Big fall in the economy

As feared and predicted, UK GDP fell a massive 20.4% in April on top of the fall in March already reported. There were few surprises. Cars were down 41.6%, and  food and beverage 38.8% as you would expect given the lock downs. Retail managed to keep the fall to a very creditable 8.9%, demonstrating the way on line took up some of the slack with an explosion in the digital alternative to a visit to the shops and with heavy demand for food from supermarkets.

What is perhaps more surprising is the large fall in Health, down 11.4%. It underlines the impact of Covid 19 even here on activity. Whilst we are all grateful to the many nurses, doctors and support staff who were working very hard and taking risks to care for very sick patients with the virus, other large sections of the NHS closed down or just dealt with emergencies. Much of the private hospital sector was also taken over for use as part of the NHS plans for Covid 19 and related healthcare.

Education also fell a hefty 18.8% as schools pared back to look after a limited number of children attending in person, and putting on variable amounts of distance learning.

It shows us that the public sector as well as the commercial sector has a job to do to get back to anything like normal. The NHS now has a massive backlog of elective surgery and non urgent treatments to provide, and has to reconnect with seriously ill patients who have kept away from hospitals not wishing to get in the way of pandemic emergencies, or worrying about picking up the infection.

Meanwhile the debate continues about one metre or two for social distancing, which makes a lot of difference to businesses that need to meet their customers in person. Government needs to communicate some optimism and confidence that we can create safe models of doing business so livelihoods can be restored and the economy can pick up some momentum.

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229 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    There are loads of reason to be very confident going forwards. The excess death figures are now only about 20% above normal, down from over 100% a few week back. Less than a winter flu. Get back to work with sensible precautions – the virus is largely on its way out.

    When someone cancels a trip to a restaurant or a holiday the restaurant and holiday company lose out but the customer saves money and had more to spent money to spend in future. The real problem we have is a hugely bloated state sector producing little of value, endless red tap, an expensive intermittent energy policy, a government pissing money down the drain hand over fist. HS2, subsidies for electric cars, renewables, carbon capture, endless over taxation and over complex taxation plus second rate, state monopoly education and healthcare.

    The virus also seem to have evolved to become less deadly and it is clear that more people have had it that many believe and many more are not (or not very) susceptible to catching it.

    “If” we get a sensible government or if this one morphs into one we will be just fine.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Let’s just be thankful we don’t have Corbyn.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        Indeed Boris and Cummings deserve a Dukedom each just for that.

        But they still look for too much like climate alarmist, big state, PC, tax to death, red tape pushing socialists to me.

        Just as Appeaser May, Cast rubber Cameron and ERM fiasco John Major were.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        But Labour would have simply followed WHO advice to the letter – not that they would have received any thanks – and the country would probably be in something akin to the the happy position of New Zealand by now.

        Its economy would therefore not be nearly so imperilled.

        Labour would not be held back by the puritanical American model of capitalism, and its constraints, which have precipitated this disaster here and in the US.

        They would have been pragmatic, not dogmatic, and equally so on the relationship with the European Union.

        • NickC
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

          Martin, You don’t know that Labour would have followed WHO advice to the letter. And if they had, Labour would have been worse because the WHO have been behind the curve.

          New Zealand locked down around the time the UK did. Importantly NZ closed its borders then, something you have opposed. And the USA has done better than the EU.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 14, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

            No, I did not oppose rigorous strictures upon people coming into the country at all, quite the reverse.

            But carry on with your endless fictions about other commenters, do.

        • Richard1
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          NZ has a population of about 4m and is thousands of miles from anywhere. The comparison is absurd

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 14, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

            OK, how about China, with 1.4 billion then?

            Or Germany?

            Or South Korea?

            Or Vietnam?

            Or Greece?

            Or Denmark?

            Or Ghana?

            Or Senegal?

            Or any of many other countries in a growing list now?

          • a-tracy
            Posted June 15, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

            Martin why did you bring Ghana and Senegal into this? Comparable Countries like Germany and South Korea – Yes this need serious investigation and comparison but the two Countries you mention are nothing like the UK and have a life expectancy (2017) of 63 and 67 years.

            And Denmark? Really you want to compare the whole of the UK with Denmark? Denmark could be compared to just Scotland.

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

          Martin

          Perhaps, but only if Dianne Abbott had completed the figures.
          Corbyn would not have had a clue !

      • Newmania
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        That is a very fair point but watching this Government is like watching a game of blind mans bluff played by an especially idiotic fat Uncle at Christmas . The relentless prat falls over the schools was almost beyond belief and I notice that even the sympathetic commentators , Tim Montgomerie , for example despair at the sheer incompetence we are witnessing.
        That Corbyn would be worse …is all we need to remember about that sorry episode , there is now an opposition and the vast lead of the early pandemic is now down to 5/6%

        There is a very long way to go in this drama and the furtehr damage Brexit will cause is now yet on the stage .

        • Richard1
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

          The schools decision is indeed absurd and dispiriting. But our militant leftist teaching unions have largely caused that. In Germany 2,000 teachers have petitioned to demand the right to teach children. What a contrast!

      • Tabulazero
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        Why? You did not notice that you the same economic policy ?

      • DavidJ
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        Indeed but we still need a massive slimming of the bloated and often unnecessary state sector.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      +1

    • NickC
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      When looking at death rates here and in other countries care needs to be taken to understand the differences in medical judgements and criteria used. Of course commenters such as Martin, Andy, etc, are only interested in bashing the government, not the measured analyses which will take time and effort in the future.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 14, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        I am interested in being able to lead a normal life, thanks.

        Unlike the lucky people in New Zealand – and in China for that matter – there is no such prospect in sight for us here and in the US.

  2. oldtimer
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    I am aware of one business that provides advanced wound and surgical dressings used in operations. It expects a fall of between 3 and 5% in its revenues compared with its previous growth rate of about 10% per annum. I think there will be a reluctance to return to hospitals unless it is absolutely unavoidable. Going there for blood tests or minor A and E reasons will be shunned by many. Unsurprising when hospitals remain dangerous places to be.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      oldtimer.

      Makes you wonder what all these people have done that used to flood A&E waiting rooms with very Minor Problems.

      Perhaps there is a real lesson to be learn’t here, if it was not already evident, that A&E is being grossly misused by the Public many whom only have minor issues which can be treated at home.

      Likewise there do not seem to be many drunks in Hospital any more taking up beds and wasting the time of medically qualified staff.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        A & E is used as the local health centre for many who shouldn’t be here.
        No questions asked they are treated and on their way
        Another scam is to fake symptoms and get medication to send back home.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    The BBC and lefty politicians still egging on the criminal mobs tearing down statutes at every turn I see. Have the police charged anyone yet, has Ms Dick done anything sensible or in the right direction for once? We shall see today. Why on earth have LBC taken Farage’s slot off him. He was almost the only person talking sense on this issue and was their best broadcaster?

    Especially when they have so many tedious, dim, left wing bores with slots.

    Who on earth wants to listen to drivel from the likes of James O.Brian and Maajid Nawaz?

    • Nigl
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      Once again nothing to do with the topic. Tedious, dim , boring closer to home than you would admit. Oh and add, all other views than mine valueless. Isn’t that what they did in Stalins day and now China?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        Not valueless – just deluded, misguided or lacking any rational or scientific basis often.

    • BeebTax
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      We could do with a British version of Fox. It would be more amusing and informative than the BBC.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        The BBC get worse and worse by the day.

        Even the lefty and extremely “Woke” J K Rowling get attacked for not being Woke enough!

        • Mark B
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

          LL

          The Left ALWAYS eat their own !

    • Irene
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      Anyone who considers Farage to be a broadcaster worthy of note knows nothing about broadcasting and understands even less.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        Well I may not no anything about actual broadcasting but I do know when I’m listening to someone who knows his subject and pulls no punches when informing me. Farage fits this bill perfectly. He is refreshingly honest and informative and I’d rather listen to him any day than the bunch of left wing loons we have now.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

          I may not know, not no. Sorry

          • Lifelogic
            Posted June 13, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

            Thanks, yes I do “know” that. It is the auto-correct combined with ageing eyes, a small screen and small on screen keyboard I was using!

            When I text to my friend Fergus he always gets:- Dear Fungus.

          • Fedupsoutherner
            Posted June 13, 2020 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

            L/L I was not correcting you but me.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted June 14, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

            @LL autocorrect can be a pain but the error is only published if the poster does not read the post before posting. A bad workman etc.

            I speak as someone guilty of posting without checking on numerous occasions.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

        I said he was the best one LBC had which he surely was.

        More of a chat show host and politician really.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

          talk radio host I meant.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        He was, however, cancelled for telling the truth.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

          +1 rather bit like James Damore.

          People often do not like to hear the truth.

          • Fedupsoutherner
            Posted June 13, 2020 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

            Exactly what I was saying

      • Fred H
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        He’s a politician – why do you imagine he should be a good broadcaster?
        Out of the hundreds of politicians (and civil servants) almost all are terrible in front of cameras and have not been trained to side-step the rehearsed trip questions yet hold an audience. At least he has serious points and views to make – you could have just turned off!

        • UK Qanon
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

          Farage does not play politics – similar to Trump. Tell it how it is.

      • NickC
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        Irene, So, you don’t like Nigel Farage then? Why didn’t you just say so rather than inventing a strawman about having to “understand” about “broadcasting” as a fake requirement?

      • DavidJ
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        He broadcast what the BBC and others tried to cover up…

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

          +1

          • Mark B
            Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

            ++1

          • Fedupsoutherner
            Posted June 13, 2020 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

            +2+a lot more

      • peter
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Rather a lot more than you appear to understand!!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Thanks goodness for Charles Moore in the Telegraph today:-

      “The Government can’t run away from this poisonous culture war any longer. Protesters are trying to efface out rich national story and retell it as purely one of racial oppression.”

      • NickC
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic, The English are as entitled to self-determination (self rule and the protection of their culture) as the people of Kenya and India.

    • Peter
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      With more protests planned for this weekend I do wonder about the conduct of senior police officers.

      Can they be disciplined for neglecting their fundamental duties to police – either arresting those breaking the law or preventing them from doing so.

      Can they be sacked for incompetence?

      With fewer numbers of policemen now, it is even more important they are well led. This is clearly not the case at present and the service needs to be overhauled. Police are no longer respected. Criminals no longer fear them. They have gone soft.

      Why should the public continue to fund an organisation that chooses to neglect real crime and prefers soft targets and imaginary crimes such as those relating to internet postings or public speaking?

  4. SM
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    With reference to the NHS backlog – the obvious way of dealing with this is to continue to purchase treatment wherever possible/suitable in private hospitals.

    Few of the public realise that they are entitled to ask for this service where there are long NHS delays, and to the best of my knowledge doctors very rarely bring this up as an option. I wonder why?

    • Nigl
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      Good comment. This could achieve, ‘via the back door’ the provider mix that seems to have made the German system more effective.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      So why would private patients like me pay the premium and wait in an NHS queue then?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        Indeed people who go privately should not have to pay four times over. Once for everyone else, then tax on the money they earn to pay for their insurance, then the insurance premium itself then the 12% now (than to Hammond) insurance IPT tax.

        That is not fair competition and leads to the dire NHS monopoly rationing system with some of the worse outcome for a developed nation. Perhaps why they manage a death per covid tested positive patient of about 4 times that of Germany and why they were so ill equipped and inept in this pandemic.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

          One fifth of corona virus patient infected inside hospitals it seems government scientist have disclosed.

          Did the NHS do more harm than good?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted June 13, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

            No only this they infected many people then kicked them out to infect (very vulnerable people) in care homes (or at home) often without even testing the patients first.

            The envy of the world as the BBC types like to put it.

      • SM
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        If I interpret you correctly, you are assuming you would be pushed to the back of the private hospital queue; that would obviously have to be carefully managed by the private hospital management.

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        They won’t Lynn, they are asking for their premiums back for the medical services not available in the private clinics, private hospitals and private dental cover.

    • BOF
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      SM, I am afraid that the private sector has been largely shut down by the NHS. I am waiting for a hip replacement so can vouch for this from first hand experience. They are not allowed to do anything other than life saving treatment and operations. OURNHS currently has huge spare capacity but not allowing the private hospitals to function properly.

      The people banging pots and pans and clapping have no idea of the true situation.

  5. Nigl
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    According to the DT this morning the two metre rule can be scrapped. Like face masks if it is ok now why wasn’t it months ago? Despite all the alleged testing, tracing etc (frankly few believe HMGs pronouncements) no one has told me how people are still getting it.

    Tell me that and I can add to/change my precautions. My common sense should be more effective than the nanny state risk averse stuff we have been given which has contributed to trashing the economy.

    Re your comment about on line, will someone now understand that the Canute money to push back the decline of the High Street is a waste. Let’s take the opportunity, relax planning regs to reshape, convert to dwellings rather than eat up green belt.

    Any way good news on the distancing, release the hospitality and travel sectors from their obviously unnecessary over cautious straitjackets.

    Lets get Boris’ positive klaxon blowing telling us and the world, we are back and the futures bright.

    • BeebTax
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      It looks like the government is using the pandemic to futher agenda 21. Destroying high streets to allow more accommodation largely for the immigrants coming in.
      Reducing the number of cars on the road to please St Greta of Thunberg and the green blob.
      Letting a small minority vandalise the country whilst cowering from the teaching unions.
      There will be no NHS or state schools unless the country gets back to work but being PC trumps all that.

      • steve
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        Ian Wragg

        I hope you’re wrong.

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

          I’ve known Ian for 48 years – and he very rarely is.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        +1

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        Why don’t you look at the many countries, from New Zealand to Denmark, from Greece, to South Korea, which are not having these covid 19-related problems and think seriously about why they are not?

        • NickC
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

          Or Sweden, Martin.

      • Original Richard
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        “Destroying high streets to allow more accommodation largely for the immigrants coming in.”

        Given that the Covid-19 pandemic will enormously increase unemployment to 10% (3m) or more I would hope that the government will call a halt to the bringing in of 600K immigrants each year in order to allow our unemployed to find jobs and to not put even further pressure on housing and our depleted public services including schools and the NHS.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          Our unemployed need to create their own jobs and that entails having access to small shops on the High Street.

        • NickC
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          Original Richard, You’d think, wouldn’t you? But this government, like its predecessors, is obsessed with importing colonialists to eventually take over the country.

      • DavidJ
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        I share your thoughts. if only more were aware of the UN Agendas 21, 2030 and now 2050, together with activities of the Soros family, Gates and others planning a world government. All for our benefit of course despite the plan for exterminating the greater part of the world population…

        The lockdown illustrates the level of control they can exert whilst their plans for 5G and “smart” everything give them a level of control as much or greater then Orwell imagined.

      • NickC
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        Bob, Unfortunately the government is teaching the “far right” that the government will only listen to violent thugs. This is the reverse of what the majority of law-abiding citizens want of course. But if the government doesn’t buck up it’s what we’ll suffer.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      You can convert commercial property to residential under permitted development (Ie without any further consent). You have been boring us with this line for a while. It’s not done because giving ‘online corporations’ a monopoly seems a bad idea. Can you guess why? Also commercial property is worth a lot more than residential and investors provide entrepreneurs with the wherewithal to self employment, you are demanding that those investors take a massive haircut.
      Then it will be found that small shops are required and the Planning Department – or alchemy department, will convert worthless state owned land into ‘new towns’. Great way to impoverish the individual and enrich the State.
      No wonder the country is in trouble, To many Conservatives would not recognize Capitalism as opposed to Corporatism it it punched them in the face, and almost nobody understands ‘solvent’, especially in government! That God for Cummings and Frost, – they do.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        Commercial property which is empty is worth very little.
        Our shop will be converted to 4 flats bringing in about £2000 pcm.
        The rent was only £750.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

          Must have been in a bad location. There is no housing shortage. So good luck.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      People have been getting it in care homes – from other residents and bank staff, and in hospitals – from other patients and healthcare workers. I would hardly blame either, as the PPE demand is colossal and supply was limited particularly in the early days. I do think though there should be discipline applied to doctors who don’t wash their hands.
      This is not the sort of message government wants to put out – they prefer the line that their measures are gradually working.
      If you want to take precautions, avoid crowds, travelling, people who travel and people who meet lots of other people.

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Why haven’t the police force had a spike of officers with it? They rarely wear masks, have worked usually two abreast within 1m physical distance all the way through this crisis, they stood shoulder to shoulder with each other clapping on Westminster Bridge with others a few weeks ago, they’re having protestors for a fortnight up close shouting in their faces, throwing things at them, a couple were friendly hugging protestors without a care photographed recently. Are they the new 11 cases?

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      “if it is ok now why wasn’t it months ago?”

      It’s simple maths, the effect of compounding risks. In this case the risk of catching the virus from someone already infected combined with the risk of meeting such a person. As one goes down, the other can be allowed to increase without increasing the overall risk factor.

      Say, at it’s peak, the chances of meeting an infected person was 0.3 (to pick a random value for the purposes of illustration) and the chances of being infected by that person at 2m was 0.1, the overall risk factor is 0.03.

      Now infection rates are lower, say the chances of meeting an infected person has dropped to 0.1, but, according to the scientific consensus, the chances of being infected at 1m may be 3x that at 2m, so the risk of being infected by such a person becomes 0.3. The overal risk factor is still 0.03, so no change in the overall risk even with the reduction in social distancing.

      That is why easing of social distancing measures needs to happen in line with reductions in infection rates in the population.

    • NickC
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Nig1 said: “no one has told me how people are still getting it”.

      Well, I’m sure they have, but I’ll repeat it. Hospitals and care homes are disease hotspots. And if the economy has shrunk by about 30% then about 70% is still functioning – much of that 70% does not involve working at home (RNHS, farming, food processing, transport, supermarkets, other shops; and water, sewage, electricity, and gas workers).

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        Where have you read the new patients this past week for example are from these occupations Nick?

        New patients in hospital for the first time in the past month with covid19 where did they catch it 7 weeks after lockdown started?

        If we were told who, where they caught it, how they caught it we can start to move out of homes methodically instead of guessing who and where is still spreading this.

        • NickC
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

          A-tracy, Huh?? If the purpose of the “lockdown” is to prevent transmission through society, then it follows that those people still working are available as transmitters. Hence my list. And most transmitters are asmptomatic.

          New patients caught cv19 as I’ve explained – because the lockdown is far from total; and because hospitals and care homes are infection hotspots.

          • a-tracy
            Posted June 15, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

            Perhaps we’re importing new patients Nick, people arriving ill from elsewhere.

            The vast majority of people working throughout the last thirteen weeks have been keeping to strict 2m distance rules, contactless deliveries, supermarket queuing conditions. I’m genuinely interested in what occupations people catching this virus who are completely isolated are connected with.

  6. Sakara Gold
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    All is not lost. Shoplifting is down substantially, as are assaults in pubs and restaurant food poisoning cases. Road traffic accidents also show a steep downward spike.

    There are large numbers of job vacancies in care homes, as well as plenty of spare rooms.

    George Osbourne has been sacked as editor of the Standard, to be replaced by David Cameron’s sister-in-law. Plenty of reasons to be cheerfull!

    • Hope
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Not true. He has become editor in chief.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 14, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

        contractual reasons to ‘move him sideways’ – no longer of interest. Stupid appointment in the first place!

  7. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    The debate needs to be better informed, and not driven by those that want to take advantage of the situation.
    The cost to the economy has been horrendous, but the cost to our society has been far worse.
    How many young people will never get worthwhile employment – How many small businesses will noy reopen – how many will be left on the out of work / unemployable rubbish pile – How many lives will be ruined – How many found the stress too much and took their own lives?
    Real statistics would help the debate.
    I’m still of the opinion that any actions taken, masks, vaccinations, etc, should be determined by the individual. Efforts to impose the authority of the State must be resisted because that will border on anarchy and further destroy our way of life.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      I don’t believe the cost to the economy have been seen by people furloughed or ‘at home’ yet. Their previous work for too many will never resume if their employer doesn’t start people returning next week the odds are getting higher for them to be made redundant or only have part-time shorter hours on offer.

      The Unions in the education sector can only agitate as they have been doing for the past three weeks plus all the Labour compliant Council leaders because they truly believe the public will just keep paying the taxes and their members wages in full because we’re run by people also on full wages for doing half or none of their usual workload! Plus if we haven’t missed some of the billed unprovided services in three months then do we need some of the things and work roles we’ve been paying for. I know people at home cutting their expenditure, paying off their credit cards and making big changes.

      Private Medical cover – are we getting our insurance subs back for a service the government has removed – the premiums shouldn’t be charged, tests have been cancelled, Motor Policy premiums have been charged for three months people haven’t been able to use their cars, are they going to get rebates?

      Just wait until people start getting laid off it’s going to get ugly. If teachers don’t want to find a way to get back to work, we their true employers might start to ask for an alternative for our children or lower taxes for removed services.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        “Motor Policy premiums have been charged for three months people haven’t been able to use their cars, are they going to get rebates? ”

        I asked that very question of my insurance company, and how they had the nerve to raise prices, again – as they do every year …They claimed of course that other factors apart from accidents had been high — which I still do not believe.

        ….but this just shows how greedy our society has become – We can expect no rebate, there will always be reason against …

      • Original Richard
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        “The Unions in the education sector can only agitate as they have been doing for the past three weeks plus all the Labour compliant Council leaders because they truly believe the public will just keep paying the taxes and their members wages in full because we’re run by people also on full wages for doing half or none of their usual workload!”

        I do not think it is right during these extraordinarily difficult economic times that public employees who are not working full time for reasons other than health should be receiving full pay.

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 15, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

          Original Richard, if these teachers were genuinely concerned for the children in their care, why won’t they, indeed why don’t they insist on starting their summer holiday break early at the start of July and going back mid-August as they do in Scotland.

          Any teacher with holidays abroad at the end of August would have to self-quarantine on return to the UK and be unable to teach in September, they should move their holiday to July or later in the year, lots of them terrified of going back into the classroom surely wouldn’t want to go into an airport, on planes and mixing with others on coaches and in resorts anyway will they.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted June 14, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        Our quote for private cover for the next year went up 20%. Far from getting premiums back we have been penalised for using it.

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 15, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

          Narrow Shoulders I’m sure you do but please shop around, we did and were surprised at the variation in quotes for the same thing.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted June 20, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

            Thanks a-tracy we did indeed shop around and have reduced this year’s premiums with a different provider. This is the first time kin 10 years we have had to change provider to get abetter price. Which is quite strange.

  8. agricola
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Not surprising. If you cease almost all commercial activity GDP falls. The trick will be how to wind it back up again, not forgetting those organisations that would seek commercial advantage in the process. The first to show have been the teacher unions. Then to do it all without causing a resurgence of Covid 19. To achieve it we need temporary control of that element of the population that anarchically have their own axe to grind.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Society has lost it moral compass says Sir Nicholas Soames, He quite rightly condemned the ‘unspeakable and cowardly’ actions of anarchists and far-left activists who had ‘hijacked’ the Black Lives Matter protest movement and defaced Churchill’s statue by daubing the word ‘racist’ on it. He did not mention all the BBC and passive encouragement of many arms of the state and even the police forces.

    But did this man not vote for the treachery and total immorality that was the Benn Act a few months back?

    • BOF
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      He did indeed vote for the Benn Act! I think this is the first occasion I agree with Sir Nicholas, son of (Soapy) Lord Soames.

    • agricola
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      You must realise that in this day and age and UK anarchist mindset it is mandatory that you are white before you can be designated racist. It is politically and genetically impossible for any other racial group to be accused of racism. With the addition of political correctness this has re- written British history, opened the door to the condoning of numerous forms of despicable behaviour and blinded the forces of law and order. Civic responsibility has reached an all time low in the UK, and it is thrown in the face of the law abiding majority of its citizens who are made to cower before this new warped religion. Beware smug politicians, you are sowing the seeds of a second brexit type situation where you are totally out of touch with the sentiments of the people. They could rise again and bite you.

      • agricola
        Posted June 14, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        To my surprise it has happened, we now have the Reform Party in gestation. Their rise has an inevitability about it when the reality is that politically, in the UK, everything is left of centre. I hope that they will hold the feet of current political parties to the fire over Law and Order, the bizarre definition of racism, and the politically manipulative Political Correctness. Ironically at one time, the first, the building blocks of conservatism, but sadly no longer. Current politics is still intent on losing the people. Labour did it bigtime, the Conservatives succeeded under May and the Lib Dems were always a dream too far. The vast majority of the electorate, decent , middle of the road people, epitomised by those who clapped for the NHS, are looking for leadership that restores balance and normality to the UK. You will live to regret not treating Nigel with the respect he deserved.

  10. Peter
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    ‘Government needs to communicate some optimism and confidence that we can create safe models of doing business so livelihoods can be restored and the economy can pick up some momentum.’

    That could read ‘the government need to find some evidence to follow such and such a route’.

    Of course that is what they may have been doing all along. It’s just that priorities change over the course of time.

  11. Mark B
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Sadly, the worst is yet to come.

    When furlough is over, what then ? The government has imported a lot of people who will be entitled to unemployment and other benefits. Once again, we have privatised the profits, and socialised the losses. This extra burden will put more pressure on a battered private sector. A sector that has, and will continue, to take the brunt of this government and its incompetence.

    I am furious at what has been, and has not been done 🙁

    • Hope
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Mark, we both wrote concern about govt action from outset. Immigration has not stopped, both legal and illegal. Migration Watch wrote an article last week condemning the “new” immigration legislation going through.

      Wasteful spending beyond tax take, no balanced structural deficit, Haewei, HS2?

      Johnson seeks popularity and follows others. He is not a leader full stop.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Totally agreed MB. Those who have contributed for years and then put on furlough have lost money. Those who came years ago and done nothing, wanting a life on our benefits, haven’t lost a penny. And still more are waved in.

      Your last line is SOOOO spot on.

    • Andy
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Of course many of the people you claim were ‘imported’ are not entitled to claim anything in benefits.

      Meanwhile the taxes they contribute do fund your pension – which I note has not been reduced to 80%, unlike the salaries of millions of young people who the government has ordered not to work.

      Half of our taxes are spent on services for the elderly. Pensions, social care, extra NHS treatment, all your other old age perks. You are the drains on the state – not migrants.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        You obviously have never been to A&E or the maternity wards before Covid. At least 50% are usually of non UK origin.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        I’d like you to try to live on the basic state pension of £135 per week
        .Or even the full state pension of £175 per week where you need to have paid 35 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions.

      • NickC
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Not according to the people I talk to on council (read “housing association”) estates. They know when houses are done up, another influx of migrants are due, who will get the houses, cars and cash.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 14, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          Well, if that’s true, then why haven’t your Tories fixed it?

          They’ve been in for TEN YEARS.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 14, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

            Labour control most Councils in cities.
            Housing is devolved to Local Authorities

      • anon
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        Claim benefits of course not its called something else.

  12. Javelin
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Many Businesses have told Boris they will not be profitable with two metre social distancing.

    But the scientists keep asking “What is this “profit” thing you keep talking about Boris, why can’t businesses apply for grants like we do?”

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Nailed it on the head

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      😂😂 and Boris, a scholar, journalist and politician can’t answer!

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

    How does the Treasury calculate the increased value of business benefitting from the lockdown? A relative of mine has tripled his online business. My wife is doing more work at home because she isn’t on the train and having to deal with silly management assessments. The corner shop is selling much more booze. The milkman is selling bread and vegetables. The local market is selling more local fish.

    Reply In the usual way. All increased transactions for money on line score as extra GDP. If your wife is more productive there will be more turnover for her company which is also recorded.

  14. Richard416
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Sir John, could we not now open the caravan sites and hotels and boarding houses? I suspect they are worth more than 20% of the economy in the summer months.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Absolutely agree. These places are very low risk, but beware of the hotels. Just take care when stopping off at a service station en route – don’t touch anything, don’t sit down for a meal, have anti-bac wipes for any door/petrol-pump handles you can’t avoid touching, do what you need to do and leave.

  15. Jiminyjim
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    The government is a poor reader of human behaviour, Sir John. If they removed ALL restrictions and ALL social distancing, commercial activity would still be miles lower than before the pandemic arrived. The people have been deliberately TERRIFIED by the media, aided and abetted by the government. This effect will last a long time and even longer if we stupidly keep controls in place. Allow the people to decide what risks they are prepared to run. If not, we have a real chance of this lockdown running into a new one at the start of the next flu season

    • Dennis
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      If a person decides what risks to take is it OK if he comes near me and infects me then?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        So you stay indoors if you are afraid.

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        You can stay home Dennis, if you have to go out in an emergency, face visor, mask, hand gel.

      • NickC
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        Dennis, Life is a terminal condition. If you want a risk free life you better have a word with God because you’re not going to get it here and now.

  16. Know-Dice
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Reply to reply – ” If your wife is more productive there will be more turnover for her company ”
    I don’t think that necessarily translates…

    My son has been working from home for some while, he still works 9 to 5 for his employer, but doesn’t spend his time and money on travelling.

    His company is saving money on heating/cooling and electricity but the main winner is him which doesn’t translate to GDP does it?

    Reply You said she was working more productively which must mean more turnover.If you mean she was working more conveniently for herself that is a personal win but not an increase in GDP. Home working can reduce GDP if as you say the person saves on transport and the business saves on energy more than the person incurs extra costs by being at home. GDP measures output sold to others. If I put up a shelf myself GDP does not record my work but if I Pay someone to put it up for me his work is extra GDP.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply – – I assume a lot of those “Working from home” will be doing computer/data work. Will they all have been given £10 k of taxpayer’s cash to set up a “working from home” system as well?

      • Know-Dice
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        No 🙁

  17. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    The country can only get back to normal once it has, for practical purposes, eradicated the viruses, as countries from Austria to New Zealand have done or are doing.

    You can throw open all the shops, pubs, and restaurants if you like.

    Relatively few will return until this country join the responsible, properly-governed world, and stamps out this menace.

    The Tories problems will grow as our nationally-quarantined people start to look on with envy – a powerful originator of dissatisfaction – at the successes and freedoms of their neighbours.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Obviously the German health system is better than our own. We need to look at that and reform the NHS.

      We need to look at proper border control that New Zealand has – and population reduction.

      Then we need to look at why even innocent, best practice countries such as New Zealand, Austria and Germany are taking huge economic hits despite all they’ve done and who exactly is responsible for that.

      We can’t just pick the bits you want to talk about, Martin.

      But then I don’t find the present disintegration of our country ‘exhilarating’ as you do.

      The MSM are desperate to find our own George Floyd moment and the best they can come up with is a ditzy WPC trying to explain to a black couple why the law says they should produce a driving licence when in charge of a motor vehicle on a road.

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Only time will tell if these countries have indeed “eradicated” the virus (es) — or just merely delayed their infection rate in these countries. As we seem to find consistently on the media, hindsight is a wonderful thing. I’ll make my judgements this time next year.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Martin – do you know who the new patients in the last month are?

      Are we importing them?

      If they are quarantined people how did they catch the virus?

    • NickC
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Martin, Other countries are recovering first because they got covid19 before we did – eg Italy. No country has “got rid of the virus” – there are no cures or vaccines yet. They have benefitted from herd immunity, border lockdowns, and the virus dying down as is typical of respiratory pathogens.

      • bill brown
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        NickC

        we locked down too late this is why we have the second highest rate in Europe

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

          They are admitting, today that less than half the numbers may be the real toll, So where does that put us in the league table?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          No country has Survivor Immunity, maximum infection rates are nowhere more than a few percent, nowhere near the seventy or eighty percent needed.

          Notably New Zealand, with only a tiny number of infections.

          They stamped it out by diligence, reason, and transparency.

          • NickC
            Posted June 13, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

            Martin, Survivor immunity is not the same as herd immunity. You will get some herd immunity as low as 20% infection rates for example. And NZ locked down its borders which you opposed.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          We followed the advice of Sage.
          And that’s a fact.

        • NickC
          Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

          Bill B, Since when did you compare the varying medical criteria used in the different sub-states of your EU empire? Do tell.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      I don’t want the country to return to what passed as ‘normal’.
      Nearly all our MPs talk one thing, but do another.
      Any recourse to law leaves us disatisfied and much the poorer.
      Nearly all our media endlessly produce invented ‘news’ lies, unsubstantiated allegations and try to cause a firestorm over relative trivia.
      Our Police avoid doing what they are paid to do – maintain law and order.
      Damaging crimes, like sexual assault, burglary, violence, financial fraud, misrepresentation etc are largely ignored — but driving at 32 mph, parking with a wheel touching a yellow line, driving in busy inner city roads and allowing a wheel to go just inside a hatched box – all dealt with extreme penalties, then followed up with insurance loading.
      Suffer ill-health and try to reach your GP – good luck with that. Visit A&E as no alternative and you’ll find drunks, addicts, stabbings, muggings and people with a bruise creating havoc to be seen first.
      I had better stop here – -Sir John will have reason not to include.
      Disillusioned of Wokingham.

  18. Fred H
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Would a quick analysis of current Covid infections show us that a very high proportion remain in Care Homes & hospitals (where tests are taken), and similarly the deaths? This news would allow a significant return to the public working and a lift in the economy. The MSM and SAGE have terrified the Government into retreat from common sense. Everyone I know talks of little sense in the ‘protection measures’ that have been taken, and still covered by panic laws.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      All the government can think about is the inquiry to follow and is hemmed in.

      Most people I know now are carrying on as close to normally as possible. Paying lip service to Government advice. Contempt is growing for it. What a joke.

      The BLM events of last week have shown what a farce social distancing is.

      This Government is wrecking the economy to save its own skin and it doesn’t know how to get out of the hole its dug.

      We are in the throes of cultural and economic suicide under an 80 seat majority Tory Government. No one else to blame.

      • NickC
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        Anon, So right, we are in the throes of cultural and economic suicide. Doesn’t anyone think beyond the next politically correct soundbite in this government?

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Come in No19, your time is up.

  19. steadyeddie
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Why do we not follow Guernsey example- controlled space, 1 metre, for restaurants, clubs, etc. which can identify/ record all visitors and uncontrolled space- 2 metres for supermarkets, transport, etc. which cannot?

  20. Iain Moore
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    It would appear that while the private sector are desperate to get back to work and trying to find ways to do it, the public sector are throwing up obstacles as why they can’t and shouldn’t. Its shameful the way the teachers unions have blocked young children going back to school, the virus presents no threat to them, and little threat to their parents who will be in their 20s or 30s.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Scottish school children do one year less at school than the RUk, how are they ready for their highers (GCSEs one year earlier)? Scottish children start their summer holiday earlier than Ruk and go back mid-August why can’t the rest this year. Close start of July go back mid-August.

    • Qubus
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      …. because they are all on full salary.

    • NickC
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Iain Moore, Well said for highlighting the feckless public sector workers, particularly teachers. Bring on school vouchers.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        +1

  21. steve
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Jiminyjim

    “The people have been deliberately TERRIFIED by the media, aided and abetted by the government. ”

    I don’t think you can blame the government for that. Clearly the media are left wing biased and anti English. (which in itself is a form of racism by the way)

    Put simply; the media in this country are out of control.

    • JoolsB
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Except the Government are anti-English as well Steve.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      BBC fees anyone?

    • JoolsB
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Not just the media Steve. UK Governments both Labour and Tory (the latter in power purely thanks to England) are every bit as anti-English.

    • NickC
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Steve, I just don’t bother with the MSM any more. I use sites such as Breitbart, Zerohedge, Mahyar Tousi, IEA, Facts4eu, and Jeff Taylor.

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      My point was that the government has not even ruffled the feathers of the media narrative. Why?

      • Original Chris
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        The same reason it will not tackle the BBC. Both the media and the BBC are useful tools for this government and its “progressive” agenda, and its apparent push towards the globalists’ goal of world government (open borders, sovereignty destroyed, mass movement of labour, our lives ruled by Agenda 21 of the UN, in the name of “sustainability”/green agenda. More like serfdom for ordinary people, with an unaccountable political elite ruling over us, amassing ever more power and wealth). Read Agenda 21 if you think this is fearmongering.

  22. Anonymous
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Mr Hancock reported the other day that 80% of those contracting CV19 won’t even realise they’ve had it.

    We (the West) have ruined our economies by our actions.

    Had we not already been used to magic money tree borrowing then Mr Sunak would have been less likely to have resorted to the furlough method to hide the truly devastating unemployment and poverty that is about to hit us. The population would have been far more pragmatic about the disease had they not been wrapped in cotton wool instead of cowering away like they have.

    And now Churchill’s statue and the Cenotaph are boarded up.

    These issues are not unconnected.

    We are simply not the people we used to be. We are not up to it.

    • steve
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Anonymous

      “We (the West) have ruined our economies by our actions.”

      By being soft and stupid enough to allow the presence of left wing socialism, marxism, and green namby-pambies.

      “We are simply not the people we used to be. We are not up to it.”

      Don’t rush to conclusions , enough of us are angered and looking forward to a day of reckoning, which will come.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Speed the day!

  23. ukretired123
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    The new essential workers are those that drive the economy and it is critical that Boris gets this message across before it is too late. We are sleep walking to nowhere fast with lots of sideshow diversions. We need to get folks back to work asap…..
    We are damned if we do and damned if we dont. Folks need clarity and the government needs the public’s support on this to make it work. The MSM need to be aware of their national role in helping the nation and not helping our competitors and those hostile to us starting with the BBC.

    We need to get a grip and praise the wealth creators and not those who only destroy things. We are fast running out of options and need to get real. The risks of life and death are a daily experience in the world over but folks here in the UK are getting paranoid beyond reason whipped up by MSM. Risk and risk taking occurs everywhere esp in time of war which we are waging too albeit invisibly.

    In its darkest hour Churchill led the way out of the fear syndrome and that was his legacy to the world! We shall not be defeated by cv19, anarchists and the virtue signalling MSM. The summer weather should be used to regenerate the economy and become the dynamo to wind up the wealth creators and let’s hear more good news of it and less nonsense all round. Hope not hate rather than hate and no hope!

    • steve
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      UK Retired

      “We shall not be defeated by cv19, anarchists and the virtue signalling MSM.”

      Hear hear !

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      I don’t believe the MSM are going to stop until November.

    • Andy
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      It is not the job of the media to cheerlead for the government. It is the job of the government not to fail. It is not doing a very good job.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        It’s not the job of the media to cheerlead for the opposition.

      • NickC
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Andy, It’s not the job of the MSM to be hysterical, or an arm of the Labour party.

  24. Adam
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Children acquire high levels of knowledge and understanding from observation, play and many different aspects of life, even when alone. Thoughtful parents and teachers guide them, yet pupils’ learning may not lessen solely because they don’t sit side by side for weeks.

    Activities which stimulate pupil curiosity excite or spur challenge, motivating them to find interesting solutions to set tasks via experiment and experience. Helpful parents and teachers guide them to attain their best with discipline in safety and goodness toward accomplishment and happiness.

    Education falling 18.8% might not reflect its loss in learning.

  25. Oliver
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    I was reading “No” by Charlan Nemeth earlier.

    She points out that JFK learnt the lessons of the groupthink fiasco that was the Bay of Pigs, and as a result designed a process that successfully averted disaster during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    I urge you most strongly to point out to Boris that he is on the WRONG path and failing badly, because he has failed to admit the massive errors media hysteria have forced upon us all, exacerbated by his subsequent illness.

    Time to recognise the sunk cost fallacy is running out, very rapidly.

    • Original Chris
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Oliver, if Boris had listened to a word Sir John had said, Sir John would have had a position in Cabinet.

      It is blindingly obvious that Boris and his team have no wish to listen to those who have wisdom and common sense, and experience. Why? It is because Boris subscribes to a different agenda, that of the globalists and their plans for world government. Being “progressive” is a requirement for that.

      I have posted in the past what “progressive” actually stands for but it did not get past moderation, but I think most can make an informed guess as to the ideology behind the “progressive” agenda. It is a very far cry from Conservatism.

  26. steve
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    JR

    “Government needs to communicate some optimism and confidence that we can create safe models of doing business so livelihoods can be restored and the economy can pick up some momentum.”

    Couldn’t agree more, JR.

    Boris could do this by regularly communicating how he has dealt with threats from the ungrateful French led EU.

    He could come clean about how the EU has been manipulating government policy for the purpose of weakening the UK as much as possible.

    He could also abolish the TV licence fee and turn attention to cleaning up the rest of the anti English media.

    Perhaps purge the left wing police as well.

    But on the bright side, no way is Labour going to get elected after all this crap i.e direct attacks on our culture and history. However we won’t be going down without a fight. Boris is either with us or the conservatives are swept aside.

  27. Tabulazero
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    At a time when the supply chains crisscrossing the continent are being rebuilt post-COVID, the UK government with its latest decisions is making sure that they avoid the UK altogether.

    Why on earth should an EU-based company have a British supplier if it can avoid it ?

    • NickC
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero, As you should have found out during the pandemic rather a lot of the “supply chains” originate in China. Why on earth should an UK-based company have an EU empire supplier if it can avoid it?

  28. John E
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Just to be clear, the public now has zero confidence in the ability of the PM and his colleagues to make sensible decisions.

    They have made so many errors and are so exhausted that they no longer even trust themselves. The PM is broken.

    Anyone left who is trying to follow the increasingly convoluted government guidelines on social distancing is being made to feel a fool. The only way to move on is for both Cummings and Boris both to stand aside. People will not forget. This will not all wash over.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Not Cummings, he’s literally brilliant.

  29. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I am now fed up with the whole thing.
    Schools must reopen ASAP – children don’t die of Covid. Gyms should reopen. The nonsense about churches and places of worship should stop. My art group should be allowed to meet.
    Fiat justicia, ruant caeli – or words to that effect.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 14, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Teachers, their family, friends, neighbours, and anyone else to whom they might pass on a child-mediated infection DO die though.

      But you simply don’t care.

  30. bill brown
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    thank you very much for the positive note and the appeal for some optimism, we need it

  31. Caterpillar
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    There is a peculiar mix of behaviours in retail. I go to a supermarket and see a large number of people picking up and putting back items, but I read of book and shoe shops that once trading will move an item to unavailable for 72 hours if viewed/tried on by a prospective customer. I suspect people washing their hands / sanitising, then putting any purchases aside for 3 days once home would be equally effective.

    I think the 2 m rule should be relaxed to 1 m in places of education and hospitality, but as I noted a few days ago there is an association between infection and loud indoor environments, so these environments could compensate by being quieter than normal. School environments will need to be more ‘traditional’. Though CV19 is a much lower risk for children than the loss of education, people instead use the argument of some vulnerable teachers and, in some cases, children living with other vulnerable adults. I think these cases should be assisted where possible. Someone commented to another Sir John post that (s)he was happy to see children playing in parks, in contrast in my area people are concerned about the increased opportunities for kids to be recruited into gangs, and the increase of confirmatory biases due to not mixing more widely at school.

    Correlation data seems to be indicating limited support for lockdowns, on the otherhand the modellers are claiming various multiples of tens of thousands of lives saved. Although it is a challenge to forecast the cumulative long term damage of the lockdown it is time, even with the modellers numbers, to put a dollar value on each life year purportedly saved. This can be compared with existing data in other areas for VSLYs and QALYs.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      There have been some teachers working throughout covid19 with key workers children on a daily basis (one could presume these children potentially would be with the most infected asymptomatic amongst us at home every evening) how many of these teachers caught covid 19?

      • Caterpillar
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        a-tracy,

        An excellent question. Real science would have filmed the interaction and regularly tested children, parents and teachers alike. I can only guess that this wasn’t done and we didn’t learn anything.

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 14, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          It wouldn’t take long to get a list of every teacher and interview them over the telephone by those test and track workers who keep telling us they’re getting paid for nothing, (there must be figures on who is being paid for nothing too! I know how many calls my workers make and receive every day)

          1. How many weeks have you been working in the past 11 weeks since lockdown?
          2. How many hours each week?
          3. On average how many children under your care each day?
          4. Were you able to manage the 2m physical distance rule indoors?
          5. Have you been off work with covid19 symptoms?
          6. Have you had a test?
          7. have any of the children in your care been subsequently ill and isolated?
          8. Did any of them go to hospital?
          9. Did any of them get a positive test?

  32. glen cullen
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Maybe we should take a lead from Australia, their economy appears to be recovering nicely

    Australia is out of lockdown
    Australia schools back to normal
    Australia has protected it statues
    Australia has repelled illegal migration
    Australia treated the virus as flu pandemic

    • na
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Sky News Australia were very anti lockdown
      Sky News UK are pro lockdown.

      That is the problem.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      My cousin still working from home in Sydney, a power engineer. Only 13 allowed on busses and on ferries. Not quite normal.

      • glen cullen
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        I talk everyday to friends and colleagues in Sydney; the working from home finished last week, all schools. pubs, shops and cafes back to normal yesterday, You might be correct about public transport though as I didn’t ask about that

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      Australia has for practical purposes ERADICATED the virus, so it can safely do these things.

      The UK has thousands of infections and hundreds of deaths every single day, on the other hand.

  33. Polly
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Of many aspects of the UK government which I find so extraordinary, one in particular is their very relaxed attitude to the timescale of the re-purposed drug trials to treat C-19.

    What exactly is the reason for this ? Is it because Prime Minister Johnson has apparently transferred control of the entire operation to the WHO and others and therefore no longer has any influence, or is he just not sufficiently interested ?

    After all, very sadly, Prime Minister Johnson suffered from C-19 himself, and, as far as I am aware, we were never told which re-purposed drug he received thanks to the US medical team sent to London by President Trump.

    So particularly as, apparently, he received something other than just paracetamol, antibiotics and oxygen which has been the fate of most C-19 patients in UK hospitals, why doesn’t Prime Minister Johnson insist on all speed with the drug trials, and not leaving results until the end of 2020 in some cases ?

    Former UK leader Sir Winston Churchill is currently highly topical… so surely ”Action This Day” should be Prime Minister Johnson’s approach to this crucially important issue ?

    Here’s a plan.. why not aim to authorize for general use the following five drugs by the end of July 2020 or sooner, unless there are very good reasons otherwise, and bring some hope and optimism to UK hospitals, and to the UK in general ?

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/01/uk-hospitals-trial-five-new-drugs-search-coronavirus-treatment

    Polly

    • anon
      Posted June 16, 2020 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

      What treatments BJ was given and offered should be one of the first questions in a public enquiry.

  34. DennisA
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    There needs to be no anti-social distancing. Outside it is irrelevant, as has been shown shown by the lack of disease response to the widely reported Bank Holiday incursions to holiday spots. The willingness of the police to allow mass demonstrations shows no-one takes it seriously any more.

    Indoors, air flow and ventilation mean that everyone is breathing the same air within a short time. No-one exists in a 2 metre or a 1 metre bubble, without interaction with their environment. Once the furlough money stops, large numbers of jobs will go, even more so if shops cannot trade normally, but have these ridiculous queues outside

  35. Newmania
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    That is a very fair point but watching this Government is like watching a game of blind mans bluff played by an especially absurd fat Uncle at Christmas . The relentless prat falls over the schools were beyond belief and I notice that even the sympathetic commentators , Tim Montgomerie , for example, despair at the sheer incompetence .
    That Corbyn would be worse …is all we need to remember about that sorry episode , there is now an increasingly plausible opposition . With unemployment and Brexit coming our way we are approaching high noon for the UK`s experiment in populist extremism

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think Corbyn would have been worse at this time. In opposition the Conservatives would have been less afraid to question the consequences of the lockdown, or to be more critical of the advice. The current opposition do not question the narrative.

  36. Edwardm
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    It is pertinent and informative to point out the cost and the effects of lockdown. The NHS near shut down is causing further stress for those in need of serious operations with the endless wait.

    Perhaps the teaching unions may like to take a 20% wage cut to do their bit to help.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 14, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      The teaching unions should accept job losses. The technology has proved internet set work and a few ‘Zoom’ sessions replaces classrooms. For the younger ones face to face is still required, but for secondary there is much less need for classroom distractions suffered at present. And that is what further education at university tends to mean. The unions have managed to shoot the members in the feet.

  37. JimS
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    “Meanwhile the debate continues about one metre or two for social distancing”

    Around here signs are going up telling vehicle drivers to ‘social distance’ from pedestrians and bikes, as if they were horses, ‘slow and wide’. What are the odds of a virus jumping out of a car at 30 mph?

    Social distancing makes no sense where people are in an enclosed space for a long time, like a train, aeroplane or school as they all eventually breathe the same air.

    If being indoors is safer than outdoors then running and cycling should be discouraged and private car use encouraged.

    I am becoming more and more convinced that the virus is flu and we are being conned into authoritarian ‘world government’, we certainly being controlled by idiots I am afraid.

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

      Yet pedestrians and bikes are within a foot of each other often with the pedestrian not hearing the silent bike behind them until they’re heavily breathing on them.

  38. NickC
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    JR, Free of the EU, and given the damage done by the lockdown, the UK must restore some of our basic industries. We have just seen what happens in an emergency where supplies cease – we must not be so completely dependent on Jonny Foreigner ever again.

    The UK could look at reclaiming land from the sea. Although the cost would be high the value of the reclaimed land for an overcrowded country like England would be enormous, so paying for the reclamation. For example the Wash could be enclosed.

    • anon
      Posted June 16, 2020 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

      Boris Island? Part of a new Thames Barrier, including a new crossing bridges and or tunnel. Maybe even tidal turbine lagoons as well.

      Heathrow could become a domestic flight hub.

      Probably a better spend than HS2.

  39. Ian
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Well said Life Logic,
    Always Common sence keep it up, there is still some of us here who are not impressed with very many in The Lords, they are a huge sea anchor. Worse even than those in the Commons.

    Democricy is never going to come back here, Nigel Farage is still our best hope, witness kicked out by stuff shirts, they should all be sacked, and pay there own way, only by people wanting what they say, they are disgrace, as are the two Houses

  40. Neil
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    It wasn’t just patients not going to the NHS, it was the NHS disgracefully postponing life changing procedures. Just ask my dad who still waits with a blood clot near his lung.

  41. bill brown
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Sir Jr,

    listened to Boris this afternoon that we have done more for the citizens to secure their jobs than anywhere else in the world.
    I actually know that lots of countries have done even more including my own (have also got UK citizenship) why do we have to listen to all this false news from the government?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Which is ‘your own country’?

      • ukretired123
        Posted June 13, 2020 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        Yes I would like to know ‘your own country’ as I have found your views on our beloved Britain very strange esp after having lived and worked abroad.

      • bill brown
        Posted June 14, 2020 at 3:22 am | Permalink

        Lynn Atkinson

        Denmark

    • Edward2
      Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Have you got any facts to back up that claim ?

      • bill brown
        Posted June 14, 2020 at 3:34 am | Permalink

        Edward 2

        the source is Ceyhoun Elgin and the BBC.

        Britian’s contribution as part of GDP is no 47, but if government guarantees is included it is number 5/

        The most generous countries are Malta and Japan.

        France is the highest if you include government guarantees.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 14, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

          The UK would be low if you score on the basis of spending to GDP as a percentage.
          The actual amount of cash spent would be more reasonable statistic.

          The claim by the PM was that the UK has done more than other countries.
          Just evaluating it by cash spent versus GDP seems a deliberate methodology to get the result you want.
          No wonder you and the BBC grabbed this report by a USA economist with such glee.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 14, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            you asked for statistics and proof and when you then get it you complain. Make your mind up

          • Edward2
            Posted June 14, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

            I have made my mind up.
            Your claim was made on some very odd statistics

          • bill brown
            Posted June 15, 2020 at 1:00 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            there would be no reasonable statistic if it just looked at the cash spent, this is a load of nonsense. I has to be related to GDP

          • Edward2
            Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

            Wrong.
            I have read the report you used for your claim and relating it to GDP as a percentage is a common statistical ruse.
            It makes nations with huge GDP look as if they are spending low percentages.
            As you tried to prove.
            Cash shows the actual amount.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            Academic robust ness from you, do not make me laugh

          • Edward2
            Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

            Just a cheap shot from you as usual billy.
            No real response
            No facts.
            Total failure.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted June 14, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

          Elgin et al’s paper constructs an economic stimulus index. I therefore think it is unfair to interpret this in the way that you have (measuring direct action to jobs). I do not believe there is sufficient information in the paper (April, model and data may well have been updated since, I haven’t visited website) to judge the robustness of the analysis, but I don’t think the component loadings look particularly “clean”.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 14, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

            Caterpillar
            We can discuss the scientific approach. I was simply providing the statistical information as I was asked for the source

          • Edward2
            Posted June 14, 2020 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

            Which has been seen to be seriously lacking in real academic robustness.

  42. Anna Morris
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Would it be possible for the government, ie the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to set up a system where grants could turn furloughs back into jobs rather than redundancies?

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 14, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Anna?

      The jobs that will be made redundant will be because there is no work for those people to do? Until places get back to normal less staff will be required. After 3 months people’s habits will have changed and some places will just never reopen. No grant is going to magic work out of thin air?

  43. CCCP 322
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Events are being engineered according to the Plan.
    Utter tyranny being orchestrated for total control.

    We need to escape this country.

  44. forthurst
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    The problem is that there has been no serious planning at any stage to close down this epidemic; indeed the opposite has occurred. A very large number of individual importations of this disease occurred peaking in March whilst any attempt to prevent new imported cases by self-regulated quarantine did not occur ’til June 8. The government’s centralised track and trace operation, run as usual by a ‘generalist’, is not reaching the parts that it needs to reach if this epidemic is to be defeated; apparently it’s them that’s at fault, the third who don’t answer their phones when they were contacted out of the blue by an army of newly recruited contact tracers; it is not the fault of those with no experience of tracking and tracing infectious diseases who designed a scheme that doesn’t work.

    • anon
      Posted June 16, 2020 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

      That would be a government that ignored spam calls etc for decades.
      Which in turn allowed fraud a bigger foothold. Why on earth would you trust someone on the phone?

  45. mickc
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    When sacking one of his ministers, Attlee simply wrote against his name “not up to the job”.
    Many people have now written that next to Boris’s; they are right.

  46. Diane
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I listened to the PM’s rather bland condemnation re the events in London today, once again, light touch, no force. I have to agree with something stated today that it seems like society has lost its compass. I despair at what seems at times to be like living in a Twitterworld from which we seemingly cannot escape. The original outcry/grief to an horrendous event was laudable but acted out with no thought for the law, for others or this country, no rationality of action or thought, lack of intelligence & a clamour for mob rule. What of the circa 50 police officers, 50 prior to what is actually happening today, many badly injured. Who is asking about them. Masses of tax payers’ money again going down the drain too. I’ll use the line that the Leader of the Opposition used days ago: We need to get a grip. Meanwhile, back at the office, we’re still faced with the EU powers that be, showering us with their repetitive & unreasonable demands, most of which are designed to hamper the UK from any economic recovery or power over our own affairs. We need the freedom & tough determination from all corners now to deal with this awful state we find ourselves in and we all have our part to play.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 14, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Diane, yes I want to know where the condemnation of the rule breaking in Brighton is for balance, were this large group given permission to gather in protest thousands breaching lockdown rules once again? Why no visible police there? Why no similar treatment to those kettled from the start for protestors in London? They were up against riot police and barriers from the start which was a complete provocation, as one protestors said you weren’t doing this last week you were all running away and on your knees, the London Mayor and London Police are making a show of themselves and their bending of the rules to one political organised grouping. It can’t be one rule for one group of people then a feisty treatment of another. I’ve no time for aggressive men and some women in these groups but equality comes from actions not action.

      • Stred
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        The police were bending the knee to them outside the police station in Brighton. Unlike the single man sunbathing well away from anybody else, who they handcuffed and arrested with three officers rather close to him.

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 17, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          I’ve had enough of it Stred! The way the media went crazy over one or two individuals, NHS nurses crying saying sunbathers more than 3m apart were killing them and then they turn a blind eye for weeks until they totally agitate people that they treat unequally and then wonder why passions inflame, they, our media, police and politicians lit the matches and threw them around willy nilly.

          “The Met Police were praised for their swift arrest by London Mayor Sadiq Khan,” The guy handed himself in, where are the people actually free at large right now who set fire to our flag, scribbled on Churchill, toppled a statue in Bristol, threw a bike at police horses seriously injuring a policewoman – don’t congratulate the Met Police I haven’t read of one of them being identified even though there are plenty of clear photographs. Some people’s Dad’s don’t make them cough up.

  47. David Brown
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I am starting to question if Britain will ever return to the past economic output and financial supply. There is an under laying view the GDP will drop to 12th place in the world outside of the G7 and stay there.
    For sure Germany France Spain and to a certain extent Italy will be head of Britain.
    The past is now the past and a much more basic humble future waits

  48. APL
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Have you ever lived through a 20% drop in GDP?

    In 2008 we lost 5% through the financial crash, and according to the ONS the economy didn’t recover for five years.

    What odds do you give of your party being re-elected next election?

  49. MultiID
    Posted June 13, 2020 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Looking at it from the outside things look bleak indeed- from what I can see good sensible leadership is very much lacking- I really don’t think Boris is up to it- he’s looking more and more like the boy he is and a wounded character- also a chancer- nor indeed do I think any of the other leading lights around him are capable- ERG Types all. Surprisingly the only one with any standing at the present time in UK politics is, as far as I can see, Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour man- you’d be very lucky indeed if you could get him into the top job- but just my opinion and looking at things from the outside- either way you’re bunched and not going to get the honey cherry picking deal that you want from the EU without serious engagement and not without a splash of honesty/ decency in your discourse. Sigh…but It’s just me too much to drink again.. signing off..MultiID

  50. bill brown
    Posted June 14, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Edward 2

    you asked for statistics and proof and when you then get it you complain. Make your mind up

    • Edward2
      Posted June 14, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      As I said above I looked at the report on line and responded to you.
      I have made my mind up bill.
      Your claim was based on some very odd statistics.

      • bill brown
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        but I substantiated my claim which is more than you were able to do

        • Edward2
          Posted June 16, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

          No you didn’t.
          Your claim failed because the data used to create your opinion wasn’t solid.

  51. Robin Smith, Wokingh
    Posted June 14, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The best approach for a recovery is to ask government to keep well out of the way. And allow the good business to fruit and those under water to fail. They won’t do this though, so good businesses will be brought down by the bad

  • 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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