Saving lives and livelihoods – the policy dilemma

The government is accused of mixed messages and shifts of policy in response to the pandemic. It is in practice trying to achieve a precarious balance between bearing down on the virus and allowing the resumption of more normal economic life.

There are now two strong camps in the nation. There are the freedom lovers who think more of the special restrictions and measures should be lifted. They do not think the pandemic is that serious and want to see liberties restored. They point out the death rate as puboished is now very low and the pressure is off intensive care. There are pandemic fighters, who want every measure of control taken that can help bear down on the virus and go on to eliminate it. They resent any moves to more normal lives and worry that all relaxations come at a heavy medical price. They argue it is only a matter of time before the current upsurge in reported cases of the virus finds itself into the Care Homes and homes of the vulnerable and raises the death rate.

The government itself reflects these divisions in society. The Chancellor argues the case for more economic relaxation, whilst the Health Secretary puts forward the case for more restrictions based on official advice from the medical and scientific establishment. Policy tries to do a bit of both.

In order to inform public policy better and to influence the many people who feel both impulses, there need to be some further improvements in the data and approach. We need to have better numbers collected over a sustained period for how many cases as a proportion of the population, how many serious cases needing intensive care, and how many death wholly or largely attributable to CV 19. Some of the back numbers are unreliable, and there have been various changes in definitions.

The officials of NHS England and Public Health England need to take the government’s policy of increasing testing, and the substantial sums of money Ministers have made available, and show how the large demand for tests today can soon be met. The NHS needs to concentrate on getting its staff back to work in every surgery and ward to start to reduce the backlog of other treatments and to stop avoidable deaths from causes other than CV 19.

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365 Comments

  1. Stephen Priest
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    b>It is clear that the Prime Ministers decision to go into lockdown in March was the worst decision ever made by a British Prime Minister.

    It was not done based on any science but on pure panic based on press hysteria. The consequences for the economy, people lives (cancer deaths don’t seem to matter), and freedoms have been disastrous. The reported deaths from Covid have risen and fallen in much the same way around the world, whether or not lockdowns have been on place. This has been no worse than a bad flu season.

    Peru has been on strict military lockdown since March but has a far higher death rate than no lockdown Brazil.

    What is shocking is the policies have been copied directly from the Chinese Communist Party, the most murderous organisation in history. Every new lockdown policy is cruel and unnecessary. They based not based on science but based on loaded questions in opinion polls and focus groups.

    “Would you stand on one leg and fine anyone who didn’t stand on one leg if it stopped a deadly Second Wave?”

    From the start there have been large number of reputable doctors talking out against the Lockdown for example Dr John Lee in the Spectator. (Dr John Lee is a former professor of pathology and NHS consultant pathologist.) The PCR tests for COVID have not been peer reviewed and show many false positives. I would recommend his interview with Ivor Cummins.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      The premise of the piece is upside-down.

      Suppressing the virus and saving lives are the very things which permit normalisation of economic life and therefore save livelihoods too.

      The countries which did this have suffered less economic damage than the UK, and in proportion to the effectiveness of their measures.

      • NickC
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        Martin, What do you mean by the phrase “suppressing the virus”?

        The SARS-Cov-2 virus cannot literally be suppressed (dictionary: to end, or to end forcibly) because it is globally rife and very infectious. We must learn to live with it using herd immunity. And we get that herd immunity through either widespread infection and recovery, or by vaccination, or a combination.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        Clearly you are wrong Martin.
        For example Sweden has had much less economic damage and had no real lockdown compared to us.
        And as Stephen said Peru has had a strict lockdown and a big hit economically yet little difference in deaths to neighbouring countries who did lockdown.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        What are you talking about ?

        This isn’t over by a long shot. We won’t know how much economic damage is done until the disease is gone.

        Even the (allegedly) best managed countries have taken a huge economic hit and suffered the deaths of many innocents and will likely pay the butcher’s bill once they come out of quarantine.

        So who is to blame ? Well Stephen Priest gives us a good clue.

        Someone criticises the CCP and right enough – up pops Martin in Cardiff.

        He also thought BLM rioting during a lockdown was “exhilarating.”

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      I do not agree, it was right to have some lock down delay the spread, prevent hospital overload, get better treatments and flatten the curve. It saved many lives and could have saved many more. They should have done so a week two earlier. But we should have certainly opened up by now.

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        It would have worked if it wasn’t for the CORVIDIOTS that thought it didn’t apply to them. Now many months on we still have to fight it.

      • DennisA
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        The curve wasn’t flattened. As Stephen Priest says, the disease profile has been similar around the world, regardless of measures taken or the degree to which they were. The latest ONS bulletin reports a case of a covid death registered in early September, the death took place in January.

        It is clear that Covid occurred in China in mid November, reported in the Guardian from China Morning Daily, but China reported no cases until December 31st. That was a long time for it to circulate around the world and it would already have been widespread in the UK before lockdown.

        Ironically the same computer modeller who played a significant role in the scorched earth Foot and Mouth debacle from 2001, with the unwarranted slaughter of probably 9 million animals, with bloated carcasses burning on countryside funeral pyres, is the one who spooked the PM into lockdown.

        The only conclusion from the increasing number of swab positives, without concomitant mortality, is that there is far more naturally acquired immunity in the population than is given credence. We cannot suppress or eliminate the virus, that way lies permanent lockdown. The only virus to date that has been eliminated is smallpox.

        We have had flu vaccines since WWII, but we still get flu surges, as we did three years ago, with a higher mortality than we have so far with Covid. Hospitals were then overwhelmed and lots of elderly people died as now. Currently, 20% of mortality has been of people over 90, (ONS).

      • Mark
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        I think we can say that if the lockdown had been a fortnight earlier we might have had a flatter sombrero, but it would still have been more or less a ten gallon hat. It had very little practical effect over and above the effects of social distancing that were already being implemented, according to most epidemiologists.

    • Ian Muir
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Excellent post Stephen Priest

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      Today Boris might outdo that ‘biggest mistake ever made’ if he compromises the IMB, after a 77 majority recorded, just when he has the EU rattled and Ursula calling for a trade agreement.
      Trump he is not!
      Can’t Boris self-isolate for a period? Say until 16th Oct?

      • Lorna
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Is it not possible to buy testing capability from another country while we build our own?
        Lateral thinking is required to,sort this mess out

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        If only… If only the HoC saw it was our Constitution that put them their and their purpose is to defend it. Were as the EU’s purpose is to destroy it and through it in the bin/

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        ….and now he is ‘going to compromise on the fish to get a deal’ too! I’m afraid Boris really needs to be kicked into touch before he messes up again.

    • BOF
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Exactly. Everything I would have said myself.

    • Hope
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      I think Lord assumption has pointed out that the govt is not acting lawfully by using the Health Act 1984. This was for local magistrates to prevent ill people spreading disease. Instead the govt. could use the Civil Contingency Act. However, the latter would require the govt. to justify in parliament and return periodically for approval. It appears the govt. is already acting unlawfully for its Stasi type control over our nation to rid us of our liberties and freedoms. You and your colleagues allowing ministers like the idiot Hancock to make proclamations!. Look at the current testing and tracing mess six mnths on! He delflected blame by appointing a czar and task force at our expense, now what? Teams of czars and task forces!

      Rule of six has No scientific basis whatsoever. Are the boat people being arrested on arrival or fined £10,000 by a CSO? No, they are taken by luxury coach to four star hotels and given everything free including TV, free meals and pocket money! For good measure given trips to Anfield to help their boredom. Disgusting. BLM or left wing activists tearing down statues given a free pass as well. Why no explanation of this policy by you?

      Come on, your govt. is beyond help. The last six months was tortuous with repeated policy failure, policy U turns, hypocrisy for MPs, ministers, and advisors. Just get out or find a patriotic Brexit leaving conservative to be leader, like Farage.

      Did,Johnson actually think by helping Ed Miliband to get elected he would some how support him? Idiot.

      • Hope
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        Explain Japans figures.

    • agricola
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      The only virtue in being clever after the event is to analyse it and get it approaching right next time. Think Dieppe followed by Overlord. Count yourself fortunate indeed if you have a Dowding who prepared for an anticipated event with great accuracy. This does not happen very often.

    • David L
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      I would add Dr. Malcolm Kendrick to those doctors you mention in your last paragraph. His latest blog makes the claim that currently more people are dying as a result of lockdown than covid; cancer and other seriously ill patients that missed treatment, people with depression, victims of abusive partners and so on. He contends that letting the virus infect just about everyone except the vulnerable would mean it would be finished in a month, thus leaving the winter free to infect us with just the usual flus and colds! I’m no medic so the huge range of professional opinions tends to leave me confused.

    • Donna
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      You speak for me.

    • sam
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Now an Australian government economist has resigned because of his government’s overreaction to the virus with no proper cost benefit analysis and the fact that the predictons were a great exaggeration
      https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/international-news/disease/covid-19-the-great-hoax-in-history-as-evidence-surfaces/
      https://www.sabhlokcity.com/

      It would be great if our ministers could get together and remove the coronavirus act and allow us to go fully back to work with no restrictions as we should be doing sicne the virus poses no more threat than the asian flu did

  2. Pominoz
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    This virus is never, even with a vaccine, going to be eliminated. Mankind must, therefore learn to live with it.

    The economic catastrophe is already much greater than the health problem which, even without a vaccine is causing vastly fewer deaths, possibly due to sensible precautions by individuals and/or more appropriate treatment of case based on experience.

    If the UK wants a first class example of what should NOT be done – simply look at the worlds most severe restrictions imposed by an incompetent State Government in Victoria, here in Australia. The general public will comply with modest loss of normal freedoms, but will resist in a potentially unpleasant way when government measures are considered excessive.

  3. Peter
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    ‘Two strong camps in the nation’ ?

    There are also a considerable number of non believers of various opinions. Piers Corbyn is one example.

    When they protest they get clamped down quickly – unlike BLM or Extinction Rebellion,

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      In some ways I don’t blame the present Government for the country’s utter shambles of a response to this epidemic.

      When, for over forty years, you have have had mainly Tory government, slavishly following Tufton Street doctrines, and dedicated to dismantling the structures, facilities, and institutions, which give a society its resilience to this very type of thing – “rolling back socialism” – that cannot be reversed in weeks.

      The country does not have the organisational capacity, the practical resources, nor the trained and experienced people in the right positions, with the needed job descriptions, to confront it.

      The greatest tragedy is that the present lot do not appear to think that they have any lessons to learn.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        Wrong again Martin.
        State spending rises every year.
        The size of the public sector is bigger today that ever.
        As is the level of tax take.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        What do you think of the CCP, Martin ?

        They’re players in this current fiasco, don’t you think ?

        The truth is (and I know you don’t like the truth) we’ve not had a Tory since Thatcher.

        Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron, May and – who knows what ??? – can any of those really be called Tories ???

    • sam
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Since Piers is a scientist he is capable of looking at the stats and seeing that this virus is no more dangerous than the Asian flu. 41,000 people have died out of 68 million. Deaths peaked in April. He is also capable of seeing that the lockdown is compeltely ridiculous and should be ended immediately before there are no jobs left at all. Where will the governemnt get its money from if there is no tax revenue??

  4. Mark B
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    I see the divides as thus. Those that want to be led (sheep), and those that want to remain independent (goats).

    The sheep see no economic harm and the only threat to them is this virus. So naturally they want the government to look after their interests. The goats just want to get on with their lives. They are informed and question all put before them. They, like the government claim, are led only by the science and that is telling them that the risk to them is low and falling. It also shows that the government and its advice is increasingly at odds with said science and even common sense. We understand that the government must act in our best interests but it should stick to advice and not try and micro manage our lives.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Wish we had just one scapegoat for all these expensive and pretty useless sheep!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      But does the govt. ever act in our best interests?
      Look at the decades of wool-pulling over the EU.

    • A goat
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Well said Mark B. The government needs to broaden the range of scientists it follows but all too often the ones they should be following are silenced.

      • John C.
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        Maybe try that with Climate Change, too.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      I like your analogy, Mark.

      I’m a goat that understands the sheep, especially those elderly with underlying conditions such as lung and heart problems but I do wonder just how many of the ‘sheep’ are really goats in sheep’s clothing and are not in work on full pay or 80% of their normal pay right now and don’t particularly want things to change.

      The people that this government have closed down their work outlet i.e. wedding venues; Nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques; Sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars from the gov.uk website and limited openings eg theatres will they all be signing on unemployed from November, can the paperwork be started in October so there is no gap in their earnings and they know how much they will get from the Universal Credit system.

      What is Rishi going to do to help venues that have already had no earnings for six months from business conferences, meetings, business people staying over such as commercial hotels?

    • NigelE
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Mark, goats and sheep is too inflammatory, we don’t want yet another division in our nations. Perhaps risk averse and risk tolerant would be better, which probably explains the private/public sectors falling predominently into tolerant/averse camps.

      I also think govt policy of trying to address both sides of the arguement just generates confusion. Do we follow the Sweden model or the rest of the world? My preference waould be to switch to Sweden and drive that through. Hancock would have to go.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 17, 2020 at 4:12 am | Permalink

        We take risks every moment of our lives. The only differences are the level of risk and the information we give ourselves so that we can make informed judgements. The information the government has received has been flawed. Therefore, its risk assessments and policies are equally flawed.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    The Freedom lovers are clearly right and the Pandemic Fighter approach will clearly do far more harm than good and this way will even produce more deaths in the end from other causes, failures of the NHS in other areas and huge economic damage too. Just 88 covid deaths in the last seven days from perhaps 11,000 or so under 1%. The NHS is not remotely overwhelmed there is clearly no justification for the rule of six whatsoever. It is not remotely enforceable anyway.

    Lord Sumption seems to think it is probably illegal anyway under the recent covid law anyway as it is not specific enough for such huge controls on freedom. The government could have used the Civil Contingency Act but chose not to due to the parliamentary oversight provisions he seem to think.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:42 am | Permalink

      The pandemic fighters “cure” is not a cure and clearly does far more harm than good. Rather like the climate alarmists’ non “cures”.

      Caught a bit of an interview Robert Halfon MP this man is clearly a socialist and in the wrong party. Can someone explain to him just how dire the state monopoly NHS and state schooling/universities generally are? Also the benefits of real freedom and choice and of having a level playing field in these and indeed many other areas.

      Perhaps he should look at how much better the German health systems coped with Covid. 113 deaths per million population rather than 613 in the UK by official figures. The real UK figure is actually over 1000 Covid Deaths per million.

      • MPC
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

        There is also a disregard by much of the media and the epidemiologists about Sweden. The eventual Inquiry will no doubt skate over their approach and results.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

          Death per million in Sweden 579. But to be fair the UK was rather more vulnerable due to various factors such as size, population density, travel rates, a second rate NHS and other factors.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

          I reckon that Sweden has already gone a very long way down the planned path.
          Not much need for virus frenzy there!

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

          It’s not as great as the disregard about China’s highly effective approach – according to independent observers – or about New Zealand’s for that matter.

          • Fred H
            Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

            they have a very effective way to ensure everybody will speak Chinese in the future too!

          • Edward2
            Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

            Independent observers…WTO staff who are dependent on the funding from…..

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

            That comment is up there with your “BLM rioting during lockdown is exhilarating” comment.

            Behold.

            MiC supports the CCP.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

            My friend is stuck in NZ for another 2 years at least. Problems with planes, apparently MIC is advocating ‘isolation from the rest of the world’.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        Did you see the outcome of the experiment of the Colchester surgeons in 1980? They decided to abandon masks even in the operating theatre. The result? Fewer infections!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        You make the case for another lockdown. Massively inflated deaths caused by Wahun flu. The ‘real’ figure is less than 4,000, but no matter how often these facts (ONS source) are presented, you, like Boris obdurately ignore them because you want to have been right even at the cost of sodding up Britain for years!
        I suppose if we found the means of communicating with you we might have the key to communicating with The Blob.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      I just received my alumni email from Cambridge University saying:-

      The University will offer all students living in college accommodation a weekly test for infection with SARS-CoV-2 – even if they show no symptoms. Whilst the testing of asymptomatic students is not national guidance, the University will be launching this programme as part of its Stay Safe Cambridge Uni public health initiative.

      Surely if these test are available and given the clear shortages with the government programme they could be put to rather better use?

      It also tells me (due to the circa 50% grade inflation this year in A and A*s I assume) that they are taking 10% more students this year and the highest state school intake ever of nearly 4000 it seems.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        Caroline Lucas (on Politics Live today) says she does not take lessons on climate change from Donald Trump he was talking about the forest fires.

        Well perhaps the Exeter English graduate should do he is right and she is deluded. Clearly better forestry management would be a far, far better way to reduce future fires than trying to get the World to reduce man made CO2. Even if the latter worked (which it will almost certainly not do) how many years would it take?

        The less science they know the more climate alarmist, green crap they come out with. Go and study some, physics, maths, combustion and logic dear and get real. Forest fires have existed as long as forests have.

        Please abolish the climate change act, the citizens assemblies, the net zero lunacy ….. now.

        • sam
          Posted September 17, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

          caroline Lucas is not a scientist and clearly does not understand science
          Prof Svensmark has a documentaary that explains how the climate does work (and its nothing to do with CO2 but more with the sun)
          ‘The Cloud Mystery’

      • sam
        Posted September 17, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

        one reason not to go to Cambridge then

  6. Leslie Singleton
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John–It is obvious and unarguable that a balance has to be struck and modified as the position changes– a continuing judgement call in the face of extreme difficulty and uncertainty, not to mention phenomenal expense. Comments along lines (Telegraph Letter) ‘where is the evidence supporting six’ rather than seven beggar belief.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      indeed – and where is inclusion/exclusion of young children possibly not to be counted?

  7. DOM
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Andrew Cadman in today’s Conservative Woman writes eloquently about the horrors awaiting this nation and its moral majority now your party’s embraced Cultural Marxism

    Your party through its cowardice and its collusion with Marxist Labour are laying the foundations of a nation that can best be described as a ‘dystopian horror show’.

    This is YOUR party’s doing. Its inaction and refusal to protect our most basic freedoms to protect itself from the fascist left and their accusations

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      I re-joined the Conservative Party a few weeks ago. I remain of the view that it doesn’t much care about what its supporters think. I’ve had a couple of emails about membership matters – but nothing in way of policy. (There’s a policy forum for me to explore later.) And that’s why I come here, and to Guido, and to Con Home. And I’m grateful for Sir John showing an interest in us – the people.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        really – you re-joined? Got a letter of thanks from Boris yet?

      • Original Chris
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        Yes, they at least represent a link with reality, Polly. I have now started listening to Peter Hitchens. He seems to be right on the state of the Cons party.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Certainly much truth in this. The failure of Ministers to fully/properly defend Tony Abbott against the absurd attacks on him recently was rather depressing.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      Well..they all seem happy with it!
      No complaints.
      Isn’t it all getting a bit fascist now though?
      Fascism and communism meet on the spectrum somewhere?

      • John C.
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        They’re pretty similar, both supporting dictatorial state rule.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        They do. On the opposite side of the circle from Conservatism.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Dom, this is not JR’s party. He is a member just as I am. Rail against the Tories when they are wrong by all means, I do. But this daily stream of hopelessness is draining. You do the enemies job for them by destroying the morale of the British people. Any General will tell you that destroying the enemies morale is a great achievement!

      • Hope
        Posted September 17, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        Lynn, there is no difference between Liblabcon. London centric metro liberal lefties with no conviction, direction, strategy or direction. They just want the kudos of office with all the trimmings. Two cheeks of the same arse! Wake up.

        How many times do you beat your head against the wall before you realise it hurts? How many times on this site have you expressed despair at Johnson?

    • Hope
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Well said.

      I think it must be clear to all reasonably intelligent people the Fake Tory Party has a few conservative MP left on the fringes but overwhelming it has been taken over by people way left of New Labour. Apparently Cameron was chomping on cigars and wine in a rage over the Brexit vote going against his wishes! Multiply that by all those who did everything to prevent it and now Johnson wants to give them extra pension and titles!

      • Original Chris
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Hope. They seem to have completely lost sight of what Conservative means. The problem is that they don’t really seem to care as they feel they have seen off the threat of Nigel Farage.

        Some senior Tories are, in my view, saying the right things, (no action though) but are maybe conscious of their sell by date so do not want to rock the boat, and prefer a fairly gentle path to retirement.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Could you please help us out by explaining what ever is meant by this mumbo-jumbo such as “Cultural Marxism”.

      Giving it capital letters doesn’t make it any more real.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        Look it up.
        It has been explained many times on here.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        Yes. It’s wrong.

        Gramsci is a better source than Marx, nonetheless people are right to smell a rat.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        If you don’t know look it up.

    • Iago
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      + 1. I have just read the article. This government is on the side of the enemy.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      In total defiance of the people who voted for them.

    • Original Chris
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      I would agree with you, Dom. However, they do not really seem to care.

    • sam
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      they seem to be controlled by the same higher powers as the USA and the rest of Europe, Australia and NZ. They are conducting collective suicide and the descent into a marxist state ruled by the UN and its sister organisations, the WHO and WEF

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    The real ‘social housing waiting list’ in England is 500,000 households bigger than official figures suggest, new data has revealed. In a report by the National Housing Federation.

    Well is you give away half price housing of course you get a waiting list. You also rig the marked and kill other competition. It become another state monopoly like the dire NHS. You need to help the few people who do really need help to pay the market rents and relax planning to increase supply.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      and develop ways to ensure unoccupied residences will be let out to rental (or even sold).

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      The 500,000 households made it over the channel did they?

    • NigelE
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      And the 500,000 underestimate demonstrates yet again the public sectors inability to manage data.

  9. formula57
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Let us pause to appreciate the efforts of Health Secretary Hancock, made all the more remarkable as he has so often to overcome where he is able the duff advice from “experts”.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      My pause for all of half a second over – now what?

    • agricola
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Too true, his job is not made easier due to all the “incoming”, much of it “shortfalls” from his own side. Too many of his vocal critics know all the answers whether from hindsight or Mystic Meg. His job is to try and balance the possible with the desirable with the tools at his disposal. He deserves every support possible and that means hearing divergent ideas in private, and not being made a scapegoat for every contradictory opinion not taken up.

      • formula57
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        @ agricola – Indeed, thank you, your words capture much of the essence of the matter.

        Hancock has been badly let down by many, including those whose job was to make preparations for a pandemic, not least amongst them the clowns at Public Health England. He must have been and remain under great strain and yet has not deserted his post, rather shown resilience and fortitude.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      I do not underestimate Health Secretary Hancock at all, I believe he has many more regulations & laws oven ready to throw at covid and our liberties

    • Longinus
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Hancock is responsible for decision making and outcomes, it’s up to him to follow, reject or modify expert advice. If the advice is duff then change the advisors.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        If he can’t make a judgement on the quality of the advice he is getting, (and it’s obvious he can’t) he needs to return to the back benches or better still, the job centre.

        • Jim Whitehead
          Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

          Lynn Atkinson +1

        • Original Chris
          Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          Hancock was never Cabinet material. Inexperienced, incompetent, ignorant, in my view.

          Does he enjoy power? Yes, he seems to be the classic tin pot dictator. Does he realise how utterly stupid he appears to many people? Does he not realise also that adopting this “talking down to the people” attitude, as though we are schoolchildren from a different era, angers people? A Del Boy “plonker” seems a rather appropriate description of him.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      One assumes your comment is sarcasm.

  10. agricola
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Until we have a vaccination, the current restrictions are the only weapons we have. CV19 seems to increase rapidly in geographical areas where social activity has been precipitate in ignoring the risks. At times it has an ethnic content, at others it is the idiot young or the demo addicts who flaunt the rules of common sense. All should be dealt with within the law.

    The government have made mistakes in the past, perfectly understandable, but they are now trying to practice containment. It won’t suit everyone or the economy but in the latter case personal choice should come to an end. The most disgraceful choices seem to be coming from the most pampered in this crisis, elements of the civil service who have been fully paid throughout. Pictures of empty car parks at DVLA say it all. I suspect they are just an easily identifyable example. Those not working effectively at home should be told, return or collect your P45.

    Looking ahead we will have the vaccine deniers, happy to put at risk their own families and anyone they have contact with. Providing government takes every step it can, ready proven steps, to avoid a second Thalidomide, then I think it is the responsibility of every citizen to take it up. Personal freedom of choice is only acceptable to the point where it impacts on other peoples freedom.

    • Andy
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      You have no idea whether or not people are working effectively at home. You are just, again, seeking to be rude about public sector employees and young people. Perhaps you should look at the state of the country, caused by this pathetic government which you voted for, and take your own share of the blame.

      • NickC
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Since when has working at home been confined to the young and to public sector workers? Perhaps you should look at the state of this country caused by the previous pathetic Remain governments which you encouraged, and take your share of the blame.

      • agricola
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Read the availsble news sunshine, or in your case look at the pictures.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        pot, kettle, black.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        Well, we do have an idea of whether people are working effectively from home Andy, private sector and public sector, people are being told their queries are being held up in queues for weeks on end due to covid yet we read they have 45,000 staff working from home. Some people claimed “All education staff are working extremely intensively for long days during lockdown” Bousted – so if they were why are people now saying lots of children had next to no education for five months?

      • John C.
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        Rude? Well that’s something you know all about.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      But so few are now dying and more are dying due to NHS failures in other areas and more will die from the economic damage being caused.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      They have already taken steps to circumnavigate licensing for the unicorn vaccine and also ( like in the US I believe) steps to prevent any legal comeback.
      I believe that there are claims still being made here and in the US for narcolepsy in children said to be caused by the 2009 swine flu ( er…pandemic).
      Never mind what is happening elsewhere with polio vaccinations.

      And govts have spent decades making absolutely certain that the rights of minorities ( ie those who wish to be disruptive) totally trump the rights of others. So all that stuff about getting the jab for the good of all is mere virtue signalling.
      Luckily views can be expressed here.
      https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/distributing-vaccines-and-treatments-for-covid-19-and-flu/consultation-document-changes-to-human-medicine-regulations-to-support-the-rollout-of-covid-19-vaccines

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        Sorry..should have read “caused by the 2009 swine flu vaccination….”

    • Ian Muir
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      I suggest that you do some research on vaccines. They regularly have unwanted and unpleasant side effects, some terminal! They need to be trialled and tested for a number of years.

      Vaccinations for Coronaviruses are similar to those for the flu and are at best only 60% effective

    • BOF
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Where was the successful vaccine for SARS 1? Exactly, we do not need a vaccine, we need the young and healthy to keep getting exposed to this virus and when it has spread sufficiently, that will give us in the older generation protection.

      Think Sweden.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      agricola, I’ve always vaccinated my children, in fact I bitterly disagreed with the government in 2005 stopping the bcg vaccine program especially with the mass immigration we’ve had with people from regions with carrying tb.

      I would hesitate with a covid19 vaccine rushed through testing, wouldn’t you want to wait a year if you were in a younger age group and not at high risk anyway?

    • SM
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      I appreciate that with the considerable advance in technological data gathering and sharing, it is unlikely that a complete replica of the Thalidomide tragedy could recur; however, it is worth remembering that it took 8 years before an Australian doctor sounded the alert on the number of damaged babies being born as a direct result of this medication.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      If you are vulnerable or worried, isolate yourself. Let the rest of us get on with life.

    • matthu
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      CV19 seems to increase rapidly in geographical areas where social activity has been precipitate in ignoring the risks.

      Actually, you will find that it is testing that increases rapidly in selected areas where social activity has been precipitate in ignoring risks. And CV19 trends are generally being detected where testing has been taking place and this is not because symptoms are being detected.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      CV19 had to Morph to survive – it cant live and spread if the host is dead. It would appear and anecdotal evidence suggests it is now more virulent and does less serious harm than it was doing earlier.

      Will it weaken further, become like seasonal flu. The vaccine will only dampen its effects, just as the flu vaccine doesn’t cure it dampens its effects. The vulnerable still pay the price.

      In perspective we can’t cure or defeat a common cold which is a virus, like wise we have no magic bullet for seasonal flu. Realistically, we are back to heard immunity syndrome with figures crossed that Corvid-19 in it own desire to survive becomes weaker as far as us humans are concerned.

      Just get ready for the next Virus to be let out of the box and hope those controlling our lives stay in theirs

    • cornishstu
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      I see government is doing an open consultation on relaxing the rules for vaccines, I think removing liability may encourage shortcuts in safety https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/distributing-vaccines-and-treatments-for-covid-19-and-flu . It finishes on the 18th so that was well publicised.

    • zorro
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      ‘The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants’ – Albert Camus.

      I’m not having this vaccine and you are not going to make me – get that into YOUR head.

      zorro

    • sam
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      Firstly only 41,000 have died which is not out of line with a bad flu year (2014 it was 48,000) so why the panic now?
      The computer model of Ferguson was grossly exaggerated and caused the lockdown which should be lifted now e see the virus is no more harmful than the Asian flu.
      The average age of death of those from covid was 83, in line with what happens every year.
      Since when was the vaccine the only answer? Where was the debate? Who will benefit? the vaccine industry from the $$$ it will make. The flu vaccine is usually less than 50% effective so surely it would be better to keep a healthy immune system? Those who died had very low levels of vit D. Vit D is much cheaper but can’t be patented so there’s no money to be made from it

  11. Stephen Priest
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Daily Covidgraph

    “Fears for Europe’s hospitals as Madrid death toll grows. Hospitals in Europe’s Covid-19 hotpots are close to saturation point, with admissions to intensive care units increasing”

    Sweden – only 4 reported Covid deaths yesterday

    100% proof that lockdowns don’t work.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      It looks as though the only people who should have been locked-down are the ‘vulnerable’.
      P.S. My position was always quarantine, followed by 3-week strict lockdown, followed by continued shielding + strong public hygiene measures.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      Lockdowns can work but only really to flatten the peak, prevent hospital overloads and give doctors and hospitals a little more time to prepare and learn some better treatments. Compulsory lockdowns from the current position (with so few covid death or serious infections) make little or no sense at all.

      • zorro
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        The same number of people will still die no matter what and that has always been acknowledged – no matter how the curve is flattened – unfortunately the economy has been destroyed by the bedwetters.

        zorro

    • BeebTax
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      It is proof of nothing whatsoever.

      It is perhaps evidence, that with the right public attitudes – which is crucial – other approaches can be effective in some instances.

      But these are still very early days anyway.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

        All you’re interested in is the upheaval.

    • Ian Muir
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      There is LOTS of scientific research and data produced across the world. Why are governments ignoring it?
      It certainly proves that lockdowns do NOT work, and neither do masks (the virus is too microscopic to be caught by masks).

      I will post later and try to attach links.
      REAL scientists (who require PROOF) are being ignored. It is beyond belief.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      +1

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Whether lockdown worked or not, the Sweden & UK death figures are the same but Sweden didn’t crash their economy

      Sweden Deaths – 4 (0.0000396%)
      UK Deaths – 27 (0.0000397%)

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Spain has embraced mask wearing like nowhere else.
      Have read there may be a link!

      • zorro
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Peru is even worse!

        zorro

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Given Sweden’s small population losing 4 to COVID in a single day ISN’T a good performance.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        10.1 million (bigger than Scotland, Wales & NI combined)

      • Mark
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        They didn’t. Just a catch up announcement of deaths that happened previously..

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Whilst I agree with you general observation, Sweden is a sparsely populated country.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        97% of Swedes live in an Urban environment – (may be not as dense per square km as central London) vs. UK 93%

      • NickC
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        Hmmm, not quite Mike. Though Sweden is sparsely populated the majority live in urban areas just as we do in the UK – the percentage is actually very similar.

      • Wonky Moral Compass
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        It’s highly urbanised with densely populated major cities though.

      • zorro
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Wrong – the population is concentrated in urban areas – huge swathes are sparsely populated but the majority live in cities.

        zorro

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        To since it received all its ‘new’ Swedes from Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan and th Middle East.

      • It doesn't add up...
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        Except in the cities where most of the population live.

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    It seem much of the increase in tested positive cases is false positives, the result of more testing and people who have already had covid and fully recovered but still have some small record of the virus in their systems. We should ignore it and just look at currently very low covid deaths and the hospitalisation of serious cases.

    • Zorro
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      I’ve been banging on about this for ages. Glad you’ve smelled the coffee!

      zorro

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        +1 at last!

    • BOF
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Absolutely, all this testing comes at enormous cost and for the most part a waste of time and money.

      • Jim Whitehead
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        +1 to this observation and many similar. The restrictions are more damaging than the disease

    • cornishstu
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the CFR is dropping to bad seasonal flu levels, which is pretty much the way of these things. Germany has some good age weighted figures confirming this and if you look at the graphs for different countries they all pretty much show the same trend with a few exceptions in South America. So it begs the question of why are we being restricted as we are, my GP sent out a text this morning saying they are going back to all remote appointments except for compelling clinical reasons, not quite sure what they are, i.a.w NHS guidelines, this is just going to create more backlog and suffering.

  13. Newmania
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Think of politics as a game, and , ( just for fun), lets imagine that politicians are not concerned about the truth . In any game you try to win right ? Wrong. The best tactics are often to spoil defend and delay. A draws ground out against Liverpool is worth much more than a goal-fest against Fulham ( sorry Fulham fans ).
    John Redwood wishes to prioritise the economy so as to have more borrowing power for the Brexit bill . He faces the overwhelming view of the people that ‘not dying’, is the first priority, and he has no argument he dare repeat .Answer , go for the draw
    He invents an argument between two ‘camps’ ( one of which does not exist) and aims at a fictional middle ground. Its not what he wants but a draw is way more than he could possible get by coming out to play
    You will find this game playing concept explains much Brexit propaganda . It was quite impossible to, win the economic argument …so they just pretended there was one ….and went for a draw . They got their big won of blaming immigrants for everything but that draw on the economy , against impossible odds, was worth more .

    Of course , it is not game for you and I , that’s the problem .

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      Once more an analogy of yours is flawed @New – in the league (as opposed to the one off cups) the season’s aim is to defeat those below you and safeguard your position not to grind out a draw with the top team and injure your best players.

      Those around us are the EU and we need to use all means with which to gain a positive result.

      Your other point about borrowing to fund Brexit is again off the mark. Covid economic collapse would provide the ultimate smokescreen against an unsuccessful period of independence from the EU. The excuse would become it’s not intracontinental trade it is no trade due to Covid.

      For you to have the luxury of “I told you so” (which we accept is a short term possibility but we are thinking long term) you need the economy to function normally. So less cheer on your part about Covid lockdowns, I recommend you become a libertarian on this matter.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      a very long-winded criticism of the subject, with little fact – merely trying to read between the lines. You could have simply written ‘ I don’t agree’.

      • Newmania
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Fred H
        I don`t agree

        • Fred H
          Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

          see – I could have saved you all that typing……now remember that when next you want to write.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      The same discussion and policy dilemma exists in every country in the world. What are your suggestions?

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        World wide submission to WHO, UN, WEF and others?
        And of course the donors who own them.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      How about the little fact that ‘nobody is dying from CV19 and only 3,000 have done this year? How does that upend your little game?
      BTW God invented the game and there is no ‘not dying’ option!

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • agricola
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      The principal Brexit argument is that of sovereignty. Its consequences are absolute and definable. The economic argument is full of so many unknown factors as to be impossible to predict, who would have guessed at CV19. Sovereignty allows us a larger degree of control of our future economic endeavours. We are also gifted the right to correct many of the other aspects of EU membership we have found onerous. Some would not settle for a draw against Liverpool, and quite rightly go for a win. EU membership goes for the draw at best, sovereinty provides the tools for a win.

    • SM
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Newmania: if you want to us to know your opinion, may I politely suggest you don’t use the kind of analogy that is way beyond your literary ability to convey.

    • acorn
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      This site should start a new political party. Call it the “live and let die party” (HT: Ian Fleming). Everybody goes back to doing what they were doing last year, as if the virus doesn’t exist. No testing, tracing or isolating. Eventually, the whole nation will be infected; an unknown number will die. “Excess Mortality” is the only metric that can tell the total true socio-economic burden of this pandemic.

      Five year averaged excess mortality from all causes, not just the virus, will presumably increase. Health Care workers will die reducing the capacity to treat patients. Patients will die waiting because of the reduction of capacity in the Health Care system. Same in the Social Care system. Teachers will slowly die and the capacity of the child education system would need to be rationed.

      Sweden has adopted such a system; sort of. Alas its death rates are considerably higher now than its Nordic neighbours who did lock down early.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        But not much different to many European nations.

    • NickC
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Newmania said: “The best tactics are often to spoil defend and delay”. I could not have put it better myself – exactly what Remain has done these last 4 years to overthrow our Leave vote.

      As for “not dying”, people are not dying of covid19 except in handfuls and fewer than from the results of influenza. Covid19 is now no more a “pandemic” than is influenza. It is therefore both nonsense and illiberal, as well as unnecessarily economically damaging, to continue with the “rule of six” partial lockdown.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      That lie again – “… blaming *immigrants*”

      We did no such thing. Clearly your ploy is to insinuate that we are motivated by racism in order to no-platform us and disqualify our votes.

      It is reasonable of us, however, to ask questions about an out-of-control *immigration* system. Obviously the target of 300,000 new homes per year is cancelled out somewhat by 300,000 new arrivals per year.

      Anyway. I didn’t expect much to come of my Brexit vote. I wasn’t targeting immigrants when I did it. I was targeting YOU.

      In fact I think most Brexit voters were telling the white, liberal elite to get stuffed when they marked their ‘X’.

  14. Sea Warrior
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    I’m becoming concerned about the cost of PCR tests. Many countries demand PCR testing as a condition of entry – so this is, in effect, a barrier to air-travel. The NHS, rightly, for now, views this as none of its business. The air-traveller is, therefore, driven into the arms of commercial testers, who are charging ca. £150 (or up to £500 for an express service). Those charges look like price-gouging. Perhaps an urgent investigation should be started and the DoT begin to show an interest in the issue. The economic consequences of the ongoing collapse of the air-travel industry will be severe – and the government doesn’t seem to care.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      M8
      They don’t want no more air travel!
      At least no for the likes of us!
      Nor cars…
      Nor nuffink!

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        BTW, the cost of a COVID test in Iceland and the Faeroes is about a third of that charged in the UK. Some businesses are raking in the dough.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        No edumacation neither!

        • Everhopeful
          Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

          Yep..none of that!
          And has anyone wondered what they have in store for healthcare?

    • agricola
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Please stop using acronyms that those not in the trade do not understant. No doubt your naval life was full of them, so was mine and still is, but they have no value outside the area of expertise. Write as follows,( POSITIVE COVID REACTION), PCR and then you can use the acronym throughout your contributions which mostly make a lot of good sense.

  15. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    If the Government had gone in fast and effectively at the start, as begged by Italy, by the WHO, and by others with experience of this virus, then both lives and livelihoods would have been saved already, and very many of them.

    • Philip P.
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Oh really?

      Belgium: early lockdown, highest death rate in Europe.
      Spain: early lockdown, 2nd highest death rate in Europe.
      (Worldometer)

      You’re not very convincing, Martin.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      When did the Ethiopian ‘Doctor’ who is the WHO gain experience of the virus? When did Italy display mastery of the virus? Why should we blindly follow those who have demonstrated how not to deal with the virus?

    • BOF
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Nonsense. If the Government had stuck to its guns and followed Sweden, we would have descended into the mess we are now in.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        Did you mean “would not”?

      • BOF
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Sould read ‘would not’!

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      “As begged by Italy”? What? how do you know that? The WHO weren’t telling Countries to lockdown, they complained when Trump stopped flights, they also told people masks wouldn’t work.

      Italy was the biggest spreader of the infection from their winter holiday destinations, did Italy close down their half-term holiday season, did they hell they let all the consultants, doctors, ski crowd go on holiday, back to work and them bam two weeks later it was everywhere out of control.

      Johnson asked people to lockdown around the 16th, by the midnight on Friday the 20th it was enforced. Just how many of those that died in care homes actually come straight out of the hospital? People could see on the news by then the reports from Italy for themselves. My parents and children living in London were fully locked down from the 15th March.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      MiC,

      I think this isn’t fully fair.

      The work by Pybus et al (‘Preliminary Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 importation and establishment of U.K. transmission lineages’, Virological (2020)) found a minimum of 1356 independently introduced transmission lines, a likely underestimate, most of these coming from the EU. The estimated peak importation rate was March 15th with 80% of importation events between 28th Feb and 29th March (with the majority of transmission lineages dated mid to late March).

      The U.K. Govt advised against overseas travel on 17th March and travellers to return on 23rd March. With hindsight of Pybus et al analysis one might argue that if U.K. had stopped all inbound travel on about 23rd Feb (when world cases were much lower) then the early successes of tracking and tracing would have continued (and then testing at country entry points could be introduced as it should be now). Apart from hindsight there is another very big but and that but is the WHO. The WHO advises against travel bans and continued to do so through the period of estimated UK peak importation rate. Of course the POTUS was one of the few (only) critics of the WHO on this policy. I think the WHO’s defence of its policy is that if countries knew they would be subjected to travel bans some would not be willing to release early and complete data on detection of new viral outbreaks … hmmm.

      Did the U.K have sufficient justification to lock down its borders against the international norm in the 3rd quarter of February?

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      You may choose to believe the nonsense you have written, it does not mean what you believe is true or right. Compare Peru and Brazil. Compare us and Sweden.

      If you are vulnerable or worried, isolate yourself. Let the rest of us get on with life. The economic and social consequences of the absurd lockdown policies you advocate are yet to occur. They will occur and there will be social unrest.

      • Jim Whitehead
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        Mike +1

    • NickC
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Martin, The most effective way of preventing the spread of the coronavirus to this country would have been to lockdown our borders as some other countries did. Which you opposed.

      Consequently it spread to and then within Britain. Since there is no cure, and no vaccine, we can only use herd immunity from widespread infection and recovery. Which is happening whether you accept it or not.

      There was already a partial lockdown prior to the “full” lockdown of 23 March anyway. So the idea the government should have implemented full lockdown sooner is 20/20 hindsight. In any case the covid19 death toll has been exaggerated.

      But the full horror of the economic and health damage from your lockdown is yet to fully emerge.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      If the Government had gone in fast and effectively at the start, as begged by Italy, by the WHO, and by others with experience of this virus, then both lives and livelihoods would have been saved already, and very many of them.

      Complete and utter baloney.

  16. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    This is going to be the biggest con trick ever practiced by government.
    Hospital wards are empty. Staff are lounging about with nothing to do.
    They have been threatened with dismissal if they go on social media.
    Less than a handful of deaths daily and an economic trashed.
    Who’d have thought it from a tory government.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      We have applied to three localish hospitals for a dental consultancy having had our original one cancelled because hospitals were shut to normal business.

      Appointments came there none and yet my taxes have not reduced and seem likely to increase (this despite no schooling for my children for many months and no public transport in the same period).

    • Fred H
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      and tens of thousands of NHS staff idle due to a family ‘risk’ identifiable.
      If the wider population did that very few jobs could continue.

    • Ian Muir
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      spot on Ian Wragg

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Definitely not Tory?
      More commie verging on fascist ( is that even a thing?).
      They are very well versed in the art of con trickery.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      I agree it doesn’t feel like a Tory government

    • BOF
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Yes, our local hospital has been largely empty of patients, since March and our GP’s have been all but invisible!

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        I phoned dentist yesterday and they put me on hold for a long time. How could they be busy?
        I put down phone and phoned again…answered immediately.
        “Please don’t put me on hold again. I have a quick question. What are you doing about checkups?”
        “Oh were you cancelled in “Lockdown?”
        “Yes.”
        We will contact you in a few months’ time.”
        Big deal!

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Nearly a +1. But we don’t even have a Tory Party in the UK let alone a Tory Government – a virtual Marxist dictatorship concerned with control over common sense more like it. Big EU government wanting to be replaced by a cloned EU/UK Government.
      Still no freedom, still no respect for the Constitution, still no respect for the sovereignty of the Union. The Conservatives and Unionist Party, that is surely a joke title!

    • Mark B
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Who’d have thought it from a tory government

      Me ! After the ERM fiasco I would not anything past them.

    • sam
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      they are not in charge. They are being run by the same globalists running the whole of Europe and the USA, The UN, WHO and WEF

  17. Ross Hendry
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Well said. Very sensible.

  18. Bob Dixon
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    The virus can be mild or deadly.If we can believe the death numbers it has killed about the same numbers as flue viruses.
    The NHS has not copped well. The seriously unwell have been put back from being treated.
    The Covid virus is a danger to certain sections of the population.They should stay indoors and receive no visitors.The rest of us should be allowed to get on with our normal lives.
    Tremendous damage is being caused by the governments actions.

    .

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      +1

  19. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Maybe we should start by asking Mr Hancock what he is trying to achieve. Originally he said it was to stop the NHS being overwhelmed but obviously it is something different now as the NHS is not only not overwhelmed but is actually partially shut down with cancer treatments and so on postponed and GP surgeries closed. It is also apparently not herd immunity as he is implementing lockdown measures to prevent an increase in cases predominantly amongst young people who are not at risk. It is also not elimination of Covid entirely because he has lifted the full lockdown needed to even approach that impossible task. So what is it ? My best guess is that he wants to suppress cases enough to stop the scaremongering newspapers screaming at him and to maintain that for a few years until a vaccine may possibly be available.

    • Hank Rearden
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      Basing policy on something which may never exist is unusual strategy.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

        +1

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        Oh no! It’s common practise, even standard practise.
        See the insulation standards for commercial premises Legislation (which simply don’t exist).
        See abolition of the internal combustion engine in all forms, with no alternative transport available.
        See abolition of CO2 in spite of it being the only plant food – (ie ‘save the planet’ is actually ‘kill the earth’)

        • Jim Whitehead
          Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

          +1
          My local Conservative MP, the first in my constituency in my lifetime, has a tiny majority. At long last I will have an effective vote to dismiss the representative of the most ineffably foolish government that I can remember. I can remember several, including Major, Cameron and, dear oh dear, Mrs. May.

      • Figsbury
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        Are you referring to Net Zero?

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      Good point. Had he gone through the military’s ‘estimate’ process he would have found himself doing ‘mission analysis’ very early on. And he would have been testing his ‘COAs’ against the UK’s Principles of War – the first of which is ‘Selection and Maintenance of the Aim’. I’ll hazard a guess that there is nothing like an ‘estimate’ anywhere in any of the government departments fighting this war – just a mass of letters, memos, papers and briefs. No wonder it doesn’t quite all hang together.
      P.S. If Boris is reading this, he can find a nice example of ‘mission analysis’ in Thucydides’ ‘The History of the Peloponnesian War’, just before Athens invades Sicily. The man selected for the job concluded that the mission didn’t really make much sense and that he would fail. He did.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      What indeed? The “cure” is doing more harm than good now.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Hoping as many more die as possible I imagine.
      How many deaths were caused by house arrest?

    • villaking
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      @Roy Grainger. Well put. There is no policy objective here, just a childish reaction to a limited group of fear-inducing scientists who see this through a very narrow lens. This is not helped by the needless panic the government has created. I read that the majority of the population supports further restrictions on civil liberties, many supporting another full lockdown. It is an utter tragedy that we have such an incompetent government at this time. Sweden should be a shining example to all but is largely ignored. People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both

      • sam
        Posted September 17, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        Don’t believe the YOUGov polls!

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Agreed, the Government’s approach has been close to hysteria. There are some very capable MPs but in recent times they rarely make the front bench, Mrs Swire’s comments are not surprising. This PM is not the person for this problem and should have appointed one of these MPs into the Cabinet to bring a forensic and calm approach and not just listen to the medics and sundry academics.

    • RichardP
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      He wants keep the fear factor going until his fast-tracked unlicensed vaccine is ready.

    • James Bertram
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      My guess is that all he is trying to achieve is to cover his own backside.
      He attempts to inflate the threat of Covid at every opportunity as it is just too embarrassing to admit his interventions were entirely unnecessary and irrelevant to a virus, like all other viruses, that has followed its natural decline unaided by government intervention.
      By pretending the virus is still a major threat ( a ‘second wave’ – a complete nonsense – see Ivor Cummins youtube video: Viral Issue Crucial Update Sept 8th: the Science, Logic and Data Explained! – 800,000 views so far), Hancock hopes to justify his crazy policies, maintain the public fear, and get politicians to vote for an extension of emergency powers so that he can continue with these draconian policies without scrutiny.
      My view about what really needs to be done about Mr Hancock never passes moderation, so I think it is best to say that his urgent resignation/sacking, though desperately needed, is a mild problem for him when compared to what he will face once the public wise up to the true medical evidence, and the decisions he has taken without deep analysis. (Lord Sumption referred to him as a ‘gimlet-eyed fanatic’ recently, in a very good interview on TalkRadio with Julia Hartley-Brewer : Rule of six is “pointless, arbitrary and unnecessary” – 9 minutes in)

  20. Hank Rearden
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Even if it were possible to “eliminate” the virus entirely from the UK (and it’s clearly not, how could you know you had won?) couldn’t anyone on a dinghy from France (who may indeed be in a boat with more than six people) just re-introduce it? Then what?

    • Andy
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      That’s why they are being quarantined in hotels when they arrive. But you complain about that too.

      • graham1946
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        It is amazing where you get these ideas Andy. Is that why they are seen walking the streets then?

        • graham1946
          Posted September 16, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

          PS. If they are quarantined in the hotels why do we give the 40 quid a week spending money?

          • Andy
            Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

            You get £170+ a week spending money. What do you spend my money on?

          • Edward2
            Posted September 17, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

            To get a pension of that amount you need to have paid over 30 years of National Insurance contributions.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        They are not being quarantine in hotels Andy they are being accommodated long term.

        If they had two weeks in hotels as a quarantine measure and then were moved to detention centres prior to swift processing and removal I for one would be more satisfied.

      • NickC
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        “That”? No, Andy, the complaint is about the hotels not about the quarantining.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

        Will the newly unemployed taxpayers be ‘quarantined’ in 3* hotels when they default on their mortgages ?

        There aren’t enough police to prop up your EUtopia.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      You are not supposed to ask difficult questions like that!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      And then the next virus…and the next….

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Obviously all immigration must be stopped 😂😂

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        Agree – After 31st December we need a General Election to reset our governance and democracy

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Hank Rearden,

      There is no John Galt.

  21. davews
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Very strongly on the freedom fighter’s side, this has now gone far beyond common sense. We are now living in a country which is utterly depressing and gone is any sense of a normal life. Indeed any reason to live at all. I consider myself a reasonably healthy and sane person but many mornings I awake wanting to cry my heart out with this never ending nonsense. I have to remember there are many others in a far worse situation than me. I hope I don’t become another of the increasing suicide statistics. This cannot go on John, please do not allow the COVID bill to be extended later this month.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      I strongly support your viewpoint. There must be thousands of people either at health risk, unemployed or knowing it will happen very soon, alone and unable to deal with the social deprivation or mentally completely fatigued. How is this new form of society going to assist the vulnerable? How can the fears and extreme anxiety be dealt with? Consult a doctor. Yeah right! Good luck with that.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      +1 million

    • agricola
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      The freedom they are apparently fighting for is to infect themselves and then infect those they come into contact with. Put to the fore of your mind those who you recognise as much more vulnerable than yourself, they need to be protected as far as is practical. As for becoming a suicide statistic I suggest you get a grip.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        As far as is practical.

        Given the numbers it is practical for those to isolate and everyone else to go about as normal.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Yes that’s just the way to deal with someone feeling suicidal – ‘get a grip’! Thanks! Tell the bloody Government to get a grip. They are like hysterical teenage girls screaming at a spider!
        If you are ‘vulnerable’ and ‘frightened’, isolate, but don’t tell the rest of us to fall on our sword to save you!

        • James Bertram
          Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          ‘hysterical teenage girls screaming at a spider!’

          Love it.
          Thanks, Lynn.

          • James Bertram
            Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

            PS – Lynn, totally agree with your post. Unbelievable someone can be so insensitive.

        • agricola
          Posted September 17, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

          Feeling suicidal ia a modern day phenomina. If you wish to commit suicide you do it rsther than talk about it to attract attentionor sympathy.
          I recall a friend who spent WW2 dropping spies and their equipment all over Europe. He confirmed that when they got shot up, friends killed in front of them they just got on with the next mission. No social warriors running around with sympathy, he and his fellow airmen got on with the horror of it. They had a grip on the situation. The pub was their social service. Hence get a grip.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        If you are vulnerable and frightened, I suggest you get a grip and don’t ask us to fall on our sword to ‘save you’.

      • Al
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        Working from home works for those with space. For those without?

        When people are trapped four to a flat and have been for six months, and the first one up gets the kitchen table to work on, the rest get their rooms, and they have no chance to get out after work either, then I can easily see conditions leading to suicide or other consequences.

        Either open the country up or go back into full lockdown. This half and half is the worst of both worlds.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      When you comply and become a WOKE it will all end – or is the phrase I am not a Number

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      +1 me and another 68 million people

    • Donna
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Don’t get mad or suicidal …… get even. Sooner or later they will have to hold an election.

    • Bill B.
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Davews, people under Nazi occupation, or in Communist states, had to find coping strategies, and they did. This is where we are now in this country. How long will it last? It took 4 years to liberate France, 40 years to liberate East Germany, so who knows. It’s important to find others you can trust, in real life not via electronic media. A problem shared…

    • sam
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      we are now living in a marxist state. They just haven’t admitted it yet
      join the Keep Brittain Free and lockdown sceptics sites

  22. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Testing is good an yes lots of it. The contradiction is it is only good for that moment in time. Tomorrow is another day and todays test results have no meaning.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      ++

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Once a day!
      Think of all those swabs to dispose of.
      Wonder what happened to no more landfill, no more plastic, no more incineration?

    • agricola
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Surely if todays testing is no good then tomorrows will be no better, so why do it at all. I do not concur with this. Testing negative gives at best a 14 day window and does not allow for coming into contact with CV19 during that 14 days so it is not your passport to a normal life. However testing positive allows you to be isolated from most of the rest of the community and limits your chances of gifting it to someone else. This is why I feel it is most important to test all passengers inborn to the UK. It is one point in time where authority has absolute control and can identify those positive.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      So, what’s the point?

      • NickC
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, Mike, mass testing is pointless. What is needed is ongoing testing in conjunction with polling organisation methodology. That way population infection statistical data is gained without the vast expense and organisational effort of mass testing.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      I can’t believe the numbers who are getting a negitive test result, why are so many getting tested without symptoms ?

      The money, time and wasted resources is disgraceful

      Just crazy

  23. Javelin
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    I would like to congratulate President Trump on signing a historic Middle Eastern peace deal with two Gulf States.

    If you look on the BBC news website you won’t see a mention of it. All CNN said was it was an “event” where people didn’t socially distance. They are so biased even globally historic events are no longer being reported. The BBC news needs to be removed and the BBC defunded.

    The whole peace deal came about because the Shia Muslims victory in Syria, Iraq, Iran threatened the Gulf states, who now have the protection of Israel. This leaves the poorer Sunni Middle Eastern states without rich allies in the West, with far less funding and influence.

    The hissy fit by the BBC is because they favour left wing causes, such as Palestine, whilst CNN hissy fit is because their strong ties to left wing Israeli politics and the peace deal being signed by a Conservative Israeli prime minister effectively kills any left wing Israeli Government for a generation.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      +1 He’s going to Trump Abe as the best and most admired President thus far. Deservedly.

  24. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    The best idea I’ve seen coming recently from Mr Hancock is to provide everyone with an individual risk assessment – so based on age, weight, gender, health and so on a calculation would be done of their risk from Covid. I would say at that point just let everyone get on and make their own decisions, high-risk should voluntarily self-isolate with support if they so choose.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      so who is going to do the calculation, face to face with facilities, health record etc? Or do we guess how the number stacks up?
      GPs would normally be the ones to do it – but now?? – – not a chance.
      Hancock is doing a Hancock!

  25. Lifelogic
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Good debunking of the absurdly one sided Attenborough BBC programme the other day by Ross Clark on the Spectator site.

    “It is shocking that the BBC can have allowed such one-sided green propaganda onto our screens without putting issues of human development and the natural world into proper context. But then David Attenborough has become a Greta of the Third Age – no-one dares question what he does because he is a ‘national treasure’. Someone at the BBC needs to pluck up the courage.”

    Indeed but not really shocking as this has been the one sided (and scientifically totally wrong) BBC propaganda line for very many years now.

    • rose
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      We don’t even know if David Attenborough believes the party line he toes. He might just have witnessed David Bellamy being thrust into a black hole and resolved that wouldn’t happen to him.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      +1 why don’t they ever mention the harm WE are doing to the world? Man is to blame for much that is going on, not nature.

      • rose
        Posted September 17, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        They keep saying the planet is in danger when the planet will be just fine – without the plague that mankind has become.

  26. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    So testing is overwhelmed because , with schools back and kids colds circulating again anyone with a sore throat and a cough can’t go to work (or school) without a negative test. They must self isolate for 2 weeks without a test. My daughter has caught a cold

    Herein lies your testing problem, either let the virus out to circulate and tell the vulnerable to isolate or shut down again and fund it. You can not provide enough tests for your current policy.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Most of the test centres are empty – its only a media hype that testing is overwhelmed, they tested over 227,000 yesterday

    • It doesn't add up...
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      It is frankly ridiculous to be testing children and shutting classes. Very few children seem to contract the virus. It is known that they are not a transmission vector, with no evidence that they infect others. When they do contract it, the cases are mild or asymptomatic except in very rare circumstances. If they exhibit symptoms it is much more likely that they are suffering from something else. Perhaps GPs should be diagnosing regular coughs and wheezes, rather than refusing all contact. Only more serious potential cases and vulnerable children really need testing.

      Having spent so long being molly coddled in hand sanitiser, children are likely to have a less robust immune system for handling everyday germs. It needs reinforcing, not further lack of exercise.

    • sam
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      its already circulated. Its gone
      The PCR test just looks for tiny fragments of the virus left in our bodies but we are not ill. It also registers positive for traces of RNA from the common cold which is also a covid virus. The whole point of testing is to keep the lockdowns going until the vaccine is ready and then everyone will be forced to take them to be allowed out.
      Welcome to the medical mafia state.

  27. Andy
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure you have your two camps right.

    There is certainly one camp that believes we need to take sensible precautions to try to alleviate the risk from the virus. This virus has proven particularly deadly for the elderly and those with health conditions. This group does not want its liberties trampled on. It thinks the rule of six is silly and it will largely ignore it – but it will take precautions to remain safe. It thinks the government has made a mess of all of this.

    The other group are the COVID deniers. They think it’s fake news and that there is no virus. They are appalled that their rights have been taken away – which is ironic as they support everyone else’s rights being taken away. If you could draw a Venn diagram of COVID deniers, anti-vaxxers, Trumpists, climate change deniers and extreme Brexiteers it would basically be a circle. These people have yet to be right about any issue ever.

  28. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Having a National Insurance system to ensure everyone had cover is a good thing.

    Having a Monolithic National Health System, particularly when it is run on the basis of one size fits all is a pointless waste of money and gives people a false security blanket when it in fact doesn’t exist for all.

    The Government could do well to look at how Jim Ratcliff succeeds and it is not by enforcing a top down dictatorial form of centralised control. Yet he is growing and performing exponentially. In their own word 3 Grammar School Lads from up North are getting things done.

    The NHS as one of the Worlds largest employers was doomed to fail from the get go, it is now not about Health, but protection of those that run it. Just as Government seeks to protect by being controlling and dictatorial. The methods of failure.

    The lesson often repeated, because it is proven to work, is trust the people and release them and they will solve the ills of society. We need a little less, listening to the WOKES etc and a lot more of releasing the people to solve issues.

    Unfortunately there is little sign of this happening, but a lot more hunkering down and retreating to the bunker.

  29. Sharon
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    I’m one of those who believe we need our freedoms restored, because it is none of the government’s business how many people I speak to in the street or invite to my home.

    One of the biggest issues is still the recording of data and the accuracy of the testing. My husband read yesterday that if someone has one positive test followed by two negative ones the positive is recorded. Why?

    I understand it is a balancing act between health and economy, but without an economy you can’t pay for the health. Some of the measures seem over the top, why in cafes do the chairs need to be sanitised after each customer, but not toilet seats? It’s silly things like that that makes no sense.

    From reading Lockdown Sceptics and others, I believe the pandemic was over a month or two ago and the dodgy data has enabled the fear to be kept going. Where I am moving around the community people are going through the motions of compliance but don’t like the measures in place. Either because the employer says they have to or ‘its The law’.

  30. BeebTax
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    All the focus and effort of measuring is on the Covid side of the equation. What about putting equal effort into measuring damage done by the lockdown (extra deaths now and in the months to come due to NHS not treating many other ailments, or patients being too scared to present, economic and associated social damage etc)?

    We can then have an adult discussion about the effect of measures we might introduce. Also it may help those who say that “one life lost is one too many” realise that achieving that is impossible and that there are diminishing returns the more one strives for it.

  31. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Listening to people ringing in to radio shows, it appears the software for booking appointments is beyond useless. Would you like me to write something that works? What do we need in the database? A list of all the testing centres. The number of ‘testing bays’ at each centre. The opening hours and number of slots (10 minutes per test? Or whatever is needed.) The tests themselves. A users table with permission levels for each user – users will either be admin or not. Write an automatic routine that creates all the slots for each centre for a week ahead and which then runs every night to create new daily slots 7 days ahead.
    Then the front end – a web site that allows users to book tests. A page where a person needing a test inputs their data, name, postcode (look up address from Royal Mail database), contact data and who they want the test for (allowing child data to be entered). Click the submit button and display a list of available tests at the 3 closest centres to them. They choose a slot and book it. If the system finds there is no capacity in whatever period is deemed an acceptable, automatically notify the people higher up the food chain so capacity can be increased.

    I could write something like the above, fully formed and hosted on AWS in a week.

  32. George Brooks.
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    One heck of a balancing act not helped one little bit by the media and lots of spurious advice from those with 20:20 hindsight. Not an enviable task Sir John.

  33. Sakara Gold
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    This is a well written piece that descibes the current dilema well.

    As the number of new Chinese plague virus infections apparently now exceeds 3000 per day, the chart of rising cases is starting to look worrying. We know that this virus is highly infectious and hospital admissions and deaths lag infections by a couple of weeks. We also know that the earlier total lockdown – unpleasant as it was – did bring the UK pandemic under control. Israel has now been forced to re-impose a three week lockdown. France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands cannot be far behind.

    In a week where the first UK fatality has now been confirmed as an 84 year old gentleman from the Medway Towns who sadly died in January this year (he caught the virus in December), perhaps another total lockdown, instead of the numerous partial lockdowns imposed across wide swathes of the Midlands, would be the best course of action open to us.

    We do now have some effective treatments. The steroid Dexamethasone has proved effective in saving lives of those needing ventilators. Monoclonal antibody trials have also proved effective. If the caring professions have sufficient PPE supplies and availability of tests for nurses, physicians and carers is maintained, the second wave may be mitigated.

    • sam
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      Deaths from covid peaked in April as they did in all countries lockdown or no lockdown. It makes no difference as the virus spreads through the air in aerosols. The virus has had its course and burnt out
      The tests are looking for miniscule bits of viral RNA left in the persons body and magnified many times to be able to pick them up. This PCR test was never intended for diagnostic purposes but for lab use. Noone is ill. The virus has gone and we need to get back to the old normal. Only 41,000 died not the predicted doomsday scenario form Ferguson’s unpublished and un peer reviewed model.
      To keep a healthy immune system take vit D in the winter. Those who died from covid ahd veyr low levels of vit D, however, there’s little profit to be made fomr vit D as it can’t be patented.

  34. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Beyond the mixed messages, I object to the way that the government has reacted in a lemming style way to most other governments.
    I want some genuinely innovative ways to handle this virus.

    The PM also needs to be the balancing point, of reason — He can’t, or shouldn’t trust the views of either major side too much, but should consider the bigger picture, which the alleged experts try to ignore.

    There are still those that want to use this virus for their own ends, to impose so many restrictions that life, as we know it, will never recover. They cannot be allowed to win.

    With so much faith put in an as yet non-existent vaccine, and the scramble to bypass all safety regulations and responsibility to be able to say “we have one” – we are seeing another false concept. Our science may be marvelous compared to the 14th century, but we still do not know more than we don’t know.
    A rushed vaccine could so easily make the number of deaths far far worse.

    Why do we put so much faith in ‘experts’ when the man on the street can so easily work out that any virus will move through society at its own pace, and kill those that are not strong enough to reject it. In this day and age, with better food and so on, we should be able to live through a pandemic with minimal casualties. Unlike earlier ones.
    …If it wasn’t for the excessive scare stories, and those taking advantage.

  35. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Not a very nice man, and it is unusual for him to be seen to be have a proper logical thought but Welby’s comments today “ministers stop making ‘centralised’ coronavirus rules and leave it to local ‘decision makers'” do highlight the problems for all of us.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Who are the ‘local decision makers’?

  36. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Now with much more information to hand than before, people will gradually make up their own minds about what is a risk and what is not, and the government will eventually be forced to follow that lead.

    Those who feel it is safe to go to work will do so, and indeed many of the self employed are trying to do exactly that, if they have not done so already.
    For those who are employed and still want to stay off of work even though approved covid polices exist in the workplace, then let them do that at their own expense for a limited period, before a final decision is taken on their working future.

    Those who wish to shield and isolate (mainly the really vulnerable) will do so, and will continue with all of the usual safety precautions that fit in with that thought process, with internet shopping and the wearing of face coverings etc.

    Let us face facts, working from home for many is simply not working for the population as a whole is it, Banks cannot answer financial problems and are open shorter hours, Local Authorities are failing to communicate in any meaningful way to answer residents questions, All of the big government departments have a huge backlog of work, Hospitals are not treating those with normal health problems, and so it goes on.

    Covid is now simply being used as an excuse to not perform, evident by the first phrase of any automatic phone answering service “Due to covid we are experiencing a huge volume of calls etc etc”

    At first and without the benefit of hindsight, the Government had an excuse, as there was no accurate information on which to base decisions, but information is now growing, although still not accurate enough, and as testing capacity and a vaccine are still some way in the distance they are attempting to contain, but they will never please everyone. the danger is they will not actually please anyone.

  37. Mike Wroe
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    The Government lied to us. The plan is to use the rule of 6 to wipe out flu and pneumonia! (Only joking!). Flu and pneumonia has contributed to more weekly deaths than C-19 than since the middle of June, new figures from ONS show. Just 78 died from C-19 in week ending 4 September. Just 1% of deaths now mention COVID on death certificates, compared to 12.8% which mention flu and/or pneumonia. Sir John we need you to use your influence to stop this lockdown madness.

  38. Everhopeful
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    However, whatever.
    The fact remains that virtually all of the West has followed the same script.
    WHY would that be ( oooh… especially in a nation with a proud, time honoured healthcare system!!).Surely our brave drs and nurses should have been directing the “battle” against corona?
    But no…we took the same orders as elsewhere from the global masters.
    And oddly they just happen to want all the things that our noble defeat in the face of the “invisible enemy”(!!!) will deliver.
    No cars…no cities…no freedom etc etc etc.De-development ….The Great Reset…Build Back Better!! Bring back the wolves. Fewer people.
    There is no illness…no malady…no germ…no virus in the universe that could justify what has been done to us.

  39. Fred H
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    OFF TOPIC.

    Sexual and violent offenders will serve at least two-thirds of jail terms, rather than half, as part of changes to the criminal justice system in England and Wales. An overhaul of sentencing laws is being formally announced on Wednesday by the Justice Secretary Robert Buckland. Whole-life orders will also be extended to 18 to 20-year-olds convicted of terrorism causing mass loss of life. Mr Buckland said it marked the end of “complex and confusing” laws.
    He said the changes to sentencing would ensure the most serious violent and sexual offenders “get the prison time they deserve”.
    More help is being promised for those with mental health and addiction issues.

  40. zorro
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    It’s very simple – the government has launched a war against its own people to utterly demoralise them and force them to accept something they don’t need. Behavioural Insights Team and SPI-B have done their work as the released documents tell us….

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/options-for-increasing-adherence-to-social-distancing-measures-22-march-2020

    Perceived threat: A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened. The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging.

    Yes, they have tried to scare people. They have succeeded and paralysed this country so that it cannot work properly.

    One word for what they have done – EVIL

    zorro

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      +1

      And no. I don’t feel safe posting here.

  41. ChrisS
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    The most important question is : Does having had the virus give you immunity and for how long? Amazingly, the public have still not been told the answer to this after scientists have had nine months to study the illness.

    If the answer is yes, and the immunity lasts for up to a year, possibly much longer, the future pattern of behaviour can be fundamentally different from there being no acquired immunity.

    If immunity is acquired, there is no point in anyone other than the vulnerable taking anti-virus precautions. After all, the symptoms, if any, are almost always no worse that a case of flu. The vast majority of the public should be able to carry on as normal and within a year, most of those people will have had Covid 19 and the infection rate will have fallen rapidly to almost zero. The vulnerable ( we know who we are ) can take the precautions we personally feel are necessary for us.
    The only caveat being that the NHS must be able to cope with the serious cases that will inevitably develop.

    • sam
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      precautions should be to take vit D during the winter to keep the immune system strong. It is designed to combat viruses and bacteria

  42. Dave, Spencers Wood
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    What, your government has policies as to how to cope with coronavirus?

    If you want the economy to recover, sort out testing. Too many are having to self-isolate for too long because they cannot get a test or cannot get a result in good time. Get the basics right, and perhaps you’ll see more businesses return to their offices.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Or how about if the govt. tells a white lie? ( Should be no prob there).
      “We got it wrong.”
      They should, of course, not mention that they knew this all along!

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Of course they have, its called control and manipulation. Coronavirus is just todays invisibility cloak

  43. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    I so under whether the ‘Freedom lovers’ and ‘Pandemic fighters’ align with another division is society, namely Private Sector and State Sector workers?
    So long as your income is ‘guaranteed‘ it’s lovely to be on permanent holiday. Tougher when you see your business and family crumble day by day.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      You’ve hit the nail on the head

    • Al
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      And now they are talking about sending everyone back into lockdown again.

      Trying to force people back into offices, ignoring everyone telling the government that that will result in increased infections, and then when infections rise claiming it is unforeseen and telling them to go back into lockdown makes them look rather foolish. In or out, would they please make their minds up and stick to it.

      I have to ask if anyone in this government has actual experience of businesses, because constantly changing working requirements and conditions is a very good way to kill most firms.

      • sam
        Posted September 17, 2020 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        that is the whole idea. They are deliberately destroying all private enterprise and people had better wake up

  44. Walt
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The oldies (which includes me) supposedly are the most at risk from a CV19 infection becoming deadly. And, although the oldies may deploy their existing capital in investments, they are likely to be less economically active and to generate less new wealth than are young and middle-aged adults. So, restrict the oldies and free the young. ‘Fit’ oldies could mostly self-isolate, observe social distancing and wear masks when out. ‘Unfit’ oldies, especially those in case homes, could be seriously and properly isolated from outside infection. Everyone else could be free to get on with their lives, with the restriction that they keep clear of the oldies at least until there is an effective vaccine or cure available.

    • Walt
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Oops, for case homes please read care homes.

    • sam
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      or let those oldies who want to take the risk do so

  45. zorro
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Just to reinforce the role of our chief vaccine salesman – Our Dreaded Health Commissar, Mat Hang Kok…..

    I supported a petition to ‘Prevent any restrictions on those who refuse a COVID 19 vaccination’, particularly in light of the government consultation on vaccines which ends on 18/09 with barely any publicity. This is the reply I got. I found it chilling…. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/323442?reveal_response=yes

    “Government responded:

    There are currently no plans to place restrictions on those who refuse to have any potential Covid-19 vaccine.

    After clean water, vaccination is the most effective and crucial public health intervention, and a cornerstone of public health that we must not take for granted. It is vital that a significant proportion of people who are offered take up a Covid-19 vaccine in order to protect themselves as well as other vulnerable individuals. Averting a second wave is a key priority for the government and high take up of a vaccine when available will greatly contribute to that.

    Immunisations save thousands of lives every year by preventing outbreaks of serious infectious diseases and, in cases such as smallpox and polio, eliminating diseases in the UK altogether. Since the introduction of the measles vaccine in 1968, it is estimated that 20 million cases and 4,500 deaths have been averted in the UK. From 1970 to 2017, it is estimated that rubella vaccination has averted 1,300 babies being born with congenital rubella syndrome and 25,000 terminations. With further innovation and the development of new vaccines, even more lives could be saved.

    We believe it is everyone’s responsibility to do the right thing for their own health, and for the benefit of the wider community. There are currently no plans to introduce a Covid-19 vaccine in a way that penalises those who do not take up the vaccine. However, the Government will carefully consider all options to improve vaccination rates, should that be necessary.

    The UK has a world class national immunisation programme which is constantly reviewed and updated to reflect the changing nature of infectious diseases and provide the best protection for the public. All vaccines used in the UK are thoroughly tested, meet strict safety criteria and are carefully monitored after they are introduced into the national programme. Our evidence-based immunisation programmes are informed by the advice of our work leading expert committee – the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which reviews a wide range of scientific and other evidence, keeping the vaccine schedule safe and relevant.

    Immunisation offers everyone a chance at a healthy life from the earliest beginnings and into old age. It saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognised as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions. High uptake of a Covid-19 vaccine is the best way we have, to protect our health, our jobs, and our economy at large.

    Department of Health and Social Care”

    zorro

  46. glen cullen
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    ”Eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to understand”- Jesus

    We the people know when a law is an ass, and when a pandemic is the same as the flu and that public servants favour lockdown

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      And from Friday they are in effect locking down the North East. Lunch with my brother-in-law on Friday is now illegal, but we can have dinner on Thursday night!
      I have genuinely had a belly full! I’m not complying! I’m not paying any ‘fines’!

  47. John E
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    The way forward is to have a competent person in charge. Boris is not a competent person.
    The rest of the shower he has appointed are also being shown up.
    They were mostly appointed because they were prepared to be ciphers voting for whatever Boris said re the EU. This mess is the true cost of leaving the EU.

    • sam
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      the way forward is to expose the global vested interests

  48. Know-Dice
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    It seems that in Government & the Civil Service failure is the way to get promoted.

    Fail at Talk Talk, fail at Track & Trace, fail with PHE – get put in charge…

    We certainly should be looking at Germany & Sweden both of which treated this virus pandemic very differently, but had vastly different outcomes with respect to deaths in Germany and their economy in Sweden.

    Is the German health care system just that much better than the NHS?

    Are Swedes much more naturally sensible when physical distancing and hygiene are concerned?

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      I’m sorry I have to add this 🙁

      BBC Radio Two was never the same after Terry Wogan left it…

      BBC are you listening – You don’t have to spend that kind of money to get real talent, I guess you are worried that another organisation with snap them up… good, let them go, nurture new and young talent of any colour and gender…

  49. Everhopeful
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I would love to know exactly why our pet virus was downgraded from HCID status sometime in March yet it still dominates and ruins our lives?
    I have read the weasley official explanation for this but the fact remains that the virus, according to what the govt. says, actually fulfils the govt’s own rules for HCID status.

    (As follows…and more criteria on the govt. website.)

    acute infectious disease
    typically has a high case-fatality rate
    may not have effective prophylaxis or treatment
    often difficult to recognise and detect rapidly
    ability to spread in the community and within healthcare settings
    requires an enhanced individual, population and system response to ensure it is managed effectively, efficiently and safely.

    Yet govt. downgrades the official threat and then proceeds to destroy us all!

  50. Norman
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    I always wondered at the fine-tuning of everything, and its fragility. I’m thinking especially about the world of work, capital, services and trade, and their relationship to freedom. I believe that delicate edifice has now been so shaken, it’s in danger of collapse. The worldwide reaction to Covid-19 has compounded the effect of other trends, such as internet trading, cashless transactions and environmental concerns to render the whole edifice unstable. The outcome will make Brexit look like a storm in a teacup.
    Athens was the cultural centre of the ancient world. When the apostle Paul arrived there, he was shocked that it was ‘wholly given to idolatry’. The seminal discourse that followed is illuminating, in these desperately rudderless days (Acts 17:16-34: Copyright in the UK vested in the Crown, via the Crown’s patentee, Cambridge University Press). https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+17%3A16-34&version=AKJV

  51. Anonymous
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Saving livelihoods IS saving lives !

    And no-one seems to be making any effort whatsoever to quantify deaths by Covid Measures.

    ie people dying because of delayed hospital consultations, suicides, car crashes because people aren’t using rail, domestic crime… loss of revenues to pay for the NHS we were meant to be saving and we are just at the start of this.

    Death by Covid Measures will continue for years after the disease has gone.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      This government has dropped the last part of the mantra ”save lives”

  52. Nivek
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    “the Health Secretary puts forward the case for more restrictions based on official advice from the medical and scientific establishment…. [T]here need to be some further improvements in the…approach.”

    I think a helpful approach would be along the lines of, “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion”. It was, of course, never suggested that Caesar’s wife had done anything wrong, but if the Health Secretary’s position is that he is following the advice of the medical and scientific establishment then it would seem that, as far as concerns the response to the pandemic, he is dispensable. (More generally, Mr. Hancock has only been Health Secretary for two years, having previously been the Culture Secretary.) If there is a strong camp of freedom lovers who “do not think the pandemic is that serious”, then, were Mr. Hancock to resign, it may help to placate them by clearly demonstrating that the restrictions are a matter of public safety rather than personal power.

  53. BOF
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    From day one I said that lock down was a disaster, would cost more lives than it would ever save, would be socially disastrous and cause untold economic damage. I always maintained that the numbers would never be justified by the actions. I know how people hate the expression ‘I told you so’, but that is all I can say.

    You don’t explain Sir John, how the Government can continue to take advice from Imperial College, when it has proved so inaccurate in the past and on several different occasions. Any CEO would quickly get the sack in the private sector. Meanwhile competent scientists at Oxford have been ignored.

    No, data does not need improving. We simply need to resort back to the Swedish approach. They now have no restrictions, no masks, businesses that never closed, schools that remained open throughout and an economy that has not been crashed. Even at the peak, their health system coped. What’s not to like.

    The one thing that is, I believe, the duty of every MP, is to fight for the repeal of the Corona 19 legislation and the return to democracy to bring us back from the dystopian world the Government has tipped us into.

    • James Bertram
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Excellent post, BOF.
      From day one I argued the same (and particularly the millions of ‘collateral’ deaths the Third World).
      Where was the common sense from government, and holding their nerve, facing down the media propaganda? Sheer panic, failure of leadership, and lack of broad analysis and wisdom to see the wider consequences of their interventions.

  54. Anonymous
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    This is what a real plague looks like:

    – coffins stacked up in wharehouses
    – everyone knows someone close who’s died
    – whole towns cordoned off by military in hazmat suits
    – crosses on doors
    – plague pits

    Anyone seen this ?

    Judging by the hustle and bustle out there nor has anyone else.

    People don’t need fines when there is a real plague in their midst.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      +1

  55. Christine
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I said at the start of all this, protect the vulnerable and let the rest of society get back to normal. All the evidence from other countries shows that this second wave hasn’t caused many hospital admissions or deaths. We were told the lockdown was to protect the NHS. This is no longer true. We still have doctors refusing to see patients. We see deaths from other untreated conditions rising. This Government needs to stop wasting our money. Every day we see more and more waste and threats that our taxes will increase. Let’s have some ideas on cutting waste like the thousands of diversity jobs, excessive BBC pay, 4* migrant hotels, unconscious bias training, House of Lords. The list of waste goes on and on and this Government seem unwilling to get a grip on spending our money.

  56. Anonymous
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I’m not bothered about getting CV19 and I’m in the age zone.

    I am TERRIFIED of getting cancer right now- especially a survivable one. The backlog of treatments and consultations is utterly horrific.

    As for Martin in Cardiff and Andy – we voted to be a lot more like New Zealand (minus the white supremacist gun rampages of course.)

  57. Nigl
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Topic drift but current. I see the Uk are making technical and modest concessions on fishing a.k.a a sellout. If so why should we be surprised?

  58. graham1946
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    We will not eliminate the virus. They’ve been looking for a cold cure for decades.
    The main problem seems to be lack a quick reliable testing system – what we have is cumbersome and slow and the demand infinite. We will never get on top of this and return to normal life until the boffins can come up with the sort of test that diabetics use and doctors use for cholesterol, but not through blood which would be too much for most people. Unless we can get a machine or litmus type tests that can analyse spit or urine immediately, which can easily be used daily, we are just going to continue fire fighting. If such a thing existed, there would be a cost of course in supplying every household, but surely nothing on the scale that we are losing right now. There must be people who can invent such a thing surely, having put men on the moon? What say you Lifelogic – do you think it can be done?

  59. RichardP
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Apart from a quick dash round the supermarket once a week for essentials, I’m not doing any other shopping and I’m not ‘eating out to help out’ or buying online either.
    The mask law makes shopping thoroughly unpleasant and, in my opinion, unsafe and the requirement to leave contact details prevents me from going out for a coffee or a meal.

    I’m sure I’m not alone and this clearly will have a devastating effect on the economy but the solution is entirely in the Government’s hands.

    World charts consistently show that countries with the harshest lockdown and mask laws have the highest infection rates. It’s time to follow Sweden’s example.

  60. AndyC
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    With the greatest respect, no, we don’t need more data. What we have already is clear, Covid no longer poses any significant health risk to the population at large, and the NHS is under no pressure whatever.

    Once governments remove people’s freedoms, there are always very good reasons to be found why they might not be restored. ‘More data’ smells to me like just that.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      +1 Agree

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      +1

  61. a-tracy
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    It is very troubling that people are paying £150 for covid tests privately because the NHS can’t do them. How are the private doctors offering this getting the test kits and the lab slots? Is it private labs selling the vaccine and testing to them? Why isn’t the government buying up their availability if they have it?

    If all the politicians in Southern Ireland were back at work at a physical distance, taking all the sensible precautions why did they have to lockdown? If someone gets tested in a supermarket you didn’t hear of the whole supermarket closing down or should they if they’ve had someone in store who has tested positive?

  62. Longinus
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink
  63. The Prangwizard
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    We get numbers of those testing positive. We need that as a percentage of those tested. Do we know how many of those are ill or subsequently ill. Like millions of others I visit my supermarket and see the same cashiers week after week. Most don’t wear masks.

    I’m on the freedom side.

  64. Caterpillar
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    +1 to paragraphs 4 and 5.

    To paragraph 4 I would suggest adding the word ‘real’ before ‘cases’.

    The released data indicates positive cases moving from around 1000 to 3000 through September with tests around 200,000 per day. Unfortunately this does not tell us anything without false positive information. Suppose false positives were at 0.5% and constant then this would suggest ‘real’ cases have actually increased from about zero to 2000. On the other hand, it might just be that the false positive rate has increased due to an increase in cross-contamination (testing pressure) and a change in population presenting for testing (more recovered patients presenting and viral RNA fragments being picked up in the PCR tests). Those testing positive should all be retested, and ideally some should be retested with a non-PCR technique.

  65. Johnny H
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    What point is there in increased testing when the results are so massively wrong and the disease isn’t really killing anybody? The whole premise is so absurd that the only possible explanation for continuing with the farce is political not health related.

    • BeebTax
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      +1

  66. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    A child sneezes or has a runny nose and the class and teacher are sent home for a fortnight. This country has taken leave of its senses.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      A doctor was on radio yesterday saying children have on average 9 to 12 incidents of cold like infections per year. At this rate the schools will all be closed permanently.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      No, they are not taking a leave of their senses, just taking advantage of s good excuse to enjoy the gone weather 😉

      • Will in Hampshire
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

        Oh very good: gone weather it is, that was the end of summer.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Just crazy

    • Fred H
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      I think you mean ‘those in authority’ have taken leave of their senses?
      The ‘stay at home’, on almost full pay, in the sunshine or catching up with DIY, gardening – -whats not to like?

  67. Jiminyjim
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Sir John, it would be very good to get your reaction to the following:
    Number of tests, 15 Sept 2020: 227,075
    Number of false positives anticipated on this level of testing at 2.3% median for false positives: 5,222
    Number of positive tests actually recorded: 3,105
    The number of positive results is therefore a long way BELOW the number of anticipated errors, meaning most or all of the positive results are probably errors.
    Do we not have one single mathematician or statistician either in government or advising the government?
    And why do these numbers have to be dug out for ourselves, whilst Ministers and Media continue to make much noise about ‘second waves’?
    I think we deserve an answer on this

    • Edwardm
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      On what do you base your 2.3% median for false positives ?
      We need to know how many of the positive test results turned out to be true Covid cases and then we can more accurately estimate the median for false positives.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        Carl Myers and Kate baker June 2020. Range is 0.8% to 4%. Median 2.3%. Extrapolated from previous research on sars and mers testing. Even if you take the 0.8%, it still makes a mockery of the current results and the desire to test millions per day assumes 100% accuracy. What complete nonsense!

        • Edwardm
          Posted September 17, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

          On the figures you give above, the most the false positives could be is 1.36% if all 3105 were false, I guess there were some true positives in that figure, so the median false rate would be lower – I don’t know the ratio of true to false positives in the 3105 figure, but conceivably the false positive rate could be 0.8% or lower and would not be a mockery.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Correct – it takes me about 10mins to analyse the figures at https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk, it take the media 1osec to see just the one headline to make an impact i.e the daily number of infections

      It is false news to report this figure in isolation

    • matthu
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Jiminyjim

      I would say you are absolutely right to query this.

      Government literature here:
      https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/895843/S0519_Impact_of_false_positives_and_negatives.pdf

      reports that the “UK testing programme uses reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests to detect viral RNA. These RTPCR tests are carried out across a network of government, commercial and academic labs across the
      UK to meet the high demand and fast turnaround required.
      RT-PCR tests are highly sensitive, but can show false negatives (giving a negative result for a person infected with COVID-19) and false positives (giving a positive result for a person not infected with COVID-19). The RT-PCR assays used for the UK’s COVID-19 testing programme have been verified by PHE, and show over 95% sensitivity and specificity. This means that under laboratory conditions,
      these RT-PCR tests should never show more than 5% false positives or 5% false negatives. “

      As we can safely assume that the number of people tested who are not infected far, far exceed those tested who actually are infected, then it is pretty clear that the 5% false positives (5% of all those not infected) is a several magnitudes bigger number than the very tiny 5% of false negatives (i.e. 5% of all those who actually are infected), so these two numbers certainly do not balance out.

    • matthu
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      https://www.hdruk.ac.uk/projects/false-positives/
      state the following:

      As an example, with an infection prevalence of 0.05% or 1 in 2,000 (the average community prevalence in the UK in early August) and very optimistic test performance measures (sensitivity of 80% and specificity 99.9%), the chance of a positive result being truly positive will be only 29% with one test. This increases to almost 100% if a second test is also positive. However, the percentage of positive results that are truly positive can fall to unacceptably low levels when infection is very uncommon in the population and test specificity is less than excellent.

      We conclude that the crucial roles of extremely high test specificity and of confirmatory testing must be fully appreciated and incorporated into policy decisions to avoid unnecessary restrictions for whole populations, and for particular individuals, arising from widespread population testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection.

      But the governments own literature states that the sensitivity and specificity of the tests being widely used today are only 95%! So the situation we have would appear to be far, far worse than in the example above.

      This has all the elements of a scandal.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Where does 2.3% come from I though it was more like 1% for false positives? But a good point.

      • matthu
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Under under laboratory conditions, RT-PCR tests should never show more than 5% false positives or 5% false negatives. Link is given above (assuming Sir John permits a reference to a government website).

        If you make an assumption about what sort of probability distribution of false positives results in no more than 5% false positives … then you can estimate the likely number of false positives in a sample.

      • Mark
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        False positive rates do vary across the various tests and labs being used. There was quite a good article in the Mail on Sunday that collated a lot of information on this – for once written by someone with some knowledge and ability to spell.

    • matthu
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      A type I error is the rejection of a true null hypothesis (also known as a “false positive” finding or conclusion; example: “an innocent person is convicted”),

      An innocent person being convicted.
      Not the same as a convicted person being innocent.

    • matthu
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

      BMJ has this to say (link provided in next post)

      Further evidence and independent validation of covid-19 tests are needed. As current studies show marked variation and are likely to overestimate sensitivity, we will use the lower end of current estimates from systematic reviews,6 with the approximate numbers of 70% for sensitivity and 95% for specificity for illustrative purposes.

      What do clinicians need to know to understand a test result?

      Sensitivity and specificity can be confusing terms that may be misunderstood (see supplementary file ‘Definitions and formulae for calculating measures of test accuracy’). Sensitivity is the proportion of patients with disease who have a positive test, or the true positive rate. Specificity is the proportion of patients without disease who have a negative test, or true negative rate.

    • matthu
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 5:28 am | Permalink

      If we accept that the daily recorded number of positive test results is not statistically significant, can we explain why we might be seeing a trend?

      One only has to consider the mess that testing regime is in currently as they ramped up capacity to test school children and university students and switched testing away from other established test centres.

      When I was tested earlier this week, I was informed that if I had not heard back within 24 hours, I should regard this as a negative test. Well, that is one procedural change for a start. Previously, I have had a negative test back within 24 hours.

      Today, newspapers show photographs of some testing centres which are eerily quiet or deserted (Peterborough, Leeds, Cambridge, Heathrow) while others show queues extending round the block.

      What is it that is really causing a trend in (false?) positives?

  68. Ignoramus
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    The problem is that the “scientific and medical establishment” which is advising the government is a self regarding and conceited establishment who consistently make wrong assessments. They are NOT the full establishment and there are very many scientists who disagree and expose their scientific and mathematical errors. But over estimating possible death rates never did a scientist as much harm as underestimating them.

    When you have minsters with no scientific background making political decisions you get the same result, or worse.

  69. ian
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    An oral test is not accurate and can be a waste of time only a blood test is worthwhile I see nothing changing to next spring it is what it is the new world order has now taken over most govs in the world so have to wait to see how that pans out.

    • matthu
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Blood tests only detect those where the infection has progressed into the blood stream, so one might expect these tests not to be as alarmist as those where the virus is still trapped in your nostril and about to be eliminated with no symptom that you would ordinarily be aware of.

      So if you had to make a choice …

  70. a-tracy
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I wonder why if these covid/sars/mers diseases are coming from bats ” the vast majority of scientists who have studied the virus agree that it evolved naturally and crossed into humans from an animal species, most likely a bat…. Bats were also the source of the viruses causing Ebola, rabies, Nipah and Hendra virus infections, Marburg virus disease, and strains of Influenza A virus.” quote from The Conversation the outbreak countries aren’t doing anything about their bat population.

    When there was transmission from farm animals in the UK “To try to stop the disease, 4.4 million cattle were slaughtered” BBC Oct 2018 “178 deaths have been attributed to vCJD”

  71. kenneth
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    On Newsnight last night the BBC blamed the lack of testing on the government and not on its beloved NHS.

    When things go well the NHS gets the plaudits yet when things go wrong, the government gets the blame

    More BBC propaganda

    • Mark
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      There is plenty of testing. It is simply being misdirected. At the peak we were managing to confirm over 5,000 serious cases a day from less than 10% of current testing levels.

  72. Chris Dark
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I support the freedom side. I do understand that many people are terrified of the virus and have spent the past six months in their wardrobes…but the ludicrous rules that we currently live under are just not sustainable. We have the population dehumanised in masks. We cannot go into a cafe even for a cup of tea without being hassled for name and phone number. Jobs, businesses, societies ruined, a vast variety of health and dental issues sidelined. We all walk around on eggshells, trying not to break “rules”.
    Government thinks that a vaccine will get it out of the hole that it has dug for itself, but no-one in their right mind should accept something in their bodies that has had such a short trial time. Several years, indeed longer, should be the norm; irrespective of the so-called “crisis”.
    Let the people live normally, for pity’s sake, there are always risks. You cannot confound Nature. Our lives are short enough as it is.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      +1 I fear we are going to have to assert ourselves and just go about our business as usual. However a lot of business decisions remain on hold, and they were about to unleash growth. That has a catastrophic effect. The Govt must get a grip.

  73. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    The European Court of Justice ruled in the Kadi-Barakaat case that the EU should ignore the UN Charter (the highest source of international law) if it conflicted with the EU’s internal constitutional order.

  74. Edwardm
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    It is a conundrum how best to reduce the spread of Coronavirus.
    Those in charge of the health authorities by now ought to have been able to arrange for sufficient Covid testing capacity, and to have got the hospitals back to dealing with non-Covid treatments long before now. The highly paid senior managers are clearly not up to their pay grade.
    Outside the areas of high Covid rates, restrictions on public gatherings need to find an acceptable balance – more likely to be obeyed. The legal limit should be somewhat higher (at 15 say) but with lower voluntary recommended limits, say twelve for family gatherings and about six for non-family gatherings. And no neighbour snitching on minor infringements – that’s a bad thing to encourage.

  75. Donna
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    The data and statistics is available here:

    https://lockdownsceptics.org/

    There is plenty of evidence that both SAGE and the Government would prefer that the data were kept as abstruse as possible, so that the bulk of the population can be kept in a state of anxiety in order to gain compliance with their draconian suspension of our civil liberties.

    “Just one per cent of deaths now mention coronavirus on the death certificate compared to 12.8% which mention influenza and pneumonia, making those conditions nearly 13 times more deadly.”

    Why haven’t previous Governments locked down the country in response to seasonal winter flu, which is plenty of years has resulted in far more deaths than Covid has delivered?

    The effect of the virus has been overblown; the Government and the broadcast media have deliberately stoked a climate of hysteria. The consequences for our economy and the mental and physical health of the nation are catastrophic….. as well as the freedoms and liberties acquired over hundreds of years.

    I shall never forgive them. The Conservative Party will never get my vote again.

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I now believe there is something deeply sinister going on and they are using the virus to advance policies which otherwise would not be accepted.

  76. matthu
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Now we have PHE (Public Health England) issuing a warning via the MSM saying that it may be necessary to introduce curfews in London…

    Curfews are no more than a political response to a crisis – certainly not anything to be advocated by a public health organisation! Especially one that had been found out to have been massaging death rates upwards and was due to have been abolished (according to our Health Minister).

    About time somebody got a public telling off!

  77. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Some have bashed the BBC – so, I’ll join in. I recently told TV Licensing I no longer wished to support their scheme. Today it’s in the news that Zoe Ball ‘earns’ (EARNS!!!!) over a MILLION POUNDS of YOUR MONEY each year. What does she ‘earn’ this vast sum for? She talks between records on a radio program 5 days a week. Personally, I can’t take to her and, despite generally liking Radio 2, I can’t listen to her program. Give me Ken Bruce. And, as for Steve Wright in the afternoon – somebody pension him off.

    It will be a cold day in hell before I pay for another TV Licence. I couldn’t care less about not watching Live TV. I only watch Netflix and Amazon anyway.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      Same here, strange enough Korean dramas and re-run of Borgen 🙁

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      She has turned morning R2 into a squealy combination of R4 Woman’s Hour and R1 rap.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        And they scrapped the vital 1am – 6am Alex Leicester (vital for us night-workers and am commuters) into a pre-recorded radio-nostalgia load of shite.

        Brain death when all you want is some human communication at such an ungodly hour.

  78. sayagain
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Just listening to Boris bumbling along hardly making sense in his answers to the committee- Am afraid I have little confidence in this PM and Government any more.

  79. Ian
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    So someone can be inconsiderate and get fined,.

    Un yet the treacherous behaviour of those supposed to have this Nations best interest at heart , get away with Treason,
    Furthermore some of the worst PMs ever have had the temerity to stand up in broad daylight, flying in the face of The result of the largest Demacratic vote we have ever had in this Country .

    And nothing what ever will happen to them, no wonder they are all smiling.

    When are we going to see the back of the thousands of illegal immigrants that have been brought in buy our government, again they just ignore there Manifesto ?

  80. Kristo
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Talking about Governments mixed messages and change in policy when it comes to the pandemic we have another change in policy today with Secretary Raab over in Washington coming down firmly on the side of Trump a few months before the election in his bid to get maximum support for his Middle East pet peace project to side with kushners Israel and all done in the name of the British people at the great expense of the poor Palestinian people..shame shame!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Totally disagree. The Arabs have had the Palestinian terrorists in chunks. Trump is a hero!

    • matthu
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Even TB was yesterday hailed by an Israeli newspaper as playing a ‘key role’ in the agreements.

  81. glen cullen
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    UK daily summary Wednesday 16th September
    (source: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk)

    Tested – 221,192
    Negative – 217,201
    Positive – 3,991 (1.8%)

    Patients admitted to hospital – 141 (daily ave.)
    Deaths – 20 (0.000029%)

  82. JohnK
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    I thought the lockdown was to “flatten the sombrero”. If so, the sombrero is now as flat as a pancake. Deaths from Covid 19 are now in single figures and the hospitals are empty.

    Boris seems to have been panicked (again) by figures of positive tests for Covid. But these so-called positive tests seem to result in no subsequent hospitalizations or deaths. If anything, they only serve to show that “herd immunity” is finally amongst us.

    In his desire to be world king, Boris seems drawn to vast and expensive projects, such as the garden bridge, the bridge to Ireland, a cross Channel bridge, Crossrail and of course HS2. Sadly the pyramids have already been done. His “Project Moonshot” sounds like more of the same. Spend £100 billion we do not have on a massive testing regime, when the current one is in chaos. Does anyone think “Project Moonshot” will be anything but an expensive disaster?

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      +1

  83. Ignoramus
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Adding this but probably too late.

    Just one member of the leadership of NHS test and trace is a public health expert, with the rest of the executive committee composed of civil servants and figures from retail, commerce and other non-public health-related sectors. The programme has a £10 billion budget until next year and its responsibilities in testing are vital to the government’s plans in controlling the pandemic.

  84. turboterrier
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Sir John. Your last paragraph sums up the whole sorry mess.Just are these quango led organisations actually doing for with the money?

  85. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    We also need to know at what types of event the virus is passed on. This needs to be quantified and the track and trace data can be used to assist. Any type of gathering that serves no economic purpose – for example religious services of all kinds – is potentially up for the chop. And perhaps people attending a pub should be limited to a maximum of three drinks so that we can be reasonably sure that social distancing is maintained.

    Has any research been done on face masks? Are some types more effective than others?

    My attitude is that the economy comes first but ……………………

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      No ifs or buts!

    • matthu
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

      Face masks are only effective if they are used appropriately and disposed of regularly throughout the day. If you keep touching them in order to adjust them, or if you store them in your pocket or keep them for re-use, they are very likely worse than wearing nothing at all.

      When I went into hospital recently, they disposed of my (new) face mask and did not replace it (although they would have done so, had I been anxious).

  86. Helen Smith
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Iris can’t win, whatever he does, but for myself I would like to see him form a new panel of independent voices such as Ivor Cummings and Michael Yealden to get a different perspective.

    Whitty and Valance are far too pessimistic.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted September 16, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Boris, not Iris!

      • Fred H
        Posted September 17, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        I might prefer Iris – how do I get in touch?

  87. Julian Flood
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Can we please see the weekly death figures to give some perspective. Is Cv19 more lethal than flu to the average healthy child/adult/geriatric? What about pneumonia? Etc.

    JF

    • matthu
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Somebody on the radio likened the probability of an otherwise healthy child (i.e. no comorbidity) dying from Covid-19 (as opposed to dying with it) as being less than that of a child dying by having a tortoise dropped on his head by a bird of prey (of which there is at least one recorded instance in history).

      Should we all go out a grease our tortoises as a precaution?

  88. Javelin
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    The real point being what will the reaction of the hard core extremists be. The extremely fearful will lock themselves at home. The extreme freedom lovers will burn down parliament and string up the PM. So the two sides don’t balance each other out.

  89. turboterrier
    Posted September 16, 2020 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Another climb down/u turn when is BJ going to get a grip and tell these dozens of his mps who haven’t got the ***** to give what they were elected for and get as one behind the PM?
    Sign on or ship out . The country does not need gutless politicians especially for what lies ahead. Tell them their P45s are just but a moment away. Enough is enough.

  90. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted September 17, 2020 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    We used to be a nation where personal and public hygiene came naturally to people . Mine and other parents would always teach us that cleanliness of public places and footpaths etc were a matter of social respect. Even though showers were not common place in most houses daily bathing , handwashing , tidiness and order were an integral part of daily lives. My grandparents, post -war ,lived in social housing . Post war people were so grateful for a roof over their heads that this type of housing displayed rows of houses with doorsteps front gardens , doors which were immaculate and the pride of all tenants.

    As time has gone on a slovenly element has insidiously overtaken society with people whose personal hygiene is poor , streets which are littered with rubbish , cans and take away wrappers and more recently masks and tissues. These dirty people unfortunately need rules to avoid them adding extra risk to society. It doesn’t come naturally for them not to do small things like put bags on the floor and then on table tops or think about others when outside .People stand 2 metres apart whilst waiting to enter shops and then they laugh as they squeeze together touching all products and each other, They think its fun to break the rules.

    So where is freedom when there is an increased risk of transmission brought about by those who are selfish and dirty. We are jailed into lockdown by the thoughtless freedom
    seekers who spout out their message whilst not taking responsibility for their actions. If all took their responsibility vigilantly and did not perpetuate their carelessness, business may have a better chance to prosper.

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted September 17, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      There has without doubt been a change of attitude.

      I was born in 1945 and brought up in a small mining area where all houses were rented. The houses along the road through the village had front gardens but those in the side streets didn’t.

      It was commonplace for the doorstep and threshold to be washed and scrubbed – that is on hands and knees with a scrubbing brush – and also the paving stones of the public pavement in front of the houses being swilled down and brushed clean.

      And in case some of you who are a million miles away from such a world and attitude are thinking the practise was forced on poor downtrodden renters and workers because of all the coal dust, the village was surrounded by farmland and it was an ironstone mine and a couple of miles away. It did not affect the properties.

      It was pride in self and surroundings which prompted the practise. Sadly, tragically it has been stripped away from us, and replaced by base instincts and beliefs.

      Death of self reliance and country by a thousand cuts.

  • 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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