The shops are opening again

It is welcome  news that most shops closed to help arrest the pandemic are to open again today if they wish and if they can do safely.

Many retailers have been inventive in working out how to allow people into shops to see the stock, to choose and to buy whilst observing the rules of social distancing. The food stores pioneered techniques including asking people to wait outside, limiting the numbers in the shop at any time, going round the store in a prescribed way, keeping your distance when waiting to pay and protecting staff with screens and protective clothing. It helps if customers wear some facial covering. These and other ideas will now be adapted by the non food retailers who start trading again today.

I trust people will welcome this relaxation and will want to go and buy things from the shops. Many people say they value their local High Street and want the shops there to be available for them. To help secure their future it is important to back them in the only way that counts in the next few weeks, by visiting them and buying things from them. Of course if you are vulnerable or have to self isolate different considerations come into play, but for most people the risks of shopping for non food should be no bigger than the risks we have been taking to shop for food in recent weeks.

I have argued throughout this crisis so far that government needs to give the highest priority to saving lives,  but also has to follow policies that can save livelihoods. I was pleased the government took up the idea of government cash to support staff who could not go to work, but this cannot go indefinitely. The only way to pay the wages in the months ahead is for people to be back at work serving and supplying customers who will pay the bills.

High Streets were struggling a bit against the formidable competitive challenge of on line shopping before the pandemic hit. It has now got a lot tougher, with almost three months of no trading from shops whilst people switch to the internet offer. That is why if we want to help restore our High Streets we  need to support our favourite retailers as they go to the cost and trouble of adapting to the new conditions and opening their stores today.

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  1. Nigl
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Open high streets but not the cafes/pubs/restos etc which are open in France for instance. What would make anyone be interested?

    With the internet I have the worlds market place available to me at competitive prices delivered next day. No travel, parking etc. A no brainier.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Agreed. Keeping hospitality inhospitable is ridiculous.

      I just hope that if many go shopping there are sufficient public toilets open (and the large stores have theirs open) as nipping into the pub won’t be an option. As we saw this weekend, when people are caught short they’ll go anywhere.

      Inconvenience and no conveniences this is not a particularly competitive offering.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Quite – this really is the death knell of all but niche shops. Social distancing means that customers can’t just pitch up to a shop and browse then leave without buying anything. Having queued to get in you have invested time and effort so will want to complete a purchase.

      If it is inconvenient to visit multiple shops to browse before purchasing then the small competitive advantage that the high street has over online is lost.

      I have never been a users of cafes (overpriced and limited menus) but I can see that they have attraction for some, so their continued closure will further deter people from returning).

    • Peter
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Some people will want to visit shops in order to see and inspect items they may wish to purchase.

      Others may have enough stuff, or have coped well enough with deliveries directly to their homes.

      Pubs and restaurants don’t sound that congenial with all the virus regulations that may be imposed and drinkers will be well aware that it is much cheaper to drink at home.

      The really big issue is work. Many will be quite happy to be on furlough and still receive a high percentage of their income. Those in secure jobs may resist the call to return to work.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Just gone into Town to collect some medication.

      Wokingham Council have just made Peach Street, the two lane one way main road through the centre of Town into one lane.

      They have Cordoned off one side of Rose Street and Broad Street suspending all 30 min free parking until December 31st 2020 for wait for it,

      Social distancing reasons.!!!

      The shop keepers in Town must wonder if they really do live on the same planet as the Council members who are I guess areon protected jobs and wages.

      Once again a Local Authority does the opposite of what is required to get the economy back on track.

      Words fail me !

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        No point in keeping it in moderation any more J, Council action already been picked up on local social media, as have new roadworks for a cycle path on the London road, shop owners not happy !

        Who dreams these schemes up, if the pavements get crowded then if people are worried they will wear a mask, apart from that government scientists say not a problem just walking past others out in the open as contact time is very, very limited.

      • Stred
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        I would guess that some civil servants have written a spacing guideline handbook for local authorities and commerce and they don’t want to change the higher British distance because all the signs, parking restriction and bike lanes would make their efforts look silly.

  2. Mark B
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I trust people will welcome this relaxation . . .

    Well actually, no !

    We should never have been in this place. There was first no reaction to the rising drama then, full on panic.

    • Kevin Caudwell
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      I agree – I was going to say this.

      For me, it is unpleasant to be drip-fed basic rights that should never have been taken from us in the first place.

      We were not told at the start of the lockdown that we would be spending months if not years going back to the government with a begging bowl and having to be grateful to be “allowed” to visit a shop.

      • Hope
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        Crowded shops with kids but they cannot go to school! They can go to the zoo, parks and protests but not school! You could not make it up.

        Good to see Jenerick caught out again with his dodgy granting of development to a Tory donor! It start to resonate that it is his flawed character that he is above laws, rules and basic standards. Like Hancock this is not a request but instruction! Is this shopping nonsense another authoritarian instruction?

        Pity Johnson’s Govt does not have the balls to stand up to union bullies, EU bullies or left wing establishment including civil service and BBC!

  3. oldtimer
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    All very true. The same can be said for hospitality businesses. The phrase “It’s the economy stupid” gained traction during Clinton’s first presidential election campaign. For businesses it is, always was and always will be “It’s the cash flow stupid”. Sometime I do wonder if some MPs, based on their remarks, actually know and understand this elementary fact of business life.

    • UK Qanon
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      ot – re your last sentence, they do not, they just follow the given narrative.

  4. Maria
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    The abolition of cash, which is coming, will destroy what’s left of the British high street. Contactless payment is encouraged continually and the arrival of the CV-19 virus has proven a gift from god for many western and non-western governments allowing them to justify ever greater levels of State control and monitoring

    One only has to step back and look for the signs to see the direction of travel. We are heading towards an invasive political environment in which the economy is used to drive social change that promotes the idea of the political citizen rather than the private, civil individual.

    This naive article is little more than a reaffirmation of the tosh being pumped out by this transparent PM and his naive Chancellor (once a pure bred Thatcherite, now reduced to a snorting Keynesian)

    The Tories have no love for the high street or the private sector. If they did they’d slash the parasitic public sector and relieve the tax burden on the private sector. This party will act in its own best interests as will the party of hate in opposition

    I hope the voter will see that both parties act according to the needs of their party not according to the needs of the UK.

    We desperately need a party of moral vision and principle that is able to expose the 2 party scam

  5. Andy
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    I will not be going to the shops today. And nor will most people.

    The epic failure of this government to get the virus under control – an almost unique feat in Europe – means it is still not safe.

    It didn’t have to be like this of course.

    Competent governments have eased – even ended – their lockdowns. New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, Greece, Germany.

    But poor Little England has a blustering buffoon running things.

    He’s no good at saving lives or livelihoods but should we ever need a leader who can guffaw in Latin the his only skillset will come in handy.

    • NickC
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Coming from a man who salivated at the death of elderly Brexit voters, your concern for the lives of the mainly elderly victims of the virus is somewhat ironic.

    • Kevin Caudwell
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately the government listened to the advice of SAGE (particularly Neil Ferguson) and the WHO, both of which have been shown to be, shall we say, lacking in integrity and just plain wrong.

    • Northern Monkey
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Too full of inaccuracies and partisan polemic…

    • SM
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Seems you are wrong about ‘most’ people not going to the shops today.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      They have no app in South Korea. The government tracks every single person in the country using their mobile phone signal, their credit card use, and other surveillance methods. They hold all this data in a big central database. You may be happy with this approach Andy but many wouldn’t be. UK overall, in this first wave, did as well as all your EU chums in France, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands, Italy and Sweden – only your misplaced sense of British exceptionalism makes you think we should have done better.

    • czerwonadupa
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      They followed the science of Prof Ferguson & his like. Even the so called “experts” can’t agree amongst themselves on the correct path to go down.
      Plus they’ve had to combat another virus that has been insidiously spreading through our universities these past decades & which has been sprouting out in our cities recently hoping to spread the Covid-19.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Well done Andy, your getting more unhinged by the day. Have your kids emigtated to the EU yet, I hear there is fabulous opportunity for youth employment over there especially Itay, Spain and Greece.

    • NickC
      Posted June 16, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Andy, Plenty of people went to the shops on Monday. Apparently about £1bn was spent. So yet another prediction fail from you.

  6. Kevin
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John,
    Now that non-essential shops can open would it not be helpful to allow access to self-catering accommodation and second homes as another boost to economic activity? It would also have quite a positive effect on morale and wellbeing.

    • jerry
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      @Kevin; So you want the virus transported from one area to the other?

      Most people shop locally….

  7. Andy
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Photographs can be exceptionally powerful. And this weekend three photographs summed up the state this country is in – thanks to the hard right.

    Firstly the incredibly powerful image of a black man carrying an injured white man to safety at the protests. What a gent.

    Secondly the shocking image of the thug urinating next to the memorial to the brave policeman who was killed by a terrorist outside Parliament.

    Thirdly the missing photograph of Churchill on Google which sparked conspiracy theorists along the Faragists and which, ludicrously, the Culture Secretary got involved in.

    What a pathetic country the hard right petty nationalists have created – and congratulations to the brave BLM man who, in one act, showed how wrong they all are.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      We definitely saw BLM protesters defacing the Cenotaph and Churchill’s statue.

      It wasn’t the far right that got those boarded up.

      This was white Left wing muck raking and they had to go 4000 miles to find an excuse to kick off here.

      Boris has already caved. “Much more must be done to tackle racism.” So violence pays and voting does not.

      Yours is a total and utter distortion of events.

    • Nigl
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Sorry I fell asleep halfway through your daily emetic. What were you saying again?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      I thought that the photograph last week of left leaning protesters chasing the police down the street summed things up rather well.

      Kudos to Mr Hutchinson and friends over the weekend. I hope I would have done something similar in his situation, we are not as divided along race as a nation as portrayed and chances abound for all.

    • Ginty
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      The white liberal Left had the opportunity to point to Minneapolis and praise the British police for being nothing like that.


      Instead they bring it back here via Antifa and BLM to cause a race war in order to create a political order that they couldn’t win by election. And Boris, the chump, has fallen hook line and sinker for it.

      You have the order of events the wrong way around entirely. And only last week we had pictures of youths beating a lone police officer up.

      The Cenotaph and Churchill’s statue are not out of view because of petty nationalists – they are out of view on the orders of Antifa.

      Britain is finished.

    • NickC
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Andy, The far right thugs were doing the job the police abdicated – protecting public places from far left thugs. Badly, of course. They’re thugs. This is what we get – anarchy – when mobs rule the streets. Which is what we get when the police side with far left thugs, out of fear of not being politically correct.

      Your solution is rule by far left thugs. My solution is sensible impartial policing, where the police prevent far left thugs from vandalising war memorials, creating mayhem, and destroying our culture and history. Note that the riot police only came out when, after a week of far left violence, the far right thugs took to the streets.

    • agricola
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Your first example is laudable human behaviour, there is no indication of what eithers politics are.
      Your second example is wrongly interpreted. Thug is an Asian word that denotes a violent person. He was having a pee and threatening nobody. The fact that it was despicable behaviour is not questioned, but nobody knows his politics,

      The hard right you choose to attach to all situations you disagree with devolves from an unquestioning mind looking for an easy cop out. Incidentally the memorial is to a policewoman shot by a member of the Iranian embassy. A terrorist yes.

      The actual hard right is miniscule, violent protesters for any off the shelf cause are a slightly larger group. If there is any right wing thinking amongst the population at large it derives from all political parties in the UK being left of centre. It is a reaction. The thinking among said population produced the referendum, the referendum result, the Brexit Party triumph in the EU election, and the end of Theressa May’s career.

      BLM, though more specific to the USA, is laudable. I would however state that All Lives Matter. Do not make the totally erroneous assumption that only white people can be racist. All races are capable, just ask any ex Ugandan Asian about the black African Idi Amin.

      We now have the Reform Party which will hold conservative politicians feet to the fire should they waver. Get used to it Andy , your thinking lost in 2016 and despite not accepting it, like the good left wing extremist you are, you march on, derided on all sides.

      • agricola
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        Appologies, that memorial was to PC Keith Parker not WPC Yvonne Fletcher.

    • Stred
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      The law preventing a visit by car to a second home is inexplicable. The car is no more likely to break down or be involved in an accident than other permitted traffic and even if it did it is possible to distance and use gel. Once in the house there is no more risk than in the other house. We met friends who had walked around town and seen many unoccupied houses made obvious to burglars by the overgrown gardens. The grass in our house was two feet high when I went to see a friend who lives next door and the garden was dead. The first people to respond to Boris’s request to go back to work were the criminals. We had two thefts in our road.

      Many second homes are owned for working during the week with the owner travelling away at the weekend. Others are for recreation at the weekend and the owners could be boosting the local economy by buying takeaway food or deliveries.

      The insistence on this ban makes no sense as a health measure and must be some political stunt based on the behavioural psychology twaddle in order to avoid jealousy and to keep people with one house in lockdown. Meanwhile it is helping nurglars very nicely.

      • jerry
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        @Stred; It is quite logical when trying to control infection to stop people moving around the country, from one area to another, possibly taking the virus with them to an until then uninfected area!

        “owners could be boosting the local economy by buying takeaway food or deliveries.”

        Indeed, but they could also put extra strain the local economy & services, taking a delivery slot away from a permanent resident, perhaps even a hospital bed should the visitor fall ill, availability of such resources is often based on the electoral registrar (with a little extra added should the area have commercial tourism).

        “Meanwhile [overgrown gardens] is helping [b]urglars very nicely.”

        Not during the lockdown, such people stood out like a house on fire, the fact is crime fell during the lockdown. Most people with second homes either have friends or employ someone to tend to the garden etc – who wants to spend the weekend at the cottage only to spend all weekend mowing the grass etc?!

    • Northern Monkey
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      “What a pathetic country the hard right petty nationalists have created”

      Yet more partisan polemic.

      If anyone created “this”, it was the behaviour of “the mostly peaceful” BLM protests the week before and the craven reaction of the police who allowed, and in many cases appeared to support, mob violence.

      One of those “splinter in your brother’s eye” moments…

    • Richard1
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      I agree on the first two. The man carrying the injured protestor was not a BLM supporter, he was an observer – check out what he said. I didn’t see the missing Churchill photo. The sight of his statue in a box due to the useless identity politician sidiq Khan was a disgrace, but a useful reminder as to why we don’t want Labour politicians in Positions of power.

      But you left out another photo – the ridiculous sight of Keir Starmer trying to get involved in identity politics by being photographed kneeling. We have a low bar for ridicule in this country and that one will come back to bite him.

      • jerry
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        @Richard1; ” The sight of [Churchill] statue in a box due to the useless identity politician sidiq Khan was a disgrace”

        Who ever made the decision to protect the statue(s) seems to have been damned if they did and damned if they didn’t. Surely a statue is better in a box than irreparably damaged or toppled…

        Do you also think the National Gallery was wrong when they moved the bulk of their collection out of London to Wales in August 1939, and that other London monuments and statues were boxed in and sandbagged, it must have been a such national disgrace, leave them were/how they were, so what if the expected war destroyed them!

    • steve
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink


      This country is in a mess because of the hard left, and people like you running it down.

      • jerry
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

        Steve, you make Andy’s point for him, better than he did!…

    • czerwonadupa
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      “petty nationalists” is a peculiar way to describe people like Ghandi & all those Africans who wanted freedom from the British Empire but unlike other countries leaving their empires stayed with the colonialists to form the Commonwealth. Would you include Nicola Sturgeon in your diatribe?

    • Edward2
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Photographs can be …..
      First the photo of the hard left yob trying to burn the nation’s flag on the Cenotaph
      Second the photo of the man being saved from the hard left mob attacking him by a brave guy who dragged him to safety
      Third photo of the hard left mob attacking the statue of Winston Churchill

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      Firstly the incredibly powerful image of a black man carrying an injured white man to safety at the protests.

      Or … Firstly the incredibly powerful image of a man carrying an injured man to safety at the protests.

      Why are you fixated on the colour of each man’s skin? I am sure the man doing the carrying would have carried the injured man without thinking about whether he was black or white. Likewise the injured man would not have any interest in the colour of the skin of the chap carrying him. Your obsession with the colour of the two men is not healthy.

      Get a grip and join the human race.

  8. matthu
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    I am concerned that not enough has been done to adapt technology so that it remains suitable for vulnerable or special needs adults who had previously managed to attain some level of independence using cash and public transport.

    Ideally, a cashless society needs to provide some way of limiting the speed with which a smartphone can be used to empty a connected bank account belonging to a vulnerable adult.

    And banking and associated privacy laws need to allow a special needs adult to have their banking more easily monitored by a chosen adult (usually a concerned family member) who has that person’s interests at heart and can help them to adapt to new technology without depriving them completely of their independence.

    It is difficult to find anyone who is both looking after the interests of vulnerable people and those with special needs and who has the right level of influence with those who are changing data protection laws and the way that technology works.

  9. APL
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    JR: “I was pleased the government took up the idea of government cash to support staff who could not go to work, but this cannot go indefinitely.”

    Why not? This government has set the precedent.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      The govt seems to think eternally rewarding an ever increasing number of illegals with free lives can go on forever – so why not?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Not to mention food vouchers for recipients of free school lunches.
      Now govt wants to stop vouchers and Labour having a field day.

  10. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    High streets have struggled for years because of inept council policies and taxes.

    If our high streets recover it will be a good sign for the rest of us, but if we end up with town centres even more taken over by charity shops then that will be the end of real towns as we know them.

    We need local shops – we don’t need greedy councils

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      We don’t need greedy landlords of commercial premises, more like.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        Define greedy.
        Try, if you can, to put yourself in the place of a person who owns a property they rent out.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 16, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

          Yep – do that for when the word is applied to councils then.

          • NickC
            Posted June 16, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

            Private landlords supply the money themselves, or take on the risk personally. Councils use other people’s money. That’s a cheat.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 16, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

            You called landlords greedy..
            But business rates can be more than the rent.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        Here speaks a man who has never read the Landlord and Tenant Act. My (tenant ed)was supposed to renew the lease 19 months ago, but they have refused because the market rent would have resulted in an increase, so they delay, I can’t evict them and let to another willing tenant. When they chose a time suitable for their purposes, like the CV 19 crisis, they will demand a reduction and a new lease, thus driving all rents down (Because market rents are based on new rents agreed). By handing the Tenants the power to choose when to renew rather than at the end of a lease, the Government has gone a long way to destroy the High Street. BTW I have had to pay lawyers and negotiators for 2 years because we start negotiating before the end of a lease. That cost is substantial and reduces the return. (My tenant ed) employ a whole building full of lawyers justifying their job (by complicating lease renewals Eg each renewal they contest the sq footage, in spite of having been in occupation for 38 years) so there is no cost to my tenant of years of lease negotiations.

  11. MH
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    I won’t be going anywhere near a shop while all these ridiculous restrictions are in place.

    • James Bertram
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, MH.
      And I certainly won’t be forced to wear a muzzle – so no use of public transport for me, either.

      • zorro
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        Peter Hitchens has been excellent reading and discussion throughout this fabricated crisis.


      • James Bertram
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        Advice from Simon Dolan:
        If you don’t feel comfortable wearing a mask on public transport, simply don’t wear it and if challenged say that under Part 1 Section 4 (a) of The Health Protection (CV, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) you are exempt as they cause you severe anxiety.

    • NH
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Just come back from Reading. Many shops closed and queues outside others. Most unpleasant. Don’t waste your time. Commercially unviable. Wake up Boris. It’s time to stand down you’re not well.

    • zorro
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately, everything going as I suspected at the start of this crisis. These measures are to put off shoppers and ensure the failures of smaller businesses. They will make it stay like this until you accept their lovely vaccine!


      • Mike Wilson
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

        Try to stay in touch with reality. The lockdown appears to be detaching you from it.

        • zorro
          Posted June 16, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

          We shall see….


  12. Lifelogic
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    I think many will struggle – so many seem to think they can rely on charging very many times the going rate and often selling rather poor quality too. I remember going into Boots in the city to buy some reading glasses (that I had forgotten to bring with me). I needed them for a meeting. The cheapest they had were about £30 and were inferior to the ones I usually buy on line at £12 for 6 pairs. I was tempted to keep the label on them and return them after the meeting (but I desisted and made a mental note to avoid the shop in future and not forget my specs next time). I had a similar experience with a computer cable I needed urgently so I went into Maplin (again about 10 times the price on Amazon even after delivery and they only had a shorter one than I wanted). They went bust about a week later.

    Plus you have the parking charges, council motorist muggers, rates to pay ………I think many are on a death spiral. The only ones that will survive with either be places you have to attend – hair dressers, nail bars, gyms, restaurants, cafes, dental/medical/physio and similar, car repairs and similar (where they need to car etc), why you need to check the fit or feel the fabric, distress purchases or the rather a few places that can make somehow make the experience an enjoyable leisure activity.

    I do not mind paying a bit more in a shop but not 10+ times thanks.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      The death spiral (positive feed back) goes like this:-

      Fewer customer and sales mean they carry less stock, open shorter hours and increase their margins to gain revenue. The remaining customer notice the higher prices, lower stock levels and less choice so even fewer customers come repeat.

      Why too can I buy 10 perfectly decent tooth brushes for £1 at a pound shop yet one at a chemist one costs me £2.95 or similar – 30 times more.

      Then you cannot even open the packaging without a pair sissors or a knife!

  13. Dave Andrews
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    The record of the supermarkets indicate shops can reopen. Whether the measures they took to prevent the spread of the virus were successful, or unnecessary, nobody knows. We have however seen stories of supermarket staff going down with the virus absent from the news.

    • hefner
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      If they were absent from the news, how have you seen such stories?
      BTW, the two supermarkets I have been going to (with a mask) these last three months seem to have kept most of their staff during the whole period whether they be cashiers or staff filling the shelves. But maybe Wokingham-Reading might have been blessed places?

      • Edward2
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        Have you seen any data for those who have worked in supermarkets hef?
        I have not heard any stories of them catching the virus.

      • NickC
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Hefner said: “If they were absent from the news, how have you seen such stories?” He hasn’t. That’s the point.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        @hef – I make a point of asking at the supermarket where I go if any of the staff are off because they have caught Covid.

        To date the answer has always come back that (Sainsburys) has been very good to those who have to shield and paid them so they are off but no one has been off sick with Covid

        One anecdotal piece for you

      • hefner
        Posted June 17, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Edward2, NickC, NS, so brilliant, we all agree.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Struggling a ‘bit’ ?

    My friends who own shops were struggling against Amazon which was selling items online below cost. Amazon were deliberately trying to crush the high street already struggling under the weight of business rates and anti car measures.

    In order to stay afloat some were already relying on welfare top ups.

    The Sun is correct this morning.

    We need an address to the Nation from the Prime Minister.

    It had already been an awful winter with flooding and miserable weather. The first signs of sunshine and we get locked down and the fear of God put into us.

    Now we have the white Left hijacking an incident which took place 4000 miles away to create trouble and disharmony here – they have succeeded in putting out of sight Churchill’s statue (voted the greatest ever Briton by our people) and the Cenotaph.

    We are about to be hit with six million unemployed.

    Is there anyone there ???

    HELLO ?

    HELLO ???

    *I know that Boris has been through a terrible illness and I was the first here to say how worried I was for him. But if he is so weak then he must be relieved of his duties for his and our own good.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      Can I be honest ?

      I used to support my local shops. I used to avoid Amazon bargains to support my mates often paying 10 to 20% more than I had to – because I didn’t want to see boarded up shops in my town.

      Fat lot of use that was.

      It has been with some relief that I’ve been able to spend on Amazon without a guilty conscience during lock down.

  15. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    You used make-believe dangers to persuade people to vote to Leave the European Union.

    Now you use make-believe safety to try to restart the economy.

    Unfortunately, the facts will assert themselves in the second case.

    This patchy, inefficient, irresolute approach to dealing with this scourge will drag out the crisis, and is at the root of the appalling economic consequences.

    Countries which went in faster and harder on WHO advice not only had far fewer fatalities, but also suffered less of every other kind of damage.

    You can open all the shops, pubs and restaurants. Millions of people like me will not be returning until the epidemic is properly suppressed, and nor will other countries be accepting visitors from this one.

    • Philip P
      Posted June 16, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Yes, ‘the facts will assert themselves’.

      The WHO did NOT recommend a lockdown. There’s no clear relation between having a lockdown and death rates. Belgium ‘went in fast and hard’, imposing one of the strictest lockdowns in W. Europe, and has Europe’s highest Covid-related death rate per head. The EU’s aviation safety agency, EASA, has listed it as a risky country to accept visitors from. British visitors are as of this week accepted without quarantine or other restrictions in Germany, Italy, Croatia, Portugal etc.

      The epidemic surely IS over. Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, said in April that the SAGE minutes would be released when the epidemic is over. Well, the SAGE minutes have now been released. So he must think it’s over. That’s also what the statistics say, according to the Oxford University Group for Evolutionary Ecology of Infectious Diseases. Even the BBC says the death rate is ‘returning to normal’.

  16. Steve Reay
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Lots of self employed can go back to work but aren’t, why would they the government is paying them. The furlough scheme needs to stop for them now.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Indeed the self employed can work on top of what they get. The 80% of employed people was always too high (this was blindingly obvious from the start and big mistake) you are little or no better off after tax/NI and travel costs so many prefer furlough.

      They should pay less than 80% and allow people to work some days and not on others.

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

      Agree but there are also many of us in the hospitality industry who are desperate to get back to work but instead have to sit on our hands watching our businesses go down the pan thanks to the ineptitude and indecisions of this incompetent Government.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      I know of 3 self employed including a hairdresser who are working while on furlough.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        And that is permitted so long as they are not working for their employer.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      The govt is not paying them – the taxpayer is.

    • jerry
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      @Steve Reay; Now the shops are open perhaps you could buy a new clue, or at least a narrower brush!

      The SE are not on the furlough scheme. But more to the point, the SE can only go back to work if there is work available, for example the govts advice is still not to have (other than for emergencies) builders into your occupied home, and for offices to work from home were ever possible etc. – tell me how can, say, a SE kitchen/bathroom fitter “go back to work”?

      • Stred
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

        My friends had delivery of a nee kitchen and thought that it would not be a problem to stay in a separate part of the house for two days. They are health professionals but apparently the experts and behavioural psychology goons know better.

        • jerry
          Posted June 16, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

          Those who clean the hospital floor are just as much “health professionals” as the virologists are….

          • Stred
            Posted June 16, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

            The family has a heath visitor, two GPs and two dentists.

          • jerry
            Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

            @Stred; So these people you talk of are not virologists, thanks for confirming my point!

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        I know many self-employed people who have paid their taxes over the past three years that are all on furlough Jerry?

        • jerry
          Posted June 16, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          @a-tracy; Not if they are truly Self Employed, ie they do not pay tax via PAYE.

          You can claim for employees on any type of employment contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts. Foreign nationals are eligible to be furloughed.


          You can only claim for furloughed employees that were employed on 19 March 2020 and who were on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 19 March 2020.

          There is the “Self-Employment Income Support Scheme” for those eligible, who file a self assessment tax return.

          • a-tracy
            Posted June 18, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

            Why wouldn’t a self-employed freelancer fill in an annual Self Assessment tax return and pay their taxes? I thought you had to.

            I am effectively a truly self employed person but pay myself through PAYE, and fill in a self-assessment tax return every year for any dividend income.

            I also know many freelancers who have both a main self-employed income plus income from PAYE work they declare both on a self-assesment tax return every year and they are on furlough?

          • a-tracy
            Posted June 18, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

            One more important point – I also know lots of completely self-employed (only) people with no PAYE income and they ALL fill in annual self-assessment forms and pay their tax and get furlough?

          • a-tracy
            Posted June 18, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

            Apologies for this my mistake I incorrectly used the word ‘furlough’ in the above context and I should have said ‘a government income support scheme’ as I appreciate self-employed people claimed a grant rather than being able to place themselves on furlough. I’ve been told this government income support for the self-employed people I know was fast and easy to apply for and they got the money on time and hopefully it will happen again in August.

  17. davews
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    I hope you are right John. Sadly the need for all the unnecessary ‘social distancing’ measures including the now to be reviewed 2m rule which should never have been more than 1m will mean most shops will struggle to make a living. If queuing outside for 20 minutes happens outside most shops many, including myself, will just not bother and will buy stuff online instead. I see the new public transport face mask law (published yesterday without a discussion in parliament) will be in force for up to a year. This will kill off the already deserted railway. Facemasks, and especially the promoted home made ones, will cause serious health issues to many due to reinhalation and hyperventilation, not to mention steamed up glasses and its associated safety problems. Please think again, this is far from a normal way of living.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Even the world’s top scientists are unsure as to what the relative risks of one versus two metres separation are, and so advise the utmost caution.

      Please explain the basis for your apparent certainty in these matters?

      • NickC
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        Martin, So why are you so certain that the UK death rate is so much worse than other countries?

    • beresford
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      We should have the two metre principle instead. Stay two metres (or further) apart if you can, but one metre at your own risk. Let businesses which can only maintain one metre open with warning notices posted and let people decide what level of risk they want to take.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

        It’s not all about YOU.

        It is to protect those whom you may unknowingly infect, though I surmise that you wouldn’t care if you knowingly did anyway.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 16, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

          It’s not all about you…says the person who posts 20 times a day attacking everyone and thinks his political opinions are the only correct one that are allowed.

    • hefner
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      How comes that population in Japan, China, South East Asia can so often survive wearing a mask when going outside their home. Are they from another species?

      Hyperventilating? yes indeed.

      • NickC
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        Or the virus isn’t as infectious as the WHO claimed.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 16, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

          Or, as even the very dullest would grasp, masks work.

          • NickC
            Posted June 16, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

            And why are you so certain of that, Martin, when even the world’s top scientists are unsure as to what the relative risks are?

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Making face masks a requirement on public transport was a step too far, and clearly demonstrates how easily a government can sink into anarchy and marshal law.

      If anybody thinks that being unable to breath correctly for the length of a train or bus journey is good for you, while not expelling carbon dioxide from your lungs, then I can only wonder at the mentality and agenda of those imposing such harsh rules.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      On the high street here in the East Midlands there is a queue for the card and fancy goods shop. It is having a fire sale and is shutting at the end of the month. One of many casualties of the lockdown.
      No doubt it will be converted to flats which will make more money.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

        Reinhallation? Hyperventilating?

        What on earth are you gibbering about? Get a grip.

  18. Adam
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Many folk, after having weeks of previously-scarce time to tidy and rationalise their belongings at home will have set aside quantities of unwanted items to donate to charity shops. Whereas charities welcome donations of products that turn into income promptly, the sudden surge of deliveries may result in much having to go to waste.

    Pavements in front of charity shops often contain piles of plastic bags of items that the shop volunteers had already received and processed. Some of those may have been redistributed by their own vans to other branches within their network, or destined to be destroyed as being worth too little, or presenting too much work in view of excess stock to manage.

    Buying new presents a helpful boost to employment and the economy, yet products we don’t need and give away which others could receive at a low price would reduce some of our value if it is destroyed by its speed of availability.

  19. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Many of the smaller shops will not be able to open because of the 2 metre rule.
    This will put many out of business making high streets even more of an eyesore.
    I did notice that traffic wardens are back in force doing their bit to annoy the populace.
    Scrap this unscientific rule and leave us to make our own decisions.

    • Kevin Caudwell
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      We’re not allowed to make our own decisions any more – we are all prejudiced and unscientific – I mean, we even don’t trust experts anymore when they tell us what the scientific consensus is. We should consider ourselves lucky and grateful that we are even allowed to leave our houses.

      “Population control measures” work much better when people don’t think and make decisions for themselves.

    • steve
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      “Many of the smaller shops will not be able to open because of the 2 metre rule.”

      Well you say that, but where I live there are loads of Polish shops. All of them are tiny little outfits and they managed to stay open.

      • Stred
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

        Our local shops selling booze and food have stayed open throughout and some deliver to the door and take phone orders. They take cash or card and are doing well.
        They need to get used to masks though. When I popped in wearing my top grade filter mask and goggles they looked terrified until they realised that I only wanted s bottling of port.

  20. NickC
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    The latest research (from the Zurich University Hospital) shows that worldwide the SARS-CV-2 virus is much less infectious (or people are much more resistant) than the WHO estimated. Their figures indicate an infection rate of about 0.3% rather than the WHO’s 3.4%.

    This also vindicates the other experts who said that the virus was not quite the bogeyman beloved of the MSM, and the Remains who revel in the destruction of our nation. We should not have had a full lockdown, as Sweden showed. We should have locked down our borders, as President Trump showed.

    • hefner
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Could you provide a reference to the WHO announcing a 3-4% potential infection rate? Thanks a lot in advance.
      BTW according to John Hopkins U, there are 8m infected out of the total world population of 7.8bn people so hardly above 0.1%.

      • NickC
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        Hefner, At the 3rd March briefing on Covid-19, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus stated: “Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died.” This sort of scare-mongering informed the debate in March. The figures I quoted are the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR), not the “infection rate” as I incorrectly termed them (the WHO estimate of 3.4% IFR; and multiple studies now indicating the IFR to be around 0.3%).

        • hefner
          Posted June 16, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

          So you mixed up the infection rate and the infection fatality rate. Thanks for making that clear.

    • Andy
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      While, in actual Sweden, investigations are underway into the country’s ’disastrous’ response to Covid 19. Cases have still not peaked. The toll in care homes has been appalling and the scientists are now saying they got it wrong. But you are a Brexiteer.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        Sweden is not a Brexiteer Andy. It’s the first Feminist, Woke government and its preferential treatment of non-Swedes proves it. I would expect you to hero worship Sweden!

    • Edward2
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Nations like New Zealand and others did lock down their borders.
      We were reluctant to do this.
      Millions have come into the UK in the last few months via our ports and airports.
      And some via inflatable boats.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        Your government couldn’t be bothered to do that, or much else.

        It was all just too much faff for them, it seems to me.

        You can’t blame anyone else.

        They have a majority of eighty.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

          You were against locking down the borders.

          You called me and others who mentioned the obvious weakness of stopping all activity whilst leaving the borders open xenophobic.

          If you had been PM would you have turned back people?
          No you would not.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 16, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

            You are simply lying, yet again.

            I was 100% for strict testing, follow-up, and quarantine of all entering the country right at the start.

            But whether I was or not has no bearing on your government’s decision not to do it anyway.

            They own this catastrophe completely.

            I have never called anyone xenophobic on any post here either.

          • NickC
            Posted June 16, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            Martin, I don’t recall you ever calling for our borders to be locked down either.

          • NickC
            Posted June 16, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

            Martin, I have tried to find evidence of your claim. Not once did I find you calling for our borders to be locked down. And not once have you supported my call for our borders to be shut (which I have been requesting for 3 months). Perhaps you can supply evidence for your apparent re-writing of history?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

            Thanks Nick
            It is typical of those on the left like Martin to rewrite history.
            Then they move on to destroy and books.
            Then they come for those they disagree with.

      • glen cullen
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Radio 4 afternoon Saturday last reported that those inflatable’s get a free passage because the French have to let them go as they threaten violence to others in inflatable if they come near, and our border force escorts them the rest of the way. The report indicated that both the French and British where just following the rules of the sea……rubbish

    • hefner
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      NickC, I hope you realise that 3% of the 7.8 bn people in the present day ‘s world population is 234 m. I cannot imagine that the WHO ever announced such a figure.
      And among your favorite web sites the IEA’s would not either. Those guys are fluent with numbers.
      Are you not bothered with the accuracy of your statements? Or are you confirming you are no good with figures?

      • bill brown
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 3:06 am | Permalink


        NickC has never been good with facts or figures

        • NickC
          Posted June 16, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

          Bill B, Since you don’t produce either I will ascribe your comment to jealousy and projection.

      • NickC
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Hefner, I correctly reported the Zurich University Hospital research including the figures. I made one error of terminology (not the numbers, as you claim), and freely acknowledged that. That does not invalidate either the ZUH research, nor my report.

        Indeed accuracy is vital, otherwise incorrect decisions will be taken. There is however a difference between a single mistake and persistently retailing provenly false information.

        • hefner
          Posted June 16, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          How dishonest you are:
          First post 15/05 07:13: ‘the SARS-CV-2 virus is much less infectious … than the WHO estimated’ (0.3 vs 3.4%).
          Only in your second post 08:44 do you correct to 3.4% and give the date, on 3 March.
          [BTW I did not comment on your figures. Another misconception of yours].

          Can you not figure out that between 3/03 and whatever the date the Zurich report was published, the amount of testing might have increased enormously (see the daily tally from John Hopkins U, available since 29/02 to this day), which can only have the effect of decreasing the percentage of infection wrt to the number of people tested. Statistics 101.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

            So when the percentage falls you say it is just because of increased testing.

            Yet you and others would quickly be blaming the UK Government if the percentage rose or if the number the UK tested reduced.

          • NickC
            Posted June 17, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

            And how dishonest you are. I did not “correct” to 3.4% because that’s the figure I correctly first gave:

            The latest research (from the Zurich University Hospital) shows that worldwide the SARS-CV-2 virus is much less infectious (or people are much more resistant) than the WHO estimated. Their figures indicate an infection [fatality] rate of about 0.3% rather than the WHO’s 3.4%“.

            Apart from the ommission of the word [fatality] it’s all correct. Just to help you, that’s two separate ideas in two separate sentences.

          • hefner
            Posted June 19, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

            Edward2, NickC, you are both absolutely ridiculous. According to John Hopkins U, on 03/03 there were a total of 93,018 cases with 38,872 so-called active cases, most of them in China and a few other countries. On 10/06 the total number of cases was 7,447,212 with 3,293,344 active cases over more than 100 countries. Making a fuss like NickC did comparing fatalities percentages out of the situations in these two dates is simply wrong as the overall environments where these figures were collected were so different: a rather confined Chinese one vs a much more widely open one in the many countries involved later.
            Finally I read the original ZUH report, did you? As I thought what NickC was quoting was a sentence in the concluding remarks.

  21. JimS
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    If the supermarkets have been able to operate without facial coverings, and they are the busiest shops, why do we need them for other shops?

    I see that in my town 20 metres of plastic barriers have been placed down the side of one road, to ‘social distance’ cars from pedestrians. What on earth is the purpose of that? It is as silly as those 20 metres of bike lane than no doubt get added up to achieve some sort of national target.

    There was no need for ‘lock-down’ in the first place. We are being played for fools. Apparently the ‘virus’ doesn’t affect BLM supporters or the police that assist them. It does affect anyone that opposes BLM, 95% of the population, so they have to be actively policed wearing a face shield!

    • Kevin Caudwell
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Please be careful. This kind of dissent and wrongthink is dangerous and could lead to a second (and much more deadly) peak of the deadly Wuhan virus.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      It all strikes me as being a bit like the rules of a game…like kids playing.
      Rules made up as they go along.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      And the police attacking the far right. Many of the so called far right were peaceful ex service men and women. The cameras only showed the bits they like.
      I didn’t see the police arresting the woman who was filmed pouring yellow paint over a war memorial.
      Thank the Lord Farage is back on the beat of we may one day get a real Tory government. Fingers crossed.

    • Hope
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Jim, Because the Tory govt lied over the use of face masks. That is why shops, care homes and hospitals have been and are the hotspots. Where else do you think the infection and deaths came from?

  22. majorfrustration
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Am less and less sure that the Government knows whats going on.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      The govt live in their own world – not the one they create for the rest of us.

    • steve
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      “Am less and less sure that the Government knows whats going on”

      Well they sure as hell don’t understand that racism laws apply to ALL races.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      I’m more and more certain that it has not a clue!

      • glen cullen
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        Its quite surprising that any single government could make so many mistakes in quite so short a time…they’ve completely forgot why they where elected

        • APL
          Posted June 16, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

          ” forgot why they were elected ”

          Neither Boris Johnson nor anyone else in the Cabinet are in control of the government.

          If you want to know who now governs Britain, go to Broadcasting house.

          The other day, some footballer decided that children should have free meals. Shortly there-after the BBC took up the campaign, now it’s government policy that children should have free meals – even when the schools are closed .

          The BBC put up a couple of portly looking kids to illustrate the sob story of deprived and malnourished children.

          The BBC are ‘avin a larf.

          And the Tory party and people like Redwood are being led by the nose.

          • a-tracy
            Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

            APL I don’t think many Conservative Ministers actually speak to you know actual poor workers who manage to provide their children with breakfast, lunch and an evening meal with potatoes, vegetables and a small protein without all these free handouts, often surviving on less actual net income than single parent mothers with five children – believe me – I know several single parent mothers with multiple children who are doing very well financially, get all their housing costs covered, all the kids have the latest smart phones, internet, Sky or Netflix.

            The footballer is a good study, where was his father didn’t he contribute child support, how much was his mother living on including housing benefits and all additional top ups to her low earnings? How many times was her electricity cut off? I know lots of poor families their kids never starved and certainly not in order to provide football lessons and kit for one of the five.

  23. Alec
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    What you actually mean is that some shops are opening and wondering how to repair the damage that an unjustified and unlawful shutdown imposed by panicked politicians has done. Many will fail, others will just never reopen. If government actually want to help they should remove pointless and counter productive rules, lower or remove taxes and otherwise do as little as possible to make things worse. You have done too much damage already.

    • Nigl
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      And of course, if the virus numbers had gone the other way, you and many others would be ranting that the government should have taken more action. Cake and eat it. Easy when you don’t have the responsibility.

    • Hope
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Alex, Well said. Absolutely spot on. Remember promises on freezing community charges, JR, belly aching about business rates and car park charges for towns. All forgotten today!

      Tory govt has hiked our community charges, way beyond inflation and Tory promises, without any improvement in service whatsoever, in fact they have got worse just like Hospitals, GP appointments and policing. What can we now expect having savaged the economy?

      JR, why are dentists still shut? Remember your govt encouraged happy clappers for health workers while keeping these shut! People need dentists, wake up.

      • Not Bob
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        JR, why are dentists still shut? Remember your govt encouraged happy clappers for health workers while keeping these shut! People need dentists, wake up.

        my front teeth have fallen out, so I cannot even go out, its too embarrassing.

  24. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Queuing to get into a shop where I may or may not find something that I want to buy – no thanks.

    Relax the distancing rules and let people get on with their lives. Open public transport properly with face coverings and let’s get back to normal.

    Open pubs with temperature checks and gloves for the staff.

    • jerry
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      @NS; “Open pubs with temperature checks and gloves for the staff”

      Non so blind as those who choose not to see…
      Asymptomatic’s do not show symptoms, but are infectious.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        Hi Jerry – so your response is to just stay at home? I think you are self employed aren’t you, surely you must want to earn?

        Open the pubs and restaurants and public transport. I am prepared to lift my face mask each time I want a mouthful of beer of food, if it makes it happen

        Let’s get back to normal, if there is a second spike, deal with it. It’s not going away in the short term.

        • jerry
          Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

          @NS; “so your response is to just stay at home?”

          That is not what I said or even implied. Yes I’m Self Employed, but what the hell has that got to do with opening such places as pubs that have a high risk of causing contagion, a second spike and thus a second lockdown?

          “Let’s get back to normal, if there is a second spike, deal with it. It’s not going away in the short term.”

          Economic sectors (in this case hospitality) need to adapt to the changing realities (just as many had to do in the 1980s), not bury their heads in the sand. Yours is the never ending cycle of another epidemic followed by another lockdown, repeated until someone either rediscovers a clue or the economy is truly trashed -and for what- just so you can have a pie and a pint whilst propping up some bar!

          “I am prepared to lift my face mask each time I want a mouthful of beer of food”

          Face masks do not stop contagion, even less so if a asymptomatic keeps lifting it away from their mouth and nose!

          Before you ask, yes I like a pie and a pint, but these days I’m content to buy (excellent) pies from the local butchers and buy my pints from the local off licence. Did I enjoy pubs and restaurants pre lockdown, of course, but I also enjoyed those true pithead brass bands back in the 1970s… 😛

          I want a stronger UK economy, and society, to emerge out of this epidemic, helped by a true Brexit (which has never been more important), not sure how you see the future.

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

            The continued scare over this virus which is serious for very few youngsters (I am in the at risk age group) is unhelpful Jerry

            We need to cope, rather than hide. We know the virus is out there now, we know the consequences so we can mitigate.

          • jerry
            Posted June 20, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

            @NS; “We need to cope, rather than hide.”

            No one has suggested otherwise, just that some things will need to change until (if) we can control this virus by drug treatments or vaccine.

            “we know the consequences so we can mitigate.”

            Yes, from closed to open, but with rules, such as 2m social distancing!

            The problem with cutting the 2m rule is some are still disobeying it, if the govt cuts the distance to 1m how many will cut that by another 50% as they do now?

            What you seem to be totally ignoring is, whilst younger adults might be at low risk from the effects of virus themselves they can still be highly contagious – some being asymptomatic.

  25. Iain Gill
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    People who normally work away from home need the hotels open.

  26. Will in Hampshire
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    One of my colleagues caught the coronavirus. He was in a coma for twenty-five days with a tube down his throat. When he left hospital he could neither speak nor walk. I don’t think I’m going to risk that to save the likes of Philip Green.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 16, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      I am sorry to hear that Will but in the long term you are saving yourself and others by rebooting the economy.

  27. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    There are still too many restrictions. Why go to the trouble of somehow going to a high street or shopping centre, once there being ordered which routes to take and having to line up for however long to be allowed in when you can sit at home and order on the internet? Having never used the internet for grocery shopping we have done during this crisis. After frustration at the outset with the process I now have a good system that works and we may never go to the supermarket again for our groceries.
    I always feared the “cure” would be worse than the disease and am more convinced that there will be far more damage to people’s health and their economic futures because decisions were made based on specious mathematical models and having a group think mentality all averse to risk and too focused on the virus and not adequately considering the wider ramifications of their recommendations.

  28. Chris Dark
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I’m afraid that any shop that demands I wear a mask when entering it will not get my money. I do not wear symbols of submission. Queues, thankfully, where I live are rarely of any great length so I can cope with that, but just wait till the colder weather comes, I doubt many will stand dutifully outside a hardware shop when they can sit at home in the dry and order an item online.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

      Symbols of submission?!

      Are you sane? Has the lockdown sent you over the edge? Personally I refuse to wear the symbol of submission known as a tie. Mind you, I know I’m nuts.

  29. John E
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Looking at the photos I have seen of Reading town centre I shall be staying well away. All the ridiculous over reaction based off the silly 2m distancing rule would just annoy me too much to make the experience pleasurable. I’m not putting on a face mask for that.

    I haven’t been in any shops or supermarkets since the end of February and am all the happier for it. Online shopping and supermarket click+collect has worked and the home grown produce planted at the start of lockdown is coming along well. The strawberries are particularly fine this year and I’ll be harvesting my first potatoes in a few minutes.

  30. Richard416
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John. Yes it is good to know shops can open again, but in order to shop with confidence we the public need to know that public toilets are provided and open to us. Perhaps while the government is considering making it more illegal to deface a monument than it already is, they might place a duty on local authorities to provide adequate free toilets, as apparently they are not obliged to.

  31. Original Chris
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    For high street shops to survive the Councils have to bring down the business rates significantly and reduce car parking charges. In order to facilitate quick visits to the shops there should be more on street parking, for example up to 20 mins, with no charges.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      You can’t get your hair done in 20 minutes and moving the car in curlers is not a pleasurable experience!

  32. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Who wants to go to the shops while we have kids racing around without any control from parents? They should be in school.

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

      All the young people and those that have been cooped up with young children FuS, having seen all the beach pictures with no spike, the big blm City Centre protests weekends on end all stood like sardines in a tin with no spike, all the police constantly not wearing masks all stood with people shouting in their faces having to get up close when arresting people – no spike. This is just getting unbelievable now.

  33. ukretired123
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    The Salisbury Poisonings on BBC should be a wake up call for everyone to be alert to social distancing in Public places esp youngsters thinking overnight raves are ok. Western democracy is under threat from totalitarian states whilst some just don’t think.

    It is very welcome news that something is moving at last and whilst not perfect folks expectations are very mixed. In the 1930s Great Depression many children had no shoes and poverty was a lifelong reality. Some of the extreme armchair warrior critics of the UK in 2020 aided by MSM “news” purport to know better despite lacking proven business success.

  34. Original Chris
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    With regard to wearing masks, it is worth listening to Dr Fauci who stated that they were of limited use but they made people feel safer. Medically speaking they may help prevent the wearer of the mask from spreading disease, but they do not apparently offer effective protection for the wearer, and in some cases can apparently do real harm e.g. for those engaging in physical exercise and those with cardiac conditions who would suffer with reduced oxygen intake.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 16, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Dr Fauci changed his mind and recently admitted Chris that he said that to protect the supply of N95/FFP2 masks for medical professionals and emergency workers.

  35. Kevin
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Whatever the true history of the phrase “a nation of shopkeepers”, when applied to this country, we should take pride not only in the hard work involved in honest commerce, but even more so in following up our defeat of Napoleon by joining with France, at the Congress of Vienna in 1815, “to induce all the Powers of Christendom to proclaim the universal and definitive Abolition of the Slave Trade”.

  36. beresford
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Still not clear what the position on public transport is. All of the websites say you should only travel if ‘essential’, but the West Midlands police say anyone planning to shop by bus or train should check the schedules and observe distancing. So should we assume it is OK then? Of course the rational thing to do would have been to allow people to travel outside of rush hour and at weekends. Also unclear why aquariums must remain closed, what is the difference between filing past a tank and filing past supermarket shelves?

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      Laws have to be obeyed otherwise the result is prison
      Rules have to be obeyed otherwise the result is a fine
      Guidance is a desire of behaviour otherwise…well nothing

      Our government has been vague about which is which and how they should be applied, the police are confused, shops are confused, the different countries of the UK are confused and the people are confused

  37. acorn
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    This Press statement by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič following the second meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee; is the best sit-rep I have read lately.

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

      ”and it is also important that EU citizens residing in the UK have access to social benefits”


      • a-tracy
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        glen, if the EU had agreed to a working time period with a minimum level of tax and national insurance contributed before benefits became claimable then decisions may have been different, this intransigence is what caused the complete break so if Boris goes back on this…

        Juncker sent Cameron with his reasonable request because of the way our benefits system operated compared with other Countries in Europe and they sent Dave away with a flea in his ear.

  38. TooleyStu
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I always support my local shops. And always pay cash.
    I very rarely use online shopping.
    If I do it will only be direct .. not via a major website (you know the ones).
    I would rather pay a little more to help a local shop owner get his daughter to dance classes, than a billionaire get his 3rd super yacht.
    Question.. if face coverings work.. then why the 2m rule?
    I believe we are currently living through the Biggest Hoax of recent times.
    It has nothing to do with health.. just power and control.

    Too;ey Stu

  39. Everhopeful
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    None of this makes the slightest bit of sense.
    How can it be that the population must be locked down (under threat of punishment) and then the extreme, far left mob ( waiting in the wings) can emerge to freely ransack and pillage?
    It IS the imposition of Agenda 30…isn’t it?
    The UN is claiming that Covid 19 is “already”making renewable energy more cost effective and hoping to seize this crisis to rebuild in a more sustainable way.
    Boris is fully signed up.
    Build Back Better!
    Thanks a bunch. Why don’t our lives count too?

  40. a-tracy
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Are they opening the toilets? Are they putting cleaners in the toilet blocks to clean between each use or provide a way to clean the toilet yourself? If not this isn’t going to work. You can’t try the clothes on anyway, so you might as well order online without the palaver. I hate this method of shopping queueing outside, no toilets open, not able to go back to pick up alternative items, instead of going for food once every week we now go once a month and top up with fresh produce locally. It’s not fear of the virus that will stop me.

  41. Polly
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Did the UK government give ”the highest priority to saving lives” ?

    My contention, very sadly, is that the UK government did no such thing.

    I think they gave priority to their hidden global government ambitions via supra national organizations such as the UN and the WHO, and hoped this would be enough to keep C-19 under control. It was entirely insufficient.

    I don’t think the UK government has told the UK public the whole story about what lies behind their actions in connection with C-19, and therefore surely it is the responsibility of those individuals who hold important information to establish the truth ?

    Even now, at this late stage, there are worries about the Oxford drug trials and when they are going to come to a definitive decision about new therapies.

    As every day passes and there is no apparent progress, concerns increase about deliberate stalling in favor of giving more time for vaccine research.

    As is suggested by this recent piece in the ”Daily Express”………..

    ”A vaccine update has prompted excitement after the leader of the Oxford University coronavirus trials confirmed that the entire British population could be vaccinated by the end of the year”…………….

    ”The entire British population” ?

    That would have to be mandatory vaccination.

    If that’s true, it would be an astonishing development and explain a number of issues already raised.

    If you read the comments to the article, it looks likely that many individuals will be deeply suspicious and opposed to this rushed vaccination plan.


    • a-tracy
      Posted June 16, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Perhaps this new vaccine will just be a squirt up each nostril self-administered so that this goal could be achieved.

      • APL
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        a-tracy: “Perhaps this new vaccine ”

        There will be no new vaccine. COVID-19 has infected enough people that it is in decline. In that, its following the trajectory of every other winter bug that the human population has been afflicted by since time immemorial.

        But having destroyed one fifth of the economy, the Government must still ‘bang on’ about COVID-19 and a potential vaccine.

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

          APL perhaps the supposed ‘new magic vaccine’ will be a placebo.

          Perhaps just perhaps we will discover how many of those patients who contracted and died with CV19 had the flu jab last winter and whether than interacted with the CV19 virus in a negative way.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 16, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      saving our lives, or saving their bacon? Which is it?

  42. RichardP
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    At the risk of sounding ungrateful, a bigger choice of queues to join won’t tempt me back to the High Street. I’m allergic to queues and face masks!

  43. Nutrient Dense
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    You need a healthy immune system, not a vaccine to fight viruses. You get this through the food you eat. You also need to be exposed to germs and viruses to strengthen immunity. Instead of wasting tens of millions of pounds we can’t afford on yet to be developed vaccines, whilst keeping us locked up and muzzled, invest instead in social care, and educate the public on how to stay healthy, starting right now. Eat Real Food. Stay Slim. Build Immunity. No masks, no gloves, no social distancing. No fear.

    • James Bertram
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      Much common sense there, ND.
      Sadly, the government has completely lost its marbles and won’t be following your good advice anytime soon.

  44. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    As usual we fail to learn from other countries. Germany allowed overnight household visits to hotels and Airbnb-type rentals ages ago – contact between visitors and staff is minimal (or absent) and risks are very low. But oh no, we’re not going to learn from that.

  45. mancunius
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    In London that means queuing for a train, risking infection in the city’s congested and unhygienic underground system, then queueing up to shop, and all while wearing a mask and steaming up one’s glasses so as to make it difficult to see, and with no toilet opportunities to compensate for the extended time this traipsing about will take.

    Why not order online instead? Life has now changed irreversibly – we need to change with it.

  46. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    In Hexham and CorBridge there are expensively produced ‘2 m distancing’ Signs almost every 2 m. The council has spent a bomb and if the social distancing is altered, all the money down the drain again.

  47. steve
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    It remains to be seen if the shops will return to normal any time soon.

    We’re still having to stand in stupid queues, and then being ordered to follow arrows, which, by pure coincidence have us walk along every aisle. Oh and we’re forced to use a trolley as well.

    Of course I’m not suggesting the supermarkets are making up their own rules so as to profit from a problem, or behaving like nasty little authoritarians to anyone who objects to their stupid games.

    Some retail stores deserve to go bust.

  48. Donna
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I’ll go shopping when these ridiculous restrictions are lifted and I can shop normally.

    It’s called retail therapy because it’s supposed to be pleasurable. There is nothing pleasurable, or normal, about being treated like a leper in order to enter a shop..

    • Original Chris
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Completely agree with you, Donna.

    • jerry
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      @Donna; “being treated like a leper in order to enter a shop.”

      But that’s the point, you, me, our host, anyone, even the shop staff, could well be that “leper”, CV19 asymptomatic -or worse.

      • James Bertram
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        or worse, Jerry?
        Good God, man; we might even have the flu!

        • jerry
          Posted June 16, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

          @JB; If only CV19 was just “the flu” (rather than double pneumonia with possible organ failure), next you’ll be claiming that 50k dead here in the UK, in three month, during Spring/early summer, is normal.

          • James Bertram
            Posted June 16, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

            650,000 deaths every year from flu; 1.5 million deaths from tuberculosis in 2018.
            That’s life, Jerry – get use to it.
            Enjoy your time while you can.
            Don’t spend it hiding under the bed.

          • jerry
            Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

            @JB: These CV19 deaths are EXTRA, no one is saying that no one ever dies from other causes! Then of course there is the added problem that CV19 appears to leave many with a long recovery, even those not hospitalised, unable to do the work they used to do.

            Life doesn’t revolve around work and the pub, try it…

        • Original Chris
          Posted June 16, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

          My sentiments too, JB.

          Some people have been behaving as though we have had an Ebola crisis. Quite extraordinary the lengths to which those people who have been scared witless by the irresponsible media, and, yes, politicians, have gone.

          • jerry
            Posted June 16, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

            @OC; “Some people have been behaving as though we have had an Ebola crisis”

            If only we had an outbreak of Ebola instead, there being tried and tested drugs to both vaccinate and cure that disease!

  49. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Out of choice, I certainly will not be going out shopping anytime soon.

    Will be sticking to click and collect for anything I need for the moment.

    In the wrong age group to go queueing up for non essentials.

    • mancunius
      Posted June 16, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      But click and collect means you do have to go out, visit the store where the goods have been delivered, and queue up at the till to collect.

  50. Javelin
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    On Friday the Government filed a response to a judical review of the lockdown. It turns out schools, and I assume Universities, were never shut to anyone. The Government say it was just a recommendation. Here is the response from Simon Nolan at Crowdfunding. So schools are open today and tomorrow to all pupils.

    Update on Join the Legal Challenge to the UK Govt Lockdown

    Late on Friday afternoon, 3 minutes before their deadline expired, the Govt filed with us their defence against our claim. All 58 pages of it.
    We will publish the whole thing on the site shortly, but the main story is that we have finally exposed that the whole schools shutdown was a lie. The Govt have admitted that they had no legal basis to close schools, and that they simply ‘recommended it’.

    This was something we suspected all along. The Govt says is is nonsensical for us to say that schools were closed because they remained open for key workers and there had only been a ‘request’ that schools should shut their doors to other pupils, yet the PM announced on March 18th that “schools will remain closed until further notice”
    This is really quite an extraordinary lie, and one which never would have come out if we hadn’t started this Judicial Review

    • Javelin
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Where do the legal smoke and mirrors start and end ?

      Can parents sue because they couldn’t work?

      Can university students sue because they were sent home?

      Can the self employed who supplied the schools sue?

      Can small businesses sue because they have lost money ?

      If it turns out everybody can sue the Government, then who is going to pay for it?

      As I posted at the begining of this crisis (a) there was no legal basis for shutting the economy down (b) there was only a legal basis to take people to be tested and put into quarantine (c) the only legal (and financial) option for the Government was voluntary shutdown of the vulnerable and get the healthy to pay for it (d) this will not only bring the Government down it will destroy the Conservative Party (e) I never get a prediction wrong.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        Congratulations for taking this action. The Government need to really feel the heat. Never again should they consider for a fleeting moment, curtailing the freedoms of the British people.

    • Original Chris
      Posted June 16, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Well done, Javelin, for exposing this. Police action against those who did not actually break the law should be exposed to the most rigorous scrutiny. I believe the people in this country need to wake up pdq now that we see exactly how our apparently unscrupulous politicians have behaved, as exposed by your court action.

  51. ed2
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Listen, everyone, listen carefully. I just asked the workmen putting down covid stay apart arrows in Nuneaton town centre if they are “!temporary, semi permanent or permanent” and they replied “PERMANENT”


  52. na
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    John, the town centre is destroyed, I am never going there again. You have men in uniform corralling us about like cattle.

  53. Dystopian nightmare
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    No one I know is putting up with this nonsense. All the political parties have destroyed themselves.

  54. na
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Not you John, the others

  55. Revolution coming
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    The town centers are a farce of nanny state extremism.
    Go shopping if you want to be treated like brainwashed cattle.

    • zorro
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      baaah!…. don’t forget the sheep!


    • Original Chris
      Posted June 16, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      We could erect a statue of a sheep, or better a flock. That would be really representative of the stupidity of the current reality.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        lemmings with some already leaping over the cliff edge?

  56. na
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    John, please admit the political class have gone insane

  57. Paul Cohen
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Well, surprise,surprise! Despite your upbeat post JR it seems WBC are bent on spoiling the party.

    Today, on the first real relaxing of restrictions we now have single line traffic in Peach Street and the imposition of restrictive measures for parking – if I were a shopkeeper in town I would wonder whose idea this was and demand an explanation as to how these measures are supposed to help their situation.

    • Original Chris
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      Seems as though the bureaucrat mentality has been so well imprinted on our mindset by the EU, that people are unable to see the whole picture, and most importantly, they cannot see the goal i.e. to get the economy working again and get people back to work. The bureaucrats just concentrate on the process and identifying yet more problems. The problem is that the “solutions” they come up with are nothing of the sort and only serve to impede reaching the goal of getting people back to work.

      There really needs to be a clean sweep of the mindset of the government, its institutions, and local government, to rid them of the bureaucracy which has strangled any hope of full recovery from COVID, and our forging ahead on our own now we have left the EU. Too many politicians/bureaucrats want to hang on to nanny’s apron strings. Oh for a Donald Trump over here. He wouldn’t stand for this nonsense. Above all he would not tolerate the destruction of the economy that is going on due to our weak and feeble politicians.

      • MG
        Posted June 16, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        I have been trying to work out when the bureaucratic stranglehold became noticeable. I think it was during the Major Government and then accelerated under the Blair years? I do not recall it being too obvious during the Thatcher years?

  58. ChrisS
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Our eldest son has spent 20 years training and developing his career as a Michelin-trained chef. He is currently head chef at a normally very busy restaurant which, of course is closed.

    They are preparing to re-open and the social distancing regime is absolutely crucial to their ability to operate profitably. At 1m it would be OK but any greater distance would make it impossible.

    Yet, the owner and our son are unable to make any preparations to re-open on 4th July because of the ludicrous indecision of the Prime Minister as this is going to involve spending quite a lot of money which is understandably in short supply.

    All the information about social distancing is available because the SAGE committee must have been looking at this for months, so why on earth can’t Boris just get a grip and make a decision ?

  59. David Brown
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    A number of very points and pleased to see on the news people out shopping. I know we often talk about the High Street when it comes to retail, however in recent years many retail shops are now in shopping arcades giving a much better shopping experience especially with the British weather.
    Too often we hear about the demise of the High Street, without mentioning that many retail outlets have moved to new better premises (ok not all). I feel there needs to be a time when we grasp the nettle and finally look for a new direction for the traditional High Street instead of leaving boarded up shops. This requires Architects Developers and Planners to be more creative about the traditional High Street eg more commerce such as offices and other leisure activities. Too often I hear moans that the High Street is dead – well yes it is. I want retail to grow and develop but equally I dont want to walk down faded High Street in the rain.
    Business Rates need a total revamp downwards and quickly

  60. Stephen G Speakman
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    The issue is queuing and loss of a spontaneity when going out to shop or going for a beer (in the near future)—take going for a beer—one wanders in and out of pubs and even enjoys the press at the bar and the noise and such and if you are told to sit down at one table and behave yourself whilst someone in a mask and gloves responds to your mobile phone app—well frankly I would prefer to have a beer at home with a few good friends and I wouldn’t even have to listen to stuff about French metres and masks etc.
    Personally I would favour scrapping all this restriction and get back to taking what is according to many renowned authorities a very small risk indeed.

  61. Graham Wheatley
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday JR.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink


    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 15, 2020 at 10:15 pm | Permalink


  62. Original Chris
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Correction to my above comment: DHHS Department of Health and Human Services.

  63. Original Chris
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Yes, “instructional arrows” and “compliance circles”. Welcome to the world of the Left. What in heaven’s name is a Conservative government doing, being involved in this, Sir John?

    I sincerely hope that the Reform Party gets off the ground very soon. It will not just be 8 to 10% of your Conservative party that will be siphoned off (Daily Express article apparently quoting fearful Tory MP).

    We are in the middle of an insurrection by the Left, apparently aided and abetted by a Cons government. It is deadly serious, and yet so many Tory MPs do not seem to have any awareness of this. The alternative, and shocking, interpretation of this is that they support it, albeit passively, through inaction. What one should bear in mind is that the globalists intent on one world government seem to base much of their operations on communist/Marxist principles.

    • na
      Posted June 16, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      It is deadly serious, and yet so many Tory MPs do not seem to have any awareness of this

      Tory Mps should be banned from watching the TV
      The propaganda is far too sophisticated for them to cope with

    • na
      Posted June 16, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      The alternative, and shocking, interpretation of this is that they support it, albeit passively

      surrendering makes life easier?

  64. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Have you had a good day John?

  65. bill brown
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    Thank you for a good contribution

  66. Stred
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    The man who relieved himself beside a monument at low level has been sent to prison after contacting the police. He claimed that he had not noticed the plaque. The rioters who defaced the Cenotaph and Churchill ‘s statue were not arrested. In Brighton the council removed a plaque with the name of the privately owned building on it because the building is named after a man who did business in the West Indies. They were supporting the BLM and taking their advice.

  67. L Jones
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    That word ”safely” is really beginning to get annoying.
    To me, for any premises to be ”safe” they must have fire exits and a well-signed escape route.
    Now it means that plenty of space must allowed for the cringers who need (it seems) at least ten feet between them and the next masked and hazmatted customer.

  68. Stred
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    The family has a health visitor, two GPs and two dentists.

    • Stred
      Posted June 16, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Correction for comment above.

  • 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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