Lock down rules

I have had many emails about the lock down over the last few weeks. Some have written to me to complain about their neighbours, alleging they have broken the law or the guidance. Others have written asking me to endorse a particular interpretation of the rules or guidance so they can do something they wish to do. Some have written seeking clarification without revealing their plans. More recently some have written complaining about Mr Cummings conduct, and a lesser number have written in supporting Mr Cummings.

I have sought to answer all of these consistently by explaining that MPs have no special powers to authorise conduct or to prosecute it. The aim of the law and advice is to limit the spread of the virus. Everyone has to exercise commonsense and remember the aim is to protect others from the virus. I have not rushed to judge others as they make their decisions about how to do this. I have favoured a light touch to policing, which requires consent. Only where someone breaks the rules with ill intent has it been right to prosecute. That has been the case of  the tiny minority who have deliberately breathed or spat into the faces of police and others to threaten or harm them. Many people have made choices or judgements that others would not have made, but each person’s circumstances are a bit  different.

I did not condemn Stephen Kinnock when he travelled to see his father for his birthday, nor call for his sacking from the Labour front bench for a clear breach of the rules. Constituents have pointed out they would love to visit their parents but did not do so as they thought it wrong. I suggested a tolerant approach.

I understand the anger of some over Mr Cummings. I believe him when he says he did not go to see his parents and kept his distance from them as he did  want to give them the disease. He is widely criticised for the journey to Barnard’s Castle though no -one apparently came close to him and his family.

 It has been clear for some days that the Prime Minister has investigated his actions and intends to keep him. His view is we must move on, tackling the next stage of defeating the virus and trying to rescue the economy. There are going to be more difficult judgements for people as we enter the world of Test and Trace, where co-operation of all is important to success. I am seeking more clarification of what the advice means by close recent contact.

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5 Comments

  1. Jess
    Posted May 29, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    If masks are effective why did we need lockdown?
    If lockdown was effective why do we need social distancing?
    If social distancing is effective why did businesses need to close?
    If WHO advice should be heeded why wasn’t lockdown lifted a fortnight ago?
    If experts are to be believed why is Dr Fauci’s opinion that the death rate is 0.1% or less ignored?
    If the death rate is far higher why does the NHS need to falsify death certificates and discourage autopsies?

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      And if there is a danger of a 2nd wave, why was the London Nightingale Hospital decommissioned so swiftly?

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Jess

      The simple answer is nobody really knows what works best as yet, they are all guessing, some with science, some with medical knowledge, some with a degree of common sense, some with a political agenda, the World Heath Authority included.

      The totalitarian Countries “appear” to have done best if you look at the numbers but can you trust those figures, but remember they have taken rather more drastic solutions, have curbed freedom, civil rights and humanitarian freedoms to a much higher degree than the more democratic Countries have imposed on their citizens.

      It comes down to choice really would you prefer to be locked in your home (from the outside with a padlock) like they did in China, would you prefer to have all of your movements traced by the Government as in South Korea, or would you prefer to have a choice about personal movement without going to prison.

      Also remember we are recording all deaths in all areas where Covid is suspected, most Countries are not doing that, and are recording only deaths in hospitals where covid can be proved to be the cause etc.

      Just remember no cure yet found, no vaccine yet available, and you can be infectious and a carrier before showing any symptoms.

  2. gyges
    Posted May 29, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    The behavior of the press throughout the Cummings affair was fascinating. It betrayed a biased pathological hatred of the Tories such that it destroyed any capability to be objective. Even leading to the suspension of a journalist who was emotionally hijacked by this strange contagion. The fourth estate is the only failed estate I can see.

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted May 31, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      And I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that most of the Tory MPs calling for DC’s dismissal are remainers at heart. They need to get rid of one of the principal architects of Brexit ahead of the June talks – probably their last chance to try and force an extension to the Dec.31st transition.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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