Finding freedom

To some the full relaxations of rules imposed to fight Covid 19 cannot come soon enough. I have varied complaints from people who strongly object to what they call house arrest. They think it would be better to isolate people with the disease, and offer support to allow people most vulnerable to the disease to limit social contacts, rather than asking most of the population to stay at home. To them freedom is the freedom for the many to have a social life of their choosing, to travel as they wish, and to run their  businesses as they see fit. They argue if we do not get back to this soon there will be unacceptable economic damage.

To others freedom is the  discovery that they can work from home, draw their full salary, and avoid the 3 hour return commute each day. They say their lives have improved. They are no longer dependent on the erratic goodwill and competence of the train companies, and  no longer have to push themselves into a crowded tube train or onto a bus to complete a city centre journey to work. They can mind their house, receive deliveries, see more of their children and still do their job using on line facilities. They say there can be compromise between fighting the virus and getting the economy moving. They want new working  practices which can pay the bills and keep people safe.

To some the idea that their every move may be tracked, and they may be subject to a tracing system requiring them to self isolate because of a chance encounter with someone who had the disease is an unacceptable intrusion into their lives. They are suspicious of how likely you are to catch it from casual contact.  To others a proper track and trace system is essential to give them more chance of escaping the virus. They wish to be free from disease.

So where does freedom lie? Have the anti Covid 19 measures simply taken freedoms away, leaving us with arguments about how successful this is in controlling the virus? Or are there some compensating freedoms some have gained? What should the new world of work look like?

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    I used to do much of my work from home anyway and it certain saves on travel and can be efficient for many jobs – but then even when travelling I was usually working anyway. Even when driving I was either on business calls, thinking up new ideas or was listening to relevant audio books etc.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      The keystone of all this is that in countries where the governments have dealt properly with the virus – simply by honestly following WHO advice fro the start – the people are no longer subject to anything like the strictures here, nor did they have to bear them for so long in the first place.

      Yes, I well know the litany of excuses that you will make for your masters here – “more sheep than people in New Zealand and the rest are non-English-speaking so therefore liars”.

      Give it a rest.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

        It seems you think every country that followed WTO advice is virus free and every country that isn’t virus free did not.
        You sure you are right on that claim?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          I did not make that claim.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

            It is implicit in your comments.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 14, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

            No it isn’t.

            Once again you confuse the binary with the multi-faceted, and the absolute with the relative.

            “All policemen are over six feet tall” is not an implied claim that everyone over six feet is a policeman, although some constables may make that mistake.

            Do you never learn?

          • Edward2
            Posted July 14, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

            Not a relative comparison.
            Read you original post again.
            Stop shifting the goalposts.

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


          “You sure you are right on that claim?”

          He’s never right on anything, just malcontent.

          • bill brown
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink


            Sorry are you talking about Andy or Edward 2?

          • Edward2
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

            I’m surprised you cannot work it out bill.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Having a hermetically sealed border, a compliant and unified people respectful of authority, two thirds of the population that London has living in a country the size of England DOES make a difference.

        Yet their country – and not ours – still managed to produce a racist who ran amok with machine guns in a mosque.

        England has never experienced racism like that.

        When will you give us credit for anything ? All you do is tip buckets of bile over our heads.

      • NickC
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        You’re projecting again, Martin. It’s you who constantly makes excuses for authoritarian regimes like China and the EU.

      • Hope
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        It would be better if Johnson made a speech to the nation and said he made a catastrophic mistake imposing a nationwide lockdown and house arrest based on a flawed model that was not peer reviewed or reviewed by other professional bodies. He should acknowledge that those who constructed the model had previous form for being wildly exaggerated costing the country a fortune and a waste/loss to animal life and have a left wing agenda at its heart.

        Denmark PM had the courage as has Macron to a certain extent. Better to get in first and put your hands up than be found out after an excruciating melodrama highlighting incompetence.

        Much better than to continue to appear to flip flop and dig a bigger hole making him look utterly stupid and unfit for purpose.

        • Richard
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

          +1 Totally agree.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

          +1 I can’t see any other way out for him. People I know are NOT going to wear masks. None of the businesses in my shops are viable with ‘social distancing’.
          I think they will all close. I will knock the buildings down to avoid the rates bill.

          • Mike Wilson
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

            I think they will all close. I will knock the buildings down to avoid the rates bill.

            If they do close because they are not viable, most sane people would seek, and get, planning permission to convert to residential use. They wouldn’t get the wrecking ball out.

        • Original Chris
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink


      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        The first piece of WHO advice was not to close borders.

        I enter this as exhitnit A

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        On 31 January, Trump banned non-citizens who had recently visited China from entering the US Trump bans China flights to USA, he was roundly condemned about this. The ‘experts warn that some draconian public health interventions — such as completely closing borders — can quickly become counterproductive.’

        Margaret Harris, a World Health Organization spokesperson and medical doctor currently involved in the Covid-19 response, echoed the concerns about the false comfort of closing borders.

        Trump wouldnt let people off the Grand Princess cruise ship in California he was criticised.

        12th March Coronavirus: EU condemns Trump travel ban on 26 European countries bbc news.

        ‘5th March -Right now, we don’t know if we’re going to have millions dead in six months to a year, or if we’re going to have thousands dead — if it’s going to be more like today’s flu or the 1918 flu,” said Fairchild,’ an ethicist, public health historian, and dean of the Ohio State University College of Public Health.

        Looking back with hindsight Martin!

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      My previous company allowed, and in fact encouraged home working — but then when consolidating they used this as a weapon to get rid of people. Now people had to work from specified offices, and if those offices were too far away that was just tough luck.
      Those unable to commute to offices of course became redundant – Much easier than going through an exercise of selection by management.

      Several large international companies used this trick to reduce staff, including that large international business machine company.

      • miami.mode
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        Too right, Bryan. People working from home, where so far the service delivered is far short of what is normally expected, will find that it is just as easy to work from a home, or indeed an office, in another part of the world and will doubtless be cheaper.

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

        @Bryan Harris; Yet you object to strong trade unions….

        • Bryan Harris
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink


          I object to communist run unions that are only interested in causing havoc, run by union barons that see calling people out on strike as their reason for living….

          …but what has that got to do with what was written?

          • jerry
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

            @Bryan Harris; Yes, we all dislike the most extreme characterisation of what we dislike, as if every union leader was a Commy agitator….

            My point Bryan, seeing you asked, had the one or two problem Trade Unions, or more to the point their leaders, been dealt with back in the 1980s rather than the entire Trade Union movement the scenario you painted would likely not occur.

            There are now as many problems for both workers (and customers) as there was before, its just now we all battle militant management rather than militant unions.

          • Fred H
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

            save the time – don’t read his stuff.

          • Bryan Harris
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

            Trade unions are certainly NOT the answer

          • jerry
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

            @Bryan Harris; But nor is a return to the Dickensian employment practises of the 1800s…

          • Edward2
            Posted July 14, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

            How would you get elected with that promise in your manifesto?

          • jerry
            Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; What promise, who said anything about manifesto promises, did Boris promise to make face masks compulsory last December, what about banning Huawei from the UK 5G network?

            Plenty of polices change or emerge after a GE, without having first been flagged by a ‘promise’.

            Strange how Germany can be a successful economy, despite strong trade unions, but then management and unions tend to see themselves as part of a team (not that team mates never fall out), not enemies.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Oh, lots of companies do that.

        The thing is, they want people to come in to work normal hours too on top of that.

        • steve
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink


          I don’t think the hours are your worry, just the mere mention of work terrifies you.

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      So how has the government thanked me for complying with their daily instruction, during the last quarter, to stay at home and not to travel by car…..I’ve just received myvehicle road tax reminder – no discount for complying and not using my car…..what a con

  2. Mark B
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    It is simply a question of ‘freedom of choice’.

    Choice was once a pillar of Conservatism. Not anymore !

    If our kind host wishes that this country remain free, he will campaign to have those extra powers the government bestowed upon itself removed. I do not choose to live in a Police State and have the State take ownership of me. The State is there to serve and not to act as master.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      I’d like the choice of being able to buy my energy from a not-for-profit socially-accountable supplier.

      I’d like our young to have a choice of good, secure jobs, with proper occupational pensions, and to be able to afford their own homes.

      The Conservatives removed those – and many other like choices – from the list of options.

      What exactly do you mean?

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink


        Have you advised your young relatives to work for the State Martin? That would be my advice if people desire secure jobs, occupational pensions, full sick pay, and that’s why we won’t have new enterprise shooting up because everyone is being encouraged to be nannied and it’s the mugs in the private sector that are getting hammered to pay for it.

        As for youngsters not being able to buy a home in South Wales they could if they saved instead of blowing their income when they’re younger like we did.

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

        Glad to see you suddenly wanting choice as a customer.
        Shame socialism would refuse you that choice.

        • bill brown
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          Edward 2

          we have been here before , you using socialism and communism as if they are clearly defined political philosophies and systems , which they are not.
          So be careful about your carelsss use of words you have not pre-defined. thank you

          • Edward2
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

            They are clearly defined political systems.
            Many books and University study courses exist on this subject.
            And there are practical examples of their death toll in the 20th century.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        I think you should be able to opt-in to ‘green energy’, and that I should be able to ‘opt-out’.
        Anyone can afford a home in South Wales, they start at £14,000.00. A job in the state sector may not be as secure now that the state is going to have a lot less income! Maybe your children should learn plumbing – they can start a business and buy a Rolls Royce before they are 30.

        • czerwonadupa
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

          You can work Saturday & Sunday driving a train on the London underground for £40,000 plus with 5 days to do what you want. And while Mr Khan is complaining of a lack of resources there is the technology already in place for driverless trains but he hasn’t the political courage to implement it. Just moan about Boris & Brexit while on free jollies around the globe.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        I’d like our young to have a choice of good, secure jobs, with proper occupational pensions, and to be able to afford their own homes.

        Well, as long as we are part of the ‘global economy’, young people are never going to have any of the things you mention. Good, secure jobs went because of outsourcing. Skilled jobs have been replaced by low skilled, menial service industry jobs.

        In an era of low interest rates, how much money do you think a 20 year old would need to put into an occupational pension to be able to retire at 60 and hope to live for, say, 20 years. I.e. Work for 40 years and live off the pension for 20 years. I would say at least a third of their salary would need to be saved and invested.

        As for house prices – as part of the global banking system, all banks will ever do is keep lending more and more money into the housing market to keep home buyers enslaved in debt.

        I would like to see us withdraw as far as possible from international trade. I would like us to be as self sufficient as possible in food, energy and manufactured goods production. That way, we can set our own wages, investment strategies and house prices.

    • JoolsB
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Exactly Mark B. I for one did not enjoy having the likes of Matt Hancock issuing his threats if we didn’t do as we were told and clearly enjoying the power this government have bestowed on themselves.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Listened to some Oxford Prof. and a pusher of climate alarmism bemoaning how belief in this religion had become a right left split especially in the US (on the Life Scientific). He questioned why this has happened?

    Surely this should be obvious even to an Oxford academic? If you are daft enough to fall for left wing, big government, magic money tree, Venezuelan economics you are probably daft enough to fall for the CO2 climate alarmism religion too.

    Or alternatively if you if you are bright enough to see one magic money tree con trick you can probably spot another. I assume he started of as geography graduate or something!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:32 am | Permalink

      I assume he started off as geography graduate or something! Like Theresa May.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Slightly unfair, many opportunities are open to geography graduates, viz.

        “With further qualifications or training (lol), job roles open to you include the following:

        commercial, residential or rural surveyor
        environmental manager
        exploration geologist
        facilities manager
        geographic information systems manager
        geomatics/land surveyor
        landscape architect
        nature conservation officer
        recycling officer
        tourist information officer
        town and country planner
        transportation planner
        travel agent
        waste disposal officer
        water conservation officer”

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

          The point being
          1/how many of these require a degree at all?
          2/ why not study the actual subject as an undergraduate in those that do?

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

          Why on earth would a ‘waste disposal officer’ need a degree in Geography?

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      @Lifelogic ++++

    • NickC
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic, There are definite signs that the climate catastrophe hoax is cracking. Greta Thunberg is so yesterday; Michael Shellenberger has apologised for the hoax; the Climategate emails won’t go away; the predictions of doom keep failing; it is increasingly accepted that the climate computer models are too crude to rely on; solar activity is now regarded as key, not CO2.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        We shall see. Doubtless when it does crack we will be threatened by a new ice age and all freezing to death.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        We live in hope. If the CV19 scam saves us from the Climate Change scam, it will be cheap at the price.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 12:38 am | Permalink


          Some entities are making significant sums of money from these false arguments, aka scams? Therefore, they will not go away lightly?

          The old catchphrase “Follow the money” is still very apt in my opinion/experience?

        • Original Chris
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

          Yes, Lynn. Just as Boris cannot seem to accept that he has made a catastrophic misjudgement with his closing down of the economy, neither can he acknowledge the truth about the climate scam, but instead seems determined, along with Gove, to dig an even deeper hole.

          If COVID hasn’t completely bankrupted us, then you can be sure the climate scam will finish us off. I think it is a case of cognitive dissonance where you keep pursuing policies which have been discredited, simply because you want to save face.

    • Otto
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Venezuelan economics is 50% plus capitalist, and its socialist component must be tiny compared with the UK’s.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    The telegraph today:- TAXES and red tape will be slashed in towns and cities across the country next year, under government plans for a post-Brexit and post-coronavirus ­economic revolution. Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, is preparing to introduce sweeping tax cuts and an overhaul of planning laws in up to 10 new “freeports” within a year of the UK becoming fully independent from the European Union in December.

    About time too he put UP many taxes up last time. The sooner he does this the soon it will have a positive effect growing the tax base and jobs so why only next year?

    Of course what he really needs to cut is the vast level of government waste so he can cut taxes – no sign of that at all.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:37 am | Permalink

      Plus the attacks on the self employed still continue (JR being foolishly outvoted) and more and more time wasting and costly tax investigations. Cut and simplify taxes now you will get more tax and a larger tax base.

      • Jim Whitehead
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        LL, +1
        Again, I fear that your logic and abundant good sense will fail to penetrate.

      • Hope
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        We read the respective reports from think tanks and Migration Watch that an area nearly the size of Cornwall, about 1,300 square miles, has been used to build houses on under the Fake Tories! They point the reason to be mass immigration and population growth from the same. What a surprise. How does this fit in with the other green crap the Fake Tory Govt spout on about? Namely, environment, energy, waste, water, CO2 for building materials etc.

        A bit like the utterly stupid idea of importing coal which is going to create more CO2 than if mined here creating jobs for our own citizens! Even worse it is effecting our critical infrastructure, handing business, jobs and money to Russia and China that are totally against our way of life and treated by the govt. as our enemies! You could not make it up.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          If not importing coal than importing coal produced energy. Fake Tories WILL meet climate obligations, regardless of exporting jobs! It’s enough to make you Vote McCluskey.

        • Iago
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          Quite agree and the twelve thousand migrants a week, says it all.

    • Stred
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      A Conservative tank from their central office has asked members whether they would prefer to pay more tax by inheritance, capital gains, wealth on over the value of a modest house in London and SE (except for fat pensions of course), income tax or NI. No option for less tax. Says it all about the new socialist Tories.

    • JoolsB
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      ‘Of course what he really needs to cut is the vast level of government waste so he can cut taxes – no sign of that at all.’

      Not a chance Lifelogic. They have so much to go at – bloated public sector, Parliament, quangos, foreign aid, 39 billion to the EU, HS2 to name but a few but like all previous socialist Governments before them, they love to waste our hard earned taxes. Oh for a Conservative Government.

  5. Caterpillar
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Freedom (choice and privacy) has been lost. Work has fully invaded home life. People have to provide capital in the form of somewhere to work to their employers without return. Not everyone has suitable resource to work from/in. Remote working suggests the possibility of off-shoring such services. Fabrics of social interaction have been removed.

    Yes, the long suburban to urban commute has gone for many, but this could also go with more in city vertical living – the stimulating and innovating environment of chance interaction.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      So the future of freedom should like (a) UBI (fiscal + monetary) (b) interconnected vertical cities with rental displacing ownership, (c) possibly some of the land that was sold from public to private ownership returned, (d) outdoor public spaces, (e) true free speech and discourse without the threat of violence or being cancelled, (f) safety on the streets, (g) safety of the borders.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      And of course free choice of whether to support BBC.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink


        It is an outrage that people are forced by law to pay money for the BBC lefty, greencrap, woke, identity politics pushing and absurd propaganda outfit.

        The Papers programme is a typical example invariable two lefties or one lefty, a lefty presenter and one middle of the road at best.

        The wrong on (almost) everything Yasmin Alibhai-Brown was on last night as she often si. Pushing for yet more wealth taxes (we have far too many already dear). Saying the poor are overtaxed and the wealthy do not pay their “fair share”. The reality is that the poorer 50% pay almost no net tax at all beyond what they get back in benefits and direct services like school places.

        The rich are currently paying a very high proportion of total taxation far far more than their fair share and much higher than they used to. This is very damaging to the tax base, inward investment, jobs and the economy in general. It is therefore damaging to the poor too.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          Alan Sugar published his half year personal tax cheque. £55 million. He asked how much more they want to be ‘fair’?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

            Plus wealthy people tend not to use many public services at all such as health care, benefits and the likes. Fair to the left seems to mean that about 50% pay nothing at all.

      • BW
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        The defunding of the BBC cannot come soon enough. I do not understand why, if the BBC has gone against the agreement made by them and the then Chancellor, why I cannot be brought back to the table with the cancellation of the BBC tax as the main priority.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

          The BBC hasn’t gone against that agreement.

          The agreement only lasted up to 2020 (i.e. now), with the policy on free license fees for over 75s being entirely the BBC’s decision from that point on.

          • a-tracy
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

            Do you agree with the BBC charging over 75’s Peter?

            Couldn’t they are put a proper worldwide BBC content offering to the World chargeable to everyone on subscription like Netflix to raise extra funds?

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

            A pensioner over 75 with a pension of £25k per year has a monthly income which is £155 higher than a working 50 year old earning £25k as a salary.

            The 50 year old is required to pay the license fee, so why shouldn’t the 75 year old who has a higher post-tax income?

            I agree with charging over 75s who can afford it.

            The BBC already raises extra funds by selling its content globally through BBC Worldwide.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

            Few pensioners have an income of £25,000.
            Many live on the State pension.

          • Fred H
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

            Well Peter the 50 year old earning £25k is never going to get a pension of £25k. Half that would be very fortunate.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted July 14, 2020 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

            According to the DWP and Hargreaves Lansdowne, the average pensioner income is above £500 per week for every English region and in Scotland, which definitely puts the average pensioner income at above £25k for all those regions.

            For someone on pension credit, they will continue to get a free TV license.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

            There is something wrong with that figure.

            In every region of England and Scotland the average pensioner income is £500 per week!
            I find that very hard to believe.

          • a-tracy
            Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

            Many solo pensioners aren’t eligible for Pension credits £9035 pa isn’t a lot to live on per year, joint couples can’t get pension credits if together they get more than £265.20 per week even if its only £10 more per week, people that save to pay for their own funerals and house repairs and so as not to be a burden on the State shouldn’t have this compulsory money taken off them they should be able to opt out and not take the BBC just have the other freeview channels.

            The waspi women regularly tell us our public broadcaster failed year after year after year to tell them about the equalisation of their pension age and that their State pension was being phased out. That was supposed to be their purpose and raison d’être wasn’t it, as our national broadcaster.

            People that put up and look out for themselves without guaranteed public sector pensions earning more than £13,790 as a couple per year punished.

          • a-tracy
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

            Edward2 he’s quoted pensioner household income averages so couples’ total pensions are in that figure.

            I can’t see anywhere how many over 75’s do live as couples compared with solo pensioners so the average is disrupted and not really a reputable figure.

            The fact that a solo pensioner on say a pension of £9500pa has to pay a compulsory tv tax of over £150pa when they should just be able to opt out of the BBC if they can’t afford it with the threat of prison hanging over them if they don’t pay it is wrong.

            Personally, I would pay my BBC licence if it was optional, if the waspi women and their partners say they were totally unaware of the equalisation of pensions, the BBC and their news and women’s shows may not have informed them, this sort of ruins the BBCs argument for being one of the most trusted brands and as they say the trust in a public service broadcaster is critical -so the waspi’s should take their complaint up with the BBC too.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        the ownership of a device potentially able to receive was nonsense at its origins. If the Government really believes it should fund the BBC – then do it…..but don’t burden the people with the licence fee.
        We have devices that can receive all sorts – but the broadcasters don’t get funded for just being available!

      • glen cullen
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        You mean an actual choice if you wish to pay for the service BBC or not… thats freedom

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Offshoring is becoming more and more likely. There are many English speakers out there in other countries. Customer support was ahead of it’s time.

      It does offer the possibility of emigrating and still working for a UK company at a level commensurate to local costs.

  6. Sea Warrior
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    The new ‘world of work’ looks like this: mass unemployment. Forgive me wandering off-piste, from the thrust of your article, but the unemployment hit is going to be worse then we have imagined. I have previously mentioned the number of restaurants, local to me, that are yet to re-open. I gave an under-estimate: the figure here is currently 40%. (Some might re-open next weekend.) That, I think, means some 200,000+ redundancies across England. And yet I saw on Friday, a job notification from the Civil Service, that indicates that Cabinet Office positions are still open to EEA and Commonwealth applications. Commonwealth applications need turning off now – and EEA applications at the end of the year. If there’s a ray of sunshine, it’s this: the restaurant I used twice this week – the one that I have never seen employ British waiting staff in TWENTY years – has an increasing number of Brits on duty, and they’re doing great.
    The COVID-19 measures, though applied late, contained too many irrational limitations on activity. The best example is the state stopping someone from going for a solitary round of golf, as his/her daily form of exercise. What is needed now is a strong presumption that all activity will go ahead, unless there is a good health reason why it should be banned or controlled. I’m a regular critic of Boris, so let me give him a pat on the back for his urgings last week.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      I’m confused.
      They were telling me in the restaurant trade they were going to be short of workers after Brexit. Nobody will want to come here and many will want to leave this nasty xenophobic country. One million short by 2029 I believe the report from those clever soothsayers at KPMG said (you know, those clever people which the government pays to put together reports?).
      Now you tell me 200’000 will be laid off.
      I’m a soothsayer-sceptic. Ignore them and make decisions on gut instinct, not tea leaves.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        Part of me is wondering if a great many East European nationals went home when they were laid off and saw the UK doing worse at fighting CV than their own countries.

        • Mark B
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          Yes. This is what happened in Italy. All the East European care workers went home and left the elderly to fend for themselves. Not all died of CV19.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

          Everyone goes home in a crisis. So if you want ‘key workers’ to stay, employ those who call our country ‘home’.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 1:17 am | Permalink


            As my old Gran used to say “safe, is home grown”

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      I’ve just read Priti Patel’s article in The Sun today and what is proposed sounds like a total relaxation in border controls to me – the reverse of what the people asked for.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Your right! Doesn’t sound much like a “brighter future “ to me. Just more of the same.

    • James Bertram
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      The first comprehensive study of the pandemic by a group of international academics:
      On 3 April 2020, the Director-General of the WHO stated: “[COVID-19] is much more than a health crisis. We are all aware of the profound social and economic consequences of the pandemic (WHO, 2020)”. Such consequences are the result of counter-measures such as lockdowns, and world-wide reductions in production and consumption, amplified by cascading impacts through international supply chains. Using a global multi-regional macro-economic model, we capture direct and indirect spill-over effects in terms of social and economic losses, as well as environmental effects of the pandemic. Based on information as of May 2020, we show that global consumption losses amount to 3.8$tr, triggering significant job (147 million full-time equivalent) and income (2.1$tr) losses.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        .Never mind. The world might well be a better place in consequence.

    • Peter
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Sea Warrior,
      A round of golf IS available – which reminds me I must get out on the courses again. In mitigation I have taken up cycling. I have a bike which I got through the ‘cycle to work’ scheme years ago. I used it once in Richmond Park and put it to one side, but at the height lockdown I was at a loose end. I never knew there was so much of interest locally.

      However, you are correct about rising levels of unemployment. This is massive structural change. Throwing money at the problem will not remove it.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        My comment referred to the situation at the end of March. I believe that all courses closed. One I’m interested in promptly furloughed its staff – and then wasn’t able to fully open when given permission, as the staff had a maintenance backlog to clear. The courses should have been allowed to stay open, with some restrictions (e.g. solo/pairs only). I intend taking up the game, again, to help put some money through the tills.

  7. Ian Wragg
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    This is one massive power grab by the state to control people only its gone badly wrong.
    Especially the public sector have decided that having full salary whilst staying home is a good game. The fact that most government departments are only supplying a skeleton service whilst costing the same doesn’t seem to matter, MPs can testify to that.
    Well done trashing the economy for no actual reason.

    • Stred
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Government departments, quangos and political charities with large government grants. The epidemic has proved that we don’t need them or to pay their staff to sit in the garden.

    • NickC
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg, Like I said a few months ago, the lockdown has become an end in itself. Originally intended to “save the NHS”, it has produced a crop of unintended consequences as top down policies always do.

      Without a cure/vaccine it is inevitable that everyone will get covid19 sooner or later, unless it dies out naturally. That’s because it’s not physically possible for everyone to exist in isolation.

      The NHS is “saved”, so lockdown should be lifted completely now, with only the most vulnerable being protected by quarantine.

  8. GilesB
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Good questions.

    ‘House arrest’ is clearly unsustainable. It was an ok response when less was known about the disease.

    More working from home makes sense: preseentism doesn’t. Fortunately Covid has coincided with broadband to the home and the massive growth of information industries where employees only need a screen. Attending the office once a week, or for a week a month, or never, is possible and attractive for many employees. And also for employers once they have reduced their office rental costs. But it is obviously not possible for everyone.

    Covid, and the economic recovery, is a good opportunity to introduce a universal basic income. Make it simple. Give it to everyone. Those who don’t need it will bear the burden of higher taxes anyway. Use it to replace most benefits. Everyone, excluding new immigrants for the first few years.

    Make the track and trace system totally voluntary. Those who really don’t want to use it won’t whatever you do. But have a big campaign that its use is patriotic, woke, whatever, backed by celebrities, and give users free entries to the national lottery.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      “backed by celebrities” – celebrities will back anything that gets them in the limelight.

      With the recent demand for yet more “Govt money” for Live Music ( from Sunak’s incredibly fast growing cash tree) being backed by many multi-millionaire music names – – and footballers demanding yet more Govt money for vulnerable kids – -why don’t these mega millionaires donate 50% of their wealth to what they speak about – instead of wanting the poorer people’s taxes to be used?

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        That’s what Sunak should do set up an arts philanthropist fund, put the lovies themselves in charge of allocation, ask all the major artists to contribute with a tax match promise.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      All universal income will do is put prices up by the same amount.


  9. Cynic
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Our view of risk is often irrational. Wearing masks is likely to heighten the perception of the risk of catching disease. Surely we need people to be less fearful if we are to return to normality.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      I see that Trump has made great display of wearing a mask now, along with his crew.


      • acorn
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        Careful Martin, Trump is considered to be Godlike on this denialists’ site. Trump wearing a face mask must be a shattering blow to the psyche of Redwoodians.

        PS. How many “lifelogics” are allowed per page? I suspect he doesn’t actually have physical form. I think we should be told!

        • Edward2
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          I don’t see people on here saying Trump is God like.
          I see the usual gang on here hating Trump and a few normal people replying.
          When he gets re elected in November it will be so much fun watching you lefties get all angry again.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

            Yep – the US employment stats are what Boris should be focused on recreating. And of course NY herd immunity achieved, the US has more ‘CV19 infections’ because they are capable of testing large numbers. They have a lower death rate than most, and all the ‘heads of Govt’ who get CV19 use Trumps drug. Says it all really.

          • bill brown
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

            Edward 2

            Again making predictions with no real facts, as the opinion pools actually seem to say taht Biden will win

          • Edward2
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

            I am indeed making a prediction.
            Well spotted bill.
            Current polls indeed say that.
            But the actual election is in November.
            We shall see.

        • Peter
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          Current thinking is that exposing the general population to lifelogics is the best policy. Most of them will acquire immunity in due course. Lifelogics can never be entirely eradicated anyway.

          A small number will succumb to a bad case of the screaming ad dabs, but we will just have to live with that until a cure is developed.

        • NickC
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

          Acorn, It is only those on the left who put politicians on a pedestal. So, no, we don’t make Trump a god, or any politician. And I suggest that Martin has as many comments as Lifelogic.

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        Nothing to discuss – scientific advice has now changed.

        • hefner
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          Yes, on 28 June 2020 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indeed changed their advice. It must have taken only thirteen days for the Great Helmsman to read it and react accordingly.

          • a-tracy
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

            I’m interested in how do you know the date that ‘The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’ gave Trump and the White House advisers the instruction they should wear masks what at all times or just within a certain distance, do you have any evidence that Trump didn’t follow this advice when he was within that distance to someone else not in his social bubble?

          • hefner
            Posted July 14, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

            Have you ever considered the possibility that your support for DJT through thick and thin when John Bolton’s ‘The Room Where it Happened’ is available to anyone curious enough, is a bit misplaced?

          • a-tracy
            Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

            hefner now you’re being ridiculous I don’t support Trump through anything, I have no skin in that game, no vote, don’t care who Americans choose to elect. I just can’t stand false statements, those that said he told Americans to digest disinfectant when he didn’t as just one example.

            I’d like to think I’d be the person to call out against the witch trials in Salem or other injustices that people just stand and watch happening around them pointing fingers.

            The science on masks has changed, the WHO advice on mask wearing has changed, this blind anti Trump propaganda is just poor journalism and how do you know John Bolton?

      • oldwulf
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        @MiC. So as to make it more difficult for him to put his foot in his mouth ?

      • DennisA
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        Boris was wearing a mask when he is already immune, having had the virus. Mask wearing in the States has become a question of virtue signalling and yet another way for the Democrats to attack Trump. There is no evidence to show it stops infection, especially if it is down to fine particles rather than aerosols, as the latest projection says.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        He was visiting injured soldiers in a military hospital.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

          Oh, so he cares about not infecting injured young people at least, and acknowledges that wearing a mask reduces that risk.

          If it doesn’t, as some here claim, then why did he do it?

          And if it does, as he appears to believe, the why doesn’t it reduce the risk for people generally?

          • a-tracy
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

            Perhaps it was the hospital policy as it is here in the U.K.

            What’s your big personal issue with masks and Trump Martin?

            We’re in the U.K. what’s he to do with us?

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

            A hospital, Martin. A hospital.

            I don’t think Trump was ever against wearing masks in hospitals.

          • M Davis
            Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

            Damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t, that’s Socialists for you. What’s new?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Quite so. I will never wear a mask and if that means I am barred from participating in the economy, I don’t care!

      • David Brown
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Interesting comment, so I guess you will never fly, never go to the Docs, never go to Scotland, never go to hospital, or a pub, etc.- ( ok ok the list goes on, hopefully there will be a vaccine by 2021).

        • NickC
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

          David Brown, I suggest that the re-circulated air in a passenger plane is more critical than whether or not you’re wearing a mask when flying.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

          Certainly never use public transport, happy to never get on a plane again. I never go to the Dr or a hospital – I’m related to Doctors and therefore avoid them like the plague 😂😂. I will NEVER have the vaccine if one is conjured up. If Scotland want to do without my spending (we live near the border so visit weekly normally, and spend a lot on golf and meals and hotels) let them do without.

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Normality has been to carry and use when necessary a handkerchief…..the wearing of a mask is just a fad

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        +1. We have evolved in a society riddled with bugs and germs, that’s why we have an immune system. Pascal himself said the `germ is nothing, the soil is everything’

  10. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Firstly I would say that the ‘pleasures’ of working from home were always available – That so few were able to do it shows how stuck we get into a routine and what is expected of us — Many firms could have made this possible, but perhaps they didn’t trust their own people before the virus came along.
    Competence and trust come into dealing with CV-19 — Very few people believe the hype put out by the media, but seem to take as gospel death figures attributed to CV without making comparisons to previous years flu deaths.
    There are those in authority that want to take advanatge by exercising that authority excessively.

    So, the picture is not one of consistency or balanced information — it gets very muddy.

    The exact truth of how the virus came to be still concerns many, for we have still not had that, while too many fear it was deliberately created.

    Perhaps the truth will become clearer as we get forced into a 2nd lock-down.

  11. agricola
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Freedom is different things to different people. The freedom of self employment would be the the cage of mental anguish to some. Freedom is knowledge, and to the extent that the internet age provides the latter we are all freer to make informed decisions about our lives. Achieving financial freedom, having enough of it having cleared ones mortgage and school fees etc, is a great step in the right direction. However freedom comes with obligations and responsibilities, so its complete form , anarchy, is an illusion. MPs have to largely tow the line, like it or not. Members of the military can cavort about the skies, but get it wrong and you pay with your life. Usable freedom is therefore not absolute.

    On one specific point you make about dealing with Covid 19 I think there is virtue in having isolation hospitals that allow the NHS to carry out all its normal functions unhindered. You have to accept the cost and the staffing need. Part of the cost would be comprehensive testing of everyone not in isolation.

  12. The Prangwizard
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    I would favour more working from home where it can surely be done with greater efficiency and happiness. When I worked I was a commuter and I found the travel very stressful. Office work was full of wasteful interruptions. I wish I had measured them. Commuting took up about 3 hours a day.

    My guess would be that in many cases home work will be more productive but people can’t be expected to work off the kitchen or dining table. They ought to be entitled to some dedicated space somehow but it will take time to effect the change as there are many factors to accommodate. Bigger houses for a start..

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Many may lose their higher London salary if they work from home on a semi permanent basis, aware they may save on travel costs as a bonus.

      No big deal for perhaps many, but for some ?

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

      +1. All semi-detached should be converted into large detached set in surrounding gardens. This is the ‘green’ (frugal) option and we maintain the character of Britain.

  13. Fred H
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    I see the Lifelogic blog is alive and well.

    A working ‘track and trace’ will deter close contact much more than any measure forced on us so far.
    It could mean presenting your mobile (turned off )for safe keeping at the door of all shops, restaurants, health practices, so that while you go about your intentions you cannot be connected to others.
    Mass avoidance !!

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Google and Apple have already made their systems ready to accept track and trace complete with all security measures, it’s simply waiting for a Government App.

      If you look closely at your Phone settings its already on it .

      • dixie
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        Well spotted – on Android …

        Settings -> Google: COVID-19 exposure notifications ON/OFF

        though you still have to download “your government’s” track & trace app for it to work.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Some mobile phones can actually still be traced by the masts even if switched off, but not receive calls, texts etc.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        But if left at ‘the door’ of a shop, restaurant or in your car – the mast will think you are still there.

    • Peter
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Yes, five out of twenty five posts.

      Could it be classified as ‘a second wave’?

    • NickC
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Fred H, How can “track and trace” deter close contact? Indeed a track and trace system is only of use where there is close contact. We have given up our freedom far too lightly given that covid19 is only as serious as a bad flu.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        What? If track and trace WORKS – will you want to get within say 3m of strangers? So with a positive test of a stranger close to you YOU will have to serve 14 days lockdown.
        Surely that will deter you getting near people?

        • NickC
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

          What??? Track and Trace does not identify that you have been in close proximity with an infected person until after the close contact. Therefore T&T itself cannot deter you getting near people. Only a general fear can. And that exists irrespective of T&T.

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

      @Fred H; Tell me, how does T&T work for those without a mobile phone or for those who do not install the software, or have blue-tooth disabled -and there are very good reasons it might be. Other people may have to give up their mobile phones at security, or leave them in work lockers, or accidentally leave it on their desktop or in their desk draw etc whilst in another part of the workplace.

      A tech/mobile phone based T&T solution can not be relied upon because there are far to many people who can not be traced via such a system. You would have to mandate; a/. people own a mobile phone, b/. it is always carried, c/. it is always powered up, d/. no technoligy is ever disabled on it, e/. the T&T software is installed (without modification).

      Hardly “finding freedom”…

      • Fred H
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        you seem to think I advocate T & T…..I do not. I’m pointing out shortcomings.
        Read what I write – there you go again – assuming what is not there (with others’ comments).

        • jerry
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          @Fred H; Funny that, how you pick on my reply when everyone who replied to you also thought you were advocating T&T. Perhaps YOU need to write more clearly?…

          • Fred H
            Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

            point noted, but disputed teacher.
            Consult a dictionary for ‘everyone’.
            It seems to mean you plus one other!
            And you need to read replies and understand, not assume like you usually do.

  14. Bill B.
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    ‘Where does freedom lie’? Where it always did – out of the hands of the state.

    If independent-minded Conservative MPs cannot help get it back, who will?

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink


    • Everhopeful
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Are there any though?

  15. Sakara Gold
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    The most important thing is to avoid a second spike in cases of the Chinese plague virus. What complicates this is the fact that we cannot trust statistics produced by this government on either the numbers of new cases or fatalities because they have repeatedly lied to us about both.

    We dont know where the hotspots are because it’s a state secret, Leicester has had the lockdown re-imposed. However, from reading local press websites it seems that several other cities may have to follow – Ashford, Folkstone, Swansea, Reigate, probably Liverpool and the Moss Side in Manchester to name a few. Here, the “R” number is believed to be well over 2

    We really need an urgent independent enquiry into our response to the virus crisis so far. Lessons must be learned from the mistakes made this spring so that we don’t repeat them this autumn. The NHS probably does not need another highly disruptive management reorganisation just now, but plans must be made to cope with both the second spike and a possible bad winter flu outbreak.

    How much longer must cancer patients wait for their urgent treatment needs?

    Money seems to be made available for reductions in VAT and other priorities. Maybe we should be building new quarantine hospital complexes too

  16. Chris Dark
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I’m now retirement age so I guess the world of work is no longer important to me. What I look at is the restrictions being proposed on me for the remaining years of my life. This virus, though real, has been hyped up out of all proportion. There are no real dangers other than for the very elderly and infirm; but you get that with flu, and there’s never been a lockdown for that, or track and trace. Masks for customers in shops, no thanks, I’m now planning all my shopping online, so the future world of work will now include more delivery drivers serving more goods to more people. Boris will kill the high street and those jobs will morph into something else. The obsession with risk—avoiding it and demanding perfect safety—is almost obscene.

    • Andy
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      There’s an interesting story in the papers this weekend about a man from Texas who thought like you. He was even younger though – just 30 – and was outraged at his freedoms being taken away. He went to a “Stuff Covid Party” to show the authorities who was boss.

      Sadly he caught Covid there, got really sick and – as he lay dying in an overcrowded hospital surrounded by other sufferers – admitted to the medical staff that he hadn’t realised how serious it was. We call this social Darwinism.

      • hefner
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        Darwin Awards.

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink


        And this didn’t just happen to American roughnecks.

        Our own ‘prime minister’ had a similar experience.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        Like the mobs marching in London.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Young people are extremely unlikely to die of CV19.

        With no vaccine in sight what are they to do ? Give up having fun for the rest of their days ?

      • Fred H
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        We have a similar thing on here, people have written over many months, indeed now into years that some sort of apocalypse called ‘Brexit’ was going to happen — they seem quite upset that the end of the world as we know it hasn’t happened. But along came a nasty virus, killing old people, so they can now hang onto the virus as ‘I told you so’.

      • M Brandreth- Jones
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        I am proud of you Andy .. now showing a little humility and care for your fellow men.

      • villaking
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        Andy: if true, then that person was exceptionally unlucky. We should never have undertaken mass house arrest and destroyed our economy to guard against the exceptionally unlikely

    • Mark B
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      A lovely post, Chris.

      Thanks 🙂

    • Everhopeful
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      You can be certain that in the govt. microcosm of “Nudgery” the destruction of the High Street is EXACTLY what the intention is.
      It has been on the cards for a long time.
      The true fall out of all this cruelty is yet to come and Greta will be most pleased with our “de-development”.

    • NickC
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Chris Dark, Succinctly explained: “This virus, though real, has been hyped up out of all proportion. There are no real dangers other than for the very elderly and infirm; but you get that with flu”.

    • Otto
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      I had read that after surviving this virus you can have bad scarred lung tissue and even some brain problems and maybe more problems for younger people which I don’t think you get with ‘normal’ flu so it’s not the same. Am I wrong?

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        Do you know anyone that has survived the virus (having been tested to prove they had covid19) Otto?

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know of any confirmed cases of CV19 in my circles. I don’t know of anyone who has died of it.

        I know of one young person who has died as a consequence of lockdown though.

        I expect most surveys of people will show my experience is the norm.

      • Stred
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        No. Correct
        Even flu and bacteria can give you scarred lungs.

    • M H
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Well said Chris Dark

  17. Adam
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Freedom is shared, and often freedom gained is at the partial expense of some other person’s liberty.

    The world of work should be focused on what is needed. These days, many services are performed without ‘work’ being involved. Someone in Dover could easily inspect and buy a new home for sale in Inverness without taking several days riding a horse, just to find Scotland.

    Working will probably become a pleasure leisure pastime of solving puzzles, for other people, as it already was for some.

    • NickC
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Adam, You sound like an advert for the Green party – “working will probably become a pleasure leisure pastime”, indeed. You clearly have no idea about the practical realities of providing you with the lifestyle to which you have become accustomed.

      • Adam
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

        Green is a wrong diagnosis. People enjoy cooking, writing, making pictures, using computers, sport, driving, gardening, problem solving, building things and whatever they do if they choose the right job.

        • NickC
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

          Adam, Doing something at your own pace, and only when you feel like it, is not the same thing as earning a living where the customer is the boss, not you.

          • Adam
            Posted July 14, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

            Agreed Nick; and millions of folk solve problems for leisure, sharing info to save work for others, without needing customers.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      Remember “nuclear power will be so cheap that we won’t bother metering it”? And “the IT revolution will give us all so much leisure time that supplying those pleasures will become the main industry”?

      Snap out of it.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        Fans of renewables like solar and wind power also claim the electricity generated is cheap and even free.
        It is a similar calculation to that quote about nuclear power which avoids including the original capital costs.

        The IT revolution has given us far more leisure time and contributed to improvements in living standards some the 70s.
        And it has led to a huge increase in entertainment industries.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

          Typo….since the 70s

  18. Stred
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    My wife gets more work done at home. The best thing is that the university management can’t yet find silly and annoying things to do. They have been too busy sunbathing. Commuting on a filthy tube is the next best not to have to do. The downside is that she finds more time to find silly things for me to do and slows me down when trying to help.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      A problem having a boss in the house, isn’t it!

  19. Andy
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    What fabulous news. Mr Gove has confirmed that this government is spending £700m on Brexit border bureaucracy.

    To help them cut red tape they are hiring thousands of new bureaucrats, to process hundreds of millions of new forms, using a new – as yet untested – computer system, on a newly concreted over chunk of Kent. They didn’t even ask the neighbours if they wanted a lorry park next door.

    The Tory pensioners – who tell you they are free traders – putting up more trade barriers than we have had for 40 years. Ironic. Well, moronic is more apt.

    • steve
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink


      “The Tory pensioners –”

      Oh blah blah blah here we go again. Give it a rest for heavens sake.

      • Andy
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        The Tory pensioners have messed up my country. They have stolen our rights. They have made our children poorer. They have killed 60,000+ – and counting. As yet they have not not closed down democracy but that is clearly next on their list.

        I appreciate that you do not like to be considered the problem. But people like you are the problem. And it is important that you know it.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

          But you don’t want a country Andy. You want to live in a much bigger country called ‘europe’. That’s what the sign on the door to the ‘Parliament says’.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

          Just a discrimatory dull inaccurate rant as usual from you.

          We leave the EU at the end of this year.
          Get used to it.

        • Fred H
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

          ….’my country’.
          And what pray is your country?

        • NickC
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

          Andy, In the EU you don’t have a country other than the EU. So you keep telling us.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      We save over 12 billion in membership fees every year.

      • Andy
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        We used to invest 12 billion pounds in the EU and single market each year, an investment which returned up to 100 billion pounds each year in value to our country.

        There you go. Fixed it for you.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

          No you haven’t fixed it.

          The UK has a trade deficit of nearly 100 billion a year with the EU.

      • bill brown
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Edward 2

        You have absolutely no idea, if tehre will be a saving unless everything else is equal in terms of our relationship in trade with the Eu and as longas we do not have an outline of a deal , tehre is ntither a saving nor a gain as we do not not ahve the full picture of teh full relationship from Jan 1st.
        So just another load of nonsense from you

        • Edward2
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

          Indeed bill it is my personal opinion.
          Having read widely and then made my mind up.
          You have a different opinion, which I respect.
          I don’t think your opinion is nonsense.
          It is just your opinion.
          We shall soon see who has predicted the future correctly.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 14, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        But the cost of just one crime, fraud, alone, in the UK, is estimated recently at £193 billion, Ed.

        Why the fixation instead on the membership fee, for an association, which gives hundreds of billions in revenues and other far-reaching benefits?

        • Edward2
          Posted July 14, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

          Best of luck stopping crime Martin
          It is a fantasy comparison.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 14, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

            We have an overall deficit of nearly 100 billion a year in our trade with the EU .

            Was it “far reaching benefits” you claimed.

            Not sure who is getting the benefit.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      A little bit of migration control would have gone a long way to preventing Brexit.

      Alas, your side got shirty and started calling my side silly names. So you lost.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I see that they have also bought 1.2 million square feet of Kent near Ashford to use as a lorry park, to save the embarrassment of using the motorways for that purpose again.

      Reply Yes we used to have big lorry jams when we were in the EU

      • Fred H
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        hopefully a wonderful sign that we are doing much less trade with EU – – either that or the drivers don’t want to go back to their countries…

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 14, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

          Yes, far less to offset that trade deficit and to make it immeasurably worse.

          Do you seriously think that people are going to give up all those top-flight products from the Mainland?

          Farage will keep to his usual fine Burgundies I expect.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 14, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

            And doo you seriously think UK citizens will refuse to buy from the EU?
            No you don’t .
            Trade will carry on.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

            If there are thumping tariffs or logistical problems then yes, I do.

      • Andy
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        We only had big lorry jams when there were extenuating circumstances. Bad weather, broken ferries or trains, Channel Tunnel fire, strikes.

        Now we will have much bigger lorry jams. All the time. And the lorry drivers will have to make sure they have loads of pointless Brexit paperwork ready for inspection.

        And the lorry drivers themselves may not even be able to drive their lorries beyond Dover because then they’d be working in the EU and, as you ended free movement of workers, they’ll eventually need a visa for that. And as it’s pretty unskilled work why would any country give them a visa? Oh dear. Poor ex-lorry driver. I hope you enjoyed your pre Brexit career – because your post Brexit one might be short.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

          You really think the UK will play up vehicles leaving our ports so there are delays?
          Ridiculous idea.

          If you were correct there would be huge delays at ports when goods leave for non EU nations or come in from non EU nations.
          But there are not.

        • Fred H
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

          been polishing that cracked cloudy crystal ball again?

        • NickC
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

          Andy, Didn’t you use to claim we needed 50,000 extra border staff? It turns out to be 500.

        • Al
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

          ” And as it’s pretty unskilled work why would any country give them a visa? Oh dear. Poor ex-lorry driver.” – Andy

          So, in practice,the EU drivers with no visa to work here would exchange lorries with the UK drivers in the Freeport areas, or on the means of transport. The EU drivers then take a different lorry for its EU leg, and the UK drivers take theirs for the UK stretch.

          As we import more than we export, I think our lorry drivers will be rather busy – the legs may be shorter but there are more lorries to move.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 14, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

            This ridiculous, Kafkaesque world you describe is entirely of your making.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 14, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

            Visas are cheap and easily available.

  20. Nivek
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    “So where does freedom lie?”

    Freedom lies in conscience. For example, it does not seem reasonable to argue that a man’s conscience can be guilty if he does not observe social distancing, given what you wrote recently (with admirable candour) with regard to the House of Commons:
    “Outside the chamber the social distancing advice does not always remain observed, as MPs want to talk to each other“.

    Similar arguments could be made with regard to wearing masks, observing travel restrictions and having visitors to one’s house. The general public can hardly be held accountable in conscience for exercising basic freedoms if a politician or a scientist – i.e. someone apparently most qualified to actually “know” whether or not such activity may be harmful to others – continues to exercise those same freedoms.

    The public has to have faith that what they are being told in these extraordinary times is actually true. One way, perhaps, to convince them would be if every person responsible for imposing these exceptional restrictions on our fundamental freedoms pays witness both to the deeply regrettable necessity of imposing them, and the gravity of their impact on the population, by promising that, when this situation is over, they will resign from public office with permanent effect. It would then remain to be seen if they were indeed sufficiently persuaded of the severity of the situation that they were willing to stake their careers on it.

  21. Dave Andrews
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Should we wear face masks?
    Just had a virology professor from Imperial College on Marr who was asked about them. She was quite vague in their benefits. Surely if these are being rolled out on the basis of proven benefit, the science should be there to back it up?
    At the end of the interview I was left with the impression that your guess is as good as mine, and hers it would seem.

  22. Peter
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    The virus is a great opportunity for those who want to keep tabs on the population to introduce new measures. So we are encouraged to pay by card instead of cash, to carry a phone that can track our movements etc.

    Home working was available for many before the virus. After the virus many jobs will have disappeared. So some will be free from work, but that will be a big worry if they have no money coming in.

  23. Everhopeful
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Freedom lies in being civilised.
    In having a police force that responds to true crime and keeps one safe.
    In the knowledge that there is always prompt, non-political healthcare available for every single ailment.
    In having a govt. that CARES about its people NOT about the fire sale value of its people’s assets.
    In having a properly funded army.
    In the absolute security that one’s govt. is upstanding and truthful.
    We have none of these things.
    Ergo we are neither civilised nor free.

    PS..people will soon get sick of working from home. The trick is for govt. to make sure that IT IS EASY and AFFORDABLE to get to work ( in the past it was not a problem) and that work is not a “woke” nightmare.

  24. Polly
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I love the freedom of working from home. It means I can pretty well do what I want when I want. So I have my friends to mine, and I go to theirs. I don’t have my boss watching every move, making me go to meetings and moaning if I get things wrong. I don’t have to try hard, I don’t have the discipline I used to have and I don’t have to wear office clothes, I don’t have to see peeps I don’t like and all my wonderful escapism can easily be covered up. After all, I tell the boss I’ve got a bad connection, that I’m busy on the phone in another room and I can’t do it now because, well… the phone just rang in another room. In fact, it’s all such fun doing everything my way and ignoring the boss that I think I’ll spend all my time having an easy life, go to the beach… and become a politician !

    As a boss, I loathe the freedom peeps have working from home. It means everyone can do pretty well what they want when they want. They can have their friends round or go to theirs. I can’t watch every move like I used to do, I can’t make them go to meetings and I can’t see easily when they get things wrong. They don’t have to try hard, they don’t have the discipline they used to have. Their escapism from work can easily be covered up and it’s a lot harder to keep everything on track. In fact, the sales figures are so bad that I think I’ll give up, have an easy life, go to the beach… and become a politician !


    • Fred H
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      good luck with ‘go to the beach’.

  25. acorn
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Yesterday, I had one of those rare alignments of four bodies in a two meter square array. The Milkman; the Window Cleaner; the Postman and me. We didn’t bother discussing “working from home”.

    The birth of the next great financial crash occured this week. “British finance proposes repackaging state-backed coronavirus loans” (Reuters). Get used to all those 2008 Crash acronyms coming back. MBS; CDO; CDS and a bag full of other Tranched Derivatives.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      You champion the MMT theory so why are you concerned?

  26. a-tracy
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Your government is beginning to behave like a Chinese or Russian government (by the way have you noticed in the Worldometer that Russia’s adult covid figures are always around 6500 per day as though they say right we’ve reached that number stop testing now).

    Boris cant talk out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, be afraid, don’t be afraid. Those photographs of people in bars out in Soho the other week why didn’t the police just close them down for breaching the rules – no point of rules if people Don’t apply them as in Brighton again yesterday.

    Are these garment workers in Leicester all on paye? Are they being recorded for a limited number of hours ie 16 so they get full top up benefits whilst actually working 40 hours like slaves? I.e. a proper scam with the millionaire owners benefitting by bringing in people who don’t speak English and rent them properties in multiple occupancy shares (are the multiple occupancy homes we’re reading are the reason for the spreading virus all registered properly HMO rules etc. Or are they all classed as family? What checks are made on who is living in each home and what benefits they receive? Follow the money). Also they need H&S Factory spot check visits out of the blue, with another inspector standing at the rear door of the property. There is something very shady about all this.

    Your government is turning a blind eye whilst going after the same people all the time for more, these new proposed wealth taxes I’ve read Conservative MPs are proposing and writing to members about to gauge their reaction (as well as Dobby and Starmer’s lot). I tell you what a lot of people of my generation’s reaction will be – steal our savings that are our pathetic plans for our piss poor retirements £100,000 pot and our pots have been hit by covid unlike yours, which only get you £4000 pa at 65 (whilst protecting Public sector workers defined benefit pensions) and we won’t create another penny for you we’ll finally shrug 🤷‍♂️ and then you’ll be dealing with a lot more unemployment.

  27. Anonymous
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Mass unemployment is the future.

    People working from home become anonymous and therefore dispensable socially. If the work can be done from home it can be done from anywhere, by anyone.

    Priti Patel is talking about making it easier for people to come here to do what jobs are left.

  28. ChrisS
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    The government seems determined to return to the status quo of everyone wasting up to three hours each working day commuting to offices to do what they can perfectly accomplish working from home.

    The excuse is that extensive home working will destroy jobs in businesses like takeaway coffee shops and others that depend on the commuter trade. Yet these are pretty worthless unskilled jobs that contribute very little to the economy. Compare this loss to the huge increase in productivity brought about by skilled managers and others no longer wasting time commuting.

    As someone who has spent most of their career working from home, I can testify to the tremendous improvement in quality of life that results. An increase in home working is sure to greatly reduce work-related stress to the benefit of family life and the NHS.

    Then, of course, some of the reduced congestion we have seen throughout the lockdown will become permanent and the finances of the railways will be improved because commuter services are always loss-making. It’s true that demand for cars and emissions will be reduced but that’s what the government is aiming for, isn’t it ?

    Boris has definitely got it wrong on this : for the long term benefit of the country, he should be actively encouraging home working to continue by ensuring better broadband services and homes that are better designed for the purpose with, for example, one decent sized ground floor bedroom that could be used for a home office.

  29. Anonymous
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    The internet, computer banking, Zoom meetings.

    All frightfully at risk of being hacked, switched off or just “cancelled”.

    With cash on the way out how long before “You’re cancelled. You’re not allowed to spend.”

  30. glen cullen
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    What of the 3 week review of these covid-19 regulations ?

  31. ukretired123
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Live to work or work to live?
    That is the balance historically and is difficult to resolve when you are poorer. It is Hobson’s choice for many but unemployment is imminent for millions around the world today. Being adaptable and recognition of this is key to getting a future in the digital world. Training everybody possible to be confidently digital is going to be key.
    We are under constant threat from silent but deadly cyber hostile states and GCHQ continue to do great achievements keeping the internet going. But individuals need more training on digital security whilst I am concerned by the inability or rather lax security record of government payment systems to counter fraud. Labour’s shadow chancellor noted “The computer says No” default shows at least it is challenging….

  32. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Freedom is the primary right to take responsibility for yourself.

    • steve
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink


      I’d say responsibility is a product of good education.

      Freedom, to me as an Englishman is the enshrined rights to say what I like in my own country, to dislike what or whom I choose to dislike, and to buy what I like with honest earned money.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        You forget the ‘wisdom of unlettered men’. I employ a gardener/handyman from Glasgow, unlettered, but he can fix anything. Should have been an engineer, you can see where Sottish engineering came from. He takes responsibility for himself, cares for his family. Can do attitude, never says ‘no’.
        He is a great member of our society. I’m privileged to know him. He’s one of millions.

        • Fred H
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          sounds like the person indicated in ‘ IF’ by Kipling.
          (no – not the making exceedingly small cakes).

  33. Reaction Harry
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Freedom of speech is the foundation of all other freedoms, especially freedom of thought; if the people don’t think for themselves, they can be manipulated by others until they are modern day slaves. Nudge theory (eg project fear) is quietly ubiquitous.

    It is ironic that those most vociferous about slavery in the past are at the forefront of removing our freedoms today. Are the platform deniers the useful idiots of the manipulators in the shadows?

    • steve
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink


      “It is ironic that those most vociferous about slavery in the past are at the forefront of removing our freedoms today.

      Nothing ironic about it Harry, it’s just plain old fashioned left wing malcontents hypocrisy.

  34. John Hatfield
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    “To others freedom is the discovery that they can work from home, draw their full salary, and avoid the 3 hour return commute each day.”
    But surely John, that’s just a small proportion of the British work-force. I would guess more people have suffered loss of income than have gained by working from home.

  35. RichardP
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I’m sure the Prime Minister thinks that making face masks mandatory in shops will build confidence and encourage people to go shopping. Personally I regard a face mask as a biological hazard and will not go anywhere that requires one.

    I’m not particularly bothered about Covid-19 because I know how to wash my hands, give people a wide berth and can manage to avoid touching my face providing I’m not wearing a face nappy. I also believe that, much to the chagrin of the control freaks in our society, the virus is on the wane.

    Up until now I have been happy visiting the supermarket rather than using a home delivery slot which might be needed by someone who can’t go out. If face masks become compulsory though my supermarket shopping will definitely be online.

    Does your Government have any other initiatives planned to make our lives more miserable!

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      It’s the Scottish tale wagging the English dog again.

      BBC today “Ms Sturgeon is making people in Scotland wear masks in shops – now everyone is confused.”

      Errrr… no we’re not !

      We being muzzled in every sense of the word and it’s the Left demanding it. The PM wearing one is not a good look.

  36. NIgel Hopkins
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    My grandfather fought in the Battle of the Somme in WW1 and was awarded the military medal for bravery. My father fought in N Africa in WW2. They bravely fought for our liberty and freedom. They would be turning in their graves to know that Boris has taken away everything they fought for with a knee jerk reaction to a virus that very quickly turned out to be manageable and not as life threatening to the general population as first thought. Boris needs to admit his mistake and stop feeding us a pack of lies. Restore our liberty and freedom immediately and stop destroying our country. You have already destroyed the union. I am so ashamed, disappointed and heart broken. Wake up everyone and stop being so namby pamby. Stop interfering in business. They can decide what’s best for them.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink


      No doubt Boris shared your view about people being ‘namby pamby’ until he caught the virus that nearly killed him.

      And the whole wide world has united in an unprecedented way to help kill off this dreadful pandemic.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

        in what way has the world united? Seems from the media almost all countries show self-interest above all else!

    • James Bertram
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Top post, Nigel.
      Likewise, my family too.
      No way would I betray what they fought for by wearing a face mask, signing-in on visiting a pub, or any other ‘bending-over’ that these schoolboy-politicians would love to impose on us all.
      As you say: ‘ Boris needs to admit his mistake and stop feeding us a pack of lies. Restore our liberty and freedom immediately and stop destroying our country.’

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink


    • Caterpillar
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Nigel Hopkins,

      You are correct that liberty needs to be restored immediately. You are also correct that the Govt (and Mr Hancock) demonstrated a knee jerk reaction that has and will lead to more damage than the virus. This knee jerk reaction and associated obsession with protecting the NHS also suggests more useful actions did not occur e.g. it seems to have meant that it was not made sufficiently clear and easy to seek medical assistance. As the PM’s own case appears to show, an unrested, overweight, mid to late 50 year old male, can succumb to the virus and nearly leave until too late admission to hospital in order to rest and receive oxygen. One does wonder how many people sought admission too late because of the knee jerk reaction to protect the NHS and capacity.

      I think there needs to be a speedy, full and transparent inquiry to surface all failures and all successes.

  37. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    I am finding it a lonely place. I am sitting here in a lovely garden drinking prosecco, eating a refreshing salad with home grown leaves in the sun , listening to radio 3 with a dog , which is my sons whilst he mends machinery from a recycling plant in London. It feels like luxury .All I need is a swimming pool. There is one thing missing : my family or people to share the bottle and laugh at the passing years with. Isolation is needed but single people and there are a lot of us, need company and not the company of corona virus , I need to spend to do my bit in helping the economy but don’t like queuing for half an hour.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Massive glut of champagne over in France, I hear, with a bumper harvest this summer adding to the producers’ woes.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        Why pay extorbitant prices for shampoo, when prosecco does the job at a fraction.
        In fact slightly differently – Italian pinot grigio better than the French.
        Try a Chapel Down Chardonnay (English) – delightful.

        • James Bertram
          Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

          Much empathy with that, M.

          The lockdown and social distancing policy, besides completely unnecessary, is both thoughtless and cruel.
          Many in the medical profession expect this to lead to a mental health crisis. (for example,see ‘What’s the true cost of lockdown? – the Spectator 10th July by Dr Waqar Rashid)

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        Sea Warrior well exports of Champers and other top brands are going to take a continued and big hit for the rest of the year as Corporates have been cancelling Christmas Parties and Conferences in the UK, all Weddings are off with the silly restrictions, no Father are allowed to walk the bride down the aisle, no wine to be served, problems serving meals, 30 guests that has to include the photographer, people marrying and registering you, inability to serve meals and on.. event hotel books are emptying every day since.

        Not to worry for all booze sellers though I walked through our local estate last night, bins and bins of large empty beer and lager tins stacking and racking up.

  38. margaret howard
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    And to think that just ‘Brexit’ promised a glorious new Jerusalem for Brexiteers!.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Alas a bug came from an authoritarian state, in case you didn’t notice it.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      and what a fine anthem it would make!

    • beresford
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

      One of the great things about finally severing ties with the EU will (hopefully) be an end to the four years of moaning from Remainers since we voted to leave. Finally we will be able to move forwards to the sunny uplands,

      • hefner
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        Even better (but unfortunately not guaranteed) might be the end of leavers only ever able to enter a discussion without ending it by casting blame on Remoaners and escaping any mention of a possible responsibility linked to their actions. That would certainly bring a bit of fresh air.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 13, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          We leavers are not vindictive.
          Nor do we look backwards.

  39. Jim Whitehouse
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    The only way out of this situation is when the virus has nowhere left to go – so called herd immunity. Suppressing the current community infection level is not eradicating it, but simply postponing some infections to a second wave and prolonging everyone’s misery.

    We learnt fairly early on just how harmless this virus is to large portions of the community. For the under 20s, with and without preexisting conditions, deaths number in the tens. Even for under 60s without preexisting conditions, the risk is lower than that of drowning. Had we have protected just the vulnerable, we would all be free of Covid-19 by now.

    It is great that some people have managed the situation to their advantage but that simply isn’t possible for many. I am a software contractor, and there simply is no work available. Even the agents are largely furloughed so there isn’t even someone to talk to about when they see the market picking up.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Do you think that every single nation – and there are now plenty – which HAS eradicated the virus there – bar isolated flare-ups – is lying then, Jim?

      • Fred H
        Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        Martin do consult a dictionary on ‘eradication’.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

          Do one on “practical”, Fred.

  40. Amanda
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I wish to be given the relevant information to make my own choices. I was happy to go along with lockdown as a national effort for a while as it was said to avoid a strain on ICUs That has now passed, and there is both capacity and treatments. I am happy to go along with the track and trace system as a national effort; for now.

    However, what I really want is updated and relevant information to take decisions. Particularly, where new cases are, and what is behind them (eg people not socially distancing, people protesting, people going to pubs, or people going to hospital). I also want to be kept informed of the latest research findings eg it has been said for a while that mouth washes can act in the throat in a similar fashion to soap on the hands. So, more information please.

    The current information being released is not fit for purpose. Yesterday it was reported that there were 148 deaths in all settings – it looked like deaths had suddenly spiked. When looking at the data it showed nothing of the kind – there were only 38 deaths in hospitals, of which all were in time periods earlier than the 24 hours before. The remainder was 109 certified deaths over a time period dating back to May. In essence, the 7 day average continues to fall, as does the triage date from 111 calls. We need proper data on what is happening, including hospitalisations, ICU capacity, and the much promised recovery rates.

    Finally, I will not be wearing a mask, unless I see the purpose – I want the freedom to do so if I choose or not. Reading as much as possible on the protection non clinical masks give, this is very limited in very limited circumstances – but equally there are a number of negative results that can result from their use. I want to choose the level of risk I am prepared to take – and yes, I do take risk to other people into account.

  41. ian
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    What this country need is a revolution in democracy and share ownership the one which was promised by con party in the eighty but never materialised instead it all went the other way.

    A first step might be taken away political parties control of local areas and councils and giving the people more control of how their money is spent and what they feel their council priorities should be, we know this is now possible by the advances computerisation and AI which are coming along fast now so that the people can be better serve themselves rather than being control by political dogma and ideologies of a political party coming out of unis and big businesses as to how they should conform to their ideas.

    Also, you need a change in the way Fund manages control companies on be after of their investor, at the moment funds only tell investors into their funds what the top 10 companies are to which they are investing in, instead of where all their money is invested and
    they also control how much the board room is paid on their behalf of their investors along with, if the company should be involved in political ideologies like clime change and so on, as I say, with the rise of computerisation, this is all now possible to do, to let the investor vote for themselves instead of being dictated to by fund managers and bankers.

    • hefner
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      The list of all companies in which a fund is invested in available every year in the Annual Report. Your other concerns are also likely to find an answer in the same document.

  42. Newmania
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Conservatism`s association with Liberty in any sense,only dates to the migration of Gladstonian Liberals, to them, between the wars
    A notable entrant was one Alfred J Roberts JP , Mayor of Grantham, but Hayek or Orwell were weapons against collectivism at home and behind the Iron Curtain.
    I am grateful for that generation of Conservatives as I am to the 19th century Conservatives who prevented the universal democracy they now claim as their creed . The Party has stood against excessive Nationalism , for anti Irish feeling ,favoured the EU, turned violently against it , attacked Milliband`s fiscal incontinence ,and immediately spent and borrowed like drunken sailors. As we see abstract ideas are only of interest some immediate political aim , in this case it is to elevate economic crisis over a health crisis, not an unreasonable position in my view.
    Our fiscal flexibility, however, would be greater without Brexit and one suspects that both the dithering over lockdown and the swift exit from it, also serve political needs of Johnson’s big state protectionist anti immigrant Party.
    Lives for lives I can support
    Lives for Brexit …..I deplore

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Anti *immigrant*

      That lie again.

      Uncontrolled *immigration*

      Uncontrolled *immigration*

      Uncontrolled *immigration*

      Uncontrolled *immigration*

      Just in case you didn’t get it the first time. And it was because of your lies that you lost Brexit.

    • beresford
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      Our Prime Ministers follow the pro-migration policies dictated by wealthy globalists, regardless of their party or the wishes of the electorate. When they leave office they mysteriously receive large payments for ‘speaking’ despite having demonstrated no previous propensity for speechmaking. Follow the money.

  43. ian
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    By giving people more control will lead them to more in-depth thinking which in turn will lead to growth that country and the people want to see, the government cannot control growth, people control growth, only by getting more people involved will growth be sustained, the government now can only produce debt which is not growth for the country or the people, it only growth for the few on mountains of debt to which people don’t need or want.
    By spreading share ownership and letting people have more control will return growth which some politician wish to see, things are so narrow now with hand fulls of people making the decision behind closed doors which only benefit themselves who are the only employees like rest of the people working for a company or council and government, only by including the people will you have good solid growth, knowing what people are thinking is everything along with the dogma and ideologies took out and lead by induvial thought through computerisation and voting will lead growth and inclusion.

  44. ian
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I even want to know what children are thinking at schools on the policy as underlies their thoughts on their thinking on the future of growth and policies, so I know what needs changes as they evolve, I do not want to know what people think who are reporting the news with a slant on how things should be or politicians with their dogma or multi-millionaire with their narrow views to enrich themselves, I only want to know what all the people are thinking as an individual, the last thing I would want, is the institution and other groups think of an organisation telling people and children what to think or one teacher in front of 30 odd children or student telling them how to think and what to vote for as we have in pasted with block votes of people of a one-sided view and which is also ongoing now with academics put upfront to enforce their views on how things should be, I want individuals sitting in the comfort of their homes along with children to have their say with more control given to them by the state of government to in harness more growth, ideas for own betterment and inclusion in the local areas in which they live and work and for the country as a hole, I think that groups that tell people what think and vote or act is totally out of ordered.

  45. Alan Jutson
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I see that the scientists are just working on a theory that recirculation air conditioning systems could be spreading the virus.

    I retired from engineering years ago, but I concluded that risk was the case more than 4 months ago, hence no visits to supermarkets at all (Click and Collect for us), or indeed any inside spaces unless I was desperate for their goods or services, and then I wear a mask and spend as short a time as possible inside.

  46. David Brown
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Freedom does come with responsibility however sadly many people dont accept responsibility.
    Its very refreshing to see how the devolved govs are operating with a level of difference to West Minister, its becoming clear that Scottish gov wants to assert the border differences with England much stronger and I hope this continues into Brexit with Scottish gov negotiating deals directly with the EU.
    I read on the BBC page that UK Fishing was sold to French and Spanish in the 1990s and West Minister has no powers to stop EU trawlers in UK waters. I hope Scotland does a deal with the EU for fishing rights. I want to see the EU flag flying and the Union Flag scrapped when Scotland becomes in dependent, because the Union Flag cannot continue to inc Scotland in the design.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear David you really need to spend a few weeks swotting up on history of the Union, the UK, and Scotland’s relationship both with EU currently and should it become independent.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Scotland can become independent anytime it likes. The act of a union is a voluntary Act and either side can repeal. Scotland should be aware that it is more likely to become independent when Englishmen have been hit in the face once too often than by any action of their own.

    • Kacey
      Posted July 19, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      It isn’t possible to be independent and be part of the EU, your parliament will have far less meaning out of our islands Union.

  47. Edmund Hirst5
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Although there are some aspects of the current situation that are superficially benign such as the spread of working from home, which any government which was sincere about curbing traffic congestion should have encouraged years ago, nonetheless the basis on which the “new normal” rests, which is a weak but arbitrary government backed up by a lawless police force, can only lead ultimately to disaster.
    I have been re reading de Tocqueville lately and I cannot help but be struck by how closely our current predicament resembles France before the revolution. In particular the atomisation of society as a result of social distancing can only have baleful long term effects.

  48. steve
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink


    “Our fiscal flexibility, however, would be greater without Brexit”

    How do you work that one out then ? what with us free of Brussels, the ECJ etc.

  49. Trav
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    You will keep on hearing different sides to it, that’s the way life is, but Boris has done u-turns, has acted too late at times, has not acted when he should have, and has let a lot of people down who have followed the rules throughout. He’s definitely lost votes because of it.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      And he has no political economy whatsoever!

  50. BJC
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    I thought you might be interested to know that my neighbour is delighted as he’s just banked his £25k non-repayable grant given to him by the government, aka taxpayer, for………some obscure reason. He also informs me that fellow businesses are taking advantage of the temporary repayment-free loans on offer, whether needed or not, and will be investing the money in Premium Bonds, where they hope to extract even more from the government.

    Meanwhile, the over 75’s will be required to pay for TV licenses. I’m truly not convinced we have a Conservative government.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink


      We have a Govt and a Chancellor who pick what and who it/he values (economic class, votes etc.) and gives them money, whilst others are simply viewed and treated as worthless. There is no equity. The absolutely appalling lack of ethics of this Govt/Chancellor casts the U.K. as a democratically undeveloped country; the self-inflicted economic crash drives the U.K. towards being economically undeveloped.

      Values, decency and economic value are actively destroyed, but the P.M. continues with the same team of Hancock, Sunak and Patel. It is not only that we don’t have a Conservative Govt, we don’t have an ethical Govt.

  51. hefner
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it beautiful? People who had been complaining for a while about the potential building of an Amazon warehouse in Ashford have learned this Friday (including it seems the local Conservative MP Damian Green) that it would now be a transit site for roughly 10,000 trucks (a day?) coming from and going to Eurotunnel.
    That plus the about 50,000 positions (a kind of positive) to be created over the country to help set the papers likely to be necessary to the freight industry to enter the EU27.
    Fortunately we had had our own Madame Irma (and her import-export groupies) telling us now for a couple of years this would not happen or would be solved in seconds. At times one can wonder the businesspeople ‘by background’ should not recycle themselves as stand-up comedians.

  52. Javelin
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Back in February I posted on your site that the only sensible way to treat covid was to protect the unhealthy but to let the healthy get on with life. I also said it was inevitable people would come round to my point of view. No other point of view made any medical or economic sense.

    5 Months later the paper below makes exactly the same conclusion.
    Population-level COVID-19 mortality risk for non-elderly individuals overall and for non- elderly individuals without underlying diseases in pandemic epicenters

    People <65 years old have very small risks of COVID-19 death even in pandemic epicenters and deaths for people <65 years without underlying predisposing conditions are remarkably uncommon. Strategies focusing specifically on protecting high-risk elderly individuals should be considered in managing the pandemic.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      Now the push is to muzzle the whole population.

      If we can’t go into shops without a muzzle how can we go into pubs and restaurants without them ?

      I get the impression that muzzles are meant to remain in place after CV19 has passed.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        I would agree that muzzles should remain for dogs, and house quarantine for cats. I have mixed feelings about muzzles on a number of contributors on here. 😀

    • Stephen Glasse
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      The demand that we dress in a certain way when going into public places and on transportation is an unjustified and blatant infringement of our freedoms and demonstrate s that Boris is a totalitarian at heart with zero axiomatic belief in liberty. We have numerous statements from people like Jenny Harries about the ineffective Ness indeed dangers of wearing face masks

    • L Jones
      Posted July 14, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      If they WISH to be ”protected”. This should be a matter of choice for EVERYONE regardless of age or state of health.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      But you were wrong, Jav.

  53. Martin
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Freedom is knowing that most of what all media tells the public is lies, either of commission or omission.
    Freedom is knowing that politicians are overall, with some exceptions, only slightly better with their relationship with facts than the media.
    Perhaps the above is over cynical, but experience is a good teacher.

    The media, and most of all, politicians need to regenerate trust in themselves. It will be a hard road, for which many will not be suited. The alternative is the creep to the cliché of 1984.

    Ideas for early regeneration.
    1. Make all town and city centre parking free for the next 12 months for up to 6 hours. The war on private transport needs to stop. Public transport is currently off limits, in practice if not in governmental aspiration. London, but nowhere else, may need a more restrictive scheme than this. There is a chance that this will help save the High Street shop, town centre restaurant, and theatre, and the millions employed in these industries.
    2. Office working may well have changed permanently. That will be clear within the next 2 years. Plan now for how all those office buildings will be repurposed. Tumbleweed isn’t a good look in your capital city! Or any other city for that matter.
    3. Our health service is an expensive shambles, with pockets of good care despite rather than because of its organisation. Governments of all colours have had a go, probably with good intentions, at improving things over the last 50 years, all have failed dismally. Look at what works in other countries, e.g. Germany/Singapore/South Korea and why it works. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel.
    4. Be positive. Be honest.

  54. glen cullen
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Watching Parliament channel 6th July Joint Committee on Black People, Racism and Human Rights – No scrutiny no evidence just various groups telling the joint committee about institutional racism in UK….what’s the point, what a waste of government time, what did it achieve ?

  55. Stephen Glasse
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    “your alarm bells should be ringing” – the gloaming

  56. a-tracy
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    What are the problems with face masks required to be worn in enclosed indoor spaces where you can’t physically distance for more than 1m, 1.5m or 2m (choose your scientist to believe) and people outside your usual social bubble are likely to invade your space?

    If we went to a restaurant we’d expect:

    This means once seated in a restaurant you can take your mask off because the next nearest seated guest outside of your social bubble will be seated what 1.5m away? I’m not sure what the latest rules are on safe distance.

    The restaurant member of staff will be required to wear either a) a mask or b) a full face visor for their own protection because they would need to enter your space, will they wear gloves or just be expected to leave your drinks glasses untouched on small trays (I wouldn’t want their fingers around the rim of the glass I was about to drink from).

    If you need to get up from your table, to use the toilet, you will need to put on your personal mask, I’d also expect the restaurant to leave several packed wipes to take a wipe to wipe down the handles and toilet for you to dispose of in the wc bin.

    Boris only needs to wear a mask if his physical distance space is likely to be breached. The reason I don’t think masks are all they are cracked up to be is that Hancock has been talking at length with the UKs best scientists and getting instructions from the WHO and he hasn’t been wearing one, he pats his colleagues on the back within 1m of their physical space, he lacks self-discipline so it says to me that he’s been told they’re ineffective and its just a confidence thing – which is ok – it gives me confidence at work and it hasn’t harmed me in 16 weeks.

    For me the biggest problem is the risk of track and trace telling me I can’t work for two weeks because I went to a restaurant and until that changes it is too big a risk.

    • Martin David
      Posted July 13, 2020 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

      I think I caught Covid walking outdoors in Lancaster in 2019 “no proof” but, it was cold, cold dry “grey” air. Perhaps it was in a pub. So. These masks, we are now being forced to wear; we are making them in the U.K these ffp3 masks for all, a war winner like we made Spitfires are we I.e. At pace as a national effort for good reason.

      No we aren’t. So effectively we’ll be walking through head height aerosolized virus particles regardless of these basically useless face coverings. Coverings which… Yes contain, some exhaled particles, some, but not all. Depends how many manage to float off then.


      Like they would for a cold; won’t get a cold thus wearing these masks will we not? Of course we will. The NHS must be made to cope! And the restrictions ended, for goodness sake everyone is going to get this virus without ffp3 masks and even with “Well, it wants to exist the virus” The vast majority will be fine catching it, which is good as they’ll be alot of particles.

  57. Original Chris
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Why were freedoms taken away for a disease that the government itself stated on its website was NOT a High Consequence Infectious Disease?

    On March 19th 2020 the government REMOVED COVID from the category of HCID on account of its “overall low death rates”, among other reasons.

    This move essentially put COVID on a par with seasonal flu (including severe) in terms of its consequences for the health of individuals.

  58. Ed M
    Posted July 14, 2020 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    ‘To some the idea that their every move may be tracked, and they may be subject to a tracing system requiring them to self isolate because of a chance encounter with someone who had the disease is an unacceptable intrusion into their lives.’

    – I wish my life was so interesting that others were so fascinated to track every detail of it!

    I’m sorry but I think a lot of this is paranoia – not healthy. Sure, in ‘normal’ times, not good, but these are not normal times and government has to do what is can to control and get rid of this virus.

    • Kacey
      Posted July 19, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Wish I could agree with the paranoia theory, but having studied the ID 2020 Gavi, Pharma, Microsoft Alliance websites to see all the different kinds of ‘immunization’ methods being proposed, I prefer paranoia with some freedom.

  59. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 14, 2020 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    If some employees have found that working from home is pleasant and acceptable to their employers, why should that not continue? It’s certainly no business of the Prime Minister or any other busybody to tell them to resume travelling to work.

    Apart from pursuing Brexit, this PM has been a disappointment – far too willing to throw money around, without consideration of the fact that high public expenditure results in the private sector being robbed of investment capital.

  60. Kacey
    Posted July 19, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    What does Sir John think of the World Economic Forum’s global reset? Will we have any control over how it is to be played out?

  • 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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