriers.

      • graham1946
        Posted May 17, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        More made up ‘facts’. New models are being planned for Sunderland and eventually there will be an FTA when the EU finally gets the message, probably after the end of June.

        Another ‘will not go overnight’. Well they’ve had 4 years to decide and that’s all you can come up with. Stop trying to constantly down the UK, you just look more and more silly.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 17, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          Graham 1946,

          I think you re right Andy does not need to down the UK, we are very capable of doing it ourselves most of the time

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    More relaxation is needed. Why on earth can people not stay at their or other peoples holiday homes for example with suitable precautions? Why can they employ nannies and cleaners but not have relatives round with suitable distancing.

    On distancing it is likely the infection will pass with a probability related to time spent together even if 2 metres apart. 5 seconds spent 50cm apart (especially with masks on) might well be far, far safer than 30 mins queueing in a long queue with lots of people in a tent for a supermarket or DIY store. Rather than such queues people should be given a queue number and called when due perhaps.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Face masks.
      Face masks.
      Face masks.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        I’m sure it would be an improvement as it would act as a nonsense filter.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        handkerchief
        handkerchief
        handkerchief

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        Nonsense
        Nonsense
        Nonsense

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 17, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

          It’s worked well in the countries which have beaten this.

          But you’re not interested are you?

          Is it because they are “foreign”?

      • jerry
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        @MiC; Face masks do not stop contagion, in other words they will NOT stop someone catching the virus. There is some scientific evidence that face masks might stop a symptomatic person spreading the virus but there are so many caveats as to make the evidence worse than useless because people can develop a fails seance of security.

        The only real answer, bar a vaccine or treatment, is social distancing, plus frequent and adequate good personal hygiene coupled to the cleaning of hard surfaces etc.

        • Ed M
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

          How about compromise with face makes where people have to wear them in enclosed spaces with lots of people but not on the street and where there are few people.

          I think that’s fair enough. Balance about right?

          • jerry
            Posted May 17, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

            @Ed M; The same caveats apply, thus the same risks, in fact the risks are probably greater in enclosed spaces, and what about those who, due to their wok, would need to swap a CV19 compliant mask with for example a anti gypsum particulate grade of dust mask that filers incoming rather than exhaled air.

            Not all masks are born equal, some do the exact opposite to what you need!

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 17, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

          Not absolutely, no.

          But absolutes are not needed.

          Just to get R0 below unity is all that is required.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        It was your fullstop – – now you have repetitive strain injury.
        I suggest giving your wrists and us – -a long rest from your typing?

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      ‘Why can they employ nannies and cleaners but not have family around with suitable distance’

      If people use the services of nannies and cleaners it’s usually because they work outside of the home so aren’t in the home when the worker is present. It is a lot easier to physically distance from an employee than a relative and a nanny usually keeps the social bubble to a low R risk which would have to be considered by her employer the parent. It is better that two doctors can still work full time and get their homecare tasks still taken care of with ppe for the member of staff if required.

      Most people were, right from the start of this lockdown, given the right to work outside their home if they couldn’t work from their home. There were only large group potential gatherings with lots of possible cross infection like restaurants closed down completely unless they could do a takeaway service, in fact I’m surprised more pubs didn’t do takeout pie and a pint, I would have done if I owned the pub nearby, the footfall from walkers now has quadrupled.

    • zorro
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Exactly, the stay at home order meant that people were spending more time together as well as all the unnecessary queueing which gave more access for the virus to circulate rather than briefer sporadic contact spread out in different places. In New York, 66% of recent cases were where people had been staying at home for weeks! In any case, the numbers show that this disease is of extremely limited capability in under 60s and is washed away with soap and water….

      zorro

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      The queue number idea – I gave the same one to my local supermarket a few week ago – and the assistant clearly couldn’t understand the concept of older people didn’t want to – or not be able to – stand outside for an hour, in the cold before even getting inside the building. So I upped the idea to “What if it is raining”? – Her answer -” just come back when it isn’t”. – ” so that would make the queue then even longer?” Her blank expression caused me to turn and go. And I haven’t been back.

      • Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        Farm shops. Even if there is a queue it’s short!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        Wait in the car until you number is called or displayed perhaps!

      • Time and Motion
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        You have to not-think in doing a routine job. Time flies if so, getting in your stride, if not, each minute is a century, yet you are only paid a penny for your thoughts.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    The Daily MIRROR the other day reported that “scientists from Manchester University claimed more than 19 million people may have already been infected and have recovered”.

    I could not find the original source but I suspect this number is about right (looking at how cases, in London, especially have declined so well). If true this is very good news indeed. Also it is possible that many people are simply not very susceptible to the virus infection anyway.
    We have had about 60,000 deaths so if it kills about 1 in 300 of those infected then 19,000,000 infection is about right.

    I am now increasingly optimistic we can avoid any serious second peak and should get back to work as soon as possible. I might even buy some shares too oil and gas stocks perhaps. The Guardian have banned these companies advertising there, so it is surely a good time to invest in them.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      That is possible, but unlikely.

      Such surveys that have been done have shown the rates to be typically a few percent, though NYC seems higher.

      The Wuhan project will be interesting, testing every citizen.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        Why have new infections in London gone down so far relative to other places otherwise?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 17, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

          A very interesting point.

          Why was London so solidly Remain-voting?

          Are the two related?

          Mass testing will tell us, if it ever happens.

          • graham1946
            Posted May 17, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

            Only a craven Remoaner could come up with that suggestion. Good news – the EU, bad news – Brexit. Testing will not tell us who voted what.How stupid.

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 17, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

            What are you suggesting here Martin?

      • Fred H
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        I thought they eliminated it? TEST 11 million to discover what exactly?
        A great PR stunt is what it is.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 17, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

          How widely it actually spread.

          Don’t you want to know?

          • graham1946
            Posted May 17, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

            If its gone what does it matter?

    • Irene
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      The original source – https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/ijcp.13528

      The paper was peer reviewed, and as always, several independent experts pointed out potential flaws in the study, with one pointing out how difficult it is to estimate the extent of unreported cases in a population from reported cases alone.

      • Irene
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        While waiting in the moderation queue, I should add that the article is free to read and comes with open access.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      I am sorry @LL but you can not read anything into the London numbers. We have been in lockdown so there should only be transmission between those who are out working.

      In fact the number of cases should be lower than it is at present. We have been isolated for 8 weeks now.

      We have the Nightingale hospitals now so we should open up, make those treatment centres and get on with life as we knew it. Those that want to isolate should do so (and remain furloughed for the time being) but their jobs can not be waiting for them when they decide to emerge if businesses need to take on willing staff in the meantime

    • Fred H
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      A third of the population including children and older people have already caught the Virus?
      Nonsense – what idiot ‘scientist’ can’t cope with the SUM function in Excel?

      In the last few months we have learnt what nonsense our top scientists are able to deliver.

      • hefner
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Who in their right mind would think that scientists are using Excel?

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

          The sum function is the same in all databases / programmes – it sums (totals) a range @hef.

          Your argument surely should be that it is not as simple a =sum. =sumif perhaps (:

        • Fred H
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

          The flawed assumptions, and inaccurate predictions tell me that the scribble on the back of a fag packet has moved on to those who haven’t done the Basic Excel….
          Give me a better explanation?
          I doubt many have any ideas what databases are – people generally think a file of data lines in Excel IS A DATABASE.

        • Posted May 17, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

          Well I’m certain Excel is beyond Ferguson. He’s still counting on his fingers and multiplying by the date!

      • Newmania
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        … well yes and no. Science is , to varying degrees, provisional ,. but I still prefer it to complete ignorance

    • zorro
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      You also must remember that this disease has been circulating a lot longer than admitted and is not really that virulent.

      zorro

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        Maybe, maybe not.

        Mass testing will tell us.

    • jerry
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      @LL; My only caution is how effective antibodies are, in other words how easy it is to catch CV19 twice or more, if the claim you cite is correct the staged easing of the lockdown will show is reinfections occur.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Excellent piece by Charles Moore today on the misery that the lunacy of Net Zero 2050 will cause.

      Time for Boris to get real.

    • Ed M
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      By Gangelt’s formula it would be about 9 million but then Gangelt came out with its results about a month ago (?) for Germany. So I’d say it could be somewhere between 9 million and 19 million. I think (I’m not v good at maths / stats).

  5. Horatio
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Dear John, thanks for your constant injections of sanity. However this govt will, at the next election, be forced by the media to justice the unnecessary lockdown policy. The mainstream media will move from pushing hysteria to utilising the facts. They will ask why no one questioned Ferguson on his abysmal record, why no one forced him to publish his model and perhaps worst of all why, like New York, we injected elderly covid patients from hospitals into care homes.

    The facts are fast coming out and the data clearly shows that the govt need to accelerate much faster out of this unnecessary lockdown and get the economy going. This unnecessary impending recession and job losses will cost more lives in the long run.

    Make no mistake, there will be no Corbyn at the next election. The facts that are fast seeping into the public domain will be used as a stick to beat this govt and rightly, unless this slow, unnecessary economy destroying escape from lockdown is put on jet boosters.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      Make no mistake, there will be no Corbyn at the next election.

      And neither will there be a compliant MSM ready to assist the Tories in vilifying Starmer. Quite the opposite as you point out.

      Starmer is a Remainer. The media, especially the BBC, are for Remain. And as there is no difference between Tory (New Labour) and Labour, why should a floating voter vote Tory ?

      • Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        Starmer does not support calls to extend the WA deadline. This is a game changer. There is no Remain, some of them don’t know that yet.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        You might as well say that he prefers coffee to tea.

        What the blazes has that to do with anything?

        • Fred H
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

          better to wake up and smell coffee – – -I suspect vast numbers of the electorate are doing just that.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 17, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

            Yes, the Government’s ratings are plummeting.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 17, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

            The last poll I saw showed the three main parties on very similar percentages to where they were around the time of the last election.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      Indeed Starmer will clearly be much harder opposition than Corbyn but Labour still have problems in Scotland and Wales. Few people in England and Wales will want Sturgeon and the appalling “National Socialist Party of Scotland” to govern over England will they? What on earth do the Scots see in Sturgeon and Blackford?

      The government will have very, very large debts to cope will. Private busines will also have taken on much more debt. The only way to cope with this is to rapidly build the private sector tax base, allow it to be competitive and cut the state sector which is largely parasitic on it. To do this we need cheap energy, huge deregulation, easy hire and fire, lower, simpler tax rates (but on a larger tax base) and to fire the very large number of people in the state sector who do nothing of much use or worse just inconvenience the productive. We might well only have about 4 years to the next election perhaps in May 24. These things certainly work but will take time to act. This especially after the damage to confidence from this wretched virus.

      Boris needs to act now. As yet he has not even cancelled HS2 nor all the climate alarmist, net zero carbon lunacy yet.

      Time to wake up and get real Boris.

    • Stred
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      I just don’t understand all the criticism of the forecast of the epidemic by Imperial. They have released the programming and were trying to fix the computing but even Microsoft engineers couldn’t get such a complicated model to give exactly the same result every time. They got over the problem the same way that weather forecasters do, by averaging. The forecast of 20,000 if we locked down was near the number for hospitals but the care home and home deaths has increased the number. Are people saying that they think that the number would have been less without the lockdown or are they saying that they don’t care if it higher, bearing in mind that it will probably be over 60,000 in weeks?
      This is not to say that some aspects of the lockdown are not pointless and damaging. Also, the economy is actually growing in some areas such as internet learning and local shops which deliver to the housebound.

    • zorro
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      The cost of all this ‘social distancing’ nonsense expenditure is ruinous and not least to footfall/revenue.

      zorro

    • jerry
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      @Horatio; “at the next election”

      Well yes, perhaps, I mean, really, in Dec. 2024 ?!

      If CV19 is still highly relevant by then, rather than a memory most would prefer to forget, preferring to seek positives, that will be proof enough with regards the lockdown.

      The real question will likely be how the govt by then has dealt with the increased national debt, if they choose to deal with in the way the 1939-45 war debt or if they choose the 2010 route…

      As for data, people are trying to prove a negative, we will likely never know what was necessary or not.

  6. Roger Phillips
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Builders are returning to work? There are no materials available as the manufacturers have been forced to shut. I have been trying to get thistle finishing plaster for weeks and the only ones available are at massively inflated prices….. this shutdown is not working and needs to be abolished now before you destroy this country forever.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      Indeed let’s all get back to work now.

      • Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        But your death stats argue the opposite!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          Not at all, we cannot hide for ever. The new cases are declining quite nicely especially in the heavily infected areas like London.

          • Posted May 17, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

            Marginally ob]ver 2,700 people would be alive today had they not caught CV19. A number of people caught CV19 before they died of other serious illnesses. Then there is another whole bath of deaths just starting, for which the Govt and NHS are culpable: care home deaths and those dying of serious diseases unnecessarily because the NHS effectively closed down so that it did ‘not fall over’ – clap clap!

    • Mark B
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      I have been trying to get thistle finishing plaster for weeks . . .

      Same here. I have been trying to get that and other things. It too is holding me up !

    • Fred H
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Kiln Dried sand for finishing brick or paved drives sold out for weeks. No sign of any available.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        got some – – long Q at Wickes, Bracknell……100 bags arrived.

    • Stred
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Two weeks ago there was a queue of tradesmen picking up materials at Screw fix when I picked up some items. It’s only click and collect.

    • Robert mcdonald
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Just don’t start me on the availability of fence paint. Every fence in the country, maybe the world, must be being painted – I presume it’s the same logic as knitting to pass the time – brush up, brush down.

  7. Mark B
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Good morning and, once again, thank you Sir John for your efforts 🙂

    I went to my local gardening centre. I was asked by my elderly neighbours if I could get them some tomato plants. All were gone by the time I got there. 🙁 So I shall set off early today to try my luck. I mention this to remind people that :

    a) there is still a body of people who are at real risk and need help through this. I am obviously not one of them but has been seriously inconvenienced through all this. Others have had it worse.

    b) That whilst we all talkabout buying UK produced food, those that are fortunate to have a garden should be encouraged to grown much of their own. Even those without one can grow herbs in a pot. To that end garden centres are invaluable and should never have been closed down.

    There has been signs of an economic slowdown well before all this. Germany were the ones to watch and now I read they may well be in recession. Unemployment was always going to creep up and depress wages making products cheaper to sell. Well that is what has always happened in the past. Problem is, that we now have the Minimum Wage (more bad government interference in the private sector) and this make things harder for business, particularly SME’s to recover compared to those economies that do not. We really need to get government out of the Private Sector and reduce regulation and all the Green Rubbish. All this is just going to make any recovery more sluggish.

    It is time for government to get out of the way and find more ways to do less.

    • Chris Dark
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      Many of us rural folk have been growing our own food for decades. We elected to buy a house with a large garden thirty six years ago; we’re still in it and grow things every year; we are fortunate, but the house purchase decision was based on a bit of intuition and “what if”.
      As for trying to run the country with social distancing, it aint going to work. People cannot live and work like little islands, two metres apart. It’s completely unnatural. Nature will eventually take over again and those terror-stricken about the virus will need to man (or woman) up.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        Main “Man” up as they die from it at about 2:1

    • MPC
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Mr Johnson recently repeated his commitment to Net Zero in the Commons so there’s no chance of reducing ‘Green Rubbish’ unfortunately. I expect more statements soon on support for renewable investment as ‘green recovery ‘. It looks like the march onwards to ever more expensive energy is to continue – until there is perhaps civil unrest, but that will be too late and quite some years from now.

      • Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        I’m afraid Johnson must go.

        • Original Chris
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          I am absolutely in agreement with you, LA. I believe one can legitimately question who is influencing Boris in his persistence to pursue the bankrupting Green agenda. The obvious culprits include the UN and EU, but there are some closer to home, perhaps?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          He certainly needs to grow up and get real on greencrap, renewable subsidies, the size of the state, the Micky Mouse “Degrees” and HS2 for a start.

          • Original Chris
            Posted May 16, 2020 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

            Don’t forget Huawei, Lifelogic. A staggering piece of misjudgement by Boris. Very dangerous too for our country.

        • Mark B
          Posted May 17, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

          And be replaced by who ? The two previous leaders were no better and, in the case of T.May MP, far worse.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Shame you don’t live next door. I’ve brought on far too many tomatoes and peppers!
      One useful thing govt could do would be to ENCOURAGE the growing of veg…rather than see gardens filled with trampolines and hot tubs ( great for Covid 19 transmission), barbecues and basketball rings…thud,thud,thud….no veg gardeners here despite very large gardens.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 17, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

        Believe it or not, my other neighbours have just that, all of it and more, in their garden / backyard. Their choice of course 😉

    • Iain Moore
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      “and all the Green Rubbish”

      BBC seems intent on reigniting the climate change hysteria, they keep raising the issue on the news , which suggests they are pushing an agenda. Yesterday they were pushing the Citizens Assembly on climate change, that democratic abomination, straight out of the left wing playbook, where in failing to get their way they set up this faux assembly, which they can control , and then claim representation and from that a mandate. The closing bit from the BBC news ‘the people have to be listened to’… well I wasn’t asked so they have no right to include me as one of the people, and politicians would be well advised to remember that when these activists call round waving their ‘report’.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        Iain Moore

        Today: There are an estimated 10 million (non-governmental organizations) NGOs worldwide.

        Future: The number of people worldwide donating money to NGOs increased from 1.4 billion euros in 2014 to an expected growth of 2.5 billion euros by 2030.

        Today: There are more than 129,000 public-benefit foundations in Europe. Combined these non-governmental organisations (NGOs) give more than 53 billion euros annually.

        Resultant: All these Bodies (useful or not) require remuneration, feeding and clothing….expect Government lobbying to increase substantially over the next 5 years….the Green rubbish/etc debate will continue ad infinitum….too many vested mouths to feed?

        Source: NGOfacts; The Global Journal; Charities Aid Foundation; Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        Indeed plus the endless BAME twice and likely to die of CV19 drivel. Simply not true if you compare like with like.

      • Mick B
        Posted May 17, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        I seem to remember reading somewhere that the BBC pension fund had invested heavily in renewable industries. As they say follow the money…

    • MeSET
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      I’m lucky. People bring me food without asking.. I am not rich.But probably have much more money than them. They have brought me books…a long story

    • acorn
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      “It is time for government to get out of the way and find more ways to do less.” Mark, would you want it to “get out of the way” before it deficit spends £300 billion into the private sector or after?

      “All this is just going to make any recovery more sluggish.” The recovery will be totally dependent on big government (public sector) deficit spending to create demand in the private sector and keep it alive.

      Household sector income, currently benefits/grants/loans then wages, as the private sector responds to the government’s super-normal purchasing of its goods and services; will eventually recover and start to enhance private sector output and its need to expand employment and investment in capacity.

      Unfortunately, now is exactly the wrong time for this virus thingy to turn up. The UK; US and EU, all have exactly the wrong Neo-liberal and/or Neo-conservative political caucasus running their respective governments. Just how unlucky can the 99% get! Sorry, I forgot you all voted for it; D’oh!

      • Mark B
        Posted May 17, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

        There was a time when we ruled large swaths of the globe with fewer MP’s and Civil Servants. And they did it without satellite communication and computers. Now I have to do the work online for them and they even have to gaul to charge me for the privilege.

        So I am not in agreement with you.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 17, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      Update !

      I got them their tomato plants. Went early and got 3 for a £5. They were very pleased 🙂

  8. Jeff12
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Seeing that formal education has produced a compliant and unquestioning population that accepts plainly absurd ideas and rules wrapped up in pseudo science supported by extremely dubious forecasts and statistics I’d say it’s the last thing children need.

    • Not Bob
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      I agree Jeff, all my well-educated friends just blindly believe all arguments from authority, they do not even need real verifiable, testable science to be persuaded, just the TV will do.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        You mean rather, that they do not read the lunatic, conspiracy theory websites that you do, I suspect.

        • Not Bob
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

          Everything is a conspiracy Martin, nearly. Including you.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

          what like the Chinese ones?

        • graham1946
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          But do they make up their own facts like you do?

      • Posted May 17, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        +1 – well indoctrinated rather than educated.

    • acorn
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Jeff, the formal education system is doing exactly the job the 1% want it to do! How else could they have managed to get 17.4 million serfs to vote “leave”?

      • Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        Remember it was the ‘uneducated, unwashed northerners’ who voted leave – like me! They escaped the indoctrination 😂😂

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          A lot of people are “educated” into stupidity.

          “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”

          ― George Orwell

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        acorn

        Remoaner argumentum ad absurdum!

        • acorn
          Posted May 17, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

          Did you mean reductio ad absurdum? We did the square root of two fallacy in Maths decades back

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted May 18, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

            acorn

            Then I suggest you go back and revisit your prior learning?

            Remember – 17.4 million maths?

      • Edward2
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        The 1% wanted to us remain.

        • hefner
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          I hope that you will attentively study the Rich List when it is published tomorrow in the Sunday Times and gratify us with another of your brilliant apercus.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 17, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

            Oh go on hef do tell us.
            You know you want to.

            It is correct to say that the new elite establishment love the EU.

            Apercus…is it like asparagus?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I think that you have to distinguish the system – political – from the educators – mainly dedicated and sincere – however.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          not in the votes you regularly reach for.
          In 2017, around 60% of them said they cast a vote for the Labour party, while only 12% voted Conservative, so do you think they will vote to a wo(man) to return to classroom?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 17, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

            So educated people tend to vote Labour.

            It’s not just teachers.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 17, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

            Well the public sector tend to vote Labour.
            Not quite the same.

    • zorro
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      I’m sure most properly educated parents can instil a lot more sense into their children than the PC nonsense coming out of schools.

      zorro

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        +1

  9. GilesB
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    The teaching unions must not be allowed to stop schools reopening.

    I suggest reopening region by region. Start with the most rural regions where school buildings tend to be less crowded and the teachers are well known in the local community by parents.

    Leave until last the inner city regions where the schools are most crowded, the teachers are largely anonymous, and the unions are most militant

    • Not Bob
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Giles, it has already been decided the future is children being taught by distance courses from home, but I do not know or understand why. Therefore it must have also been decided politicians will now also work from home?

    • Fred H
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      good idea – County Education Authority – step by step.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      No! Leave them to their own demise just isn’t good enough.

      In Knowsley about 20% of working age people are receiving some form of out-of-work benefit with some of the worst income deprivation in the country; more than a third of local children live in these conditions. The schools are run by the Local Authority so Mayor Joe Anderson reminded us on TV this week so he’ll decide whether they re-open or not. Stoke on Trent – Fegg Hayes on C4 news the parents won’t even feed their kids let alone give them a book to read, their children are bored to tears, starving even though their mother is getting all the money benefits to look after those children but it’s the starving of their minds I’m most worried about. These children will never break away from this shit life they’ve been born into without access to education.

      So let’s continue to ignore the problem there with the results leading to unemployment which has become trans-generational: children are growing up in families where the parents, the grandparents and even, sometimes, the great-grandparents have not worked. A few years ago Knowsley was the first British local authority to stop offering A-levels. There used to be an escape for the brightest into Grammar schools. The children in this area are the ones that are going to be affected most by 3 months out of school, they won’t be able to just go back in September and start the new year like the middle class schools can where the parents have been buying books, teaching, encouraging the learning of skills soft and hard skills. The libraries all shut (unnecessarily I feel) this very bastion of protection for poor children and adults to keep them educated, especially at this time where a lack of reading material in the home will be sharply felt – eight weeks with no service – can we have another million pounds each to stay open please Sir! No you fell over if a supermarket can buy a sheet of plastic and a mask or face visor to protect staff why couldn’t you?

      My children wouldn’t have suffered with three months out of school, I actually learnt more getting involved with my children’s homework after work and at weekends than I ever learnt at my poor quality school, I always had access to the library, when I started work I had to pay for my own evening training courses to better my skills, the same throughout my working life, but if you take away all the resources from poor kids then expect to put them back a year at school, so if they only go back in September and they can’t pass a test to start say year 5 they have to be dropped back into year 4 or they’ll never compete with those others in their cohort.

      Ps if you give them a computer they’ll just load games and social media and their parents will be on it more than them, so make sure any computer has a work monitor on it and protections in place!

      • Mark B
        Posted May 17, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        This is what Socialism does. It creates a body of people that cannot rise to better things. Breeds politics of envy and victimhood and so creates a solid unbreakable voter base (fodder) for itself. Of course, those in the upper echelons will make sure their offspring get a good education, won’t they Diane 😉

        • a-tracy
          Posted May 17, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

          I grew up in a socialist area, in the early 80s lots of my friends set up enterprises from builders, plumbers, to solicitors rising up through the ranks not university. The areas are breaking out and are getting rid of Labour after years of poor schooling and claptrap take what you’re given and be grateful, the new Tories can’t go back on the plans for these areas, they must follow through. If this turns into a big fat lie at the end of June…

    • Posted May 17, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Ahh – the Unions, Remember them? Now imagine if we were all dependent on everything running on electricity. Stupid idea I know, but just imagine how much power the guy on the switch would have.

  10. Iain Gill
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Those people who normally work away from home, and live in hotels or B & B’s Monday to Friday, are completely stuffed at the moment. Most hotels simply not taking bookings. When in reality it’s probably a safer mode of working than long commutes in public transport. And each town cannot possibly support the very specialised skills, so the country depends on people working in this way.

  11. JoolsB
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile while we’ve all been forced to lockdown, many losing their livelihoods in the process, could you please tell us John why 15,000 passengers a day are still flying into Heathrow totally unchecked?

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      And illegals are landing most days on the beaches in Kent – some just disappearing into the countryside (with or without the virus?)

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Sharon indeed, we do not have a clue how many actually land undetected

        Think we have had few boats reported into Dover already so far today, seems now to be every day !

        Family member who lives in Kent says they often see young fit men running across fields (no not working) police do not seem bothered, so they have stopped reporting them now.

        Unbelievable Government has no idea of the real numbers, if they are terrorists, refugees or alternative economy workers of the future.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      And why are the Border Farce shipping them in to Dover – and the govt flying them in from Greece? And God knows how many more that we are deliberately NOT being told about?

      • Andy
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        Because if they are picked up in UK waters we have a legal duty to help them.

        • glen cullen
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

          Thats actually untrue, its a legal duty of the sea to transport them to the next safe habour…..that could be either England or France

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

          Wrong AGAIN, Andy. It’s so disappointing when you are allowed to peddle your false news on this site time after time. I agree with our host’s tolerance, but there are limits. We are required to help those in distress international waters. We are not required to keep them in the UK. Ask an international lawyer!

        • graham1946
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

          But why do they chance it when they are already in shangri-la?

        • Cheshire Girl
          Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

          Well then the law should be changed!

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      It is positive that people are flying in. We are seeing passenger arrivals and yet the epidemic is subsiding. It is a different situation to when UK holidaymakers (mostly skiers) returned from heavily infected countries Italy, Austria, France and going straight back to work and social circles.

  12. Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    The studies show no instances of children passing on the virus. I thought we were following the science?

    We just need to get on with it and lift all these ridiculous rules that are destroying our economy, our way of life and our sanity. The virus just isn’t deadly enough to justify them.

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      We need to show our collective ability to change the way we live . The corona virus is 20 times more deadly than the flu virus ( according to latest research) and it is becoming clear that secondary effects of the disease can cause long term problems for all ages and many children insidiously affected as demonstrated in organic damage.

      Many thought that we would have a few weeks of cross infection precautions and then get back to normal. This is not going to happen . A way of life without the buzz , pollution , overloaded roads and crowds is the future . Society was going into self destruct anyway .Our economy must change with all else.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Yes..funny that…we only “follow the science” where it suits the govt’s “Terrorometer”.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      The studies show no instances of children passing on the virus. I thought we were following the science?

      Where on earth are you getting that from? Yes, the virus barely affects children but I have read nothing to suggest they can’t transmit the virus. Why do you think the schools were shut?

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Yes we are following the science – the political science.

    • Stred
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Three weeks after lock down my neighbours had two cases of Covid like illness. It affected the elder daughter and father. Both were quite ill for two weeks but fortunately recovered. The younger daughter had no symptoms. The mother had not been outside the house for three weeks and did not have symptoms. The father had been working from home. The only contact which could have brought in the disease was from the school.
      The pressure on the government seems to be coming from the equality enthusiasts. Schools produce nothing which pays the state. They spend taxpayer’s money. If they are worried that some poorer families don’t have laptops for remote learning, why don’t the schools lend them a cheap laptop? They almost all seem to have better smartphones than mine.

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 17, 2020 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        If the mother and father hadn’t been out at all for three weeks why did the daughter go to school after lockdown?
        Didn’t they need to go to the Supermarket?
        Did they go on a daily walk?
        I’m fascinated by how cases 3 weeks after lockdown became infected.

    • zorro
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Exactly this is the crux of the matter, surely to God, people can see that the maintenance of this lockdown and these daft rules are nothing to do with ‘flattening the curve’ or ‘protecting the NHS’!

      zorro

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Nor does it show that if infected, then they do not pass it on.

      It remains unknown.

    • cornishstu
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      How many children have been tested, so we know how many have been infected. Sorry, but as I put my cynical hat on I find it a bit too convenient that as questions are raised as to safety of reopening schools that all of a sudden we have studies saying that children do not transmit the disease, yet they are normally the propagators of most bugs doing the rounds. It will be nigh on impossible to control distancing etc in the under 7 age groups.

      • cornishstu
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        The reason for them to go back IMO is that it releases the parents from having to look after them, so they can go back to work and if that is the case then why did we bother with the lock down in the first place and trash the economy, we could have just isolated those of us that are at high risk, taken distancing precautions etc for the majority.

  13. Sea Warrior
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    My local ‘Household Waste Recycling Centre’ has re-opened, but with a gold-plated risk assessment having reduced the number of unloading bays reduced from 18 to 4. This despite the fact that when operating at full capacity that HMRC was big enough for users and staff to easily maintain ‘social distance’. Result? A two/three-hour wait, even on weekday mornings. And four or five yellow-jackets, on the approach road, in a huddle, waiting to lean into the cars and offer information. Sir John, perhaps you need to make a visit to the tip this weekend.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Same here, local council says they take social distancing seriously so only allow people from specified postcodes go to the recycling center on listed days, at the same time they have cut the hours to just 4 hours, so compressing demand. How stupid is that? These recycling centers are outside for goodness sake, so low risk, and nobody hangs around a waste bin for the fun of it.

      • Sharon Jagger
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        At my local council tip, you have to book a 15 min slot online. Naturally, they’re fully booked for the coming week.

        Why council tips couldn’t have been left open, with some minor changes, beats me!

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Ours in Bracknell is opening on Monday.
      It was taking internet bookings for up to 7 days in advance from 10.00am yesterday, at 10.02 yesterday (yes after 2 minutes) it was closed, as no dates now available.

      Difficult to even make it up.

      And they wonder why fly tipping is on the increase.

  14. Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    In looking at factories opening up don’t we also have to consider how they will be provided with raw parts that all too often come from abroad.

    We source much raw food from abroad too, and we really must step up our capability to fend for ourselves without relying on other countries.

    The problem is of course, that many countries have been closed down. Meaning what they normally supply to us will not be available – Are there any plans in place to make sure we can source raw materials to keep our factories going and our food products available?

  15. JoolsB
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    When are we going to see the public sector furloughed and their salaries cut to 80 or 60%.. I include MPs in this. They should be leading by example instead of awarding themselves an extra £10,000 for the inconvenience of working from home on top of their full pay.

    Maybe if that happened we might see a quicker exit to this lockdown.

  16. George Brooks.
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Keir Starmer’s declaration that he intends to work with the government in over coming Covid-19 hasn’t spread very far amongst his shadow cabinet and supporters. The teaching unions have allowed their political ideology to dictate their approach to schools starting up again by stating that the scientists have to confirm that it is COMPLETELY safe for their members to return.With a virus less than 6 months old no scientist could ever do this and they know it.

    Getting schools back into operation is as important to our economic recovery as a factory starting up again. A shadow minister was interviewed on Sky News this morning pouring out shed loads of criticism and not a single idea of how we might get the country back up and running. So much for their support!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Off the streets
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Yes but they are diverting young minds from marching on streets to stop the flood. Now the young are all getting breathing problems. No reason as with no flood

  17. Kevin
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    “All of us can now go for walks or runs as often as we like.”

    Just don’t send any photos to your relatives or friends in Wales or Scotland, though, because they cannot – is that correct?

    And if you are in business and able to send goods to Northern Ireland, don’t forget to complete your import declarations – is that also correct?

    But don’t worry! Boris Johnson remains “Prime Minister of the United Kingdom – Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland”, even though (am I correct in writing?) the EU flag still flies outside the Scottish Parliament building.

    • Eh?
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      The BBC now speaking about The Four Nations say this and that. They never say which four, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium?

  18. Richard1
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    What a contrast between the can-do, innovative, approach of much of the private sector – supermarkets managing to be fully stocked and working with new distancing rules, amazon and others managing deliveries, builders, cleaners, other services finding ways to do their jobs, financial institutions functioning with staff at home etc etc, and the baleful attitude of the Country’s leftwing teaching unions.

    Margaret Thatcher did a good job getting started with liberating the U.K. from the dead hand of militant unionism but she didn’t finish it unfortunately. Almost entirely now in the public sector, the dead hand of leftist unions destroys prosperity and in the current case the opportunities and life chances of children. Reforms are needed once we are clear of the EU transition period to lift this perpetual threat to the public services for which we pay so much.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      We even see the distinction in the education sector. Private schools are managing with remote teaching. The teaching unions are refusing to do so.

  19. Not Bob
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    What is the point of leaving the EU only to join a globalist medical tyranny led by the WHO that can blindly make us act like communist lunatics at any time? We need laws in place to prevent politicians ever doing this again.

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      The EU is very fond of claiming credit for ALL of the international aid that is given out by member countries, despite the fact that the aid decisions are made by the individual countries and the EU’s donations out of their own funds (which of course come from the member countries anyway) are tiny.
      How about them publishing the total deaths of CV throughout the EU and taking credit for that figure being the highest in the world?

    • Fred H
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Well I would quit UN and WHO – probably other organisations too after a full briefing of activities.

  20. Everhopeful
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Bearing in mind that various groups like GHP/PREDICT are constantly beavering away to discover “new” viruses and that bat/wild animal/viruses are being unearthed ALL THE TIME, what happens the NEXT time the govt has a collective nervous breakdown or is corralled into panic via a dodgy program?
    Would we survive ( economically and physically) another house arrest/incarceration? Never mind golf clubs.
    Perhaps ( unless of course the whole plan is to further enfeeble us into helpless drones) it might be a good idea to instil some robustness into people.
    Illness is a fact of life and let’s face it…if anyone cared about our health why would the NHS ( clap, clap) have purposely been reduced to a politically correct heap of nothingness?

  21. Lifelogic
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    You say homes can be bought and sold again. But if you have a tenant you can no longer guarantee that you can gain vacant possession (as the idiotic government has suspended these legal actions and encourage tenants not to pay rents). So you cannot exchange without getting VP first. Nor can you sensibly let things out for say 6 months (if you might want to sell them after that). This damages landlords and tenants. It diminishes supply of properties to let, decreases GDP, deters people from letting at all, damages job mobility, destroys jobs, means tenant are evicted earlier than needed and damages the economy.

    What huge damage the government does by interferring in this idiotic and socialist way.

  22. Mick
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    The government has set out a timetable for limited returns to school before the summer break.
    Why have a summer break the teachers and kids have effectively had a extended break so make them school the summer holidays, as for the leftist teachers unions along labour/snp/welch assembly they seem to be using Covid-19 as a big stick to beat the elected government, why is it that other countries can reopen schools but not us, it’s the same virus the only difference as a layman observer is it as turned political , good job that people as the common sense not to have put labour in charge or we would have been in serious trouble

  23. DOMINIC
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    So while the private sector is desperate to get back to work to prevent catastrophe caused by clueless politicians, brainless, jumped-up academics and haughty, well protected bureaucrats the entire unionised public sector is responding politically, as they always do, and working overtime looking for ways not to go back to work with the usual crappy scaremongering about elf & safety and the like

    Of course ye good ole teachers now stretched out in the garden soaking up the rays on the back of the taxes paid by a bus driver or plumber will no doubt be happy to see till assistants at Waitrose go back to work.

    And what do the Tory government do? They get down on their hands and knees and beg the unions to open up the public sector and the transport sector. This is what we’ve come to.

    McCluskey can eat Johnson alive if he wanted to. Johnson by acting in the way he has (encouraging political State expansion and popular loyalty to State organisations through social conditioning) as played into this (man’s ed) hands. A most utterly clueless PM but then this PM’s only concerned with ticking off his CV achievements

    Thatcher literally put her body on the line against her enemies and this nation’s enemies and the entire PCP have thrown that sacrifice in her face. She always understood the danger to liberty and democracy by an all powerful, centralising, interventionist political State . That danger is now in our living rooms

    Cameron, May and Johnson were and are the living embodiment of all that Thatcher reviled

  24. Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I am bursting to do a painting for our church. My wife tells me that I am not allowed to do it outside our house and garden.
    Already the moaning and criticism has begun in the political websites where I go for information.
    Lots of stuff has gone forever. Lots of new stuff (use of internet, Zoom, Facebook) has grown. Kuldip who runs our village shop now has a permanent smile…
    (Exciting) Change and decay in all around I see…

  25. Adam
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Govt borrowing to enable grants increases tax for non-recipients. Too many are already indebted, and helping some at others’ expense seems unfair. However, it is better to boost those businesses that spur recovery for the long-term betterment of all.

    Demand for some services has increased heavily whereas others are suddenly sclerotic, or out of current usefulness. Strong demand often copes without assistance as consumers are eager to pay for access. Newly-outdated businesses should be allowed to fail rather than be promoted, but eased with a gentle fall, shortly.

    Short is simpler is yet Govt uses 5-syllable Social Distancing instead of Safe Space.

  26. John E
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    It’s quite clear the Government has made a complete hash of the whole business. First they were complacent, then they went into a blind panic. Now they are too scared to make any decisions.

    I was intending to see my days out here but I’m not sure that’s a good idea any more. Maybe those cross channel people smugglers could start to offer return trips for people escaping the U.K.?

    • Andy
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Of course, before Brexit you would not have needed to smuggle yourself overseas.

      You could have retired somewhere warm – Greece, for example, which has handled Covid 19 brilliantly.

      But the Conservatives took away your automatic right to retire to the EU. The automatic right to live, work and study in 31 other counties has also been taken from your children, your grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Britons now the only people in all of developed Europe whose rights to go wherever they choose on this continent have been stolen.

      Stolen by the Conservative Party – which was rejected by 58% of the electorate last December.

      • rose
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        What would you use as a weapon against the Government if you didn’t have the Wuhan virus?

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Total rubbish again, Andy. As I’ve said to you before, I worked in France before we joined the EEC, without any problems My father worked in France for twelve years after WW2 and my grandfather started several businesses in France after WW1. Why not stick to facts you KNOW, Andy? If the situation changes now, it will only be because the French government wishes to pander to anti- British feelings in France, which are very sad and were there long before Brexit!

        • bill brown
          Posted May 17, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

          Jiminyjim

          Having worked in France for years and having a house here for the past 20 years, I have not come across what you are describing

          • Edward2
            Posted May 17, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

            Are you claiming people didn’t work or live or own property n France before the EU invented freedom of movement ?
            Or vice versa French people here in the UK?

          • hefner
            Posted May 19, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            Edward2, can’t you understand what Bill is writing: he has not come across a French government pandering to anti-British feelings in France.
            I also happen to have a house in France and neither have I heard anything against the British people. Comments on the British Government, yes, but certainly nothing as acerbic as what can so often be found on this blog.

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        Andy.

        This will be contentious, but I don’t think there should be an ‘automatic’ right to go and live, work and study in another country.

        I grew up just after the War, when there was no such right. It didn’t stunt my childhood at all, and many children grew up and achieved just fine.

        For goodness sake, don’t be so dramatic!

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Ask the Border Force to give you a lift out the mid-Channel meeting point. They seem to be the ones aiding and abetting the whole people trafficking operation.

  27. Javelin
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Internet Routers in your living room need to block traffic to China unless the user requests it. Your constituents deserve to be protected.

    DM Comment –

    My partner sells cctv equipment. One of his customers asked him why their system was sending packages of data to an unknown source every night. There is no reason why it would be necessary. It was supplied by a large Chinese state owned company that has since been banned in certain countries. They are now buying up smaller companies to hide their identity but still people in the industry here refuse to believe something is going on. The evidence is out there and we are stupid to continue to ignore it.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      The implication of what you report is that all MPs should be getting a security inspection of their London crash-pads and constituency homes, from MI5. We should start with those of ministers.

      • Al
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

        Why? They were happily using Zoom which doesn’t offer end to end encryption (currently only AES-128 as security) and was caught routing calls through China. The MoD have banned it for security reasons, but apparently the Cabinet knew better.

        What is the point in a sefcurity audit on hardware, if the users are handing the content out through insecure software?

  28. ed2
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Trump, Boris, everyone has invested in this vaccine agenda so how can they back down now?

  29. John E
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    It seems that preserving the NHS is so important that all the hospitals and GP surgeries and dental practices have to be kept empty and no patients can be treated. It’s a strange state religion that has replaced the established church.
    Pity there will be no economy left to pay for it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Much truth in this. I thought we paid taxes so the NHS could protect us when we fell ill but it seems it is the complete reverse. No only that but the NHS was infecting people in hospitals then pushing them into care homes like foxes in the hen house.

      But post the virus I am sure they will revert to the climate alarmist, devil gas, and expensive unreliable energy religion yet again. The war against the harmless, odour less, colourless plant and tree food that is greening the planet so nicely.

      • Posted May 17, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        LL – only if we fund them and thus become ‘enablers’. The NHS needs to be halved – at least. Too may medics, in the teeth of the ‘greatest crisis since the War’ with time on their hands to practise the Hakka on empty wards.

  30. ukretired123
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Freecycling via the internet has started again, excluding soft furnishings etc provided items are subject to new rules.
    We have found new homes for lots of useful items that folks snap up because they are free and still have a useful life. Never underestimate what folks can value and TV programs like the Repair Shop, Money for Nothing etc encourage more renovating items.
    Decluttering big-time has been going on esp in Springtime so there will be many takers esp with folks having to readjust to the new reality of limited income. Also ideas for fixing things are abundant on the web -Also a great source of new ideas to learn new skills like programming, STEM etc etc.

    • ukretired123
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      I forgot to say “As you give, so you will receive” – a double benefit.

  31. Iain Moore
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I posted a bit the other day on China looking to put an 80% tariff on Australian barley . It seems the economic war China is waging against OZ is far more extensive than that, it includes beef, as well as threats to their raw material exports, like ore. I say again, Australians are our friends, and family, they have stood shoulder to shoulder with us, it would be a great shame on us if we allow the pusillanimous British establishment to leave them to face China alone.

    As it is, with Trump banning Huawei the right to US electronic chip technology, it would appear the Government is going to have to do an embarrassing U turn, for on 5G Boris is going to be up the Yangtze without a paddle.

    • percy openshaw
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Very true. There seems to be no consistency to Johnson’s administration – and policies in various areas appear to be on auto-pilot – left-leaning, civil service autopilot, as the current block on grammar school expansion suggests. Equally, the PM seems to have forgotten one of the main props of the whole Brexit argument – that we should draw closer to the Anglosphere. Instead of this, he is siding with China and ignoring Australia. It is for reasons like these, reasons which the PM either fails to address entirely or deals with in a frivolous, waffling way, that I am now persuaded he is utterly unfit to lead; and I urge Tory MPs to consider replacing him.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      China is also it on the propaganda front; many news pop-ups I now see are CGTN sponsored – it almost seems like an admission of guilt.

    • Boom boom
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Oz is our friend but I think China would say with some truth in it that Oz threw a boomerang at them first.

    • CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      It would be best if China and the rest of the world found a way to trade if nothing else. We all have so much to lose by this quarrel. Funnily enough only last night I wondered what it would be like now if WWI and WWII had been avoided. Pity , my life is not long enough to wonder in bulk.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        no! It would be best if the World decided not to trade with China for at least 5 years, and develop other trading deals where they cannot be self-sufficient.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 17, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      or ‘up the YELLOW river?

    • anon
      Posted May 17, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Our government needs a rethink of policy and re-orientate away from Chinese control influence.
      Perhaps we need to investigate financial ties to current and prior decision makers and influencers.

      Exit the EU toutsuite. Then full on trade deals if needed.

      In the meantime.
      Well we can buy more Aussie/NZ wine & food.
      Also a few naval vessels might be invited to take a trip downunder for some sea trials.

  32. a-tracy
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Think through the consequences of schools not re-opening and make provisions for the problems ahead. Maybe put all teachers on their 6 weeks summer holiday if necessary right now, we’re told there won’t be holidays to go on in August anyway and re-open the schools in August instead of September, give the week they normally take at the end of May four weeks in at the start of September or three weeks after starting back and give a fortnight to stop any virus in its tracks. That’s what I’d do.

    Or do Four weeks in, two weeks out, four weeks in two weeks out then you’d have a fire break on the virus.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 17, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      I’m getting sick of this fear ramping to parents so even if schools opened lots of the children won’t go back. Well if you can’t put teachers on their six weeks holiday from next week call (in order to bring them back in to work from August instead of September) then call them into the classrooms work their usual hours (no children other than their own if they have to). They can take Skype/zoom/whatsapp calls from children, plan work for them to pick up on rota, Mark their work, plan lessons for when the lockdown eases. No more furlough required they’re safe in their own classroom or more than 2m apart from a colleague.

  33. zorro
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, the government will not admit its error and over-reaction causing massive economic damage. Instead, it is doubling down with these ridiculous social distancing ‘rules’ which are Maoist in nature and they are ruinous to the economy.

    They have lied. They said that the lockdown was to ‘flatten the curve’ and ‘protect the NHS…. Well, whatever, the curse is very flattened and the NHS is well under capacity so get this country back to work and none of this ‘COVID SECURE’ nonsense for workplaces. About as genuine as those multiple ‘deep clean’ exercises in Salisbury…

    All this ‘word control’/newspeak is brainwashing/mind control in nature to nudge behaviour to a zero-carbon future. Absolutely bonkers!

    zorro

  34. Caterpillar
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Dr Jenny Harries has again competently explained the low numbers of individuals infected and hence the relatively low risk of reopening some schools whilst staying alert. At the same time it was unfortunate that the ONS released somewhat irrelevant data indicating (via rather large, overlapping confidence intervals) that under lockdown the percentages of children currently with CV19 were similar to adults. This gave the room for (intentional?) misinterpretation by some that adult to adult, child to child and child to adult probability of spread was the same and therefore reopening was bad. The better interpretation is (‘of course’) that even though symptoms are less visible in children there is no indication that the disease is more prevalent than in adults. In combination with earlier studies that indicate a limited role of young children in transmission chains this is very positive.

    I was worried when I read that teaching union leaders were left with more questions than answers having met with prof Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance; how poor can the academic level be of these teaching leaders if they are unable to understand basics when they have direct contact with Whitty and Vallance? This is very disturbing for the education of children in the UK.

    I heard that there are many teachers who have joined unions for protection as their positions have generally been excessively weakened compared to that of pupils. In general teachers have no power, are threatened, are assumed to be guilty and are not protected by legislation. To break the extreme union hold on teaching I think it is time that the UK Govt sided with teachers, so that teachers did not feel the need to join the unions for protection, and moreover the profession appealed to a politically wider range of graduates. The culture of fear under which teachers operate needs to be fixed quickly.

    In terms of opening up education, I would suggest that Further Education colleges prioritise adults (0ver 18s, sometimes much over) taking Functional Skills in English and Maths over 16 and 17 year olds. Many of the adults on these courses have little successful prior education, come from vulnerable backgrounds, have escaped addiction etc. The courses and colleges have provided a route to ‘normality’, some may well have already fallen back due to the ill thought through lockdown In bringing education out of lockdown it shouldn’t all be about the youngest or next year’s GCSE/A-levels. If there is a gradual unlock then the/some adult Functional Skills needa to be given priority.

  35. glen cullen
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    UNKNOWN – Now it’s the threat of asymmetric carrier, a second wave of virus and the ‘R’ number increasing…..could, maybe, likelihood….its control and fear again

    KNOWN – The ‘R’ number is below 1, hospital beds are below capacity, the number of virus cases & death decreasing everyday, testing continues, deaths mainly in over 60s with medical conditions

    So why is the government still using control & fear

    • APL
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Glen Cullen: “So why is the government still using control & fear”

      Because they have shut down the economy, thrown thousands, possibly millions out of work, GDP has fallen by at least 15% in two months, destroyed the UK balance sheet, and the Tory party’s reputation as a financially responsible government.

      You think they are going to stand up and say, ‘Opps! My bad”?

    • Fred H
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      ANSWER: covering backside.

  36. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Those who so far have been saying how much better Germany has handled the crisis (avoiding the fact that it has apparently been by locking down only one week before UK and having an obviously better health service) are now unwilling to follow Germany’s lead in lifting the lockdown – there you can travel anywhere you want and stay overnight in a hotel or guest house.

    • Andy
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Your comparison does not work.

      Germany was well ahead of us with testing. It locked down with a far better understanding of where the virus was and how far it had spread.

      We are barely getting to grips with this stuff now.

      So because Germany was better prepared its lockdown can be shorter.

      New Zealand’s lockdown is over after 7 weeks because it controlled the outbreak.

      Our outbreak is worse because the government failed so badly in January, February and early March.

      You can criticise those of us who called it right if you like. But the blame lies with Boris Johnson and his ministers who called it wrong.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        They took the advice of their scientific advisors.
        You use hindsight.
        Much easier.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 17, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

          There was a spread of scientific opinion.

          They did not follow the global consensus as stated by WHO.

          They chose that which was contrarian, and happened to suit what they didn’t want to bother doing.

          Everyone knows that.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 17, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

            They followed the advice of their SAGE committee of experts who were in communication with PHE and WHO.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        I agree Andy.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        So presumably, Andy, you would support breaking up the NHS and following the German model? If not, please explain why not

    • British Spy
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      In Germany they used to have National Service with an option of not serving it out in the military but in health and social services. Maybe it is better manned and has too the luxury of not having a very strong expensive standing armed forces to protect itself and the world from itself in the name of defending the West against Russia.

  37. rose
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    You have done well. Thank you.

  38. Anonymous
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Love the can’t-do attitude from teachers. “How are we supposed to organise schools reopening in only two weeks ???” wailed one on BBC.

    Fine. Well don’t criticise the government for getting things wrong in a crisis with similar notice that you’ve been given -they’re running a country, not a kindergarten.

    Can’t do ? Teach.

    Ain’t it true. Wouldn’t want these on your side in a war. The Danish headteacher on the same show sounded much more adult and professional

  39. Lifelogic
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    You say – “These include tax cuts to assist the self employed, small businesses and individuals wanting to buy a house or car”

    Kahn is now starting to charge the congestion charge tax and air quality tax every day I see!

    Red tape cuts are just as important. I have just had to file various “enveloped dwelling tax forms” why? I file the account for the rents each year anyway. There is no tax to pay as they are let so why on earth these extra forms and all this pointless work for me?

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Good point Lifelogic I haven’t seen any tax cuts for the individual, shopping and fuel VAT the same, insurance and energy bill the same, council taxes etc all the same

  40. Forward Kid
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Many people today will think Authority backward which says in effect you are not restricted to going places but don’t go there.

  41. Qubus
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Is there any good reason why non-essential public employees, such as teachers, should not be furloughed so as to give them more incentive to return to work?

    • Granter
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      A bit sick of hearing about the caring nature of teachers.My family is littered with them.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Yes, there is a very good reason. They are in the public sector and are our superiors and masters. All you need to think about is working hard and paying your taxes so they can have an easy and carefree life.

  42. DOMINIC
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Not one reference to public sector reform. It’s all about abusing the taxpayer to fund easy politics. Reform involves conflict and Johnson doesn’t want the inconvenience of having to confront bigots that now control the leftist client state so it’s far easier to buy them off using our money. This is not what the taxpayer is for.

    The private sector does not exist to finance the parasitic, wasteful, abusive political State

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Indeed “The private sector does not exist to finance the parasitic, wasteful, abusive political State”

      Exactly nor indeed to fund largely parasitic and often corrupt industries in the private sector that are forced on to us by idiotic & very damaging laws, regulations endless greencrap and other lunacy. Things like Making Tax Digital, the Climate Alarmism and renewable subsidies con trick, Landlord Licensing, absurdly complex tax laws, the soft loans for duff degrees racket, much of misguided health and safety and employment laws …..

      They all make the country less able to compete and make it far poor too. Benefiting parasitic industries like much of the legal profession, tax planners, HR experts, Health and Safely Advisors, accounting software companies, carbon credit advisors, green crap grant consultants …. as good examples.

  43. Posted May 16, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Dear a Sir John,
    Again, what would we do without you and your Common sence.
    Most of us agree with all you do and say, probably because we think for ourselves, and hardly ever watch Brussels Broadcasts.
    I like the rest of the majority voted out / leave, we thought we saw in this Tory party, we thought we saw our Democricy coming home atlast ?
    Instead we see the same roll Over crowd as we have been treated to for decades.
    King of the pile is Boris.
    We are standing against our nearest and dearest , Canada the US, Oz and New Zealand.

    We remain at total odds to those that have stood by us for generations. I ask you , is this Government right, still rolling over to the EU, still talking to the EU, while they plunder our seas , while we talk and talk.
    We are not impress either by the same roll over stance meted out to our new friends , the Chinees ?

    There is no natural reason for this behaviour, just look at all the illegal people being brought over every night, it will not change that is evident, so clearly we have a Remainer Government yet again, you can not read it any other way, we are to be enslaved, and still nothing is done ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Alas the government rarely follows his sensible advice!

  44. rose
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    It was a delight to get back to the garden shop and come home with new plants. The distancing worked well and I wish they had been open all along.

  45. Richard
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    According to the latest estimates by Public Health England (PHE) and Cambridge University, the R has fallen to 0.4 in London. That means only 24 people/day are being infected & the number of new infections is halving every 3.5 days. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/14/london-has-just-24-new-coronavirus-cases-day/

    There is also a separate study from a team at the University of Manchester “providing evidence that by the end of the second week in April, 29% of the population may already have had the disease” (ie ~19 million) , putting the whole UK well on the way to herd immunity. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ijcp.13528

  46. Richard
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Recalling the recent daily mail headline:
    “Private hospitals that have been taken over by the NHS in fight against coronavirus at the cost of hundreds of millions of pounds are ‘sinfully empty’ – leaving hundreds of the country’s top doctors ‘bored’ and ‘twiddling their thumbs’ “, at a time when 41% of NHS ICU beds were empty.
    a) Hopefully all efforts are now being made to address the backlog of non-Covid critical illness waiting lists that we read has recently ballooned causing unnecessary deaths.
    b) And then cannot those underutilised private hospitals be returned to the private sector ASAP?

  47. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 17, 2020 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Just to cheer you all up, I have entered total deaths (in hospitals, care homes and elsewhere) per day in a spreadsheet. The data runs from 25th March to 16th May (Source: Wikipedia). I have computed 7-day moving averages from 28th March to 13th March. Moving averages are needed to eliminate the under-recording at weekends.

    Deaths per day peaked at over 900 and are now down to 400. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the rate of decline has slowed of late. As long as the economy picks up and the deaths per day continue to decline, I’ll be happy. Sir John’s campaign is exactly right but the return to work may not go as fast as he would like.

    • The Venerable Dude
      Posted May 17, 2020 at 5:19 am | Permalink

      “Deaths per day peaked at over 900 and are now down to 400. That’s the good news.”

      One hopes persons of your position manage to extract themselves from backward and downward loop-thinking as the mass hysteria in full blow for five years comes to an end though there is no sign it will and I merely express a hope.
      Statistics and reliable sources are absent of such periods in human history mostly because all writers had presumably fallen victim to it themselves..
      These last few years have been very dark days and their lack of light is compounded as the triggers and reasons of mass hysteria are barely known. Good luck to us all!

  48. DavidJ
    Posted May 17, 2020 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    It is all very well for government to offer support to business and industry and necessary until they recover. However this will clearly impact the taxpayer, either directly or through increased government borrowing.
    Surely it is time to slash government spending on unnecessary projects such as HS2 and 5G? It also evident that many government entities are grossly inefficient (particularly the NHS) and need a root to branch reform. We should also review the extravagant salaries of others who are publicly funded and consider if their posts are really necessary.
    Local councils too need their wings clipped to prevent their interference where it is not warranted. I recall a time where their activities where limited to those which where not “ultra vires”, i.e. outside their proper remit. Now many want to interfere in every aspect of our lives including promotion of much which most of us consider unacceptable.

  49. Sea Warrior
    Posted May 17, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I see, from the morning’s Sunday Times, that fishing is allowed at lakes and canals – but not at rivers. I remain perplexed by the government’s decision-making.

  50. beast
    Posted May 17, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    A biblical , nightmare has descended n the world, but it is not caused by a virus, but by politicians.

  • About John Redwood


    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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