My speech during the debate on Covid-19, 28 September 2020

Sir John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): The Government rightly want to get the virus down and limit deaths, but they also need to promote livelihoods and economic recovery, and it is proving difficult to get that balance right. I do not accept the criticisms that say, “Well, the Government change their mind.” Of course the Government change their mind, because the virus waxes and wanes and the situation changes on the ground. They have to study the data and do the best they can.

What I would like to hear from Ministers is more in various directions where I think they could improve the position more quickly. The first is the issue of treatments. There has been some excellent work done in the United Kingdom, and it is great that a steroid has now been discovered that can make a decent improvement for various patients. That is great news and I welcome it, but what about the tests and trials we were promised when I raised this, many months ago now, of other antivirals, other steroids, antimalarials and clot-busting drugs? All those may have possible efficacy and they have their scientific and medical support around the world. We have great science here, so can we hear the results, please, Minister? Where have we got to? Are any of those going to work? The more and better treatments we can get and the more we can understand the different strands and features of this disease in different patients, the better it will be for keeping people safe.

We have learned that the Government now agree with me and others that they need to do a better job on isolation hospitals and on segregating patients who have this very contagious disease from all the other people who need to use our health service. I am pleased about that, but can we have some more details? Why cannot we simply use the Nightingale hospitals for covid-19—let us hope we do not need anything like that number of beds for this second wave—and keep all the other hospitals for non-covid? Or, if they are going to have shared facilities, certainly in urban areas where there is more than one hospital, can we have covid-19 hospitals and other hospitals that are open for other conditions? We do not want to see all the death rates for other things shooting up because people feel they cannot get access to their hospital or they are worried about going to their hospital because of covid-19.​

We then have the issue of the damage this is doing to the economy. I understand the strategy, but it seems that the damage is going to fall unduly heavily on hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism, the areas where we need more social contact and where that is thought to encourage the transmission of the disease. As someone who does not normally recommend subsidies, I do think that when people are banned from going to work, running their business or doing their job, they deserve some public support. They are doing that in the public interest, because their Government have told them that their activity is particularly damaging to the public good. If that is true, surely we the taxpayers have to pay for that.

I assume that the Government think we will come out of this sometime, and we want to go back to a world where there are theatres, cinemas, entertainments, good restaurants and all the other things that make life worth while and give pleasure to families. We do not want to live in a world where they are gradually all closed because there is no support and they are not allowed to function at all. We need more intelligence to work alongside those sectors, to see how they can get ways of working and living alongside this virus all the time it is out there and causing us trouble.

There have already been hon. Members today requesting exit strategies, and I quite understand why it is very difficult for the Government to give us one, because they are all sorts of unknowns that I do not know any more than they or their advisers do. We understand that their preferred exit strategy is the discovery of a vaccine and the roll-out of massive quantities of that vaccine for sometime early next year, so that we can then come out of lockdown.

That would be great, but we cannot bank on that. There are ifs and buts in that and it may not happen, so there needs to be a strategy for a situation where we do not have a magic vaccine. That is why we need more work on safeguarding people who are most at risk and more work on how we can get other people back to work, to save those livelihoods and those businesses and to wean them gradually off subsidy, which they are going to need all the time they are banned from doing their job and keeping things ready for us when times improve.

Above all, the nation needs some hope. It needs a vision of a better future. It needs to believe that, in a few months’ time, something good will happen. It certainly does not need the threat of cancellation of Christmas or the threat that thousands of students will be locked away in rather small accommodation in their universities because there is a fear that they might spread the virus more widely.

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109 Comments

  1. a bad dream
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    We understand that their preferred exit strategy is the discovery of a vaccine and the roll-out of massive quantities of that vaccine for sometime early next year, so that we can then come out of lockdown.

    That would be great, but we cannot bank on that

    ….
    no that would be a nightmare

  2. Peter
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    “Well, the Government change their mind.”

    This seems to be not only because the ‘virus waxes and wanes’ though.

    Government chooses who to take advice from and who to ignore. Then, if this draws criticism the government tries to tweak the advice, or change it, or even U turn.

    There are eminent scientists who believe we are over reacting. They are ignored or in the case of one, Dr. Heiko Schoening – scheduled to talk to the Trafalgar Square assembly, hunted down by the police force, then silenced, then arrested.

    So many of the public are now getting restless after 6 months with no sign of relief. They are also suspicious at the official version of events that brooks no dissent.

  3. glen cullen
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your speech Sir John, but please bear in mind that your loyalty to this government should be reciprocated

  4. Steven
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    What deaths? The only deaths are from people with loads of actual illnesses that really killed them. Who cares if there are 50 million cases of cv if none of them dies? Why is the government so intent on locking us up and destroying our lives? What is the agenda?

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      99.9% of covid-19 result in mild cold/flu like conditions – the lockdown is crazy

  5. DOMINIC
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    ‘The Government rightly want to get the virus down and limit deaths’

    And there we have it. Making an assertion that is patently false.

    This and indeed previous governments since 1997 do not give a toss about lives, death and suffering which may explain why both parties use oppressive laws (Hate Crime laws designed to obliterate our rights to discuss important issues that directly expose both parties strategy in sweeping from view abuse and violence that has the capacity to destroy the 2 party status quo) to destroy debate on issues that directly expose both Tory and filth Labour lies.

    Labour is a vicious, brutal political animal and your party is utterly without value, morality or decency for refusing to expose their crimes which now CANNOT be openly discussed thanks to laws passed by YOUR party

    The Marxist political and State managerial class have destroyed our rights and voice to protect incumbent parties and any issue that threatens this is BRUTALLY crushed

    We are tired of Tory capitulation to a Marxist ideology that is now threatening our very world. Woke and anti-white racial bigotry is spreading through every vein of our nation and your grubby party colluding with that slime opposite are responsible

    • Phil Darley
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Excellent could not have put it better!

  6. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    A disappointing contribution, in my opinion. Someone needs to be telling the government that we cannot carry on like this.

    Yes to:
    Social distancing
    Masks in shops and on transport
    Isolation if you have the virus
    Working from home it practical

    No to:
    Lockdowns
    Curfews
    The decimation of the economy

    The message needs to be – if you are vulnerable you take responsibility for your own health while everyone else gets on with keeping the economy afloat.

    Mr. Redwood – your contribution seems basically supportive of the current ineffective, unsustainable and undemocratic actions of the government of which you are a part. With a majority of 80 I was hoping for a dissenting voice espousing common sense, to make the government realise not everyone agrees with their poor handling of this situation.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Relying on Desmond Swayne then.

  7. Sir Patrick Vaccine
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Now Carrie safely back from her Lake Como holiday Italy is aboutot go on the quarantine list.

    GREAT NEWS HERE Professor Anthony Brookes says we’ve reached herd immunity.

    Number of second wave deaths ‘nothing like’ that of first, professor tells Julia Hartley-Brewer – on Talk Radio you tube

    Geneticist and health data scientist Professor Anthony Brookes explains why he is “confident” that the deaths caused by a second wave of coronavirus will be “nothing like the amount of deaths we had in the first wave”

    • Sir Patrick Vaccine
      Posted September 29, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Tory MP Mark Harper Calls Out Boris Johnson Secretly Passing New Criminal Business Laws At Midnight for businesses – speech on you tube – Sir John Redwood make a brief appearance as well

      Not following the exact procedures is now a criminal offence for businesses

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 30, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        When was this done? None of the business advisor organisations have informed business about this new law.

  8. Sir Patrick Vaccine
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    We’ve seen the rise of the ANTI BORIS.

    This Boris no longer exists:
    Brussels is taking a big liberty with children’s booster seats
    By Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph
    21 September 2006 • 00:01 am

    Of all the sensations of joy and release that Nature in her kindness has bestowed on the human race, there is little or nothing to beat the moment when you get rid of the baby’s car seat.

    search: Brussels is taking a big liberty with children’s booster seats By Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph

  9. ukretired123
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Sensible and well balanced proposals. Thank you very much for your down to earth realism Sir John.

  10. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    As countries as diverse as New Zealand and China, Norway and Taiwan have demonstrated so emphatically, effective suppression of the epidemic is exactly what is needed to protect the economy and millions of livelihoods.

    Thanks to the frozen-in-the-headlights position of this Government, the UK therefore has the worst of all worlds.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 29, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      That is, one is absolutely not a trade-off – or ‘balance” – against the other. The position is quite the reverse.

  11. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Prove to us that any measure taken has had an impact, if not rescind it immediately.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      Tell me just how many sick people there are within a mile of a pub or restaurant I visit. How many? Come on? You don’t know? Why not? After 6 months you have no information? You can’t be that stupid. It must be a conspiracy.

      You’re still sending infected people to non-isolation hospitals? So you’re causing more of a transmission problem than I am.

      You have no evidence then about a need to wear a mask? I’m wearing a raincoat when the storm is 200 miles away. Crazy.

  12. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    If the vaccine is the magic bullet then I’m never coming out of lockdown. I will never submit to the vaccine. If I can’t recover my freedom via Democratic means, you place me in opposition to the State.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Same here Lynn, I am 50 and never been vaccinated for anything, I am not starting now because the EU order it (see EU Summit sept 2019).

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        I’m leaving seats in the vaccination queue for true believers.

  13. Sir Patrick Vaccine
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    RICHARD LITTLEJOHN – Daily Mail – can’t understand the lunacy:

    Come out of the Wendy House with your hands up! These coronavirus restrictions are a concerted assault on our civil liberties never before attempted… even in wartime

  14. Sir Patrick Vaccine
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    The track and trace app is causing predictable serious problem for businesses

    Boris Johnson and Hancock must be removed from office. Ministers can’t even explain any of the rules.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      My elderly neighbour was at her wits end yesterday; she got a text from NHS telling her to download the covid-19 app – she doesn’t know what an app is

      She doesn’t have a smart phone and has been following all regulations religiously

      However she thought she was being informed by her NHS GP that she had the covid-19 virus……very very distressing

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        No, the GP would only be in touch round here to send them to the Pharmacy and not to darken their doorstep. Just pay and keep away.

  15. Mrs Vaccine
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John, thank you for raising the issue of actual treatment for people who catch covid. Many of the stories told about people still being ill after being treated at home seem to suggest that they did not receive any particular medicine to help them fight the illness, despite world wide information about safe drugs which have been trialled and tested, yet are still not used in the UK. Hospitals do not seem to have up to date information on these drugs either so people are suffering needlessly. There is no guarantee that a vaccine will work.

  16. ian
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    BJ will be speaking at the con party conference about saving the planet on behalf of all world institution and to convince the EU that it is alright to sign up to deal with the UK because the UK gov will be following world guidelines the same as the EU and there will no need to worry.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Boris has already signed the UK up to a 2030 deadline

      see Leaders’ Pledge for nature | United to Reverse Nature Loss by 2030 for Sustainable Development

      Just search on the internet ”Leaders’ Pledge for nature”

      Boris is all GREEN

  17. Iain Gill
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Re “Why cannot we simply use the Nightingale hospitals for covid-19” answer is simple really, the Nightingale hospitals are only suitable for the simplest Covid patients. Patients with no other conditions at all. Those hospitals do not have X-Ray machines, scanners, operating theatres, and all the other million and one things that medics need to have ready for many patients. So Nightingale hospitals can only by used for the healthiest youngest people with Covid that you expect to recover, or the other extreme of people you expect to die and have pretty much given up hope for and are only offering management to death with a tiny possibility of recovery. The majority of patients in the middle of the spectrum who could have a heart attack and need cardio intervention, or could need emergency ops etc, not at all suitable for Nightingale hospitals.

    And if we really think the virus is coming back we should have taken this time to give each cubicle in the Nightingale hospitals their own tent so that they could have also have positive air pressure to minimise the cross infection between patients in those hospitals. Like the Americans have done in theirs.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      And if we really think the virus is coming back we should – cancel all nursing degree’s and employ student nurses direct with a vocational day release (in-house)

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        And we’d be stopping all incoming flights.
        Testing regularly in schools and colleges.
        Isolating care homes

  18. Roger Graham Farmer
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    The key to regenerating that part of the economy you highlight is testing on a frequency that almost assures those who return to use of said parts of the economy that they will be doing so Covid 19 free.

    Government have apparently ignored those UK companies that have developed fast test/result machines that could be used in none medical environments at no great cost. The companies are reported to have switched to export markets to great reward. It suggests to me that this is just a symptom of the NHS/ government’s lumpen purchasing expertise that does not allow it to react to a crisis. The same was evident at the outset with their failure to produce PPE.

    The airport is the perfect corral for pre flight testing, aircraft for on board testing, holiday hotels for pre departure testing. If supermarkets, chemists, and GP centres were used as test points, everyone could carry a health practique on paper or their mobile phone that would enable them to use pubs , restaurants, theatres and cinemas. I created such a practique prior to flying to Spain on Sunday and had it registered as part of my entry to Spain. It did not involve a test, but with the right facilities it could have done, it relied on me giving some honest answers to questions asked.

    Until a vaccine is available, with legal consequences for those who refuse it, ie. restricting their movements and social intercourse, the above is the only route I can envisage to a full return to economic activity. Any vaccine has a two way legal obligation for administrator and citizen. The first to fulfil it’s efficacy and the second their responsibility to fellow citizens.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 1, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      “Government have apparently ignored those UK companies that have developed fast test/result machines that could be used in none medical environments at no great cost.”
      They’re charging £65 per test up to £150 in London.

  19. a-tracy
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Very good John,

    The only thing you missed was a wedding plan, this is surely not something that Conservatives want to wilfully cancel for a couple of years. People were talking of a small wedding breakfast for immediate closest friends and family with a small music interlude (from performers who seriously need a bit of work) and a party at a future point – that is now all off the table.

    How is a wedding breakfast more dangerous than a restaurant? Surely if a hotel can safely seat 30 – 40 people in family social bubble groups (and the church or other religious venue could accommodate a safe number) when they would normally seat 80-100 and people sit at their table in family units and find a safe way to proceed this could be allowed? How and when are we ever going to get out of this present total fear factor total lockdown.

    How does the government expect hotels to keep on their furloughed staff with zero business coming through the door? If you aren’t continuing furlough for all these actors, and hotel workers etc because their doors are locked, then start moving people off furlough into Universal Credit now because if there is a gap you are going to get burnt.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      all weddings are dangerous – after all 2 people are pretty certain to kiss!

  20. Lifelogic
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Vitamin D seems to be very promising too in recent studies and very cheap too (even if there is 20% VAT on it) only about £10 PA.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      est 250,000 test per day x£25 per test = a lot of money to test people with no symptoms

  21. Sir Patrick Vaccine
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Watch: Bumbling Boris Can’t Understand His OWN Rules

  22. DaveM
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Sir John. Please don’t give up – there’s a palpable sense of anger about these continuing and increasing restrictions. As always, the Sun has the public mood. The PM’s popularity – so important to him – is evaporating rapidly. Maybe he needs reminding that he’s not the only one who can ‘get Brexit done’.

  23. Edmund Hirst
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Bravo Dr Redwood, particularly the last paragraph.

  24. ian
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    I can see a sell-out coming with the EU for a deal and will sell it to the public as a victory over the EU then BJ will stand down to become Lord or Sir and whatever else they can throw at him, this has been a pattern in the tory party with there leaders since the Brexit vote, three leaders in 5 years with the four one coming next year each one selling the UK out a little bit more and then leaving and before he leaves he will signing the country up to all types of dit tac from world institutions on saving the world from the people with more on climate change, saving all the wildlife, oceans and to perverse the resources in the ground along with saving forests and jungles, one can now see where C 19 come in to play.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Agree – a sell out has been on the cards for 4 years

      I it wasn’t for a handfull of MPs the sell out would’ve happen in first year after referendum – the T May election messed up the time line

  25. Norma Latham
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Just saying, at the moment there are more people dying from flu than Covid. There are many deaths from flu and pneumonia every year . There were 80,000 deaths from Hong Kong flu in 1968- 69. Why have we decided to ruin the economy this time???

  26. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    ****“Well, the Government change their mind.” Of course the Government change their mind, because the virus waxes and wanes and the situation changes on the ground. They have to study the data and do the best they can. ****

    The strategy has moved from “Protect the NHS while we find a cure” to “Zero Covid 19 at ALL costs.” since there won’t be a magic bullet before end of year nor end of next year either.

    With furlough still in place and without the first of many emergency budgets, the public are yet to understand what ALL costs really means. They will soon enough.

    The situation as regards the disease is a LOT better on the ground that we first thought. If it were the Black Death and if it were Ebola there would be no need for your government to issue fines.

    So why has the government made normal life a criminal act ?

    Not even North Korea would have been this ambitious in its tyranny. And our people would be prepared to fight wars and take risks with their lives to avert the social and economic destruction you have wrought upon us.

    Now what is really going on ? I’m starting to believe the conspiracy theorists.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      There has to be something amiss that so many juvenile incompetents are put in place to make decisions. also the palpable lack of information.
      Also the lack of data. If Google can tell me so much about where I’ve been and what I’ve done, MI5 can tap and track emails why can’t someone tell me who has and hasn’t had Covid 19 within 5 miles of me over the past 6 months?
      Also the data that is shown is wildly presented to exaggerate the situation, with odd numbers which won’t materialise.
      Also people scaring us sh-tless either have their hands in the vaccine till or take no notice of the restrictions.
      The suspicion is growing that this is a conspiracy because there just can’t be this many cock ups.
      Scientifically speaking.

  27. Al
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    A well-thought out speech. Sadly it is a little undermined by our Prime Minister’s photographs in the paper today showing him out and about without his mask on.

    That’s not a good way to persuade people to follow the rules, and certainly not a good way to persuade people to follow him.

    • DennisA
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Boris has already had the disease and washing his hands frequently certainly didn’t stop it. Mask wearing does not control the spread of a viral disease. Ill-fitting, frequently adjusted and re-adjusted masks are more of a threat than not wearing one, if one were to be actually excreting the virus in the first place.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        Indeed clearly we shouldn’t be doing as he did.

  28. ian
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Rishi will be the next PM next year after BJ has tied his hands behind his back with a whole host of agreements to conform to, hard to see how unemployment will ever come down.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Rishi will become known as Robin Hood.

  29. DavidJ
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    All good points that have been lost on government and likely to remain so. We deserve better, much better because that is what we pay for.

  30. Sharon
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Just a quick comment… I read the other day, someone in the business had seen a notice for tender for the dismantling of the Nightingale hospitals.

  31. formula57
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Speaking for England and asking the germane questions! Thank you.

    “… what about the tests and trials we were promised when I raised this, many months ago now, of other antivirals, other steroids, antimalarials and clot-busting drugs?”. Indeed, why is there no good and sufficient answer from Government?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      Waiting for Sir Patrick’s Vaccine to save us. That’s why.

  32. Posted September 29, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    HERE HERE

    However, if the only exit we can expect is a vaccine then I fear the government is lacking commitment to find a better answer.
    As you so rightly said JR more needs to be done to investigate all possible solutions.

    The main fear I have with vaccines currently being created, is that they are not vaccines in the normal sense of the word that introduce a tiny amount of the disease into our systems so that they can learn to fight back.
    As I understand it, all new CV vaccines are based on amending RNA in people, which has a knock on effect in that it can be used to alter DNA.

    I’m not convinced that this approach will do anything but allow drug companies to play God with our future evolution. Apart from which 20 years of testing would be too short a time to ensure no unwanted side affects.

    The other issue is that in the current state of fear regarding CV, governments would surely impose any vaccine that seemed to help on everybody, without addressing the points above.

    We badly need legal protection against over-zealous governments and CV related cures. That includes no forced immunization and no digital health passports.

    AS I keep saying, the destruction of our society to save the deaths of a small fraction of the population is a price too high… and I say that belonging to a high risk group.

  33. glen cullen
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Good speech today ref UK internal market bill debate – sad that we’ve got to this position i.e thanking an MP for supporting our withdrawal from the EU 4 years after a referendum

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 29, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      There’s still a fifth column wanting to cancel brexit.
      Only 12 days left to when the government annonce a 2 week circuit breaker lockdown. Let’s hope the Brady ammendment carries otherwise Hancock will be grandstanding about the science supporting martial law.
      It’s time Parliament took over and ended this rule by decree.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 29, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      +1

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

      Indeed. The appalling Cameron abandoned ship like a petulant child and thanks to Gove we have to suffer the even more appaling and totally dishonest Theresa 9% support May. Together they have cost everyone a fortune and hugely damaged the UK. At least Cameron has largely kept his mouth shut – unlike the dire Theresa May.

  34. ChrisS
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Firstly, your last paragraph is impossible for the government, or anyone else, to satisfy.

    The government cannot promise a normal Christmas, that lies in the hands of the general population who might be able to make that possible by following the rules that are being introduced.

    Secondly, I have previously supported the suggestion that those under 50, who are at least risk of serious complications, should be able to carry on as normal without fear of catching Covid 19 as the consequences appeared to be negligible.

    However, I have two friends, one of whom is an NHS clinician, who caught the virus back in May. She then passed it to her husband. Neither had any symptoms beyond a very mild dose of flu. Both recovered very quickly but are now suffering from side effects including breathlessness and fatigue which will not go away and for which the NHS can offer no explanation or any treatment. The worry is that these debilitating side effects could go on for months or years, for the rest of their lives, even.

    It therefore now appears that allowing the virus to run rife within the younger population while older people take all the precautions they personally feel are necessary, would be very unwise.

    We have come full circle and are back to square one : waiting and hoping for an effective vaccine while trying to minimise the spread of the virus. We should be cutting the government some slack. Yes, the proposals should be debated in Parliament but that is a formality. There can be no doubt that the measures are necessary, whatever the economic cost.

  35. Melvin Cornwell
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely that. The lack of hope, and the (seemingly) official negativity is the now direct cause of people speculating wildly about the true nature of the virus, and indeed the true intent of those holding the reins.
    We don’t want (and, I predict, we will never accept) a huge ‘reset’ away from life as we know it, so the time has come to stop tiptoeing through the tulips and get to grips with this situation.

  36. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I assumed that, as time went, by the web site that tells you how many cases there are in your area would get more detailed and accurate. But, no, I put in my postcode and get results for the whole of Dorset. 162 corona virus related deaths so far. FOR THE WHOLE COUNTY.

    And this is what we locked down for! Here in West Dorset the number of cases can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      Same here, but it would make you too complacent to tell you zero cases in your area the past 6 months. Take your medicine. The doctor will speak to you later.

  37. TooleyStu
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    SJR,
    I also saw you on TV in the Commons debating these topics.. keep fighting please.
    (Swayne style has gone down well with the informed 50% … Just saying.)

    1/. Thank you for bringing up other treatments for CV19(84).
    2/. Thank you for supporting the very badly affected industries.
    3/. Thank you for not blanket accepting this miracle vaccine.
    4/. Thank you for fighting ‘Project Fear’. (Hope is good.)
    **
    5/. Pity we did not get to the real hub of the problem.
    Many of your contributors have mentioned…
    6/ …the massive flaws in Govmnt science.
    7/ …the huge ‘massaging’ of CV19/Covid figures.
    8/ ..the belief that Govmnt has ‘sold out’ to the highest bidder for Agenda 21/2030.

    The ‘wheels fell off’ the Govmnt story long ago, yet the pantomime continues.

    Please tell me that MPs are as educated as your contributors?
    (This is a very serious question, and currently HoC is not looking very bright at all.)

    Best regards, as always,
    Tooley Stu

  38. Bill B.
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, something needs to be done about Johnson.

    • TooleyStu
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Bill B,

      The PM, regardless of colour, creed or party, will have sold out ages ago.

      You do not get the top job… unless you will do what they say… when they say.

      Unless you are a fully signed up Bilderberger, forget any chance of taking your place at the top table.

      Tooley Stu

  39. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    John dexamethasone has been around since when I started in 1969, We use it often for cerebral oedema and other inflammatory swellings, for instance croup . I would imagine it is used in this way to reduce inflammation in the lungs , but it is not an antiviral!

  40. Adam
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    The speech grasps reality and proposes well-reasoned actions toward practicable solutions. It sets out more effective leadership than the Govt is presently mustering, for itself or against the virus.

    Those Ministers lacking perspective or foresight should study the speech carefully to learn what they should be doing right, and act accordingly.

  41. rose
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    A cracker of a speech today too, on the Internal Market Bill.

  42. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Deaths are now rising as well as cases. We are going to have to muddle through but competently. The median incubation period for COVID-19 is 5.1 days and the 95% confidence interval is +-2 days. Allow a couple of days for symptoms to show and that gives a range of 5 to 9 days. It can be useful to have a week’s data so here is a specific proposal for action by the authorities.

    Each day interview a minimum of 500, ideally 1000, of the new COVID-19 cases. Record in detail the places they have visited, the meetings and gatherings they have attended between 4 and 10 days previously. Summarise the data so that the frequency of each type of event is known and publish the summary. That way both Government and the public will know the most common types of location for possible transmission of COVID-19.

    The next step is for Government, monitored by parliament: identify the types of meeting that have no economic value in either the short or long term and ban or severely restrict them.

    • DennisA
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      “Deaths are now rising”… but to nowhere near approaching what happened in April and May. Case mortality then was 15% for April. For September it is 0.5%

  43. Posted September 29, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    The impression I get is that the British people are almost irrelevant.

  44. Urgent Info
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Friday 18th September that hospital admissions for Covid-19 were doubling every 7-8 days.
    So how is that going?

    The figures for Covid-19 hospital admissions for the eight days since Mr Hancock said this are now available.

    HMG provides them here

    https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/healthcare

    As I pointed out in a previous posting, this was a questionable statement about the present when it was made. How has it fared as a prediction or indeed as a general statement?

    I have tabulated the figures below:

    Friday 18th September…………….205

    Saturday 19th September………….204

    Sunday 20th September……..237

    Monday 21st September……….275

    Tuesday 22nd September……..268

    Wednesday 23rd September….314

    Thursday 24th September…….288

    Friday 25th September………..274

    Saturday 26th September…….245

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Hancock should apologise to the HoC and the people for his inaccurate statement on hospital admission doubling

    • TooleyStu
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Urgent Info,
      Excellent post, you are very well informed.

      These Hancock ‘gaffs’ seem to go unpunished.
      And, for those with open eyes, well documented and available.

      This is all part of PROJECT FEAR.
      FEAR is not real.
      Fear only exists in your own mind.
      To be clear.. DANGER is real.
      But Fear is just a product of your own perception.

      Keep fighting please. We need you and your kind.
      Tooley Stu

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Deaths rising too as people get to die from those conditions not ameliorated in lockdown. So they get a Covid test on going into hospital then die within 28 days from the cancer they had since April. Crazy daft figures.

  45. Everhopeful
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    But does the govt want to promote livelihoods?
    It is stress testing businesses in a very Darwinian way and there will be many casualties.
    Does the govt even want to promote health in general?
    How can anyone believe that it does after the way it has treated us?

  46. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Mr Hancock said on Friday 18th Sep that hospital admissions were doubling every 7-8 days. I took that to mean that there would have been 410 admissions on Sat 26th Sept.

    Here are the actual figures:

    Friday 18th September…………….205

    Saturday 19th September………….204

    Sunday 20th September……..237

    Monday 21st September……….275

    Tuesday 22nd September……..268

    Wednesday 23rd September….314

    Thursday 24th September…….288

    Friday 25th September………..274

    Saturday 26th September…….245

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted September 29, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      … and that there would be 820 admissions on the 8th day after that… and 1640 admissions on the 8th day after that… and 3280 admissions on the 8th day after that … and 6560 admissions on the 8th day after that…. and 13120 admissions on the 8th day after that…

      We have destroyed our way of life for this ???

      It’s over, People.

      Most of what you love is gone forever.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 30, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

        Most of what you love is gone forever.

        ….
        God wins in the end, politicians lose.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 30, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        We’re doomed I tell yeah we’re all doomed

      • Fed up
        Posted September 30, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Most of what you love is gone forever.


        will Boris and Hancock flee the country?

  47. Not Bob
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    John, to compete with 24 hours rolling news can you please update this blog through the night.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      actually with Sir John seemingly having little effect on those dictating to Boris, he might be advised to do Agony Aunt fulltime.
      The dictators damage the nation’s mental wellbeing – but on here it is an opportunity to let rip!

  48. Not Bob
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Desmond Swaynes Dr Strangelove speech was the best.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      …and only reflecting what the majority of the people are thinking and saying themselves

  49. rose
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    I am not worried about the PM being a dictator, far from it. But I am worried about just how many British subjects have or seem to have totalitarian tendencies. There seems no limit to the amount of power they want the Government to have over us. They want the Government to own and run everything, and to supervise every aspect of our lives, almost it seems, in our kitchens and bathrooms. How did we become such a pathetic, dependent nation, with no wish to make up our own minds on anything?

  50. Everhopeful
    Posted September 29, 2020 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    All the worst fears realised.
    According to Sir Bernard Ingham Boris is planning to build mega cities and have huge swathes of wildlife areas.That is what concreting over the South is about! He IS following “the agenda”. As with all the Care Home deaths actually( no medical care for over 70s).
    This is truly terrible.
    Sir Bernard says Boris is on borrowed time politically. Doesn’t Sir B even understand what Boris is doing??

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      Now we have a shortage of bricklayers, eh? So we import bricklayers who themselves need a house to live in which will take 4-5 man years’ work to build.
      This is truly mad.
      Or another agenda.

  51. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted September 30, 2020 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    Out of this mess Boris’ suggestion for re-training of adults was a good one.

    We cannot continue to import labour when we have 4 million unemployed and we need proper training courses, not fake ones.

    In the past I have been able to find plenty on photography, painting, computer skills… but nothing on what could get my name in Yellow Pages and make a proper living, ie brick layer, scaffolder, electrician etc.

    Making coffee is not an ‘Apprenticeship’ btw.

    • rose
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      I agree. Yesterday’s West Country speech was superb and decades overdue. If we had attended to the respect gap between university education and technical training in the last century, we might now have enough full time lab workers rather than having to rely on people going back to university. In all the Boris bashing over testing, the media never say what is at the bottom of the difference in performance between us and Germany. All they seem to want is an endless race to the bottom arising from their no borders extremism.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Taxpayers are today funding over 200+ courses in history

      Film Studies with Classical Studies
      UCAS Code: T366
      Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) – BA (Hons)

  52. Posted September 30, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Well said indeed sir John.
    What might be good for Business. Is for MPs to stand up and say
    The Hell with this no sense with the EU, we will not waste any more time, we leave on WTO now.
    Buisness it must have certainty , they have to plan and get going, and very soon or this Nation will go bust ! The time for jaw boning is gone, we must get on

  53. Mike Wroe
    Posted September 30, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    10 times more people are dying each week from flu than C-19. Why this continuing madness. Restricting freedom destroying the economy. Let common sense prevail. If someone has a dry cough, a fever and lose their sense of taste and smell, they probably have C-19. Stay home, avoid contact for ten days. A test is pointless. Too many false negatives. Community testing is also pointless. With something like 1 cases in a 1000 prevalence in the community and false positives approaching 1% in those tested, results are meaningless.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      450 are dying EVERY DAY from various cancers.

  54. matthu
    Posted September 30, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Deaths “with Covid” must be subject to exactly the same false positive bias as testing in the community because of the way they include anyone who has ever had a positive test in the previous 28 days, regardless of the true cause of morbidity.

  55. Urgent Info
    Posted September 30, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Boris said in his UN speech “much more economic destruction is to come”.

  56. Mike Wroe
    Posted September 30, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    We have a flu vaccine and yet 10 times more people are dying of flu and pneumonia than C19. So why waste billions on the search for a vaccine when we may never find one and we will still have to live with the virus if we do. The billions could be spent on a first class care system for the elderly, improvements to our health service, protection for the poorer folk in society. A million women have been denied breast screening. The economy is on its knees. Herd immunity is the only way out.

  57. Anonymous
    Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    No more fake isis attacks while this latest hoax commences? or will they be attacking just before elections again to help the candidate most tough on terror?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      Yes terrorists have gone quiet lately. Clearly steering clear of the virus for better times!

  58. Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Bravo!

  59. Phil Darley
    Posted September 30, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I don’t know how many times I have to keep saying this, but here I go again. According to
    ALL the published data. Covid19 is no more deadly than any other seasonal virus! FACT!!!

    The vast majority of the population cannot even catch it 80% or more. Another 10% have no
    Symptoms. So we are left with about 10% who develop symptoms, 95% of these only have mild symptoms. So the percentage at risk of 0.50% Yes a half of 1%

    The risk of dying from Covid19 as a percentage of the population is 0.0035%
    Average age is 82 or higher, 95% of which have 2 or more serious underlying health conditions!!!

    Where is the threat? seriously…

    Covid19 medically is a non issue!

    Why gave we and do many other western nations behave in thus way?

    From what I see it has NOTHING to do with a virus!

    So what is it about?

    • TooleyStu
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Phil,
      Very good question.

      The last guy to answer it was arrested, locked up.. then released after ‘they’ had stolen his Phone, Laptop .. and a book. (Dr Schöning, a guest speaker from Germany).

      In 2008 there was a banking crisis.
      Everyone knew who to blame for this.

      In 2020/21 there is going to be the mother of all collapses. And a whole reset.
      But, rather than take the blame, the Banking Circle has invented a new scapegoat, CV19.

      That is why, when viewed from outside.. NONE of it makes sense.
      Unfortunately ‘they’ forgot half the country can understand numbers.

      Keep shouting please.
      Tooley Stu.

    • TooleyStu
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      Phil,
      Very good question.

      The last guy to answer it was arrested and locked up.. (Dr Schöning, a guest speaker from Germany).

      In 2008 there was a banking crisis.
      Everyone knew who to blame for this.

      In 2020/21 we are in a similar situation….
      But, rather than take the blame, we have a new scapegoat, CV19.

      That is why, when viewed from outside.. NONE of it makes sense.
      Unfortunately ‘they’ forgot half the country can understand numbers.

      Keep shouting please.
      Tooley Stu.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 30, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      Population control.
      Too much freedom for the masses to travel, socialise, learn and exercise democratic choice.
      Nice for some to be able to demonstrate control through political manipulation and for big Pharma to exercise control.
      For some left leaning politicians, just a chance to destroy capitalism and show who’s boss, hence BLM, XR.

      We don’t have to take it, and won’t eventually.

  60. Anonymous
    Posted September 30, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    I was assured by Fact Checking sites that Digital ID was a ludicrous conspiracy theory.

  61. John Sutherland
    Posted September 30, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    John, for months the government fed us daily updates of the Covid-19 situation and data, especially deaths! Questions and answers from media, journalists and some from the public. This this has now stopped with no mention of Covid-19 deaths and the focus on new cases. cases?! No real accountability and no daily updates. Like people are communicating to you John, what is the government’s true intention? true agenda? Maybe everyone ought to read the report from the Agenda 21 meeting in Brazil in 1992 which 178 or so countries signed up for with target dates of 2020, 2025 and 2050 prominent. Any coincidence that we have Covid-19 in full flight worldwide in 2020?

  62. glen cullen
    Posted September 30, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    The past six months has highlighted just how many none productive government funded jobs there are – regional mayors, police commissionaires, university professors, every council has its own director of health, every country in the UK has a director of health, every teaching hospital has a director of health, every university has a director of health, every clinical body has a director of health etc etc etc

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 1, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      “every council has its own director of health,” Do they?

      Yet they claim the government isn’t getting the information out to local populations!

  • 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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