July 4th – is this freedom day?

Today there will be restaurants, cafes and pubs open. More life will return to town centres and village streets after the long hibernation.

Some businesses are  very positive. They have worked hard to come up with compliant models for doing  business, and are hopeful customers will return. They desperately need support so some cash flows through the tills to start paying some of the bills.

Others are worried. Some still are banned from opening at all. Some have permission but do not see how they can make their model work , given limitations of space in their premises and the demands of social distancing.

Today I would be interested to know the reactions of my readers to this partial relaxation. Will you hit the town to buy a coffee or have lunch out? Do you want to visit the pub? Will you eat or drink in doors, or opt for the garden choice if the weather allows?

The government is worried in case too many people rush to the centres and fail to keep some distance between them. The  businesses are worried in case a cautious public stays away in large numbers, leaving the hospitality businesses with all the costs of their new set up and not enough revenue to justify it. It is your town or village centre we are talking about. Those who want to save them have to use them. Governments cannot subsidise them indefinitely  to serve too few people.

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  1. Nigl
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    ‘You’ remind me of a parent that gives a child pocket money and then takes the fun out by saying ‘Don’t spend it all at once’ or ‘don’t waste it’

    Dire warnings to be careful, stasi rules about distancing, no serving at the bar, having to give my name and address, all designed to take any fun out of the event whatsoever whilst desperately trying to give a veneer of normality.

    No I won’t be going however much I would like to and hope I am wrong.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:04 am | Permalink

      Yes! Stasi…that’s the word.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

        The very notion that saving the pubs is down to us!
        Pubs have been systematically dismantled by govt legislation over the years. They didn’t WANT us to spend our money in them!! Supermarket lobbying.
        How can we, the shell-shocked, jobless flock, be expected to do anything?
        No doubt the idea is that failing pubs be hoovered up by big chains.
        Well…I know of at least one beautiful hotel/pub bought up by a Chinese take over. It now sits hopelessly on the market.
        No profit to be made.
        A huge resource GONE!
        If you want pubs to flourish drop potty legislation, shut supermarkets and bring back thirst-inducing manufacturing.

        • Mark B
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

          Pubs, like the coffee shops of the 18th Century, are seen as places to foment rebellion. To normal, ordinary people, they are a place to meet and put the world to rights, have a laugh and a drink, and then go home happy.

          • Everhopeful
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

            Yep…we owe a lot to the “Penny Universities” notably “The Spectator” ( The Grecian Coffee Shop Devereux Court I believe). Pubs and coffee shops both places of meeting and exchange of ideas.
            All gone…all ruined.
            No freedom of speech any more and having achieved that the powers t b have their sights set on turning every meeting place into housing!

          • Everhopeful
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

            Sorry..Coffee Houses.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      Very Orwellian the way our freedom is being curtailed. Hairdressers not beauty salon or gym.
      No cricket or contact sport but you can fly on holiday.
      Pages of guidance from art student civil serpents.
      This .use never happen again.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink


      • Mark B
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        When the Second World War broke out the CS got a lot of powers and Ministries. It has been building them both since and thanks to the Tories they have been granted even more powers. Powers that even our kind host does not want them to have taken away. Worrying !

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      It isn’t the rules which will dissuade me from using pubs and restaurants etc.

      It is the simple fact that this country has failed to suppress the virus and it is now endemic here.

      Coupled with the fact that a large proportion of the public are either stupid, or lawless, or both, this is a recipe for yet more heavy loss of life.

      • NickC
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        Unlike you, Martin, I think the public (in general) have behaved very well. Certainly better than the hysterical hard left MSM (BBC etc); better than bitter, inconsistent, Remains; better even than the government, which has made occasional unforced errors.

        No, unless we have an authoritarian regime like China, as you favour, the government must trust the people anyway. So the right way is to cut the lockdown completely and instead advise the public of the risks.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          We’ll see, as with other things, won’t we?

          Do you remember me saying that back in March too?

          We have had about seventy thousand excess deaths since then, when Johnson was saying that “twenty thousand would be a good result” or words to that effect.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

            a) it’s about 60,000 not about 70,000

            b) the 20,000 quote is about Covid deaths not excess deaths

          • NickC
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

            Martin, You have been so inconsistent in what you say that I have no idea what “that” is which I’m supposed to “remember” from back in March. I know you make all sorts of spurious claims which do not appear in your past comments.

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      This is indeed a half measure government

      We’re either in lockdown or we’re not…..I’m fed up with this government sitting on the fence

      • Everhopeful
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        What if govt overreacted …and realises it?
        So they go all limp-wristed and allow us to break the “guidelines”.
        And then if there is ever a rise in virus sufferers they can blame us!
        I keep wondering what they will do if there is a bad ‘flu this winter.
        Lock us all in again? Ah…tishooo!

  2. Nigl
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    PS. My partner being nervous of the whole situation will not be using uk pubs. She is however happy to go to France and the bars/restos there. However illogical that is the fear your incompetent handling and mixed messages, has created.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Is this because they have more tables outside under awnings? To be honest I can’t stand the smoking whilst I’m eating and drinking outside in France.

  3. oldtimer
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    I am sure it is right that the measures in place to seek to control C-19 should be relaxed. Their original imposition has had a devastating impact on the economy, some of it clearly irreversible. As the CMO said yesterday: we must learn to live with this disease like all the others. People need to exercise personal care and judgment – not ordered about by a nanny state.

    I am not a regular pub goer. Trips to restaurants or pub/restaurants were about twice a month for us except on holidays when more frequent. We will not be visiting them again any time soon. We are at a vulnerable age and do not wish to catch the disease. Our trips out will be by car for picnics and visits to our family.

    • Nigl
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

      The failure of the track and tracing system, consequently zero information, has created this worry. It could be that there is no danger where you want to go but you have no means of finding out.

      • glen cullen
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        It didn’t failed….it never started

        But hey they employed 23,000 people to tract and trace…thats a result in itself

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      “We” being UK people, but not those everywhere.

      Those fortunate enough to live in properly-governed countries will NOT have to live with this disease.

      The pathetic, fatalistic defeatism, engendered by Johnson at the start here will be self-fulfilling.

      What a country full of useless wet lettuces.

      • NickC
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Your pathetic, fatalistic defeatism is self fulfilling. Your constant, whining criticism, without any semblance of fairness, justice, or cognisance of practicalities, has reduced you to a useless wet lettuce!!

        Freedom day is 23 June. Rejoice! We will become a properly governed nation once again.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          Hilarious, just hilarious.

          Properly governed? This country is now the laughing stock of the civilised, modern world.

          • NickC
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

            Martin, Have you got any evidence that the “world” considers the UK a “laughing stock”, and not just a few people from your bubble? You know, world wide surveys, and such?

        • DavidJ
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

          I agree. I have yet to see a comment from M in C that I agree with..

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

            I am immensely flattered.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        for ‘wet lettuces’ how about ‘sagging leeks’?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          You can be rude about the Welsh if you like, Fred.

          I’m not Welsh.

          • Fred H
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink


          • NickC
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

            Martin, You are certainly rude about the UK, and about Brexit voters. Since the Welsh are both, then yes you’ve been rude about the Welsh.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        Properly governed? Brits don’t like being told what to do, that’s why they’re belligerent, unlike the Germans who obediently do as they’re told. A short hop by ferry or you could use one of the many discarded dinghies used by the escorted illegal immigrants to Dover to leave this useless country full of wet lettuces, because there are many others on the other side only too willing to exchange with you.

  4. Everhopeful
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Who on earth wants to go out anywhere?
    To venture into the New Normal of arrows and restriction?
    We have no world anymore.
    I would say “ May politicians be forgiven”…but I hope they are not!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      People in other countries have back their lives.

      Notably in China.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        and Hong Kong !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • NickC
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Actually they do not. There are lockdowns still going on. And if they criticise the Chinese government they may end up leaving prison in more pieces than they went in.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

          OK, in Japan, New Zealand, Austria, Greece, Cyprus, Norway, Taiwan, South Korea, much of the European Union, Australia, and in many other places then.

          • NickC
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

            You mean the countries which locked down their borders, Martin? Which you opposed?

          • a-tracy
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

            28 May 2020 South Korea has reimplemented preventative measures in the capital Seoul following the biggest spike of new coronavirus infections in nearly two months.

            22 Jun 2020 – Global report: South Korea has Covid-19 second wave.

            Japan 4th May Shinzo Abe says lockdown measures will remain in place in all regions until 31 May.

            I can’t be bothered to check any more when you can’t.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Ignore the arrows. Just carry on as ‘normally’ as you can. Where you cannot, try elsewhere. The pound (£) in YOUR pocket is worth more to them now than ever before.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Well I am not that keen on pubs anyway and restaurants do tend to serve rather inferior (lowest common denominator food) to what I can choose to eat and drink, rather less expensively and rather more comfortably, at home and without the dire background Musak.
    But then I am no longer in the flush of youth.

    I am a bit concerned about flights. If 1/2000 has the virus there might be a 1/20 chance you have one on your flight or a 1/10 chance on one of your (out & return) flights. We have seen several incidents where air con in restaurants, cruise ships and similar places seems to have spread the virus rather too effectively. I do not have much confidence in the aircraft ventilation systems despite the claims of that Ryan Air boss. I quite often used to develop a cold just a few days into my holiday after my flights to Italy, Greece or France.

    But as I said yesterday deaths in the UK for the last week published are now slightly below the 5 year average and survival rates for those who catch the virus are improving significantly. We need to keep risks in realistic perspective and we need to get back to normal as soon as possible.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      I think there is more risk in the herding, seating areas and channeling through security at airports and they can’t slack off with that.

      If people all wear masks and aren’t allowed to fly with a temperature or cough unless they have a test certificate to say that cough isn’t cv19 the airplane is lower risk as it is particle filtered, you could wear a nebuliser if you want to be doubly sure, but if you do go ahead don’t stand in crowds at the airport, ensure at least 1m distance is kept if you’re in a queue, use lots of hand gel, wear a mask, maybe a face visor if you’re sat next to a stranger on the plane itself.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      It is likely we will see lower than average death rates during the next few months. What that will mean is the excess deaths of the last 3 months have almost all been deaths brought forward by a few weeks, perhaps months, which would have happened anyway, due to other conditions. Probably half caused by the Wuhan virus, and half by the lockdown. Still of course distressing for families and people affected, but talk of tens of thousands of avoidable deaths is nonsense.

      I don’t think the lockdown, given the damage it will have caused (including to health), will in retrospect be seen as having been a sensible policy.

      • NickC
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        Richard1, Correct and succinct.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        True one would expect lower deaths post covid as clearly is accelerated many deaths by a few months. I still however maintain that the circa 70,000 excess deaths we have seen over the recent 14 weeks were nearly all covid caused or covid accelerated. As I said before when doctors and surgeon go on strike the effect in the short term is a reduction in deaths not an increase. Also the lockdown will have reduced other infections and causes of death like road deaths.

        • NickC
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

          And lockdown will have caused other deaths, both now and in the future.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

            Mainly in the future in the short term it has probably reduced them.

          • NickC
            Posted July 6, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

            Lifelogic, The ONS states there were 12,900 excess non-Cv19 deaths in the first 4 months of 2020 (cf 5 yr avg).

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      I also used to suffer cold or flu a few days into a holiday.
      But then I took to using my fleece pockets as gloves, avoiding touching anything with my bare skin. Since then, I have been clear of illness.
      I have doubts that air-con is the source of viral infections, which I believe is much more to do with contaminated surfaces. Many people don’t practise good hand hygiene, even amongst NHS staff it is worryingly below 100%.
      The flight itself might be a source of infection, through contaminated meal trays and seat rests and pockets, but you’d be really unlucky to be sitting where an infected person has been, or on a plane where someone else infected is flying. There are many more people in the airport however, so don’t touch anything there. Same advice for motorway service stations.

      • miami.mode
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        Good points there about surfaces, Dave. We use public toilets, wash our hands thoroughly and then push or pull the door open to exit and Bingo!

        • Sokalowski
          Posted July 8, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

          Concentrate on building up your immune system, the world is a rough place)

    • Fred H
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Mortality lower for reasons:- fewer road traffic incidents, fewer ‘sports’ injuries, fewer half and full marathon deaths. Less walking/hiking exercise heart attacks. DIY could actully be higher!
      Any stats on use of Defibrillators, internal fitted and external used?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        Few deaths too (in the short terms) from fewer NHS operations being performed.

        • a-tracy
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          You keep saying this statement how many operations are there in England per month and how many people die within six months of those operations?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            Quite alot. Globally, 4.2 million people are estimated to die within 30 days of surgery each year. Many operations have very high mortality rates.

            Even operations like dieting surgery have significant risks up to 1/700 within just 30 days.

            The 30-day mortality rate for sleeve gastrectomy was 0.08 percent, while the rate for gastric bypass was 0.14 percent and 0.03 percent for gastric banding. These mortality and complication rates are lower than those typically associated with gallbladder or hip replacement surgery.

          • a-tracy
            Posted July 6, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

            This is a lot globally but 4.2 million out of how many individual operations? And how does the UK compare both in the NHS and Private Hospital system, do you know how many die per month as a result of an operation in the last six months? Or where have you heard it is such a big problem I just want to read the facts?

            On sleeve gastrectomy I wonder of the 0.8% that die was their obesity of such a high degree that their longevity was a similar high risk and is this in the UK?

            I just can’t believe that operations in the UK are causing more deaths than they’d save by not doing operations.

      • glen cullen
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

        Bet car insurance companies are doing well

        Number of RTAs down to 1970s levels

        I haven’t used my car much during the past 4/5 months and yet my insurance has gone up

        • a-tracy
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

          Glen there are plenty of accidents now though, this last week motorways closed for five hours at a time, people left to queue stationary for hours rather than police immediately closing the motorway and funnelling people off three and two junctions behind the pile ups.

          Breakdowns now are closing two lanes because we no longer have a hard shoulder, people going out on long journeys with cars they’ve not used or only used for < 5mile trips seizing up.

  6. davews
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    I don’t regularly visit pubs and restaurants. But until I can just drop into one for a pub lunch with no hassle, no booking, sit where I like etc I will not. Project fear is running on steroids again while all the time the virus is getting harder to find. I see the WHO has now categorically stated that you cannot catch it from asymptomatic carriers and all the social distancing was never needed, but you would never guess this from the media. And fiddle the figures again so they look worse by including the platform 2 ones, the vast majority of which are from asymptomatic people who will probably remain so.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      But until I can just drop into one for a pub lunch with no hassle, no booking, sit where I like etc

      And this is the crux of the matter – queuing for shops, blistering hands with sanitiser, giving contact details.

      Going out should be fun, not a re-enactment of cold war Eastern European chic.

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        Now NS there is another big reason for not going to pubs and restaurants if you have a responsible job you can’t just quit work with no notice because you’ve had the unfortunate episode of sitting in the next toilet cubicle or table to an infected asymptotic carrier, we can’t all work from home, then you and everyone in your workplace has to close down for a fortnight untested! 🤯

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          Unintended consequences a-tracy.

          Track and trace is an encouragement to avoid contact

  7. M Hopkins
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    I won’t be going anywhere that imposes these ridiculous restrictions and I am not afraid.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Well said !

  8. agricola
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    In support of my censored by elimination piece on the Leicester lockdown, the Daily Mail has confirmed that what I said was true. Ragtrade factories, reported at 1000, employing sub continent workers on way below minimum wage are at the centre of the Covid 19 second wave breakout. They have worked throughout lockdown and continue to do so now in second lockdown. When will you PC politicos realise that subcontinental work practices exist in abundance in Leicester and most of the other northern towns on the fringe of a second lockdown, or do you believe your PC attitude is more important than the health of the nation. It is you who have the potential to overload the NHS and cause its effective breakdown. Wake up to the smell in the kitchen.

    Reply The government assure us allegations of fraud on furlough payments, poor health and safety and below min wage are being investigated. Government wishes to root out crimes and poor practice.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      John, we don’t want to hear companies paying sub-nmw are being investigated, your government have known about this for the past fortnight, we want to hear they have been closed down Quickly. If they’ve continued working throughout in unsafe conditions and not meeting covid19 H&S rules because they don’t legally employ the staff and can’t furlough them then let’s hear your government is sorting it out, this isn’t fair for legitimate companies abiding by the rules! people are saying government have known about this for years, why isn’t the local council doing anything about this why aren’t they correctly licensed.

      • Hope
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        Guido pointed out last week that Bridgon spoke to the business minister about it in parliament in January! Sharma and co did nothing and have still done nothing.

    • agricola
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Thank you for your reply. I hope government do as you say. I think it should be as dramatic as the recent crime bust. Hit fast, hit hard, let the message be heard. I await results.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Government wishes to root out crimes and poor practice.

      Reply to reply

      If the above is so then why was the BLM demonstrations allowed ? How many of those were arrested for criminal acts ?

      I, and I am sure many others here, have no faith action will be taken.

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        We’re still waiting to hear if the person trying to set fire to the Union Jack flag has been given two weeks in prison like the man who had a wee at the side of the police memorial? How long in prison did the statue topples get, they endangered people’s lives. Did they ever find the culprit that wheeled a bike into a police horse or threw the objects at the horse that bolted injuring its police rider. We’ve not forgotten this one sided justice.

      • Andy
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        Because in a free country people can protest. And as much as many of you want to turn it into a country where everyone thinks like you, there are more than enough of us to resist.

        And just yesterday it was announced that arrests had been made over the dumping of the statue of slave trader and Tory MP Edward Colston.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

          It was illegal to meet up with more than a total of 6 people.
          The mass demonstrations were therefore illegal under laws to reduce the effect of Covid.
          It has nothing to do with being free to protest.

        • NickC
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

          Andy, It’s not the protests, it’s the rioting, intimidation, attacks on others, criminal damage, and the arrogance of their making the decisions about public memorials from the Cenotaph to the statue of Colston. BLM (has elements of ? ed)a far left proto-marxist organisation, with an element of thuggery, which enticed people like Sir Keir Starmer into making fools of themselves (admittedly probably not hard to do).

        • czerwonadupa
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          There is a difference between protesting & violent criminal disorder. The Jarrow & Aldermaston marchers were protesting while those in London & Bristol were indulging in criminal disorder with intent to cause injury to police & their horses & criminal damage to property

          • Andy
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

            Not according to the police – who said it was all largely peaceful. Did a few people cause trouble? Sure – some always do. And those that have broken the law will be investigated and charged.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

            All of the demonstrations were illegal under legislation to reduce the effect of the pandemic.

          • NickC
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

            Andy, “Largely” peaceful, where only 22 police were injured? That sort of “peaceful”?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink


      Yep, the dark factory issue has been on going and discussed for some time e.g. flagged by FT in October 2018. Also it is part of an area of growing research in academia as part of the push in socially sustainable sourcing – fashion brands need to find ways of understanding and affecting their supply chains which can involve layers of subcontracting. Such factories have previously been discussed in the USA in food packing; a factory based on (sometimes illegal) immigration tends to have dependent workers and consequently a reduction of unionised power. If the owners / managers do not have their own moral constraints they have power to reduce working conditions. I guess the association between factories, immigration and poor work work conditions has a long history.

      Whilst it is pleasing to read Sir John’s reply, and also to know that some universities are looking to spread learning between brands, one can still wonder what other drivers might be supporting the existence of such factories relying on dependent and thus powerless labour.

      Nonetheless the Govt needs to not only be tough on dark factories but also tough on their enablers which may include illegal immigration (ineffective border control, not knowing who is in the country), unskilled/unqualified/non-English speaking legal immigration, low income threshold immigration, poor educational access for some adults, an acceptance of multiculturalism that allows prejudice against some groups (gender, tribe, caste), no UBI route to escape powerlessness etc.

      Many UK minds currently seem to be colonised with ‘certain’ ideas, this is dangerous and prevents discussion and solution of real problems.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Answer to the Reply. This must be a new ‘wish’ because they can’t not have known – surely?

  9. Will Jones
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    We need to do what Prague did. Actually end the lockdown properly with a big party. Start reassuring everyone the threat has passed. Talk it down not up. End the fear.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      +1. But the Government is fearful, and needs to be. Nothing to do with Wahun-flu.

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      +1 concur

  10. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    As you say JR – some establishments will not be able to provide facilities to fit in with this awful term: social distancing.
    I don’t see how it will work – especially when the weather is bad – Who is going to queue in the pouring rain for an unspecified time just to get into a facility.
    I don’t plan to do anything special to celebrate this new ‘freedom’

    There will come a time when we have to confront the virus head on, or our society will die, bit by bit.
    Do you recall how generally boring the late 50’s/early 60’s were — It was work work work, or school, school, school, and very little to do at home except rest… if lucky there was the occasional trip to a cinema… But at least we could mingle outside. Now we take entertainment for granted, at home – But it’s not enough!

    A society needs interaction to thrive – A new national lock-down will surely destroy more than our spirit to survive this. There is no guarantee that we will not have a 2nd, 3rd or 4th wave ad infinitum — Leading to imposed permanant lock-downs.

    This is not how life was meant to be – We have to break this cycle now, or our artificial lives will not be worth living.

    • ukretired123
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      You forgot to mention no TV, Mobile/Smartphone with camera, Credit or Credit Cards, inexpensive goods of every kind like rare cars in the 1950s and 1960s. Folks survived but people respected the law and each other much more with less crime as there was also next to nothing to steal!

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        It was a different world then for sure – while there were certainly good things as you say about that time – Few would really want to go back to them

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      “This is not how life was meant to be “- -this is not life – it is a controlled existence.

      • Mark B
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink


    • a-tracy
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Bryan it should have been called ‘physical distancing’ so as not to be so anti-social people have still socialised at safe distance and by new technology.

      Who is going to be brave enough to break the fear, our government messages are messy, you can go in a restaurant with 6o people if that restaurant is sufficiently large but you can’t have a wedding reception with more than 30 people including staff (no point in that then).

      You can go to the cinema but not to the theatre? Scotland £10m to the Arts England £0 what sacrifices are the Scots making elsewhere to fund this? Where is that money coming from? Have they all agreed to have an extra 1p on income tax to pay for their extra couple of weeks lockdown and largesse spending?

    • czerwonadupa
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Do you recall how generally boring the late 50’s/early 60’s were …
      No, were you you in the 50s & 60s?
      I don’t think the youth will be looking back on the 2020s with much fondness.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        An era you missed out on then — You’d really appreciate what you now have, apart from the lock-down, if you had experienced life in the 50’s/60’s

        … but it seems every generation has problems to put up with. I must admit though I’d prefer the boredom to what the UN-NWO have in store for us all.

        • Fred H
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

          I’d agree the 50s is a decade to forget, but the latter 60s were wonderful !!

          • Fred H
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

            oops — later 60s.

  11. Steve
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Any business that complies with pointless authoritarian stupidity immediately loses my custom. There are a lot of people that will not submit to the rules and they are the ones I do business with and have done throughout this disaster.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Good man.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        how strange you are!

    • James Bertram
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Agreed totally, Steve.
      Just back from the pubs. Hic! Most of them didn’t open, waiting to see how the land lies for a week or two. It was the smallest, most desperate, family-run businesses that did.
      Only one in five pubs in Cranleigh open – The White Hart – wanted you to sign in, use certain doors, and the publican was wearing a nappie across his face so you couldn’t make out what he said – but nice garden. And good luck to them for at least being brave enough to open.
      In the countryside east of Cranleigh, just the Scarlett Arms and Punchbowl open. Went to the latter. They were doing their best, not too much stupidity going on there, no face masks, etcetera. Made clear to the owner that the bedwetters would not be out pubbing anytime soon, so best that they catered for the heretics like me if they wanted our business. She understood. And you can guess which pub I’ll be frequenting in the future.
      I think that if each and everyone of us did the same, making clear to these businesses to just ignore all this nonsense, life would get back to normal far sooner than if we all hide under the bed waiting for an embarrassingly stupid and incompetent government to tell us what to do.
      Viva !

  12. Sakara Gold
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    My view is that it’s too early. I’m much more impressed with Scotland’s aspiration to eradicate the Chinese plague virus, than with the UK government being over-influenced by hospitality/barley farming industry lobbying – and effectively taking a chance with the dreaded “second spike”. Who wants to be standing at the bar with reduced social distancing and an undetected superspreader breathing down the back of your neck?

    According to the BBC News website cases are rising – not falling – in my area. Doubtless, it’s due to superspreaders who have managed to escape the test and trace system. Figures published by the BBC this morning show that the UK has the highest virus morbitity in the world at 65.7 deaths per 100k of the population. I’m not a gambler, but I think Johnson is. The government has told us far too many lies for me to believe anything he or his “health” minister Hancock says.

    That said, I do intend to take advantage of the relaxation of the “two households” rule and go visit with my family for an open-air picnic at one of our local Wildlife Trust reserves. Hopefully, it won’t rain!

    • Mark B
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Our kind host does not like me saying this so you may not read it. But this virus, like all viruses has to run its course. It will, irrespective of what is done, claim its victims. if 100k people are to be claimed, then it does not matter if is done over night of over the next 12 months – it is going to happen. Best to let it take its course.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        It’s a very good thing that the people who eradicated ebola, smallpox, and polio did not take your useless, wet-lettuce, defeatist attitude.

        • NickC
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

          It’s a very good thing that people who succeeded in making their countries independent did not take your useless, wet-lettuce, defeatist attitude. Stop being a wet-lettuce Remain, Martin, and join the winning side!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink


      • Bryan Harris
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        Something I’ve also been saying.

        If we go into a 2nd or 3rd lock-down we are very unlikely to get out of it ever….

        The virus will continue it’s work until it’s claimed it’s last victim, but even then there will be plenty of carriers, which is why vaccinations will not work, especially as some say they would have to be repeated constantly

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Good for you in Scotland have you all agreed to pay an extra 1p on income tax to pay for all your grand plans?

  13. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Can hardly call it “freedom day” with all the restrictions still in place. There has been no such curtailment of our liberties in my lifetime and I cannot rid myself of the thought that this lockdown was an overreaction coupled with daily brainwashing. Data and statistics have been misleading. I have no desire to wait in long queues to enter shops and then be regimented throughout the visit. Nor do I wish to wear a face mask. We have seen the consequences of state control and I don’t like it. Everything was made secondary to this disease. At the outset I warned that the “cure” might be worse than the disease and I’m sure it has in so many ways.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Agreed. We should NEVER have been locked up. Right from the start we KNEW who were the high risk categories were and yet, the government panicked after MONTHS of dithering about what to do. Frightened a nation half to death. Wrecked the economy and lives, and now is trying to weasel its why out of the mess it created whilst still maintaining face.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        Didn’t frighten me, it was just rather tedious in some ways.

        I thought that you claimed that the English were stern stuff?

        • a-tracy
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          The Welsh are still flapping!

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 6, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

            I’m not Welsh.

      • NickC
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        Mark B, Generally I agree with you on the subject of the response to SARS-CV-2. However, prior to the official lockdown on 23 March, both the government and the public changed the social habits of a lifetime. Many venues including schools were either closed, or deserted by the public. The economy was going to be hit – and hit badly – even if “the lockdown” had not occurred.

        • Mark B
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

          But would have been each and every individuals choice. A choice I would have not wanted to make as I did not believe that I was high risk. Although I kept away from others who were and for that they were grateful. We made our own rules and respected them, no need for government.

  14. Peter
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    I will head up to Epsom Downs – which are closed to the public for the day! I will try to see what I can of The Oaks and The Derby from the periphery. I will have placed a couple of small bets locally on the two races first – probably on Ennistymon and Vatican City.

    By 7:30 I will be in the garden of a small pub in the backstreets of Kingston. The landlord had recently incurred considerable expense buying the right to sell beers of his own choosing from the pub company that owns the premises. Such are the bizarre practices of the licensing trade in the U.K. these days. However, I want the pub to prosper as I would be very sorry to see it forced to close.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      So the Derby is to run. So the Toffs and the wealthy Premier League (owners, media companies and players) go on as normal but the rest have to wear face masks to go fro point A to B and stand in a queue to get a pint of milk.

      Does any of that remind you of the former Soviet Union ??? 😉

      • Peter
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Even the Queen will not be at The Derby this year. I am sure this will disappoint the people who used to stand at the bottom of Ashley Road and wave flags as her car went by.

        I once saw the Duke of Edinburgh in the carpark at Epsom. He had also left after the big race. We were a few feet away. Glances were exchanged but no words were spoken.

        The Derby is not just for toffs. ‘All human life is there’ was the claim of ‘The News of The World’. The same used to apply to The Derby – a great free day out on The Hill in the centre of the course, or top hats and champagne in the Queen’s stand.

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink


  15. formula57
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    The partial relaxation applies to activities that do not need to be undertaken and I shall continue to prioritize avoiding infection by undertaking none in your list.

    Even if no second wave ensues I can happily continue to do without using the hospitality industry for now.

  16. oldwulf
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    We are where we are.

    I will be visiting my favourite independent coffee shop later today – then a couple of times a week.

    A local independent cafe has received local crowdfunding to keep it open. I will be going there too.

    Use it or lose it.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      yes use it or lose it.

      Our local independent ‘open all hours’ stayed open, masked, gloved, screened, arrow signed, restricted numbers, card touch pay only for a while etc.
      Did a roaring trade, almost immediate entry, they sourced flour, eggs, toilet rolls, tripled the wine choice, yes ran out of greetings cards(saved us the money!) – sold lots of chocolate, sweets for children, probably more newspapers…
      We thanked them and they smiled – why queue at supermarkets when all you need is half a dozen items?
      Hopefully a new normal will be discovered in the area.

  17. Stred
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    There should be separate areas in pubs and restaurants for over 60s and vulnerable customers. The risk is so low for others that distancing is pointless. Even outside when the wind is blowing in your face the distance is covered in a split second. We went to a shopping centre and I could smell someone’s perfume ten metres in front..

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      That would be a good selling point over 60’s Wednesday, meal + drink set price two courses.

  18. a-tracy
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    I said at the start of this it should have been called ‘physical distancing’ rather than ‘social distancing’. Instead being anti-social has become the norm for a lot of people, a lot of those with disposable income.

    We’ll be waiting for the first rush and novelty to die down before eating out, not because I’m afraid, I’ve worked outside my home throughout, but because I’ve never liked crowds or big drinkers meeting up. Large groups in confined places is a recipe for trouble and some people can’t control their dizzy children that have been cooped up for weeks, so we’ll pass for now.

    I think that there could well be a manic weekend because of the sudden freedom rush especially if it is warm and not too wet, but I believe over the next few weeks when the new rules means it’s not so much fun as usual things will die back down, the weather will play a big part and at the moment it’s dire in the NorthWest.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      I too though that ‘Social’ Distancing is a bit of an oxymoron. How can be distant be considered ‘Social’ ? Perhaps it does in an Orwellian mindset ? You know, a bit like the 5 minutes of hate, or the Thursday 8pm Clap-a-thon 😉

  19. Nivek
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I fear that, unless we have a general election as soon as is reasonably practicable, both main political parties will see “lockdown” as an instrument of government policy.

    If we set a constitutional precedent now that any “lockdown” will precipitate a subsequent general election, then, before any future “lockdown” is declared, the party in government will have an interest in being absolutely certain that it is necessary. If they do declare one meantime, opposition parties will have an interest in critically evaluating it with a view to bringing it to an end as quickly as possible.

    It is of great importance for our freedom and our democracy that the decision to declare a “lockdown” could have direct electoral consequences for the party that does it.

    • MickN
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      OOh goody. Let’s have a general election EVERY 6 month eh?

      • Fred H
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        at the third – would anybody bother?

    • gregory martin
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      A series of ‘significant’ by -elections might concentrate minds ; perhaps its time to root out just- cause for resignation, if natural wastage proves insufficient.

  20. Adam
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Some will rush depending on the intensity of their need, even prioritising hair style above their own health. Majorities are likely to follow what others do, being influenced by situations of real-life examples portrayed on TV news.

    Shared seating for meeting, eating and drinking might switch in reaction from presently rigid-regime pubs, restaurants and coffee bars to sheltered spaces at benches in shopping malls, garden centres or other such places.

  21. Alan Jutson
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Being in the vulnerable group our family will not be going into any enclosed spaces unless it is necessary for some while yet.

    Had to go into the Bank yesterday (limited hours opening) as trying to resolve a problem with my credit card’s touch and go system could not be resolved over the telephone, even after more than 2 hours of going through the revolving door of department transfers, repeating all sorts of security questions, and listening to endless music.

    Queued up outside the Bank for 25 mins with many others (not raining fortunately), then waited inside for another 35 mins before being seen, then told they could not help either, seemed like lots of other people having similar problems.

    What is it with Banks and restricted opening hours, why do they not open all day, spread the load, and section off the various areas with screens to allow faster through put, rather than just restricting a complete area to one person at a time.

    • miami.mode
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      AJ, banks seem these days to have the same hold over us that officialdom has. They can take your money at will and you then have to prove them wrong. I’ve often wondered who actually owns bank deposits. Is it you or them? General consensus seems that it’s them.

    • ukretired123
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Simply call them and have lost the card and need a replacement. If that is too much trouble tell them you are changing to your bank. Keep it simple.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        Did not want to do that as waiting on credits/refunds to go back on card from cancelled holidays, which may have resulted in further complications.

  22. The Prangwizard
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I’m not interested in going out unless I can be free to go where I choose and do what I choose. I will not be controlled – I enjoy going the wrong way down aisles in supermarkets. I did not visit National Trust houses which insisted on timed tours. I will not book in advance to go anywhere where it has been newly introduced. I didn’t eat out at places where this was required before the restrictions came in. I will not feed the bossy and the nannies.

    I will do what I can to frustrate the authoritarians in the police and everywhere else. I will not be concerned if places go broke. I will save more of my money and give more to my children and grandchildren.

    • Bernard from Bucks
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      I too wanted to leave a few crumbs to my relatives, but IHT still lurks like a bad smell.
      I won’t spend it myself. I’d rather it went to a local Hospice than the tax man.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Charity donations are exempt (check!) in your will.
        If needed adjust amount tax liable each year according to the latest rules on IHT…will it to the charity.

        Good for you!

    • czerwonadupa
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      I went to Brent council’s recycling last Sunday at opening time. I was asked if I had an appointment which I hadn’t. I explained I only had a cardboard box with polystyrene packaging used for a tv. & yard was empty, no one else was there. But no with no appointment Mr Jobsworth said I couldn’t enter. I have to go on their web site and book a slot just like I do for my grocery deliveries. And they wonder why more & more people find it simpler to fly tip.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        complain to the Waste Management contractor and Council.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      I enjoy going the wrong way down aisles . . .

      You’re not the only one 😉

  23. Jim Whitehead
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Queuing, arrows on floor, masked martinets dictating to customers, not a chance, Sir John.
    I’ll be quick to return when the ‘new normal’ reverts to the real normal.
    The spineless government fully deserves the obloquy that comes its way. The meddling incompetence is beyond belief.

  24. Dave Andrews
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    No worries about going out for a meal.
    However, when it comes to using the facilities, take anti-bac wipes for the cubicle door handles, lock, seat and flush button, and the door handle of the room itself. You are sharing the same facilities with all the other people, a significant number of which don’t practise hand hygiene.

    • Stred
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      And don’t forget to disinfect your shoes when you get home. Public and pub floors are often filthy.

  25. agricola
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    As to your main topic I hope it goes smoothly and drama free. 90 % of the country know how to behave , as demonstrated throughout lockdown, most with restraint, some heroically. here in Spain it has gone very gently. masks in the streets, lunch with friends. The Spanish in my experience drink modestly for pleasure, unlike some of my fellow countrymen who drink for oblivion. It is very strange that some of us choose to anaesthetise ourselves against life whereas the Spanish with greater cause avoid such a path. I hope the Brits who are about to descend on Benidorm understand such cultural differences.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      The Spanish are mistaken, if they think that thousands of UK visitors will emulate their responsible civic-mindedness.

      This will prove a very costly error for them, I think.

      • NickC
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        What an epic wet-lettuce response from you, Martin! Typically sneering at the British.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 6, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

          Facing facts, no more.

  26. Fred H
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Just walked past a local ladies hairdressers – very busy – lots of smiles, music….

  27. SM
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I’ll be carrying on my ordinary life, while having respect for those who wish to maintain social distancing, and also wearing a mask in shops as required here in SA.

    Despite being in the demographic that’s so despised by Andy, I haven’t self-isolated at all, since I regard the enjoyment of each day more important than trying to live for as long as possible. Perhaps it’s time for society – every society – to start re-evaluating what is worth living (and dying) for?

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink


      That’s what it boils down to —- Or should

    • Mark B
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      I do not read, Andy’s, or any of the other Trolls posts, but I assume you mean he has a go a old aged people ? If so, he clearly does not see the irony of his posts, and I have not missed anything (thank God) by not reading them. For he too will be old and I doubt that he will apply the same nonsense he aspouses here to himself.

      Just saying 🙂

      • MickN
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        I recall a drama on tv many moons ago where one of the characters said “I don’t want to live to be 90” to which the response came “you would if you were 89”

        • SM
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          Mick, that is not a universal reaction, I can assure you.

    • Andy
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      I don’t despise old people. I despise the system which unfairly favours old people. I have no qualms with all of you being treated the same as everyone else. But unfortunately, at the moment, you are not. And the problem is your generation – which has had huge advantages which you have then denied from your children and grandchildren.

      I advocated lockdown weeks before it happened. I saw what had happened in China and what was happening in Italy. It was Tories complacency which allowed Covid into care homes to kill all those old people.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        Prove you called for lockdown weeks before it happened.
        When there were hardly any cases in the UK.

        • hefner
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

          What about Edward2 proving that Andy did not call for a lockdown weeks before it happened. A little bit of research has never injured anybody, hasn’t it?

          • Edward2
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

            Go on then Hefner.
            Why dont you do it?
            I already know the answer.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

        You do talk such bolleaux about all people. You say ‘we have denied’ things to young people that we had. How on earth do you work that out? You think there was a conspiracy to put up house prices? Are you nuts? This country has been served by incompetent governments for 60 years or more. No idea how to run an economy. One credit boom after another – designed to inflate away government debt. We, the people of this country have been bystanders to the madness. I’m appalled at there being generation rent. But I can’t fix the world. All I can do is give my kids the deposit to buy a house and pay the state theft known as stamp duty. And do my best to pass on my money in due course. So stop your stupid rants about us denying things to youngsters. It is nonsense.

      • NickC
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        Andy, In previous posts of yours you did exactly despise old people. Frequently. Even Martin – normally on your side – noticed it, and claimed he had cautioned you against your habitual ageist bigotry (though I could find no actual comment he had made to that effect).

        You have also made all sorts of threats – we’re coming for your pensions; we’re taking you to court; you’ll be punished; etc; etc. Your general attitude is vicious, with a distinct inability to learn when you’re repeatedly told the same checkable facts.

  28. Mark B
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Well they won’t be rushing to the pub in places like Leicester, that’s for sure !

    The government needs to stop nannying the population. You don’t own us ! The trouble is, we have created a frightened compliant populace that want’s government to tell them what to do. Independent thought and freedom seems to have gone out of fashion. The buzz word is . . . “The government says . . . “

    I shall, as always through this great drama manufactured into a crisis, be carrying on as normal as the situation has allowed me. Not being able to go and do as I please without some silly rule put into place to save the Tory government embarrassment at not acting sooner has frustrated and infuriated me.

    The only good thing is, at least the shops and public transport are usable. So few people I can now get a seat on a train 🙂

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      But you absolutely want the state to nanny you, by looking after your family’s children in its schools for you, for instance.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        why else pay the taxes?

  29. Walt
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Eating out is for pleasure not for necessity. Our government’s actions and omissions, worthy or not, have removed that pleasure. So, with the possible exception of pubs and restaurants with reservable attractive outdoor seating arrangements, I will not be eating or drinking out until this wretched Covid-19 period is over and restrictions are lifted. Similarly, I will visit shops only when necessary: buying online is preferable to forced queuing, distancing via tapes and barriers, screens, masks, etc. Besides, why would I want to go into our towns and cities where police allow chanting BLM mobs, watch disgraceful vandalism and respond by ‘taking a knee’?

    • Mark B
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      So far, this is the post of the day. Thank you.

      It seems to me Sir John, and judging by what people are saying, that this easing of the Lockdown is designed more to be less of a burden to the Upper-Classes now that their sports and pastimes (Epsom, Ascot, Henley, Wimbledon etc.) are likely to be affected.

      One rule for me, and another for thee !

  30. Nivek
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    “It is your town or village centre we are talking about…. Governments cannot subsidise them indefinitely…”

    In the final assessment, are you not also talking about “our” (i.e. taxpayer) subsidies? I thought that governments had no money of their own. Did Margaret Thatcher not say as much?

    “Those who want to save them have to use them.”

    Why hasn’t the Conservative Government applied similar reasoning to BBC?

    • Mark B
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      They do have their own money. It is called Quantitative Easing or, to put it another way, printing more money.

      The BBC is the mouthpiece of the Establishment. It is its semi-trained pet.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        I agree with your last line, but I think that you are completely mistaken about who and what the British Establishment are.

  31. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    “It is your town or village centre we are talking about.” – The govt want every village or town to be massively increased in housing numbers – lovely little villages will be no more. After all, there’s a constant flood through Dover from France ( now classed as “safe” to come from – no medical checks for anyone from anywhere. Also we will have 3m+ Hong Kongers to house, treat for healthcare, school the children – accept onto our road systems etc etc.

  32. JoolsB
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I’m welcoming my first guests of the year today down here at my b & b near St. Ives in Cornwall and have been inundated with bookings. I only let two rooms in my farmhouse so it’s quite doable but I must admit I’m a little worried especially as the guidelines are quite vague. Apparently 80,000 people are due to flock to Cornwall today so hopefully the hotels, pubs and restaurants will get a much needed boost. it will be interesting to see what happens to the R rate if anything as Cornwall currently has very few cases. The big worry is we only have one main hospital and no doubt we won’t be on Boris’s list for one of his new hospitals as the South West is Tory.

    Am I the only one in thinking Matt Hancock is the enjoying the power this virus has given him? Could you please remind him John that we are his master and not the other way around?

    • Peter
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Good luck with your B&B.

      Hopefully the numbers choosing to holiday at home, avoiding the hassle of foreign travel, will boost demand.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Good luck Jools B. Hope things for you and yours turn out fine. Looks like we are nearing the end of this madness.

      Can’t deny Hancock his moment of fame. But like many before him he will soon be forgotten.

    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    ”Governments cannot subsidise them indefinitely to serve too few people.”

    The government doesn’t have any money. It takes what it needs from the taxpayer. As an ex-Thatcherite one would have thought you would have known that?

    etc ed

    Reply Yes of course the state has to take the money from people and businesses in tax.
    If you want to post here please word your criticisms of the Official Opposition and Labour party in more moderate language. A daily rant of adjectives condemning them does not add to the debate and will not be posted. Analysis of what you think they are wrong about is fine. They commanded the second biggest bloc of votes at the election and currently have gone up a bit in the polls so they are of course worthy of criticism.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      Dominic taking Flak again. Must be over the target ?

  34. George Brooks.
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    It is coming up to 8 30am and I have just read the first 15 comments. What a bunch of defeatists and purveyors of doom and gloom.

    We are part way through dealing with a nasty virus that has shot round the world and the scientists and medics are doing very well indeed in beginning to understand it and working towards a cure and hopefully a vaccine. We needed a lockdown to gain space and time to build systems and services to get the virus under some sort of control and provide treatment.

    Now we are walking a tightrope between rebuilding a trashed economy and the virus escaping and running wild. All of us need to think positively and constructively to rebuild our lives slowly and methodically. The weather gods have played their part and delivered a wet and windy weekend which will control the numbers heading towards the pubs and beaches. On the other side the media will search far and wide to find out where they think it has gone wrong.

    I remember the summer of 1947 well and it wasn’t too far different from where we are now. We had just come through a spell of 13 weeks of sub zero temperatures, fuel was in very short supply, millions of homes had frozen up completely and the country was struggling to rebuild the economy after 6 years of war.

    The summer was exceptionally hot and long and polio was spreading rapidly amongst the younger generation and ice cream sold from visiting vans was know as ‘typhoid tubs’. We acted sensibly and followed the guidelines and came out the other side.

    Thankfully Polio and Typhoid don’t feature in the UK today and neither will CV19 in time. I will be going to the pub but I will let the initial rush subside and wait for a fine day so I can enjoy a beer in the open

    PS I was twelve in ’47 and swam the 4 mile round trip from Felpham to Bognor pier and back and was banned from the beach for week and confined in the backyard reading and writing by an anxious and very irate mum.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      An excellent read, George, thank you.

    • BeebTax
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Great upbeat post! It also puts it in perspective, we get caught in our current bubble of time. You would’t want to swim from Felpham to Bognor today, though, not with the howling westerly wind we’ve got locally.

      I’ll be down the pub when the weather is better. Went out today and visited a non-essential shop with my daughter. Most people seem to have pretty much stopped taking the whole social distancing thing very seriously in this neck of the woods, probably because there have been so few cases here.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      Great read and well done you for the swim, even if it cost you your freedom 🙂

      I would take this government and its actions more seriously if it too took seriously that we are allowing people into this country from places with high infection rates. Plus. The government and the local council have ignored the fact that certain business have been continually working increasing infection rates and making this lockdown / house arrest harder to resolve affecting many.

      Finally. People are, and will lose their jobs. Their homes and even their families. Yes is is nothing compared to WWI and WWII but, the danger of this virus has been over stated.

      But thanks for the read George and take care 🙂

  35. ukretired123
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    “Fed Up!” Seems to be the response all round by a large number on here today, not helped by the unsettled weather. Nevertheless “Always look on the Bright side of Life” has always been my motto and a smiler having worked my way up from being in a children’s home from 3 years old to getting free after the 11+ (look it up Andy and freinds).

    Like all “Ice Age moments of change” events it separates the survivors from those who sadly perish and favours those who adapt come what may. There are many folks who see the wonderful opportunities ahead and look forward not back – which is futile. We have to accept reality, be cautious and mindful but not fearful.

    We went out yesterday and ate humble Fish & Chips in the car/car park ….with many similar others at lunchtime but there was good humour all round ( totally rare after the war decades). We then went to a Coop fuel station then queued for 5 minutes. I coughed once lightly and everyone looked round amazed! I smiled back they smiled too! We are still on the same Planet and still alive. After working in Liberia and other dangerous places with deadly snakes etc etc etc I still find Britain is a great place and helpful folks because that is my genuine experience for what it’s worth.. Nowhere is perfect – that’s called Heaven.

    • ukretired123
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Humour was never rare after the war decades but eating out and cars were!
      We survived on Humour, Hope and Helping each other instead. The BBC and Political Correctness has killed off humour and that needs reversing.
      The BBC is now spending £100 million (yikes) on diversity and cutting 100s of staff to pay for it. Austerity ???? What hypocrisy!

      • M Davis
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        So right, ukretired123, thank you!

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

        But there were always care free pubs, Bingo and theatres !

  36. BetterTimesAhead
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    As a person with underlying health conditions (not Extremely at Risk but vulnerable) I’ve seen many articles telling me how I am very likely to be extremely ill if I catch CV.

    Under 70 but not given any special home delivery options by the supermarkets, even though “vulnerable”.

    We’ve managed to get home deliveries from local companies and national companies with rapid overnight chilled deliveries of meat, fish etc. Amazon has also been a lifeline. We also got the occasioanl supermarket delivery by joining the scrum for the slots.

    As far as the economy and spend goes, sadly for me, I’ve really spent far far more than usual. The weekly shopping budget went completely out the window.
    No spend on petrol but that was far outweighed by other spend.
    Good for the economy, I guess.

    I have avoided going outside since lockdown, except to collect my tablets from the pharmacy.

    That will continue for now. There is nothing I need from the shops that I cannot live without. The usual eating out is also on hold for the time being.

    I leave it to the younger people to go out, catch CV and drive up herd immunity. Many appear happy with that.
    For now, I am remaining out of circulation, but still spending money John. Just differently.

  37. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I’d say don’t join the rush.

    Like toilet rolls and self-isolating early, this has been all about NOT joining the crowd, and using best judgement instead.

    Count me out of this one today.

  38. Caterpillar
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    It would be freedom day if I didn’t need to worry about getting caught up with either the quotidian or protest violence on the streets. It would be freedom day if I could discuss and debate without being silenced or judged. It would be freedom day if I were a member of the 1%.

    I do not see a freedom day in the U.K. in my lifetime.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      You are guaranteed Free Speech by the Human Rights Act 1998.

      What proposition do you claim that you are not allowed to state, and by whom?

      • Helen Smith
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        You are having a laugh I take it? Ask Laurence Fox if there is free speech.

  39. Christine
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Self-employed tradesmen need help to secure materials. Many can’t work as their supplies like plaster have dried up.

  40. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Our town is bustling. My tenants shops are at full stretch. The Card shop has had to go to the retailer twice a week since she re-opened.
    If Boris pours a bucket of cold water on this, I think I will be stretchered off.

  41. Javelin
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    The two meter rule reduces companies revenues and the PPE increases their cost.

    Corporation tax will tax a big hit and many companies will find themselves unprofitable.

  42. Mike Wilson
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I won’t be going to a pub. And probably not a cafe. I am rather tired of the Orwellian nature of being out these days. A 2 metre high sign outside the doctor’s screaming ‘Do not enter without a mask’. A sign at B&Q exhorting me to ‘be polite to our staff and to each other’. A tannoy announcement in Lidl urging me to be socially responsible and keep my distance. I am sure that Big Brother is watching me.

    Going into a pub, probably having to wait in a queue to be seated, ordering a beer on my phone etc. Who could be bothered? And wondering if the glass is clean and the beer tap is virus free. No thanks. I’ll have a beer at home.

  43. David Brown
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Its good to get shops and hospitality open. Local lock downs may still have to happen but hopefully short and sharp.
    It seems to me there needs to be special attention given to Covid flash points by this I mean factories that employ a lot of ethnic and others because it appears these and similar premises are a problem.
    I see in Spain a regional lock down has been imposed because of seasonal workers sleeping on the streets, and Spain had one of the tightest lock downs.
    Covid 19 spikes will reoccur but avoid a one size fits all. Countryside towns and villages businesses and schools have been part of the general locked down. Yet Covid cases are exceptionally low or non existent.

  44. Steve Reay
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    The government is wrong to delay people going back to work. The government needs to protect hospitals, care home , the old and sick, everyone else can go back to work. The priority should to get militant teachers back, they holding up getting employees back to work. Get them back now.

  45. UK Qanon
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Just open up the whole country NOW.
    Remove all the petty /useless BS associated with this PLAN demic.
    The useless “police” have had a field day recently. Maybe they can drop their Common Purpose BS and get back to reality with Common Sense.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 5, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink


  46. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Happy enough to use my local pub as a restaurant if it enforces one metre spacing plus use of masks rigorously. Let’s hope that’s OK for them.

    • UK Qanon
      Posted July 5, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Wake up and take your head out of the sand and do some of your OWN research.
      DO NOT RELY on the MSM

  47. Iain Gill
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    FFS let me use the swimming pools, even if only the outdoor ones and I go home in wet trunks with no changing rooms…

  48. Anonymous
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    It can’t work. I did it today. Hardly a pleasant experience.

    This country faces wipe-out like its never seen before if social distancing continues any longer.

  49. Donna
    Posted July 5, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I’m not concerned about the virus; I live in the west country and even at the peak we had very few cases here.

    I’m just doing essential shopping. I won’t be going to the pub or a restaurant – or a hairdresser come to that – until I can go without being treated like a leper.

    The Government can’t blame members of small communities like mine if pubs and shops don’t survive. THEY destroyed the economies of small towns and villages across the country when they imposed a blanket nationwide lockdown which Prof Whitty and Matt Hancock admitted wasn’t really necessary, and then kept it in place for months instead of the 3 weeks it took to get the Nightingale Hospitals up and running.

    Lift the idiotic social distancing rules so life goes back to REAL NORMAL, not this micro-managed “new normal” which isn’t at all normal, and I’ll go out and spend.

  50. Manya Michailidis
    Posted July 5, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I will not be visiting any pubs/restaurants/hairdressers simply because I am have yet to be allowed to return to work. From what I have seen, all of these industries pose a far greater risk than mine, and yet despite myself and others sending you repeated emails we are no further along the line. The government has opened up identical working environments to mine and yet we are discriminated against. Having alerted yourself to this problem, over 10 days ago, I am still awaiting evidence to indicate that you have represented this case to the government. It is a great disappointment that we are asked to support you and yet we receive so little in return. I have a client base of over 500 people, who I have to turn away despite my efforts to get this situation resolved. We all very disappointed in the lack of vision and democracy held by the conservatives, and its unfortunate but I now have great doubt that I made the right choice.

  51. Stephen Glasse
    Posted July 5, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand why you continue to defend this government. If the Conservative party stands for anything surely it’s a strong economy, sound finance, and individual liberty. But you’ve taken all that away! We can’t go to church, gym, for a swim, to a coffee shop, pub, restaurant or club. People have been ordered not to work, to stay at home, to give up on things that make life worth living. Did you ever think your party would become THE party that stifles freedoms, dynamites the economy and furloughs millions of workers? Why would anyone with several thousand spare now set up their own business? They’d be as mad as Boris or Hancock! They’d do it knowing full well that we have a government that’s only too willing to sacrifice their hard work and livelihood (life) in order to combat a virus that’s a threat to hardly anyone. Why don’t you admit that we simply lack leaders with any inner strength and moral vision. I would go to a pub or a coffee shop or a gym or a church at the drop of a hat but either they’re still not allowed to open or you have to book a visit (for a pint) and, in any case it’s not financially viable because of absurd distancing rules. Instead of scapegoating Leicester and forcing citizens to wear virtually useless (by the government’s own admission) face masks why don’t our leaders just admit ‘lockdown’ was a suicidal panic-policy? Because, like Cameron, they’ll ‘sell-out’ for power.

  • 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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