How to tackle the virus

The government waited until the virus had fallen to very low levels. It then began a gradual relaxation of controls, essential to economic recovery and allowing freedoms back.

Its policy to control the virus switched to testing people to seek to ensure that all those with it or in contact with carriers self isolated, so the rest of us could lead a more normal life. It added to the measures by still not allowing some sectors to go back to work, and insisting on varying measures of social distancing for everyone.

With more testing today more cases of the virus are being identified, and the graph is going up again, as it has already done in places like Spain and France. So far it seems to be spreading more amongst the younger and fitter, so there are still not so many severe cases and deaths. Some say this pattern will continue. Others think it is only a matter of time before more vulnerable people get it and the serious cases rises.

The government and Councils turned to local lockdowns as a supplement to testing and isolating more people.In places where there was a surge in cases normal life was further interrupted to seek to control the spread. Now the government is moving back to national restrictions again as the cases still increase.

Yesterday the PM said he now wanted the NHS to develop a much faster test so people could get the result shortly after taking it. He would want to see a massive increase in the number of tests, perhaps a fifty fold increase on current levels. The idea is we could go to an event but be tested on the way in. Meanwhile current levels in excess of 200,000 tests a day are not backed up by sufficient laboratory capacity to give quick results, and some people are being told to wait several days or travel very long distances to get a test.

It leaves people asking some questions. Why can’t the NHS test more people locally? When will the current testing system be fixed? Who is now working on a rapid test and how many would it be possible to make when there is one? How will the public react to a prolonged period of restrictions on freedoms? How much more economic damage will be incurred if the virus does continue to flare up?

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  1. DOM
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Don’t play the people with this fear inducing tosh.

    I don’t pander to the NHS that’s now become a political organisation in its own right with your party crawling to it on all fours like a lapdog. It asserts its role as political. It’s become a force in its own right. It’s lost sight of its original purpose. It isn’t meant to be a tool of social control and social change

    Your party in government isn’t intelligent enough nor astute enough to play Mr Socialist and treat the public with contempt by abusing their freedoms and intelligence

    We know the State, its actors, politicians are using CV19 as a political weapon to impose limitations and change the fundamental nature of this country and the person’s relationship with the authoritarian British State

    Now is the time for every Tory MP to come out of the closet and declare public allegiance to social reconstruction according to strict Marxist doctrine. Just do it so then we can see you for what you’ve become instead of trying to deceive the electorate every five years with the Conservative veneer

    The British public is being deceived and your party’s right at the centre of it along with scum Labour and every other State actor whose revelling in new found powers of oppression


    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      I sympathise. In the aftermath of this crisis the Conservative Party needs to commit to encouraging people to developing some self-sufficiency.

  2. Stephen Priest
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Why can’t you be tested at your GP?

    What’s the point of being tested if you are not ill?

    Why isn’t there a massive catch up programme in the NHS for all other conditions from cancer to knee operation?

    Why has the Prime Minister become a puppet of Chris Whitty and Matt Hancock?

    Why is Matt Hancock still Health Secretary? He seems to believe that one death from Covid 19 is a hundred times worse that ten deaths from cancer and heart disease.

    Peru has been on a strict military lockdown since 16th March and yet it now has the highest death rate in the word (after San Marino). Lockdowns don’t work.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink

      Why has the Prime Minister become a puppet of Chris Whitty and Matt Hancock


      Chris Witty frequently says this virus is completely harmless to almost everyone but those about to die anyway, but no one takes any notice and they all plough on regardless.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

        BUT – – telling people it is harmless doesn’t instill fear and control over the people – and THAT is the aim. WE get threatened with arrest/fine/jail and criminal record – -while foreigners we know nothing about are ferried in and put in hotels. THAT says it all.

      • jerry
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        @Anonymous; If Chris Witty frequently says what you claim, in the exact words you used, you’ll have no problem in citing such a comment; location, date and time please…

        Also you forget that those who do not die are often left with (what is now being termed) ‘Long Covid’ symptoms, that not only affect their ongoing health, that impacts on their ability to carry on an economically active life, also leaving them now vulnerable to either a second and now perhaps fatal Covid infection [1] or some other mortality.

        [1] contrary to previous assumption, real verified data has now proved that previously infected people, with antibodies for the virus, can be infected with a different (mutated) strain of the of Covid-19 virus

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

          Oh so they can’t be infected by the same virus? Only by a mutation (a novel virus in fact). Just like flu then, but with a lower death rate.
          Flu, for people who die from it, is a very serious disease!

          • jerry
            Posted September 12, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

            @Lynn Atkinson; Non so blind as those who choose not to see I guess…

            “Flu, for people who die from it, is a very serious disease!”

            So is Bubonic Plague, or Ebola, but like Flu there are vaccines and drug based treatments to combat all but the most worst cases – that is not the case with Covid-19, other than either (invasive) intensive care ventilation or re-oxygenating the blood via the sort of machines that are used in major heart and lung operations.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted September 12, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

            Open your eyes then. We are all immune from bubonic plague (all descendants of survivors of the Black Death) – there is no flu vaccine for the current strain, only last years variety which is why the flu vaccine is damaging if anything. So just like Wahun flu, except that if you are massively 0verweight you are a soft target.

          • jerry
            Posted September 12, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

            Lynn, my eyes are wide open and I’m also wide awake too, unlike you who appears to be sleepwalking. Even accepting, which I do not, that you are correct about the population of Europe being immune to bubonic plague there are two other Yersinia pestis bacterium that have similar untreated outcomes attributed to those infected, if left non-medicated.

            Just because Covid-19 might appear to be “just Flu” it doesn’t mean it is, nor that treatment and prognosis are the same.

      • Hope
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        JR, no debate in parliament no representation whatsoever other than a decree by Hancock who has proven to be wrong, flip flopped, lied about testing targets being reached previously, etc. Hancock has shown he is utterly useless and wasted millions of taxpayer money while Nightingale hospitals remain empty, waiting lists at record highs and doctors claiming more people will die from cancer and the like.

        The simple answer is the public must ignore the govt. as it is not acting or behaving to preserve our democracy, liberty or way of life. We do not live in dictatorship like North Korea, Russia or China. We already have the law being implemented differently for BAME and white people. Your govt is causing harm to our society and way of life. It must be brought to an end.

        Suggest you, IDS, Swayne and others take a firm line to change Hancock megalomaniac ego.

      • margaret howard
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink


        I wonder why Mr Whitty believes that the whole world is wrong and he and just a few other people, you obviously included, believe they are right?

        Are the billions of people in all five continents, just gullible dupes who have sacrificed a large chunk of their lives, their wealth and all the other hardships in vain?

        How do you explain this?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

          The ‘billions of people….’ had no choice, just as the British people had no choice.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink


      “We won’t fight them on the beaches because Matt Hancock advised against it”

    • Peter
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      ‘It leaves people asking some questions.’

      It has also left many people asking more fundamental questions which you have not mentioned.

      I note the authorities are very quick to clamp down on those protesters who challenge government policy on this.

      Yet BLM and Extinction Rebellion can do as they wish.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      Why can’t you be tested at your GP ? Because your GP surgery isn’t open.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      What is a local GP. Here in Wokingham the abandoned that concept. There are I think the term is locums at a medical center, but no GP’s service.

      That is a cynical dig on my part, we have gone from a great service to a get by service. For must purposes turn up and burdening the A&E at the local hospital is a better service.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      The opening premise of the piece is wrong.

      The virus has not fallen to “very low” levels. In relative terms infections had fallen to significantly lower that they had been, but the UK’s previous standing was appalling, so that was only to be expected.

      Reasonably, “very low” would be what New Zealand, Japan etc. had achieved, on the other hand.

      So it’s only to be expected that when controls are eased, cases will once more rise. The older and vulnerable know this, and continue to shut themselves away.

      They have votes too though.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        Sweden doing well too.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:20 pm | Permalink


        But couldn’t the Matxist assault have waited ? Or is this you ideal time to pounce – when our people are hurting and low !

        If you really were awarded a medal of Empire then no wonder we’re stuffed and why did you accept ?

    • BeebTax
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      Yes, let’s have daily figures on the number of deaths or minor conditions morphing into major conditions, caused by the NHS focussing solely on Covid.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      You can’t be tested by a GP because they almost never see a patient!
      Even after a paramedic visit due to an evening Atrium Fibrillation incident (post previous one, hospital admission and medication taken for months) we cannot get a consultation face to face. Even via telephone request we have to wait for the next call-in period to explain why a consultation (even by phone) is wanted.

      So we buy a pulse meter, a blood pressure tester, told to record and average 5 times a day and ring in results as some unspecified frequency.

      The paramedic would have taken to hospital, leaving the A&E risk up to us. Advised to get GP to do ECG etc…

      The follow up to this story is that we found our named GP ‘retired’ a while ago, twice in a row now, we were not informed, a replacement will not be made for an unknown period.

      NHS replaced by DIY – – and all the while treatment is delayed, likely terminable conditions develop for friends and people we know.

      Welcome back pre 1948 – but without Doctors who would see patients.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      My understanding Stephen, and I could be wrong, is that if you have been in the company of someone with COVID symptoms you have to self-isolate for 14 days – that means not leaving your house at all even to shop, because you could be asymptomatic and still able to spread the virus, in order to be released from home earlier people ask for a test to show they haven’t got it so they can return to normal life.

      Re: Catch up program what % of the NHS front line staff have been back at work in July, August and this month I suspect that the catch up can’t be achieved until there is 100% back to work.

      If the PM didn’t take the advise of the Medical professionals and sage he would be hung out to drive, whoever was PM would be taking the advise from the same people, whatever they say to the contrary.

      Matt Hancock appears weak he wouldn’t be my pick to head up this department at this time.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        I wonder how many commit suicide, or starve to death over the 14 days locked in?
        Probably still called Covid related on the death certificate.

    • NickC
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Stephen P, There is a scheme – complete with payment for participation – of random testing based, it appears, on polling type selection (as I advised back in March). This is all that is needed to provide monitoring of covid19. And it should be handled by your GP, as you say.

      When will the NHS become the national health service? Or has it given up that line of work? Now that covid19 no longer poses the threat it once did, and the death toll is below that of influenza, all restrictions should be lifted. If the disease returns and starts killing large numbers, then fine, we can re-introduce sensible restrictions.

    • steve
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      @Stephen Priest

      “Why has the Prime Minister become a puppet of Chris Whitty and Matt Hancock?”

      I don’t believe he has.

      “Why is Matt Hancock still Health Secretary?”

      Give the man a break. Imagine what it would be like if Labour was in power.

      “Peru has been on a strict military lockdown since 16th March and yet it now has the highest death rate in the word”

      It’s down to personal hygiene, nothing else.

  3. Mark B
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Public confidence in this government is slowly ebbing away. The goal posts have constantly moved, unless that is you belong to an extreme Left-wing organisation. People see this and the harm that this government, first through its inaction, then its overreaction, and the false mantra of saving the NHS without a thought to what that might result in.

    This mess is the government’s own doing. It is desperately looking for a face saving way out and I can only assume that its current course it to give the people a dose of aversion therapy. Make things so bad that the people will beg for it to stop or start rioting. That way the government can claim to be acting to public opinion who seem to enjoying the lockdown along with the nice weather.

    As I look back on this whole sorry story cum fiasco I truly wish this little virus was on the lines of the Spanish Flu. Now that was a real pandemic, but unlike today’s snowflakes, people kept calm and carried on.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

      Not uber slowly in my case!
      We are obviously heading for another period of incarceration.
      Whatever Johnson says we can assume the opposite.
      And since they can’t differentiate the virus from flu or colds a very difficult winter is approaching!

      • Hope
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        89% of people from govt stats who died were 65 years or older. Even then we do not know what percentage died from Chinese virus or with it!

        Gross incompetence from figures still not sorted after six months! Yet more draconian measures without specific evidence why!

        Come on, your govt. is finished.

    • agricola
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      When you consider that at day one the government knew almost nothing about this virus they acted in good faith to counter it. Yes we now can question every step they took, but it only serves one purpose, to get it near right the next time. It is not a political game like the Poll Tax. Wars have consequences, mistakes are made and people lose their lives. Covid19 was and remains war.

      I would like to see a study of what Sweden did with apparent great success. We might learn much for the next one.

      • HS
        Posted September 12, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        No, the govt knew this virus was a pre-planned staged event from the beginning,

    • BeebTax
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      +1. There was also an epidemic of Covid-like proportions in the 1950s and everyone just got on with it. That’s barely remembered now. We’d now be a third world country if they had shut down the economy back then.

    • NickC
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Mark B, Well said.

  4. Stephen Priest
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    According to the Daily Mail:

    Cabinet at war over the rule of six: Almost every minister on Boris Johnson’s Covid committee argued against the stringent limit – and even the PM himself was ‘cautious’- but Matt Hancock got his way

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink

      And so they b***** well should.
      They should all be ashamed of themselves.
      The untold harm they are doing.
      Obviously they have an agenda!

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

        Yes but “every” minister was actually in favour of a “rule of eight” so not really the great rebellion the Mail implies. Whitty was talking approvingly of Belgium – a “rule of eight” country. But they also have a 10pm curfew. So, could have been worse !

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      From the current position it surely is a mistake that will do more harm than good.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Gov. already doubling back on it “you can now attend indoor and outdoor performances, for example, dramatic, musical or comedy shows” just another example of Matt Hancock giving out a decision late at night without all the facts on line first for people to see. His lockdown wasn’t immediate so why not wait until the info was on the following morning then at lunchtime announce it. Absolutely appalling management.

      If this was about stopping street gatherings, parties, raves people jumping in each others faces and spaces it should have been explained precisely what he wanted to stop, however, if you have a physically distanced and compliant organised event up to 30 people? they can go ahead.

  5. agricola
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    We have a “Catch 22” situation in that the more we test the more cases we find, but if we do not test we still have the cases which remain unknown. Better ramp up testing I think.

    We should aim testing at specific activities/industries, such as travelling abroad for instance and specifically prior to embarquing on return to the UK, on the aircraft, or at last resort prior to passport control. There should then be a follow up test seven days later.

    For more general testing we have GP centres when they are ordered back to normal working, and chemists who are local to almost everyone. Test centres in supermarket car parks would also assist.

    What we do, how and where are down to the test itself and it’s availability. There is much in the press on almost instant results tests, but what is the truth. Within the system we need to be able to download a PDF certificate saying we are FFI ( Free From Infection) or to carry such on our mobiles. For those without a mobile the FFI will have to come by post.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:47 am | Permalink

      We have a “Catch 22” situation in that the more we test the more cases we find

      it is not Catch 22, hospital admissions did not go up in Leicester but false positives and people possibly testing positive for previous viruses did. The entire thing is a farce and everyone with half a brain knows it!

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink


        • Everhopeful
          Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:04 am | Permalink

          I now have an account on that website.
          Most illuminating.

      • agricola
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

        What have you done with the other half of your brain.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

          You only have half the information.

          No one is counting the deaths because of Covid measures.

          Ie the cancer explosions or death by road because rail is banned … or suicides.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink


      • clive lester
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink


      • Fred H
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        I think the ‘scientists’ and ‘spads’ are found wanting. Half a brain appears to be about right. And that is without the Cabinet process.
        How can Hancock get his way against the whole Cabinet? If refused he should resign. Simple.
        Put up or shut up!

    • Philip P.
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      What is the truth, you ask, Agricola? I’d say that’s the right question. Try this, from the highly-regarded Robert Koch Institute in Germany. It does a regular report on the influenza season, tracking respiratory diseases as part of its so-called ‘Sentinel’ programme. In its latest bulletin it says the following [my translation]: ‘Since September 2019 up to now, SARS-CoV-2 was detected in 13 (0,3 %) out of a total of 4,132 analysed tests. Since April 2020 no more indications of SARS-CoV-2 have occurred in the Sentinel data.’

      I wonder what our ‘tests’ in this country are actually detecting.

    • Chris Dark
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      For God’s sake, what kind of dystopian environment are you proposing? That people should be forcibly tested every day of their lives, and carry around a document to say that they haven’t got a virus? a virus that is harmless to virtually everyone bar those with existing health issues and the extreme elderly? And what if the test is positive, especially a false one? Are people to obediently lock themselves away for fourteen days, foregoing all contact with family, friends and the workplace? What sort of life are you proposing for humans of the future? get a grip!!!

      • Fred H
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        If you seriously want to test 67m, and at what frequency, that is foolish, impractical (unless you organise the extra 3m umemployed to help), and is uneconomic.
        As you know the test is worthless say 3 days later.
        Quarantine all positives regardless of accuracy? Retest all those negative every 3 days?
        The logistics would likely produce more positives than doing nothing in the first place.

      • agricola
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        The object Chris is to get airlines flying and workers working, nothing more sinister.

    • forthurst
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      “Why can’t the NHS test more people locally?” JR

      I read in the local paper that young people have been carousing outside a local nightclub; the local director of public health indicated his displeasure, pointing out that there had been “a concerning increase in cases of Covid-19 in young people” and that people should follow the government guidelines on social distancing. According to my local council website, were I to be a frontline key worker, I could travel to Gatwick and get a test. Is the degree of spread in my locale in any way reflected by a small number of cases recorded in official statistics?

      Countries that have controlled their epidemics successfully have acted locally and proactively and almost certainly have not got people with PPE degrees in charge.

    • forthurst
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      John Micklethawait and Adrian Wooldridge have written a book and published an article in the DM in which they compare the comparative success of China, historically, with our contemporary backwardness and then the reverse as we led the Industrial Revolution whilst China languished and then ultimately that the positions were reversed again as China and East Asia advanced rapidly whilst we floundered, relatively.

      China’s failure allegedly was that their mandarins were examined on their knowledge of Confucian texts and were therefore ill-prepared for the modern world when it arrived on their doorstep. However, the article does not draw the simple and obvious inference that we have the exact parallel in this country, that our mandarins and government are recruited from those with Arts degrees and therefore are as hamstrung by their unpreparedness as the mandarins were in China.

      Why were we nevertheless, able to become a world power based on science and technology and then faltered? The government and civil service unlike in China did not centralise and meddle in everything until the last century and it is this period that we have lost our edge; Covid-19 has given us all a baleful experience of how incompetent our governance is. Would our government allow our best businesses like ARM Holdings to be sold off if it consisted of people who respected science and technology as much as classical texts?

    • Mark
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      We have a simple test that everyone can use. Do you feel ill with the symptoms?

      Otherwise, the general prevalence estimates are quite good enough for assessing whether there us a real problem.

  6. The Great Reset?
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    More people are dying from choking on chicken legs than this virus. You have all gone mad. Admit it.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      I fully agree with your wise assessment

  7. Anonymous
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Sweden had no lock down and there are only 13 people in hospital with Covid and one death per day. Has anyone noticed their curve is identical to ours yet we had a lockdown.

    • agricola
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      Sweden is not a World travel hub, an inadvertant protection. With hindsight we should have closed our international airports to source countries from day one. I too would want to know the details of Swedens low Covid incidence and apply the answers to any future UK plan.

      • Philip P.
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        You’re right there. Unfortunately Johnson, Hancock and Whitty would not want to know – it would highlight just how badly they have performed.

        The Norwegian authorities have freely admitted they would have done better to follow Sweden’s approach. Can we imagine Johnson’s government ever doing the same?

    • Donna
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      The Government doesn’t respond to inconvenient FACTS.

    • steve
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink


      Yes very true about Sweden. However I believe it’s all a matter of personal hygiene. Shocking when you think that the government needs to remind people to wash their hands after visiting the loo. Says it all really.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        Are you saying that in spite of singing Happy Birthday twice while washing his hands on camera, Boris got CV19 because of a lack of ‘personal hygiene’?

        • steve
          Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          No, but somewhere along the chain somebody wasn’t careful enough….poor old Boris copped it.

        • Fred H
          Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          well over time his precautions haven’t worked out to be that effective, have they?

  8. A miracle
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Sweden had no lock down and there are only 13 people in hospital with Covid and one death per day. Has anyone noticed their curve is identical to ours yet we had a lockdown.


    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      And my Swedish friend was most put out because upon being traced she tested negative. Apparently there a positive test is taken as immunity.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Which is about the same as the UK – relative to population. England though has higher populations densities so rather harder to control perhaps.

    • David Williams
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      There is also a free article in the FT today about Sweden.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Its a model we should be following

  9. Everhopeful
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    No one has ever yet explained why this virus, which seems very little understood anyway should take precedence over ALL OTHER MATTERS economic and medical.
    We all know it makes no sense.

    • agricola
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      At the time of Covids arrival we had solutions to many medical problems, but nothing for Covid. This continues to be the situation. It was and remains the V2 of threats. Economics is such a rapidly changing entity, much of it outside our control, that I doubt we will ever create the right tools to survive its constant fluctuations. Additionally it carries on its back politics which are a means of confusing anything.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      The justification for the initial lockdown was the possible overwhelming of the NHS and to give it more time to prepare and learn better treatments. There is no chance of that from the current position. It seems clear to me than, given this, the lockdown now is likely now to kill far more people from other causes (such as NHS failures from other areas) than Covid deaths saved by another lockdown.

      The Boris government seems (wrongly and immorally in my view) to have decided it is better for them politically this way. These collateral extra non covid deaths seem to be viewed as a price (for them) that is worth paying. The expensive Operation Moonshine is clearly ill conceived and idiotic and many experts are pointing out.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink


    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink


    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      ” it makes no sense. ” – -neither does bringing in foreigners and putting them in hotels – but they are still doing it.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:51 pm | Permalink


    • Ed M
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      The media have a lot to answer for (all the media – from the left-wing to right-wing and everything in between). What do we do about the media? How do we tame the monster in it (it is a monster from one degree to another) without curtailing certain democratic freedoms etc?

    • Original Chris
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      This graph from the Office of National Statistics tells it all and illustrates the absurdity of the government’s COVID policy: it shows the weekly death rates since January from COVID, influenza and pneumonia separately. COVID deaths have flatlined right along the bottom of the graph, with influenza and pneumonia deaths rates well above COVID. Using Hancock’s “reasoning” I am surprised he hasn’t tried to impose a triple lockdown. The flu and pneumonia deaths are far more significant than those from COVID.
      Deaths registered by week
      Figure 1: The number of deaths in England and Wales involving COVID-19 decreased for the 18th consecutive week
      Number of deaths registered by week, England and Wales, 28 December 2019 to 21 August 2020

    • NickC
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Everhopefull, I tackled my Tory MP about that and the new ‘rule of 6’ lockdown. He trotted out the party line, so I asked him where was the evidence to support a social lockdown, given that the covid19 death toll is lower than that of influenza at the moment. He failed to produce any actual evidence.

      From battery cars with no fuel, to CAGW as the religion de jour, to aargh! we have a pandemic with a lower death rate than other diseases. The entire government machine appears to run on the same basis as the medieval trials of witches – rumours, snitching, opinions, neither numerate nor scientific, with a horror of actual evidence. Whichever party is in power seems to make no difference.

      • Andy
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        It is amusing a Brexiteer asking for evidence. That ship sailed four years ago when it was revealed that people had had enough of experts.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

          Which experts ?
          There are loads.

    • steve
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink


      You infer gov’t is negligent of all other matters. More likely it just appears that way because of biased media.

  10. Anonymous
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    We know Boris is just another puppet, it has become glaringly obvious. I am calling on him to resign and the entire process of selecting another Con leader to be re-thought, or we will just keep getting more globalist puppets and commies in disguise.

    Boris and co, the game is up.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      Well said.

    • agricola
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      Be specific, who is pulling Boris’s strings and those of the rest of the government. If it is Globalists on Covid who is it on Brexit. I ask because as reported Globalists don’t want Brexit. So lets hear from a source of glaringly obvious knowledge who these Globalists are and what leverage they have.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      The Tory membership must take the power to produce the shortlist. Then their vote is final. The Parliamentary Party cannot be trusted to select the best 3 candidates. To be explicit – they support the candidate who promises them promotion – so they have a pecuniary interest. That disqualifies them from voting.

    • Sharon
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      This virus is much less virulent and although the numbers appear to be going up, I believe this is because of the increased testing. The positives are because the PCR is way too sensitive and is picking up dead virus too. I heard one person say it can pick up dead common cold too and shouldn’t be used for virus testing anyway.

      Either this increase in this type of testing is being done to prolong the appearance of the virus in the community for political reasons… or it’s down to bad leadership.

      When Boris said he wants us to get to whole nation testing, daily in able to decide if we can go to work etc, my blood froze.

      There’s something decidedly odd about the whole situation.

      Get back to normal and manage the virus where necessary- as has been done in previous generations.

    • BOF
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      I agree.

    • Ed M
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      The Conservatives have to find ways of attracting more qualified people into politics, in particular people from business – who’ve set up companies / brands, things like that.

      How you do that, not sure? The media are hugely to blame (why enter politics if you’re going to be treated so badly?). Sure challenge politicians but no need to treat them (or anyone) with disrespect as the media do daily.

      And it’s ALL the media – left-wing media / right-wing media – everything in between.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        Easy now there is a proper Government and a proper job. Sooner we get Brexit the sooner able people will put themselves forward.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Rubbish. Boris will get Brexit done. Compared to many countries we aren’t that bad. We all know that the deaths have been overstated by a factor of 2 but otherwise we’re ok.
      I don’t think the rule of 6 is going to be enforceable especially on the run up to Christmas. Hancock and Witty are a pair of Uriah Heaps who continue to get paid whatever.
      70% of the country aren’t so fortunate.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        We must all thank Gina Miller for ensuring PARLIAMENT is sovereign. Well done the government for pointing that out.

    • Cavewell Man
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      I have some sympathy for this view but worry that any new pm might badly wobble on Brexit. The withdrawal agreement has some major problems and I am hoping the Conservative MPs support Boris’s efforts to sort the problems out. Let’s stick with Boris a little longer. All global governments have had a very difficult time trying to counter Covid. Lockdown seems to have been the universal solution. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        +1. Brexit is by far the most important issue. The cost of CV19 is peanuts compared to the cost of the EU to us.

    • TooleyStu
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink


      so many have worked this out..
      even if they do not dare say out loud.

      MPs need to crunch the numbers too.. and be quick about it.
      Regardless of left/right or otherwise, the train has left the station and everything is now ‘on the table’.

      The plan to have a medically castrated society with full compliance..
      has just ended up waking up the world instead.

      Tooley Stu

    • Mark B
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      When the FREE MONEY ends and the unemployment rises, the we will see the end. People will soon be more afraid of redundancy, homelessness, cold and hunger than a virus.

    • DrPeterVC
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      The real aberration in human history is the last 70 years. As a child in the 60s I was aware of many people who bore the scars of polio (a quick Google will show you that it was a virus that most people had were asymptomatic but highly infectious and a small percentage suffered very badly or died). The polio vaccine became available in the 50s. On the same timeframe we introduced antibiotics. So we seemed to have eliminated infectious serious diseases for the first time in human history.

      Much of the changes to society rested on the new disease free world we seemed to be living in. So we have built an economic model which encourages lots of travel and socialising. So going to Prague for a stag weekend – great for the airlines and hospitality industry in the Czech Republic. When you have a deadly virus maybe not such a good idea.

      Open plan offices, trains, school children milling about in classrooms learning through play etc… I could go on.

      As for “it seems to be younger people spreading it this time”. It was the first time – they just were not being tested. I don’t think 80 yos were going clubbing and sneaking out of their care homes. This “second spike” is just a rerun of the first – there is a time lag. How many times have we heard the criticism that Boris could have saved thousands of lives if he had locked down a week earlier. Just look at how low hospital admissions were then!

      The scientists have been saying that we are going to have to get used to living with it. To me that means we are going to have to change our habits and make our wealth differently, perhaps more science fewer pub crawls.

      At one time people were free to smoke pretty much where they wanted and the government banned coal fires and introduced smoke free zones once these were shown to cause deaths. The smoking “industry” claimed banning smoking would cause economic damage and massive tax loss to the country.

      The world has changed so much in the last 6 months – never mind the last 19 years since 9-11.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      If Boris goes his replacement will be a remainer who you will dislike even more.
      He is doing his best to hold together the Party.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        Boris is a Remainer. But we have him securely over the Brexit barrel. His replacement MUST be a lifelong Brexiteer or the Tories are finished.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

          Have you a few candidates?

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted September 12, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

            Yes, any Brexiteer who voted against Mays deal 3 times:
            Adam Afriyie
            Steve Baker
            John Baron
            Guto Bebb
            Peter Bone
            Suella Braverman
            Andrew Bridgen
            Bill Cash
            Christopher Chope
            James Duddridge
            Mark Francois
            Marcus Fysch
            Philip Hollobone
            Adam Holloway
            Ranil Jayawarden
            Bernard Jenkin
            Andrea Jenkyn
            David Jones
            Phillip Lee
            Julian Lewis
            Julia Lopez
            Craig Mackinlay
            Anne-Marie Morris
            Priti Patel
            Owen Paterson
            John Redwood
            Laurence Robertson
            Andrew Rosindell
            Lee Rowley
            Theresa Villiers

            Redwood my choice as the outstanding candidate.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      Thinking back each one who got Covid turned insane. I think they were brainwashed while delirious. To test my theory we need an old fashioned watch on a chain – which we wave to and fro and ask them to look at it. Then we can say something like ‘repeat after me, Covid lockdown is the way to go’ repeat a few times and then snap your fingers to bring them round.

  11. A miracle
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Remember this nightmare started in March? And it was only going to be 2 weeks? Who here was so naive they believed that?

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      The epidemic was over 3 months ago however this government just hasn’t got the bottle to cancel lockdown – there probably waiting to see what Germany or France does

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        Nothing but women hysterical about CV 19 on the BBC that’s why.

  12. Everhopeful
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Come to think of it.
    HOW DARE this government deny us the healthcare our forebears PAID for?
    And since the NHS has been allowed to subsume ALL other healthcare we have no choice.
    AND as I have said before I know that my dentist KNEW before any filthy news rag had even mentioned a lockdown. So how did the virus know the date on which it was due to appear?
    Clap indeed!!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

      WHY is it SO difficult to get a test???
      I just looked it up.

      “This service is currently very busy. If you cannot get a test now, or the location or time are not convenient, try again in a few hours.“

      WHY is it so busy? They aren’t doing s** all else?

  13. Andy
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    There are only restrictions on your freedoms if you listen to the prime minister.

    And most of the people I know don’t bother – they think he’s a clown.

    I am still going to see who I want, when I want, where I want.

    I am not going to put myself and others pointlessly at risk.

    But this is not my government and I don’t care what they think or say – and they can’t police it anyway.

    Plus, of course, this government thinks it is okay to break the law. It has a bill which it expects its MPs to support which breaks the law. So I can break the law too. Simples.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      One minute you are angry when the government is accused of doing something which might be illegal yet here you are saying you will not follow the law yourself.
      I wonder if you can spot the inconsistency.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        And needs a Tesla to do reversing for him.

  14. Sea Warrior
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Four quick points:
    (1) The development of at-airport rapid screening capability needs to be given as much urgency as was shown in the development of new ventilators at the beginning of the crisis.
    (2) Government spending on general testing needs to be subject to ‘investment appraisal’. The government no longer seems to care about value for money. We shouldn’t rush into spending tens of billions of pounds to save a few people from catching a cold (But see (3).)
    (3) One of Mr Hancock’s problems over the course of this crisis will have been to determine which ‘PI’ to give the most weight to. These will have changed over time – probably from ICU-loading, to deaths, to test results. There’s another he needs to keep an eye on: numbers requiring long-term outpatient support.
    (4) I was disappointed, again, to see the usual less-than-two-days’-notice of airbridge withdrawals. This will cause another rush for the airports, packed planes, high ticket prices and disrupted holidays. The decisions aren’t wrong; the way they are made is. And I’ll bet that not a single returnee will walk past an IR camera and that those quarantined will not be placed under any effective checking that they are at home. The DoT needs to give at least a week’s notice.

  15. davews
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    I despair, I really do. If the virus was as bad as it is people would be dropping down like flies, they are not and I know only one person who has had it. False positives when you do 200,000 tests a day are very very significant and the sharp rise in positive results in the past few days just doesn’t make sense, it should slowly rise not double in one day. ‘Rule of six’ is a desperate measure and will achieve nothing. The Moonshot test as I understand it does not yet exist and its false positives will mean half the population is permanently isolating. As for Covid Marshalls, I really have lost the will to live.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink


      • Caterpillar
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        I disagree with the PM’s Moonshot program for many reasons, but the false positive criticism suggested by many, including supposedly reputable scientists is false. For quick periodic tests close contacts are not isolated, and a second or even more positive result is required before isolating. Moreover once isolate people are still tested daily, so a false positive ‘recovers’ quickly. The PM’s Moonshot does seem highly dubious but frequent periodic testing can remove many of the false positive criticisms.

  16. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    Be guided by the science, having introduced these panic measures watch the hospital admissions very carefully. If they do not start to rise in the next two – three weeks open up again with masks REQUESTED anywhere where you will be close to the same person without other barriers for more than 20 minutes. These barriers have already been mandated and so are in place.

    The trick will be to give our ‘frit population (and those who have taken advantage of the fear to advance authoritarianism) the confidence to stop hiding. Available, rapid testing with working contact tracing will help in the raising of confidence.

  17. Nigl
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Locking down nationally is ridiculous and punishes the careful and older people for zero reason.

    As for testing, the Government are fast track testing 100 ish systems. Because of the challenges of the virus, mutation, intensity levels as yet no one has yet come up with a ‘pregnancy’ type a swab colour etc. Nasal swabs are also invasive/destructive so a person can only endure a limited number and saliva is tricky because it’s role is as a first defence so it is trying to kill the viruses you are looking for.

    Equally the question of accuracy and how early it can be picked, both big challenges, currently two days in seems best in class.

    Add to that, the time it takes for the tests to work and then manufacturing and a national delivery infrastructure.

    What we seeing in the press are the results of different localised trials. There is a Trust in the North East using one extensively on its staff.

    We read a lot about airports but we see the chaos at busy times going through security. Is anyone sensibly suggesting a vast queuing infrastructure testing all passengers waiting around for say 20 mins for the result.

    As I said a self administered quick result kit available in, say chemists, is the holy grail and we are closer to it than ever although maybe not next week. Then comes the question of the individual certification, fraud by swapping etc. We see the difficulties re drug testing in sport.

    For the uninformed merely intent on trashing this government for any reason, on this topic they are truly pulling out all the stops, shortening trial times like never before.

  18. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    At this point excess non-Covid deaths outside hospital are high. These include people dying of heart attacks, cancer etc. who have had treatment delayed or are too scared to seek medical help. Are these people being taken into consideration as the government embarks on more scaremongering ?

  19. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Sir John the saga of Government achieving the reverse of what is intended continues on all fronts. Now the disaster of Sturgeon has prompted the Shetlands to seek ‘independence from Scotland’. So Devolution is causing the break up of the U.K. rather like the lockdown causes more deaths.
    We need some contrition from politicians, and a very quick clean Brexit!

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      Agree Lynn

  20. David Williams
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Sweden has showed us the way to go.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink


  21. Bob Dixon
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    What’s the point of having the current test for Covid?
    Say I have one today.When do I get the result? If it is positive I isolate. By the time
    I get say a negative result I may have contracted the virus.
    If I feel unwell I will isolate till I feel better.
    Why not leave us all to make our own decisions?
    Why destroy our way of life and the economy?

    Why destroy our lives and the economy

    • na
      Posted September 12, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      They are all puppets of foreign powers following orders.

  22. Nivek
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    “How will the public react to a prolonged period of restrictions on freedoms?”

    How can the public react? With Piers Corbyn apparently being singled out among organisers of recent protests in being issued with a £10,000 police fine, it seems that the public’s freedom to react to a prolonged period of restrictions is among those freedoms currently being restricted.

  23. Richard1
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    The world has had three of theses viruses out of China over the last 15 years. Every year there is a flu, to which there isn’t necessarily a good vaccine, which kills 50-100% of the number who have died from Covid19.

    We cannot shut down the economy, suspend education, ban social and family life and take on WW2 level debt every time this happens.

  24. Cynic
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Corona virus response. Yet more proof that government attempts to solve problems usually make them worse.

  25. BeebTax
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    The public I know are fed up with the restrictions and the damage they are doing, as well as the sense that government is stepping beyond what is reasonable in restricting our individual freedom to go about our business in a way we consider responsible,

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      +1. Even NHS Managers are fed up and want ‘to get back to normal’.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        Agree – however teachers are hoping for further lockdowns and holidays

  26. Mike Wroe
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    There is now a travel corridor with Sweden, the country that had no lockdown or face masks. We have wasted money and destroyed our economy as has most of Europe. Sweden had a simple rule. Hygiene (wash your hands often), keep your distance from people you don’t know, and stay home if you are ill. Schools and businesses never closed. Now there are gatherings of up to 500 people. Infections are not rising here but we are finding more cases because of more testing. In the last week of August 14 times more people died of flu than C19 and yet we continue with this nonsense. Relax all the rules Immediately and those at risk will protect themselves. In any event a lot of experts believe we have almost reached herd immunity.

  27. Lifelogic
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Frazer Nelson in the Telegraph is surely right today:- Ignoring the Swedish lesson makes a tougher Covid crackdown inevitable.
    The ‘Rule of Six’ will just be the start, if ministers stick with their unconvincing policy of suppression

    Also Douglas Murray:-

    Of course Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Well certainly he does more than Obama did (his awarded for being blackish and president of the US) ! He is at least sound on climate alarmism like Tony Abbott. Perhaps he the government could advise on climate policy, energy policy and Illegal immigration too? Or better still lead them.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Permalink


    • Zorro
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

      Shame you ignored the Swedish approach at the start too!!!!


      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 13, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        The lockdown has saved thousands of lives and would have saved more lives had it had been done earlier as I suggested at the time. Deaths now are 1% of infections not 14% so any delay to getting it saves lots of lives. This even if you get it later. I would have locked down but in a more intelligent (and where possible more voluntary) way. The UK is not the same as Sweden in very many ways.

        • zorro
          Posted September 14, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

          Absolutely no evidence that this would have been the case as the scientists have admitted (look at the SAGE reports). Deaths would not have been reduced by lockdown, only ‘flatten the curve’. You are trying to match Our Dear Leader as the the Greater King Cnut.


  28. Oldwulf
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    The so called NHS has been saved.
    Vaccines and drugs are now much closer.
    Time to move on.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      Only 6 deaths today – sorry but why are we still in lockdown

  29. Stred
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Why are Western countries not trying to use HCQ, zinc and antibiotics in the EARLY stage of covid to reduce the number of vulnerable patients with severe symptoms, as has been shown to work in France and the US? Why was the blind trial in Oxford carried out using patients with later stages and different dosage and combinations? Why did the WHO and governments decide to ban other trials and use of HCQ based on trials which were designed to fail. Why is Remesdiver, which costs thousands and has limited effect, approved and used but HCQ and now Invermectin not tried, when these simple drugs could lead the economies out of depression?

  30. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink


    I still want to see a real Parliamentary inquiry into the whole subject of this virus and how effective the constraints have been – Not the usual whitewash, but a real hard look at what has gone on, from knee jerk reactions to penalties falsely imposed.

    The fact that the government is ignoring parliament by issuing stringent diktats now place them on a par with the EU and the old USSR — THIS is not how the country should be run!

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Hundreds and thousands of people get a cold or flu every year and some died……its just the same with covid

  31. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    As I see it there is a problem with lack of common sense.

    Starting with the basics, the science the Government alluded to at the beginning was just guesses, primarily peoples ego on display – ‘look at me’ .

    The virus as we knew it at the start of this situation appears to have mutated, it is now more virulent but less deadly. Common sense around viruses suggested that would happen. If a virus keeps killing its host it also kills itself, so it mutates.

    No one in the World has found an effective answer, so each day it is an unproven guess on what the next move should be. The only logic is that if humans aren’t in contact with one an other it cant spread so the virus dies. That ain’t always that practical, so measured common sense is required – but it is different in different circumstances

    The Governments biggest problem is the media will find a minutia of detail to put the Government down for no other reason than it is a good story. So what ever they say or do will be wrong in some quarter. Daily the Government keeps feeding this monster

    This then leads to the situation that some in society trivializes the whole virus, as the virus is the governments fault, the government is the cause of the virus, ‘we didn’t vote for them or any one else for that matter so we will do our own thing’ – we don’t believe you!

    The Government in its desire to be on message is daily making the mistake of trying to rule by decree. Making laws on the fly which are simply not enforceable and are draconian and invasive in what should be a free society. Government should give advice – that’s it. The point they don’t understand is the greater, and I mean greater proportion of the country will respond to the advise act accordingly as it pertains to their own environment.

    The however is of course those that don’t listen to the advice, but respond to media manipulation and will do their own ‘thing’. They are the same people that have caused this situation to persist. Laws to them don’t matter they are for others to obey, this is not their government.

    What we have is a Draconian Government holding the people of the country under hostage situation, when common sense advice would have achieved more. They( the Government) can’t control those doing their own ‘thing’, so instead they punish everyone else just to appear to be in control.

  32. Annette
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry, but if you believe this Govt guff I have a bridge to sell you.

    Even at the point of lockdown, the infection rate was falling. It is a virus. A nasty one where the most susceptible (and largely older than the expected/average death age), as with other coronaviruses.
    The lockdown was supposed to be for THREE weeks, to spread the inevitable infection (flatten the curve), allowing RNHS to prepare & not be overwhelmed.

    There were no spikes in supermarkets, where ‘frontline’ staff worked through. Neither were there spikes in the schools that remained open for ‘essential’ workers’ children. RNHS ignored everything else, & like some on effective paid leave, like teachers, are happy to be paid for less and no work.

    Despite mass manipulation of the figures, the numbers fail to reach the requirement to be an epidemic, let alone a pandemic. So, instead of focusing on real criteria & real evidence, the fear is being continued with ‘cases’ & omission of pertinent facts & as an excuse to continue an unheard of policy of quarantining/restricting the healthy, whilst the genuinely sick & ill are left to die at home with treatment stopped.

    More testing means more ‘cases’.
    How many of these ‘cases’ are hospitalised or result in death? Whilst the number of cases rises, the numbers hospitalised/ dying is still falling.
    The ‘test’ is not for the specific virus (as it has not yet been isolated following Koch’s Postulates) but the coronavirus family.
    The test is for RNA ‘fragments’ which could relate to many other things. These are so small that they have to be magnified in cycles to be ‘seen’, which increases the probability of false positives as the cycles increase, the reason that the inventor said that it should not be used as a diagnostic tool only research. It cannot determine if a detected sample is live or dead.
    There is silence on the number of cycles being used. Are all of the various testing places using the same number of PCR cycles?
    Why is no MP querying what is really happening?
    These ‘cases’, with no corresponding spike in hospitalisation, ICU bed & deaths seem to be being used as an excuse to further the current dictatorial regime, to the extent that the PM is drafting ‘covid marshalls’ to enforce things that are not the law.

    The rule of six seems to be the mark of this marxist/globalist Govt and its number is 666.

  33. Sakara Gold
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Your questions would have been answered, had Johnson allowed a swift independent enquiry into the many mistakes that were made in the management of the Chinese plague virus early on, in the spring.

    Many health professionals have recommended such an enquiry and the refusal do undertake one is another in the long line of stupid mistakes made by this government as the virus ravaged the elderly, the NHS and the BAME community earlier this year. The refusal to allow the number of fatalities in care homes to be published for “commercial reasons” is a shamefull example of the unacceptable face of capitalism and prevents the identification of those inadequate procedures that allowed rapid spread among their elderly residents

    Politicians spend their life climbing the greasy pole to the top mainly by avoiding the blame for their cock-ups. The politicial system here in the UK means that people rise to key positions in government with no qualifications in their speciality – Hancock is a classic example. With no medical experience whatsoever he has risen to Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, where clearly he is completely out of his depth.

    As Johnson’s mediocre cabinet flails about looking for answers he has now persuaded them that the nation needs to avoid meeting in groups of more than 6. Except in the office, on public transport, in the shops, or the pubs….

    We have wasted the time given to us in the early summer, as the spring total lockdown reduced the transmission of the virus and gave us some limited breathing space. With no vaccine yet in sight, the government’s incompetence has condemned the nation and the NHS to a bad winter. Stay safe everybody

  34. Pat
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    It is interesting that Sweden is a place from which it is judged safe to return, whereas other countries that locked.down harder are not.
    Perhaps if we had stuck with the initial herd immunity strategy we too would be out of the woods.
    Although looking at hospital admissions and deaths it would appear we are.
    By testing more and more people we find more and more infections, but the extra infections don’t result in extra illness.
    There is no need to worry about an infection unless it makes people ill!

  35. jerry
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Testing currently happens post infection, in fact Mr Hancock was most insistent yesterday that people only get a test if they show symptoms, so testing is no more than confirming infection, thus irrelevant to the rate of infections, there are no more nor less infections simply because more people are being tested!

    We need a simple daily test that can be carried and processed in the home by the individual/parent (the govt was correct to liken it to a pregnancy test), but this will need to be produced in something like 60m daily tests – production & distribution on such a huge scale is unlikely to be technical possible even if the science of the test is…

    So the next best would be to continue with the post infection confirmation test & trace, where possible, but T&T is of very limited use with massive problems on many levels, from current availability of tests, to the inability to correctly contact trace. Even those who use the T&T app might be missed or incorrectly told to self-isolate, a mobile phone left in a work desk or locker will not TX/RX the correct owner/contact data.

    So that leave restrictions & lock-downs, no one wants the latter so we need the former, the govt needs to shut and keep shut high risk but non essential areas, with other businesses and society adapting to the ‘new normal’, at least until effective post infection drugs treatments and pre infection vaccines are available.

    • jerry
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      As for economic damage, yes much will be done if the govt carries on trying to retain the status quo, businesses need to adapt, not be instructed get people back into non covid secure offices (were ventilation is often the problem, not social distancing) just to save coffee shops and sandwich bars etc! For example govt policies should entice companies to open smaller ‘shadow’ factories & warehousing, rather than rely on one or two large hubs, whilst UBR should be based on (local) turnover not floor area, this would allow larger than otherwise normal buildings that allow for covid secure working practices etc.

  36. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    The government has gone mad. The first lockdown was to prevent the NHS from being ‘overwhelmed’ and to enable it to ‘get ready’. The NHS has basically shut down in terms of treating anything other than the virus. Is the NHS ready yet?

    The economic damage for young people is absurd. If you are are old or vulnerable it is up to you to isolate yourself. We’re headed for mass unemployment, widespread poverty and riots. If only we had a LEADER who would go on the box and say ‘We can no longer sacrifice our economy and way of life to this virus. Each person must judge if they are vulnerable and isolate themselves. For everyone else it is now business as usual.’

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      For once I will understand the youth if they go on the rampage.

      They have sacrificed their futures so granny can have a few more years on her own in a super heated family home.

  37. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    It’s a joke John. Most people in our area have been flouting the rules from day one. The local police have been told to go easy on offenders. In other words people have got away with breaking the law. Who would have thought it? So many people’s lives are upside down and nobody can book anything safely for fear of more new rules. The virus would appear to be less virile now. Hardly any deaths and I’m sure most of them were elderly and sick anyway. We cannot carry on like this. A vaccine doesn’t seem likely at the moment so we just have to take our chances.

  38. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    At first the rules were simple, Social distancing being the key, now they have been complicated by all sorts of exclusions, with differing parts of the UK having differing rules, and so called hot spots being imposed at varying times in varying areas, again with different rules.

    Until you start accurate random mass testing of the population on a regular basis you will surely never know the actual and true infection rate, and if it is increasing or decreasing.

    Interesting that in our local area a local Councillor only a few says ago made the statement that 97% of the tests completed locally produced a negative result, which begs the question, are tests really being completed on people who are actually showing symptoms, or is this somewhat closer to the the real rate of infection.

    Most people we know are simply trying to use a bit of old fashioned common-sense, if they feel they may be vulnerable they continue with Social distancing and wear a face covering when going inside anywhere, trying to carry on life as best they can, without taking silly risks.

    Problem is different generations and different people, have different ideas on what is deemed sensible and silly.

    Yes, a rapid virus test which you can do at home would perhaps help enormously, but is one in the pipeline ?

    • Mark
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      We have regular random mass testing. It’s equivalent to running a large political poll every day, or by aggregating the results by week, about 25,000 people, which is more than enough to detect any meaningful trends, producing results with an error margin of well under 1%.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        Didn’t predict Brexit nor the Tory landslide.

        The death rate offset by deaths becausr of lockdown is all that counts.

  39. Everhopeful
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I am a regular You Gov respondent.
    Yet I have never been asked my opinion of govt virus response.
    You Gov have said before that I am considered “right wing”.
    So who is putting faith in their latest poll showing 2/3 of country in favour of a curfew?
    They choose carefully!

  40. Ian Wilson
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Previous comments rightly express despair at the mishandling of the virus, starting with closing down the economy based on one scientist’s non-peer-reviewed and badly flawed model. Why were other scientists like Professors Gupta and Henighan not consulted?
    ‘A Miracle’ above also rightly points out Sweden clearly called it right with their far lighter lockdown despite being much vilified in Britain.
    Former Justice Jonathan Sumption states we have to go back to the 1930s to find a Cabinet so lacking in talent. It’s time they did a Lebanon and the whole Cabinet resigned, replaced by a new one perhaps including our good host, Ian Duncan Smith, William Hague, Owen Paterson (though maybe with his tragic loss he might not wish it), Teresa Villiers, and there must be others of genuine ability unknown to me.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      William Hague!

  41. Nigl
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    For people with children of school age they may find them suddenly catching things after lockdown equally people when they go to a different environment, much because they have lost or haven’t built up their immunity.

    Equally there is plenty of historical precedent of indigenous people’s dying from viruses when exposed to them because again they had not built up any immunity.

    So our bodies are used to dealing/coping with these attacks and although of not much use today, it is hoped/expected that that by say next year, we will have collectively built up the necessary immunities so we can treat this thing more like the common cold albeit like everything the most vulnerable Will still be at risk.

    Vaccine or immunity. I hope both.

  42. AndyC
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    I’m normally a Conservative-minded sort, so I choose my words carefully when I say that the government’s response to this virus represents the beginnings of a dangerous slide into facsism. There is no medical need for these authoritarian restrictions on our economic and social freedoms. Deaths are thankfully now near zero, there is no second wave anywhere, and most of the new ‘cases’ are nothing of the sort (in the sense of people being ill and infectious). Hospitalisations are negligible. The curve is flat, the NHS is safe, and has actually coped well. You don’t need to be a doctor or medical scientist to read the statistics, which amply demonstrate all the above. All these lockdowns and daft mask-wearing edicts are an abuse of government power. They should end, and end now. It is the job of parliament – and parliamentarians – to ensure they do, not meekly acquiesce in the ripping up of our economic wellbeing, overall health (which is suffering far more than it ever did from covid), and indeed the entire basis of our Western society. I have to wonder if the Cabinet is so stupid they can’t see this, or whether there are people in the Establishment who actually wish us harm. Anyway, end all this nonsense now, and let people get on with their lives.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink


  43. clive lester
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Its interesting that France and Spain went mask mad months ago ,even taking to wearing the ridiculous things in the street yet the infection rate went up . Odd that one . So can we now drop the notion that some how we are all to be saved by wearing the soggy idiotic things .
    Cancer , heart disease , surgery being delayed is going to dwarf the deaths of CV19 , yet most people have now become obsessed by it . For the love of all that’s good , get a grip.

    The Covid wrecking ball continues to swing , smashing the economy and demoralizing the whole nation . All for what ? Ten or twelve deaths a day .. Really !!!

    Sir John , the Government will be judged by their ineptitude, and with regret you are apart of this party , as I am a supporter . However this must be testing the most loyal .

    You are all to keen to follow and not take the helm and steer . Mrs T where are you ?

  44. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Don’t ask Boris. He has been digging a hole from the early mistakes, which he and the increasingly derided and dangerous Hancock refuse to acknowledge. They have got it wrong and they won’t reverse. The socialising and quarantine rules are being routinely disregarded.
    I am mystified what primary care is for anymore. Temperature checks should be the measure
    that allows people normal access to anywhere. Then those with high temperature should be able to have a test at their GPs or a Nightingale clinic. Let people make their own decisions.

  45. Mark
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    This “test on arrival” thing.

    Assuming it is a serious disease, and assuming the test is 100% reliable (neither of which is completely true)

    Let’s turn to a practical matter.

    So you and your mates turn up with 20,000 other people to a football match, say.

    You all stand in line to await your test (good luck with that btw)

    And let’s say 5% were asymptomatic- so now we have 1,000 people denied entry. And they have been in close proximity with many others. And they are now told to , what? Go home and spread on the way home? Go into immediate quarantine?

    It’s a nonsense…..

    Oh – and to achieve this we have to pay around the same as the annual NHS budget. And the technology doesn’t actually exist.


    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      And the joke is nobody knows who is asymptomatic, the number who is asymptomatic or if covid-19 asymptomatic actually exists

  46. Richard1
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Off topic, I see the UK has just agreed a trade deal with Japan. What a contrast there is to trade discussions with all other countries around the world to those with the EU – ‘the EU threatens…’. ‘the EU warns…’ go the headlines.

    Perhaps we are at the point where we need to say to the EU that an amicable parting on WTO terms is best. We then focus on FTAs with friendly nations around the world which don’t have ambitions for political control of the UK and perhaps revisit an FTA in a year or two when everybody has calmed down.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Also off topic

      The coastguard says it is dealing with “multiple” small boats with migrants on board off the Kent coast

  47. Al
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    More to the point, what is the government going to do about the data security failures in its track-and-trace requirements? The media are now covering reports of women being sexually harrassed by staff at locations they go to harvesting their data when it is given for track and trace.

    As the technology already exists to take contact and financially sensitive data securely and allow it to be used without disclosing it to staff or data handlers (it is widely used with creditcard numbers, for example, as it is a PCI DSS requirement) shouldn’t this be in place for contact numbers? An electronic system can quite easily place a phone call to a client without disclosing the client’s personal number to the user placing the call. They can also log and record such calls so the business can be sure the system is not abused.

  48. William Long
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Ironic that Sweden which had no lock down was yesterday added to the list of countries from which you can arrive without any need for quarantine.

  49. agricola
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Can I make a plea (lobby) for a serious re-think on the electrification of road transport. I worked with the Japanese for 30 years. They do not do anything in an engineering sense unless they have very carefully researched and tested it. They do not act on a political whim.

    Japan is now producing hydrogen using solar energy, we could do similar but using nuclear energy. They are running buses and cars using hydrogen as fuel. Were we to take it seriously we could re-vitalise the car industry with very little radical engine design change. We could at a stroke eliminate all the current question marks surrounding electric vehicles and the hidden environmental costs of battery production. When you run a hydrogen fueled vehicle the only by product is water. The plus side is a clean environment and a reduction in disease caused by the dirty environment we enjoy at present. The NHS could then concentrate on other things.

    Today it has been announced that we have concluded a trade agreement with Japan. Lets get cooperating technically and we have no need to wait till 2050 for a pollution free atmosphere due to motor vehicles. What are we waiting for.

    • Stred
      Posted September 12, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      Hydrogen wastes twice as much electrical and chemical energy as battery at present. Mercedes have given up on it because of this. Fuel cell cars also cost even more than battery.

  50. Jess
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    According to the US CDC 94% of alleged covid deaths were due to other causes. They also say that 90% of positive test results should have been negative. The Spanish, Italian and German authorities have said similar things at various times. Your government, Mr Redwood, had an enquiry into false death certificates though naturally they won’t disclose the real findings.
    There is not and never was a pandemic and almost anyone capable of reading and thinking at the same time is quite capable of confirming that in minutes. Given that there can only be two explanations of the continuing panic mongering by government. 1. Those involved are terminally stupid or 2. Those involved are pushing agendas against the public interest.
    Which is it Mr Redwood?

  51. Donna
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Actually, the question is why are our Civil Liberties being destroyed when the virus is less dangerous than seasonal flu?
    Parliament abrogated its responsibilities when it passed the Coronavirus Act. We have no proper representation and a Government which is out of control and behaving more like a dictatorship.
    Boris and Hancock need to stop listening to the Prophets of Doom in SAGE (and ignore Neil Ferguson’s flawed and discredited model) and start listening to Professors Heneghan and Sikora.
    We can’t afford to continue trashing the economy, or accept the destruction of our civil liberties, in order to try and eliminate a virus which is only dangerous for the very elderly. The Government can’t deliver immortality.

  52. agricola
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Talk to Toyota about their Mirai. They are located in Derbyshire, but even better get an introduction from the Japanese PM. It is the way the japanese do things, better than just knocking on Toyota’s door in Japan.

  53. Iain Gill
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Let me tell you what I know.

    Kids have gone back to school, the normal colds and flu are being passed around them.

    Child gets cold, and temperature. Rules say with temperature not allowed to school, child must be tested for Covid. Everyone in household must stay at home.

    Testing for children has become completely overwhelmed. The ARE NOT TESTS FOR CHILDREN FOR COVID AVAILABLE ANYWHERE.

    The entire family must stay in the house for at least 2 weeks or until the child gets a negative test. So taking masses of people out of the workforce, and preventing those out of work from looking for a job.

    This is sheer madness.

    They have known the kids were going back to school for months, they knew they would pass cold and flu around like they always did. This new rule that a slight temperature needs a test means an entirely predictable demand for lots of Covid tests for children.

    Get these people out of their houses. GET SOME TESTING OF CHILDREN AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY.

    A lot of retired docs and nurses re registered as medical professionals in anticipation of helping during Covid, why dont we use these to run testing for children?

    This is sheer incompetence on a grand scale.


    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      So after wasting 3 hours waiting to speak to someone on 119 the Covid testing “hotline”

      Children can only be tested at home with home test kits, not at any testing centre.
      There are no home test kits available anywhere in the UK.
      Covid hotline is not taking names and details of people who need these kits, for them to be dispatched when they are available, rather we have to ring again every morning and afternoon until they are available (wasting another 3 hours each, and further overwhelming this phone line which is already struggling).

      Online booking not available for Children.

      This is complete madness.

    • Mark
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      It is frankly madness to be testing under 10s unless they have another health condition that puts them at risk: they are known not to be vectors of the disease except in the rarest of cases. Even testing teenagers is dubious for similar reasons, along with the fact that serious cases among the younger age groups are very rare. Teaching staff may infect each other. Keep out of the common room, and don’t go on XR demos or raves at the weekend.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted September 12, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

        once pupil has shown the mildest of high temperature symptoms, normally just sniffles, the school sends them home and will not accept them back without a negative covid test. and there are no tests for children available in the entire country. and their siblings with no symptoms get kicked out of school. and the whole family is then forced to stay in the house for 14 days and is not even supposed to leave for food or medicine (no idea where their medicine is supposed to magically come from). the whole thing is madness. a good third of the school is going to miss significant chunks of the school term. slight bug one day and you cannot go back the next you must stay off for 14 days every single time.


        the schools may as well not be open


  54. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Off topic. I see UK has struck a trade deal with Japan. No doubt Margaret, who for the past several years has been asking here why no trade deals have been agreed, will be posting here soon congratulating the government and admitting all her fears there wouldn’t be any were groundless ?

  55. Caterpillar
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    1. Move to a sustainable, largely voluntary behavioural approach (see Sweden as an example) but ensure labour and testing resources are suitably available for care homes and those sheltering. Protect workers in environments where higher viral load is possible, including any prophylactic or supplement support. (Start UBI to allow economy to adjust).

    2. Use pooled testing (,

    3. Use stratified periodic testing as suggested by Matthew Cleevely et al (2020). Stratified periodic testing does not require perfect tests, Cleevely et al modelled with a false negative rate of 30% (

    4. Intradermally effect the robust population (

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Option 1 recognises ‘the science’ i.e. (i) heterogeneity means community level immunity is reached at different percentages of infection in different groupings because their contact behaviour is different, hence behaviours should not be changed otherwise virus just comes back (areas that locked down ‘too’ early because of London will need to be aware and prepared to treat), (ii) antibody testing is only giving a lower bound to Covid 19 prevalence (unfortunately it is not turning out to be a reliable indicator) – Karolinska research indicates Covid 19 Specific T-cell response in many more blood samples than would be expected from antibody sampling, ONS data reports waning antibodies, NHS plasma donations typically seeking males over 30, potentially Asian, that have been hospitalised, (iii) background partial immunity exists from prior coronaviruses.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      “infect” not “effect”

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      I should have added resources should be directed towards quality of life (hip and knee operations, clean streets, preventative policing, strength training for over 50s etc) as well as ramping up health diagnostics and other life saving interventions (that offset more than covid losses for less economic damage).

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Buy everyone a handkerchief and if symptoms are serious go to bed for 2 weeks

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        Sorry thats what you for the flu

      • Caterpillar
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        I think that would fit with option 1 (with tissue) but with timely admission to hospital.

        I do prefer the longterm sustainable option 1 (Sweden like), but given the Govt’s testing route they are not being as effective as a combination of 2 and 3 can be. A paper on pooled testing was published in May by a German group, Cambridge Uni will be undertaking periodic pooled tests for their students

        Given Hancock et al’s commitment to testing (and leaving insufficient immunity in the community) then with pooling he could massively direct testing to hotspots. This would not be moonshot.

  56. Caterpillar
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Any option should include
    (a) Not renewing Coronavirus Act when it is up for vote in 2 weeks – Conservative MPs need to vote against this such that responsibility for any other actions is shared across HoC, and that democracy is partially restored. It is appearing that Hancock and the Govt are pursuing more dictatorial policies now so that they can argue for the need of renewal, any MP voting to renew is voting against democracy and freedom.

    (b) Sacking Mr Hancock and Mr Sunak and perhaps strengthening the cabinet in general.

  57. ChrisS
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Testing :

    There is a large drive-in testing facility in Poole, Dorset. They have taken over the whole area of an unsuccessful tarmac park and ride which is now only used at Christmas.

    You cannot see in easily because they have erected screens all round ( Why ? ), but there are the roofs of lots of gazebos that can be seen in which the tests are supposedly carried out. However, I have never seen anyone driving in or even waiting at the entrance to be booked it by the gatekeeper. I understand that it is only for NHS and other government-employed staff, normal taxpayers who are paying for it all are not allowed in for a test.

    Add the cost of keeping the so-called Nightingale Hospitals empty while the rest of the NHS is running at about 50%, and the taxpaying public is getting a pretty raw deal. Have any of the NHS staff currently sitting round doing very little been furloughed ? I doubt it.

    I can see no reason why normal treatments could not have carried on with patients protected by simple hygiene measures. Stopping routine treatment will undoubtedly cause more shortening of lives than the pandemic itself.

    A full investigation into the running of the NHS through the Pandemic will be necessary. This should rightly focus on the role of NHS management, not ministers as it is employed managers that decide what activities are undertaken and who staff and operate the service.

  58. Jennifer Wallace
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Hi Sir John

    My question is, what is the rate of false positives? To use a hypothetical and simplistic example:
    if we tested 100,000, got 1000 positive results and the rate of false positives is 1%, are any of the cases real?
    The number of positive tests for people who have in fact recovered from the infection seems to be quite high, resulting in the government basing current policy on a cumulative number of current and past infections.

  59. Norman
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    All good questions, Sir John.
    I am firmly of the opinion that there is a tyranny of experts at work, and the virus is being treated as if it were The Plague. The public seem to have developed a taste for such pathos, whipped up by other current hysteria – XR and BLM to name but two.
    Governments across the world are inflicting more damage upon their populations than the virus itself. When will this patent insanity stop?

  60. Ed M
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    I know zilch about economics but is our UK economy doing better than many think / thought (regarding the effect of the virus on it?)

    If so, then surely the virus is proving to be more of a bit (not completely) of a storm in a tea cup (as long as we just ensure to carry on with the basics: 2 metres distancing, wash hands regularly, use sanitisers, wear masks, be careful around the old and vulnerable, and just follow government directives for legal reasons but also because it’s just a good thing as none of us are experts on our own).

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Just go on-line and try to book a foreign holiday and you’ll see clearly how one industry is being decimated.

  61. Enigma
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Why are we fixated on testing healthy people when tests are unreliable and can return false positives of up to 80%? What are the benefits in finding more supposed ‘cases’ other than to prove that lockdowns don’t work? Our hospital admissions are negligible, the death rate has fallen to a tiny % of the population, we have effective treatments for those who do fall ill and we know who to advise to shield if they so choose. A few scientists are concerned that Covid19 may not follow the usual pattern of viruses and are stoking up project fear again. In attempting to save the NHS they have destroyed it. Our economy lies in tatters and we have been robbed of our liberty, forced to reside in a police state. I strongly object to being told I must be tested for a virus before being allowed out. Operation Moonshot? It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious. The only people who need to be quarantined and locked down are the PM, his cabinet and his scientific advisors, and all MPs who are complicit by their failure to call this out. Let the rest of us follow Sweden and get our lives back to the normal normal.

    • LH
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Hear, hear, couldn’t agree more!

  62. JimS
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    We should be maximising the exposure of the young to the virus in what is left of the summer to protect the elderly during the coming winter.

    Otherwise I can only think you are all working to some UN/Davos plan to produce a controlled, ‘one-world’ people, under global communism.

  63. Richard416
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I think the government should be tackling leaving the eu and stopping illegal immigration.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Smoke & Mirrors

    • JohnH
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      We have already left the EU January last. We can leave the transition talks anytime we want – it’s up to Boris- and wondet what’s he waiting for

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

      +1 yep – if it got those two things under control we would all be a lot happier.

  64. Iain Gill
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I see the pictures of the volumes of people invading England by little boats this morning, running “straight for the hills” completely overwhelming the border force and police. At what point does this volume of fighting men conducting mass beach landings get regarded as a problem for the military to stop it?

    Again the government looks completely and utterly out of control.

  65. villaking
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Why test at all? The more we look the more we find and the more likely this insane government is to imprisoning the healthy thereby wrecking lives and the economy. The most common symptom of Covid is to feel fine, it is noweher near as deadly as has been made out. The global data now proves lockdowns don’t work and masks clearly don’t either. I am deeply disturbed at the police state that is evolving and urge you to join your colleague Steve Baker in fighting for freedom.

  66. JayGee
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    The government is months out of date with its thinking. The questions you pose in your last paragraph are the very questions that we have all beem asking for weeks now, if not months. Plus a good many more too. But government doesn’t listen to those of us who inhabit the real world. What a mess you have dragged us all into – without our consent. Stop fiddling; stop interfering; stop this never-ending nonsense. Admit defeat; throw in the towel; apologise and do the decent thing.

  67. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Off Topic. Great news for a change. We;ve signed a trade deal with Japan.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      they want to buy the fish we used to sell to EU.

      • Stred
        Posted September 12, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

        They might want to sell Hondas, Nissans and Toyotas made in Japan. They’ve already got that deal with the EU.

        • Fred H
          Posted September 12, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

          that’s because the EU agreed

          • Fred H
            Posted September 12, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

            lost the last bit above …agreed to help sabotage the UK car plants in favour Japanese bases.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 12, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

          That’s OK. We need to get back into the car market under our own steam, with proper British designed and built cars!

  68. RichardP
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    To be honest I haven’t noticed any relaxation of controls. Having to leave contact details if you stop for a coffee, everyone walking around like masked zombies, muzzle marshals will soon be goose stepping around issuing orders and of course there is Hancock’s rule of six.

    They say ignorance of the law is no excuse but unless you constantly monitor Hancock’s Twitter feed it’s impossible to keep up with the daily orders.

    £3,200 & £10,000 Fixed Penalty Notices, when did it suddenly become a good idea to use a penalty system designed for minor parking infringements to bankrupt someone?

    Money seems to be no object in this covid fanaticism and the latest Project Moonshot at only £100 billion shows just how ridiculous the situation has become.

    The Conservative Party really needs to take a long hard look at itself and a good place to start would be for Parliament to take back control and cancel these abused emergency powers.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      throwing kids out of school for a minor sniffle, refusing to let them (or their siblings) back into school unless they get a negative covid test, and having absolutely no covid tests available for children in the entire country, forcing the parents to stay at home too for 2 weeks, its madness. there is no top level joined up approach, its lots of disjointed incoherent measures which dont make sense, and which cannot possibly make sense. plus a lot of idiots on power trips, and trying to socially engineer society by the back door, and massive infection risks ignored. you cannot allow thousands to storm our beaches in little boats and walk into our cities, and planes to land full of passengers from virus hotspots and let them get straight onto public transport while simultaneously telling us we cannot see granny. especially when we can see several of the authors of the mask theories are far left Stalinist nutcases. the politicians have got to fix this mess and quick.

  69. James Wallace-Dunlop
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I would not have had the courage to do what Sweden did at the start of the pandemic. It might have gone wrong with disastrous consequences. But it did not. Using distancing, but no lockdown or mandatory masks, Sweden’s all-cause mortality is back to normal levels, and its economy lives rather better than those locked down.

    Why do we not follow Sweden’s example, now that it has been shown to work?

    Is the cost, and opportunity cost, of lockdown, and curtailed liberties, being given suitable weight by the government?

    If this response, and these measures, were being put in place by any of the post-Thatcher PMs other than Boris, I would see sinister motives and want to rebel against the restrictions. Due to his engaging writing, support for Brexit, and appointing Cummings, I have a lot of goodwill for this PM. I want his administration to succeed. Alas, managing the pandemic seems unlikely to be one of those successes, particularly while the official opposition is inclined to call for even more lockdown, and the media criticises inaction while lauding restrictions.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink


      Paragraph 3, obviously no weight. The only justification for that being appropriate would be if cv19 were an existential threat, it isn’t.

      I had goodwill to this PM, but I started worrying with the stitch up of Javid, all goodwill has mow gone with the PM keeping Hancock and Sunak who are both appalling. (Of course the opposition of media are also appalling so there is no hope for the U.K.)

  70. Original Chris
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    This graph from the Office of National Statistics tells it all and illustrates the absurdity of the government’s COVID policy: it shows the weekly death rates since January from COVID, influenza and pneumonia separately. COVID deaths have flatlined right along the bottom of the graph, with influenza and pneumonia deaths rates well above COVID. Using Hancock’s “reasoning” I am surprised he hasn’t tried to impose a triple lockdown. The flu and pneumonia deaths are far more significant than those from COVID.
    Deaths registered by week
    Figure 1: The number of deaths in England and Wales involving COVID-19 decreased for the 18th consecutive week
    Number of deaths registered by week, England and Wales, 28 December 2019 to 21 August 2020

  71. Nigl
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    The Guardian has the leaked government presentation. There is no doubt that this was another attempt by the Civil Service/Remain Camp who hate him, to undermine him by preempting his announcement in the next few weeks as to who actually has testing contracts and what they can deliver, namely two days in from catching the virus well before any symptoms and a very high accuracy level.

    Even apart from the fiendishly difficult science, thankfully now almost resolved apart from fine tuning, there is then the scaling up, acquisition of land, building a manufacturing complex, delivery mechanisms etc, funding the whole enterprise, governments contracts etc so it cannot happen overnight.

    Boris’s announcement met with derision from the uninformed ‘boo boys’ He knows far more than they do.

    The anticipation is that the tests will give an answer in 15 minutes, currently the quickest that biology will allow doing away with centres etc.

    Imagine the benefit in the first roll out phase of all key workers being able to have a test every Monday morning With an answer in 15 minutes enabling them to work knowing that they and their colleagues are safe.

  72. Andy
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink


    We have done a trade deal with Japan. Of course it is really no better than the trade deal we had with Japan as part of the EU but ministers will talk about pork and cheese and Cornish Pasties and pretend otherwise.

    We hear that 70 products will now be covered by Geographical Indicators in our deal with Japan whereas only a handful were protected before. This might be good news for things like Melton Mowbray Pork Pies which might be protected.

    Of course we failed to included such protections in our withdrawal agreement with the EU – but we did agree to protect their products. So we won’t be allowed to make Champagne or Feta or Parma Ham here. But producers in EU countries will be able to label their products ‘Cornish Pasty’ or Scotch Whisky.

    Turns out trade is hard and is for grown ups. Let us know when the toddlers in Number 10 have finished playing with it and we will then go about the slow process of rebuilding the UKs tarnished reputation.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      So we have a trade deal
      But you still think it’s no good.

      Many nations have trade happily for decades without any formal trade deal.

      Is anything good enough for you ?

      • graham1946
        Posted September 12, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        No, sour grapes. Very childish.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      We do make Champagne (which was invented in the U.K.) Feta and Palma ham, but it’s not called that. We also make Cheddar cheese and Stilton the most popular cheeses worldwide with the greatest consumption. However the EU is allowed to ‘make Cheddar cheese and call it Cheddar’ because of the ‘level playing field’😂😂
      Where is the EXIT door?

      • hefner
        Posted September 12, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        The biggest ‘forgery’ related to cheddar has been going on for decades, indeed, but in the USA and Canada. The Canadian one can be very tasty (specially the artisanal one made in Ontario), the American one is usually rather tasteless.
        BTW the most consumed cheese worldwide are ‘mozarella’-type cheese, feta and ricotta.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Sir John,

      Is the Japan deal a first step to a CPTPP deal?

    • graham1946
      Posted September 12, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      You were saying it couldn’t be done. Would take years at least. 3 months start to finish. Want to retract anything? Want to congratulate anyone? No, of course not, that would be an adult thing to do.

  73. Nigl
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Someone yesterday said sterling is collapsing. Good, exports will be cheaper and dollar earnings especially for our private pensions will have more value.

    Germany has relied on a cheaper Euro that a reappreciating D Mark for umpteen years.

  74. Cavewell Man
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    The March to May infection peak probable underreported the total by a factor of ten. So this supposed resurgence could simply be a minor blip of the kind we’ll have to get used to.

    Time to get back to normal and certainly bin the ridiculous six people rule.

  75. TooleyStu
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink


    I think the wheels have fell off the Govmnt story months ago.
    Anyone that can read a balance sheet has seen through this pantomime.

    Current figures .. UK mortality.. (41,608/68,000,000 x100) -100 =
    >>> 99.94 % survival rate.. <<<
    for a lethal – deadly – world changing virus ???

    Govmt expected to hoodwink everyone, but not everyone is the same.
    We are not all galactically stupid .. or gigantically naive.

    Best regards, as ever,
    Tooley Stu

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink


  76. NickC
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    JR said: “It leaves people asking some questions. Why can’t the NHS test more people locally?”

    I vaguely remember something called the NHS, or was it the NSI, or whatever. Didn’t it used to run hipstalls . . . no, hopeitalls . . . no, it was hospitals . . . that’s right – where sick people with cancer, heart problems, broken bones used to go before covid19. Whatever happened to them?

  77. Everhopeful
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    How to tackle the virus??
    No school here again!
    Have they given up or what?
    Teachers on strike again?

  78. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Is this a Government that trusts the people or one that is frightened of the people

    The Coronavirus (Retention of Fingerprints and DNA Profiles in the Interests of National Security) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 –

    Next they will be hoping we will join their new track & trace app.

  79. XYXY
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Do we really need testing?

    I’ve stopped looking at the figures (few of the places I read seem to bother publishing them any more), but from what I can glean from what I do see:

    – We have lots of cases, few deaths (probably those who were vulnerable are now gone).
    – Flu kills many more people now than covid.
    – Sweden has been successful at not being any worse than other places without lock-down.
    – We seem to have reached herd immunity level.

    Let’s just get this lock-down over with and get on with our lives.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Correct – the people have moved on, now the government needs to move on

  80. cornishstu
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Meant to add I see the Spanish have done a small clinical trial on vitamin D with success, albeit in the concentrated form as produced by your liver and kidneys in order to get a quick response,

  81. Edmund Hirst 6 v
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    In my immediate family we have now had two lockdown related deaths (not of coronavirus), two people made unemployed from good jobs and one relationship breakdown, all since March. If anyone imagines that any of us who remain will ever vote conservative again I think I can assure them that we won’t. It makes me wonder if the government even cares, and whether they are assuming that there will be no future elections.

  82. Barbara
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    This virus has killed far fewer than the 1968 Hong Kong flu, and we didn’t shut the country down for that – or obsess about a ‘second wave’. Its death rate has been around that of a nasty seasonal flu.

    It has now been proved in a published paper (‘Public health lessons learned from biases in coronavirus mortality overestimation’, by Ronald Brown in the journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, published online by Cambridge University Press) that Ferguson muddled up his CFR (case fatality rate) with his IFR (infection fatality rate), and programmed the wrong one into his computer. One has a rate of 1% and the other 0.1%, so Ferguson came up with a projection ten times too high: nearly 500,000 dying instead of 50,000 (comparable to bad flu). Ferguson has, of course, been very, very wrong several times before, on foot and mouth, swine flu and BSE. Why is anyone still listening to him?

    Can we now ignore Professor Ferguson and his ilk, and please stop pretending the world, and everything in it, needs to grind to a halt?

  83. chris hook
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    It’s about time Tory MPs let the Prime Minister and Cabinet know they are loosing support from their loyal base supporters over the covid shambles..

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      This party member can’t remember a worse government. The PM has to go, most of the Cabinet has to go, and the Spads need to be released back into the wild.

  84. Mark
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    The idea of spending £100bn on testing people who are not ill to prove that is surely one of the most ridiculous ideas ever put before the public. Such stupidity must stop now.

    The most important element of a trace and quarantine system is speed rather than seeking 100% contact coverage. That means if someone thinks they might be infected the tracing system should get into action immediately they request a test, preadvising such contacts as they can find that they may have had contact with an infected person. Testing and analysis needs to be rapid. If with 24 hours of requesting a test we get to over 60% of contacts being notified we can win the battle. If it takes several days before a result, and more days before 90% of contacts are advised, you might as well ditch the trace and quarantine system.

    There are limited circumstances around the vulnerable where testing of those that interact with them to avoid accidental infection can be justified. Better segregation in hospitals including of cleaning staff etc. will avoid nosocomial infection that was a hotbed of spread earlier on.

    Testing of the asymptomatic is only justified otherwise as a means to getting people out of quarantine and back to normal life, or the limited testing done to assess prevalence in the population (3,600 tests a day for the ONS programme).

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Asymptomatic is a false positive, no one can prove they exist

      • Caterpillar
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        Glen Cullen,

        Do you know how many of the asymptomatics are being given second and third tests? Presumably that would help get to the bottom of it.

        • glen cullen
          Posted September 11, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

          Thats my point – everyone in the media is talking about asymptomtic teenagers passing on the covid virus….but there’s no evidence, zilch absolutely no evidence whatsoever

      • Mark
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        Re-testing can substantially reduce the odds of a false positive – preferably using different personnel and lab. If it’s 1% on a first test, then it would be 1% of 1% or 0.01% on a retest: test again and it’s 1% of that. Half a dozen tests would even convince a nuclear physicist it was real.

    • Mark
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      A further thought: policy should be steered by risk adjusted infections that take account of the different age group probabilities of getting a serious case or dying. So rising infections in young age groups should be heavily discounted, but a rise in older, more vulnerable age groups is cause for alarm. We also need to focus on the geography: we have isolated locations where there are medium sized outbreaks – not a general uniform spread across the nation. Therefore the measures we need are local, not national.

  85. DrPeterVC
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Sorry that comment should have been on the main thread – oops.

  86. glen cullen
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    6 UK deaths today

    This government response is pathetic

  87. JohnK
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    I am afraid to say that I think Boris Johnson is rather stupid.

    He is a very superficial man. He is attracted to eye catching schemes such as the garden bridge, the bridge to Ireland and HS2. All cost fortunes for little gain. He loves anything where he can turn up in a hard hat and pose with a JCB. Most of us got over that in childhood, after which we put our Meccano away.

    Now he proposes (or rather has been sold on) the idea of “Project Moonshot”, using non-existent technology to test ten million people a day at a cost of a mere £100 billion, or one HS2 as we should perhaps call it.

    He is like a child, always attracted to a new shiny toy, except all his toys cost billions.

    Now it seems we are going back into lockdown, all to save ourselves from a disease which kills less than ten people a day. If this is not madness, I don’t know what is.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Its pure madness of the highest order

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      I’m busy developing an idea that Boris will buy, cheap – a couple of hundred Billion … it’s pink, flashes, cures all known ills and is a absolute ‘world-beater’ which, by next week, will be ‘oven ready’.

  88. JohnE
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    My daughter who lives in Reading was offered a test online at the nearest available test centre in Dudley in the West Midlands. She is actually not very well – probably a different seasonal bug but no way to be sure. There are no home test kits available. She’s not well enough to drive safely to Dudley.

    We are seen as a low risk area but as no-one can get tested who knows what the real figures are?

    If everone has to isolate for two weeks at the first symptoms and cannot get tested then the economy cannot restart.

    I saw MP’s on both sides of the house laughing openly at Matt Hancock in the House yesterday.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      most of the country has been laughing at Hancock!
      Then getting terrible depression.

  89. JohnE
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I thought I heard that children under 12 weren’t counted in the rule of 6.
    Now I read that’s the rule in Scotland but not in England.

    You really couldn’t make this stuff up. What a complete shower this Government are. They make Nicola Sturgeon look wise.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Yes, surely something like an epidemic should be under Westminster for all countries in the UK. Devolved governments should back off. It’s all too complicated.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Rule of 6

      Who comes up with these strap-lines they’re straight from the hobbit or game of thrones

    • Mark
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Basically she waited until two days after Boris made his announcement before making her own: the delay was doubtless needed to think up the tweak.

  90. Original Chris
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    O/T but excellent news, President Trump has now secured full diplomatic relations between Bahrain and the State of Israel.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      He is a genuine Statesman and is teaching the ‘politicians’ how to strike a deal. First, get off your knees ….

  91. Original Chris
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    I tried to post this earlier but it seemed to disappear straight after posting:

    “This graph in link below from the Office of National Statistics tells it all and illustrates the absurdity of the government’s COVID policy: it shows the weekly death rates since January from COVID, influenza and pneumonia separately. COVID deaths have flatlined right along the bottom of the graph, with influenza and pneumonia deaths rates well above COVID! Using Hancock’s “reasoning” I am surprised he hasn’t tried to impose a triple lockdown. The flu and pneumonia death levels are far more significant than those from COVID.
    Deaths registered by week
    Figure 1: The number of deaths in England and Wales involving COVID-19 decreased for the 18th consecutive week
    Number of deaths registered by week, England and Wales, 28 December 2019 to 21 August 2020

  92. steve
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink


    “…. the PM said he now wanted the NHS to develop a much faster test so people could get the result shortly after taking it”

    JR, as I understand the testing problem isn’t the development of tests, or testing methods but rather that the Labs are claiming they can’t cope. Hence the test stations close appointments to suit.

  93. Man of Kent
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    I fail to understand the recent inclusion of Prof Whitty in the top team after his dreadful performance as leader of PHE leading to the dissolution of that organisation .
    But what happens ?
    It seems that most if not all PHE are retained in the new super Quango as individuals and also in Sage .
    No new faces or policies , just the same old failures desperately trying to justify their lock down when the peak was over with ever more authoritarian measures .

    And they have the cheek to ask for a billion to build a new Quango HQ .
    Have we gone mad ?

    I am in my late eighties and just want to assess my own risks in meeting friends and family , not have such decisions made by a bunch of over rated ‘scientists’ and politicians .

  94. blake
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    The real virus in British society is the deluded twisted thinking that has been fostered and furthered by some in this country that we are somehow superior to our neighbours and can just poke them in the eye any time we like and with no consequence.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      You think being poked in the eye is a better strategy?

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      When you say British society you mean the MPs, Lords and the Media circa 5,000 people, the rest of the people 68 million, are only really interested in bring up a family and going to work – no one really things we’re superior….we’re too busy getting by to even think about our neighbouring countries

  95. glen cullen
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Citizens’ assembly on climate change

    Who’s paying for this

    What do we have MPs for ?

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      I wonder how many of them have ever read a book on the counter-arguments?

      • Countrywatch
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        Many have been too reliant on being spoonfed the EU version.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      I know why we have MPs – but as to why 650? – – that is a much more difficult question.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink


      More importantly who chose the members of the public that took part, and how were they selected.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 11, 2020 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

        Another Quango

    • Adam
      Posted September 12, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Climate changes because the world rocks at 23 degrees.
      Citizens assembling can’t stop it.

  96. Gantley
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Well done Liz Truss I see after four years all the flags were out- we have a deal not a big deal but a deal. Something about cheese and other food stuff to the other side of the world. Great

    • graham1946
      Posted September 12, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      This is something the Remoaners said couldn’t be done, would take years st least. Three months start to finish. Shows what can be done with good will. Now if only the EU would show some, we might get somewhere.

  97. Ed M
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    If going through Brexit, can we not use this as opportunity to re-brand UK for the 21st century (and to get more people behind the idea of Sovereignty):

    1. New anthem that reflects Sir Winston Churchill and other import British things. We can include stuff about The British Empire but not have an anthem as if we’re still in 1850’s.

    2. New, smaller parliament (keeping Lords) that reflects more Sir Winston Churchill and other important British figures (in Queen Anne style). Again, a parliament for the 21st century – for a nimble, entrepreneurial country – and not as if we’re still in 1850’s. (Plus old parl will cost a fortune to maintain in public hands – turn it over to private enterprise).

    3. Smaller, more professional monarchy, with less buildings – and not as if we’re still in the 1850’s. (This will actually strengthen the monarchy – not weaken – like cutting back on parts of a bush to make the bush grow stronger).

    4. Turn Cambridge + Oxford into Second and Third Cities of UK (with beautiful new buildings in new parts of town). Developing Cambridge into head of UK’s Silicon Valley.

    5. Make BBC smaller. Get rid of its political and commercial interests. Still in public hands so we can make great patriotic content and creative content that the commercial media can’t do for reasons of commercial pressure. And foster talent, which feeds into private media sector.

    6. Bring back some form of national service like in Sweden.

    Thank you

    • Ed M
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      In The Middle Ages and Renaissance, Patriotism was seen as a virtue. Now, it’s seen more, by many, as a vice – mainly because of the way the Nazis and Fascists completely misappropriated the word (they were nationalists – and extreme nationalists – which is quite different to patriotism).

      For me, to love your country is an extension of the virtue of loving your family. It’s a virtue – cutting across subjects such as beautiful architecture, culture, the arts, the natural world, the monarchy, Parliament, the armed forces, and so on. Where we all work towards creating something beautiful like a Faberge Egg.

  98. glen cullen
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    52 migrant boats arrive in a single day

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 11, 2020 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      And the French didn’t see one of them

      • Fred H
        Posted September 12, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

        I thought people in Dover could hear shouts of ‘Au revoir’ across the sea?

  99. Zorro
    Posted September 11, 2020 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    LOL – remember the deep cleaners in their hazmat suits and the ultra slow acting non lethal ‘novichok’ that remained weapons grade pure when presented to the Swiss for verification even though it had been exposed to the elements whilst smeared (allegedly) on Sergey’s doorknob?


    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 12, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      And if the Russians can’t even poison anybody properly, are they to be feared at all?

  100. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 12, 2020 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Testing people locally involves the provision of more capacity and resources. The NHS isn’t very good at this because it is always strapped for cash, its funding being largely taxation. The same lack of local capacity is evident in its ‘centres of excellence’ policy for hospital treatments and its policy of incarcerating difficult youthful mental health patients 200 miles from their homes.

    It’s plain as a pikestaff that the NHS needs more staff – particularly nurses – and needs to pay a little bit more to recruit and retain them. It needs extra funding and I see no evidence that taxpayers are keen to provide it. Charges are necessary.

  101. Dave, Spencers Wood.
    Posted September 12, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    “Meanwhile current levels in excess of 200,000 tests a day are not backed up by sufficient laboratory capacity to give quick results, and some people are being told to wait several days or travel very long distances to get a test.”

    If there is a backlog at the labs then you don’t have a capacity of 200K/day for an SLA of returning a result before the start of the next working day. Enough of the management doublespeak, be honest about the real capacity.

    And , if people have to wait days for a result, you need to get that fixed immediately. Otherwise you are going to see even more school closures if staff have to isolate until they have received a test result back. That then impacts parents, which in turn impacts employers. Come on , this is basic stuff. The Government is failing everyone here.

  102. na
    Posted September 12, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Suicides are at epidemic levels

  103. Diane
    Posted September 12, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    ‘Au Revoir’ indeed. ( Fred H ) Reported elsewhere today (Msn) a number of asylum seekers (Syrians reportedly ) removed from the UK on a Charter to Spain 9 days ago, ending up in Madrid ( it was in the news at the time ) are now reported as being back in Calais.
    Re Virus – I agree the recent country wide legally imposed 6 limitation is not the best decision if no time limit placed on it & places the Police in an ever more difficult position. It can only end in tears. Hopefully it might be reviewed in a few weeks time ? I do however consider that reactive local restrictions, seen in recent weeks, are better and necessary if we are not to see similar stats being recorded in e.g. Spain & France.
    Motorway travel/future speed limit/pollution – well, I won’t be travelling anywhere any time soon on any motorway ( that’s what the government wants isn’t it…. ) in my efficient & well maintained petrol car ( which I have no intention of changing in the near future) after spending 7hrs & 45 minutes ( incl. 10min stop ) from Cornwall to the south east yesterday. Still, I had the pleasure of supporting the Cornish economy during my travels.

  104. Paul McGreevy
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I find it difficult to believe that anyone thinks social restrictions will make the virus go away. Restrictions delay infections and deaths but they do not prevent them. The end result is the same if you implement restrictions or if you don’t, one way just takes longer. So obvious. We are now into 6 months of the 2 week flattening of the curve. The deaths are virtually zero. The delay tactics force the elderly and vulnerable to take cover for longer. It’s time to stop the silliness and return to normal. Some schools have closed since 3 days into reopening, did they really think there would be no infections? Why bother opening if you’re going to take that approach? Idiocy. Come on Sir John, why are you going along with this rubbish? You are usually one of the smart ones.

  • 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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