The rule of 6

On Tuesday night Parliament will have the chance to debate and vote on the Rule of 6 and the related restrictions against larger gatherings.

The decision will be about the Coronavirus Restrictions (No 2) (England) Statutory Instrument.

As someone who wishes to see more moves to relax controls that damage business and prevent large sectors that need social contact from working, there is a good case for not supporting this measure. As someone who wishes to see the death rate down and agrees that too much social contact can spread the virus too far too fast I need to listen to those who say there is a case for trying these controls for a bit longer.

The rule of 6 is the government’s latest attempt to create a simple universal rule that might provide some brake on the spread of the disease. It has not been going for long, so the government says it should be tried for longer. You can also argue that we have had controls in place for many months, but they have not proved able to keep the disease down in the way a near total lock down for most did in April. Some think the virus has a life of its own regardless of controls and see the fall from April as a coincidence. Others seek to find patterns in the numbers to prove controls do reduce the spread.

The Conservative party membership is shifting its view from a substantial majority behind lock downs and strong government action, to the largest group now favouring the more relaxed Swedish approach to create a better balance for business and normal life. Polls of the wider public still favour tough action to limit social contacts. There is a lack of specific scientific data to show which of the various measures tried in the areas visited with extra controls have a beneficial impact. There is also a worrying delay in getting results in those special areas and in some cases no evidence that the controls are working. The 10pm curfew is the most dubious and contentious ban, but that is not up for a vote on Tuesday.

I am interested in your views as I make up my mind concerning Tuesday’s vote, particularly if you are a constituent.

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427 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    The measures may slightly reduce the spread “IF” people obey them but as we see not even MPs do so. But anyway this is more of a delay than a permanent reduction in infections. If more young people catch it the sooner we will develop herd immunity. The initial lock down (done rather too late alas) did make sense as it flattened the peak, and gave the NHS more time to get ready, organise PPE and isolation systems and find better treatments. It saved many lives. It was killing 14% of people infected and now is only killing 1% (though admittedly more infections are now being detected so this overstates it a bit).

    Protect the vulnerable and let the young get their free vaccine by catching it. Most will catch it sooner or later whatever they do. These measures now do more harm than good we should relax them and get back to work.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      If only the government would look at countries broadly similar to the UK, but which have dealt far more effectively with this epidemic and simply copy them – and expressly state that that is what is being done – then we might get somewhere.

      But apparently arbitrary measures based on guesswork will only further disengage large sections of the public from making the needed effort, and this wretchedness will only drag on.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        which countries would that be? An island, little manufacturing, major finance centre, massive cities, dependent on imports of food.

        Can’t think of any – help?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          Well they do not need to be identical. Start with Germany far, far fewer death with a larger population but rather better health care and they kept it out of nursing homes rather better or compare Singapore & London.

          • Dennis Zoff
            Posted October 5, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

            But good lord, that’s not cricket….to follow sensible German logic and higher standards of health care, deary me no!

    • Hope
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      OT:
      JR, by this blog are you helping your govt. to hide, under cover of Chinese virus, the real news Johnson has caved in again to delay his deadline for the EU to reach a deal by another month! So July, October now November! Sound familiar?

      EU knows he is a bottler. Hill gives good advice to respond to car parts threat by EU and the like. Ambrose-Pritchard also worth a read of negotiating with someone wishing to cause you harm. When will your govt. wake up?

      Two good articles in Con Woman Adrian Hill and Tim Bradshaw.

    • NickC
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic, Covid19 “was killing 14%” of known infected (and mainly hospitalised) people. I suspect a lot more people were infected at the time but had milder symptoms, but because they weren’t hospitalised or tested they didn’t (and never will) show up in the figures. That itself would reduce the killing ratio somewhat. Then as you say the NHS has learnt better how to cope. And of course the most vulnerable died first.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        That does explain some of it but not all.

      • sam
        Posted October 5, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        the NHS has not learned how to cope. It does not use hydroxychloroquine and zinc but continued to ventilate people wiht a massive death rate as the ventilators damage the lungs.
        What we have leaned is that those who died had very low levels of vit D. However the idea is not to cure people but to ensure they take the vaccine

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      You’re making a big assumption that they the young have just caught the virus and its spreading, what if they’ve had the virus in their system for months – without any issues

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Indeed some will indeed have just caught and a few not.

        I see that David Attenborough on BBC this morning is more in favour of the Chinese agenda on the environment and energy (building hundreds of coal powered power stations) than the Trump Administration’s agenda (fracking and clean and cheap natural gas).

        These zoologists perhaps need to learn a bit more about physics, real pollution (not Co2) and energy engineering. They often seem a bit confused. Not that a little more atmospheric CO2 poses any threat of a climate catastrophe. On balance it is rather good for plants, insects, fish and animals as food production is increased significantly.

        Asked for one main message he said do not waste electricity, energy or resources (which I agree with) but then nature is hugely wasteful in many ways. Thousands of turtles, frogs or spiders egg laid for the tiny few who grow to adulthood to lay thousands more children to be food for others. Evolution is often very wasteful indeed.

      • Sir Patrick Vaccine
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        We have 4 years to show how so many politicians despise ordinary people.

        Stopping Brexit and continue Covid lockdowns prove it.

        The evidence is overwhelming that lockdowns don’t work. Peru’s hard lockdown has left it with the highest death rate. There was never even any evidence that they worked the first place as they had never happen before.

        Of course don’t forget no lockdown Sweden.

        These lockdowns are a crime against humanity. Boris Johnson is enjoying every moment of being a dictator. The Lib Dems vote against renewing the Coronavirus Act, so did the Green Party. Labour abstained.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

          The UK has left the European Union. It happened months ago now.

          However, so addicted are you to victimhood, and to claims of betrayal apparently, that you pretend that it has not, as an excuse for yet more whingeing.

          And your lockdowns are the sovereign acts of a sovereign UK, something that the European Union could never, ever have imposed within the Lisbon Treaty.

          • Andy
            Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

            Indeed. We left the EU and they are still all whinging about the EU.

            I suspect when they start facing the personal inconvenience and expense their Brexit causes they will start whinging about that too.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

            Still paying.
            Still under their controls.
            Until 31st December.
            Surely you know that?

    • BOF
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      LL, the NHS is still not ready! I have been repeating ad nauseun your last paragraph since the 22nd March.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        Indeed the NHS is fairly dire and will remain so until it is structured and funded more sensibly. Freedom and choice please not a dire state take it or leave it monopoly.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

          Privatised! With a proper health insurance for the whole population. Patients need to be customers with the ability to spend the money where they choose.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

            Indeed but there are also problems with private systems too. All sorts of other options but the NHS, state monopoly, free at the point of use (or delay & rationing) is one of the very worst.

            It kills almost all competition dead and leaves a dire state rationing system.

        • sam
          Posted October 5, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          it is controlled by big pharma who are the perpetrators of this false pandemic

    • L Jones
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Let ”the vulnerable” protect themselves – those who can (ie not in care homes). Everyone needs to be allowed a choice of how to live (and die).

      We know the NHS will never be ”ready” because we know that right now many (most?) hospitals are not exactly full to capacity, yet still we hear bleating about ”giving it time”. Let those who become VERY ill be treated – they won’t all become ill at once – and let life go on as normal for everyone else. Those who suffer symptoms will probably just stay at home for a few days with some mild symptoms (over 99 per cent) – as people have since February. And those figures will NEVER be counted, so how does anyone know how many are now immune? This obsession with testing is proving nothing – though it’s a convenient way of manipulating the figures in order to manipulate the people.

      It’s a mild virus for most people, even those not in the first flush of youth. The time to allow us ALL to get together and spread it was the summer time. As was done in Sweden. Too late now, of course – that bird has flown (or has flu).

    • DennisA
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      I see no evidence that the peak was flattened by lockdown. The first recorded cases were on January 30th, lockdown was on 23rd March, almost 8 weeks later, by which time 940 deaths had already occurred. That trebled in the first week to 2825, the peak was in the first week of April, two weeks into lockdown, with 4327 deaths over 4 days. By the fourth week of lockdown we had accumulated 22,099 deaths, a 235 x increase from the 940 prior to lockdown.

      The horse was well and truly out of the stable before lockdown.

      The latest daily figure for deaths is 33, no indicator that we need to continue the suppression of the populace and the economy.

  2. Javelin
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Doctors are required by their Socratic Oath to take all their patients into account and not just focus on one patient. The Government Scientists must start producing a graph with deaths from ALL illnesses for context, with covid included. However, that would be like pouring petrol over yourself and the political party you work for and setting fire to yourselves.

    • Javelin
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

      Sorry meant Hippocratic Oath

      • Keith Chegwin FRCS
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        The Hippocratic Oath isn’t required to graduate from UK medical courses.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

          That is a disgrace and must be remedied in that case!

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted October 4, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

            Merely getting a degree does not make one a practitioner.

        • Fred H
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

          I think they (junior doctors that is) take an oath to vote for all union motions.

        • a-tracy
          Posted October 5, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

          I read here yesterday at we now have 10,000 Polish doctors do they all take this oath?

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        But you conjured up a nice image of a GP doing consultations using the Socratic method. Two-hour appointments might just be long enough!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        I do not think they sign up to this in the UK. The closest to a modern Hippocratic Oath is the core values and principles set by the General Medical Council (GMC), laid out as the duties of a doctor under the title “Good Medical Practice”.

        Since some NHS GP have virtually refused to see NHS patients for the past 6 months then I do not imaging these types would take much notice even if they had signed up to an oath. There are some horrendous stories of medical negligence and neglect that I have heard. Some GPs are of course diligent and almost saintly but a sizeable proportion do the minimum they can get away with..

      • Dee
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        The NHS & Doctors threw the Hippocratic oath out of the window when they decided they would not treat or give Ventilators too or give Intensive care too anyone over 70 as instructed by NICE and was proven by sending all elderly, with or without COVID_19 back to the care homes, thus producing 50% of the total deaths.
        It would seem as I have long suspected that our John is a ‘bedwetter’ too.
        He should be pushing for Sweden, they got it right as is now showing.
        Boris has dug himself into a hole and doesn’t know how to get out of it, serves him right for listening to fools like Ferguson & SAGE, been proved wrong many many times but still Boris listens to them.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

          The Swedes are not all propping up bars shoulder-to-shoulder, knocking back seven pits of Stella Artois, and shouting at football on televisions.

          Almost to a man they voluntarily took their government’s advice seriously, which is why their country too has suffered a severe economic impact.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            So the Sweden model works.
            Glad to see you coming round.

          • No Longer Anonymous
            Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

            Which countries haven’t suffered severe economic impacts ? Excepting China.

          • a-tracy
            Posted October 5, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

            Martin, there were pictures of the Swedes just last week on the tv all milling around train and subway stations and walking without masks?

    • BeebTax
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      This would really help put things in context. I suppose that’s why they wouldn’t do it. It could also expose them to criticism about the excess deaths due to the NHS ignoring non-Covid illnesses.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Their patients.

      Not those of all other doctors too.

    • Christine
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      According to the ONS figures:

      “Of the deaths registered in Week 38, 139 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, accounting for 1.5% of all deaths in England and Wales.”

      Note: this is not deaths from but deaths with COVID-19. Week 38 is w/c 18th September.

      I think this puts things into prospective and shows how some so-called experts are exaggerating the risk for whatever reason.

  3. Adam
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    The fastest Spreader may be the number of personal contacts each bod is allowed.

    One bod limited to 2 others a week reaches 64 in 6 weeks.

    Reach mushrooms rapidly if he’s allowed contact with 6 others: to 46,656.

    10 would reach a million in 6 weeks, and 1 billion by the ninth.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Exactly.
      If one person meets 6 each day for 7 days.
      That’s how much of a farce this is.
      There is something not right about this now.

    • NickC
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Adam, That’s true in the abstract, but the majority of people are in contact with the same people repeatedly rather than 6 new people at every meeting. Moreover small babies almost never leave their mothers, so should not be counted as they are not independent vectors.

      • Adam
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        If the majority of the country never left home, and met only the same one visitor once a week, they would be less at risk. Risk exists outside.

        One person walking through a city centre visiting market stalls for half an hour can’t control 200 others passing by. What any 200 might do anywhere is unknown, but the numbers show that just any 50 in the country meeting only 3 people per day can infect over 1000 before the week is up, with spread exceeding 9 million in a month.

        Could that majority, who never leave home and only ever meet the same single visitor, ever find him safe enough to step out of his own home, or find anyone else in the country not already infected?

    • Mark
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Most people have the same limited contacts. Contacts outside their group are rare. The consequence is that they do not tend to spread the virus or to catch it very often, but once a member of their normal contacts gets infected, spread among them is quite likely. Among such groups the rate of spread will remain low.

      Spread is mainly dependent on so-called superspreaders, who have lots of contacts with different groups of people, and also seem predisposed to high levels of viral load that they spread to others, even while asymptomatic. Think of the famous Patient 31 in South Korea, who is estimated to have caused 5,000 infections, partly through attending a packed church.

      This skewed nature of spread has consequences for epidemic modelling, including reducing the rates of spread that may be expected, and also lowering significantly the penetration needed to achieve herd immunity. However, it doesn’t entirely preclude bad luck with clusters of superspreaders sparking larger outbreaks.

      It also means that tracing and quarantine should concentrate on identifying superspreaders.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      So we are accepting saturation coverage and talking about the time it will take? Let’s get it over!
      Boris ‘bumpy through Christmas and beyond ….. forever!
      If this idiocy is not voted down next week and ‘beyond’ I will vote for whomsoever can beat the Tory next time … and ‘beyond’.

  4. Sea_Warrior
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    I am content for the restrictions. The Rule of Six is no great crimp on our lives, for now, and will hopefully get us to the point where we are able to socialise more freely at Christmas.
    I was concerned to hear, this morning, on Five Live Science, that many who should be in self-isolation are ignoring the requirement. The police (and others) seem to be putting no effort in ensuring that that restriction is being followed. It’s all well and good for MPs and ministers to make laws and policies to fight this virus but what’s the good if operational execution isn’t up to much?
    P.S. Christmas is coming. The government needs to think about it. (The health implications of Mothers’ Day were forgotten about.) Many pubs and restaurants will be offering Christmas lunch on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. They should be encouraged to make that seasonal offering over more days, so they can manage the loading better, to flatten the Roast Turkey Dinner Curve.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      There is going to be nothing left when you come out of your hole.

      Be prepared for that.

      • steve
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        Crawl back in yours.

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          I don’t have one.

          I have worked throughout lockdown and I admit I was shitting myself at first.

          To date I don’t know anyone who’s had COVID 19 and certainly no-one who’s died of it. I do know to friends who have died of conditions that they would have survived at any other time.

          Both you and Sea Warrior have lost ALL perspective and how easily everything is being taken from you.

          • No Longer Anonymous
            Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

            two

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        My hole? I have been getting out and about trying to spend as much of my cash as I can. And I believe that government should be keeping as many businesses open as possible. But I do everything thing I can to stop the transmission of a virus that KILLS PEOPLE.

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted October 5, 2020 at 2:21 am | Permalink

          OK

          Sorry.

          I was too harsh on you. I see you’re being reasonable.

    • Philip P.
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Sea Warrior: I agree with you that Christmas is coming.

      As for the rest – I’m not sure the hundreds of thousands of young people whose jobs in the hospitality industry are on the line, would say it’s ‘no great crimp’ on their lives to have these restrictions.

      Not sure when they’ll be voting, but they will have their say.

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        After posting, I went out, bought my Sunday paper and went to my ‘local’, to put some money through their till. They follow the restrictions very well, as does the clientele – most of which is middle/old aged. I don’t think they’ve suffered a single infection yet. If COVID rips through my university city, the business will have to close.

    • NickC
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Sea Warrior said: “The Rule of Six is no great crimp on our lives”. Yes, it is. We cannot have family gatherings. A brother and sister separately married with their own families of two children cannot meet (legally). So they will meet illegally. This brings the law into disrepute, and encourages GDR-style snitches.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • steve
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        NickC

        “The Rule of Six is no great crimp on our lives”. Yes, it is.”

        Tough. We’re in a national crisis, some say the worst since WWII. People need to stop whingeing.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

          Who says and on what evidence?

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

          WWII – oh do give over ! It’s nothing of the sort !

    • BOF
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      SW are you happy then to keep the restrictions, prolong the agony and keep multiplying the cost to the economy, health, livelihoods and lives? All of which are already causing massive damage.

      • steve
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        BOF

        So you would be happy to lift restrictions, infect the whole country and be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands, so long as you can get to the pub, germ – ridden gym, social gathering etc.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          The whole country, indeed the whole world is infected. They can’t keep it out of Downing St, Buckingham Palace of the White House. What are you snivelling about?

        • DennisA
          Posted October 5, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

          “hundreds of thousands” exists only in Professor Ferguson’s computer models.

    • L Jones
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      ”The police (and others) seem to be putting no effort in ensuring…..”

      Oh dear. Well, perhaps YOU should offer to become one of the ”others”. I understand they’re recruiting dobbers-in, as volunteers just at the moment. But soon there may even be a payment per dob – so that could be a nice little Christmas-spend earner for you.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        Its nonsense to imagine the Police can do anything about the constant measures – short of a full curfew.

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Grow up.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      The news is there will be no Christmas Sea Warrior! Possibly ever!

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        we’re all doomed I tell yeah all doomed

    • zorro
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Why do you think that we will be able to socialise more freely?

      zorro

    • steve
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Sea Warrior

      “I am content for the restrictions.”

      So am I.

      I don’t care who’s in government, we’re in a national crisis and should be doing as the government says.

      • zorro
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        Nonsense – national crisis – one per cent of all deaths and 5-10 times less than flu/pneumonia – get a grip

        zorro

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Stay in your hole then if you are afraid. The rest of us are not and need to live.

  5. Chris Wragg
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    These rules are un scientific and arbitrary.
    They have decended into a power grab by Hancock and Whitty. They guaranteed their taxpayer funded salaries and don’t give a fig for the economy or employment.
    The 10pm curfew is an absolute nonesense costing thousands of jobs.
    They are willing a second wave which is not happening to justify their nonesense.
    Pull back John and let us be responsible for our own lifes.
    You don’t seem to bother how many will be killed by electric scooters.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Dear Chris–Being responsible for [just] our own lives would be great IF IT COULD BE DONE but it simply cannot. Decisions taken by individuals very much affect other people too so cannot be left to individuals themselves

      • James Bertram
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Leslie – compliance with the government interventions in putting Covid19-prevention as number one priority of the health service and the economy will kill far more people than those interventions will ever save (no matter how much the government falsify ‘cases’ and true death figures to exaggerate the threat of this flu-like virus).
        If you are prepared to go along with such interventions then I hope you will also take responsibility for these excess deaths that compliance is causing; and not only those in the UK but the hundreds of thousands that will die in the Third World as a result.
        Always remember, by complying you are an unwitting participant in this ‘crime against humanity’.

    • L Jones
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Well said indeed, Mr/Ms Wragg!

      This obsession with testing yields very useful numbers (and who cares if they’re false positives?) that can be used to ”justify their nonsense” by dripping the fear narrative into the ears of the Terminally Terrified. This ”second wave” will be produced in order to prop up the narrative, no matter what methods are used to produce it.

      For the barking madness of all this, see John Bishop on Youtube. It’s funny enough to make you cry with frustration.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        I would guess Mr on balance from the content.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      It is rather hard to take Whitty and Valance very seriously after the dodgy dossier performance.

      Boris is getting criticised all over the place the on the BBC and even in the Spectator and Telegraph.

      What I do find hard to forgive is Boris’s abject failure to cancel HS2. The virus gives him the perfect excuse to change his mind on this insane and very damaging project.

      Is it really true the government have allowed Whitehall to spent £370K on unconscious bias training/propaganda as reported today. So much government spending is not only pointless much of it is massively damaging. So much fat that could be cut out but zero political will alas.

      • zorro
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, why can’t Cummings concentrate on that instead of faffing about with ‘opinion polls’?

        zorro

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted October 5, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

          Cummings battling for Brexit, it’s enough!

      • steve
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        LL

        “What I do find hard to forgive is Boris’s abject failure to cancel HS2. The virus gives him the perfect excuse to change his mind on this insane and very damaging project.”

        Yes indeed. Though I would go further in saying it the government doesn’t need an excuse to cancel it. Fact is the country cannot afford it, covid or no covid.

        • glen cullen
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

          It would be a major moral boost id HS2 was cancelled

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

          Can’t really afford it and has no real need of it.

    • steve
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Chris Wragg

      “The 10pm curfew is an absolute nonesense costing thousands of jobs.”

      If I had my way ALL pubs would be closed for the duration. You seem unaware as to what selfish louts think of covid restrictions soon as they leave the pub.

      Lives should not be put at risk because of a few bar jobs.

      “Pull back John and let us be responsible for our own lives.”

      There you touch on the problem i.e people thinking of their own lives and not giving a toss about anyone else.

      “You don’t seem to bother how many will be killed by electric scooters.”

      …the fad will die out, soon as they start catching fire or becoming unsafe because of chinese build ‘quality’

  6. Sakara Gold
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    The government is manipulating the “tested positive” data again – this time it’s due to a “technical error”. Its obvious to me – and probably the public – that whatever the government says on this crisis will be untrue, there have just been too many cock-ups. One is reminded of the phrase “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing” Personally I don’t support the Swedish model, I don’t think it’s worked and there are also suspicions there that their government is hiding the truth.

    Once again, the government is going to have to decide how many fatalities are acceptable if we don’t go for another short, sharp total lockdown.

    • NickC
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Sakara Gold, There is no reason for the government to accept responsibility for the number of deaths. Especially from only one risk factor – covid19 – looked at in isolation.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Can we even trust the death figures I wonder? With so many now being tested some of the deaths will surely be false positives or people who had the virus, recovered, then die of something else but still had sufficient residual virus to test positive.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        If just 1% percent of the daily deaths were falsely attributed to the virus it would make a significant reduction in the covid death rate currently running at circa 60 a day average.

  7. matthu
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    The rule of six is arbitrary and disruptive.

    If infections go up, government will claim it needs to be enforced harder, if infections go down, government will claim it is working. It could even be working in one part of the country and need to be enforced harder in another.

    At least you are now detecting a trend between arbitrary regulations and likely future voting patterns.

    • matthu
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Good to see this comment is still awaiting moderation while others submitted an hour and a half later have been published. Shows comments critical of the government are still hitting a nerve somewhere!

      • James
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Agreed my sentiments also- some comments are hitting too close to home.

  8. Stred
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    I went past a local pub on the way back from a bike ride and was tempted to have a pint of bitter, but the landlord required that customers had downloaded the NHS app before being served sitting down. My phone won’t download it and I will not use anything that the NHS tells me to. So that pub is out. We went for a walk and thought it would be nice to have a drink and snack in the garden of a pub that was a regular before the lockdown. I put my mask on and tried to take a seat but was directed to enter via the main entrance and have to walk through an enclosed space, which is more risky to vulnerables. At the entrance we were greeted by a young lady with a smart phone who told us that we could sit in the garden but would have to download the pub app to order a coffee. So I walked out the wrong way and won’t be back. As I was hungry, I was delighted to find a fish and chip shop open, managed to buy a bag of chips fried in dripping without an app and lowered my standards by eating them walking to the car, saving about five quid. They tasted better outside too.

    • BeebTax
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      There’s no way I’d download one of these apps. I’m hearing a lot of people who are of the same opinion, too.

    • Tim
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Just as I behave too.
      NHS App? What nonsense.

      • zorro
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        Serco App actually….

        zorro

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

          I think they run the cash cow car fine cameras too. Lots of money in fining/mugging people for putting a tyre in an empty bus lane they did not notice. 24 hours a day 7 days a week now soon in London

          Kahn must need even more money to waste!

    • beresford
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      A number of establishments are understandably confused by the rules, which say that the premises should have an alternative manual method of leaving contact details rather than turning away anyone who doesn’t own a smartphone. Perhaps JR could suggest that a Government spokesman makes a high-profile announcement explaining this. How about somebody designing a facility that creates a personal QR code that you can carry and the pub can scan, using THEIR smartphone?

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      And some, like me, have never owned a mobile phone.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        +1 …and never will for this very reason.

  9. DOM
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Rule of 6 is an attack on freedom of assembly and is a Marxist ruse. I bet this rule is selectively applied after being filtered through a racial and religious prism

    Let’s stop this charade once and for all and let’s state a facts. Every politician in Parliament is utterly unconcerned about the lives and welfare of the people of this nation. FACT.

    The scandal that cannot be discussed provided the incontrovertible evidence the public needed to confirm what most of us have always known about the brutal nature of the contemporary British political mindset.

    We’re dealing not with human beings that now populate our politics but with political animals without humanitarian instinct.

    The concerns of the modern political class are entirely political not humanitarian

    We are being manipulated, played, deceived, lied too and articles of this nature are testament to the wobbly tightrope many politicians try and navigate. Constructing a veneer that they believe in freedom and liberty when in fact it’s just that, a veneer.

    Freedom and liberty has become a THREAT to the political class. Freedom of expression and open debate has become a THREAT to the political class. If that fact alone doesn’t instil and incite fear about what these deranged lunatics have in store for this nation then you need to mature your senses

    Our sense of societal obligation is being used against us. Put a mask on, restrict your movements and you are guilty of murder says the politician. And that is the level of blackmail we are dealing with here.

    I thought we could not have a worse PM than the vicious ex-PM May but this occupant in power now has defied my expectations.

    He will betray the UK on the EU issue. He did endorse BLM and stand against the majority. He does approve of progressive politics that is ripping apart our world. He will continue with mass immigration to change our world ala Labour.

    Your party and that stain in opposition have cooperated hand in hand to built and protect a system that promotes the Tory-Labour scam. It seems the electorate still haven’t understood this fact yet, but they will

    • DOM
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      Put a mask on, restrict your movements. A refusal to do so equates to attempted murder says the politician

      • Fred H
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        like the SNP woman.

      • Hope
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        Dom, Hitchens says similar today in a more succinct way.

        The egregious WA and PD written and agreed by May example A. Against all what she said publicly and totally against the largest mandate ever given to any govt.!

        • glen cullen
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

          +1

      • zorro
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        Utter lunatics

        zorro

      • SN Simmons
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Mr. Redwood, I’ve voted Tory for over 45 years, but because of the government’s shambolic handling of this virus from day one, when they refused to quarantine anyone, to now, when we’re nearly all in lockdown, I cut up my membership card and sent it back to CCHQ, as have hundreds of others whom I know. The Tories are finished!
        Friends have lost their businesses and also their homes which they used as collateral because they tried to save their businesses!
        This government are overseeing the worst financial disaster in our history.
        Let businesses and factories open, let people work, give the economy a boost.
        Also, ask why the government are NOT listening to our best medical specialists, but only to a couple of number crunchers in the pay of big corporations!
        Britain is no longer a democracy, but a totalitarian, fascist, state!
        I suggest anyone who can afford to leave this country for free and farther shores, do so asap!

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

          +1

        • Fred H
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

          I have tried to encourage one or two – but seem reluctant.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

            There’s nowhere to go!

        • Andy
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

          Remember – we used to be able to choose which of 30 other countries we lived in. The Tories – who you have voted for for 45 years – stole that right from us this year.

          The reality is that most older people will no longer qualify to be able to move overseas because, as non earners, they are not attractive immigrants. So, hard luck, you are stuck here.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

            UK people lived in Europe before you were born.
            How did that happen?

    • MarkLeigh
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      That rant made you feel better?

    • BOF
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      I agree. The best comment of the day is Peter Hitchens in the MoS.

      • Jim Whitehead
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Hitchens’ suggestion of how to add significance to the normally vote invalidating “None Of The Below” is novel and attractive.
        The virus was ‘let rip’ in the Diamond Princess with the result that it has been clearly shown to have a limiting percentage of consequences of ill health or fatality. This template has been repeated in various other places and circumstances in the world. The classic ‘exponential’ curve is nonsense in the context of viral transmission. When used by ‘scientists’ it has to be viewed as tendentious and wilful misinformation. They know that it is a deliberate falsehood.
        The ruination of the country is taking place with a concomitant undermining of the normal civility and understanding of what passed for ‘normal’ in this country.
        All because of the evil Machinations of some Powerful Genius intent on crushing Western Civilisation?
        Alas, No. The perpetrators are uninspiring and unconvincing mediocrities, viz. Johnson, Hancock and Whitty.
        The War of the Worlds saw a superior power laid low by tiny micro-organisms of zero intelligence.
        Sir John, the comments regularly show the inexpressible anguish of powerless people whose views count for nothing but have to accept the edicts and submit to the most foolish and illogical rules (laws?) of these inadequates.
        A Bill, followed by the threat of even harsher to come was described by Andrew Marvell in 1670 as “the Quintessence of Arbitrary Malice”.
        What profundity in those words . . .

    • Richard
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      +1 Well said. The requirements will always increase and never be rolled back.

      In 2021 lack of food will be used as a weapon. Covid is being used now to deliberately disrupt food production & supply chains. The 2020-2053 Grand Solar Minimum is now widely accepted. Organised stockpiling of food currently. See eg ‘Ice Age Farmer’ -the evidence is widespread. Even the BBC warns of this, omitting the deliberate sabotage bit..

    • Mark B
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Power corrupts. And absolute power corrupts absolutely. Our system relies on the Legislature holding the Executive to account and everyone recognising the fragility of our system. Currently it is broke, and few seem to want to fix it.

    • Mark
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Your mobile phone

      One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.

      • S Martin
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        Nice one.

  10. Cynic
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    What is delaying the spread of the virus supposed to achieve? Why is it important to do this at enormous cost to our economy and way of life?

    • MarkLeigh
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      I think in Round 1, there was some logic. Stop the NHS being overwhelmed. Arguably it worked.

      Round 2…..? I think we are in a different place. We should use Nightingales as Covid hospitals where possible. Ramp-up the protection for the vulnerable (especially care homes), and suggest practical measures for the bulk of the population….Primarily focused around maintaining physical distance as a means to avoiding contagion, although caveated based on susceptibility.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      They’ve thrown everything at it trying to stop the spread of the virus and it hasn’t worked –so whats the next plan….continue throwing the same money and resources at it in the hope that it will stop the spread some time soon

      Utter madness

    • Mark B
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      They do not seek to delay the virus par se, more to hang on to their new powers.

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Correct – its now about saving their face, their power and their position

  11. A constituent goat
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    The virus has a life of its own regardless of controls and there is no evidence that any of the measures taken to control the spread have worked, they have simply extended the life of the virus. It will die out in its own time, like any other virus. We should follow Sweden. The people are fed a constant diet of project fear so it is hardly surprising that they want more stringent measures. We need a different set of scientists to tell them that the chance of them surviving the virus are more than 99% according to Stockholm university. It is time to ban censorship of material that does not fit the government narrative. The measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus have caused far more damage than the virus itself. Please vote down the ridiculous and unscientific rule of 6.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      Viruses do not “die out”.

      They become endemic if not eradicated. They may or may not evolve to become less severe at the same time.

      This would mean, in the case of covid19, that it would shorten average life expectancy for everyone.

      That’s for the simple reason that everyone becomes older, and more vulnerable to it, unless something else kills us first.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        bizarre.

      • zorro
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        It is clear that not everyone is vulnerable and definitely not 80%. There are studies showing that it is highly likely that there are a range of immunity responses within us already potentially related to previous coronaviruses.

        zorro

        • S Martin
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

          20% catch it. Corona viruses are usually between 17 to 21 %.
          See Diamond Princess.

          • Zorro
            Posted October 5, 2020 at 12:01 am | Permalink

            Correct, and a similar % in 1958 and 1968 flu epidemics.

            Zorro

      • NickC
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Lack of treatment on the NHS for diseases other than covid19 also shortens the average life expectancy for everyone. And that’s what you promote by focussing solely on covid19.

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        How do you explain how the spanish flu of 1918-20 was resolved

    • LH
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      So true! Please vote to scrap the rule of 6, and follow the Swedish model

  12. Robert McDonald
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    It seems clear that groups mingling together are most likely to result in the virus being passed around. I find this “rule of 6” is too pedantic however to be accepted by the public, us. Surely it would be sufficient to insist that the most vulnerable are protected by a more simple rule, no more than 2 households. Always of course based upon none of them are tested positive. The protective measure of masks on public transport, or in shops and enclosed public places seems logical as does early closing of pubs. This pandemic is creating a massive and possibly permanent change to our way of life, we need to learn to live with it .. as most nations in the far east have already had to do.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Like two metres it’s arbitrary, and not based on solid evidence.

      On the other hand, the authorities could simply copy what has been done in the countries which have, for practical purposes, beaten the epidemic, and do what they do.

      But Conservatives ignore “foreigners”, and also first language English-speakers too, if they happen to have a Labour government, it seems.

      • NickC
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Martin, No country has “beaten” SARS-CV-2. Nor “stamped it out”. A few countries have had a low death toll, for example, by having a young population, or as a consequence of self-isolation by locking down their borders. The first we can’t have, and the second you refused to have.

  13. steve
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    JR

    “…..favouring the more relaxed Swedish approach”

    I don’t believe that would work here, JR.

    It comes down to the people themselves. We have large cities where standards of hygiene & personal responsibility is questionable, we have pub culture, we have people sticking two fingers at anything Boris politely asks of them….because they didn’t vote conservative.

    (and we have hypocrites with the virus coming here from Scotland who refuse to do as they’re told by an English Tory.)

    I have a hunch Boris is warning that he could come down hard on such people, and I think he’d be justified to do so.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      In retrospect we will find we had no choice.

      Economy or Covid.

      Loss of the economy is going to kill far more lives and far younger too.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      I agree with much of that, Steve.

      The Swedes are a civic-minded people, perhaps because a bond of trust has been built over the years there between government and them.

      They can be relied upon to follow advice because they have come to trust it. That is why compulsion was not needed there.

      The UK media have fostered disengagement, cynicism, and apathy on the other hand – “voter suppression” as it has been called of late.

      • steve
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        MiC

        “The UK media have fostered disengagement, cynicism, and apathy on the other hand – “voter suppression” as it has been called of late.”

        Exactly ! +1

        You’d have thought that during a national crisis such as this the media would play ball, regardless of who’s in government.

        Personally I’m sick and tired of all the political sniping at every opportunity by UK media. The nation needs pulling together to beat this virus, we can do the politics later.

        • James Bertram
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

          ‘The nation needs pulling together to beat this virus, we can do the politics later.’
          You cannot ‘beat a virus’ – do some research please.

      • NickC
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        Martin, The Remain establishment fostered voter suppression by wilfully ignoring the Leave vote. Including sneering at Leave voters, as you have done too.

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 5, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        My goodness, Martin you really do hold every nation up as models before your own, is there anything positive you ever have to say about the UK? Anything?

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      He will be announcing a 2 week lockdown later this month. It’s the worst kept secret in government.
      It’s a power trip for the likes of Hancock and Whitless.
      Just watch for the sell out of Brexit because of Covid.

      • steve
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Ian Wragg

        “He will be announcing a 2 week lockdown later this month. ”

        ….He’d be well justified, in my opinion.

        “It’s a power trip for the likes of Hancock and Whitless.”

        …..More likely, Ian, they have a bloody difficult job. Their decisions have the potential to cost lives. I certainly wouldn’t want that responsibility.

        “Just watch for the sell out of Brexit because of Covid.”

        ….Yes we just have to wait and see. But if there is any kind of sell out especially on fishing it’ll be the end of the conservative party. I’m sure Boris knows this, but for now we have to rely on trust thin as it is.

    • acorn
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Sweden has the Nordic culture. It has a much higher Social Cohesion factor than the UK; also, Swedes tend to trust their government and its experts much more. See chart at https://blogsmedia.lse.ac.uk/blogs.dir/28/files/2014/12/greecesjichart.jpg

      Hence, they changed their individual and group behavior to protect themselves before the government stepped in. Nearly half of C19 deaths were in Care Homes with no PPE.

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

        Acorn, Twaddle. Why are you Remains so persistently and obtusely anti-British? The most fundamental social cohesion is patriotism. Yet it is something that Remains consistently sneer about, especially in those who voted Leave.

        • acorn
          Posted October 6, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          Sorry NickC, my comment did not get past moderation. It was insufficiently Alt-Right in its content for this site.

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Steve, you don’t seem to understand that many people who oppose the Lockdown rules do so because they don’t want to be complicit in this fake panic-demic that is responsible for killing far more people than government interventions could ever save. It is a moral position; it is a well-considered and well-researched position – and you think it is justifiable for a government to shut them up and make them obey by using force! I think you are living in the 1930s.

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        Agree – good words

      • steve
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        James Bertram

        “..this fake panic-demic that is responsible for killing…”

        You must know what is wrong with the above statement.

        “you think it is justifiable for a government to shut them up and make them obey by using force!”

        Yes. I don’t see why lives should be lost because a selfish minority won’t do as they’re asked. If it was down to me I’d disperse with water canon or lock social gatherings down on the spot for two weeks, no food, no shelter, they’d be made to stay right where they were caught.

        “I think you are living in the 1930s.”

        Some people need to appreciate that we are not. Things were settled differently in those days.

        • James Bertram
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

          You show your true colours, Steve.

          • steve
            Posted October 5, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

            I was never hiding them.

  14. Chris Dark
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    You should not take any notice of polls. They are geared to influence public opinion, not take a snapshot of it. Personally I don’t know anyone who wants more draconian lockdown and restrictions, but I suppose there are quite a few masochistic types who desire total captivity no matter what the effect is on everyone else and the economy. The British have fast become namby-pambies but considering the force-feeding of covid lies for many months I suppose it’s not surprising. Let people live their lives, they are short enough as it is. Otherwise in the future we will have a nation of hermits and recluses, the population will dwindle as people fail to meet, marry and reproduce…and we all know where that leads.

    • Sharon
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      chris

      I read of a person who used to be a pollster for Gov. She said it takes a certain type of person who will sit and complete a 15 minute poll and that she doesn’t believe in their worth. And as a lot of people have said, the questions invariably steer the person to where they want you to go.

      I’ve done the odd supermarket poll and each time wondered why I bothered. the questions were limited in how you could answer properly as to be of any use.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        been there – marvelled at the nonsense – somebody seems to think it will help reduce Covid.
        Breathtakingly insane.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      I know of people who were on furlough and being very supportive of the government and its measures. Now it is looking like furlough is coming to an end and the economy may well tank, they seem to be questioning things a bit more.

      People will always agree to something so long as that something affects others and not themselves 😉

      • steve
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        Mark B

        “People will always agree to something so long as that something affects others and not themselves ”

        In a nutshell.
        +1

  15. Everhopeful
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    On the strength of what would you be voting yes?
    The tests are not diagnostic. There are many false results.
    The figures for deaths and hospital admissions are constantly being questioned.
    Being shut in one’s home does not stop any virus.
    The Long Imprisonment caused …c 30,000 extra deaths.
    People’s mental health must have reached snapping point by now.
    Covid was officially dropped as a HCI last March.
    Young people are far more likely to die from flu.
    Above all…since you closed all the hospitals, doctors, dentists and are responsible for goodness know what catastrophes …we know that you have no care whatsoever for us.
    So for God’s sake Vote no and save what might be left of our economy.
    Ask the UN why don’t you? They are always saying that poverty kills!

    Constituent? Effectively I have no MP.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Yes=continue with the economy wrecking madness.
      No= stop it and restore some sanity.
      Hope I got that right.

      • Jim Whitehead
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        Everhopeful, yes, you got it right.
        Distilled to the essentials, the trivia left in the sludge. Johnson and Hancock, epitome of that useless clammy sludge.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      ‘Young people are far more likely to die from flu.’

      Or hitting head when drunk.
      Or driving drunk.
      Or taking ‘rave’ drugs.
      Or suicide with such a hopeless prospect of their future.

    • TooleyStu
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Everhopefull.
      Wow.. some summary.

      Kary Banks Mullis invented the PCR test.
      His words ‘Do not use for diagnosis’.
      It is a manufacturing technique.. not a diagnostic one.
      (Ref: Kary Banks Mullis, American biochemist, 1993 Nobel for Chemistry)

      The Anti-body test cannot differentiate between any of the 7+ Human Corona.
      Corona virus covers about 7 Human ailments, including Cold, Sars and Mers.
      (Ref: CDC website, ‘Guidance on Interpreting COVID-19 Test Results’)

      I believe we are being LIED to on an industrial scale.
      And I am not alone is this assumption, more and more Drs and experts are now speaking out.
      At great personal risk too.

      Keep shouting please..
      Best regards, as ever,
      Tooley Stu.

  16. Northern Monkey
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Sir John, attempts to control the virus are the modern equivalent of King Canute ordering the tides to stop, and give rise to headlines like those on the BBC News website this morning where the leader of the opposition accuses the government of having “lost control” of the virus.

    Stop this authoritarian, unscientific and doomed experiment in social control that we copied from communist China, not a suitable model for a democracy to adopt, and let us return to a reasoned and reasonable response to so mmm during no more virulent than a bad flu season.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Indeed.

      Except King Canute was making the point that he could not stop tides despite being the king.

      Also is the UK back to being a full democracy yet? We still seem to be under EU control to a large degree and still have the House of Lords stuffed as it is with many dubious and deluded characters with the right connections and suitable pro EU, climate alarmist, big government, high taxation, red tape spewing views. Many with interesting consultancy incomes. As indeed have many MPs.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      +1 why has the Govt taken responsibility for the climate and a virus? It’s not God! Maybe that’s news?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        They are both excellent excuses for more taxes, more bossing about, more parasitic well paid and well pensioned jobs (working from home on full pay), more state sector, more red tape, more fines and more state power.

        Climate is better as they will all be gone before it is proved to be a total con trick/huge exaggeration. Of course when it revealed to be exagerated drivel what they will say is “didn’t we do well to avert the climate catastrophe with all the renewable lucacy!”

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      Agree

  17. Bloke in Wales
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Look at the charts drawn from government data on this page: https://hectordrummond.com/2020/10/03/positive-tests-admissions-and-deaths-graphs-from-christopher-bowyer-29-september/ and elsewhere on this site.

    Compare and contrast the scary second wave prediction from Vallance’s notorious press conference with what is actually happening according the the government’s own data.

    Observe the massive increase in tests carried out and try to discern the corresponding rise in deaths. Ask on our behalf why the focus on ‘cases’ (ooh! scary!) rather than the numbers that actually matter, hospitalisations and deaths.

    Now look at the latest ONS weekly deaths statistics at https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending18september2020 ; notice that since the middle of June, the height of summer, flu and pneumonia deaths have outstripped covid-19 every single week.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Thank you !!!

    • David L
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      I agree with Bloke in Wales – and I am a constituent . I read that the tests have to be specified to have the lowest number of false negatives, otherwise people declared virus-free may well not be and will happily mix with others. Consequently, the false positives are greatly increased. Hence, the “scary” figures Vallance and Whitty quote for “cases” are no way reliable.
      The cynic in me feels that we are being deliberately frightened in order that we will clamour for the government to buy us all a vaccine, making billions for Pharma,Etc ed when keeping vitamin D levels up would be of more help for those actually infected.
      A collapsed economy, the resulting poverty, crime and malnutrition would cause a death toll that dwarfs Covid19.

    • Suzette Burtenshaw
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Spot on! Using ‘cases’ instead of ‘infections’ is blatant scaremongering. I just don’t understand why more people aren’t seeing this and calling it out for what it is.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • James Bertram
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      The government should take note – I’ve been concerned for some time why the media is reporting the testing figures and not the hospital admissions and deaths ? Is someone telling them what to report

  18. Alan Jutson
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    As a Constituant JR

    The problem with the rule of six, is that it can be individuals from six different families, and therein is the problem.

    If there are four family members, 2 adults and two teenagers and they all decide to go out in different groups of six with their own friends, club members, interest groups, and five other families of the same size choose to do the same, you end up with an actual rule of risk many times more than six, and that is only if they all go out once a day each, many go out during the day, and with another chosen group in the evening.

    Thus there is no sensible limit to the risk, and no wonder the virus is still spreading.

    We already know that large numbers of people are booking up groups of restaurant tables as a group of six, with each table booking in a different name to circumvent the spirit of the rules, and whilst this is not a problem if the groups do not mingle, with alcohol and travel involved, invariably they do.

    Far better to have a lower limit on the number of individual bubbles (suggest two or three bubbles) allowed together at any one time, which indeed may be more than six people but the risk is then kept very much lower.

    Fully aware we need to get the economy growing, but that will only get to happen if the infection rate is kept low, if indeed that is the Governments plan.

    The rules are being broken because more and more people are getting fed up with battle fatigue.

    • Ginty
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      It has now gone from hospitalisation and death rate being importing to the infection rate – going for Zero Covid which is simply impossible, ie playing God, King Canute.

      Treatments are clearly much better.

      Once furlough stops, the tax rises and cuts come in, once there is NOTHING left of our local facilities and entertainment and once full unemployment is realised this government is going to be forced out of office by pitchfork.

      What a mess BJ’s personal life was. Max Hastings was absolutely right – the man is totally unsuitable to be PM.

      Get the economy open again now. Shield the vulnerable They’re staying indoors whatever happens – locking the rest of us away just so as not to appear to single them out is pure spite.

      • Ginty.
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        Important

        not

        Importing

  19. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Not a constituent.

    I think distance and hygiene is key rather than pure numbers. Indoors / outdoors also counts for much.

    Difficult to enforce and favouring those with larger properties but I think the numbers should be determined by space and ventilation. Restaurants hotels and pubs should be able to host parties of as many as can stay 2 metres away from each other and provide hand sanitisee.

    3 people in a two by two kitchen in a domestic setting is less risky than 8 in a four by five living room or 4 in the dining room 3 in the living room and one in the kitchen.

    As ever common sense and mitigation goes a long way.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      I am also unconvinced by the 10 PM curfew. This seems based on assumption of the behaviour in various states on inebriation rather than any data.

      I can get just as inebriated between 5 and 10 as I can between 7 and 12 but now I am squeezed in at the same time as everyone trying to do the same and then leaving at the same time.

      Stop trying to control everything and continue to encourage hygiene and distance.

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        But we’ve been cleaning our hands and keeping our distance for 6 months – with no change….the virus incubation period is only 14 days ?

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted October 5, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

          Who is we?

          That is a large assumption and even more so if you observe people’s behaviours. During lockdown we had all those police on Westminster Bridge, large weddings, tick tok videos.

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted October 5, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

          glen

          “…Cleaning our hands…”

          Some of us have, whilst others (enough of them) do not seem to have bothered at all.

          Hence the problem we find ourselves in.

          The Government does not spread the virus, people do.

  20. Leslie Singleton
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John–Any idea that the six in the ‘Rule’ could be arrived at scientifically (as the Telegraph leader had it) shows a misunderstanding of just about everything. It is a judgement that’s all. The Telegraph also likes to publish letters about the joys of individuals being able to decide for themselves as if such decisions didn’t affect everybody else. Anybody who thinks the latter is to my mind not sufficiently with it to be allowed to make any decisions on this complex contentious and evolving subject

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Should we no longer be allowed to make individual decisions about influenza either Leslie (flu currently killing 12 times as many people than Covid)? Or driving, or anything else?

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 5, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        How and where in the Country is flu spreading if we’re all in these lockdowns?

  21. Mark B
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Sir John.

    The government made the statement that it would be led by the science. If that is indeed still the case, then all you need to ask is, “Where is the science behind all these measures ?” The fact that the government has requested that The, Rule of Six be given more time to see if it will work suggests that they are not following the science and are just making it up as they go. On that basis I would be inclined to vote against such a measure.

    The government asks that we act responsibility. I ask of it the same.

    • graham1946
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Perhaps ‘led by the science’ has degenerated into ‘led by the scientists’ and to which should be added ‘of our choice’. Haven’t heard any dissenting voices in the scientific community, but as only the accepted version of everything seems to be published by MSM and I don’t move in such circles, that’s no surprise.

      For now, until things become clearer I will continue with minimal contact via minimal shopping trips etc. and continue shielding. I do though, think that for those wanting to go out, the 10 o’clock shutdown is not even logical and any late night bad behaviour would probably be improved if it was moved to the old pub hours or even 11.30 where food is being served and would be better respected with less complaint.

  22. MikeP
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Coronavirus SitRep:
    – who among us really believes the daily “case” data?
    – March figures can’t be compared to present day as we weren’t testing in March
    – rumours abound that the tests are ineffective, false positives, picking up old virus cells
    – people have had enough of changing rules and flawed science
    – and we can all read what Carl Heneghan and Sunetra Gupta say
    – RULE OF SIX prevents so many two household families from getting together
    – nothing has shown that SIX is anything other than an arbitrary pick
    Sir John, the party is losing support by the hour, hostages to “following the science” when you haven’t been.

    • Tim
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      The last sentence succintly says it all.

  23. Fred H
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    The rule of 6 is a farce. If a family plus close visitors (a couple?) is really required(?) then 7 or 8 makes much more sense.
    Closing time for pubs at 10pm is pointless – drinking and socialising will take place earlier and more intense! If evidence points to pubs being the problem of spreading then close them for 2 weeks – paying significant sums for loss of business.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Will people feel the same way though Fred if meeting in that group of 8 suddenly puts you, and your family out of your livelihoods and isolated for 14 days? Our testing and isolation just isn’t up to big mixing numbers. I’ve been reading about the superb testing regime in Germany.

      My husband and I haven’t mixed with more than seven from our own family/friends since March (and the one time we did it was just seven people we knew were well, and then only for one day mainly outside), we have isolated because we are responsible for the livelihoods of many people and don’t want to catch/spread it or be told we have to take a fortnight off work, we need to remain operational.

      This is boiling down to money, and the number of people that one person testing + (even without symptoms) that then close down a whole network of contacts.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Rule of Six seems to be based on nothing more than “The Rule of Six” which applies to the fact that a RNA virus’s nucleotides always occur in MULTIPLES OF SIX.
      ie…we are ruled by a virus!
      No more thought than that put into ruining our lives.
      Who will be cut out of your Christmas Lunch?
      No doubt the UN or EU have instructed Boris to do away with all Christian festivals.

  24. Everhopeful
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    On 31st August I received a “Christmas Shop Now Open” notice from an online butcher.
    Very early. Very surprised especially since the turkeys at £70 odd quid were only 5kg ( very small).
    “Rule of 6” came into law on 14th September.
    Newspapers now saying that turkeys are being slaughtered early and small because of the rule of 6…fewer people at Christmas dinner table.
    So who knew what when?
    And why?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Well I feel as though I am driving in fog on this question. Insufficient data, and what there is is lousy. So I don’t blame you for asking. Whether or not there is a vehilcle there, I am obviously going to drive with care, and go down roads with fewer cars coming the other way.
      Given that, personal responsibility should account for 90% of what we do. Vulnerable folk rarely have a need to go to raves or student gatherings, and if they do they probably shouldn’t. So the question is more about how much support those people should be given, and less about rules and restrictions for the others. Find out where these pinch points are and resolve them, meanwhile opening up the system to those who will on any case catch and recover.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Sainsburys has sent us an invitation to order Christmas food – NOW!

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      This is just ridiculous who would pay £70 for a 5kg turkey? Turkeys can be made into mince meat and put into pies, and other frozen meals instead of chicken.

      What Boris should be saying is we don’t think we’re going to be on top of this covid19 by Christmas (even though Germany, Sweden and others seem to have done). So its up to you guys, if you have big meetings with your elderly parents and extended family you are going to put them at risk. If you have university students home, they may arrive asymptomatic with the virus if you’re willing to run this risk then fine but it is your choice.

      The government should just be giving us facts and figures, who is suffering right now, who is under what treatment right now, what are their per-existing conditions, who do they believe they caught it from (what activity) did they not take precautions, what would they do differently.

  25. JoolsB
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    “The decision will be about the Coronavirus Restrictions (No 2) (England) Statutory Instrument.“

    John, when I asked you the other day you didn’t answer but will the SNP get to vote on this?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Yes!

  26. Bryan Harris
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Isn’t ‘The rule of 6’ rather an arbitrary compromise?
    The quantity is meaningless.

    The logic has to be that the more MP’s vote down irrational authoritarian measures, the more the chances are that the government will come up with a plan B or plan C — They need to be shunted in a different direction.

    It is vital that we move away from the establishment intention of having the government forcing us down the road of having all freedoms removed.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      The quantity is meaningless because the govt. lifted the name from a particular characteristic of the virus called:

      “THE RULEOF SIX”. It refers to the nucleotides in a RNA virus always being in multiples of 6.

      They think it is a good joke!

      And they are ruining our lives with their joke!

  27. Nigl
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    You should also be looking at the quarantines imposed for returnees from countries abroad killing the airline and travel industry for no reason.

    I am in Portugal where the distancing and mask wearing etc is far more than in the U.K. equally a friend currently in Turkey.

    We both agree that we are more in danger in a U.K. supermarket yet this shambles of a government is more about punishment than protection.

  28. Paul McGreevy
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    The common cold is a virus but no one believes that social restrictions will make it go away so why do they think they will make Covid go away. Covid is now endemic just like common colds and flu and all restrictions do is delay transmissions of these viruses. Nothing is gained from the delays because the infections and deaths resume after the restrictions are lifted and will do so for eternity. Why is that so difficult to understand? If a vaccine is produced it will be prescribed to the elderly each winter just like for common flu because nothing else is going to solve anything.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      So do you think that the world ends at these shores then?

      How come so many other countries are not having the problems that the UK and the US are?

      They did not operate on your useless, wet-lettuce, Counsel Of Despair, for one thing.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        we ran out of wet lettuce months ago.

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted October 5, 2020 at 2:50 am | Permalink

        Why the US and the UK in particular ?

        Obesity.

        The PM said so much yesterday on the Marr show.

        Even pre Covid obesity was sapping the NHS of funding.

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted October 5, 2020 at 2:52 am | Permalink

          A high percentage of CV-19 victims were obese when they died.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted October 5, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

            And obesity is not counted as a co-morbidity.

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Paul, fully agree. Follow Nature; not idiot governments who want to control everything.
      And ignore the rubbish comment from Martin. Quite bizarre and unfounded.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Agree

  29. Everhopeful
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    I suppose that all you freedom-snatching MPs know that “The Rule of Six” is a feature of some paramyxovirus genomes. They are RNA viruses. The number of nucleotides they contain IS ALWAYS A MULTIPLE OF SIX.
    The corona virus is one of these.
    So was the number 6 just pulled out of the ether based on a cruel joke?
    “The Rule of Six“ refers to a RNA viruses.
    Coronavirus is such.
    And we are ruled by it.
    How very amusing.
    What a bunch of *******s
    (Very much like the number of alcohol units recommended, plucked from thin air)
    For the Love of God.
    Vote against the continuation of this “law”.
    Assuming you can!!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Phew, nice to know they are not just sucking numbers out of their thumbs!

  30. Old Albion
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I can go to a pub or restaurant among strangers. I can get on an aeroplane with 300 others or a commuter train. I could go to work in a factory.
    Yet I am forbidden from mixing with more than five others in my home. Even if they are relatives or friends, who would quite clearly decline an invite if they thought they had any vague chance of previously being exposed to Covid.
    If you or anyone in parliament think that makes any sense. I despair.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      +1

  31. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Bearing in mind I can be fined for having 7 to dinner then I’m pretty sure the CCP is responsible for lethal assault on the UK Prime Minister and the US President through an act which was intentional or reckless (as per the legal standard in Britain.)

    Prime Minister Whitty failed to juxtapose two other essential graphs when he showed us his CV-19 Extreme graph ordered us into freedom, fun and economy destroying lockdown.

    He failed to show us the graph of people dying because of his measures.

    He failed to show us the graph of the current state of usurpation of the West by the CCP and the secondary line on it which showed the Communist push going on in Britain at the moment and all the deaths, misery and poverty this is going to cause. The collapse of cinemas being the latest.

    There is going to be nothing left after this John. Nothing.

    I really do foresee a people’s revolt against your government and the installation of a fascist regime replete with grim deprivation, hunger, stasi, gulags and snitching neighbours.

  32. DOM
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Will this authoritarian piece of legislation be applied against all citizens of this dump of a nation or will it be applied once filtered through the prism of politics racial identity and religion?

    Just saying like, now the London-centric political class and the authorities have taken sides and now provide special protection and privileges to with those with a certain identity

    John, WE KNOW WE ARE BEING TREATED LIKE IDIOTS by both your party and that filth you gawp at every day in Parliament

    Johnson has become a threat now he’s taken power. Before becoming PM he portrayed himself as our liberator from Marxism and progressive fascism. Oh, how naive and easily led are the British electorate for which they will and are now paying a heavy price

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      I warned you about Boris! I also warn you about Farage! But you know best! Go through the fire and stop whinging.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        I know!
        Nobody ever listens.
        Are they all Tory trolls?

    • Fred H
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Putin wouldn’t get away with what Boris + foolish ‘scientists’ have imposed.

  33. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Throughout the year statistics relating to CV19 have been manipulated and presented in such a way as to provoke fear in the population at every turn. We have been subjected to a daily barrage of government scare propaganda in the media paid for by taxpayers ( how much has that cost?). I have no confidence at all in anything Johnson and Hancock say or do and think both should be replaced. The harm they have done is immense and continuing. Not only have their actions resulted in the premature deaths of those who do not have CV19 (in any private organisation or business manslaughter charges would be brought), the litany of other deleterious effects is long and widespread. I have noted them before and shall not repeat. MPs have been complicit and in the main useless throughout the year whilst receiving their salaries.
    I do not want to live in a dictatorship where Johnson, Hancock or you can tell me how many people I can meet, where and when or what I must wear over my face in order to do nothing more than show my compliance to your dictatorial control. I have no confidence in the government nor Parliament. Our very democracy has been undermined.

  34. Iain Gill
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    The government should have setup multiple competitive advisory teams. The way the decisions are being taken, is most of the problem.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      +1

  35. MarkLeigh
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Re the pubs closing issue.

    Have we all forgotten the passionate arguments used to support relaxation of the drinking hours legislation?

    Wasn’t it all about stopping people binge drinking, stacking up, drinks before Closing time, avoiding the rush of drunk people out Onto the streets at the same time? Stuff like that….

    Seems to me those are exactly the issues we have now, and are not helpful to control a contagious disease.

  36. BeebTax
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Let individuals and families decide for themselves on who they will meet up with, and where, and when. Those most at risk of catching and suffering badly from the virus are adults, and can make up their own minds: we don’t need or want an oppressive state telling us who we can associate with. We are best placed to make an assessment based on our circumstances.

    Parents should be allowed to decide on the appropriate level of risk for their children.

    Drunken adolescents will be drunken adolescents.

    For those people who are very worried of the disease: take extreme precautions and/or away from the rest of us. But don’t ask that we severely curtail our freedoms in order to pander to your fears.

  37. Iain Moore
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    The previous family bubble policy was deemed too complicated, now the rule of 6, simple but incoherent and quickly torn apart by whataboutery. The reality is no policy other than a complete lockdown , or free for all, can cope with the variety of lives and family situations.

    Instead of being dragged down into these rabbit holes of whataboutery, where Ministers have been made to look extremely stupid, the Government should make people responsible for their own lives and family members. Explain the route of the virus transmission, and say if you include into your family group a party animal, then expect to run a higher risk of getting Covid.

    Of course this is fine if we had an establishment who weren’t addicted to secrecy as our lot are, who treat Covid data with more care than they do a state secret, with the result they deny us the information to assess the risks we wish to take. I just do not understand that, I suspect the British state’s addiction to secrecy is to hide their incompetence, I mean how could they have possibly missed off 6,000 people from the Covid stats in the last week or so? Technical difficulty! What the heck is that? Someone can’t use a calculator to add up?

    • Iain Moore
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Well we found out, they were using an Excel spreadsheet, and someone didn’t realise there was a limit to the number of lines . Good grief, a £12 billion test and trace programme and they use Excel , I suppose gongs and Knighthoods will be awarded to all.

      Like I said, incompetent.

  38. Will Jones
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    It’s not that the fall in April was ‘coincidence’. It’s that, as Carl Heneghan has pointed out, infections began falling before lockdown began. This point is of the utmost importance in the sceptical position and you should at least acknowledge it.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      You really should be advising the idiot Government!

      • Everhopeful
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Maybe he is a member of Sage?
        Honestly….talk about banging one’s head against a brick wall!!

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      +100

  39. Harryagain
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    This idea that the Swedish government has done nothing about covid19 is fiction.
    What they recommend is almost identical to UK precautions.

    https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/the-public-health-agency-of-sweden/communicable-disease-control/covid-19/

    • NickC
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Harry, Indeed, most of the measures are the same. Except for the full lockdown in the UK where people were required to stay at home from 24th March, unless they were essential workers.

      • Will Jones
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        And no masks. No rule of six or limits on socialising. No curfew. No local lockdowns. No constant threats and ramping up fear. Other than that, exactly the same…

  40. James
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    In the meantime there are thousands and thousands of foreign migrant sex workers moving through the land unsupervised and with no regulation- and nothing to do with 6 people meeting- surely there can be no activity so dangerous at this particular time- and not one word from Government of Public Health. Meanwhile all emphasis is on the rule of six for house meetings and then of course the pubs closing times- it’s all a load of old nonsense.

    Ps. Have nothing against the sex workers or the sex trade during normal times but we are not in normal times.

  41. Andy
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I have a small extended family.

    There are just 7 of us – 4 adults, 3 children.

    Who would the Conservative Party like us to leave out?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Bet the other 6 want to leave you out!

    • Fred H
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      You!

    • Stred
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Yourself.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      You!

  42. Walt
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Please let the result be reasonable, simple and consistent. Example, masks, which are worn to protect others. The government guide on facecovering rules starts well, then descends into the weeds of exemptions. Example: if two people get a train to town and walk through a shopping arcade together, one must be masked and the other need not because of a qualifying exemption. Where is the sense in that? Both are equally capable of spreading infection on the train and in the shops, so either the risk of spreading this virus is serious and both should be masked or it isn’t and neither need to be.

  43. a-tracy
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    You need to ask in these polls are you:
    A) working from home
    B) working for the public sector on full pay regardless
    C) if not working do you still get full pay and full sick
    D) are you retired

    It’s ok for MPs who are on full pay whatever choice they make, if you want to continue with these rules then you need to pay people the same benefits that you all get! Simple as really.

  44. a bad dream
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    same here, I have walked out of pubs, a few rural ones close to going bust are ignoring this evil scam.

  45. formula57
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I behave much more cautiously than advised by Government and typically support its present rules and can cope with the rule of six but can see that some relaxation of that might be reasonable, to facilitate two families meeting for example.

    If many people are minded to disobey rules (either as they do not see them as appropriate or following them introduces material difficulties) then, clearly, enforcement fails encouraging universal disregard.

    Lack of faith in current scientific advice and obvious, often enough wide, loopholes in present and past rules does not encourage compliance.

  46. Peter
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Many people are fed up with lockdown. It was just about tolerable as Spring went to Summer. The weather was nice and the daylight got longer. A second round from Autumn into Winter is a more difficult sell. We are not seeing bodies stacking up due to covid deaths. People have had it and recovered.

    At some stage people, will have to be able to go about their business in a normal manner. They will not want their source of income to have been destroyed.

    They will also expect open discussion of the issue and not the silencing of individuals whose views the government don’t like, for example the German doctor whose name cannot be mentioned on here.

    • zorro
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      It is clear that not everyone is vulnerable and definitely not 80%. There are studies showing that it is highly likely that there are a range of immunity responses within us already potentially related to previous coronaviruses.

      zorro

    • zorro
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      The arrest of the German doctor was a despicable act of censorship which rightly illustrates Kim Jong son’s fascist junta.

      How JR can allow himself to be associated with this government is troubling….

      zorro

      • Everhopeful
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        Yes…exactly!
        Just following orders?

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Or referencing the book: ‘Covid19 – False Alarm?’ by Dr Karina Reiss and Dr Sucharit Bakhdi

  47. matthu
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Boris is trying arbitrary Covid-19 interventions while he waits to assess the outcome of the US election before deciding which way to jump. He seems incapable of acting like a leader.

    If Biden wins, the UK will see increased woke-ism, authoritarianism, tariffs, fear, clampdowns, snitching, licensing being required to do everyday things you once took for granted, more road restrictions, fewer genuine free trade deals.

    If Trump wins, the UK will see the biggest injection of hope, free trade, optimism that the West has seen in a few generations. If the EU are not riding that train, say goodbye to the Euro. If Boris is not on that train, he’ll be sucked off the platform.

    • Barbara
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Yet most of our blinkered politicians would prefer Biden.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Yes..since they are about 99.9% GLOBALISTS.
        They have sold us out to the EU, the UN, WHO etc etc.

  48. Patrick Lawless
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    To the best of my knowledge the existing measures have not led to a significant reduction in this year’s flu fatalities. As the measures brought in for COVID are aimed at minimising a respiratory borne virus how is this so?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      bloody good question!

    • zorro
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Exactly, comment comes there none from the government’s acolytes!

      zorro

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Yes, very important question that they will not answer.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      +1

  49. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    You could not make it up!

  50. Andy
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I see the ghastly Ms Patel is whinging on about foreigners in dinghies again – and is refreshing the Conservatives annual pledge to reform the asylum system.

    Fresh from her attempt to send them all to Ascension Island or abandoned oil rigs she will apparently tell us a sob story about a genuine asylum seeker along with a horror story about a fake one who did bad things.

    Of course what we really need to say is that this is a non problem. We are talking about tiny numbers of people – and where we need to solve the issue is in the heads of the most elderly Faragists who just don’t like foreigners.

    Perhaps we could charter a plane to Ascension Island for them?

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Sir John, can I urge you once again just to delete completely ignorant comments like this?

      • John C.
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        No, Andy is a reliable source of light entertainment. A daily chuckle. Don’t mock the afflicted.

    • beresford
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Andy, you give the impression of being an Open Borders enthusiast. Now it is obvious that if you allow free movement between high birthrate Third World countries and Britain the flow will continue until conditions in Britain have deteriorated to the point that nobody wants to come any more. An early casualty will be the Welfare State as the dwindling proportion of indigenous people find themselves unable to provide benefits for the world. Assuming that you DON’T want to turn Western Europe into Africa, what is the objective of your Open Borders and how do you intend to turn off the flow of people you have encouraged once that objective is achieved?

    • Fred H
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Currently the only way to reach Ascension Island is by cruise ship or personal yacht.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      How many dinghies are making the crossing to your beloved EU ?

      They treat foreigners really well there !

  51. Jeff
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    It would seem that apart from a small number of MP’s the lack of a spine seems to be a prerequisite to being a politician. The greatest crisis to face this country produced a 90 minute farce on Wednesday when MP’s with the backbone of the biggest invertebrate failed miserably to take this government to task over the ludicrous corona act. They fell for the promise of greater scrutiny and some votes, when it suits the government, which it will easily outmanouvre. The electorate are being swindled front and centre and are allowing it happen. The MP’s show nothing but contempt to the people they serve now just as they did regards Brexit. We desperately need a new political force in this country, until we do, it will be same old same old….

    • Edward2
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      So do nothing?
      No proper immigration rules or systems for applying to come here like other countries?

      No wonder the parties you support get such low numbers of MPs.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        Sorry Jeff
        Meant to be a reply to young Andy above you.

  52. agricola
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Had we a stable sensible population at all levels we could adopt a varied approach to keeping Covid 19 in check, but we haven’t so we can’t. Those in charge are left with a one size fits all solution. Even with this it is abundantly obvious that there are elements of society that. insist on behaving like idiots and are best kept corralled. For the rest of us, who knows whether the figure six is the magic number.

  53. Sharon
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Sorry about the loss of paragraphs on my first post about the vaccines. they were there when I copied it from Word…

    With regards to the Rule of Six, it’s impractical because many families have three or more children and to expect one grandparent to sit in the car while the other visits the offspring and their grandchildren, is absurd!

    If the government insists on this rule then at least exclude children from the number.

    I think that most law abiding citizens are quietly ignoring this ruling anyway. I’ve read comments from people who have said that they’ve never knowingly broken the law but will do so over Christmas.

    My family have agreed that if there is another lockdown here that our elderly father will come and stay with one of us this time. Our son (who lives alone) moved back in during the national one…people will do what’s best for their loved ones despite the interference from government…which actually is none of their business who we sensibly invite into our home.

    You say, ‘Some think the virus has a life of its own regardless of controls.’ Looking at the curves on data from around the world, the countries with the stricter lockdown seem to have thad he worst number of deaths….suggests that Nature will ‘do its own thing’. I think trying to stop the virus is now about as effective as King Canute trying to hold back the tide.

  54. rose
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I think the time to be Swedish was in the Spring and Summer. Now we are coming into the ‘flu season I am not so sure. However, I agree these pandemics have a shelf life; but they are more likely to burn themselves out if allowed to pass from person to person, weakening as they go, because a virus doesn’t want to kill its host. Keeping us apart may prolong the strength of the virus, and of all the other viruses. Our immune systems are weakening. So I would keep the rule of six for now, as it seems to be working, but I would explain hard why there are apparent inconsistencies: that if we take a risk here, for the sake of the economy and education, we must tighten up there, in compensation. I know it is almost impossible to get a message across unmutated through our malicious and irresponsible media.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      and they have very restrictive alcohol licensing laws….

  55. DrPeterVC
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    My understanding is that 10pm is just closing time (like we used to have). I do not believe the regulations are for a curfew – this would imply everyone having to be indoors after 10pm. If there is to be a sensible debate then it is important that the rules, and what they mean, are fully understood by everyone (especially by those making them).

  56. William Long
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I understand from the Daily Telegraph (so it must be true?) that Six was chosen because Michael Gove thought six was a number that more people ould understand than say eihgt or ten. But, surely, numbers of individuals is not the point but the number of families that should be allowed to mix. Unless you can uncover some compelling scientific evidence for the ‘Rule of six’ I think you should vote against, because, after all, the Government follows the science, doesn’t it?

  57. NickC
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    JR, Please, please look at the ONS death toll graph. The maximum was reach around 10th April – just two and a half weeks after lockdown (24th March on).

    So if the time between infection and death is greater than two and a half weeks, the (full) lockdown could not have been the sole cause of the death toll reduction. The CEBR suggests the path takes a mean 26.8 days with an SD = 12.4 days (eg: 2 weeks to 5.6 weeks, +/- 1SD) using a log normal distribution suggested by Wood (below).

    Wood (Cornell, 5 May, revised 17 Sept) “A Bayesian inverse problem approach applied to UK data on COVID-19 deaths and the disease duration distribution suggests that infections were in decline before full UK lockdown (24 March 2020)” (my italics).

    • NickC
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Tsk, CEBM.

  58. Nigl
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Michael Gove said we have had enough of experts…….. only when it suits him. Forked tongue springs to mind

    • Fred H
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      I suggested an expression when faced with someone’s back, and you have a sharp instrument. Sir John doesn’t publish.

  59. BJC
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Whatever rules are in place, the public must understand their objective and the majority must buy into them if they are to succeed. The only rule that meets this criteria is “hands, face, space”, but there’s also an obligation on individuals to apply a huge dose of common sense to any situation.

    I still suspect that much of the government’s draconian measures are derived from the alternative, targeted demands of the public sector unions, e.g. the NEU require impossible-to-meet criteria to keep children in school and parents working, Unite instructs their members to “maintain current controls where they exceed the minimum”, whist Unison have issued Covid “bargaining guidelines”. I await Labour’s condemnation before these political agitators destroy what’s left of our economy and the jobs they claim to protect.

  60. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    The 10 o’clock pub curfew is really odd. Because of the way in which COVID-19 is transmitted, transmission is more likely to happen when people get a bit tiddly and start hugging each other. But people can drink a lot in a very short time if they want to. There was a time when Australian pubs were only open for half an hour after normal working hours and many Australian men would down six pints of larger during that half hour.

    A better system in theory would be for the publican to issue each customer with a token for up to three alcoholic drinks on entering the pub. Once the three tokens were used up, the customer would not be served any more. Such a system would only be workable if it gained public acceptance. The government could organise a pilot study.

  61. Nivek
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    “There is…in some cases no evidence that the controls are working.”

    It is commonly said that, to preserve freedom, our criminal justice system obliges us to tolerate risk. William Blackstone quantified it as follows: one person’s innocence is worth defending even at the risk of ten guilty persons escaping. I wonder if the Conservative Party leadership can prove that the current risk from COVID-19 is greater than that posed by Blackstone’s ratio.

  62. zorro
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I am a constituent.

    You receive a lot of views and information on this site and are pointed to reputable scientists who use evidence-based medicine to form opinions and policy. I suggest that you read and listen to them instead of the false graphs from the self-interested and invested ‘scientists’ and the increasingly hysterical and Dreaded Covid Commissar Mat Hang Kok.

    The PCR test has been shown to be disreputable. Raab has explained that on television and the Dreaded Covid Commissar doesn’t even understand what a false positive rate is anyway as has been shown from several interviews.

    This.Needs.To.End

    It is an embarrassment to the country. Flu/Pneumonia deaths have been 5-10 times the rate of ‘With Covid’ deaths since July.

    Masks have not helped in one bit and there is no evidence that they have or ever will as has been accepted over years of RCTs into the issue. It is political, nothing more, nothing less.

    There needs to be a reckoning with how this government has waged a bogus psyop against its own people. They will not escape judgement. I suggest that you choose wisely.

    zorro

  63. Bill B.
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    The ‘rule of 6’, rather than say rule of 5 or 8, was decided by the Cabinet, I believe. No scientific basis for it. Therefore it’s a political issue, not a health question. Politics is about people’s livelihoods. The ‘rule of 6’ is certainly killing jobs and not proven to save lives. It must go.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Look up “The Rule of Six“ In Wikipedia.
      You will see that we are being stung.
      It is just a feature of the virus.
      No real reasoning behind it.
      Just a joke on us!

  64. RichardP
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Could I suggest that the rule of six could be relaxed for children under 12 years of age. After all, they are free to run around a supermarket without a mask and the Government doesn’t consider this to be a major threat.
    I would also suggest a relaxation of the 10pm closing rule for pubs and restaurants. Perhaps a return to the old licensing laws might be sensible where ‘time’ is called at 11pm with a reasonable ‘drinking up time’ rather than everyone being tipped out onto the street at the same time.

  65. zorro
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    They are now blatantly misconstruing the figures to try and give a fig leaf for Whitty/Valance by claiming that they are at 12,000 ‘cases’ a day by including older cases. Will they not stop at any length to try and cover their a***s?

    Probably, the mass of students in Northumbria who supposedly test positive but are completely well – utter, utter madness!

    This seasonal epidemic ended in May/June and has flatlined since. End.Of

    Flu/pneumonia deaths have been higher by a significant factor for months. This incompetent and frankly lunatic government should just go!

    zorro

    zorro

  66. SM
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I’m in regular contact with 5 couples (very old friends) in the UK of pensioner age.

    Couples 1&2 are in reasonably good health for their age and have observed the lockdown rules quite carefully.

    Couple 3 are both in very poor health and require medical attention often but have not self-isolated, though they are careful.

    Couples 4&5 are mostly in very poor health, requiring frequent medical attention, and have very stringently self-isolated and observed all the rules; one male has needed a bowel operation for many months, which has now been postponed four times.

    None of them have contracted the virus.

    I live in a ‘middle class’ area in S Africa, but I come into frequent contact with people (eg. in shops and cafes) who are unable to follow regulations simply through poverty and overcrowding. I have not self-isolated, and our community socialise often in small numbers. So far, I personally know only one man (78yrs old) who, 2 months after having felt a little under the weather for 4 days, has tested positive for the virus but has no further symptoms. None of his friends, nor his wife have contracted the virus.

    I hope this is of help.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      hot, dry climate? No pubs with zero distancing? No crowded trains, buses? Nobody coughing, sneezing regularly?

      I might be on to something?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 5, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        No social distancing, shared water taps, no alcohol, very crowded trains/taxis, everybody coughing (TB etc rife) few handkerchiefs. They were in winter – bloody cold and very dry –
        Millions of deaths predicted, very few deaths.

  67. Christine
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    You can look at graphs from every area, in every country, to see that regardless of the measures put in place they all have the same single bell curve of deaths. Most areas in this country have had their bell curve. Stop fixating on positive tests and look at hospital admissions and deaths. The restrictions were to protect the NHS and this has been achieved. It’s important to continue to protect the elderly and vulnerable but allow the rest of society to return to normal. The damage done to the economy and the disruption in other medical treatments now far outweighs covid-19 deaths. Interesting to see that flu deaths have greatly reduced in countries where facemasks have been worn, so I would encourage this practise to continue for now.

  68. Richard
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Why has there been no attempt to take account of false positives before stating the number of “cases”? Even a genuine positive will include previously infected people (dead virus DNA takes time to dissipate) & other asymptomatic people.

    Even raw “cases” are now declining, despite them increasing sharply in areas selected for local lockdown punishment. The second ripple continues to dissipate. https://lockdownsceptics.org/#second-wave-fizzling-out

  69. Kevin
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    There are many sensible responses above explaining why the rules should be scrapped and that clean habits and social distance will be enough.
    Please vote against.
    Not a constituent but my own MP only acts as a rubber stamp for goverment & party line. Correspondence with him does not even receive an acknowledgment these days.

  70. glen cullen
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Forget what the polls say, those polls don’t ask the rights questions

    You’ve been on furlough for the past 6 months on 70% pay but all your bills are still 100% the same, are you happy with this ?

    The furlough is to end in October and unless you’re a public servant there’s a likelihood of 50% redundancy or a further pay cut, but all your bills are still 100% the same, are you happy with this ?

    You’re self-employed and your income is almost zero, and your bounce back loan was a one-off and can’t be extended, but all your bills are still 100% the same, are you happy with this ?

    You’re retired and your investments return zero income, but all your bills are still 100% the same, are you happy with this ?

    You’re a business owner and investor and have seen any return or scope for development, the dividend return is zero and you’re likelihood for closure is high, but all your bills are still 100% the same, are you happy with this ?

    If you’re a public servant you’re okay

    • Fred H
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      but apart from that Boris is suggesting a penniless Christmas might have to be shutdown.
      ‘whisper’ – don’t let the children hear that.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      This is going to get very nasty and messy when the spinning plates stop spinning and if those feeling safe and warm in their pile of sh1t think “well I’m ok Jack” – you’re going to be the only ones left paying for the fallout!!

  71. Stred
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    The rule of six could actually be helpful at Christmas and other celebrations when wishing to exclude some members of the family.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      love it!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      I can see HM buying into that! Any ban on flights from LA useful too!

  72. Wokinghamite
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    COVID-19 infections have been rising again, the R rate looks too high, and deaths are on the increase. Avoidance of deaths needs to be the priority and Government needs to take urgent action to minimize deaths. Their lockdown measures seem to me about the least they could have taken, and I urge Sir John to support their proposals. I would have preferred to see tougher measures.

    • Barbara
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      Flu is killing more than Covid. If avoidance of deaths is your priority, you should be focusing on flu.

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • zorro
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      What evidence do you have that ‘tougher’ measures would have worked or do you just enjoy that?

      Do you think that we should outlaw smoking? Think of the many lives which could be saved. Do we not mourn their deaths like those ‘with’ Covid 19?

      zorro

  73. BOF
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    As with all the liberty destroying restrictions Sir John, the rule of six is an abomination. If Parliament fails to vote it down then that will be just another failure of our MP’s to uphold freedom and democracy.

    • BOF
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Not a constituent, unfortunately.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        move here – there are thousands ( I kid you not) of new homes being built in Sir John’s constituency.

  74. Peter Parsons
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    The government needs to publish, in full, the science it has access to. I see so many opinions circulating on the internet which are based on assumptions, guesses and incomplete analyses based on very out of date and incomplete data.

    The R rates are published as a range, presumably because the calculation has an in-built variability and margin of error. We need to see more of this. What the government knows, what it does not, what the science currently tells us, what it does not (as yet).

    Give us all the details about testing, give us all the details about the ONS surveys.

    Reducing everything down may make for good soundbites but it doesn’t make for good science and it hides the fact that the reality of the science is never that simple.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      I agree with Peter, sadly we just don’t believe Matt Hancock and his scientists anymore.

      Also, Andy Burnham calling out Serco in Manchester, Serco need to answer his allegations on the BBC NorthWest News. Can I say though I know four people tested in this area, fantastic efficient service, fast turn around appointments, results within 24 hours.

  75. glen cullen
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Patel to promise ‘overhaul’ of broken’ UK asylum system – source BBC

    Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me

    • Mark B
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      glen

      We, or at least most, have been fooled quite a few times. You can go all the way back to CMD for this.

  76. Caterpillar
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Not a constituent.

    A piecemeal change of strategy will look just like that. The govt at nation and local level will continue to communicate without clarity. Votes at the policy margin may not have a revolutionary effect. Nonetheless I think a rule of six debate is important, as it is an opportunity to draw out failure which is not necessarily a negative, it can be bad luck, changing context, but most importantly learning.

    I would wish ministers to answer the following questions before the vote:

    1. Have the Covid 19 deaths in health trusts that have experienced the increase through September been profiled?
    (Where / how did they become infected, how did hospitalisation occur, what treatment protocols were followed? Obviously case matching to those who have not become infected or are recovering following infection also adds to this learning) If a guiding aim is to protect the vulnerable then ‘we’ should understand the important situations leading to the vulnerable succumbing. The simple acceptance of spreading to the vulnerable it the wider community lives with the virus needs to be understood before any balancing analysis.

    2. What advice has the Govt received on the importance of stable behaviour patterns to the effectiveness of community acquired immunity? ( e.g. the work of Gomes et al at Strathclyde University on the importance of variation in susceptibility or exposure. Natural immunity inevitably is more ‘efficient’ than vaccination as the more susceptible and exposed are likely to be more infected so that quasi-herd immunity is reached at a lower level than random vaccination. This though does suppose a more stable pattern of behaviour, which is against Govt’s current approach.)

    3. What consideration to stratified testing has the Govt given? Assuming a move to a softer-touch, stable behaviour pattern (a live with it approach), then fast and cheap but lower sensitivity and specificity saliva tests can add to individual decision making. Even a test that only identifies 50% of cases can decrease the infectious pool. In the original context it seemed that Govt rejected the private sector production of these non-gold standard tests, but now more has been learned, so has the role they could play been considered? The reminder – a false positive impacts the economy, a false negative impacts R.

    4. If a vaccine becomes available can it be used to ring fence the most vulnerable? e.g. vaccinating care home workers first.

    5. Has Govt received advice on the relationship between the prevalence of antibodies in the community and the likely underlying immunity? ONS have reported waning antibodies, several authors have questioned whether too high a threshold has been set in antibody tests, Karolinska Institute identified specific T-cell activity in blood donations without antibodies, several authors have identified/suggested cross-reactive immunity and regions with current outbreaks appear to be those with lower levels of reported antibodies / earlier into lockdown with respect to first wave. (Could ‘we’ have had more immunity for the same number of deaths with a different policy?)

    6. Given hygiene and spacing, what else can the individual do to protect themselves? There has been discussion of deficiency of vitamin D and zinc, as well as potential benefit of other micronutrients to improve general health. There has been discussion of reducing body fat percentage and sugar intake, particularly for the middle aged. Nonetheless there has not been little clear and consistent messaging one way or another.

    7. What are the implied infection fatality rates as a function of age and comorbidity? How have these been calculated? How are these expected to compare with risks of new vaccines in the case of the healthy young?

    8. Can the Govt comment on viral culturing of samples taken from the large number of asymptomatic patients? What proportion of asymptomatics are false positives, positive but not infectious, infectious?

    9. When will the Govt improve its publication of positive case data? For positive case by specimen date, the published dashboard should additionally state how many tests by specimen date. For positive case by report date the published dashboard should disaggregate positives by pillar 1 and pillar 2 , and by symptomatic / asymptomatic at diagnosis.

    10. What quality assessment is being carried out in laboratories to ensure that false positives due to cross contamination remains low? Are several hundred known negatives pushed blind through each lab each day?

    11. Does successful track and trace lead to more false positives? Are traced contacts who undergo testing as likely to be recovered patients shedding virus as they are recently infected patients? Is this another reason to disaggregate published data in terms of symptomatic vs. asymptomatic?

    12. Are patients with a positive Covid test, still tested for flu as well? A Covid focus should presumably not remove the likelihood of receiving antivirals for flu.

    13. What specific aid is being directed towards the Pakastani ethnic communities? In many regions the per capita positive tests is large in these communities. Moreover recent publications indicate a Neanderthal/Denisovian DNA strand is correlated with more serious Covid symptoms, this strand is twice as common in South Asians as East Asians.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      Sir John,

      I appreciate that you have not had time to post my lengthy comment, completely understandable. Given the data debacle of the past two days it is paramount that the Govt is pressured into answering such questions immediately. There is little to indicate that the Govt’s decisions are being made on the basis of real, reliable, honest, analysed and understood data. This is concerning.

      (Thank you for reading both your non-constituents’ and your constituents’ comments.)

  77. JohnE
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    This constituent prefers the Scottish approach where the rule of six doesn’t count children under 12 years old. I think that’s a more acceptable compromise.
    Yes I know that means copying Nicola Sturgeon but the virus doesn’t care about the politics.
    And given there’s an element of guesswork in the whole thing adopting the same rule each side of the border has advantages.

    Also the 10 pm bar closures are clearly doing more harm than good and do need to be reviewed urgently. It has brought back exactly the closing time antics that the original extension in opening hours was designed to deal with. But I suppose the government doesn’t contain anyone who could possibly have predicted that – namely anyone with any common sense.
    And people citing Sweden as some utopia for dealing with this may find the facts are not as great as they think.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      People mixing with children who are mixing at school in larger social bubbles are taking more risks. Up to them, I agree but this needs to be made clear to the older generation.

  78. William1995
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Take the polls showing public support for strict lockdown measures with a pinch of salt. Recent Kings College London study found just 11% of people stick to the rules they claim to support. So why do they say they support these measures when in practice they do not? Because at the moment the government has pressured people into confirming, but in the ballot box this will count for nothing.

    Most people I speak to In private think the rule of 6, the curfew, etc. are arbitrarily chosen. Explanations are never given by the government or the medical advisors with full statistical justification and refutation of counter points such as false positives, number of deaths, non-medical definition of a ‘case’ etc. I think the presentation with the graph projecting cases to double every 7 days to 50,000 in October was an inflection point where people realised just how ridiculous the draconian advice has become.

    Please vote down these measures.

    • William1995
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Conforming*

  79. Richard
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Here’s a letter in the Lancet by three doctors raising the alarm once again about false positives. https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S2213-2600%2820%2930453-7

    • Fred H
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      nobody wanted to listen from Day 1 when I kept warning. They kill the economy – false negatives kill people.

    • matthu
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      John

      The Lancet letter quoted above cites following potential consequences of false-positive COVID-19 swab test results:

      Individual perspective
      Health-related
      • For swab tests taken for screening purposes before elective procedures or surgeries: unnecessary treatment cancellation or postponement
      • For swab tests taken for screening purposes during urgent hospital admissions:
      potential exposure to infection following a wrong pathway in hospital settings as an
      in-patient

      Financial
      • Financial losses related to self-isolation, income losses, and cancelled travel, among other factors
      Psychological
      • Psychological damage due to misdiagnosis or fear of infecting others, isolation, or
      stigmatisation

      Global perspective
      Financial
      • Misspent funding (often originating from taxpayers) and human resources for test and trace
      • Unnecessary testing
      • Funding replacements in the workplace
      • Various business losses

      Epidemiological and diagnostic performance
      • Overestimating COVID-19 incidence and the extent of asymptomatic infection
      • Misleading diagnostic performance, potentially leading to mistaken purchasing or
      investment decisions if a new test shows high performance by identification of
      negative reference samples as positive (i.e. is it a false positive or does the test show
      higher sensitivity than the other comparator tests used to establish the negativity of
      the test sample?)

      Societal
      • Misdirection of policies regarding lockdowns and school closures
      • Increased depression and domestic violence (eg, due to lockdown, isolation, and loss of earnings after a positive test).

      Why would anyone multiply these consequences by downloading the NHS app under these circumstances?

  80. DavidJ
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    The reality?

    “stopworldcontrol.com/planned/”

    Lengthy but well worth a look.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Thanks.

  81. JohnE
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Another thought is that there really should be more effort put into coming up with common rules across the UK.
    Define levels of virus containment measures – level 1 to level 5 say – that have consistent definitions of required precautions across the UK. Then the incidence of cases in each region drives the level of measures needed.
    That way the requirements could be so simple that even politicians might be able to remember them.

    And we really do need to remember that there are lots of other medical conditions that need to be treated, that there is great harm caused by people being thrown out of work, and we can’t run the whole country based on this one measure of viral spread. Some balance is needed. Yes that’s difficult. That’s why we need competent leadership and Boris is clearly not up to that job and never was.

  82. a-tracy
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Think about it John, if you have six people on Christmas Eve, six people on Christmas Day and six different people on Boxing Day then what is the point of the rule of 6 if you’d mixed with an infected person on the 23rd December!

    Tell us about the spread, who is getting seriously ill with it, serious enough for medication or a hospital stay only. Then the people in those key groups can decide for themselves how many people they visit or receive and they can ask the people who do visit them how many others they come into close contact with in a week.

  83. Pat
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Fwiw
    The lockdown and subsequent restrictions appear to have had a limited effect.
    In London they had a very limited affect as they appear to have been applied just at the time infections were at their peak, three weeks before deaths reached their peak (not that anyone could have known this at the time).
    In the rest of the country they do appear to have “flattened the curve” a little, hence the mild resurgence of hospitalisations and deaths after their relaxation. Remember that flattening the curve means fewer sick or dying at the peak of the epidemic with correspondingly more getting sick and dying later. Unless the lockdown is permanent it does not save lives beyond a few months. And a permanent lockdown would render us unable to pay for healthcare or education, hardly a tolerable option.
    I wish Mr. Hancock could understand the limitations of the PCR test. As well as live virus it also detects dead virus, hence producing a percentage of false positives. This is usually in the range of 0.8% to 4%. And this is a percentage of tests conducted. So 200,000 tests would be expected to return somewhere between 1600 and 8000 positive results plus of course any genuine positives.
    And under the current proposals all of these people are put effectively under house arrest along with anyone who came into contact with them, four contacts per “case” seems a modest estimate. If the 1000000 tests per day target were reached and the same rules applied we should expect a minimum of 80000x4x14= 4.48 million people under house arrest at any one time, just from false positives. May I submit that this is impractical not to mention unjust.The
    The truth is that it is far too late for track and trace. Applied with organisation and energy in January it could have been valuable, as in a few far eastern countries, but PHE ill preparedness made that impossible Abandon it. It at least insist on a confirmatory test before recording an infection.

  84. Jiminyjim
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, those who argue against the arbitrariness of the Rule of Six miss the fact that the main point is that we absolutely MUST decide WHAT we’re trying to achieve. I was worried to pick up from the Prime Minister last week that there was a hint that we were now trying to eliminate the virus. IF that is the objective, then firstly I think all qualified people agree that this is completely impossible, (even with a vaccine) and also if that is the objective, then Rule of Six must be reduced to Rule of One, with all its consequences, including a huge number of consequential deaths resulting directly from that policy.
    The government’s behavioural scientists need to be telling them that the longer this goes on, the less it will be observed. Not only will it wreck the economy but (potentially even worse) it will risk permanently wrecking the public’s respect for the law and also destroy all remaining respect for the Police. Please do try to persuade your colleagues that they MUST decide what their objective is FIRST, before they decide what their rules are going to be AND they must balance up (and make public) the consequential losses, economic and otherwise, which are forecast to result directly from the proposed policy. I have to say again, Sir John, your ordinary, natural Conservative voters are being lost as each day goes by. This is an existential threat not just to the government, but to your party

  85. Tim
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Swedish approach please.
    Boris is awful too. The whole cabinet in fact, and why do I read today Gove is following Sturgeon? What nonsense this Tory in name only government offers a country that deserves so much better. Abysmal leadership and country is heading for catastrophe. All I am hearing now from friends etc is how they are now being told of impending redundancy, reduced hours and cancelled job offers. For a virus with 99% survival rate. No to vaccines too.
    John, you should be in the Cabinet! We can dream can’t we?

  86. acorn
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    SI 2020 No. 986 The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 Made on 13th September 2020 Coming into force at 12.01 a.m. on 14th September 2020 Laid before Parliament at 10.30 a.m. on 14th September 2020.

    JR. What exactly will the HoC be voting for; can it be amended or repealed? How would you amend it; reduce 6 to 4 or 30?

    “In accordance with section 45R of that Act [Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984] the Secretary of State is of the opinion that, by reason of urgency, it is necessary to make this instrument without a draft having been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.”

  87. BW
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Sir John
    The problem is we have a society that cannot do as it is told if their mothers life depended on it. “Wot about my yuman rights” blah blah blah.
    I try to obey the rules as best I can. What is the point. I see daily massive demonstrations, gatherings, parties, the normal Friday and a Saturday night excessive alcohol fuelled nonsense.
    So whilst I support the rule you mention, if it is not obeyed it is pointless. The advice should be advice take it or leave it. I take it. Many don’t. Please stop using the police to impose ridiculous fines Which we all know will have to be paid back once the yuman rights lawyers smell they can earn a packet

    • BW
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Sir ajohn I am a constituent.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Funny how everyone who derides the British people for being lawless claims to be angelic themselves! Why do you think you are different from your relations? Or are you castigating the ‘new Britons‘?

      • BW
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Lynn,
        I don’t claim to be angelic. Indeed I am far from it. I just try to comply. I don’t meet up for large demonstrations in the middle of London. I drink at home for the moment and don’t join those falling on their backsides in large groups on the weekend. I just try to comply that is all.

        • a-tracy
          Posted October 5, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

          BW shouldn’t we be asking why the police in the areas where photographs are taken showing those ‘falling on their backsides in large groups’ are allowing this to happen, if photographers know where to go to get their shots then the police do? Strange don’t you think?

          Also what are all these police commissioners, mayors etc on the payroll for if they can’t control their local areas, just what are they personally responsible for instead of just bleating about Central Government miles away, what local enforcers do they have under their direction? What is the purpose of them or are they just a talking shop waste of money.

  88. God wins
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    God will thwart your laughable exhortation attempt at ID and vaccines.
    My people will not take YOUR mark.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      +1

  89. matthu
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    “You can also argue that we have had controls in place for many months, but they have not proved able to keep the disease down in the way a near total lock down for most did in April.”

    Taking into account the lag between infection and hospitalization and death, I thought it had generally been accepted that the trend in infection must have been dipping before lockdown was introduced at the end of March?

    There is no robust statistical evidence anywhere that lockdown has caused a step change in rate of infection, as one might reasonably expect it to have done (if it worked).

  90. Diane
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    The Rule Of Six perhaps was a reasonable temporary measure for observation and reassessment but should not be extended for many more weeks. Suggest rethink. Boris advised when questioned on ‘Christmas’ that the government would do everything in its power to get us to where we want to be. Pubs I think should go back to the later closing time, the 10pm change really seemed non sensical to me. Locally to me I am happy with the way our supermarkets & shops have performed & adapted & personally ( & seemingly many others who use them ) have no problem in donning a mask for a short while. I feel social distancing is very important. That we can choose or not choose to do ourselves when using a bus, train, walking in the high street, entering shops, cafes etc., by avoiding ‘risky’ situations. Local cafes, farm shop/cafe, restaurants ( many still adapted to include takeaway to maximise earnings ) fortunately for our area, seem to be thriving – high street busy during daytime hours. Have been happy to support all in last several months but always mindful of when to take extra care, with consideration also of who I’m with. Am not in favour of general lockdowns but although not desirable, still accept that locally based restrictions should be used in what might be considered a ‘crisis’ area but it needs to be kept simple with a clear time limit initially. A lot is down to personal responsibility too until we can get to a better place.

  91. Christine Marland
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Six is an arbitrary number. Where’s the science? How about 8 or 10 and do not include the children in that number?also I do not like there being an end date to these rules.

    Off topic but what do you think about Critical Race theory and unconscious racial bias courses. There was an was article giving the history of CRT in today’ Sunday Telegraph by Douglas Murray. Many employees in the U.K. are being forced to attend these courses. Two out of three Harvard academics now admit the test they created was misconceived.
    Does it matter? I think these woke views are totalitarian in nature and cause distrust and resentment in society.

  92. beresford
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I see Cineworld have announced the closure of all of their premises with the loss of hundreds of jobs. I wanted to go the cinema after lockdown, but I refuse to sit for 2 1/2 hours in a stupid pointless facemask when there are typically ten or fewer people in the early performances I attend. You would have thought that a multiplex with computerised seat booking could handle social distancing without facemasks, if a film is popular just show it on more screens at the same time. But the heavy-handed facemasks for all approach prevailed.

    • Richard Hare
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      You’d only be watching and load of old Woke Hollywood pap anyway.

      CV-19 is only half of the cinema’s demise.

  93. Dee
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Again I ask: IF WHAT BORIS AND HANCOCK ARE DOING IS THE RIGHT COURSE OF ACTION:
    WHY ARE WE THE WORST AFFECTED COUNTRY IN EUROPE?
    WHY ARE WE PRO RATA ONE OF THE WORST AFFECTED COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD?
    WHY IS BORIS STILL ALLOWING 10s OF 1000s OF CHINESE TO COME INTO THE COUNTRY?
    ANSWERS PLEASE:

    • Know-Dice
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Check your facts!!!

      San Marino has the highest death rate in Europe [in fact in the world], followed by Peru & Belgium.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Er, China has, for practical purposes completely eradicated the virus there, as verified by independent observers.

      It is the UK and the US etc., which are now the reservoirs, which threaten to undo all their work, and that of the many countries which have similar commendable achievements.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted October 5, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

        What China has achieved is to infect the world with a virus leading to millions of deaths, infected world leaders, and political and economic instability. It now seeks to sell a vaccine.

        It is of course generally true that the Chinese Communist Party does have expertise in the eradication of many things (free practise of religion, democracy, free thought, long recognised borders, free navigation, marine life, winnie-the-pooh etc.).

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 5, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Do you completely believe China Martin? They are the source of this deadly virus, not just once they have leaked out sars and others. Why didn’t they kill the bats in that cave that they hold responsible?

        Why didn’t it spread to other areas in China, was it because they locked down inter-China trains and planes but still continued sending out transport to other Countries? Why aren’t more questions being asked about Chinas role in this, do they have a vaccine?

    • zorro
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      He loves China, he wants the UK to be like China – look at what is happening in reality.

      zorro

  94. XYXY
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    It seems that the last 3 days have seen number of deaths rise to 71, 59, 66 ending 2nd Oct.

    This after many weeks of single figures of low double digits (30s was the highest since Aug 11th). Source Wikipedia.

    Is this evidence of anything to worry about?

    Well, we have been warned of a second wave for weeks now. Then we were told that the death rate lagged behind the case increase by 2-3 weeks. So are there 3 days the start of that?

    I fond it unlikely, since they seem to be lagging further than 2-3 weeks behind.

    Also, it’s only 3 days. And – it’s not that high compared to deaths 1152 deaths in April.

    So my feeling is that it’s premature. Also, if we are liberalising business activity while locking down social activity, that may seem sensible, but if people are ignoring these restrictions then they achieve little.

    However, it seems that those who want to put themselves at risk are doing so and that may be fine as long as we have rules that allow others to avoid being infected by those people.

    The other factor is that we were told that the lockdown was to protect the NHS, not the people. So the key question is not what the case/death rates are, but what is the level of preparedness of the NHS. And it seems that they have spare capacity.

    Finally, we must consider the effect on health other than covid. With people waiting even longer for treatment for other ailments, death rates due to preventable non-covid causes are likely to become an increasing problem unless we act now.

    We still cannot avoid looking at Sweden and seeing that they are not particularly worse off than anyone else in terms of per capita figures.

    So overall, I would vote to do nothing for now at least – cases are not the issue, deaths may be more concerning, but not yet. Hope that helps.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      How many operations did each hospital in the UK do in September 2020 compared to September 2019 on the same measure?

      • Fred H
        Posted October 5, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        some 2020 might be greater as NHS tries desperately to cover its acute embarrassment.

  95. XYXY
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    The other factor is what’s happening to small businesses across the UK. Traditional Tory voters.

    The furlough scheme has seen HMRC take it on themselves to exclude business who submit their RTIs annually. Such cos would put through a single RTI in March each year, with a deadline of 5th April, the end of the tax year.

    So setting an artificial deadline of 19th March 2020 is ridiculous. They insist on an RTI submission in the 2019-20 tax year but why???

    A friend of mine has been in business since 1985, submitting all that time, but because they didn’t submit this year’s RTI until 24th March, they are excluded while all these flighty multinationals have their employees subsidised at taxpayers’ expense… it’s just plain wrong. As directors of a company they get no benefits and will have to live on savings or borrow.

    This is not a Conservative way to do things. The Treasury and HMRC are out of control – they find any excuse to continue their war on small companies and covid is just the latest item to be weaponised.

    Can you not impress upon Sunak that having a coronavirus Act that gives total control to the Treasury/HMRC to define the rules was a really, really bad idea? And do something to reverse that?

  96. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Ultimately it ought to be up to each of us to make our own decisions. Old and overweight? 20 year old grandson out with his mates, gigs, parties etc. – it’s up to you to decide whether to see you grandson.

    The only people the government needs to protect is those that cannot protect themselves.

    No – to the rule of 6.

    Yes – to social distancing, working from home, hand washing, masks in shops etc. No – to everything else.

    • Mary M.
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      NO – to masks in shops, etc.

      If I put on a mask my glasses steam up. So my breath must be escaping – projected a little further than usual when I wear a mask because I breathe more deeply as I gasp for air.

      I continue to not cover my face in the supermarket. I wear a mask hanging from one ear, to pull across my nose and mouth if a fellow-shopper looks anxious. It’s not difficult to keep a healthy distance of 2 metres because so many people have been deterred from shopping by the mandatory masks rule.

      I’m still waiting for an update on the WHO advice of 5.6.20.
      ‘At the present time, the widespread use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not yet supported by high quality or direct scientific evidence and there are potential benefits and harms to consider.’

  97. Loxwood
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    There is already a mass of proof that we should have protected/isolated the vulnerable NOT the healthy, that the MAJORITY have an immune system well able to deal with Covid 19. Listening to scientists using outdated models was never the way to go. This is a war on humanity.

  98. Know-Dice
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    What are Sweden doing that means they achieve loosely the same death rate as the UK without the economic shutdown?

    We know that although Sweden is a very large country, most of the population live in urban areas, these areas are probably less densely populated than say central London, but is that the main or only difference?

    Are Swedes naturally more hygienic than the UK population?
    May be, I don’t know…

    Rule of 6 doesn’t make much sense if you can go down to the pub and mix relatively closely with many times that number every night…

    Sir John our neighbour is a Consultant Micro Biologist and the advice was – personal hygiene wash/sanitize your hand often, may be you should try and contact a specialist of this type for their advice…

  99. Lili Flowers
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I hold you in high regard as one of the few real Conservatives left. I am shocked at the government’s whole shambolic response to this now. The initial lockdown was for 3 weeks to ‘flatten the sombrero’ and prepare the NHS for the huge numbers of illnesses and deaths that never happened. Nightingale hospitals, put up at great expense, have been unused and are now being dismantled

    Not only does the arbitrary rule of 6 need to go (apparently a rule that the police asked for to make it easier for them!) but the whole policy of stop-start has to end. We have livelihoods and families out here in the real world. Can the government stop treating us a giant living experiment and butt out of our lives. We employ every MP and Minister in the HoP and we are not getting any representation and no one is doing what we pay them for.

  100. Gordon
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Measuers unnecessary for three reasons:
    1) alleged infection rates declined BEFORE lockdown in March
    2) innate T-cell immunity means 100 percent of the population is NOT susceptible (dodgy Ferguson models again – why does government follow him?)
    3) the PCR test has NEVER been approved as a diagnostic tool yet the number of positives dictates all policy. Investigate the PCR please. Remove Hancock/Johnson/Cummings please.
    Until that happens, the media terrorizes the population. The govt criminalizes normal human behaviour and destroys this once prosperous and jovial country.

  101. Mark Hunter
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    After Parliament’s failure last week to make the government accountable, I had made up my mind not to read much or comment anywhere. What is the point? Steve Baker and Sir Graham Brady raised our hopes and then dashed them. MPs appeared in the end to be more miffed that they were not being consulted than bothered about the jobs and businesses of their constituents. We now look forward to another six months of the government trashing the economy on the basis mostly of positive tests, not, as they would like us to believe, cases. Parliament granted them the power to do this and then failed to claim it back.

  102. Fred H
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Abandon Rule of 6 – those feeling vulnerable are already avoiding contacts in every shape and form.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      Wise words Fred H – as I’ve said before people are hurting out there

  103. john biggart
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    The ‘experts’ tell us that hospitality causes just 5% of infection spread. Even if the ridiculous government measures reduced this by half then that will only reduce infection spread by 2.5%. The measures are clearly a nonsense, not backed by evidence or science and do far more harm than good.

    On another note – please be aware that there is soon to be a large international class action against the C19 response. The lawyers involved include some that big names that have huge cases against Deutsche Bank and VW under their belts. They do not get involved to lose and warn of consequences for decision makers – you may well find it well worth a few minutes of your time.

    Kind regards,
    john Biggart

  104. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    At the moment there is no way of knowing if the rule of 6 is working or not. So I suggest it is removed in a region where cases are currently low and see what happens.

    So much for the Brady amendment – you’re not getting a vote on the curfew rule which seems to be based on no science at all, only a vote on the rule of 6 which Labour will support anyway.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 6, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Good idea Roy

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted October 6, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      That’s far too sensible! And it might not show what Ferguson and the rest of S.A.G.E. (….you see what they did there?) would like it to show.

  105. Tim Bidie
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir,

    It is quite clear from this graph that 2020 is plumb normal regarding respiratory illnesses:

    https://www.cebm.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Respiratory-deathsSep29.png

    If we consider it possible that the peremptory discharge from hospital of tens of thousands of elderly and infirm patients at 24 hours notice was bound to cause a spike in mortality, then 2020 overall mortality in England is also plumb normal for the year.

    Added to which, none of the doom and gloom forecasts have been even remotely accurate, unsurprising given the disastrous track record of Imperial College modelling over the years.

    I would be most grateful if you would adamantly demand that all restrictions, many of them arguably illegal, on personal freedom in this country as a consequence of a minor common cold coronavirus epidemic now long over, are lifted forthwith.

    The time is also right for an independent public inquiry into this shambles.

    Please make it clear to the perpetrators of this debacle that the longer they continue with pointless restrictions and the longer they put off having an inquiry, the worse the future will be for themselves and the Conservative Party.

    The example of the Major government and subsequent elections springs to mind.

    Yours sincerely

    Tim Bidie

  106. James Bertram
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    An international network of lawyers is preparing a Class Action (English law) probably in the US or Canada, also to be applied elsewhere, using evidence obtained by the German Corona Investigative Committee – that the PCR tests cannot detect infections; that they have been used fraudulently; that this amounts to probably ‘the greatest crime against humanity ever committed’.

    The PCR tests, ‘cases’, ‘second wave’ nonsense and ‘the science’ are being used by governments to instil fear, to get people to obey, as a continuing but false justification for continuing with, or strengthening, their Lockdown policies. ………………………… The government would do well to listen to new advice – and return to pre-Covid normality immediately.

  107. Martin C
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it time that the Government took into account the natural rise and fall of people’s immune systems throughout the year? And advise how the population can fortify their immune system through the winter months?

  108. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Please vote to repeal. The British people are you boss, we are able people and can make the millions of decisions required for each to keep themselves as safe As they want to be. If Parliament thinks we are too stupid to loom after ourselves, maybe they think we were too stupid to elect sensible representatives? They should therefore all take the Chiltern Hundreds.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      They haven’t the backbone to take the chiltern hundreds route, nor the honour

  109. Butties
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Simply stop testing and start counting

    how many admitted to hospital each day with CV19
    how many admitted to hospital in total each day.
    how many beds in hospitals
    how many beds in hospitals occupied each day.
    how many die of or with CV19 each day
    List how many died each day from all other causes.
    Those responsible for this fraud need to be brought to account.

    It really is that simple to expose what is going on.

    • Butties
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Those responsible for this fraud need to be brought to account.

      • steve
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        Butties

        “Those responsible for this fraud need to be brought to account.”

        They will be, if it turns out to be a fraud. Though it cannot be a fraud in the strict sense, because CV19 really does exist and is here.

        • Barbara
          Posted October 5, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

          ‘Covid 19 really does exist’

          The scientific procedure for establishing whether a pathogen ‘really does exist’ is called Koch’s postulates. This is to avoid duplication of naming separate outbreaks as if they were totally different from each other when they may, in fact, not be – scary new name notwithstanding.

          Covid 19 has never been isolated as a separate pathogen and aiui does not meet the requirements of Koch’s postulates.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Bang on

    • Iain Moore
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Not when we have people who can’t add up, I gather Peston is saying another load of missed Covid infection data is going back to Sept 24th is to be added to the list.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      I do believe that your analysis and conclusion correct and your post probably the most important to date

  110. Old Mum
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Scrap all the rules! Masks, (anti) social distancing, rule of 6, local lockdowns, quarantines – all of it – leave people to decide their own risk and let everyone start living again – and open the NHS to the WHOLE nation, not just those who might have had a positive PCR test.

    • Butties
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Spot on Mum. But there are those who need to be accounatble too.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely!
      The 1918-20 Spanish flu killed an estimated 20–50 million people worldwide, when world population was just under two billion, between 0.01% and 0.025% killed.
      The 1957 “Asian flu” killed two million, when world population was 2.9 billion, 0.0007%
      The 1968 “Hong Kong flu” killed one million, when world population was 3.6 billion or 0.0003%.
      COVID-19 may or may not end up claiming as many lives as the Hong Kong flu, but the world population is now 7.8 billion, so far 0.0001%, which is 1 percent of 1 percent.
      Is Wahun Flu even a pandemic?

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        Wish your comments where published by mass media – people need to understand the facts

      • GREAT Reset
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        Ĺynn the lockdown caused the deaths.
        The images we saw on TV from places like New York were medical simulation teams. It was all fake from the start.

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted October 5, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

          I don’t believe that. What I do believe was the video I delivered here at the start of the outbreak of a distressed NY medic saying that ventilators were the wrong approach.

          And so it came to pass…

          Similarly the video about Vit D and zinc. Proven to be true too.

          Now for the one of James Delingpole’s interview of Prof Cahill.

          • GREAT Reset
            Posted October 5, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

            He was a medical simulation doctor reading Left wing script. They were never short of ventilators.

  111. Phillip Dixon
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    I am very concerned by the lack of evidence that the government have for the measures that are introduced. The rule of six seems arbitrary and misplaced and it is not clear how this will improve the situation.

    The continued focus on “cases” is concerning as many of these are likely to be asymptomatic or false positives. The impact on broader society comes from hospitalisations and deaths, both of which are substantially lower than those of influenza (approx 8%) and certainly no where near what they were in April.

    Many rules, because of the focus on COVID, are having unintended consequences that far outweigh the benefit of the meeasures. This is particularly evident in business with the loss of livelihoods (employment and ownership) and the subsequent poverty and health issues that arise from that. Likewise the loss of lives and increased health issues due to the difficulty in obtaining (non-COVID) healthcare.

    Another example is the continued use of face masks, which lack scientific research to support their use (e.g. see here: https://swprs.org/face-masks-evidence/ ), but which will result in many avoiding shops and using on-line shopping instead. The increase in car traffic is likely to be testament to the unpleasantness of wearing face coverings on public transport. There is no evidence that these have been successful in their use over the last two months.

  112. James
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    If we can design space suits for people travelling to the far reaches surely it is not beyond the comprehension of man to design something better than a face mask to protect the public. Think about it- the virus is passed person to person but is taken in through the mouth nose eyes or ears only- all in the human head region. So to save us we just need a simple all-round fish bowl type protection- spaceman like- I believe the virus is airborne more than we know.

  113. William Purle
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    John, the ‘rules’ are, in their entirety, totally pointless, and horribly destructive. Your government is presiding over a fascist state.

    I am a long-time fan of yours and I dearly hope you will vote against this and every other restriction foisted upon us by this grotesque band of psychopaths. I am a constituent of yours but sadly I will never vote for your party again, thanks to Johnson and Hancock. For your sake, for the sake of your party, and more importantly for the sake of the country, you need to remove them from office as swiftly as possible.

  114. Simon Coleman
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Prof. Heneghan, who as you know works from real data and not from modelling, said that the rule of 6 will make no difference. It might fractionally slow the virus but it’ll keep going and still infect, over time, about the same number of people as it would without the rule of 6. The other important thing is the comparative death figures for UK and Sweden. Prof. Ferguson’s predictions were out by a factor of 12 for both countries – surely suggesting that our lockdown made no difference. He failed to factor in, incredibly, the variation in susceptibility of people to the virus. Sweden did and got it right. And if the lockdown made no difference, then why would the rule of 6 make any difference? These measures are based on theoretical modelling, not real data. You MPs must dispose of them for that reason – and also because they are authoritarian by nature.

  115. Everhopeful
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Why WAS it that 300 MPs did not vote on the renewal of the Covid law?

    • Peter James
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      I believe it’s because the PM basically held people to ransom – saying that funding (for schools, healthcare, businesses etc) was tied to the renewal of the 2020 Coronavirus act. Hence voting down the extension would have immediately ceased this funding. That was in a statement from Maria Caulfield, MP.

  116. Ian Turner
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Good Evening Sir John,

    I’m one of your constituents, as are some of my family. My son had a very nice dinner at Cote (in Wokingham) last night with his Fiancee and we were quite envious. They should have married in July but obviously it had to be postponed. They came to visit us yesterday morning, not coming into the house, just to say ‘Hello’ and (I suspect) check up on us. All being well, we will visit another son next weekend and it will be very difficult to keep our distance from our grandchildren (but we will). We will not go into the house, except to use the loo before we set off home probably.

    So to answer your question. My Grandchildren are back at school and our family are trying to get on with their lives as normally as possible. This is all good and should be encouraged – provided of course that people are sensible (Hands, Face, Space etc) . They are also being very careful in their contacts with us (we are categorised by our Grandson as being “very, very old”)

    So, let’s encourage more ‘normality’ for younger people whilst protecting those who are potentially more vulnerable. Getting the economy moving must be a priority and that would certainly have our full support.

  117. Philip P.
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    We have tried the government’s approach for 6 months. Even taking their numbers at face value, it hasn’t worked, because it can’t work. You don’t eradicate a coronavirus. It’s never been done.

    This ridiculous, doomed-to-failure public health experiment must end. Let us try the Swedish approach and see how we get on. Only, better than they did – protect care homes properly.

    The rule of 6 is grotesque. The government should put it behind them as quickly as possible, and hope the voters forget it.

  118. Richard
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Prof Carl Heneghan & Tom Jefferson today review NHS England hospital admissions:
    “The month of September sees around 21,000 cases of unforeseen attendances and admissions, which works out at around 700 unplanned admissions per day. However, by the end of September 2020, around 300 patients with covid were admitted in England per day. This is less than half of what we would normally expect.
    The difference is marked, especially with the complete absence of alarm in September 2015 which ‘topped the September charts’ with over 21,000 admissions.
    There is a golden opportunity for the government to prospectively test all those who are admitted, not just for Covid, but for the other common pathogens… Testing for more than just Covid would help us to find out what is making people sick, and put the Covid admissions data into context.”
    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/will-covid-cause-a-winter-crisis-in-the-nhs-

  119. matthu
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Andrew Marr asked the Prime Minister on TV this morning why, after six weeks of extra restrictions, Oldham’s rate of infection had almost doubled.

    The PM seemed to think it was too early to tell whether the restrictions were working i.e. no discernible step change in infections.

    Then Marr asked the PM why the rate of infection had shot up in Manchester, too.

    The PM seemed to think that there were all sorts of factors that might be in play.

    But the truth is that there is only one common facto across both areas: a high level of testing with a high level of false positives .

    MPs need to appreciate the implications of this.

  120. steve
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Old Mum

    Your idea would have the entire UK infected, nothing functioning, and a dead NHS.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      for most of the population the NHS ceased to exist months ago! And lots of normal activities months ago are no longer available.

  121. The other Christine
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Instead of being in thrall to the Great Reset perhaps this Government could put the people of this country first for once and free us from this draconian infringement of our liberties. It has painted itself into a corner and can’t find a way out. Just be honest, explain that this whole nonsense was a mistake, let us visit our loved ones in care homes, enjoy our hobbies like choral singing, games of bridge or whatever gives people pleasure and live in peace free of Government interference.

    • GREAT Reset
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

      Sadly our leaders are puppets of evil men. Perhaps they think they are wise? Search for Boris Johnson’s 2007 comments on global depopulation.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 2:03 am | Permalink

      Not even bread nor circuses allowed. Just wretched BBC lecturing, Hollywood Woke and Netflix repeats.

      Even Orwell’s proles could congregate in pubs.

      The Tories have no clue as to what is about to be unleashed.

    • Simon Coleman
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      I still don’t think many MPs are aware of the Great Reset. But it’s obvious that society and the economy are being permanently changed. The ‘new normal’, the ubiquitous media phrase that appeared after just a few weeks of the lockdown, means that the old normal is finished. Society never goes back to anything.

  122. Dunn
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    To be done IMMEDIATELY
    Undo all the draconian measures that have been imposed on the majority of the public since March. Full Reset to 2019.
    Return government to its proper concerns and duties and the country to the rule of law.
    Who members of the public wish to spend their time with – or indulge in acts of affection or desire with – is not the proper business of any government.
    Offer reasonable support to enable those suffering trauma as a consequence of government terror propaganda to return to normal life.
    Offer compensation of appropriate order to those who have been harmed.
    Offer financial and social assistance to those who are at a high risk should they contract any upper respiratory tract infection. (Flu is lethal too – just look at the latest figures.)

    Give people information on their relative risks from all major sources of illness – and advice about how they might safeguard the health of their families and themselves – if they wish to.

    Current cabinet members and their non elected consultants and advisors should offer their immediate resignation, along with heartfelt apologies for the appalling suffering, death and torment they have wrought upon the public. It would be the homourable thing to do in the circumstances. What chance eh?

    To be done ASAP
    If the NHS needs protecting from the people who need to use it – save for those suffering from one not very lethal infection – then it doesn’t really work as a general public health system, does it? Speed up the process – already underway by stealth for some length of time – of dismantling the NHS in favour of a European style health system.

    Changes should be made to the law on public health.
    The PCR test has been weaponised by this government. This should never be allowed to happen again.
    Public health policy should be based on scientifically sound and tested medical practice and diligent, detailed risk/benefit analysis – not precautionary principle, ‘modelling’ and the misuse of haphazardly applied lab techniques.
    There should be stringent rules insisting on an honest presention of all known facts about any diagnostic test, vaccine or other medical intervention in public health campaigns and initiatives. Known facts and opinions should be clearly differentiated.
    Any body or person found not to have performed such disclosures to the very best of their ability should in future be criminally liable for their omission. Misleading the public, either by commission or omission, should carry significant criminal liability.
    For example – the problems with the PCR test should have been honestly and frankly disclosed to the general public when they were first introduced – so we all had the chance to weigh up the value of testing and assess the information we were subsequently given.

    Strengthening the constitution.
    The weakness of our constitution revealed by the handling of this viral infection has come as a huge shock. Sadly it seems private persons are no longer protected from unwarranted and probably illegal intrusions of the State. Therefore, sadly, I have come to believe we need a written constitution.
    Begin the process of writing a formal constitution with the aim of safeguarding the public and parliamentary process from the kind of executive over reach we are currently being subjected to. Use Sweden’s separation of public health policy from political control as part of the model.

    Do what ever is is possible to improve the standards of journalism in all media and improve the education of the public. It seems its quite important to be able to read a graph and get to grips with a bit of multidisciplinary science these days.

  123. Jasper
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    I have no clue what is going on any more! Met my son last Sunday as he was in Manchester, and as we have not seen him since August we had lunch. He tested positive on Wednesday, so my husband and I consulted the Government website and put ourselves into isolation. Since then the NHS has contacted me as my son gave my number on the track and trace app and we have been advised we can leave our home on 11th October. My son had a fever for 24 hours and made a swift recovery, neither my husband and I have developed any symptoms as yet. Each morning we wake up we ask each other ‘are you ok’ so far so good but will keep you posted! Of course we may be A symptomatic but until we have any signs of illness we cannot be tested. In two weeks time I could visit my other son in Birmingham and potentially be in a similar situation again and we will have to self isolate all over again. Thankfully we can work from home but is it not time we all just got on with our lives ?!

    • Know-Dice
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      I would say if you have come to the attention of the NHS such that they are telling you to isolate, then you should be qualified to be tested.

      Surely there is something wrong with the system that’s locking people up on a whim…

      • Know-Dice
        Posted October 5, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        In fact, it is essential that those advised to self isolate are tested, it’s got to be an ideal way of calculating the fabled “R” value…

        • a-tracy
          Posted October 6, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

          There is a 48-hour delay in the transmission that’s why people are told to name all their contacts in the previous 48 hours. Then you can get a test. It is best to have zero contacts if you can in that period and severely limit interactions for the following fortnight even if tested negative.

          • Know-Dice
            Posted October 6, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for the clarification.

            Sounds like Jasper is being given bum information 🙁

      • Jasper
        Posted October 6, 2020 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

        You cannot get a test unless you show symptoms, that’s what I have been advised and per NHS website. Yes I can pay for one if I wish but no point as I have to self isolate anyway. Neither my husband or I have any symptoms and are actually quite well – dog is not doing quite as well as he does not understand why he is not getting walked twice a day!! Roll on Sunday – when we are free 😂

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 5, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Why can’t you get a test Jasper, if you have come into contact with a covid + person and it could put you out of action for two weeks surely you are eligible for a test after 48 hours of contact with them?

      This government expecting people just to stop their lives for two weeks untested, more than 48 hours after meeting someone who is tested covid + is something only people on full guaranteed pay during isolation can do.

      • Jasper
        Posted October 5, 2020 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

        I was advised that I could not leave my home in any circumstances and that if I developed symptoms then I wouldn’t need the test anyway!
        Everyone who works for me are freaked out and have asked if they can work from home so have obviously said yes. Most of them are mid twenties – just a few years older than my son – so I thought they would be reassured it hadn’t affected him adversely but no the MSM have got this nation frightened to death!

        • a-tracy
          Posted October 6, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

          You can get a home test kit Jasper. People at work if proper measures were in place 2m rules, masks when moving around the building, hand gel and hand washing rules etc if one person in that group gets covid 19 the whole company doesn’t have to close down – if it did Hospitals and care homes and essential services, supermarkets etc none of them would be open!

        • a-tracy
          Posted October 6, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

          By the way, private home tests are £65 and they will come out to the workplace.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 6, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Jasper,

      Yes the NHS website guidance is absolutely pathetic. It does say isolate for 14 days if contacted by track and trace, and does state that you only get a test if you have symptoms.

      The situation is deplorable, as your own personal case shows – (i) people are being imprisoned by association, and (ii) we keep hearing of asymptomatics (e.g. hundreds of students) who have tested positive – so how are they being tested if they are not showing symptoms? On the plus side (?!), having a test without symptoms can only make things worse for you at a freedom level, if it is negative you still have to isolate, if it is positive you have to start counting a fresh 10 days (and your cohabitors and bubble 14 days).

      Testing appears dysfunctional in design, implementation and consistency. There is little evidence it is usefully stopping any spread, and no evidence that is leading to learning. Sadly I do not see the situation improving whilst Hancock remains in position, he just is not on it. The P.M. has inexcusably kept him in place.

      • Jasper
        Posted October 6, 2020 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

        NHS have called me 4 times today – unfortunately whilst I was working I had my mobile on silent so missed the calls. Had lovely messages from Heidi, Beth and Joanna – didn’t catch the name of the first person – they said they were just checking I was self isolating! Still no sign of any illness – all is well. Ironically my son can actually leave his student home now but we cannot leave until 11th October 😂

  124. GREAT Reset
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Steve Baker is a gullible fool and he is the best we have? He is no less complicit than any other in all this.

  125. Dave, Spencers Wood.
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    So speaking as a constituent, I think it is remarkable that you think how you vote is going to change one person’s behaviour or save one job. The virus is still out there, it is exploding in all the universities. I’m not going to become any less cautious just because a group of politicians who long ago lost all credibility on the pandemic change some rules.

    Go ahead and vote for less restrictions, or against more restrictions if that’s what you want. You are going to vote that way anyway.

  126. Mary M.
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    The ‘rule of 6’ is a political issue in my view. British people were aghast and disbelieving when this draconian ruling was brought in without any parliamentary scrutiny. (Most family units spill over into breaking the law when they invite two grandparents to join them.)

    Now we’ve had time to reflect, many of us are beginning to suspect that the ‘rule of 6’ was just a cunning plan. It was introduced hastily – to be ‘magnanimously’ rescinded at a later date.

    Just watch on Tuesday evening. Parliament will be allowed to debate then vote on this Statutory Instrument. The Government will make concessions, and MPs will say how grateful they are on behalf of their constituents.

    Next day in the Media the generous increasing of the minimum number of six will be headline news, and the general populace will briefly forget about all the other restrictions on their freedoms.

    Sir John, you say that the 10pm curfew will not be up for a vote on Tuesday. Thankfully, mention of the curfew cannot be avoided while debating the ‘rule of 6’. If people can only meet in groups of up to six in a restaurant or pub, there will not be enough tables available during the evening for the second seating. Also, people will just not book knowing they’ll be herded out half-way through pudding. Businesses offering hospitality are in serious danger of closing forever.

    I urge you to watch Jonathan Neame, boss of the oldest brewery in England, speaking after the curfew was announced. He talks about the terrible impact on those working in the hospitality industry of the Government’s ill-thought-through measures.

    O.T. Traditional pubs are part of the fabric of our long heritage and must not be lost. It may not be widely known how far back in time the naming of pubs after a tree began, for example. (Even pubs called ‘The Chequers’ with their modern chequer-board sign were originally named after the service tree, or chequer tree.) From well over a thousand years ago people brewed their own weak ale (small beer) to drink instead of the contaminated water. Often a family had more ale than needed, so they advertised this fact by planting a bush or tree outside the house. Labourers on their way home from toiling in the fields knew where they could slake their thirst in a convivial atmosphere.

  127. Peter James
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    In line with many posters above, the crucial aspect is really this – the entirety of Government policy is being directed by a PCR test. This is a basic screening tool NOT a medical diagnosis, as many, many healthcare professionals will testify.

    Dr Malcolm Kendrick: “A symptomless, or even mildly symptomatic positive swab is not a case. Never, in recorded history, has this been true.” elsewhere he confirms the test is “not fit for purpose”.

    Kerry Mullis – winner of a Nobel prize for the PCR test, “With a PCR test you can find almost anything in anybody. It allows you to take miniscule amounts of something and talk about it like it’s important…”

    Dr Mike Yeadon: “This test is fatally flawed and MUST immediately be withdrawn and never used again in this setting unless shown to be fixed… The likelihood of an apparently positive case being a false positive is between 89-94%, or near-certainty…” (former CSO & VP, Allergy & Respiratory Research Head, Pfizer; twitter.com/MichaelYeadon3)

    THIS is the basis on which people are now being threatened, told that soon they will essentially be unable to access certain sections of society, unless they submit to a totalitarian surveillance state. This is not honouring those who fought for our freedom, this is causing devastation & mental health issues that may be irrevocable for generations.

    Sir John, – I know many here have tremendous respect for your dedication to public service, to small business and individual enterprise that will help our communities thrive, and help for those groups that need it the most. PLEASE help the people now. This Government simply must be held to account, and it must happen immediately.

  128. Edwardm
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Agree with JR’s desire for more relaxation and looking at the evidence (e.g. Sweden) yet having consideration for other peoples deep concerns.

    I don’t think the government can expect to enforce restrictions that do not have widespread consent. It is probably best to give advice and suggest the restrictions that should be followed by vulnerable people and those near them.

    Closing pubs and restaurants is one of the daftest ideas ever and designed to lose support both for other Covid measures and for the government in general.

    Adding to the problems are Public Health England and the NHS, who have been abysmal in originally getting protective masks etc sourced and distributed, and have still not got sufficient Covid testing facilities in place after seven months. They have also closed down far too much – could still have performed operations on those who tested Covid clear. People who run these organisations need to be can-do types who can get logistics in place. The current senior managers have clearly been promoted above their pay grade and need to be replaced by people who can demonstrate they can do the job.

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted October 6, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      ….and Neil Ferguson wants to go further. Why the flip is anybody listening to anything this man has to say?!

  129. a-tracy
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Just find out this John please.

    Of all of the hundreds of terrified students being told they’ve got covid 19 in the past three weeks that they’ve been at Uni in their halls.

    What % is undergoing any drug treatment for it?
    What % has had to go to the hospital with it?

  130. Mary M.
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    The ‘rule of 6’ is a political issue in my view. British people were aghast and disbelieving when this draconian ruling was brought in without any parliamentary scrutiny. (Most family units spill over into breaking the law when they invite two grandparents to join them.)
    Now we’ve had time to reflect, many of us are beginning to suspect that the ‘rule of 6’ was just a cunning plan. It was introduced hastily – to be ‘magnanimously’ rescinded at a later date.
    Just watch on Tuesday evening. Parliament will be allowed to debate then vote on this Statutory Instrument. The Government will make concessions, and MPs will say how grateful they are on behalf of their constituents.
    Next day in the Media the generous increasing of the minimum number of six will be headline news, and the general populace will briefly forget about all the other restrictions on their freedoms.
    Sir John, you say that the 10pm curfew will not be up for a vote on Tuesday. Thankfully, mention of the curfew cannot be avoided while debating the ‘rule of 6’. If people can only meet in groups of up to six in a restaurant or pub, there will not be enough tables available during the evening for the second seating. Also, people will just not book knowing they’ll be herded out half-way through pudding. Businesses offering hospitality are in serious danger of closing forever.
    I urge you to watch Jonathan Neame, boss of the oldest brewery in England, speaking after the curfew was announced. He talks about the terrible impact on those working in the hospitality industry of the Government’s ill-thought-through measures.

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted October 6, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      This long ago ceased to be anything to do with ‘containment’ and is now everything to do with coersive control. We must all learn to love Big Brother.

  131. TRUMP IS CURED
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Lol Trumps a genius

  132. TRUMP IS CURED
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    He feels 25 years younger after 24 hour Covid

  133. Stephen Glasse
    Posted October 5, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    We’re not even close to a circumstance that would justify local let alone national lockdown and Tories should be ashamed that it is their government that has imposed these rules on how many people can be together in one house. Follow the advice of experts like Sunetra Gupta. Are the flu deaths substantially different this year and if not why not? Shouldn’t masks and distancing have brought them down?

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 6, 2020 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      Are the flu deaths substantially different this year and if not why not? Shouldn’t masks and distancing have brought them down?

      ….
      viral contagion is a myth

  134. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 6, 2020 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    I think that we have to have something like the Swedish model so that the economy can recover. Nevertheless, we will need to subsidise public transport to keep occupancy rates down to safe levels. And if we need to limit gatherings, the limits should be imposed on those that have no economic value. For the avoidance of doubt, the education of our children and grandchildren does have an economic value.

    Another thing we should do is to ensure that the Nightingale hospitals are fully staffed and that all COVID-19 patients are transferred to them. When the NHS claims to be able to isolate COVID-19 patients within mainstream hospitals, nobody believes them.

    And we urgently need to look at public expenditure reductions in order to end our disastrous fiscal stance.

  135. Graham Wheatley
    Posted October 6, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Over 48hrs in moderation…. any movement there? If there’s anything libelous, please advise and I’ll rewrite it!

  136. rose
    Posted October 6, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    At a recent meeting of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee, Alister Jack said he regularly meets Mrs Sturgeon to go through the Government’s ideas and elicit any from her, so things can be co-ordinated. When the rule of 6 came up, she said nothing. Then she went back and did something different. He said if she had suggested excluding young children from the rule, HMG could probably have arranged for uniformity across the Kingdom. She and Mr Drakeford are doing this sort of thing deliberately to damage the Union, but this particular example shows the government is open to persuasion on the the point about children.

  137. Fred H
    Posted October 6, 2020 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    So after all this – you didn’t vote !!!!
    You don’t have an opinion? – really?

    reply Yes I have opinions as set out here. We can win the curfew vote where I will vote against if the government triples again with it.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 7, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply:-

      I had understood, perhaps incorrectly, that the curfew vote had been pushed back to allow the Govt chance to bring in more draconian and damaging rules.

      This is without setting out any simple clarifications (such as I indicated above http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2020/10/04/the-rule-of-6/#comment-1161471).
      Even though the Govt seems completely incapable of providing believable and useful data, operations analysis, discussion of alternative strategies, cost-benefit, normative evaluation of long run effects on Govt-people relationship etc., then at the very least it should not toughen up until the Oct 13th ONS England & Wales number of deaths is released – though of limited use without the other answers, it might give some indication of whether impact of ‘second wave’ is flowing through to short term total deaths (all Sept data will be in i.e. next Tuesday ‘we’ ought to compare what happened week 13 to week 14 in Mar/April to week 39 to week 40 Sept/Oct ).

  • 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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