Questions to the government CV 19 advisers

Monday’s slide show was short and not very informative. They did present a worrying increase in hospital admissions. The rest of the numbers were curiously selected.

There was no published figure for R , no comment on how they are now calculating it and no slide to show how they think it has varied over time, yet R drives their models and much of their thinking. Their argument that we could see a doubling of cases every week for four weeks implies they think R is now high. It would be good to hear more on why they think that and how they compute it.

The first two graphs showed upward trends in daily cases and daily deaths in Spain and France. The two graphs were shown side by side. The death rate scale was one hundreth of the case rate scale, to achieve similar looking graphs. There was no graph for Sweden which followed a different approach to the virus, nor for Germany and Italy where there is not the same growth in cases.

They then turned to England, and changed from daily case numbers to weekly case numbers, meaning higher figures. Their speculation over future trends was then revealed with a demonstration of a big surge in cases were they to double every week for four weeks.

It would be good to have a proper presentation on the death rate so far,with improved data to smooth out the different definitions used over the pandemic to date. It would be good to know the results of the sample testing of the population over time.

They showed a series of numbers for the proportion of the population that have antibodies which may strengthen their immunity to a future attack. What was odd was the 16 August latest figure was considerably lower than the figures from May/June/July. It would be good to have an explanation of this.

Based on this the government has decided on some further restrictions on social and business life and said they are likely to last for six months. It is time for a proper Parliamentary debate on these matters, to tease more out from the advice and to look around the world at what has worked best to contain the disease and keep economies turning. I and others are trying to get an opportunity to explore the options in Parliament.

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341 Comments

  1. PJS
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    All I can say is this is extremely worrying. Bringing in the army!!!

    • PJS
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:12 am | Permalink

      I have yet to here a voice from Labour standing up for our freedoms.

      • Hope
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        JR, I read that Johnson has already accepted the figures do not represent what was said and the death rate would increase every three weeks rather than the two stated.

        It is worrying all graphs showed estimates. Our alleged experts have not got their figures right from the off, nor have they decided whether to include died with or from, nor is there a comparison how many other deaths have occurred by turning hospitals into Chines flu centres. Remember one Ferguson who has a very poor record on predicted figures. Instrumental in locking us all up when he deliberately and consciously broke the rules to have an adulterous affair- right out of Johnson’s play book. Relevant because your Govt has told the nation when we can have sex!

        Incompetent, inept policy decisions at every stage on every issue. Your Govt has chosen to cause economic catastrophe, an act of self harm never witnessed in history before. Another record of your govt. failure!

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

          Could not agree more! Where are our useless politicians? Where is the useless opposition to this current state of dictatorship brought in for absolutely NO good reason?

      • JoolsB
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

        All Labour can do is carp from the sidelines and hopefully the public can see that. Boris and this Government are out of their depth and clueless but if we are sick of Matt Hancock’s smug authoritarian manner, one can only imagine how much more authoritarian a Labour Government would have been. It’s bad enough that a Conservative (????) Government is destroying the economy and threatening us with the army. Two socialist authoritarian parties, one just slightly better than the other.

      • PJS
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        Dear Conservative MPs

        We can’t live like this.

        We can’t plan anything.

        You can’t plan anything for the next day because a rule might change and it will suddenly become illegal.

        Your fellow Conservative MPs must be getting thousand of emails from desperate people with their businesses on the brink, with somebody dying of cancer because the weren’t treated while we were “saving the NHS”.

        You and you fellow Conservative MPs have to work quickly to remove the Prime Minister from office before he destroys the country completely

        Your constituent

        • Everhopeful
          Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

          +1

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

          +1

        • L Jones
          Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

          I wrote a comment, not nearly so hard-hitting as yours, to say that I am sickened that we are being ruled by a group of UNELECTED public servants and a small PM’s coterie of what amounts to ‘yes men’. It hasn’t been published but yours will do in its stead.

      • PJS
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        No Lockdowns in Sweden

        During the swine flu pandemic of 2009–2010, all Swedish citizens were recommended to be vaccinated with the influenza vaccine Pandemrix. However, a very serious and unexpected side effect emerged during the summer of 2010: more than 200 children and young adults were diagnosed with narcolepsy after vaccination.

        Source : The National Center for Biotechnology Information

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      John asks for “a proper parliamentary debate”.

      Well, his party has expelled all but those of the narrowest of outlooks, anyone who looked capable of real dissent, and you cheered them for so doing.

      So with a majority of eighty, I’m not expecting anything radical to be proposed and carried.

      • NickC
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Nonsense, there is no way for the Tory party to “expel” Opposition MPs. That’s done by the voting public.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        Yes that’s true, most of the Brexiteers have been Keep out of the Parliamentary Tory Party for decades. Hence this mess (because the Brexiteers are obviously intellectually superior to this sad lot).

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      probable the military will just be used to guard nuclear and VIP locations to free up the police normally doing that for more public facing duties. still worrying that they expect to need to do this. breaking up groups of seven when we are allowing plane loads of passengers to arrive from virus hotspots around the world is completely disproportionate.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      ” the single greatest weapon we bring to the fight is the common sense of the people themselves..” Boris Johnson, last night.

      He then went on to effectively ignore our common sense and bring in a set of draconian, anti-freedom, social management regulations that communist dictators could only dream about! For why, because he can! BECAUSE WE ARE DOCILE SHEEP, brought up in a dependency on the state mindset.
      We are pathetic.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        My friend in court was told by a judge not to expect ‘common sense’ from anyone as not everyone has it.

        You’ve only got to see the photographs of people in Blackpool this last weekend after Lancashire was locked down, all breaching covid physical distance rules, not wearing masks whilst next to each other. These people aren’t docile but are they being sensible?

      • Fred H
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        the mantra has always been either ‘ I always vote Conservative’ or ‘ I always vote Labour’. Now that a considerable number decided last time to change the age-old viewpoint – look what they got!

        Perhaps meaningful change will arrive in the contestants and what they will actually carry out? Don’t hold your breath.

      • NickC
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        Peter Wood, Exactly so. Boris is panicking, and our common sense does not count. Covid19 may, or may not, be spreading. “Safety” covid19 referrals to hospitals may be increasing. But until the covid19 death toll rises above that for influenza and pneumonia, we should not be locking down the economy and preventing the treatment of other diseases.

      • L Jones
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        Yes indeed – we ARE pathetic as a whole. And those of us who wish to object understand that people’s livelihoods are being destroyed, and the best we can do at the moment is to support them.
        We are being cheated, manipulated, coerced and insulted by unelected people. The realisation that Mr BJ also understands this fact, yet still carries on with this nonsense – THAT’s the hardest thing to bear.

    • Peter
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Obfuscation and an appeal to authority seems to be the government approach to the covid issue.

      The more information that is teased out, the more questions there are.

      • NickC
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Peter, The only bit of information that the government has provided to back up its draconian curtailment of civil liberties is a rise in hospital admissions for covid19. That rise may be a true reflection of the severity of infection; equally it could be that medical professionals – GPs, etc – are “playing safe” since they know hospitals are currently under-utilised.

        What we do know is that if the hospital admissions level off, then the government will claim victory for its second lockdown. Even though a levelling off may have occurred anyway. The only factor that warrants any lockdown is a significantly rising death toll.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      An army to keep us down – meanwhile foreigners are ferried in in ever increasing numbers. Most from a culture that has clearly stated they want ours destroyed. Then our govt uses our taxes to ensure they are looked after. It appears that new tvs were delivered to Folkestone barracks the other night. I have to buy mine – AND pay for a license. And pay for the electricity to power it.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        I wonder if the NHS is up and running for them?
        Oh ..clap, clap.

    • rose
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      What are you more worried about, police repeatedly running away from mobs pelting them with missiles including petrol bombs, or some backup? As I understand it, the army are to be put behind the scenes, not on the streets, releasing more police to the front line.

  2. PJS
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    Unexplained excess deaths at home almost nine times higher than those from Covid
    ONS figures spark concern that many are failing to get treatment for serious conditions as coronavirus crisis continues

    Daily Telegraph

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Unexplained? Wait till the mandatory “vaccinations” start. The govt need the houses for all the new people.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      many people on here have been warning in dismay of the horrors of ignored and delayed treatment of cancers and the like. And that doesn’t include likely suicides as a result of some people’s perceived intolerable living circumstances.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Rishi needs to open up the unemployment claim process now so it is not overwhelmed come the end of October. The whole month of September should sort this out, with payments only coming due once the furlough/Seiss runs out.

        If there is no work for people and no furlough they have a months notice of this, they have two choices unemployment register or find any job in your local area.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • NickC
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      PJS, Indeed. And as Fred H says many commenters on here have been warning about unattended non-covid19 medical problems. It gets no traction. The MSM are dim and panicky, and the lockdown fanatics don’t care.

  3. PJS
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    HUGO RIFKIND
    Cheer up — it won’t be as bad as last time
    The new limits on personal freedom will be more of a hassle than a horror because we’ve come through worse already
    Hugo Rifkind
    Tuesday September 22 2020, 12.01am, The Times

    HUGO RIFKIND – Britain’s Greatest Optimist

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      Oh for Goodness sake! Has it ever occurred to you that he could be right? I see nothing wrong in a bit of optimism. Better than the gloom snd doom. No one really knows what the future may hold. We must hope for the best.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Optimist? – I was thinking of a much shorter word.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        a 4 letter word? No not that one. I was thinking of FOOL.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      We have certainly have come through the worst (of Covid infections and deaths that is) but what about all the other problems?

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        Have we come through the worse of it though Lifelogic? Professor John Edmunds/Sage was on Today this morning I read and he has access to the figures that government ministers don’t seem to have been given because he says the ‘R’ rate is probably around 2 now. He doesn’t think the government have gone far enough.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 24, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

          Well perhaps he is right and I am wrong but looking at the figures and doing the maths then I doubt it very much indeed.

          Covid deaths now are under 2% of overall normal daily deaths & there is little to suggest they will rise hugely from this level. Certainly not to anywhere near the 200+ figure Witty suggested. Other deaths caused by other NHS failures likely/certain to exceed the covid deaths.

  4. Mark B
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    It is time for a proper Parliamentary debate . . .

    Hear hear to that !

    I think it is time for parliament to assert its authority. Some serious questions need to be raised as to what the government has, and continues to do. The emergency powers need to be repealed and those providing government with advice questioned.

    The selective use of data, as suggested hear by our kind host, smacks of a cover up, or at least backside covering.

    People and business cannot stand another lockdown. My belief is, this sham is being used deliberately collapse the economy so that those with wealth and connections can pick up property and business on the cheap. I believe the term for such people is, ‘Carpetbaggers’

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

      Your post would have have worked better without the concluding paragraph.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

        +1

      • MG
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        The final paragraph is a valid point of view

    • margaret howard
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      “My belief is, this sham is being used deliberately collapse the economy so that those with wealth and connections can pick up property and business on the cheap. I believe the term for such people is, ‘Carpetbaggers'”

      And does your prognosis apply not just to this country but virtually to the whole world which is in the same predicament?

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        MH. Probably.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      The government is still preparing for a circuit break lockdown during the half term.
      Wee Krankie has as usual upstaged the government.
      Boris will look weak when he announces the new measures in 2 weeks.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        If he tries to upstage her we will all be in irons eating bread and water.
        Has he started building castles with deep dungeons yet?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      ++1

    • PJS
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      From Telegraph

      A move towards Sweden
      Professor Carl Heneghan, director of the University of Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine has been on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

      On Sunday evening, he had a meeting with the Prime Minister and advised Boris Johnson on the next steps to take.

      “I think there is a shift in policy emerging here,” said Prof Heneghan.

      “We are starting to understand that we are trying to control the spread of the infection as opposed to suppress it.

      “What we are starting to see is a move towards Sweden. So for instance, when you look at bars and restaurants, that’s the policy there – they have table service.

      “So what I’m hoping we now start to see is a more coherent consistent policy, one that stays in place. So we don’t keep seeing the almost daily changes which become utterly confusing for the public.”

      • NickC
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        PJS, I hope you – and Professor Carl Heneghan – are correct. The imposition on our civil liberties for a nasty disease, but which has a low death toll (as of the last 3 months), is bad enough, but the constant chopping and changing – without significant, or even any, evidence being produced – is worse.

    • TooleyStu
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      Your concluding paragraph is the most important point.
      +1 from me.

      We are witnessing the biggest land and financial grab we will see in our lifetime.
      And the willingness of the uninformed is staggering and depressing in equal measures.

      Tooley Stu

      • dixie
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        What evidence do you have for “the biggest land and financial grab we will see in our lifetime.”?

      • Mark B
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 4:56 am | Permalink

        Thank you

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Government getting ready to cancel its 15th October brexit deadline and extend brexit transition until pandemic is over

      Mark my words

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Mark I believe you could be right about the wealthy making a mint from this crisis. That’s what normally happens. The housing market is a prime example when people start losing their homes and the market price drops.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Yeah, because that would put the next election in the bag for the Tories! Not.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        Helen

        They are fools.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    Indeed. The scientific presentation was the equivalent of the hockey stick for climate change or the dodgy dossier for the Iraq war. It was a total disgrace to science and they did not even take any questions – pure politics & not science at all. He kept saying it was not a prediction so why give it just to state people & prepare the pitch for Boris one assumes. So what was these scientist real prediction them with upper and lower likely limits?

    If you listen to the interview of Matt Hancock by Julia Hartley Brewer he showed that he does not know the false positive rate (he says under 1% but would not elaborate). He does not know how much re-testing of positives had been done to determine the real rate either. But, worse of all, he did not seem to understand what false positives indicated. A 1% false positive rate on 200,000 test gives 2,000 false positives perhaps half of them. He seemed to think it indicated 1% of the positive results thrown up were wrong!

    Surely even a PPE graduate should be able to grasp this? Is he really the right person for this task given this appalling ignorance?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:19 am | Permalink

      This false positive rate could well be further augmented by people testing positive who have fully recovered but are not really infectious at all but have tiny residual traces and by contaminated samples.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

        Good point. There is, I gather, a $5 saliva-based anti-gen test that gives very quick results (inside 30 minutes) and works well at detecting the infectious. I wonder if we are making too much use of expensive PCR tests.

    • PJS
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

      If you listen to the interview of Lisa Nandy by Julia Hartley Brewer she no clue either.

      She had no ability to do anything but “listen to the two scientist” and think every small business across the country could keep going by some mythical “government support”.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      Re “pure politics & not science at all” correct, anyone with a scientific education could spot the massive amounts of nonsense in what supposedly top scientists were saying. this would be laughed at as a 1st year undergrad coursework, never mind supposedly the best the country can do.

    • Nigl
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      You have an anti PPE phobia. Not healthy.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        its called realism.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        My only fear is that so many of them seem to be in rather serious jobs where they can do huge damage and so often do. Most remind me of rather up market car salesmen or women. Or snake oil perhaps.

        Though Tony Abbott is very sound so some do seem to survive!

    • Stred
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      The article in today’s CW lists the omissions from the presentation by the chief officers. The first is the effect of false positives and there is a link to the article by Dr Yeadon which explains that the false positives are likely to outnumber the true cases by a factor of ten. There is also a graph showing the corrected number for today’s false positives and the corrected number of cases in the community during the early peak of the epidemic. It gives a totally different picture to the propaganda graph displayed at the government presentations and repeated by the compliant media. Some MPs should copy it and show it to Matty. It would be wonderful to watch him explain or show whether he is able to understand the figures.

      • Stred
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

        The link to Dr Yeadon’s article and graph was also on this blog on 20.9.20. Another interesting comment by Rods has appeared too concerning the wrong interpretation of false positives by ministers and their civil servants.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        Why are so many people taken in by ill-informed conspiracy theories?

        If the number of positives which are false positives are the vast majority (you are claiming 90%+), then the variability across the country would be much smaller (less than 10%) across the country. Furthermore, if false positive tests are so dominant, then the figures for positive tests would simply essentially track the number of tests carried out.

        Neither of these is the case which shows such conclusions to be, at best, badly misinformed.

      • NickC
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        The important factor is deaths.

        If covid19 is now merely an unpleasant infection with a low death toll (for whatever reasons), then we should not be locking down at all. If the toll of deaths rises significantly then we should look at reasonable, proportionate, prohibitions again.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Let’s have a graph of that real stat and the 18 suicides a day for comparison. Same baseline, let’s not try to distort anything.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Here, after Boris “addressed the nation”, making strange contortions with his hands the while(!), we looked at each other…
      “Did that make any sense at all?? Errrrr….NO!”
      Talk about walking into a bear trap.
      Lives or economy?
      They chose lives to virtue signal ( actually destroying lives on the way).
      And now they will be blamed for ruining the economy.
      Boris should have done what he KNEW to be right…HERD IMMUNITY.
      AKA common sense!

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

      Lifelogic,

      I agree, Mr Hancock does not seem the right person for the job and has not for a long time. He seems unable to hold related concepts in his head or sequence the logic. At first I thought he just needed more time, or was better out of the pressure of the limelight, but even in writing, as demonstrated by his piece in today’s Telegraph, he manages to transmit his failings and inconsistencies. Comparing our host’s calm, neutral and largely self-consistent writing with Mr Hancock’s random, irrational and inconsistent style is depressing. When Sir John writes, one can see the reasoning, enabling one’s own agreement or disagreement. Mr Hancock seems to ‘communicate’ by stringing key phrases together – it as though he is writing to fool early generation automatic essay scoring software.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        +1 his heart is in the right place but rational thinking is not his strong point.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        Hancock is most proud of voting for Gay Marriage. That was his best effort.

  6. Andy
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    I hope it is a genuine Parliamentary debate. The Conservative Party has become such a self-obsessed rabble over the past five years that it no longer even bothers to listen to anyone else. Despite the fact that a minority of voters voted for you.

    The contempt shown to anyone who may dares have voted for Labour, Lib Dem or Green, or been a Remainer, or be educated, or come from Islington is lamentable. Let alone the appalling way Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and London have been treated.

    If the old white men on the Tory backbenches want to moan among themselves then go ahead. But remember that it is the lives of everyone else that your minority group is messing up.

    • agricola
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      This is a gold plated Andy crap rant. An even smaller percentage of electors voted for any alternative to a conservative government, single party or combined.

      The contempt you feel comes from within, and from replies in this diary, you do not need any of the groupings you mention to sustain it. Start producing sound arguement and then you may sound more credible.

      The tory back benches are not unduely old, no moe than those opposite. They are a majority of 80 voted for by a majority within every constituency they represent. The constant repetition of such nonesence does not increase its accuracy. It just emphasises that you are a bad loser.

      • Andy
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        Your claim is not true.

        They are not necessarily ‘voted for by a majority in every constituency they represent’.

        Indeed, a majority of voters in Wokingham did not vote for Mr Redwood. He just got the biggest minority. The same with Mr Duncan Smith. And plenty of others too.

        If you are going to defend our failed system which gives 40% of the electorate all of the say at least get your facts right.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

          If you have multiple candidates in a constituency then it will probably follow that the total votes for every candidate other than the winner will be greater.
          Your solution would be to only have two candidates.

          PS
          Under PR the Conservatives would still have a majority.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      Well, historically that’s what they’ve always been, Andy.

      The British Empire began at home. The landed, powerful elite, with the help of the rabble, oppressed anyone here who was a challenge to their absolute power.

      They then went on to oppress and to subjugate other races and nations around the world.

      They’ve been rolled back on the second bit, but seem to be full steam ahead on the first as ever.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        Straight out of the Marxist handbook.

        Says Martin living in one of best nations on Earth.

        • Cheshire Girl
          Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

          Edward2.

          +1

        • margaret howard
          Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          Edward2

          Maybe just for once you could make your own case in refuting Martin’s account of our history instead of just one liners questioning other contributors’ integrity.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

            I dont hate this country nor its history.
            Nor have a partial, jaundiced, socialist history book version of its past.

            Tell me what country you prefer than the one you and Martin hate but stubbornly still live in.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        Not the already landed gentry – but the industrialists who grasped an idea, invested, made it work , acquired investors , made fortunes for lots of people and became massive employers. ie HEROES.

        ‘They then went on to oppress and to subjugate other races and nations around the world.’
        Bullshit!

    • Nigl
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      Completely unsubstantiated tosh seen through your window of left facing envy. Most informed commentators are suggesting Labour lost the election because of their contempt for the ordinary voters.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      The ‘minority group’ are a few ‘scientists’ gerrymandering their data to maintain their power. The methodology is taught at Common Purpose courses which surely you have attended?
      Is Professor Fergusson going to have to abide by ‘no house visits’ from sundry married women, or is he exempt again?

    • Richard1
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      Stop moaning you lost. The Conservatives won a great victory at the last election by promising to do what the public voted for.

      The only challenge to the highly questionable conclusions of the official science advisers is coming from the Conservative backbenchers – and of course from many distinguished scientists and statisticians. Starmer and his lot are proving useless. We even had the joke spectacle the other day of the shadow chancellor criticising the govt for spending too much money – when at every stage, every stage, Labour have called for much more to be spent!

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Ah Richard but will Boris bottle it again on the 15th October.

        • glen cullen
          Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

          He’ll defo bottle it

    • MickN
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      Old white men?
      REALLY?
      Racism edging it’s way into your ageist posts now.
      Disgraceful.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      Got the message Andy.

      I’m not wanted so I’ve cancelled membership of National Trust and withdrawn all other conservative donations.

      • Andy
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        Excellent news. I hear many of you are cutting up your National Trust cards because they are no-longer going to be accommodating your selective view of history. I can’t help but think it will make these places much more enjoyable to visit for the rest of us. (The majority).

        • NickC
          Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

          Andy, That is precisely the inverse of what has happened with the BLM rioters. It is their view of our history which is “selective” – they have selected the history they don’t like and tried to destroy it.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

          That’s because they are wasting time and money trying to follow your Marxist version of history.
          It’s called free choice.
          Like the several hundred thousand each year who defund the BBC the membership revenues for the National Trust are falling.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        What would be impressive would be if Andy gave up all invented by old white men. Let’s start with the computer eh?

    • Pud
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      The tired old cliché of most voters not voting for a Conservative government has been dusted off again. It’s odd how the same argument doesn’t seem to apply when the government is Labour, especially as from 1918 onwards the only party to attract over 50% of the votes in a general election is the Conservatives, twice.

      • Andy
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        It does apply to Labour – but they are not in power. I have been an advocate of electoral reform since I was 16. You would not accept your voice not being properly heard in Parliament. Why should I accept my voice not being properly heard?

        Ah, you say, change the system them. But we can’t change the system when the system is rigged in your favour. It is a rigged system which gives any party with 40% of the vote more than 60% of the seats. It doesn’t matter whether it is Tory or Labour.

        And, no, the 2011 AV referendum was not a referendum for PR because AV is not PR.

        • Pud
          Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

          Electoral reform is a subject I’m also interested in. I think the first principle should be to ensure that any change is actually beneficial; few would argue that stuffing the House of Lords with political appointees has been an improvement.

          My brief thoughts:
          1. First past the post
          You vote for your local MP who, in theory, could attract your vote despite their party. Tends to produce a majority in parliament so the winning party can govern.
          2. Proportional representation
          Superficiality it appears fair to say that a party with x% of the votes gains x% of the seats. Advantages include it’s worth voting for any party, so a new party, e.g. UKIP, is voted for instead of ignored for tactical reasons. The major downside is small parties gain undue influence – think how much the DUP tail was accused of wagging the Tory dog. Another is you don’t know who your MP will be.
          3. AV
          Ranking parties in order of preference sounds good, but only if you have an alternative. Thinking of just three parties, Labour and LibDem voters might choose the other party but a Tory has no other party to vote for.

          I’m yet to be convinced that PR or AV is better than first past the post.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

          “Properly heard” for you would mean getting your way

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        Yes Conservatism is very popular. Boris should try it!

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Handling of Covid is with the devolved administrations in Wales (Labour), Scotland (SNP) and Northern Ireland (DUP). Of those Wales and Scotland have done demonstrably worse than England. Northern Ireland somewhat better. As for contempt, well you celebrate the deaths of people who disagree with you politically, so we’ll take no lectures from you on that score.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Andy:

      Why do you have to put the words ‘old’ and ‘white’ in almost all of your posts?

      Give it a rest, will you!

    • acorn
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      A proper parliamentary debate would produce little if any change to Downing Street’s (DS) plan. The HoC keeps giving away its sovereignty in primary statutes that allow Ministers to run every thing with secondary legislation from DS.

      Parliamentary Select Committees can quiz anybody, the HoC just gets Punch & Judy answers from a politically briefed amateur Minister. It will always be the same until the “executive” is taken out of the “legislature”.

      Talking of proper parliamentary debates, does anyone know where I can find the HoC Hansard report on the debate to renationalise the railways? 😉

      • acorn
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        BTW. The sovereignty-is-everything crowd on this site; that is, everything EU is bad crowd; may not have noticed that the Cummings Brexit GPS Satellite system has been quietly abandoned.

        Cummings got Boris to buy part of a Mickey Mouse broadband satellite company out of bankruptcy. I am watching to see which department gets stuffed with the write-off in its accounts.

        PS. As it now appears we are going to renationalise the privatisation of the Railways, with CFD type contracts; could we please renationalise the privatisation of the Electricity Industry?

        You may not have noticed that last week National Grid (NG) f****d up in spades with a “constrain off” deal with the Sizewell Nuclear plant that caused market pricing to sky rocket. To be fair, C19 had reduced kWh demand and NG was stuck with more Solar and Wind than it could absorb. Bring back the CEGB I say, it knew how to run the system at minimum cost.

        • NickC
          Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

          Acorn, British railways were largely nationalised by Labour in 2002. Do keep up.

    • Ian Turner
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Where to start with this one Andy?

      Well I don’t really know, so I won’t bother.

    • JoolsB
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      “appalling way Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and London have been treated.”

      What deluded parallel universe are you living in Andy? Unlike England, Scotland, NI and Wales are allowed to make their own separate decisions re. Covid. It is only England, not allowed a voice, which has to follow the draconian measures imposed by the UK Government. It is only England being threatened with the army by this Conservative UK Government. No doubt if parliament does get to debate it, you will have no problems with 117 Scots, Welsh & NI MPs having a say on the way forward for England, them having no say for their own constituents.

      If anyone is treated in an appalling manner, as usual it is the English.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      We should pay attention to Andy as he is an expert on displaying contempt for other people!

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Diane Abbott for PM!

      • Fred H
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        OMG. – – ARE YOU UNWELL?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Get a grip Andy. There is NO way Scotland is ever badly treated. Just try living there. The problems come from an antagonistic SNP government.

    • Peter
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Your middle paragraph is one of your best for ages!!

      • Peter
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        Not me.

        A different Peter again.

    • rose
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Old White Men…can’t you come up with a more original term of abuse? This one is ageist, racist, and sexist.

      • Andy
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        What’s ageist, racist and sexist about calling an old white man an old white man?

        There is nothing ageist, racist or sexist about calling a young black woman a young black woman.

        Describing people as they are is not ‘ist’.

        • rose
          Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

          You know very well that it is how these words are used, and their context, which convey the isms.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

          I shall make a note of this comment Andy.
          Very interesting modern attitude.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Are you implying that all the MPs elected in Westminster from Scotland, N.Ireland, Wales and London aren’t doing anything?

      Why should the regions have any different decision on the direction of the Country in regard to Covid19 as a voter from the RUK? What specific ‘appalling way’ are you talking about, we see Nicola Sturgeon on the NW news more than we see local MPs (and they are our only spokespeople at this level in England,) why?

      I see this current attack line ‘old white men’ on the Tory benches being Labours new go to – it is divisive, the photos shared by Campbell showed a Conservative Asian in the photo.

    • MWB
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Not sure what disgraceful treatment you are referring to, but London benefitted hugely from the wealth generated in the Midlands and North during the Industrial Revolution, and it’s now time for London to pay for reconstruction and for clearing up the desppoilation in the Midlands and North.

      I’m tired of hearing whining from London, and tired of hearing every other sentence uttered on BBC news programmes, referring to someone or something “in London”.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      You talk about other people showing contempt!!! Irony is lost on you. Strange when you consider how ‘educated’ you think you are.

  7. agricola
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    The whole process yesterday seems to have raised more questions than answers. If you on the fringe of government are in the dark where does thst leave the rest of us. Was the presentation just sloppy or are we considered incapable of understanding the detail on which government decisions have been made. Is there a pattern to this second wave flare up that for reasons of PC government finds it difficult to dicuss. If you are unhappy with the quality of information being made available, where does that leave us, apart from having question marks as to the direction we are heading. I hope that an ever increasing level of testing enables us to sustain an ever increasing level of economic activity until such time as a safe vaccine becomes available.

    • DaveK
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Sir Patrick did let slip that they didn’t want the measures to be targeted as that would seem punitive. I’ve always hated “group” punishment it just angers the innocent ones behaving correctly. Is PC preventing the truth coming out? Totally agree with LL, this is the exact Climate Change M.O.

    • Suzette Burtenshaw
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      A ‘safe’ vaccine may well be five years down the road. However, a rushed, unlicensed vaccine will probably be foisted on us either just before or just after the aforementioned six months worth of lockdowns and restrictions is up. I truly am not anti vaccines in general, and happily trot off to have my flu jab every year, but with this Covid vaccine, I will forgo that pleasure. If the drugs companies involved have been told they have indemnity for future lawsuits pertaining to any long term damage which may occur in recipients of the vaccine, my thinking is, thanks but no thanks.

      • NickC
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Suzette, Exactly. The way to discourage people from using any new unlicensed anticovid19 vaccine is to remove the liability of the providers. Which is precisely what the government has done! Crazy.

        Yet the government does not seem to be self-aware. I can just anticipate what passes for their thought processes – ‘oooohh, it’s the nasty, uneducated, unwashed public being obstinate again, let’s restrict them so they have to have the vaccine to live a normal life!!’

    • Philip P.
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Agricola, an increasing amount of tests will produce an increasing number of false positives. The ‘case’ number including all those false positives will then be used to support the dishonest case for more lockdown. That will reduce economic activity.

      A ‘safe’ vaccine? The NHS and the public were told the Pandemrix vaccine was safe. Result: £60 million in compensation cases, and counting. Who wants to be a guinea pig this time? Not me.

  8. agricola
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Can we have an analysis of the places in the UK where Covid19 has re-emerged in increasing numbers. Is it random, is it ethnic, is it down to rave tendencies among the youth or is it down to an increase in demonstration activity. What is the common strand that links all the areas where Covid has flared or is there none. That is the question I ask, the answers to which will tell us why a place taken at random like Middle Wallop has seen no recent surge.

    • matthu
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Cases have gone up wherever testing has been ramped up.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Why a lockdown – it doesn’t matter if covid-19 infection rate is increasing if 99.9% of cases only reflect mild (no symptoms or cold/flu like symptoms) conditions

      We don’t have a lockdown when people start getting a cold in the winter

      The associated death rate is almost nil

      Baa Baa Baa Baa

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        That last line is my impersonation of a sheep

        • Everhopeful
          Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

          And a very good one too!
          🐑

        • Glenn Vaughan
          Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for your explanation glen. I presumed it was your impersonation of Andy and Martin in Cardiff.

      • Original Chris
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        The death rate is key, in particular the weekly death rates published on the ONS website. COVID deaths are significantly lower than pneumonia and influenza. Also, the COVID weekly death rate has been flatlining along the bottom of the ONS graph. No justification for these draconian measures. Time to get some genuine experts advising the PM.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      precisely what is needed to inform the way forward.

    • JoolsB
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      It appears to be worse in the midlands and the north. Down here in Cornwall, despite having a tidal wave of tourists, the rate is still very low yet it seems we are all to be tarred with the same brush. This Government are single handedly destroying the hospitality industry who are responsible for less than 5% of transmissions. Clueless Government totally out of their depth.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Clueless Scientists pushing Government totally out of their depth.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Here in Shropshire numbers are low. It is more rural which makes a difference. Why we all have to have these measures is beyond me but I suppose it simplifies things. It’s confusing enough when you live near the border of Wales or Scotland that the rules are different.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      I wonder if it correlates with where the ‘new British’ are sent to live in luxury?

  9. DOM
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Obvious lies and public deceit to justify State ownership of our soul, body and mind. The British State will not be happy until it destroys the fundamental basis of conservative society, the traditional family unit. Target family ties and weaken family bonds. Separate people from each other.

    CV19 is the perfect conduit for this catastrophic transfer of power from person to the oppressive State in the name of ‘protecting the health of the public’

    Your party in government is a threat to each and everyone of one us but Marxist Labour is an existential threat to our world

    Both parties have now embraced authoritarian Marxism. State control of all life both public and private is the aim

    Thatcher warned of this many years ago.

    Mr Redwood can’t tell it as it is even if he wanted to. Only the CW exposes the poison we have witnessed since 1997 and how both parties have committed to changing the fundamental nature of our nation

    I saw the ex-head of the CPS, Starmer, on Sunday in which he declared he’d be willing to submit to all new rules imposed by Johnson. It is obvious both parties leadership are working hand in hand with Starmer thinking he’s speaking to Labour voters and providing them with direction. Starmer speaks for no one.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      What is the CW?
      Excuse ignorance.

      • hefner
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        Conservative Woman, with some interesting take on it on mediabiasfactcheck.com

        What have bounded rationality, anchoring, overconfidence, contagion, herd behaviour and groupthink have in common?

      • Mark B
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Conservative Woman.

      • Vonjarra
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        CW = The Conservative Woman website

      • NickC
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        Conservative Woman blog, I suppose.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        Conservative Woman.

      • matthu
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        Search for
        conservativewoman.co.uk/seven-deadly-sins-of-omission-by-the-two-doomsters/

      • Original Chris
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        Conservative Woman, an excellent website. Unpalatable truths are not avoided. Makes for honesty and much better quality of input from all concerned.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      +1

    • BOF
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Thanks DOM for articulating what many of us feel.

      The last refuge of the tyrant is the welfare of the people.

    • DaveK
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      I thought the Frankfurt School meme was part of the conspiracy theorists storyline, however nowadays I’m not too sure.

  10. Sea Warrior
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    So, a C-grade at best.
    More positively, I detect an improvement in the workings of government this week. Inviting the First Ministers to COBRA is a good move – and it supports, rather than diminishes, our Union. (I don’t much care if the FMs then apply different counter-measures as we could do with a bit of experimentation.) What we now need to see is the government – at all levels – developing an understanding of local COVID transmission mechanisms.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      not just that a completely disorganised set of messages for members of the public to follow. and pointing the finger of blame in completely the wrong places. no humility and admission that the NHS and state has made many massive mistakes during all of this. no admission that many people are being left to die from other conditions by all this diversion to Covid, no analysis of the extra cancer or cardiovascular deaths (which were already too high by international standards) being allowed by non treatment on the altar of Covid preparedness. No acknowledgement of the extra suicides and family breakup all this will cause, and the follow on health problems. No balance in any of that.

      • NickC
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        Iain, I don’t think that Charles Moore, in his recent Telegraph article, called the NHS crap. But I think he wanted to. Certainly NHS management has proved itself not fit for purpose these last six months.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      The Union has been very much weakened by all this!

    • BJC
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Under devolution, constitutional matters are meant to remain with the UK Parliament because decisions affect all four countries, so inviting FMs to a high-level COBRA meeting has simply given them more power to disrupt. The FMs are not elected to the UK Parliament so, quite frankly, had no right to attend; it’s akin to inviting the local franchise managers to a strategy board meeting.

      Tactically, it would be far wiser to have a strategy of working through the devolved governments’ elected Westminster leaders to show they’re part of the UK decision-making process. It would force a more cohesive approach and have the added benefit of weakening the (self-inflicted) internal power-struggles, which simply plays to the renegade SNP’s agenda.

    • JoolsB
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      What dimishes our union is not having anyone in these Cobra meetings to represent England, there only being representatives from the Scots, Welsh, NI and UK Governments.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        Jools. If you ask Andy he thinks the devolved nations are being treated in a shocking way. I don’t see how.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      “Inviting the First Ministers to COBRA is a good move”

      So Scotland has a representative at Cobra, Wales has a representative at Cobra, London has a representative at Cobra, who is there to represent the North West, the North East, the Midlands etc…

      We were the United Kingdom, Blair carved us up – now England isn’t getting equal representation in these committees. When these offshoots were set up did Scotland and Wales lose any Councils – I’d guess not, did they lose any MPs – NO! London? Did they lose anything nationally for their shared decision making.

  11. Adam
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Changing situations need fresh assessments and varied plans, but the Govt should know what it is doing, and act sensibly with good reason.

    Mixing fickle with pickles is a recipe like sardines with lemon curd.

    • turboterrier
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Adam.
      Exactly. At the moment we have the perception of ministers running about oon the decks fire fighting,totally unaware of the holes appearing under the water line.. They cannot keep acting as they are as the benchmarks are always moving nothing can be the silver bullet. The lack of life skills and experiences are beginning to highlight serious shortfalls not only in ministers but also their scientific advisors. They should be benchmarking best practice from across the world regarding Cobid 19.

      It is exactly the same with illegal dingy people, no real plan. Cause they will keep coming when a good hotel bed and food awaits and a chance to lose oneself in the crowd. Pass slaw that all male dingy people will be sent into disused MoD camps not to do nothing but will commence basic training and be used for all the tasks our youngsters do not want to do. Litterpicking etc it could well give the country an opportunity to rebuild the lives of our homeless veterans by getting them involved. The country might get some useful skills identified. Such a change of environment might impact on others thinking of taking the crossing. Their gang masters would not be able to control them so well to get their money back. CHANGE IS A 24/7 CONSTANT AND NEEDS MONITORING AS SUCH.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Sardines, lemon juice and egg yolks sounds rather nice to me. Go easy on the sugar though!

    • RichardP
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      All very important questions that need debating and the reason Parliament should take back control on the 30th September to ensure continued scrutiny of the covid19 measures.
      Now that the R number has such a control over our lives we are entitled to an explanation of how it is calculated and, more importantly, who is doing the calculation.

  12. matthu
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Thank you for that summary, John.
    I’m afraid government credibility has gone out the window.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Sadly so. To be bamboozled by this chicanery is proof that Government is not capable of assessing its advice. Parliament MUST hold Government to account by removing the emergency powers and demanding proper answers to proper questions from ‘the scientists’.
      Government is sick and we don’t believe them.
      Parliament cannot go the same way.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        100%
        Let’s hope the MPs listen.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Correct Lynn – this government has been sick ever since the referendum which didn’t go their way (remember they only gave us the referendum vote expecting to stay in EU)

    • jerry
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      @matthu; “government credibility has gone out the window.”

      Indeed, after last nights 8pm broadcast by the PM, please Boris, for your own good, ask Dominic Rabb to do the next one, heck even Keir Starmer or Ed Davey!…

      • Fred H
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        or Laura K, Andrew Marr or Farage with their opinion would be worth watching.

      • NickC
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        What? – Sir Kneel Starmer, who loves BLM rioters and seems as forgetful as Uncle Joe Biden, or Ed Davey who thinks we can charge 32 million cars on the 10GW overnight surplus demand?? Even Boris – ill though he appears to be – is not that bad.

    • Javelin
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      99% of centre right newspaper comments agree, yet we are told by Sky that 60% of people want more of a lock down.

      There is a huge contradiction here between reality in the comments and an artificial poll.

      What is going on here?

      • NickC
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        Javelin, It’s because the lockdown fanatics have succeeded in making people frightened of objecting to lockdown – “you don’t care about people dying”, “your mild cough can be someone else’s death knell” – that sort of thing. Propaganda with little basis in fact, but they are good at it.

      • Hope
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        Jav,

        I don’t believe these polls anymore. A bit like the election polling it is to sway people’s mind to accept their view.

  13. Caterpillar
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    1. Yes HoC needs debate.

    2 The debate and P.M. ought to consider the daily positive tests by region at https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases (click the down arrow at U.K. to see by region) and observe the following

    N.E., N.W. seven day average growing

    Yorkshire and the Humber, W.Mids, E. Mids, East of England seven day average perhaps plateauing

    S.W., S.E., London possibly through peak and heading down.

    This might suggest two things

    (i) A more nuanced policy response, and

    (ii) A consideration of whether a natural experiment has taken place (and perhaps how this informs policy now prior to any winter flu epidemic).

    As Sir John states data presentation has been poor. To repeat from yesterday http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2020/09/22/dealing-with-crime/#comment-1156724

    3. ONS reported antibodies waning in its August 28th report. (It does though give a proxy for community immunity point 6 here http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2020/09/18/negotiating-with-the-eu/#comment-1154983)

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

      The Chancellor ought to discontinue his unethical cherry picking of which citizens he values over others. He has already demonstrated this unpleasantness with his job retention scheme. Under no circumstances should he consider another unethically inequitable scheme to favour one group over another (such as focussed wage subsidies). After the first lockdown of 3 weeks was insanely extended the solution has always been, and remains UBI.

      We are in the damaging (and rather nasty) situation where the Chancellor should be universal and the P.M. should be more nuanced. Within Government there seems to be an aim to maximise societal division, before we know it the army will be on the streets.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        It is depressing that the Labour Party, SNP and BoE are appealing for the Chancellor to continue with his inequitable policy beyond the end of October. I hope the Chancellor is able to introduce a more ethically and equitably appropriate response.

  14. Nigl
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Good article in type DT by Tominey setting out Boris’s dilemma, damned either way. Managed to get a completely unsubstantiated pop in against Cummings, no doubt to keep her ‘leakers’ sweet.

  15. BeebTax
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Increasing numbers of people have no faith in the government’s statistics (or the opinions of their chosen experts). The suppression of public health information for political purposes was exposed recently in Nashville; it wouldn’t surprise me if that is happening elsewhere, including here.

    By all means question things, Sir John.

  16. Everhopeful
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    The rise in “cases” is surely down to the “testing”.
    Manufacturers of the testing kits clearly state that the test is not meant to diagnose but is only for clinical reference. The patient needs to be diagnosed by observation with medical history and treatment responses.

    Just like you would with a bronchitis or croup prone patient who had a cold.

    This whole nonsense has been over engineered maybe by our enemies to destroy us or just by the crass stupidity and pride of our would be “technocratic“, unelected “inner cabinet”.
    Nurse Boris is trying to save us from the common cold!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      I think that reading those should send waves of horror down any politician’s spine.
      If I had closed down the country I would be in a state of absolute ….I can’t think of anything bad enough actually.
      But then I do have a conscience.

    • L Jones
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Am I the only one who is infuriated by the fact that our lives and the country’s well being are now being determined by unelected public servants? I resent being patronised and threatened by people that no-one has voted for, and who are being paid public money blatently to coerce us.

      Mr Johnson’s coterie seems to consist of a small unvarying group of narrow-minded people – one at least dishonoured and discredited – when there are dozens of better qualified people than these whose opinions and advice might be heeded – or at least considered.

      • L Jones
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        (That’s ”blatantly” of course.)

  17. Outraged Tunbridge W
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    The lockdown is already scheduled. My teacher wife has just been told that from Oct 19 the school will be closed to most pupils – teachers will be coming in to do some live audio lessons via teams. The cynic in me says that before Xmas the ‘beneficent’ Big Brother will lift a few restrictions so we all ‘feel grateful’. Our supine parliament and opposition will continue to do nothing – after all their pay and conditions are safe and indeed expenses allowances have been increased for reasons that are difficult to understand. Our kind host alludes to the clear unscientific nature of the presentation and reasoning, casting great doubt on the integrity of the lockdown reasoning. We are not ‘following the science’ we are are following a highly selective radical narrative from a very narrow group that are so invested in self justification that their views ignore even the most rudimentary consideration of scientific method.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Ah!
      Well that confirms that my dentist really DID know about 2months in advance.
      Likewise the carpet fitter .
      The boiler man’s wife told me that they had been told the date when imprisonment would end and duly made me an appointment.
      The virus has a map, a calendar and a watch ( or probably an iPhone that would do the lot).
      A very modern little virus! Likes planning ahead.

  18. davews
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    The government, aided by a willing media, is acting like fear on steroids. The exponential chart Witty showed was deliberately rigged for this effect. If he expects us to believe cases will double every week it would have been helpful if his starting week, highlighted, showed that – no, cases actually decreased that week! Yes, positive test results are increasing but how many are those are false positives or cases of such low infectivity that they offer no risk to man or beast?

    Remember the summer of love in 1968? Did you know there was a huge flu pandemic going on at the same time. No, nobody noticed. Why on earth all the nonsense this year for something of similar magnitude.

  19. oldtimer
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    The unofficial term for the presentations is “mushroom management” – in other words keep everyone in the dark and cover them with manure. Many people will be scared by this. Job done.

  20. Iain Gill
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Why were the following measures not implemented?
    Stop allowing planes to land from virus hotspots around the world? Stop their passengers getting straight onto public transport and travelling to all corners of the UK mixing with the population?
    Stop the centralised phlebotomy approach of the NHS in many regions which encourages the sick population needing blood tests from wide areas to congregate in one central place and mix with each other with a high cross infection chance? Increasing the numbers of appointments patients need (one for original blood test requester GP or other healthcare professional) and then trips to phlebotomy clinics, when other countries achieve the same diagnostic regime with far fewer patient interactions and therefore far fewer chances for cross infection. Why don’t we decentralise blood taking so that the requestors take the blood themselves like they do in other developed countries, especially during Covid?
    Why have we gone for a large centralised state monopoly approach to Covid testing, when we know large centralised models where the end consumers have no buying power simply never work? Why have we not gone for a decentralised Covid testing regime where testing is delegated out as close to the patients, with the patients having as much buying power as possible? Are the government aware that many organisations have given up on the state Covid testing system and are now simply buying Covid test machines themselves for their staff and customers to use?
    Why the large numbers being allowed to cross the channel with their criminal and medical history completely unknown? Why are these being dispersed into communities that simply do not want illegal immigrants in their location?
    Why are the police not operating “without fear or favour” (their first and remaining order) when we can all see they are dealing with some kinds of protest far more harshly than others, according to the political sympathies of their leadership?
    Why are we hiring and supporting people like Dido Harding instead of pushing for a proper meritocracy in this country?
    Why have all the large consultancies been swamped with work from central government to help in different aspects of Covid response? Why have we not scaled up the best bits of the public sector, or decentralised activities to county councils and similar? Why are we inventing large state bureaucracies when we know that style of service provision is inefficient and never provides good service?
    Why are there still so many gaps in Covid support for struggling families, especially freelancers? Why are we still persisting with IR35 and expecting freelancers to pay for expenses out of taxed income?

  21. ruled by lies
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    We are in a very bad place

  22. Dave Andrews
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    On a brief visit to a nearby seaside town yesterday, my wife tells me two women, who visited the pubic ladies the same time as her, left without washing their hands.
    What chance for suppressing a disease when the general population haven’t got the message about basic hygiene?

    • BOF
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Dave, did you forget to proof read?

      • JayGee
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        There’s ladies, there’s women; there’s toilets and there’s loos. And then there’s the kind of people that Dave’s wife encountered. 🙂

      • NickC
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Oops, that really was Freudian.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        hairy moment there

      • matthu
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        +1

  23. Sharon
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood

    Lockdown Sceptics and Facts4eu have both done lots of research on the subject. I’d say they are more honest.

    For some reason Valance and Whitty’s, now known as the professors of doom, seem very selective and fear mongering in their delivery…once or twice verging in outright lies. The statement suggesting that they don’t want the NHS’s smooth running to be disrupted by a rush of Covid cases being one. It’s still not up and running fully since the first lockdown!

    • Ignoramus
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Hear hear! Lockdown Sceptics is essential reading and has distinguished contributors from around the world. It is a daily dose to prove one has not gone mad.

  24. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    I would like to see the data that shows that transmission is in homes between families meeting.

    I would like to see the data that shows that transmission increases after 10.00 pm

    I would like to see the data that shop workers are transmitting the virus by not wearing masks

    I would like to see the workplace transmission data that show we should all “productively” work from home if we can.

    I would like to see that data that shows schools should sty open and are not a breeding ground for intra family transmission.

    Without seeing this data it does seem to me that any announced measures are akin to waving a pencil around St Paul’s hoping to hit an unseen fly.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      How about the data that shows that a 30 person wedding is unsafe but a 30 person funeral can go ahead?

      I just can’t wrap my head around this one at all, if the wedding and wedding breakfast is in a physically distanced room, with a meal served whilst seated, with strict instructions to the hotel and family on the rules it just seems very peevish.

      When the government made this decision, what financial support decision did they make for the wedding business and the freelancers connected to this now Boris has eventually shut them for six months; the suit hire companies, the florists, the photographers and the venues, the disco/classical performers, car hire and on.

      Is the government stepping in and support the railways, TFL, local councils and their pensions, libraries, council venues, and carry on paying their staff full pay even if not expected to do an hours work, what is being planned for everyone else?

      • Fred H
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        Library staff are not working in Libraries – why are they not made redundant? Cruel? Maybe. But if we cannot have them open for the last 6 months – how are they going to open in the next 6?

  25. Sharon
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    When you take into account the fact that on the government website’s list of top killers that Covid is now about 25th on the list – it makes you wonder why the professors of gloom were allowed to terrorise MPs and then the public into believing that Covid should take priority over everything else. The economy; undiagnosed cancer cases; untreated heart and stroke cases; depression from being locked up; single people living and working alone; loss of job and the related issues, practical and emotional. And the list goes on?

    Yes the virus can be nasty and in some cases fatal, but if it’s that bad still, why is it now so far down the list of ways of dying?

    It really doesn’t make any sense!!!! Are hostiles pulling strings behind the scenes to destroy Brexit Britain’s economy to avoid success? I can see where conspiracy theories arise, people are trying to make sense of a very illogical and self destructive approach to a situation.

    • margaret howard
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Sharon

      All the afflictions you mention are part and parcel of human ill health and afflict us in normal times. They did during all the previous pandemics we have suffered such as the Spanish flu, Black Death, Aids etc. This virus strikes otherwise healthy people with devastating consequences and what appear to be debilitating long term effects.

      As to your theory that ‘hostiles are pulling strings behind the scenes to destroy Brexit Britain’s economy to avoid success:

      So the whole world is suffering from a killer virus that spells far worse economic ruin in more deprived countries just so that Brexit Britain is ruined?

      Sorry but the blame for our possible coming ruin must rest squarely with Brexit voters. I hate to say so but:

      WE TOLD YOU SO!

      • NickC
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        Margaet H, Oughtn’t you wait until we are ruined before you yell “We told you so”? It just seems a bit premature you see.

    • NickC
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Sharon, Thank you for that fact – covid19 is 25th on the list of killers. Thus closely monitoring the death toll would enable a partial lockdown to be re-introduced if necessary. In the meantime, if the death toll remains low, the stage is set for the government to claim its restrictions won the day.

    • Jonah
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      Yes it just doesn’t stack up

  26. Mike Wroe
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Why are we surprised that more people are going into hospital as we move into Autumn? We will see more respiratory illnesses and pneumonia. If so many positive tests are false positives too many admissions will be labelled incorrectly COVID19. And if the patient then dies it will be another false COVID statistic that influences Government policy. Look what damage that is doing to our lives.

  27. Lifelogic
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I see that Charles Moore, now Baron Moore of Etchingham seems concerned (in the Spectator) that his inclusion in Boris’s nominations list. “I am sorry if my presence lowers the tone”, well hardly he was the only one of 36 who was really deserving of it in my opinion. There must now be about 10 sensible & sound people in the Lords. Matt Ridley, Peter Lilley, Charles Moore and a tiny few others – alas not many out of circa 800.

    • Ignoramus
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Matt Ridley should be a minister, given his scientific background. Perhaps he is not considered because he is also an original thinker.

      • Ignoramus
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        I should have also said Ridley should replace Hancock who, unbelievably revealed last week that he was totally mistaken about what “false positives” actually meant statistically.

        He is totally unsuitable to be the Sec. of State for Health and has been spouting nonsense since before Covid.

      • Andy
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        Matt Ridley was, literally, the chairman of Northern Rock when it crashed. Literally its chairman.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        Ridley or Peter Lilly should be put in charge of Energy. The nearly all MP are deluded climate alarmists so rather unlikely alas.

    • margaret howard
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Ll

      ” Matt Ridley, Peter Lilley, Charles Moore and a tiny few others…”

      Any coincidence that they are all committed (rabid) Brexiteers?

      • Edward2
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Presumably you would also mark remainers as rabid?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        Well rational and logical people who think things through usually are. Sound on climate alarmism too and the size of the state.

  28. Richard1
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Why did they not take questions after this very weak presentation? What happened to Dominic Cummings’s correct enthusiasm for US-style red team-blue team exercises. We need much more rigorous questioning of official received wisdom.

  29. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Yes agreed, this unverifiable science – no peer review permitted, shows the UK is to receive 50% more infections and deaths from this virus than has been experienced anywhere else in the World to date .

    I want to say ‘you couldn’t make it up’ but clearly they have. Is this some Marxist Dictator master plan.

  30. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    As is quite normal, our host comes up with the points that many are talking about, re CV, that are not being adequately addressed by government.


    Yes, an open and honest debate would help – but doesn’t this now call for a full Parliamentary investigation?

  31. Hank Rearden
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    I think this is as close as you can come to saying the figures are a nonsense and we all know it. CW has a really good piece on this today, here is the link

  32. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    The bumbling buffoon ‘headmasters’ speech just compounds the issue. Lecturing everyone, when it is ‘they’ and the ‘truants’ that are at fault. i.e. the ones not listening, not hearing.

    The rest of us are better than that and well on top of this situation and are more than capable of pulling this around. Are they trying to bring us down to their juvenile level?

    If this crowd want to call themselves a Government they need to replay the Arlene Phillips version of the presentation. More gravitas, more authority and seemingly a better Tory than those in the Westminster Government. Or take a short cut make her the UK PM, then we can all move on

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      I really did have hopes for Boris. He was following on from 30years of egotistical failures – Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron, May. Not one of them did any thing positive for Democracy or this Country. So it wasn’t much to ask. We now have a few generations of voters that have never know, leadership, statesmanship or what democracy means and why it is so important.

  33. Sakara Gold
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Parliament should debate the real reasons for the alarming increase in Chinese plague virus cases in many areas of the UK:-

    Firstly, the abject failure of the privately set-up and run test and trace scheme to track more than 15% of the contacts (the exact figure is commercially sensitive) – which is directly responsible for the exponential rise in cases

    Secondly, the test kits still in use which give up to 5% false negatives. There has been much discussion here about the ~1% false positives, but false negative test results mean superspreaders at loose in the community. Coupled with the test and trace failure and the inability to actually get tested, these factors have heavily influenced the rapidly rising caseload.

    Thirdly, about 1.5 million people flew into Heathrow in August. None of them were tested and no evidence of a negative test result was required.

    Is anyone surprised that the rise in cases coincides with Johnson’s insistence that pubs and schools re-open and people go back to work in offices again? Across the pond, Trump’s advice to do the same has resulted in 200,000 fatalities and may mean that he won’t get the four more years that he so desperately wants.

    Blaming the public for “not following the rules” is a shamefull and pathetic attempt by Johnson, Hancock, Harding etc to deflect responsibility for the government’s failure to control the virus. Earlier this year they were hiding behind the “we are led by scientific advice” chestnut. Now it’s the public’s fault. How totaly predictable is that?

  34. JayGee
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile, panic buying has already begun. It would be a wise move to get the supermarkets to restrict sales of all the predictable panic-buy items, and to devise a way to ensure that those who need get what they need. Covidiots are running wild.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      And why is panic buying started and long tailing queues at testing stations because the media has told everyone there is a shortage ‘better get in quick’. I hope the supermarkets have learned their lesson this time and limited purchases of toilet roll per buyer.

  35. jerry
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    “I and others are trying to get an opportunity to explore the options in Parliament. “

    I agree, we need a “Norway” debate, which much the same outcome…

    • Ginty
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      The original lockdown was 2 months which was extended to 6 months – now we know we’ve got another 6 months.

      Pandemics typically take 24 months to peter out.

      What the government aren’t telling us (even in spite of a vaccine) is that this is going to last another 18 months.

      I for one think it good that pubs and clubs should revert to the old closing times but making it unpleasant to be in them at all other times means their end.

      I wish I was Norwegian.

  36. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I didn’t watch this but it sounds as though some highly paid presentation manager got hold of the actual graphs and turned them up to increase the fear factor. These should be moderated in the way that published scientific papers are to validate them.

  37. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I have no confidence at all in this government or indeed this parliament with a few honourable exceptions. There was always a danger that the government’s “cure” was worse than the disease. That it is became clear months ago. It is appalling that every aspect of life have been so adversely affected and lives lost as a consequence of actions taken by those elected to protect us. We are moving inexorably to a Chinese form of totalitarianism but no few in Westminster seem to care.

  38. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    The presentation was indeed very odd. Showing a chart purporting to show what would happen if we followed the trend for France/Spain which in fact was much worse than the actual trend for France/Spain. Excluding Italy/Germany – why ? Excluding more recent data from France/Spain from the chart. Presenting absolute cases with no corrections for the increasing numbers tested, or false positives, or population size. No discussion of what extra measures France/Spain have implemented which have apparently not worked. No discussion of what measures Italy/Germany have implemented which apparently have worked. An assertion in passing that “extra” immunity (T Cell I suppose) to anti-bodies is “very small” which is contradicted by several peer reviewed papers. A claim that 17% in London have antibodies which is the same number from months ago – shouldn’t it have gone up (more cases) ? Or down (if immunity fades as they claim) ?

    The most interesting thing to ask them would be why they think cases have started to go up. It can’t be a seasonal effect because the weather is still good (here and in Italy/Spain). So what is it and why aren’t they addressing that specific cause ?

  39. Jazz
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    We absolutely need objective, rigorous parliamentary scrutiny of the data and responses.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      It would help if the scientists presented objective data in the first place.
      Snake oil.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      +1

  40. JohnE
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Repeal the Coronavirus Act. Restore domocracy. Overthrow the Covidictatorship.

    • JohnE
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Edit for typo:
      Repeal the Coronavirus Act. Restore democracy. Overthrow the Covidictatorship.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      +1

  41. ian
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Loving every moment, you do the voting while I do the laughing. one can only say finger blood tests, they will tell you everything you need to know about C 19 of whether the person has had C 19 and is showing antibodies and can be sent to a hospital for plasma to be taken and can go about their daily business as usual or that they have C 19 but are not showing any antibodies which means they are infected and are a danger to themself and others or that they have not been infected yet and need to be tested every week and take more care if they from an ethnic group or are over the age of 50, a secondary school with teachers can do their testing for the whole school along with unis in fact testing can be done by most people and companies can set up their finger blood test facility if they have over 200 workers you can have these test facility in every supermarket car park and GPs, a stick-up someone’s nose tells you nothing, this is how they are getting away with total BS and keeping everybody in the dark so that they can do as they please, as for big restaurants and pubs they can have test facility set up for their clintel and staff. Testing is easy and fast and can be done locally the same day.

  42. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I am guessing someone in Government/Cobra is asking the questions you highlight, at least I very much hope so.
    Just out of interest John, are any minutes taken at these meetings, and if so who is on the circulation list.

    Once again we have poor presentation by those who’s job it is to try put out the information/disinformation to the public.

    I am all for keeping things simple, but you must use the same theme, basis and structure throughout the information/presentation process in order to keep interest, and more importantly gain credibility.

    Aware all governments around the World are struggling with this virus, and most of us are aware there is no magic bullet solution, but some form of a simple structured plan would be helpful.

    From a personal point of view I think the rule of six is a disaster given it can still mean six individuals from different families can meet up multiple times a day in different groups of six..
    The support bubble idea was a good one, but then has been taken to extreme in schools were some bubbles contain over 100 people (families) and where one innocent cough can isolate huge numbers.

  43. James Bertram
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Well said, Sir John. I fully support you on this. Questions need to be asked. Advice to government seems dodgy at best; there are many scientists who strongly disagree with that advice (Heneghan, Gupta, Levitt among many others – Lockdown Sceptics often mention these and more); and government policy seems based on advice that is taking us in fundamentally the wrong direction.
    It is time Parliament functioned properly, scrutinising government legislation and asking the hard questions. It is shameful they have abdicated this democratic role in the last six months. Time to right this wrong, and get back to being a functioning democracy.
    Keep up the good work; and I hope you can convince your colleagues to do likewise.

  44. Everhopeful
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Is there any scrutiny of SERCO?
    Apparently it not only runs the accommodation in 4* hotels of illegal immigrants but also Track and Trace!

  45. ian
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    In fact, in my opinion, all they have done so far is wasted time and money running around like headless chickens.

  46. James Bertram
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Regards ‘ It is time for a proper Parliamentary debate on these matters, to tease more out from the advice and to look around the world at what has worked best to contain the disease and keep economies turning. I and others are trying to get an opportunity to explore the options in Parliament.’

    One word: SWEDEN

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Two words: Leave voters.

  47. villaking
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Sir John, I am glad you are trying but you are in the minority. The vast majority of Tory MPs will just accept this and the Opposition positively applauds it. I am shell shocked at the wanton destruction of the economy and our way of life and the unprecedented state intrusion in an individual’s affairs. Sadly, opinion polls show great support for this. I am afraid you and Steve Baker will find it quite lonely

    • NickC
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Villaking, Me too – the oh so easy economic destruction and loss of our way of life, and the unprecedented state intrusions are appalling. Especially shocking are the snitches – my wife lived some months in communist Poland and the similarities remind her of those times.

  48. Annette
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    It is increasingly obvious.
    This is not to ‘suppress the virus’. It is to suppress the people.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      +1 they have to persuade us that there was a dreadful threat. They are terrified of our wrath should we know the truth. But we already do, so there is no way out.

  49. Mary M.
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    More than ever, the Coronavirus Act 2020 (March 25th) must be discussed outside of Boris Johnson’s cabal. This will give MPs and back-benchers of all parties the chance to air the concerns of their constituents.

    Go to https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/313310 and click on ‘Sign this petition’ if you want the Coronavirus Act 2020 to be properly debated in Parliament.

    The Act was made subject to parliamentary renewal every six months, thanks to some MPs who could see the danger of leaving unchecked future decisions taken by the PM and his chosen advisers.

    The six months is up in two days. After that, we could be stuck with the Coronavirus Act 2020 for at least a year.

    As I write, the petition “Repeal the Coronavirus Act 2020” has only 41,129 signatures.

    At least 100,000 signatures are needed, to be considered for debate.

  50. TooleyStu
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    SJR,
    ( It is time for a proper Parliamentary debate on these matters)

    Everyone needs to look deeper at the figures, and try to establish ‘why’ we currently have a Government of Occupation.

    The numbers do NOT stack up, when viewed.
    You are correct to question everything.

    Best regards, as always,
    Tooley Stu

  51. glen cullen
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    On its own govt webpage https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/ reported daily admissions to hospital at 134 – doesn’t say how many released, or if the symptoms where mild, moderate or severe…….doesn’t feel like a pandemic that’s killing everyone

    Did anybody realise that we had so many professors ?

  52. Burning injustice
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    You have taken understatement to new heights with this commentary. The Government’s presentation of the situation both on Monday and Tuesday was completely unsupported by scientific evidence. Vallance is damaged goods. The Government has moved beyond authoritarian to dictatorial. Parliament’s response, and that of Tory MPs, is beyond pathetic.

    We need proper powers of accountability returned to the House of Commons as a matter of extreme urgency.

  53. Steven
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I am appalled that this government continues it’s ridiculous and wrong policy to lockdown this country. These alleged experts have been wrong on every single prediction they have made, not by a little but by orders of magnitude. Boris and his sidekick Hancock are either stupid and impervious to reason or following an agenda that has nothing to do with health. My money is on the second. The media has brainwashed the population to be frightened of a cold virus and parliament has enabled the government to destroy this country. The cure is a thousand times worse than the disease which in this case is fear.

  54. Aden
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    They are of the same ilk as climate “scientists”. Make no predictions, hide the data, hide the evidence. After all if you make a prediction, it can be tested

  55. chris hook
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    At last Sir John do I detect the realisation (not before time) that our Government has not been entirely consistent in it’s approach to covid. You being an economist and generally holding sensible views I was disappointed with your reluctance to criticise it’s strategy.

  56. Aden
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    On the restrictions. Not only do you need to abolish those, you need to give back huge swathes of our rights you have removed.

    So lets start with some basics. Article 4 of the HRA. Remove the right of MPs to slave labour.

    Add in the right of consent.

  57. Neil Watson
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Excellent. A voice of reason, consideration and openess. We need more of this.

  58. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Sir John – BINGO!
    You have seen (alone?) through the presentation by the two chief scientists. Even I couldn’t understand the figures. To be honest, my wife, an ex nurse, was horrified because she, like the PM, knows what suffering is. The figures certainly do not justify the scare.
    When we were up together – way back – I seem to remember the pubs closing at 10 p.m. anyway? Have I remembered this wrong?

    When I go to the doctor I accept his/her advice meekly. I listen to the threats and the forecasts grimly. Then I go out and put about half of it into practice! Now the doctor seems to be the PM and we get punished if we do not obey the medical advice! This is outrageous for such a tiny number of deaths.
    Corona virus was not even in the top twenty causes of death in August!
    Please get this discussed properly by the people who represent us in parliament.

  59. Fred H
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    This government’s credibility went early in January.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Long before that.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

        Lynn – – at least hope existed before then!

  60. Christine
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    What’s going on John? Since mid-June, according to the ONS figures, we are 1,026 deaths below the 5-year average. There is no evidence of a second wave. Something else is happening. Our government is using the pandemic to curtail our civil liberties and turn the country into a draconian, authoritarian state. They have closed down debate and bypassed parliament.

    • Original Chris
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      Your are right, Christine, I fear. I have tried to post information from the ONS, weekly death rates from COVID, but have been disallowed.

  61. ian
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    As far as I know, no images C 19 under a microscope have been shown to the public of what C 19 looks like, if you have a microscope and finger picker you can test for yourself, my local hospital tests most of its staff and people living with them every week by finger blood tests.

    • Mad Dave
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      We should do The Bucket Test.

      Get 500 people to spit in a bucket and test to see if there’s any Covid 19 in it.

      Better than what we’ve got at the moment, anyway.

  62. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Anyone watch Johnson? Me neither, I have had enough of him and Hancock.

  63. Lifelogic
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    I see the government now want to encourage those who can work from home to do so but not students it seems. Nearly all university students could easily work from home so why are they nearly all being encouraged to go back if the government is so worried? Is it so they get a free inoculation from catching COVID? Like a chicken pox party.

    I can see that the universities want to get the rents on the student flats and justify their fees but is there many other reasons? Many will just be stuck in tiny student rooms anyway working on a laptop. Loads will surely catch Covid and then everyone in the flats told to isolate in their rooms for 14 days. Does not sound like much fun to me.

    After all about 75% of university degrees in the UK are fairly worthless anyway. Certainly most are worth less than the £50K of debt they produce and the loss of 3 years earnings.

    Not much consistency from this lock down government!

  64. Javelin
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    My question is Prof Whitty said there was no point in protecting the vulnerable and letting the rest of us get on with life because the vulnerable would catch the disease?

    This is THE major pivotal question. Yet he presented no evidence on this.

    Surely it all depends how much protection is given. Yet he contradicts his argument by saying that protection works.

    I’m very concerned that Prof Whitty is being fed his argument from the World Health Organisation with no evidence to back it up.

    In the US President Trump has pulled his country out of WHO and the economy is doing much better than the UK. Except those Democrat cities who follow the WHO advice

  65. ian
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I see that BJ has gone from his October 15 deadline for a deal with the EU to the end of December today now, it won’t be long before its next June 2021.

    • NickC
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Ian, If you accept what Shanker Singham said to a committee of MPs we are in for another 2 years “transition”.

  66. James Bertram
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Very good article by Dr John Lee in the Spectator on ‘the dangers of a Covid-elimination policy’ – basically, unlike Smallpox, elimination of Covid is totally unfeasible (Canute and the Sea) – we must learn to live with it.
    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-dangers-of-a-covid-elimination-policy

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Yes, thanks to people like you it probably is unfeasible.

  67. Jiminyjim
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Sir John, I sincerely hope you are successful in getting a debate in parliament. It is much needed. I think the government needs to be acutely aware of the long-term damage that it is doing to itself. We have recently experienced Matt Hancock saying that the false positive rate was under 1%, but clearly having no understanding of what that meant. We then had Grant Schapps stating that there had been no discussion in Cabinet about the FPR and showing he didn’t even know what the question meant. And this morning, we have had Dominic Raab, basically refusing to share with the public any details about the arguments against further measures being taken. And we have also had the unedifying spectacle of government scientific advisers presenting manipulated graphs to support the case for the removal of civil liberties. There are very many people, including me, who have been sympathetic to and supportive of the government up to this point. But if the government is going to continue to treat us as complete idiots, unable to read the data for ourselves, then the damage to the Conservative party over the longer term should not be underestimated. Please do make the point that if the government is not prepared to open itself (and its advisers) to scrutiny, the loss of trust will be serious and may not be easy to recover.

  68. rose
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    These were the questions I was left with following the slide show. Thank you for setting them out so clearly.

    “They showed a series of numbers for the proportion of the population that have antibodies which may strengthen their immunity to a future attack. What was odd was the 16 August latest figure was considerably lower than the figures from May/June/July. It would be good to have an explanation of this.”

    They seem to have been saying for months now that this sort of natural immunity doesn’t necessarily last beyond a few months, and that immunity from a vaccine may not either.

  69. ian
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    There might have been an image of C19 on the news but, the thing is I do not watch the media news that much because it does not tell you much about anything and is selective on what it reports.

  70. Pat
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I refer you to Oxford’s CEBM update for yesterday.
    They have re-plotted the infection graph for both England and Spain to show infections by date of test rather than by date of publication of results.
    In both countries the increase in positive tests has stalled.
    It looks like the apparent increase in infections comes from clearing a backlog of tests awaiting results.

  71. boffin
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Dr Michael Yeadon has published a very insightful and disturbing critique of the current shambles, which is well worth reading.

    “Lies, Damned Lies and Health Statistics – the Deadly Danger of False Positives”

  72. gyges
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Hi John

    Another question that we’d like you to ask your pal Matt et al,

    if I test positive for CV19 in a pillar 2 test what is the chance that I’ve got CV19?

    Similarly, if I test negative for CV19 in the same test, what is the chance that I’ve got CV19?

    Imagine the situation where I’ve met a client in a restaurant, gave my name etc and subsequently receive a ‘phone call from public health England saying that I have to be tested.

    Thousands of people are being put in this position on a daily basis without being told the answer to these two simple questions and Bayesian analysis can be tricky at the best of times.

  73. Original Chris
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    There is a very simple and powerful illustration of the weekly death rates in the UK on the government’s own website (ONS). It shows the weekly death rates since the beginning of the year with deaths from COVID, influenza and pneumonia charted separately. It isapparently a “classic Gompertz curve” for an epidemic.

    We are in the tail phase, and the COVID death rate has been flatlining close to the bottom axis for some time.

    NB the COVID death rate is significantly lower than both influenza and pneumonia (and has been for some time) so why has Boris decided to stamp out the virus at all costs when it represents a far less significant threat than flu or pneumonia?

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending21august2020#deaths-registered-by-week

  74. Iain Gill
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    there has been a massed transfer of wealth from freelancers who have been forced to live off their savings to permanent staff who have had their full salary paid regardless of savings, from private sector workers to public sector workers, social manipulation on a grand scale.

    far too many gaps, and far too many prejudices and lack of understanding of how the real economy works from those paid large sums to supposedly know.

    the starving people in the many gaps in help are going to rebel against this nonsense.

    • boffin
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Well said, Sir!

      • Iain Gill
        Posted September 26, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        Thanks

  75. beresford
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I have just been sent a picture of a woman wearing a crocheted facemask with the implication that it proves that the woman is stupid. In fact she is obeying the current Government infatuation with facemasks whilst limiting restrictions on her breathing. How long before we are told we must wear facemasks at home and police are to be given powers for raids to ensure concurrence? Our leaders ascribe the desired characteristics to the virus in the manner that Church leaders ascribe to God when they say he must ‘move with the times’. This week we have learnt that the virus can tell the time and that it is only transmissible when you stand up from being sat at a table!

  76. BOF
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    My fervent hope, Sir John, is that sooner or later the dodgy science, the manipulation of data, and the blatant selection of data will be exposed, resulting in the trashing of reputations and preferably, the exposure and public sacking of those responsible.

    One can but dream.

  77. Simon
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Why stop the extrapolation at 50,000 at the end of October? Continue it. At Whitty and Valance’s doubling rate, cumulatively, there would be 27 million cases by Christmas. Obviously he stopped the graph in October to avert even more ridicule than he has received.
    It is well time that Parliament got back to work attempting to oversee the executive, bring in a little common sense.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      66 million people in the U.K. could die of CV19 before the spring…. but they woun’t!

  78. Kevin Caudwell
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    How are we supposed to trust our top government scientists when they lie by omission like this. God speed on securing some parliamentary debate but clearly the government are looking for data to justify their plans rather than the other way around – so I won’t hold my breath.

    Boris also blamed people who broke the rules for the recent surge in cases – what is his evidence for this?

    No mention of false positives too, nor any mention of t-cell immunity which some scientists suggest could mean 30% of the population is effectively immune (in addition to those with immunity due to previous exposure of this coronavirus)

    The rise in cases may be partly attributable to an increase in the ratio of positive tests v tests but the simple fact that more tests = more positive tests results remains true.

    • NickC
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Kevin, Well said. We need some Parliamentary oversight.

  79. Helen Smith
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Once again you are talking good sense Sir John. I despaired at the press conference, the blatant manipulation of data was meant to scare those not complying into compliance but they will continue to take no notice of the Government, meanwhile more sensible people will look at what the scientists said and conclude they are talking rubbish and also ignore them.

    The arrogant dismissal of T cell immunity was distressing, I don’t know if it is right or wrong but surely scientists should keep an open mind?

    I think the lower number in August was meant to imply Antibody immunity only lasts a short while btw and telling even those who have had it that they are not safe.

    Boris badly needs fresh voices to bring a different perspective.

    Whitty and Vallance only look at who is doing worse and say we are just behind them, in Spring it was Italy but because Italy is doing OK now they have turned their attention to France and Spain.

  80. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    A proper personal scientific risk comparison would show, at least by a few examples, the likelihood of say a 60-65 year old with no co-morbidities, living in Wokingham and going about their usual business (not raves or nightclubs) ending up in hospital with CV compared to say a stroke or heart attack.

    As an over 65 on these figures one is twice as likely to likely to die from a heart attack as enter hospital with CV. With lack of exercise through cowering indoors, this proportion is likely to increase, not decrease.

  81. cornishstu
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    The R value published here on the 18 Sept for Covid-19 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-r-number-in-the-uk is shown as 1.1 to 1.4 which is still lower than swine flu in 2009 which was 1.4 to 1.6. It does not appear to be having much effect on the general population if any in some cases, except for those who are classed as vulnerable. There are always going to be people in society who have unknown underlying problems and those whose life choices increase risk but that unfortunately is life. But it is not in the realms of the bubonic plague which is the image being created. When people can see that the rules do not make sense support will drop. One thing I heard this morning which I have said from the beginning is the UK as whole should be following the same guidelines. I could go on there are so many contradictions with what is going on.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      cornishstu,

      An interesting link. It also estimates that the number of (possible) cases is growing between 2% and 7% per day. Converting to Vallance’s doubling time that would be doubling between every 10 and 35 days.

      It sadly does not separate out cases with symptoms from asymptomatics to see if there is a different rate.

  82. DennisA
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    The government data dashboard is at coronavirus.data.gov.uk/healthcare
    It shows 1319 number of Covid-19 patients currently in hospital, reported on Sunday 20th September. The total number of hospital beds in the UK is 170,548, correct in April 2020.
    Therefore hospital beds currently occupied by Covid-19 patients is a massive 0.77%, they will soon be overwhelmed.

    The dashboard shows 136,330 cumulative number of Covid-19 patients admitted to hospital, reported on 7th September, 2020. Over the last few days there have been an additional 239, making 136,569. The total number of positive tests to 22nd September is 403,551, classified as “cases”. Therefore hospital admissions only comprise 33.8% of total cases. Clearly the NHS was saved.

    Total cases currently amount to 0.59% of the UK population, total mortality is 0.061% of the population. The case fatality rate in April was sometimes in excess of 25%, whilst over the last seven days it has averaged 0.67%. Since the beginning of August, mortality has “flatlined” if you pardon the expression.

    There has been no “exponential” growth in hospitalisations or mortality, as Matt Hancock has claimed. There is no valid reason for the latest measures, based on flawed computer simulations. It appeared we were emerging from a tunnel, we now find Boris is digging another one. Maybe that is why his photo-ops are always with a hi-viz jacket and hard hat.

  83. Clive
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John and all .
    On Sky news this morning they hi-lighted the very sad case of a young Lady who has brain cancer and due to delays in her treatment is now gravely ill . Her husband clearly in a bad way , bravely remarked that although Covid was serious so was cancer .
    450 lives are lost (fact) every day due to this hideous disease , while 1000 poor souls are diagnosed again (fact) . No wave or spike, just every day .No graphs or charts required . I know how he feels as I am sure most of you do, I lost my wife just over two years ago to cancer , she was just 54 . It touches us all , everyone of us .
    Covid has been allowed to take over every aspect of our lives . Fear generated by non elected bodies . A media that is having a field day . An elected Government that should have taken the lead but instead decided to follow . A very poor judgement in my humble view .
    Sir John , the day of reckoning will come and your party , my party,will be judged on how this was allowed to get so out of control and context and destroy so much , young and old .
    I hang my head in despair and utter shame as more idiotic and needless steps are taken .

    My thoughts today are with the gentleman and his family and all cancer victims left waiting and needing life saving treatment .

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      I now know of two avoidable deaths, one suicide and one attempted suicide which have happened in my circles since CV19 and could just as easily be attributed to CV19 measures but won’t be.

      Why not ?

      (I know of not a single CV19 death and I’m doubtful I know anyone who’s had it.)

  84. JohnK
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    The presentation by the two gloomsters did present more questions than answers, and their refusal to even take any questions was a disgrace.

    If I read their graphs correctly, the death rate per 100,000 in Spain is 0.2, and in France is 0.05. These are not figures which require draconian legislation.

    Showing a scary graph, but claiming it is not a prediction, is not acceptable. It is a mind game, a piece of propaganda.

    Since the start of the pandemic, people have been talking of a “second wave” as if it is a done deal. It is not.

    The actual graph of deaths shows something which does look like a sombrero (which lockdown was meant to squash, but clearly did not). Deaths went from none in February up to a peak in March/April, of over 1000 a day, and then declined sharply to where we are now, with a couple of dozen a day.

    The virus came, peaked, and having killed the people it was going to kill, has died back. The current panic is based on tests of people who allegedly positive for the virus, not people who have any symptoms or feel at all ill. It seems utterly bogus to me.

    Dr Neil Ferguson was on the radio again the other day. He’s got more front than Harrod’s. After being caught breaking lockdown with etc ed you would think anyone with an ounce of shame would keep a low profile. Not Dr Ferguson. His prediction of 500,000 deaths from CV19, which panicked Boris into the lockdown of 23rd March, was based on a mistake. Dr Fauci had predicted a death rate of 1%. It should have been 0.1%. We have already had those deaths. There isn’t a “second wave” and there won’t be one. CV19 is not worth ruining the economy, and it is not worth the deaths from other causes which are inevitable now. On a personal note, I have been waiting for dental treatment since March. You can’t even get a filling or a crown now. What sort of country have we become?

  85. Iain Gill
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Boris making a massive mistake backing Dido Harding up in parliament.

    Heads should be rolling.

    The PM should be humble and admit that mistakes it has and is making.

  86. Newmania
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    The world seems to be full of people hiding in their pyjamas , trying to force the rest of us onto trains and into offices .
    John your efforts to find some statistical conjuring trick are not required . Its not the numbers its the bleeding obvious .More mixing , more contagion , more dead .

    Why do you always have to try to make simple things complicated ?

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      I can assure you I’m not in my pyjamas.

      I have worked throughout lockdown and in at-risk areas at an at-risk age for much of it.

      Economic collapse = more dead.

      But we’re never ever shown that chart.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Chris Whitty points to exponential contagion yet stops at 50,000 in October.

      Why did he stop counting in October ?

      Because if he carried on until Christmas he would have to declare a fantastical 27 million cases. (quoting Simon)

    • NickC
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, Since mid June more mixing has meant fewer dead.

  87. Nigl
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Off topic but current. So in comes the sell out. Brexit implementation period open ended.

    Once again the EU and the elites seem to be getting their way.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Probably why they are imprisoning us again.

  88. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Excellent questions.

    Another I would ask is if this is really only for another six months – we were told that last time. Pandemics normally take two years to work through.

    There is going to be nothing left of our economy. Everything we love is going to be ruined. They didn’t tell us that bit yesterday.

    The old may survive but there is a good chance they won’t be eating.

    Whereas we asked of our vibrant City “Why Frankfurt ?” Frankfurters can now ask of our dead City “Why London ?”

    And don’t imagine for a minute that those bright young things who can make things and fix things of great complexity are sticking around. I know of aerospace engineers who are leaving the country now.

    There won’t be any quick start up after this is finished.

    ———

    I want to say, on a very positive note, that it seems that a British scientist has been at the forefront of the greatest discovery of Mankind. More to the point an English scientist – a FEMALE English scientist… using unorthodox thought and a telescope based in Hawaii to view Venus and to find compelling evidence that there is extra terrestrial life on one of our near neighbours.

    Permit me to be a bit proud of my people for that during period in which we have been under cultural attack.

    This discovery would indicate that the universe is teeming with life and should put to bed all the myths and superstitions which are used to intimidate the rest of us and control our politics.

    The UK’s problem hasn’t been a paucity of people with technical aptitudes, rather a surfeit of those with PPE, Arts and Law degrees running the show.

    And they couldn’t read a graph for toffee.

  89. Nigl
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I see Anthony Browne has just got up to say the majority of the British public agree with the new lockdown restrictions. No doubt a whips patsy to butter up the PM.

    In my experience how alarmingly out of touch. No we don’t.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      We do not!
      And YouGov asks carefully selected people.
      I have not been asked one question about the virus and have been getting my £50s for years!

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Funny, neither have I.

  90. alastair harris
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    until these so called rules, offered up by ministers under cover of the covid act, are properly debated in parliament they have no legitimacy. Even if they were capable of rational interpretation and hence observance, which Lord Sumption confirms they are not.

  91. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    It does seem strange that with testing rising from 14K a day back in April to around 240k a day now, that they are finding more people that have had signs of Corvid in their system.

    So at 14K a day they found around 5K people having signs of Corvid in their System and at 240K a day they are still finding 5K that have signs of Corvid in their system.

    So 1,700% more time and effort looking for a problem and it is still the same.

    Maybe these Corvid Police should be let loose on catching criminals. Oh I forgot they are out people counting as they are soft targets for the Chancellors new revenue stream.

    I am reminded when speed cameras were installed on the M4 at Swindon (after government saying these would never be placed on motorways) people caught speeding increased in that area.

    Am I making lite of a serious situation, but so is government. Showing signs of having had this dreaded virus, but no longer being contagious tells us nothing.

    This thing is not going away, a vaccine may reduce the symptoms for some but it doesn’t cure. Logically this means we have to learn to live with it and adjust accordingly. That’s exactly what the greater majority of this country are doing without the ‘headmaster’ speech. Draconian Dictatorial restrictions on a whole population because a handful don’t listen, they are playing truant, doesn’t work and they are still not listening. So value of these new measures less than zero.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      We have lived with corona viruses for ever.
      Who knows ( certainly not the “science” junta) they may be in some way essential to life on earth?

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

        In crude terms the human body is cells made from viruses that just get on. Similar to all life on Earth. Hence the synergy of a foreign virus trying to join in, some make it some don’t – its called evolution.

        This one is mutating so as not to kill its host. Killing your host is dumb you go extinct.

  92. Dr Ian Heath
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Bang on JR. The wisest words I have heard so far. The advisers do need to properly explain themselves. I an fed up with the uninformed debate in the media. Nobody else seems willing to challenge the the reasoning of the experts. They should stop treating us like children incapable of following statistical reasoning.

    • margaret howard
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

      Ian Heath

      So you think we should distrust the ‘experts’? So who should we trust then?

      If you needed treatment for a serious medical condition you would expect to receive that from an expert in the field confident that those in authority in the medical profession would only allow those with the relevant expertise to treat you.

      The same criteria applies to the experts you seem to disparage who are made up of individuals at the top of their profession.

      Are you trying to tell us that the whole world is following the advice of quacks?

  93. DOM
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    ”President Trump has just signed a full Executive Order abolishing critical race theory from the federal government, the military, and all federal contractors.”

    There you go PM Johnson and the Tories. This is what a real, courageous politician does and does it to destroy the fascist left that is using racial identity to de-identify, demonise and silence tens of millions of British citizens

    • Iago
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      +++1

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Silence?

      People like you never stop your ceaseless rantings, not least to tell us of your identity, of being English going back for so many generations.

      And you are constantly egged on by most of the press here to do just that.

      So your silly claim is quite groundless.

    • margaret howard
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Dom

      So who created this “race theory” that now has to be abolished, in the first place?

      The Fascist Right?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Right!
      I’m emigrating.
      If they’ll have me.
      All Hail Trump!!

  94. Ignoramus
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    My MP, who has to be nameless but is not a minister, replied to an email from me which listed a number of issues about the government’s mishandling of the Pandemic (all of which will be known to readers and Sir John) by sending a generalised letter he was obviously sending to constituents who found lockdown difficult to carry out. It ignored all the points I had raised.

    I had specifically stated that I did not want a reply but was merely expressing my opinions. I have grave doubts that he actually read my letter and that his secretary had been told to answer all Covid comments with one stock letter.

  95. Ex-Tory
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just been refreshing my memory by watching the Swedish professor Johan Giesecke on Youtube, speaking on 17th April.

    He said that the UK lockdown policy would result in the sort of confusing stop-go easing and tightening we are seeing now.

    Now it seems that MPs want to give the government that decided to implement that lockdown in the first place carte blanche to do whatever it likes for the next 6 months.

  96. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    The department of Health is insisting that there are 3 reasons for getting your flu vaccination

    https://twitter.com/DHSCgovuk/status/1308345294493487106?wp-linkindex=2&utm_campaign=Healthcare_worker_flu_campaign_email_2&utm_content=dhsc-mail.co.uk&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Department_of_Health_and_Social_Care

    In my reply I said that there are at least 2 very good reasons why we shouldn’t take the flu vaccine:

    1. It is far to early in the year to even know what strain of flu is coming this winter, so how could there possibly be a valid vaccine for it. Likewise, how was it tested and for how long?

    2. Unofficially, it has been noted that the virus attacked most widely those people who had previously had flu jabs.

  97. a-tracy
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    John, who are the new patients in the hospitals? Where were they in the six weeks before admission to hospital? Who were they mixing with? What % were from Care Homes? What % came in from abroad or mixed with someone coming in from abroad? What age group are they? Do they still have pre-existing conditions?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      All shrouded in mystery.
      Cock-up or conspiracy?

  98. Original Chris
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Could you explain to me why you have apparently removed my post with its link to the ONS, the government’s own figures, for weekly death rates for COVID, influenza and pneumonia, compared with total deaths (Jan 2020 to present, graph format).
    Unpalatable truths?

    It is hugely concerning if it is you, Sir John, who has done this. I consider this to be suppression of vital information and figures, which the public must see in order to be properly informed. After all the figures are in the public doman, if people know where to look.

    • Original Chris
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Thank you for now posting my comments.

  99. Fred H
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    The incidence of positive tests should inform the overall strategy on testing the masses. Currently the structure and process will not allow accuracy over 200k tests.

    Most areas of the country have low infections. Testing can be ramped up by ‘pooling’ meaning mix a sample from say 100 and test it. All clear great! If positive halve the 100 and do 2 more tests -if one is clear Great! the other 50 could be halved again into 25s or perhaps 12/13 to retest. Most ought to be negative. Few tests compared to the 100 alternative.
    In areas of much higher positives perhaps 10 could be the start point or maybe 20.
    In this way avoiding massive numbers of negatives can be avoided.

    The key is to update the occurance of positives over a grid map of the country -a step up from full postcode?

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      @ Fred do you honestly believe the intelligence(basic logic) is available in this Government and the NHS.

  100. Barbara
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I see Belgium has just said it is stopping PCR testing as the results are misleading and unreliable, and they are rowing back on masks as well, saying they are no longer mandatory in all situations.

    Maybe *now* our lot will take notice, as most of them revere Belgium so much?

  101. Nigel
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary Government programme.

  102. Stred
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    The latest hospital deaths have gone up, presumably following infection about three weeks ago. The figure is still small compared to the high hundreds per day during the peak and coincide with the marches and demonstrations last month. Many younger people have decided to ignore the precautions and have older and vulnerable people have caught the virus from the increased infection. It does not follow that the increased cases are all infectious or that putting extra restrictions on those of us who take precautions is going to be effective when others are taking no notice and are not prosecuted.

  103. glen cullen
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    393 migrants arrived yesterday on 26 boats

  104. Original Chris
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Question to government advisers:

    Why do you persist with draconian measures for COVID when your own statistics/graphs demonstrate clearly that the weekly death rate for COVID is significantly lower than that for influenza and pneumonia, and that the death rate for COVID has flatlined along the bottom of the graph for some time?

    • Original Chris
      Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      See the Office of National Statistics website as I am apparently not permitted to post the link.

  105. Mary M.
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    More than ever, the Coronavirus Act 2020 (March 25th) must be discussed outside of Boris Johnson’s cabal. This will give MPs and back-benchers of all parties the chance to air the concerns of their constituents.

    Go to https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/313310 and click on ‘Sign this petition’ if you want the Coronavirus Act 2020 to be properly debated in Parliament.

    The Act was made subject to parliamentary renewal every six months, thanks to some MPs who could see the danger of leaving unchecked future decisions taken by the PM and his chosen advisers.

    The six months is up in two days’ time. After that, we could be stuck with the Coronavirus Act 2020 for at least a year.

    As I write, the petition “Repeal the Coronavirus Act 2020” has only 44,438 signatures.

    At least 100,000 signatures are needed, to be considered for debate.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      This Govt is one that has indicated it is prepared to put the army against its people to suppress their freedom. You are a brave person to sign a petition that will be ignored.

    • hefner
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      50,781 on 24/09 13:35. Only twelve more days to go and sign it.

  106. agricola
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    While I have been in the UK I have been partaking of parts of the hospitality industry. For me it has been pubs and restaurants. My impression is that those operating such businesses are responsible people. They are already well versed in personal hygene and they have a vested interest in keeping their customers safe. Mostly customers are responsible people too.

    Undoubtedly these businesses are not sustainable under the present regime for the next six months. Question for government is a simple either or. Either government financially support these businesses at horrendous cost for the next six months or you put trust in these businesses and their customers to run at a viable capacity. Not trusting them means government facing the unemployment consequences and similar very high financial and long term social cost. Personally I would go for it and trust the industry and their customers. What thoughts do your contributors have on this subject.

  107. na
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    suicides are real high, visit cemeteries and no one is burying Covid they all burying suicides, it is the real epidemic

  108. Anonymous
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Julia Hartley Brewer told Dominic on Talk Sport only 307 people have died of Sarscov2 since ‘pandemic’ began. He was speechless.

  109. Anonymous
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    suicides are real high, visit cemeteries and no one is burying Covid they all burying suicides, it is the real epidemic

    • Fred H
      Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      most cemetaries don’t have space anymore- unless family owns a 2 or 3 deep plot with a ‘vacancy’.
      Crems use gas fired – whilst gas remains available. In the future we might have to bring our Patio Gas canister with us for the staff to use!

  110. Fred H
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    the vulnerable groups are mostly already taking steps to isolate and protect themselves. Do you really think those in poor health or over 70 are out boozing and clubbing, or rocking the night away in Spanish resorts?
    Please get real and consider the circumstances of infection transmission – it is certainly not due to neglect in the vulnerable population.

  111. Mick Davies
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    If testing has a false positive rate of 91% and the tracing app has a 1 in 3 error then what are the odds against someone getting a call to self isolate actually having the virus?
    Mick D

  112. Not Bob
    Posted September 24, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Dominic Raab, no less, has admitted that the accuracy rate of the test is about 7% – no, that’s not a typo: SEVEN PERCENT!

    On this basis, I can see no point in testing at all.

  113. Georgina Eilbeck
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    If only more MPs were asking questions.

  114. Steven Sieff
    Posted September 25, 2020 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    If you’re looking to explore options then https://greenbandredband.com merits consideration. Offers protection for those who consider themselves high risk without needing to isolate anyone. Allows those who consider themselves low risk – or who would simply prefer to accept the risk – the opportunity to interact without restrictions. Not dependent on population immunity or suppression to zero/a vaccine. So all sides of the debate can get what they want. A safe society where individuals are allowed freedom of choice.

  • 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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