Big business and government

The government should not want to bail out big business or take share stakes in large companies. It should be helping and encouraging them to get more money from customers so they do not need bail outs. The policy is meant to be getting many more people back to work, preferably working from home. Taxpayers do not want shares in companies that are losing so much money they cannot finance themselves commercially from banks and the markets.

It is rumoured that Jaguar Land Rover might need government money. Yet this is a company with good products, that needs to sell more  cars to generate the cash it needs. The government should be asking any car business that thinks it might want taxpayer aid the following questions:

Will its dealerships soon be open to sell cars observing social distancing assuming that gets the go ahead?

Meanwhile is the  sales force available during normal business hours to sell on line and through email and Zoom/Teams meetings with customers?

Have they  tried contacting their customer and customer enquiry lists to see if people will buy a new vehicle? Are they offering any special promotions to get the market moving again? Given the reported growing interest in people buying cheaper second hand cars as an alternative to public transport to get to work, isn’t this a good time to encourage switching to a newer vehicle for people who are already owners?

The Bank of England and the commercial  banks are making plenty of money available to those who need a car loan to buy or upgrade  a vehicle.

The Treasury were right to offer short term generous assistance for the lock down period. Now we need to move on and find ways to get people back to work safely and wean companies off government life support.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Bob Dixon
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Companies should look to their shareholders for cash.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      That’s never going to work

      • Hope
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        But your Tory govt did bail out the Bain’s which are private concerns! Your Tory govt did everything it could to decimate the car industry. Your blogs made that clear and you kept asking why Hammond and Carney were behavingmas they were to slow the economy. Tell us now how their Govt actions helped our economy?

        Many on this blog were,still telling you in March to fix the roof before another economic hit, you wanted more debt! You got what you wanted. Please tell us how all this money is going to be repaid and by whom? It appears Johnson is going to use Corbyn’s magic money tree. As Con Woman constantly points out, he is a bottler and unable to make a decision and stick to it. How many U-turns last week?

        Dowden recently said at the propaganda briefing that the govt is proud of overseas aid! Proud to borrow nearly £20 billion each year (UK Govt overseas aid and contribution to EU overseas aid) and give it away without proper account! Trevellain boasting during this crisis how much she gave away. Your lot are worse than Blaire’s New Labour but not quite as left or as bad as Corbynistas. How about a little conservatism injected in your party!

        • Hope
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink


        • Mark B
          Posted May 27, 2020 at 5:33 am | Permalink


        • Bryan Harris
          Posted May 27, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

          Was that addressed to me or JR

          Not sure what you are accusing me of?

          • Hope
            Posted May 27, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

            JR, not you Brian. I enjoy your blogs.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

          Labour Government in 2008. And the Govt was culpable for the 2008 crisis, that’s why they bailed out the banks and offloaded the blame to the bankers too – because the people can’t sack bankers.

    • Nigl
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      And their approval I guess if the company is going to issue more shares/dilute their capital? If they are quoted on one of the Exchanges more rules apply, issue a prospectus including the financials, historic and future., deal with any current Bank covenants, By the time that lot happens and the big if, they get approval, they will have run out if cash.

      We see European governments rushing to bail out their largest companies, many of whom were basket cases anyway.

      We mustn’t go down that route. There is plenty of liquidity in the Market. Use this as an opportunity to restructure, cut bloated payrolls especially at exec level, unprofitable services, unnecessary real estate etc.

      After every recession companies with good management emerged leaner and fitter. Good times makes them lazy and then inefficient.

      HMG as an easy touch, and it will be, is a recipe for us the taxpayer to lose money and the company to limp on.

      HSBCs board is allegedly demanding deeper cuts than those already announced (35000) that will need real world wide reconstruction. This has been needed for over a decade with Management incapable of achieving it despite soothing words to the Market. This crisis looks to finally have forced them to take proper action. BT/BA/Post Office etc especially where this is still a public sector overhang should be following suit.

      And Sir JR you keep talking about the private sector. What about the Public one? TFL and no doubt many others. Extraordinarily inefficient, overstuffed, too many layers if management some paid ridiculous amounts.

    • Hope
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      JR, you cannot have it both ways. You condemned Hammond and BoE for decimating the U.K. Car industry. Now do not want to help it after putting it on its knees?

      Instead of Tory govt punishing VW like the US, Hammond increased vehicle tax for diesel owners when encouraged to buy them by the previous govt! Johnson said the motorists will feel they have been conned!

      I note Germany taking a 20% stake in Lufthansa, but forcing Greek companies to be sold! How about EU state aid and competition rules? EU forced banks like Lloyds to be broke up after receiving state aid. Barnier still banging on and demanding level playing field imposed on U.K. last week. Anyone going to tell him to get stuffed?

      After yesterday’s briefing by Cummings it is good to see that all house arrest conditions are now gone and we do whatever we like. Not that it applied to Johnson, Symmonds, Gove and Jenrick.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        “How about EU state aid and competition rules” – -they are for the rest of the EU – not applicable to GEUrmany.

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink


        “I note Germany taking a 20% stake in Lufthansa, but forcing Greek companies to be sold!”

        Darling, I shouldn’t worry about it any more. You voted Leave and got your wish.

        Worry about corruption at the head of our government instead and, as you so rightly point out, after the Cummings affair it will be difficult to persuade people to follow the rules.

        • Hope
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

          Margaret I would like UK Govt. To ban Lufthansa from U.K. Airports, no access to our markets with such unfair competition. UK should not allow BA, easyjet, Virgin etc to be put at a disadvantage. Also the Germany state aid was to prevent any takeover/buy out.

          The same for Air France/KLM if given state aid by Macron.

          VW lost its case we read, now for other countries inside and outside EU to seek damages and compensation from it. Ban exports, if it was good enough for British beef good enough for cheating VW emissions that effect people’s health! Aggressively go after the company.

          All UK Govt. procurement and tenders to U.K. Firms only.

          Chinese virus internal U.K. Matter only.

        • a-tracy
          Posted May 27, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

          Darling is so condescending, you wouldn’t like it margaret if we all started to address you with “Darling”.

          “after the Cummings affair it will be difficult to persuade people to follow the rules.”

          Why the unions are telling us their people are terrified of going to work? We are being told old people have been so petrified to leave their homes it is causing mental health problems. We are told families are so fearful of going into A&E they are leaving it too late to get help for people.

          Were you similarly worried about this when Kinnock went to Wales to see his parents, you’re not telling me the Kinnocks couldn’t arrange a medical delivery for themselves with their friendgroups etc. where they live?

          • M Brandreth- Jones
            Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

            ‘Darling’ actually is a bit ‘Absolutely fabulous’ intended to be a put down but in reality it backfires into a demonstration of the users ego and EI.

        • dixie
          Posted May 27, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          Oh but we should pay attention and penalise EU companies for any and all anti-competitive practices, the less than level playing field.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Why on earth would a shareholder put cash into a business losing money? A car business in particular. Let’s face it, the outlook is not great. The days are over of loads of people buying new cars on PCP every 2 to 3 years. Apart from the waste of precious money, it is environmental vandalism changing your car every two years.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    The main thing killing the car industry is the government’s misguided climate alarmist agenda. People largely do not want to buy impractical and expensive electric cars (given current limited technology) but are reluctant to buy a new car that might shortly get banned by governments. This especially as they do not really reduce CO2 emissions anyway.

    Worrying that Claire Perry O’Neil on the Week in Westminster (thank goodness she was fired from the Cop 26 lunacy) thinks the best Greens “in Government” are Michael Gove, Zak Goldsmith, and Carrie Symonds. Needless to say non of these people have much or any grasp of science, climate realism or even reality in general.

    Geography, English, no degree and Drama I think – respectively.

    Zak could not even come close to beating the appalling dope (the tubes are perfectly safe and being cleaned with hospital grade cleaners) Sadiq Khan!

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Well, Sir John, have you ever read a book that counters the Climate Change Alarmists’ case?

    • BOF
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Carrie Symonds on Government?

      Cause for concern indeed. The other two are bad enough!

      • BOF
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        Correction. ‘in Government’

    • Ian terry
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink


      The main thing killing the car industry is the government’s misguided climate alarmist agenda

      Totally correct and for government should take it back to the one man who has done more than most to potentially decimate the British car industry. Gove. All those months ago when with one statement made without ever engaging the brain about diesel engines closeley followed by May and her zero CO2 bill. Only if we are lucky a handful of politicians understand the need to have in place infrastructure that will support any new product or market. It will take another 25 years to even have half of what is required to support these crack pot schemes. Now we have politicians of every party hammering with draconian taxes all manner of diesel propulsion with little or no understanding of how real change management actually works. They should all be shown the door to the wall at dawn that is how bad it is.

      JLR employs tens of thousand both directly and indirectly if they go to the wall which their owner might decide to just walk away as being the best option. Who picks up the tab. WE DO THE TAX PAYER.

      Don’t give them millions but give them a two year tax break by removing a lot of the initial taxes on new cars, get them producing, selling and making profit then tax them to claw the money back. Tax the older vehicles and get them off the road, more new vehicle sales cascades down through the industry a real positive knock on effect. Politicians have got to accept that diesal and petrol engines are going to be around still for a lot of years until they get their As into G and sort out the infrastructure. How many millions were paid out this bank holiday weekend on constarint payments. Total utter madness

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Ian Terry great post.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Quote so! The Government has killed the car industry; I can’t see it picking up if the green crap remains Government policy. I have not replaced my car and now our household has only 1 car instead of the usual 2, and we live in the country. What is the point of opening the sales sites if nobody is buying?
      I think people are buying cheap second hand cars in preference to new ones in the anticipation of growing them away when they get the horse and cart, rather than buying the second hand car as the second car.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        fully agree

      • Fred H
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        well done Lynn. I’ve been promoting with others on here unloading extra cars down to just one. Most people, especially the older ones, not travelling to work/volunteering every day have previously found one car plus public transport was fine. In an odd situation call a taxi?
        Good for the planet – and in my case good for 2 fellows who were keen to buy my oldish BMW and MX5. Much cheaper in the long run.
        People discover the reality of older cars still being perfectly reliable, and ideal for lower mileages.
        Chasing the latest gimmicky cars full of ‘toys’ and the boastful new plate is fine if that does it for you. Some of us are past all that.

    • Christine
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      This is exactly the reason I’ve not changed my car.

    • hefner
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Oh please. We are in 2020, the deadline for any hard restriction on ICE vehicles is 2040 at the earliest. It is still possible to get such a new ICE car and run it for twenty years. A math/physics/engineering genius as you are should be able to figure that out. shouldn’t you?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Yes but some local authorties certainly will do. Bristol bans diesel cars from 2021 for example. So everyone will have to buy new camper vans and horse boxes I assume. Will they bad those hot air balloons too. They burn loads of gas.

        Anyway governments move the goal post all the time. They are always looking for excuses to mug people.

        Invest in a pension with one set of rules and within months of you putting your investment in they will have moved the goal posts to mug you with a lower cap, lower contribustion limits and a 55% mugging tax on drawdown.

        Ask tax to death Osborne and Hammond. They have largely done the same with buy to lets too.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        Hefner. Oh dear, we don’t trust the government to slap sky high taxes on diesel cars well before that. They are already rising at stupid levels and they could go to well beyond what people are reasonably expected to pay. It’s this uncertainty that is holding people back. Give me my 4×4 any day but not with the kind of taxes being talked about.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Costs and restrictions will be implemented incrementally to ‘wean us off’. My new resolution is to give Govt the bare bloody minimum to stay legal. Not a penny more!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          It is surely everyone’s moral duty to avoid taxes (as far as legally possible). The more you give them the more they will waste.

          Surely almost anyone can think of the better ways to spend money than most things that government do with it?

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Ah! The clarity and good sense of Lifelogic to start the day, and what good sense.
      I was half way down with reading the posting before I checked the person posting.
      Some affect boredom with repetition of Lifelogic’s main points. They do bear repeating too.
      The added cost of everything because of the foolish futility of Climate nonsense.
      Do you want your new Jaguar gift wrapped in Red Tape?
      For protection Atlantic convoys had to proceed at the pace of the slowest ship.
      Lockdown shouldn’t be dictated by the panic-stricken fears of those who remain content to continue the superstitions of masks and inviolable unsocial distance.
      Let the people choose. Let business breathe again. NOW.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      JR asserts caution to taxpayer funding big companies yet the taxpayer is throwing money and subsidising the electric vehicle market like there’s no tomorrow

      What level playing field or consistent approach

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        And subsidising the renewable industry and some insane rail projects.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Though I do quite like electric bikes made me feel sixteen again. Though I have actually not bought one yet.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        and more red tape, unlike the rest of the world they can’t be drive on the road or footpath (only private roads) otherwise require registing as a vehicle and taxed and insured and mot’d….all the fun gone

    • dixie
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      The irony of someone who boats they do not buy new cars and anyone who does is an idiot complaining about what others do that damages the car industry.

  3. Peter
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Big business helped. Small businesses go to the wall.

    Suits those who want control over populations.

    • Christine
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Same happening in the USA. The FED is printing money and buying up mortgage debt and shares to keep the richest 1% afloat. Rather than being bailed out these large companies should be cutting their bonuses and fat cat pay. I’m sure there could be massive savings in both the public and private sector if waste was tackled.

      • UK Qanon
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        Trump is control. The FED is going down.

  4. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    JLR have struggled for a while now John particularly since the introduction of higher taxes for diesel cars and the extra tax for cars over a certain price. Nobody is sure about the future penalising taxes in the pipeline future and are delaying buying a new model. If JLR go under then the Midlands will face a crisis as they employ thousands with thousands more dependent on them. Stop penalising people for wanting to spend their hard earned cash on a luxury car. This isn’t Russia and we don’t all want a Traban. I know many here will say a new car is a waste of money but people must be given the choice to buy what they want to without being penalised.

    • jerry
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      @Fedupsoutherner; “Stop penalising people for wanting to spend their hard earned cash on a luxury car.”

      JLR lost their way long ago when they chose to be primarily a luxury car brand, rather than simply include some comfort, nothing to do with higher taxes for diesel cars, hence now there are more 4×4 JLR products in Chelsea than in UK farm yards, not that farmers have given up buying rugged ‘cross-over’ 4×4’s.

      • oldtimer
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        Well JLR has increased its sales since Tata purchased the business from Ford. It has reinvested many £billions in new product development and manufacturing facilities despite being under significant tax and regulatory constraints and the ambition of people like the Transport Secretary to put it out of business by accelerating the demise of the ice. The smart move for Tata would be to think through how it might relocate more of its JLR operations to a more favourable investment environment. The UK’s is distinctly hostile.

        • jerry
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

          @oldtimer; JLR can’t do as you suggest, in the same way as BMW [1] didn’t dare move final assembly of Rolls Royce’s out of the UK, even though the cars are (to my understanding) mostly built using many parts imported from Germany – the “Made in Great Britain” still stands for something.

          The smart move for Tata would be to get back to basics, given the likely worldwide economic climate, at least in their 4×4 range. The original Land Rover of 1948 was designed to be as much a small tractor as a road going vehicle, there was even provision for a tractor like PTO to the rear and engine driven winch at the front!

          [1] nor VW with Bentley

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, so What? I don’t want expensive holidays and we don’t eat out like many of our friends. If we want to buy a luxury car why shouldn’t we? But don’t put extra tax on just because of that.

        • jerry
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

          @FUS; All I’m saying is, if a company want to shift their customer base, fine, just don’t start bleating when sales go belly up! At one time JLR (well at least the 4×4 part of the business) had sales that were somewhat assured & immune from the general economic climate.

    • Adam
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink


      User demand pulls what is needed towards it. Businesses that need Govt finance to exist might be nearer to useless.

      More people working from home reduce the need for cars. Consumers with less money to spend may be unlikely to upgrade to a new car yet might take advantage of a sale discount from any source eager to regain money rapidly. All business competes, often with scarce resources, for consumers now with even scarcer resources and the added scare of becoming infected. Govt buying shares in business can delay failure yet cannot create demand for the unwanted.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      F U S

      Well said a good thought process especially regarding freedom of choice

    • agricola
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      The root of the problem is having a conservative government in name, but an invasive socialist government in reality. And not a technically well informed one at that, lawyers to a man.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        fully agree

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Hear Hear
      You’d think there was a government plan (social engineering) to get everyone to drive the same electric vehicle same colour, same size etc with all the taxes and restrictions etc placed on the combustion engine car
      Sounds like a communist state to me

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        With limos restricted only to Comunist Party Officials with their specil Zil lanes!

        • glen cullen
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          We are all equal but some are more equal

          Like the many MPs un-affected by lockdown

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Only a fool or the very rich would buy a new car now.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        how many Clarkson’s are there?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        Even before they were rather an extavagance for people who felt they needed to shop off the new letter on the number plate and the shiney metalic paint.

        I think the saving I have made by not buying a circa £25K new car every year and then sensibly invested the money over the years has saved my the cost of a couple of nice houses. I usually buy cars at about £5K and run them until they are no longer worth fixing up.

        • Bob
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

          “I usually buy cars at about £5K and run them until they are no longer worth fixing up.”

          Very sensible, especially if you learn to do some basic maintenance yourself, it can save thousands or pounds, and often achieve a better standard of work because it’s your own car and you take the time to do the work properly unlike the mechanics who work on a flat rate scheme and often cut corners to keep within the allotted time.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        Depends on what your passion is. I could leave more to the kids but they’re getting enough as it is.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      How many people can afford a £60 grand Range Rover? Loads if it’s available for £599 a month! But who is going to provide the finance on a car that might be worth next to nothing in a few years.

    • John Waugh
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      A few days ago the Trabant car popped into my memory ! It must be due to the current events .What i remember clearly was a statement by a worker in Eastern Europe from that time which summed the situation up pretty well. The statement was-” we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us ” . Hope we are not heading that way.

  5. Mark B
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Am I the only one that thinks we are heading back to the 70’s ? Mass unemployment. Government subsidies to keep badly run and inefficient companies going because to not to do so would be seen as being nasty. And we can’t have that as that would hurt some Tories feelings.

    Here is a little joke.

    What is the Tory Governments favourite pop group ?

    Wet Wet Wet.

    It would be funny if it were not serious.

    • jerry
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      @Mark B; If we are not careful it is not the 1970s we are gheading back to but the 1930s!

      What is the Tory Governments favourite pop group ?”

      Talking of musical jokes. I haven’t been able to get the UK’s 1967 Eurovision entry out of my head since late Saturday, not sure why…

      • Fred H
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        very good!
        I initially thought you were indicating someone facing his Waterloo !

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Boom bang a bang bang?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        😂😂 puppet on a String!

    • Peter Wood
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      I think the phrase you are looking for is ‘Darwinian economics’.

      Government cash creation will only make it worse.

      Dinosaurs – the rock from space has landed..

    • Hope
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      The nation suffered, particularly, strivers, savers and the prudent, following the bankers greed. Tory govt imposed austerity for ten years. At the same time instead of reforming parliament after expense scandal, through stealth over time helped themselves through greed to prevent any changes they promised. Nothing done whatsoever of substance to change rules or bring bankers or MPs to justice or conform to normal society rules.

      We now have the Tory govt punishing the same people again. I despair at those who voted for the Tories.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        I didn’t really want to – but in Sir John thought the Tories needed someone with feet rather more rooted to the ground.
        Perhaps it hasn’t made any difference.

        As the Who sang once ‘ Won’t get fooled again’.

      • Iago
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        What austerity?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink


        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 27, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

          Certainly (virtually) non in the largely parasitic state sector.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      We refer to ‘Drowning Street’ in our household. And MSM are all out to get rid of the mop aka Dom, another great northern lad of whole we are all immensely proud!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Of whom perhaps?

        Indeed it is not as though he went to war on a “dodgy dossier of blatant lies” after all.

        He just sensibly drove to Durham taking very sensible precautions.

        Were he to be fired then what sensible person would ever take such a job again?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Mark B,

      I think you are correct.

      This Conservative Govt has chosen to create a negative supply side shock and its risks are accentuated by the BoE trying to create a positive money supply shock. The Conservative Govt has empowered unions, declared particular groups heroes and spread patronage to those from which it seeks support- initially individuals and soon to be firms. Punishment of then prudent continues. The Govt has deprived the people of liberty in so doing putting the police against the people. It turned off council services and curtailed general education. It cancelled democratic elections. Throughout it has released incomplete information, given jumbled communication, spread irrational fear and yet kept slipping in the ‘world leading’ phrase. The PM has stubbornly maintained no scientists in the currently key roles in Cabinet, preferring those with limited experience or advisers that can run a campaign. Without an understanding of scientific methodology and epistemology the PM can continue the pretence of following and so not questioning the science. Despite months of studies the Govt has not clarified (released) the extent of antibodies in aysmptomatic patients; in general the Govt seems unable to identify the key questions for policy around which to align scientific advice and advisers. Ironically the Conservative Govt maintains an international aid budget whilst validating a lockdown policy that poorer countries follow at huge threat and cost to the lives of millions. The Home Secretary has confirmed the UK’s low income future with her immigration thresholds, but on the bright side ……

    • Hope
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      JR, suggest you read three articles in Con Woman today. Timothy Bradshaw on Brexit asks good questions and Gove’s failure over N. Ireland border. Another is PESCO giving command of our military to EU and the motivations of remainer Tory MP select committee chair of Security and defense still wanting to be part of Galileo! These Mayhab Trojan horses should have been ousted by your party.

      There should not be any hidden ties and costs to EU under Mayhab’s dishonest KitKat policy. Investigation still not undertaken. Underhand Tory remainer MPs must be watched and brought to account at least or better still sacked.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      I wonder what your prescription is? I find your position rather contradictory. If you DON’T help companies out that need it, you will have mass unemployment. Much as I am against this obsession with the endless mass production and consumption of new cars, I would like to see government money used to change the factories over to producing something useful and less destructive to the environment.

      • Nannette
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Let the shareholders bail out these companies! Some have made MILLIONS from their shares… why should the hardworking taxpayer pay a penny?

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

          Pay it out in unemployment benefit instead. That would be helpful. Money for nothing and no return.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

        Government only picks losers. Why else would it want to subsidise them ? It uses money from winners to keep the losers going. This prevents the winners from growing, creating more jobs and wealth. In the end the losers drag everyone down. All government intervention achieved was to slow down the process and destroy two companies rather than the one.

    Posted May 26, 2020 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    A desperately disappointing leader though most of us knew he’d be a pushover for the left and so it’s proven. The left’s powerful and well organised forces that are now spread across both the State and the private sector will eventually drag him down

    He’s simply not prepared to stand on a platform and declare war against the left.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      But JR is!

      • Original Chris
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        …but JR is not in a position of power. He can only talk and write but take no action. That is no good for what this country is up against: full onslaught by the Left aka Marxists, who have infiltrated most institutions, aided and abetted by a weak PM who is a left of centre globalist, apparently committed to the one world government agenda of the globalists. That is why he cannot bring himself to behave like a true Conservative, who would never have contemplated Huawei, never permitted Hinckley or HS2 to continue, never have permitted the foreign aid and climate change scams to flourish under his watch, who would have got the police to go back to tackling and solving crimes instead of being agents of social engineering, who would have reduced iniquitous levels of taxation, who would have drastically reduced centralised government control over us and who would have returned our freedoms to us.

        I think Boris is a disaster, but then I never had much hope for him. Being able to spout classical references in jest is not an essential requirement for a sound and effective PM. Too many were seduced by his bumbling nature and witticisms, just as so many were seduced by the shallow, image conscious David Cameron. What a disaster the Tory party is.

  7. Sakara Gold
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Everybody wants to see people getting back to work safely.

    However, very worrying information was released by the NHS over the weekend. Just over two weeks after the mass invasion of the beach at Weston-Super-Mare in Somerset, Weston General Hospital is suffering a huge spike in virus cases. The Telegraph reported yesterday that this is so bad that they have had to close their A & E department.

    While the rest of the media were in a frenzy over Dominic Cummings’ trip to Durham, they seem to have taken their eye off the ball over the numerous anecdotal reports of a “spike” in cases since the lockdown was eased. While we cannot be sure of the precise numbers due to the location data being officially “secret” there will be an unholy row once the press catch on to this.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      Is the spike young people from the beach or their parents?

    • Zorro
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Show me the figures.


  8. James Bertram
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    ‘Now we need to move on and find ways to get people back to work safely and wean companies off government life support.’

    Sir John, once again – we need to wean politicians off the idea of continued ‘social distancing’. The medical evidence doesn’t support it – under sixty-five and you are more likely to die in a car accident than this virus; under fifteen and you are 4 times more likely to die by being hit by lightening. Where are the politicians with a rational perspective?- social distancing is a complete nonsense for all but the elderly and most vulnerable. No more furlough, no more support for big business, no more excuses. Politicians, please hold your hands up, admit you have made a gross error of judgement, and get the country back to work immediately, and back to normal [There is no ‘new normal’, just propaganda].

    • Zorro
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      They are not adults, they are immature children unfit for power. All they have done is distil fear into power.


  9. jerry
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    But what if the customers do not have the money to invest in the companies or their products, perhaps choosing to be responsible and exercising caution, after all when some companies are reporting near normal trading even though they have staff furloughed and offices closed… Simply extolling people to take more cruises back the 1930s, when the RMS Queen Elizabeth sat unfinished on her slipway, would not have made any difference!

  10. Iain Moore
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    We currently have the Government trying to shut down the aircraft industry and the car industry with their zero carbon lunacy, to help industries they are trying to close down doesn’t seem like joined up thinking. Perhaps the best help they could offer is to stop trying to close our industrial base.

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      It is all in line with UN Agenda 21. Frightening stuff, and apparently our Boris is signed up to all of this.

    • Zorro
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      They are only undertaking the Maoist policies they hold dear to heart. JR will not publish the background of no. 10’s public policy advisor. JR will not tackle this and has become part of the problem.


  11. oldtimer
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    I am a member of a Land Rover customer advisory panel. The company has been very active exploring how best to provide vehicle servicing, test drives and sales completion services in the lockdown and beyond. It already offers the means to buy on line. The launch of its new Defender has been totally trashed by the lockdown. It is unknown how many, if any, pre-orders will be cancelled by would be customers. The UK accounts for about one quarter of sales; it’s other markets are also still in lockdown or about to open up. Resumption of production will be slow because it needs the whole supply train to remain in step – an issue already evident in the USA. The collapse of Hertz, the car rental business in the USA, has suddenly released 400,000 used cars onto the market. This will not do new car sales any favours. JLR has c£4billion of liquidity in hand, including undrawn loans. Time alone will tell if it can survive on that lifeline as it tries to claw its way back into business.

    Reply They have not been willing to undertake remote transactions for vehicles during the closure period of the physical outlets.

  12. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Someone in the business told me that now is literally a once in a lifetime chance to get a great deal when buying a car – if you’re thinking of it do it now and haggle.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      a great deal – – or a big mistake?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Indeed second hand cars are a bargain, £2k get an excellent machine that will last many years.

  13. BW
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Give the 1950’s women their pensions back and I will see what I can do to get her out spending it. She is pretty good at spending.

  14. Ian @Barkham
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    While Jaguar Land Rover do employ a large number of people in the UK. It is not a UK Company.

    The perspective here should relate to how much its owners own country taxpayers are will to cough up. Not forgetting that the magic of the EU comes into play also, the Defender replacement went to Slovakia after receiving EU taxpayer funding. So UK jobs lost, funded by EU sweeteners.

  15. Peter
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    The Dominic Cummings attacks continue.

    I did actually wait and watch it all live yesterday.

    I thought Cummings explanations should put an end to all that. He was comparatively smart (for him) in a shirt with a collar. He was not abrasive or sarcastic and he explained at great length what happened.

    This meant the press corp did not have much to attack him with. Early questioners had the best chance of drawing him out. By the end, the others decided to go with their preplanned line of questioning as they had nothing else in their arsenal. So we got the predictable call for him to apologise. He answered all of these with patience even though he had to repeat earlier statements many times.

    The subtext to this was that it was the big chance to get rid of a key player, to undermine Brexit, to deny Boris a key aide.

    I do not recognise much of the subsequent reporting of this press conference.

    Radio 4 continues the battle with talks of unhappy ministers etc. Hopefully this is their last hurrah. Boris should now be able to swat Keir Starmer at question time on Wednesday. Then it is business as usual.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Peter agree with your pre planned questions comment.

      The Press were made to look foolish, because the were still asking the same silly questions, when the very detailed explanation had already very clearly been given.

      So many old so called facts and statements, now proven to be fake news, with even the Police now altering/withdrawing their original statement/comment.

      If Boris were to ditch DC now, then the Media knows that all they have to do is pick on another person they do not like, and hound them to death until they are sacked.

      We then have the media choosing who serves in Government.

      After all of this we still have the media having ago at DC this morning, as if he has not given an explanation at all. No wonder the public are getting fed up with the media, who I think have been an utter disgrace.

      • Peter
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        ‘If Boris were to ditch DC now, then the Media knows that all they have to do is pick on another person they do not like, and hound them to death until they are sacked.’

        It would certainly give a boost to the media. However, I believe that just getting rid of Cummings would suit them very well. They know he is determined and resolute in his advice. Boris on his own would be more shaky.

        That’s why it’s important Cummings stays.

    • oldtimer
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      I saw it too. I had beforehand taken the precaution of reading the leaflet with advice that accompanied the PM’s letter that was delivered to us by post. It was very clear about the circumstances in which it was permissable not to observe the lockdown. Mr Cummings satisfied those circumstances. The political editors who then asked him questions were clearly either ignorant of the rules (which is inexcusable) or were well aware of them but decided they could ignore them with impunity (equally inexcusable). I now regard them all with utter contempt.

      • Peter
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        ‘The political editors who then asked him questions were clearly either ignorant of the rules (which is inexcusable) or were well aware of them but decided they could ignore them with impunity (equally inexcusable).’

        Not just political editors or journalists either. I believe these people decided to ignore ‘the rules’ and also Cummings explanation. Their latest line of attack is that he ‘broke the spirit’ of lockdown. That’s code for ‘we don’t like it and we will continue to agitate in the media against him’.

        Of course, some idiots do still continue to insist that Cummings has broken ‘the rules’. They hope they can persuade the general public to interpret ‘the rules’ as the basic government strapline for lockdown – without looking any further into the detailed advice.

    • Nigl
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Indeed an out of control press pack baying for a scalp. This has little to do with his actions, totally being because of who he is and what he represents plus of course his major achievement putting it up the Remainers.

      It is now so transparent that people I know who generally followed the news and believed much of it, now switch it off. The media’s claim to represent the people by holding the elite to account gets more risible daily.

      And what about weak Tory politicians like Robert Haflon, tweeted his support for Cummings initially then crumbled in an instant presumably because of the responses he got. Made the usual excuse of a ‘brain mistake’ message to him and the like. We don’t believe you. Makes you look even more stupid.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink


      “Hopefully this is their last hurrah”

      Except for a few more resignations?

      • Peter
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        A Scottish junior minister? ‘Mr.Nobody’ as he was referred to in the press. Scottish Conservatives are fairly insecure anyway. He might be worried about his future.

        Cummings has a reputation for bluntness and upsetting people – even
        ERG Brexiteers. So it may be their chance to get their own back.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        I will be delighted if all the Remainers resign. So I’m hoping for a few more too Margaret.

    • Bob
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink


      “it was the big chance to get rid of a key player, to undermine Brexit, to deny Boris a key aide”

      Got it in one.
      They’ve had the knives out for him since he was given the job last year.
      A cross party effort by Remoaners aided and abetted by the MSM and civil service.

  16. Ian @Barkham
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    A lot of big business only exists as a result of taxpayer handouts. This practice then gets muddied with the companies being domiciled elsewhere for tax.

    In other words the man(or woman , taxpayer) in the street pays twice. The taxpayer pays for the wealth, infrastructure, security and health of a nation. Big business gets to freeload, not contribute equally, at the expense of those that are trying to get off the ground.

    It might sound warm and cuddly that they employ people, but that is only while the mood suits them. They soon retract to their home country when the going gets tuff and leaves all those jobs in the lurch.

    It is the in equality in our whole tax structure, it was meant for another age, another century. We need to up date the system that makes it equal for all. That would mean there would never be in a remotes need for handouts or inducements.

  17. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    If the government doesn’t get it’s policies right then yes, @Mark B has a very good point..
    It does seem strange that the taxpayer is seen as the emergency lender for big businesses, when companies really should have assets stashed away for a rainy day – If a business doesn’t operate this way then you have to ask why?
    The government needs to take a cool fresh look at events, and stop any ideas of panic – THE only thing that will help businesses is for us to get back to normal immediately… Whether lockdown is considered a success in preventing the spread of CV or an absolute disaster for the economy and our way of life, the government has to make up it’s mind what is most important.
    The more chat there is about ‘things will never be the same’ ETC – The more this encourages the more extreme in authority who want to impose their own version of the future up on us all. We cannot allow our country to degenerate into totalitarianism.

  18. Ian @Barkham
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    You say ‘might need government money’ to the best of my knowledge no UK Government has money – just access to our wallets.

    The removal of that phrase from society would go a long way towards answering the ‘Give Me’ part of the population

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink


  19. Andy
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Of course JLR will have asked all that. They are not stupid.

    But in their case there is no point saving their UK operations anyway when you intend to kill them with no deal Brexit in a few months time. Let the jobs go now.

    Talking of JLR – I wonder if Mr Cummings was behind the wheel of his Land Rover when he went on his inexplicable 60 mile drive to test his eyesight during the lockdown. With his child on the back. And his wife in the front. What a heroic way for her to spend her birthday. Being driven by a visually impaired man to a beauty spot to test his eyesight.

    The public inquiry is going to be fun.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Yes good point you can’t produce cars outside the EU.

      Toyota Honda and Nissan don’t produce cars in Japan

      Hyundai doesn’t produce cars in South Korea

      GM Ford and Tesla don’t produce cars in the US

      And of course VW don’t produce cars in Mexico – how could they when it isn’t in the EU?

      BTW, why are you expecting no deal you have repeatedly forecast that the Govt will surrender to the EU’s terms? Just like you used to assure us that the EU would never give up the Irish backstop.

      It’s always funny reading your posts.

      • Andy
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        The EU didn’t give up the Irish backstop. Johnson capitulated and put the border down the Irish Sea – which was the EU’s first suggestion anyway. The EU literally got the first thing it asked for – albeit after two years of Brexiteer incompetence. Something both May and Johnson said no British PM could ever agree to – until Johnson agreed to it.

        It was funny watching Mr Duncan Smith last week expressing his ‘disappointment’ that there would be a border and checks between GB and NI. Remember he literally voted for a border and checks in the withdrawal agreement. Did he even read it? Doubtful.

        And for cars of course they are built all over the world. But our supply chains are integrated with the single market. And Rules of Origin requirements – which you’ve never heard of – will be your undoing. I don’t work in the car industry so I don’t care. But you’ll need your excuses to explain away the job losses.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Bishop Auckland a beauty spot 😂😂😂 you have never been up north have you mate?

  20. John S
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Jaguar sources parts from China as well. Another reason not to bail them out. If it goes into administration I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chinese make an approach.

  21. Sea Warrior
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    My local Jaguar dealership shut in response to GOVERNMENT guidelines. Before COVID-19 hit, I had been there a number of times in connection with my most recent purchase – a lovely XE in Loire Blue – and the showroom was never busy enough to create a health hazard. Sure, test-drives present a particular challenge but the show-rooms should never have had to close and, in any case, should have re-opened before the car factories. Now, Sir John, kindly get pubs’ beer-gardens open as quickly as possible – to get more people in off furlough, to get people out into the sun, to get rental payments going to landlords, and to get VAT on its way to HMRC. This government, like May’s, has more of a talent for crushing the life out of swathes of business than encouraging them.

  22. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    The Government were destroying the Car manufacturers, before we had even heard of Coronavirus.

    Taxing by emissions, taxing by value, restrictions into cities, Air pollution taxes, congestion charges, and even adding hybrid cars to the list of unwelcome vehicles which will be banned by 2035.
    Given we do not know what future lunacy is planned, we do not have much of an incentive do we.
    Electric vehicles in their current form are simply not the answer for most people either.

  23. Ian Wragg
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Nationalization by the back door.
    France is doing it so we will follow. EU will accuse us of violating state aid rules and fine us but ignore the rest of the EU. Place your bets.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      What utterly groundless, but hand-wringing, wet-lettuce, victimhood-shrieking yet again from the Right.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Are you getting a bit tense Martin, as leaving the EU approaches?

      • Original Chris
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        Those are the adjectives reserved for the Left.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Martin all that is constantly emitted form you lot, Aka ‘the wrong’.

  24. BOF
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    The best way for companies to get more more money from their customers is to end this insane lockdown so that customers can actually get to the showrooms and shops.

    If people are not working they are not earning.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink


      They better hurry up. Even McLaren is making 1 200 people redundant.

  25. SM
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I remember my husband’s small company having very serious financial problems after the ERM debacle, and a significant proportion of the staff having to be made redundant, at a time when there was virtually no work coming in. How did it survive? The three directors worked themselves to the bone 24/7 without any breaks, and for nearly a year went without their salaries or any of their very few meagre benefits in order to fund the redundancies and keep the company afloat.

    Perhaps some of those big businesses who have paid their executives lavish salaries and bonuses could now expect some similar loyalty and dedication in return?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Yes the day interest rates went to 17% curtesy of kind Mr Major was the day of highest suicides in the county.

  26. Richard1
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Indeed we need to get back to work. The govt should take the credit for having avoided any overwhelming of the NHS and the 1/2m deaths and mayhem so confidently predicted by shrieking leftists and get the restrictions lifted. No need to bail out businesses once they are free to operate.

  27. Nigel
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Sorry but not a taxpayer problem. JLR is owned by Tata of India, a very wealthy auto and industrial conglomerate.

    Shareholders must bear the pain of failure……. that is how capitalism works. If Tata cannot stomach the pain……. sell on the cheap to someone else……. that is how Tata acquired JLR in the first place after all and Ford and BMW took a bath I recall.

    What goes around…….

    • The other Christine
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Well said, sir.

    • forthurst
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      They’ve also done very well out of the Global Warming Hoax, as clueless politicians exported our jobs to India with subsidies from us because their CO2 doesn’t count, apparently. Don’t give them a penny of taxpayers’ money.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      To true

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink


    • Andy
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      Except when shareholders can’t or won’t help tens of thousands of people lose their jobs and taxpayers have to step in anyway.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        And when they do it is usually a waste of taxpayers money.

  28. agricola
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Government needs to back off their precipitate utterings on forcing a timetable to go electric for all private transport. The problem is emissions to which there are technical solutions that can be introduced without turning the whole industry inside out and directing the market down a route which is totally inadequate. Government needs to revisit this madness to green during the current lull in production and sales.

    As of today I would like to see an end to the media feeding frenzy directed at Dominic Cummings. Maybe he was technically wrong but morally right in what he did, in truth I do not know nor do I care. What is obvious is that the media have nothing better to do than stir the mud. Before anyone tells me that the media are Christ in a chariot righting wrongs I would suggest they caste out the mote in their own eyes. How many media would survive an in depth investigation into their sex habits, what they are currently smoking or ingesting via the nose. To me they are a largely useless rabble in love with their own voices. Were I in Boris’s place the media would become a suitable training exercise for new recruits to MI5, an incentive to more rational behaviour.

    • rose
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      He was not technically wrong. This is why the mob is now saying “Never mind the detail or the facts…it is how people feel.”

      Conservatives are mad to go along with this, letting themselves be manipulated by the Left.

      The lying mob should be made to apologise for their destructive lies.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink


      “How many media would survive an in depth investigation into their sex habits, what they are currently smoking or ingesting via the nose”

      But they are not running the country. And they get sacked when they fail rather than kicked upstairs.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

        who in the media got sacked?

        • rose
          Posted May 28, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

          Some of them have been in continuous unelected power for many decades now. Longer even than the civil servants.

      • agricola
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

        However the media do try to run the country, but in reality are voices minus responsibility.

  29. Richard1
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    I thought Dominic Cummings provided a perfectly sensible explanation for his actions and it is clear they were within the rules. What would all those puffed up self-righteous journalists have done in the same circumstances? Called 999 and handed the problem to someone else?

    Wasn’t their questioning repetitive and fatuous?! The only thoughtful one is Robert peston. I think in stiff competition the most irritating and inane is sky’s Beth Rigby. I haven’t seen the channel 4 man Gary somebody before but he was exceptionally pompous.

    No wonder much of the MSM is toast commercially.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      Let us at least hope for a period of silence from sir Keir Starmer who has appointed Stephen Kinnock to the shadow cabinet after he had actually been spoken to by police – unlike Dominic Cummings, for a flagrant breach of lock-down to visit his parents.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        probably thousands felt they needed to visit and assess the situation for (elderly) parents.

        We have children/grandchildren 20/30 and 50 miles away. We are all living in houses with gardens. They contact us by phone/ facetime/ zoom. We are NOT allowed to meet – meeting 1 of them being totally ridiculous.

        We haven’ t ‘seen’ them for how many weeks? Missed 2 grandchildren’s birthdays. Advice needs to confirm meeting is okay – – BUT no hugging kissing handshakes.
        We can get to the gardens via side access.
        Ideally we should not be entering/using items from the houses.
        Keeping any distance is quite reasonable.

        Government get real – this really cannot continue.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Quote so!

  30. BOF
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Off topic, but do Conservative MP’s realise how much support among ordinary voters they stand to lose should they force the resignation of Dominic Cummings?

    I think Breitbart is correct that DC came back to work in time to stop a well advanced plan to postpone Brexit, alledgedly.

    • The other Christine
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Of course, we know this furore was nothing about Dominic Cummings movements but the fact that he stopped a well advanced plan to postpone Brexit. It’s not only the timing of these accusations against him (all ludicrous, I might add) but also the well established machinations of the civil service that point the finger at the deep state and its glove puppet, the MSM. The fact that Cummings was heavily criticised by Conservative MPs was doubly shocking. Clearly party loyalty is a thing of the past.
      It’s all disgraceful and disgusting in equal measure.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      It is all about Brexit, the re-moaners still think they have a chance of screwing the country into the ground.

      • Andy
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        You have literally left the EU and you are still moaning. Perhaps you will never stop moaning?

        Your Vote Leave cabal are fully in charge. In their first six months they have managed 60,000 excess deaths, the worst recession in 300 years, a requirement to hire 50,000 extra bureaucrats and they’ve announced plans to put a border down the middle of our own country.

        We do not have to do anything to undermine Brexit. We just have to sit back and laugh at you as you fail. The next generation will undo it.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 28, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

          Gosh now Vote leave are behind the Corona virus.
          You should tell the media andy.
          It needs exposing.

          It is like you have developed BDS
          Brexit Derangement Syndrome

      • Fred H
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

        not only remoaners.

  31. Ian @Barkham
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    An observation. The mainstream car manufacturers do already have websites that permit the taking of orders without the interaction of a dealership.

    Tessler only sells that way. There is the school of thought, it is the dealership for new cars that is on the way out. The would become second hand only, but that is being killed off by UK tax policies.

    The contradiction being of course is the UK Exchequer punishes anyone who dares buy a new car. Then keeps punishing subsequent owners for 5 years. You cant buy and economical more long term more environmentally friendly vehicle without being financially punished.

    An ill thought out policy just to give the appearance of being on message. It does nothing practical to achieve its objective, it just demonstrates how far successive governments are out of touch with the realities of the world we live in. Or in other words the UK Government has already confined the UK Auto industry to decline without any corona virus hiccup.

  32. Stred
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    The government listened to the CBI when deciding on its unique and generous furloughing policy. Many of the big businesses employ staff in marketing and research who work using computers most of the time and could have meetings online or by phone.
    These firms have been protected from the reduction in sales and income by cutting their staff costs and the removal of business rates . Some large international businesses have even refused to pay rent. They will be able to spring back when the lock down is lifted.

    This contrasts with small self employed businesses, which have been given little help except loans and benefits. They will be expected to pay for the furlough in their taxes, which are likely to be raised.

    Taxes from Vat on non essentials, fuel and tolls have
    plummeted. Income tax, NI and government pension schemes have been lost on furloughed staff, which are many times the number guessed by the government.

    The decision to extend until October is another disaster in the making. Firms such as car hire and commercial property rental are already going bust, having few staff and high capital purchases. Hopefully, the other countries opening up shortly will lead to the economy restarting.

  33. George Brooks.
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    The government has plenty of other ways of wasting our money and we certainly don’t want shares in a sector of industry that government policy has effectively trashed.

    The attack on diesel engines in particular and the internal combustion engine in general coupled with the promotion of all electric vehicles was and is daft in the extreme. As an ambitious target it has merit, but we need 20 to 30 years of development to get there. Battery capacity and horse power of electric engines is at about the same level as the internal combustion engine was during WW1.

    If this policy is not modified there will be huge job losses in the motor industry and don’t try and blame it on Covid-19. That would be disingenuous in the extreme to do so, because all this pandemic will have done is to accelerate the rate of job losses.

    As an aside, if Cummings had had an electric car there would have been a good chance that he and his family would have ended up stranded about 10 to 20 miles short of their destination unless he had put it on charge after getting home from work!

    • miami.mode
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      GB, talking of WW1, a Conservative politician, Sir Eric Geddes, prior to his election in December 1918 in a stump speech said “We shall squeeze the German lemon until the pips squeak!”

      Transfer that to today’s motorists and the Conservatives haven’t changed much.

  34. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Who is going to but a car (or indeed a house or new letting) online. These are not items that you can just return like music and clothes.

    The government caused this, the government needs to bail out otherwise successful organisations that can not trade.

    The government needs to return us to normal as soon as possible so that successful organisations can trade and that includes being able to move us around on public transport. This is the crux – how do we get around? Working from home (full time) is not as productive as attending the place of work regularly.

  35. Fred H
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    from the BBC news site

    Ireland’s taoiseach Leo Varadkar did not breach coronavirus restrictions by having a picnic at a park with friends, his spokesperson has said, despite an official’s warning against such activity. The spokesperson said on Monday that Varadkar “broke no laws, breached no regulations and observed public health guidance”. The statement was issued after photos of Varadkar and his partner Matthew Barrett standing in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on Sunday were shared on social media. Both topless and wearing shorts, the pair appeared to be having a picnic with friends. Under the current guidelines, four people who are not from the same household can meet up outdoors, provided they observe social distancing.

    But last week, the assistant secretary to the taoiseach’s department, Liz Canavan, urged people to avoid unnecessary trips outside, including picnics. She said: “If you’re visiting a public amenity try not to stay too long at the site or have picnics.”

  36. beresford
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    The Government are set to re-open a number of shops while banning a large proportion of the population from using a bus or a train to get to those shops. Isn’t this a good way of convincing the owners that their businesses are no longer viable and they should therefore fold?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Public transport is the key to reopening.

      without confidence in being able to get around the economy can not recover.

      We have staff who are now comfortable at home who are using being anxious of using public transport as the reason to remain at home.

      In this litigious society who are we to insist that they must come into the office when the government is saying if you can work from home you should.

      Do they not realise how much management time is needed to keep people remote?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      +1 the owners of cafes and hairdressers are anticipating these social distancing costs and closing their businesses already. Lots of redundancies for the Govt to fund longterm.

  37. ChrisS
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    The Dominic Cummins issue is a fascinating case of a media frenzy led by the BBC.

    I have dipped in and out of the Today programme this morning since 8am where fully 40 minutes out of 50 have been wasted on the subject. Martha Carney in conversation with Polly Toynbee, went well beyond the point of being an impartial interviewer.

    I do not know Mr Cummins but my impression from seeing him frequently emerging from Downing Street, scruffily dressed, is that he was probably a bit of a political thug. From his press event yesterday, that opinion has mellowed just a little. His explanation was plausible and well presented.

    As the parents of two boys, my wife and I, in identical circumstances, would certainly have done exactly what the parents of this 4 year-old boy did. Nobody would want their precious offspring looked after by strangers in London, one would always turn to family.

    Laura Kuenssberg, in particular, appears to have conveniently “forgotten” that Suella Braverman, the Government’s chief legal adviser told the cabinet that no laws were broken.

    Clearly Mr Cummins has made many political enemies, including every Remainer in the political establishment and media! The reporting has been both biased and just plain wrong. Whether this was deliberate embellishment or not, we can never be sure.

    Even Durham Police have had to admit that their first statement on the subject was “misleading.” It now turns out that the officer Mr Cummins Senior spoke too was from Special Branch and the subject was his son’s security while at the farm. This puts a totally different spin on the interaction which was previously described in the media as advice on the rules and guidance related to the virus with the clear implication that it was initiated by the Police.

    Neither the media or Durham Constabulary come out of this event well and it has done more to convince me, if that were necessary, that Conservatives can never get a fair hearing from the media.

    • miami.mode
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      …….I do not know Mr Cummins…….

      You do not know how to spell his name either.

      Bear in mind that at the time London was in a state of near panic on the spread of the virus and quite a number of well-known people scarpered to quieter less infected areas of the country when they had the means to do so.

  38. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    The Government has knocked the bottom out of the second hand diesel market. A friend of mine is a used car dealer and moans about it. If the Government wants to ‘Go Green’ and in addition help the car industry, it should look to help the sale of electric cars. Two things stand out (1) The provision of more charging points in public places and (2) Broadening research into battery technology to provide more options and longer life. For the most part, private enterprise is best placed to provide these things; the Government should ensure that providers get good profits.

  39. Everhopeful
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Are we really happy to lose this manufacturing capacity and its desirable products?
    Misguided govt policy made company stop production and made sales impossible, then surely there should be some help?
    Germany is shovelling squillions at THEIR car manufacturers…so GERMAN cars will be available to customers who might otherwise have bought a Jaguar Land Rover.
    Govt glad to have brought dentists and hairdressers,pubs,restaurants to their knees??
    New role of govt? To cause perfectly viable businesses to go bankrupt ( on the toss of a coin?). Suppose the left wing announces a “second wave“? Govt will cringe and obey!

    And could the govt. just STOP subjecting ministers to the filthy, left wing press/interviewers/inquisition? These lefty twits are positively shaking with fury…no balanced views there! Left media TIMED this to coincide with decisions re Transition period extension.
    We all know that, but for the left/Remain, we would be living normal lives. Lockdown indeed.
    And could this seal-fin-flapping PLEASE BE STOPPED. Here absolutely NO lockdown has been observed ever ….yet they clap and bang and generally disturb, every Thursday night, getting more and more out of control.
    And govt allows Mr C to be hung out to dry!! It owes him their majority.

    • rose
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I believe a lot of people voted to get Cummings.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

        people don’t react well when faced with the truth they have been avoiding.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink


      “…so GERMAN cars will be available to customers who might otherwise have bought a Jaguar Land Rover.”

      To please their INDIAN owners?

      • Edward2
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        Do you not like Indians Margaret?
        Is it only UK companies owned by UK people that you prefer?

  40. Caterpillar
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Indeed the Govt should not ‘want to’, nor should it bail out big business.

    (An argument for a sovereign wealth fund can be made but that is for another day and other reasons. The Govt/Treasury shouldn’t now be wishing to become a hedge manager).

  41. Christine
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    When will they learn that the countries with the best economies have the smallest Government interference? We need to cut red tape and get rid of most green nonsense that is stifling our economy. When will politicians’ learn that their meddling only sends more of our manufacturing abroad? I feel like our country is turning into soviet Russia. If Government wants to help then invest in the science. Innovation is what we need not legislation that controls our lives.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      That’s to sensible and beyond the grasp of most of the political class

  42. Bush policy 2006
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    This policy of lockdown came from thesis of 14 year old schoolgirl.
    All politicians supporting must now resign.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      ABSOLUTELY! Best idea yet.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Spot on!

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink


  43. Pragmatist
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    First. Decide what Big business means
    Second. Decide what government means

    Third. Come to the startling conclusion the heads of major food retailers and their ‘cabinets’ should not be government.
    Stop them dictating what I should eat, when I should eat it, what price I should pay for it, and if it is available to me, how I should stand in its stores, if I am admitted and when. Insist the General Election has named heads of retailers on the ballot papers and their ‘cabinet members’ with Opposition retailers standing against them
    In short, end lockdown now. Get into the real world and stop mucking about with British people.. Government, the present one, deserves all that will befall it. Not good!

  44. Newmania
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I think I agree with this , probably need my eyes testing ( better jump in the car and drive around at 70 mph to see if they are working )

    • Fred H
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      are you currently in the playground – socially distanced?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      It’s your brain that does not work.

      • steve
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        Lynn Atkinson

        “It’s your brain that does not work.”


    • glen cullen
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      while celebrating your wifes birthday

  45. The near future
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    We could go for the disestablishment of Food Retailers,Wholesalers and State.
    But since the Tory Party is in full favour of nationalisation in practice then we may as well go the whole hog( if available and at twice the price, generally, past their sell-by-date and dirty and foreign, overseen by a muscle bound freak) and nationalise the lot.
    This will be done after the next General Election anyway, for sure.

  46. Simeon
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I have not posted here for almost six months. The ‘game has been up’ for at least as long as that.

    The occasion for me posting now is, absolutely, a sideshow, and in and of itself pales into insignificance when set against the decimation of the economy. Nevertheless, politically, the actions of Cummings, and his subsequent, very belated, attempt at justification, might be of significance, though this is dependent on the British public having the wit and tge willing to recognise what has happened here.

    The reason I post is to give some credit where it is due. Douglas Ross has exhibited a degree of decency and sound judgement that has been absent from the Conservative Party for a long, long time. Is it too much to hope that he will be the first of many resignations? Probably. But Mr Ross at least has acted with honour.

    • Simeon
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      To clarify, Cummings’ attempt to justify himself rested entirely on the premise that his circumstances were exceptional. Plainly, his circumstances were not exceptional. Neither he nor his wife and child were exceptionally ill at any stage. The lack of potential carers in close proximity to his primary residence was not exceptional. Everything else he mentioned in his statement is just not to the point.

      I don’t doubt that he perceived his circumstances to be exceptional, given he thinks of himself as generally exceptional. But this was, very clearly, a massive error in judgement borne out of an inability to empathise with other people.

      As a father, he should have the right to put his family first, even if that means the wider country is therefore a very poor second, i.e. nowhere, given the supposed circumstances. But as chief advisor to the PM, his actions are simply indefensible. To not see this is profound blindness.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink


        Having listened to DC statement, and to the preplanned questions, I think you may have made an error.

        Certainly not standing up for DC but he said his 4 year old child was admitted to hospital due to illness and kept in overnight.
        Do not think he would have made that statement if it was not true, as it is very easy to check out.

        The Press had an ideal opportunity to question DC in detail, they failed miserably because they simply wanted to rant off with a lecture thinking their views were more important than the facts.

        Have the Press apologised yet for getting so called facts wrong, or printing misleading so called statements ?

      • Robert McDonald
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        The criteria that the rules require to be applied is “reasonable”, not “exceptional”.

        • Simeon
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          Really? So within the small print of the guidance was licence for anyone to circumscribe the restrictions? You just had to be smart enough to realise this. As long as the individual themselves believed they were acting reasonably, they could do as they saw fit? Do you not realise how ‘out of touch’, consescending and insulting this sounds, not to mention absurd? Perhaps not, but the Torygraph, the government’s own fanzine, gave voice to two individuals and a couple who suffered stoically and obediently through their own struggles, and they certainly realised which way the wind was blowing.

          In exceptional circumstances, which this lockdown undoubtedly is, you need exceptional reasons to justify that exceptional behaviour is “reasonable”. Cummings’ case obviously lacks those exceptional reasons, and so his actions cannot truly be deemed reasonable. If he can get himself off on a technicality, that only goes to show that the guidance and restrictions he played a key role in designing were woefully inadequate. Furthermore, he’ll find that getting off on a technicality won’t play well with the electorate, to put it mildly. At best, it’s a Phyrric victory.

    • steve
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink


      “Douglas Ross has exhibited a degree of decency and sound judgement”

      No, he’s simply thrown his toys out of his pram.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        possibly to join the SNP shortly?

  47. rose
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Does Mr Ross not understand that either the MSM runs the country or the Government does?

    The list he gives as justification for his resignation is emotional irrelevance, worthy of a second rate bishop. He should have stuck to the facts. If he had, he would have seen no rules were broken, and therefore there was no reason to resign.

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted May 29, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      The problem is once they had decided to get him out for whatever reason, they would not have left him lone until they found something else!

  48. a-tracy
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    “The government should not want to bail out big business” – No, I agree especially big business whose products haven’t moved with the Green war on vehicles. My husband and I keep our cars for 15-18 years and will not buy a new model until political decisions about taxation and fuel for future motoring are reached, who wants to buy an expensive depreciating and maybe an unusable vehicle.

    However, the government is expecting the public to totally bail out the public sector, pay for private medical care and dental cover we are not receiving, libraries that aren’t open, bin collections that aren’t collected, council services that aren’t being delivered, none of the staff that aren’t working have been furloughed, this is why there is no pressure that there is from hairdressers and small business owners to sort this out and start re-opening.

    Tell us please who are the new cases in London? How did they catch it?

  49. Anonymous
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    The main thing killing our country is the misdirected lockdown which even two of the leading figures who created it don’t believe in.

    Lift it now.


    The MsM are bashing Cummings but it was they who bullied the government into this disastrous lockdown in the first place – Cummings took a media position on this. A targeted lockdown would have been best.

    I note that the BBC are determined to drive a wedge between the Government and The People. They cannot forgive the Tory landslide in Labour heartlands. They are keen to promote the idea that Cummings is a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do man of wealth (he has helped them greatly with this, I’m afraid) but when Boris was ill, working a 16 hour day we never heard of it and the BBC were determined to abolish war time phrases so as to thwart Boris The Hero on his survival.

    Behold the difference in energy levels.

    The BBC have done nothing but slate this government and never held to account PHE nor the NHS itself for the huge mistakes that have been made over CV-19. PPE stocks were their responsibility entirely.

  50. a-tracy
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Douglas Ross resigns over travelling after lockdown
    25 Mar Earlier today in the House of Commons I highlighted just some of the outstanding work done across Scotland and the UK to fight Covid 19. This list is far from exhaustive, but the message is the same to everyone. Thank You.

    Is he still in London?

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      If he travelled home to Scotland, how did he travel?
      Has he not left his house?

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        As this is turning into a total witch hunt Angela Rayner was live on Peston 25th March after lockdown, was this from her home or was she in London, she was ill in bed 27th March with covid19 symptoms when and how did she get from London to Stockport?

        Seriously how many of our MPs and staff from Westminster locked down out of London after their work in London finished who have homes in London and could have stayed because to quote Owen Jones “If potentially infected people from the hotspot of the pandemic travel across the country, they risk seeding the virus in hospitals and allowing a deadly illness to spread to vulnerable patients” because of the distance from their constituency?

        • a-tracy
          Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

          Plus Owen Jones lied in his article he claims Dominic “Cummings said his wife was ill and showing signs of Covid-19”

          DC from the Independent article said “she suddenly felt badly ill. She’d vomited and felt she might pass out. And there’ll be nobody to look after our child” these are not “showing signs of Covid 19” lots of people didn’t watch this interview they are relying on the press to tell the truth.

  51. Tim the Coder
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    The Government: We will ban petrol/diesel cars
    JLR: We are losing money because no one is buying our petrol/diesel cars. We need a bail out.
    The Government: Here. Have lots of taxpayers’ money, so you can keep making petrol/diesel cars we won’t allow you to sell.

    Mad. You are all quite mad.
    Stop ‘The Greem Madness’ NOW!

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Great explanation Tim

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Its as though the government are actively going against the will and wishes of the majority of the voting public

      The last general election was won by the Tory party not the Green party

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        I’m afraid the PM is green in every respect.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink


    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      A bit like the EU’s position on smoking: discouraging the habit while subsidising tobacco production.

  52. Anonymous
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    If we want skilled and prestigious work to remain in this country…

    I feel that the country that caused this situation will be making most out of it. (Someone here keeps praising them without mention that they let this disease loose.)

    It seemed for a while we finally had direction. The great four years of growth and optimism that we could have been looking forward to have gone. Instead we’re going to have a miserable four years of reactive economic firefighting with the Labour Party winning the next general election however hard we work.

    Cummings’ breach of his own lockdown rules is just the icing on a turd pie. But why/how is he of such importance ?

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Skilled and prestigious work needs skilled and prestigious employees, like those scientists, engineers and surgeons etc at Calais.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink


      What ever you think of the guy. He neither broke the rules or the spirit of the rules.
      The day after the rule were published at the daily briefing of 24 March, the deputy chief medical officer for England, Dr Jenny Harries, clarified exactly what was permissible. ‘Clearly if you have adults who are unable to look after a small child, that is an exceptional circumstance.’ and so on, and so on. And that is all that happened.

      Those that are up in arms are the re-moaners thinking they are getting their own back

      No one is complaining that ‘stay at home’ was disregarded by the leader of the opposition doing the tour of the TV studios the day after the PM was hospitalized

  53. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Looking at the crowds on the beaches over the weekend and on many other ovations I wonder why there is so much fuss being made over one man.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      The crowds on the beaches – -were they English having their traditional day at the seaside – or Border Force’s latest imports coming in?

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      I agree, Scottish MPs were in London after lockdown and when their work (in a workplace of high infection rates) finished in London around the 25th and 26th March they travelled probably by train or flights with other people to the Highlands of Scotland and elsewhere in the UK. They could have infected flight staff or train staff so why the big campaign now.

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        Also, if they give in to this media bombardment they’ll go after Boris next he went to Chequers when he came out of the hospital, and let’s face it without the media no-one would have known about DC’s journey so it wouldn’t have affected public movement and the media held on to their knowledge of his trip for a fortnight – why?

        Calling for people’s jobs and their living is a crazy response to this the punishment doesn’t match, does it mean any MP who moved after lockdown is in breach? Is Ferguson now unemployed or still drawing a salary, the Medical lady in Scotland who Nicola asked to resign as Spokeswomen is she now unemployed?

      • Watcher
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        I saw many SNP MPs on their way back to Scotland dressed up as nurses so they could get loads of haggis sandwiches in supermarkets in special early mornings openings. Miss Nurse Bunter was first in and got most of the grub

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Indeed though the beach photos are often misleading usually being taken with telephoto lenses making it look rather closer than it really is.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Occasions not ovations. Mobile phone at it again!

    • czerwonadupa
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Solely because he masterminded the Leave campaign & for which he will never be forgiven by the commentariat led by the BBC & who are looking for revenge.

      And did you notice their hypocracy & complete disregard for social distancing when pushing & shoving each other trying to get a photo of him leaving his flat & getting into his car?

  54. Ian @Barkham
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    A illustration of what is wrong in the Country.

    Sky news drive to Durham, reporter, film crew etc. just so the could ‘DoorStep’ Cummings parents.

    ‘Sky News thought it was an appropriate way to treat an elderly couple who have recently lost a close family member to Covid-19…’

    That is what our MsM says is them doing their job, informing the public and holding the powerful to account. On what level would that hold up?

    • Fred H
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink


      Come on Boris, you’ve had personal experience , DO SOMETHING ABOUT THEM.

      Start by crippling the BBC so-called NEWS organisation – – a pseudo political group.

      • steve
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        “Start by crippling the BBC”

        ……my sentiments exactly. They need to be taught a lesson.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely bloody disgraceful! Thousands of people travelled after lockdown to second/parents homes. Cummings did NOT! He proved to be conscientious and back at work the minute he was able. More than you can say for teachers!

      • steve
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        Lynn Atkinson

        “Absolutely bloody disgraceful!”

        Isn’t it just.

        I also find myself abhorred at the way the ‘journalists’ are allowed to be outside the guy’s home and allowed to harass him soon as he opens his door…if a bunch of lefties tried that with me I’d likely lay into ’em.

        If it’s dirt they want to play with I think the gov’t would be justified to dig some up on Labour & Remain hypocrites, see how they like it done back.

  55. RichardP
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    There is little point in wasting public money on our car industry when it is the Government’s misguided climate change policies destroying it. People genuinely do not know what to use for transport.
    At one time we were told to buy diesel cars for their low CO2 emissions, then petrol was preferred, then it was hybrid now it’s got to be electric, although goodness knows where all the electricity will come from. For a while public transport was flavour of the month but now we are discouraged from using it.
    What is the point of buying a new car online if we are encouraged to stay in and do everything online? Big Brother says the new going out is staying in, apparently we don’t need a car!

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

      Keep running the jalopy for now that is the sensible thing to do for now.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        Though in this weather and with little traffic electric bikes perhaps?

      • Fred H
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        ‘Jalopies’ have been MOT’d off the road for years – haven’t you noticed the general standard of vehicles improves over years.
        However the biggest problem I have are the lorries and buses belching out clouds of smoke – – are any ever failed or sent for scrap?

    • beresford
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      Very annoying when we have this daily presentation which starts with ministers celebrating having stopped people using trains and buses as if it is some sort of achievement.

  56. Blake
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Can’t imagine this dysfunctional PM asking business about anything ‘fcuk business’ and now after yesterdays performance we can see the PM cannot even sack an advisor for brazenly breaking his own governments rules on Covid- seems Boris and government cannot do without him so then what is the point of it all- we have now entered dangerous territory- think Europe in the 1930’s

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      It is not a sackable offence.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      He did nothing wrong. Even if you argue it was a breach of regulations offence it was like a parking ticket – a £50 fine not remotely a sacking offence. The witch hunt by the Guardian, Observer, BBC and the obnoxious left was appalling. What appalling people these are. Thank goodness he saved the Country from Corbyn/Mc Donnall/SNP.

      Charles Moore has it right today in the Telegraph today.

      • steve
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        I seem to remember an infamous Labour PM’s missus got caught stealing a train journey i.e fare dodging while anyone else doing it would have got a criminal record.

        I also remember-
        Labour First Minister of Scotland failed to refund the House of Commons for income he had received from the sub-let of his constituency office in Glenrothes while still a Westminster MP.

        They should think of glass houses and stones before throwing any. Bloody hypocrites.

      • zorro
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 12:25 am | Permalink

        Indeed, just get rid of the stupid regulations imposed on us when our Dear Leader Kim Jong Son panicked in March!


    • Robert McDonald
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Boring, and obviously wrong. Cummings did not break the government rules on lockdown, or covid as you see it. Obviously you do not read the facts — reasonable grounds, protecting a vulnerable child seems very reasonable grounds to act as Cummings did.

      • steve
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

        As I recall a certain Mr Hesseltine’s name was mentioned the other day, citing his opinion that DC should be dismissed.

        Hesseltine = pro-EU.

        DC = Brexit campaign.

        Go figure.

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      He has positively NOT broken any rules. The most you can say is that he has interpreted the GUIDELINES in a way that some others would have done differently. A reason for sacking him or expecting him to resign?
      What kind of a country do you guys want to live in?

      • MG
        Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        Cummings was in a position to respect the letter of the law rather than an enthusiastic over interpretation. No Policeman with an eye for his future would have debated it with him. The rest of the little people were not in the same position to debate the letter of the law with the enthusiastic authoritarian elements. Whether this makes the unfairness Cummings fault is a matter of interpretation.

    • Hardyboy
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      Problem is that Boris would be lost without him especially when it comes to these tricky brexit negotiations

  57. glen cullen
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I’m confused by this strategy

    You can drive anywhere, you can exercise all day
    Next week some shops and businesses can open
    The following weeks some more shops and businesses can open
    Churches, sport centres and restaurants have to remain closed
    Takeaway and drive-through, outdoor seating eateries are open
    You can still holiday in Spain next week but have to isolate for 2 weeks unless you travel via Ireland
    Schools are reopening next week unless your local authority says otherwise


    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Glenn, we never truly were.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      but we cannot drive for less than an hour to see children/grandchildren in their gardens – and they cannot come to us.
      Social distance and NO touching.
      Whats wrong?

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

        Not to the extent of people in france, Italy or Spain.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      We’re coming out of lockdown glen. slowly, these shops can’t open changing rooms and toilets – so that will cause problems, clothes returns can’t be put on the rails for reselling for three days, more stock problems.

      The travel via Ireland just makes the UK quarantine pointless, people have been arriving throughout on ferries from Ireland, whole families all sat close together in the lounge areas because they didn’t buy cabins, I wonder if they should all lose their jobs?

  58. Robert Bywater
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Better for the government to take a major stake in these companies than wait until the Chinese do. Remember, “the Chinese” are not businessmen, they are the CCP, hardcore communists in other words.

  59. ian
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    George Osborne and O’Neil who has been in charge of the northern powerhouse over the last 5 years has been organising big loans for all the new Mayor’s and councils up north, down south the councils call them LBO loans, they work just like PFI loans, most councils that have taken them out have 65 to 75 per cent of income going just to service the debts of these new loans and now they want 25 to 30 billion made available for family businesses up and down the country on top of the 100 odd billion for companies like JLR, wallpaper business comes to mind, they see the big bail-out in America and want the same in the UK, it a case of keeping the rich rich and making sure they stay the same, no problem for them, just plain sailing all the way. I am all for it, buy the lot up, it only a few trillions hear or there who counting not me.

  60. hefner
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Incredible, Dominic C. appears not to know about the bookkeeping of time-stamps in updated computer files. I am disappointed.

  61. Iain Moore
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I gather the German Government has bunged Lufthansa £8 billion of free money and protection from any take over. So what happened to the level playing field the EU was going on about? and will our Government continue stay silent on the predatory trading practices of other nations which has cost us dear.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink


      But it’s got nothing to do with us any more. We have left so have forfeited any influence we would have had.

  62. Lifelogic
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    You say ‘ “The Treasury were right to offer short term generous assistance”

    Not generous really you can only really be generous with you own hard earned money? Any most of it is loans too.

  63. ian
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    You know the big bail-outs are coming. One only has to look at the stock markets and credit markets to know that. The new British Leyland, owned by who. It was all going to happen anyway, just letting a virus take the blame looks better when in need of big bail-outs, in three to four years you will still of been where you would be anyway, all it means is you got the big bailout at the start instead of, at the end. The gov was going to pour hundreds of billions into infrastructure anyway with most of it ending up being malinvested to try to get out of the slump that was happening. Governments just get bigger as time goes by and bailouts malinvestments grow as well when gov involved with productivity going one way, down.
    At the moment the gov is taking on thousands of new staff without any layoffs and don’t wait for anything to change anytime soon.

  64. mancunius
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    That is well said, Sir John – a loan needs a business plan. What big business is doing is demanding money with (implied) menaces: threatening to make its workers unemployed if it does not get its taxpayer-funded handout.

  65. John Downes
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Dump the green crap.
    Until that happens there is nothing to be done.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately I think that all this is going to be used to impose a great deal of green cr*p!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink


  66. Dunc.
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    The problem is most companies work with huge debts while paying out dividends from huge cash piles.Its the insanity of capitalism, not using your own money to expand the business, no borrow it instead , then when it all goes wrong and cash flow dries up cry to be bailed out.
    And if that doesnt work call in the receivers and drag all your suppliers down with you.
    You all know its happening but cant see an alternative whilst maintaining everyones standard of living.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Is it the insanity of capitalism or the insanity of cheap debt encouraged by Govts and Central Banks since the GFC?

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      What % of companies do you believe do this Dunc.?

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink


      Agreed, its amazing how many companies appear to be working on a shoestring of cash held or in reserve, most appear to be working almost on a day-day basis having maxed out on borrowing, it almost seems like a giant ponzi operation.

      Its very rare that the Directors go short though !

  67. Freeborn John
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Why aren’t the RLNI working? Construction is back to work but life guards say they are in an impossible situation having to choose whether to save lives or risk their own? Surely they are not at danger out in the sun and sea air.

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      The are all unpaid volunteers,

    • Hardyboy
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      Deploying beach lifeguards was never a traditional responsibility for RNLI. In their original role and for hundreds of years RNLI’s calling was there for rescuing seafarers- fishermen and Navy or merchant sailors out at sea. Seems in calling for the closing of beaches they have overextended themselves- Lifeguards should be the responsibility for Local Councils.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      They’re in danger if they have to get close to someone to rescue them though Freeborn John. People know if they go to the beach and decide to go into the sea they are doing so at their own total risk now. I don’t believe it is fair to expect the RNLI to just watch people at play yet.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Apparently RNLI now spend a lot of donated money abroad. So they have lost my support and anyway, I don’t want rubber boats in the channel ‘saved’.

  68. David Brown
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think its right to assume tax payers don’t want shares in companies loss making or otherwise. As I understand it there is a report suggesting the GOV should buy shares in companies and dividends going back into the region where the company is based an example being Northern Powerhouse etc.
    My personal view is the traditional way of conducting economics and indeed forecasting needs to radically change its based on history and at best seen through rose coloured glasses – eg the 1980’s was supposed to be far better than 1970’s yet there was a serious deep recession in the 1980’s and of course strikes in 1970’s.
    My opinion is simply slipping back into the traditional comfort zone of economics after the end of Corona Virus.
    To me business and government approach should radically change. I’m not in favour of pure Capitalism or indeed Socialism, I do think countries like Sweden have a good model that can be evolved. I’m tired of reading the same old economic forecasts with modelling that has not changed for over 50 years
    Government should invest where appropriate, the national debt should not be seen as a bad thing after Corona as all nations have serious debt. May be as has been reported all the worlds Corona debt within nations should be written off totally and a new start made.
    I hate comfort zones when it comes to national debt through emergency situations.
    Ok a bit of a rant today but no mention of you know who!!!.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      David Brown,

      w.r.t. your first paragraph – if a region benefits from the employment why should it be just the region that benefits from the dividend?

      As I noted above, I agree with Sir John that the Govt shouldnt be bailing out big businesses. The question of a sovereign wealth fund is worthy of consideration, but this is an issue in and of itself. If the Govt wishes to change its manifesto program to a post lockdown program then it should call a GE and fight it based on its new programme. Democracy needs to be returned.

  69. Rambler
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    The last question asked of Mr Hancock , the Health Secretary today, related to the high number of coronavirus cases in Cumbria due to the influx of tourists. The Lake District was also mentioned in this regard.
    My Question. How exactly does a tourist to these areas transmit the virus to the local population? Any direct proof or any indirect proof by for instance a virus ridden hiking boot? Has one been seen through a microscope?
    I have visited both areas several times as a hiking tourist and later a car tourist and also in connection with my work at one time.
    I have hiked with others into the area and I cannot recall coming within coughing distance or any major distance to residents. The pubs are closed anyway now. I met via my work named people at specific adressess and automatically pre-virus was never in contact physically with anyone.
    Does the government actually have a clue how the virus is transmitted via hikers, even cyclists and car drivers? They do not make alot of sense in merely agreeing to “It was because of tourists.”
    Could there be another factor, the real one?

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Most of the cases in Cumbria have been traced to a single large gathering, as in a good night out. One super spreading , then onto the family groups.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 27, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        possibly the YCs – or the WIs …?

    • mancunius
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 1:36 am | Permalink

      ONS stats for Cumbria show that the 65+ age group is 25% of the population – considerably higher than the average for the NW (18.7%) and in England (18.4%).
      The entire 45-85+ age range has a far higher proportion of the Cumbrian population than the English average.
      Cumbrian County Council Public Health claimed in a report on 21 March 2018 that “2 in 3 adults [in Cumbria] age 16+ are overweight (66.9%)”

      Obesity, with diabetes and CVD as associated co-morbidities combined with advancing age almost certainly have a bearing on the severity with which some are dangerously attacked by the virus.
      Exercise also plays a vital role. A 2019 sports survey of exercise and sport participation in Cumbria revealed far greater local differences within the county than elsewhere. The lowest participation was “In Barrow-in-Furness [where] inactive levels have increased by 3.6% to 31.6%, which is 6.5% above the national figure.”

    • Know-Dice
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Maybe look at the largest employer in that area, the number of staff travelling in then going home distributing the virus.

      As you suggest hardly likely to be tourists…

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 27, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Surely the locals are in lockdown within their houses anyway?

  70. Everhopeful
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    So..the govt has announced that we can have “garden parties“.
    What does it think people have been doing on their nice 80% holidays??
    7 solid hours of ear splitting music yesterday and another 5 or so today.
    I hope no one ever again asks to “borrow” my vote…cos they won’t get it!

  71. Caterpillar
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Is it true that the Govt has stopped private sector antibody tests being analysed?

    If this is the case it is an elevation of the leftist absurdity now in power. Fund failing businesses but stop the innovative and timely – what absolute madness is this?

  72. Ian@Barkham
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Lufthansa gets a handout of 9billion euros, along with protection from take over. The EU level playingfield in action.

    They can now afford to undermine the competition and even buy them out with impunity

  73. Iain Gill
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    dont bail out big business

    bail out individuals

    and especially those is individuals who found themselves in one of the many gaps in provision of help during this crisis

  74. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 26, 2020 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Latest Coronavirus 7-day moving averages:

    Peak 03/05 5126
    Current 23/05 2482
    Over 50% reduction and still falling

    Peak 11/04 943
    Current 23/05 244
    Over 70% reduction and still falling

  • 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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page