A better Christmas?

Plenty of people want a Christmas to cheer them up. Sales of trees and decorations are by all accounts good. People are brightening up their living rooms early this year, and planning a family get together. The government was at least wise to relax the rules a bit to allow more people to come together for Christmas meals and conviviality as they wish.

There has been much worry expressed by some government scientific advisers over what all this social contact might do for the spread of the virus, and a wish on their part to have periods of greater restriction before and after. They like the idea of each of us having some sort of limited freedom budget, and if we spend too much of it on meeting people over Christmas we need to rein in before and after.

We need to move on to a more trusting approach, where we all make more of our own decisions based on understanding the messages from the medics and scientists. We can calculate our own risks and the risk we might pose to others, as we do about all other such threats in the normal course of life.

It is not easy making choices for people, weighing the danger from opening non essential shops against the danger of opening hospitality venues. I am glad the discussions some of us have had with Ministers making the case for sports facilities to be open and against the curfew have led to some sensible modifications of the local lockdown schemes. What do you think of the latest proposals? I and my colleagues will study the detail of these new measures as it is published, and will want to see a way forward that minimises damage to business and ,jobs.

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247 Comments

  1. formula57
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Reportedly the prime minister says this next set of measures represents “one last push” to rid ourselves of the Covid menace. Faith in the efficacy of a vaccine is strong then!

    If the scientists the Government still listens to go on to demand yet another economy-wrecking lock-down in the New Year (and another after that) then the surprise will be only that anyone obeys.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      The tone of the comments is very different from march when we all clapped the NHS.

      • Fred H
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        no WE didn’t. Rather depends how many people you are aware of wondering if the possible, or definite, cancer might get attention.

      • NickC
        Posted November 25, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        Mike Stallard, I definitely did not clap the NHS.

    • Barbara
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      All the figures show the virus peaked in the early part of last April, far too early for even the first lockdown to have affected it, and then dropped away sharply.

      Hospitalisations are not rising. Deaths are in the normal range. This is clearly not about health. The PCR test produces enormous numbers of false positives and even its originator, who won the Nobel prize for it, has said it should *never* be used as it is currently being used.

      On this basis, a basis of false figures, we are being encouraged to destroy our country and our social fabric.

      Why are they doing this?

      • NickC
        Posted November 25, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        Barbara, Your analysis is quite right. So the question is: why is the government doing this?” No answer by the government makes any sense. Covid19 is a serious infectious respiratory disease, but no worse than many other diseases. That is no justification to decimate the economy, destroy the health of the majority, and remove the civil rights of all of us. So a conspiracy, or insanity?

      • sam
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        for The Great Reset of the World Economic Forum

    • sam
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      The pandemic (if it ever was one) is over.
      This is about total surveillance, mass vaccination and destruction of all private businesses. This will only leave the government and big tech as employers.
      If we don’t submit we won’t get the meagre handouts given to us.
      The WEF advert says ‘in 2030 you will own nothing’

  2. Mark B
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    We have had nearly a year of this nonsense, and what good has it done? The economy trashed. Freedoms curtailed. Parliament, which had a fit of the vapours over it being prorouged for a week, totally absent. And a PM not fit for purpose. And don’t get me started on BREXIT.

    I am one of the fortunate ones – I have a job. So I shall be having pretty much the same Christmas as before, but with one exception ! Last year I was asked to help wrap presents people from the local community gave to the Salvation Army for those children who were in care. This year, because of government restrictions, this will not be happening. So a lot of very disadvantaged children will not be having Christmas this year.

    All brought to you by the Nasty Party (copyright Theresa May MP).

    • sam
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      the Tories have sold out to the UN and WEF just like all the other European nations.
      I don’t believe they can still be completely ignorant of whats going on

  3. matthu
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    I fear allowing people the “freedom” to meet up for Christmas over a very short time will cause massive traffic congestion. Rather like the idea of closing all the pubs at 10 pm.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Yes, it will cause nothing but traffic jams, it needs to be more flexible and tell people to keep their mixing within small bubbles, respect the risk to the elderly, respect people in your family with the following existing conditions (?), open windows to vent rooms with visitors, keep your 2m distance if you are vulnerable and want to protect yourself. If the shops want people in them in December they may need to extend their opening hours, allow them all to open longer on a Sunday so there aren’t the big crushes inside you have already let the big online retailers like John Lewis and Amazon take the vast majority of their trade with a ‘week-long’ black Friday!!

      It is a trifle convenient for our wealthy winter holidaymakers to only have to isolate for 5 days now so the likes of Xxxxxxx can jet off as they did all summer long and bring yet more problems back with them and their children with new variations of the virus from abroad, are they also being told to have a test before they can fly back? 48 hours before the flight because they should especially if they are flying to still highly infected areas, we need to be more like Australia and NZ in this regard.

      • a-tracy
        Posted November 25, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        Why not just don’t meet up with more than 10 people in total indoors for the whole week?

  4. Polly
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Today’s topic sounds like bread and circuses…

    Throw the people a crust and they’ll be happy.

    Polly

    • BeebTax
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      That’s a great analogy. It’s astonishing that a group of 600-odd MPs, elected barely a year ago, have taken away some of our most fundamental civil liberties with barely a second thought. Freedom of movement, freedom of association, even freedom of expression are curtailed. Next I suppose they will force us to be vaccinated. They have 4 more years…God help us.

      • Jim Whitehead
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

        +1

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        And yet the Europeans still have that Freedom of Movement to arrive here – proof of whose law is supreme?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        God help them! I have had enough bullying!

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted November 25, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

          But you want nothing more than to bully – or worse – those whom you dislike, though you would prefer, like all cowards, to hide behind some leader to do it for you.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 25, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

            Gosh how rude you you are Martin.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        Yup.
        Transported back to early 1800s.
        Of course then they were scared for their heads …French Rev etc. Still, judging by our present situation, mass decapitations did the french no more good than our supine stupidity did us.
        What are the powers-that-have-now-abdicated-all-right-to-govern scared of now?
        Almost as if they were planning some sort of seismic change that we might not like.
        A lot!!

        • Everhopeful
          Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

          Actually…historical threads…we prob have the French Rev to thank for all this.
          Same nasty lefties!

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        Indeed, how are they coralled into not thinking for themselves so quickly? It must be career aspirations offered and threatened by a cabal of the junior and inexperienced. We need a system which puts the people ahead of power, not behind it. If we could have elected the juniors and sycophants which occupy the ministries to their positions, we probably wouldn’t have. We need those with experiance behind them to make sound judgements.

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        I used to wonder how Mugabe and the other African dictators and tyrants did it. Madero did it in Venezuela. How?
        Now we know. It is far too easy.

      • Simeon
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        It’s not the 600-odd MPs you refer to that is the issue, but the remainder that make a pretence of standing up for good sense. It is these, of whom our kind host is arguably the preeminent example, that give so many grounds to delude themselves that there is hope within the present political paradigm. Until these MPs decisively separate themselves from their friends and partners they will continue to be part of the problem, not the solution.

      • Ohdannyboy
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        The British people will tolerate whatever is thrown at them if this year is anything to go by. Fast forward a few more years and I dread to think what else we will have to put up with.

        In some other countries there has been a significant pushback, notably Italy. Not that you would know if you get your news exclusively from the television.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

          Well they already have the Mafia. So they are better prepared.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. An excellent new podcast interview with Jeremy Paxman and Lord Sumption on this topic well worth listening to.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 24, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

          Another excellent podcast with Paxman and the excellent and surely right Suneptra Gupta today.

      • sam
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        its all part of the plan for the Great Reset of Klaus Schwab

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      You’ve all been naughty children…

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    This second lockdown is very clearly now doing far more harm than good to people’s health, the health of economy and quality of life.

    As Sir Mick Davis puts it in the Telegraph Today:-

    The choice between health and the economy is false – neither can function without the other. The NHS can only deliver first-class care if supported by a strong economy. Moreover, the diversion of resources to coronavirus has created increased risks to our long-term health. Heart attack A&E attendances have dropped 50 per cent. The number of men dying from cancer in private homes during the pandemic is roughly 50 per cent higher than the five-year average. Three million people in the UK missed cancer screenings this year. Mental health patients are waiting up to six months for help.

    Alas the NHS rarely delivers anything like first class health care more of a dire rationing system. The only person I know who has died of Covid contracted the infection in hospital after being admitted for a minor stoke. He was then dumped into a care home untested one assumes in order to infect vulnerable others. It seems the new emergency laws protect the NHS from Covid negligence claims too. Also the vaccine companies will be protected from legal claims for any side effects of the vaccine. This hardly seems to put much pressure on them to ensure the safely of the new vaccines or to ensure that they have a net beneficial effect which is far from clear as yet.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      Not that I would bring any such claim myself as I so dislike enriching lawyers. The NHS should pay standard scale, no fault, compensation rates where things go wrong. Patients should agree to this in advance if they want treatment and not be able to sue for more. If the patients want more protection they should have to take private insurance.

      This would wonderfully cull thousands of essentially parasitic jobs both in the NHS litigation department and in the legal profession. They could then all go and do something actually productive instead with their redundancy payments. Patients and their relatives would also be better off too in not having years of risky litigation.

      • anon
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        Excellent idea.

        Alas we know vested interests will ensure that will not happen.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      The A & E figure just goes to show that many people who go to A & E in normal times are neither accidents nor emergencies. They’ve either never registered or can’t be bothered to go to their GP surgery.

      • Fred H
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        In Wokingham you can’t get into a surgery – -Fort Knox is a pushover.

    • sam
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      I wouldn’t go to the NHS if you paid me

  6. Stephen Priest
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    If there has to be these Lockdown-not-so-lite-tiers the Hospitality and Accommodation sectors should be open in all areas, with or without a “substantial meal”, whatever that means.

    The rolling 7 day average for daily Covid deaths in Sweden is 7, which would equates to in Britain 35 on the UK. Even though, according to Boris Johnson, Sweden “let it rip”.

    It is currently 545 in the UK. Sweden has an higher urban density to the UK.

    • Stred
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Stop PCR testing terminally sick patients with other diseases and the number of British deaths with Covid on the certificate would be a tenth approximately. Ie. 54, which closer to 35. “It’s another sign that the death figure to justify lockdown 2 isn’t necessary.

  7. Simeon
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    It sounds like you wish to see a major shift in policy. But this will not be achieved by discussions with ministers. Tinkering around the edges is not nearly enough. But then rocking the Tory boat isn’t an option.

    Today’s government is vile, and you continue to support it. Interestingly, in your last sentence, you admit that this government is actively damaging business and jobs (not to mention the health and wellbeing of the citizenry, or indeed our liberties). The government you support is an enemy of the people – even if so many cannot see or understand it. Please don’t pretend that you are some sort of champion for common sense or moderating influence when you are, quite simply, an enabler.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      +1

  8. Sea_Warrior
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    The Christmas relaxations are going to cause a large spike in infections and kill a great many old uns, unless vaccinations have been performed. That will be our Third Wave, reinforced by students going beck to universities. It would be more sensible for the government to encourage families to spread the socialising across more gatherings, at smaller scale.
    I welcome the opening of sporting venues to limited numbers of spectators. I suspect that this will be a lifeline for the likes of the lower-division football clubs. The health risks are negligible and easily managed. The last-minute cancellation of the test-event at Glorious Goodwood earlier this year was a decision of the utmost stupidity.
    Pubs remain a problem area and I accept the argument that social-distancing goes out of the window as evenings, and BAC levels, progress – but the Tier 2 restrictions on pubs that don’t offer food go too far. For those, the right solution would be to allow them to open but with reduced capacity, and with an early closing time.
    The situation with air travel remains a cause for concern. The government continues to act like a sociopath, showing a complete absence of concern for the businesses affected and their employees. (Only one of my extended family has lost her job in all this – and she’s an air stewardess.) Mass rapid testing is the way ahead. It’s not perfect but is ‘good enough’ and makes more sense than testing everybody in selected cities. Beyond any requirements set by destination countries, anyone wanting to fly should be allowed to. Have IR screening and Lateral Flow tests for all outbound and inbound passengers. Failures? Straight to an airport hotel for quarantine. The rest? On with their lives.
    Overall, I’ll give the government credit for having gone back to tiered ‘Whack a Mole’ – but none for having been panicked into an unnecessary second lockdown.
    Can I go for a cappuccino now?

  9. Iain gill
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    If a family with children travels to stay with the grandparents for the holidays it makes no difference if they stay 5 days or 2 weeks. It is the initial contact which is the risk, once that’s done extra days locked down together add no extra risk. Plus a short period will force everyone to travel on the trains at the same time making them far more overcrowded than necessary. Let people travel to one destination and stay as long as they want, train journeys will then be staggered a lot more naturally.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      just a small point – there normally aren’t any trains over Christmas. Is it different this year?

      • Iain Gill
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

        there are trains during the holiday period, there always have been, and there will be. not on Christmas day itself, but most people travel before then etc.

        • Fred H
          Posted November 25, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

          not from Reading to London, on both lines last year!

          On Christmas Eve, late afternoon and evening services will be amended as we prepare for the two-day shutdown which applies across most of the UK national rail network.

          There will be no Great Western Railway train services on either Friday 25 or Saturday 26 December.

          so there!

          • Iain Gill
            Posted November 25, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

            I’ve been on the East Coast main line over Christmas most years, and its always been fine. Indeed if you pick the right service (early morning etc) it can be moderate number of passengers and very relaxing.

    • sam
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      no more risk than the annual flu

  10. Cheshire Girl
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    I believe we could move to a more trusting approach, if EVERYONE followed the restrictions.

    Most do, but a significant minority don’t seem to care a fig about the health of others, as long as they are having a good time. Many entreaties for more responsible behavior, fall on deaf ears.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Sadly you are right.

      • NickC
        Posted November 25, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        Sadly, Martin, she is wrong. If you are vulnerable or frightened of covid19 then please be my guest and self-isolate and wear a mask. According to you that will protect you. Don’t force your selfish authoritarianism on me – I am prepared to take the risk and will mix with all others so inclined. Judging by the rush hour traffic now, compared to the first lockdown, most people agree with me.

    • sam
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      again listen to a scientist who actually knows what he’s talking about
      https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/sage-is-wrong-wrong-wrong/

  11. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    I am not sure about the guidance yet. Until we know what tier we are to be in on the 2nd December I don’t know if I can visit my son and stay overnight in a hotel. Perhaps I have missed something John or it will become more clear later in the week. As for Christmas I agree. People can still use their own discretion. If they are not happy mixing with family or friends then don’t. Simple but allow others to do so if they wish to. Some of the rules are ridiculous though concerning the pubs and the amount of people at sporting events.

  12. Leslie Singleton
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John–I assume you are joking when you say we can calculate (equals are capable of calculating) the risk to others. First, it is not true–many of the population do not have calculation as a strong point and the inter-relating issues are many and complex. Secondly, even if they did know how, many are, like it or lump it, not voluntarily going to behave altruistically, some far from it. This means we need to be told what to do. I am in the camp that would prefer to see Xmas given a miss this year. The dubious desire to the contrary reeks too much of nothing but sentiment for my taste. Insane to risk it all flooding back in January when vaccines seem just round the corner. What MP’s think is of course neither here nor there–as I say often I don’t see paying attention to them just because they have been elected, and want to get re-elected, as having much to do with anything.

    • Ed M
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Charles Dickens reminds us in a Christmas Carol that Christmas is about Christ, Love / Compassion, Forgiveness, Family, Friends, Peace and and Joy. I hope the nation’s minds, hearts and imaginations are haunted – or something like – by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future for our own sakes as well as for the nation’s, because people will then act more responsibly regarding the coronavirus and the government then won’t have to intervene with lockdowns and curbs to people’s freedom.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Like a Greek chorus and to keep us calm, some MPs wring their hands on the sidelines. Is that their appointed function in all this?
      But surely they must know the truth!
      Like sending sheep to the slaughter with the shepherd they trust.
      We are smelling the blood now.

  13. Dave Andrews
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Remember we are doing all this just to extend the lives of elderly and ill people, for whom the coronavirus will prove too much on top of everything else they suffer from. Because we can’t ensure their families and carers can’t be disease free and pass it on, the whole population is restricted.
    Very few of working age suffer significant health problems if they catch the virus.

    • BeebTax
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      Agree. We are also making those older people’s lives more miserable as the ones in nursing homes are refused visits by relatives, and if they die are left to do so alone. It is absurd.

    • Ed M
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      I agree with you. But it doesn’t matter what you or I think. You’re also fighting many people’s fears. And if these fears aren’t curbed, Labour get in. Boris has sort of done the right thing overall but many mistakes too.

      If you take the eye off the ball, Labour get in and ruin our country. A lot can be done for our country with moderate Conservatism as long as there is a proper long-term and comprehensive ‘business plan’ for this country (which Trump didn’t have, and I’m not sure Boris does either).

      • Fred H
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        ‘Labour get in and ruin our country.’
        They will open a drawer to find a note ‘ you can’t do any more harm, we f**ked it up already’.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      I am 81 and I totally agree with you.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      This weekend we were told a 19-year-old healthy boy with no pre-existing conditions died a couple of days after catching covid19, a fit wrestler from Birmingham.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        ‘We were told’… body builders and wrestlers take ‘medication’ to enhance their muscles. Should be considered an ‘underlying cause’.

        • a-tracy
          Posted November 24, 2020 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

          Yes Lynn, I know a young man who died young with a young family because of the pills he took for his bodybuilding, looked very fit but the newspaper said ‘only caused by Covid’ caught a few days before.

      • Fred H
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        52,000 dead – 1 wrestler.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted November 25, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          Life is very, very cheap to you apparently.

          What would you say if that number had been killed by foreigners rather than by a virus, I wonder?

          Just ignore them, they’ll get bored in time?

          • Fred H
            Posted November 25, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

            what on earth are you going on about? I merely point out the horrible death toll – and the one mentioned young wrestler – – with no additional explanation on why this might have happened.
            Conclusion -heart defect due to muscle building additives? get the certain family tragedy in perspective.

          • NickC
            Posted November 25, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

            Cheap, Martin? Sure, life is so “cheap” that people who die with covid19 have an average age of death one year older than the lifespan of the general population. So not cheap at all, then.

      • The Antidolt
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        I hate to say it but he was about three stone overweight.

        Why are people not being told to lose weight ?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted November 25, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

          You’d accuse people of nannying if they did any more of that.

          • NickC
            Posted November 25, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

            Well, you certainly seem happy to exercise your authoritarian nannying wherever you can get away with it, Martin.

      • sam
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        told by whom? and you believe it??

  14. Caterpillar
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    “It is not easy making choices for people”

    Seriously? Look at the Govt.

    • Al
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, that sentence bothered me. It is very easy to make choices for other people if you don’t intend those choices to affect you.

      As I mentioned at the time, our local MP was attempting to rally a large gathering during the first lockdown this year, and then we had the government pushing the private sector into offices even if they were already working from home, while encouraging civil servants to stay home regardless of if they could do their jobs.

      People would complain less if rules were being lived by rather than edicts handed out.

  15. Newmania
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Right form the start the Brexit Government has prioritised economic activity over safety to save the appearance of Brexit and out of sheer incompetence. .John Redwood and his like, played down the prospect of a vaccine coming to the rescue precisely so as to add weight to his argument that we should take more risks. ( Not them of course )
    There was zero call for a Christmas plague, no -one asked for it an no-one wishes to kill their elderly relatives for the sake a small glass of sherry . Only days ago we were being told we should all be crammed back onto trains to save pret a manger
    Events have shown his to be wrong in every way. Science , experts , and reasonable caution have triumphed over glib ignorance .We are nearly there

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Don’t be ridiculous if all economic activity stopped you’d be dead, no bread, no water, no electricity, no supermarkets, no food, no deliveries so of course, the Government has had to prioritise activity, there are many of us that have worked throughout and been careful with the guidance the government have given, paid for the extra ppe, security glass and followed the rules to the letter, we didn’t go on holiday to protect our businesses. What sort of business do you work in that you can be so glib?

      One day I hope we do discover where this ‘plague’ came from and how some Countries have escaped and fully recovered (I don’t mean NZ that just locked everything down and went into their bunkers).

  16. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I’m glad they’re keeping the expensive London gastropubs open for people like me and Carrie – those lower class pubs that only sell drinks in working class areas in the North, well they can go bankrupt, we don’t care, and they shouldn’t be drinking anyway, PHE have been saying that for years so even though it makes no difference to the virus at all it’s still improving their health.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Indeed – you can only drink if you have a “substantial meal”. I thought they wanted most of the, often fat or obese, population to lose weight. Surely for this a spritzer and a few peanuts and a pickled egg is better than a bottle of wine and a substantial meal?

      • Fred H
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        for some young women a bag of crisps IS a substantial meal.

  17. Sakara Gold
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Christmas will be dismal this year for the bereaved. 70,000 excess deaths due to government panic and incompetence, while the secretaries of state and the heads of the quangos bickered and postured to avoid the blame, is not something I would be proud of. Too many families will have empty places around the table this year.

    Across the pond in America, two weeks after record numbers of voters stood in queues – many of them without masks or any social distancing – hundreds of thousands have been infected and deaths are now running at 10,000 a week. I suspect that this latest outbreak of mixed messaging by the government will result in a similar huge spike of cases mid-January, followed by the usual pattern of hospital admissions and fatalities towards the end of January and the beginning of February.

    We can always rebuild the economy after a recession. What we cannot do is bring back the dead. And as a postcript, I would want to see much more data before I would accept one of the much-trumpeted new vaccines.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      “two weeks after record numbers of voters stood in queues – many of them without masks or any social distancing – hundreds of thousands have been infected and deaths are now running at 10,000 a week.”

      That’s the first time I heard 10,000 deaths linked with in-person voting, who did the figures on that? How did they check this was all caused by this? What % of those that died did actually vote themselves in person do you know?

      • Sakara Gold
        Posted November 25, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        Correction. US deaths attributed to the Chinese plague virus were reported last night as 12,000 weekly. Try the Washington Post, New York Times, the CDC website or other mainstream media outlets rather than the fake news facebook pages, conspiracy websites or news originating from the Trump election campaign that you obviously favour

        Sakara

        • a-tracy
          Posted November 25, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

          If all deaths were 12,000 per week is this 10,000 more than normal due to in-person voting? How many more deaths did these newspapers I don’t have a subscription for say was caused directly from in-person voting?

          I have no skin in the American election, I don’t favour anything about their politics. I am however curious about covid dealths attributed to in-person voting.

        • NickC
          Posted November 25, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

          Sakara, Is that deaths “with” covid19, or deaths from covid19? And personally I don’t favour the fake news from the Washington Post, the New York Times, or other MSM outlets. They’ve been caught lying too much – from the entirely fake Russiagate, to their hysterical anti-Trump foamings, to their sinister pro covid lockdowns, to their kneeling to BLM thugs.

  18. Ian Wragg
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Closing pubs and restaurants in tier 3 is nonesense and the whole exercise has no scientific value.
    We are now in the end game of a failing totalitarian regime which must be resisted.
    The so called second wave is miniscule according to the governments own graph, it peaked before lockdown.
    This is wanton destruction of livelihoods and has to stop.
    Johnson must go and take his miserable cabal with him.
    He’s a disgrace but he’ll cling on just long enough to destroy Brexit.
    Princess nut cake has a lot to answer for.

    • beresford
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      You haven’t read the tiers closely enough. They’re effectively closing pubs in Tier 2, and that is where most of the country is expected to be placed.

      • NickC
        Posted November 25, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        Most of the country placed in the pubs?? We should be so lucky!

  19. Lifelogic
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Vaccine priority list still not following the logic and science that clearly means it should be offered to men at an earlier age than women to reflect their relative vulnerability. Are the government “experts” just daft or is this being vetoed by politicians? If the vaccine works and is safe enough to use (which is far from clear as yet) then many lives certainly depend on this adjustment. It would also protect the NHS far more effectively. So which is it would they rather see these extra deaths than make the gender adjustment.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      You have no name!
      Ask yourself if you have ever seen this sort of “healthcare” provision before? The future (Reset) of healthcare is communistic. We have already seen the sheep clamouring for those who have “caused” their own illnesses to be denied treatment.
      And now we are to stand in line to receive or not a vaccine we are supposed to need!
      Many nameless posters today!

  20. Cynic
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    The PCR test for the virus has been totally discredited as a diagnostic tool. So why is the government still using it? The false “case” numbers it flags up are destroying lives!

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Because the government want zero Covid deaths and so they need to scaremonger as much as they can. Cancer deaths, heart attack deaths, they’re not bothered about those, that’s why they don’t tell us the figures for them in their press conferences. You will see when they announce the Tiers that case numbers are irrelevant anyway, everyone will be in Tier 2 or 3 till Easter irrespective of the case numbers.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      It was NEVER even meant to be a diagnostic tool.
      That is clearly stated on the promotional blurb for anyone to see.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Indeed it is clearly detecting many false positive either completely false or people who have fully recovered after having it but it is still in the system. It is also giving false covid death figure.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        We don’t believe them do we?

    • Stred
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Because Hancock and Boris don’t understand technical stuff. In fact, they’re not too bright.

  21. Bryan Harris
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    We need to move on to a plan-B — That ought to be obvious to even those pushing their failed solutions on us.

    Why did the NHS stop publishing its normal statistics?
    Bed occupancy and so on?

    There are too many things that do not add up!

    • BeebTax
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      +1.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      To hide how even more appalling the NHS service now is. Mass testing people especially without symptoms is clearly rather pointless other than in some specific circumstances. The new cases being published (already declining) are not new cases they include people who have had it months back and have recovered and many false positives. The figures and indeed the Covid deaths are clearly a large exaggeration of the real position. The pandemic is largely over vaccine or no vaccine.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Bryan Harris,

      From a couple of weeks ago NHS starting publishing here

      http://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/uec-sitrep/urgent-and-emergency-care-daily-situation-reports-2020-21

      There are only a couple of weeks of files so far. Data may convince one that the Govt acted in ways it didn’t need. As you say, “there are too many things that do not add up”, but all that means is that decisions are either dumb, or not made for the reasons given – it has been that way throughout.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      NHS. Envy of the world. Still 20% of cases caught in hospital and still a much higher death rate per case than Germany. Despite billions being thrown at them.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 25, 2020 at 1:37 am | Permalink

        Indeed the NHS is an appalling, state monopoly system of healthcare. Yet no government dares to discuss this or to improve it or to allow real competition in the market. Like climate alarmism it is another deluded religion.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      And the rest!!
      +1

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Smoke and mirrors – like the Brexit BRINO

    • TIMH
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      I agree 100% Brian. At best we’re in full on ‘sunk cost fallacy’ mode.
      And the clampdown on information sharing (particularly when questioning the efficacy of lockdown) is deeply worrying.
      Why has Mike Yeadon’s interview challenging SAGE and Handcock been removed from Youtube for example?
      Not my paper of choice, but the Daily Mail (in particular Hitchens) is doing a great job of challenging the narrative as are Talk RADIO.

  22. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Two weeks into the second enforced home stay and 15,000 infections.

    However poor track and trace is performing the data should point to where infection is being transmitted. It is evidently not pubs, gyms restaurants or “non-essential” retail (I bet it is not food retail either).

    Publish the transmission data and let people make up their own minds. Showing that there are more cases of hospitalisation between 18 and 54 than any other age group might concentrate those minds on the risks or otherwise (even though the percentages of hospitalisation are low for that age group it does show that complications are possible).

    This is not binary, kill granny or don’t kill granny however the lockdown revellers want to position it. We are storing up so many long term problems by making home working and staying in normal behaviour.

  23. BeebTax
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Our parliament has done away with our freedom of movement, and our freedom to associate; it’s curtailing our freedom of expression. It is likely going to force us all to be injected with an experimental vaccine. What is there to celebrate at Christmas? Another 4 years of this Parliament?

  24. Enigma
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    What do I think of the latest proposals? They are utterly ridiculous. If it’s not easy making choices for people then how about letting us make our own choices based on understanding the messages from medics and scientists who most resonate with us, and looking at the true data. It’s time to release us once and for all. Enough tyranny. No more lies and project fear.

  25. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    How interesting the blog presentation is today – not showing who posted which missives. Most are obvious but guessing who has posted what is like Christmas charades come early.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      I just assumed it was 90% Lifelogic

      • Peter
        Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

        It’s a reasonable assumption.

        Perhaps it’s him that is causing the system failure? The artificial intelligence got so bored that it could no longer be bothered to print all the posters’ names.

  26. SM
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Is anyone else having a problem with the display of each poster’s name? While some are there, in many others the name has disappeared, although not the date or time posted.

    Or is it just me?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Only a few names showing for me too. Yours is not showing either.

  27. Andy
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I haven’t listened to what the government says since Dominic Cummings went for his eye test. I genuinely do not care what the fools in Westminster say. They are talking to themselves.

    I am being sensible – not seeing my friends or extended family. But the rest of it – bubbles, tiers and so on – I really do not care about. It’s their lockdown, not mine. Like most people in this country I didn’t vote for them. They do not represent me. They do not command my trust or respect. In fact, quite the opposite. It has been a difficult problem and the have handled it predictably badly.

    Roll on January 20th when President Biden will finally inject some global leadership into this – and will tell the incompetents in Downing Street what to do.

    • Edward2
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      Biden will follow the UK/European model of lockdowns.

    • NickC
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Andy, Cummings did not go “for an eye test” – he sensibly went for a short journey to make sure he could cope with a long journey. I do not trust the government either, but for the inverse of the reasons you give. And I trust you even less.

  28. George Brooks.
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    We have far too many grossly over crowded households, largely caused by letting immigration get out of control. We have also allowed these recent arrivals bring their previous way of co-habiting into our cities and overload the facilities and services.

    It is therefore not surprising that we have and will continue to have hot-spots of the virus spreading at alarming rates. Those in these over crowded areas need to be educated and made to follow the rules and at the same time we need to weed out the illegal immigrants working in fear of losing their lively hood in ”sweat shops” imported by their fellow countrymen.

    As for the clown who stated that Sweden had a higher urban density than the UK please tell us where in Sweden it exceeds Tower Hamlets at 39,000 per acre?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      @George Brooks – the truth that dare not speak its name.

  29. Richard416
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Sir John, I hope it will be possible in the near future for the government to lay back a bit. If they were to offer sensible advice, rather than the appalling heavy handed iron fist approach that they have taken, it would be seen as fairer and less distasteful. It is not good to see people being beaten up by police for simply walking about in their own country.

  30. Chris Dark
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I haven’t bothered even reading what all these new regulations are. I couldn’t care less about any of them. My family is small and cannot break any rule of six-five-four whatever. We shall spend Christmas mostly alone anyway, bar a day or so’s visit from unmarried son. What I do care about is the relentless onslaught on people’s liberties. MPs need to remember that freedoms are given by God not government, freedoms are not theirs to take or with-hold. Coronavirus is no excuse to do so, it is clearly not a disease deadly to all-comers and is, in any case, merely the smokescreen for Reset and Control.

  31. Peter van LEEUWEN
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    After I made one comment on yesterday’s posting, it was published with 2 reactions. Now has disappeared, together with the two reactions on that comment.

    Is there a software glitch?

    • SM
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      I think there is a software glitch, Peter (I only got your name because it appeared in the Reply section). I found it almost impossible to enter this site yesterday (Monday), and obviously many others are finding the postings are nameless.

    • alan jutson
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Not automatically picking upon names either, have to constantly fill in details even though I click save my name etc, etc.

      Like wise Comments disappearing as soon as you press Post comment.
      Thus not a clue if its been posted or not.

  32. ian@Barkham
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    “We need to move on to a more trusting approach, where we all make more of our own decisions based on understanding the messages from the medics and scientists. We can calculate our own risks and the risk we might pose to others, as we do about all other such threats in the normal course of life.”

    100% with you on this. There are those that won’t comply under any circumstance law/fines etc So to punish a whole population, when those that ignore government in any situation get to carry on is more than a bit draconian. These government dictates keep reminding us of how pathetical out of touch, controling and frightened of the people this government is.

  33. agricola
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I too would like to see an end to restriction or at least it’s lessening. However I sympathise with government who have to cover for the behaviour of those who see restriction as a challenge or an intrusion on their way of life. This of course ignores the knock on effect it can have on the sensible majority.

    The answer of course is to get the vulnerable vaccinated as soon as possible. I only hope government have the capability of organising it.

  34. agricola
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    JR Centre, I think you have a problem. Our entries have become anonymous, is there a virus in your system.

    • miami.mode
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      It always says on my display that “site is not secure” and beware entering any sensitive information.

  35. RichardM
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    You only have to glance through responses on this diary to quickly realise that you cannot trust individuals to make the correct response to information from scientists. It’s choc full of covidiots – anti-vaxxers, mask wearing deniers and those who believe we already have herd immunity. (Zerologic).
    But then we can’t trust the incompetent clown you voted into number 10 either to make correct decisions.
    RichardM

    • Fred H
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Multiple choice –
      this blog has plenty of people who realised the scientists:
      a) want their moment ( more like months ) in the sun.
      b) are 20 years out of touch with their discipline.
      c) go along with the dictators in Government thinking of their future salaries and pension arrangements.

      On reflection all three are probably correct. Well done!

    • Zorro
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      Do you like giving people labels? I’ve got one for you…. Can you guess what it is?

      Zorro

  36. The Antidolt
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink
    • glen cullen
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      That article should be print on the front page of every newspaper and sent to every MP

  37. Richard II
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,

    Would you please stop calling those people ‘scientific’ advisors? The largest single group in the SAGE committee are mathematical modellers. Mathematics is not evidence-based and therefore not considered a science.

    Their models have been proved wrong so often that their views are now simply worthless.
    As Mrs T. once said, ‘they should not be given the oxygen of publicity’.

    If we look at the reality, as the Mail did so comprehensively at the weekend, rather than at the wildly exaggerated computer models, it’s clear the health emergency is over.

    Of course the lockdown and all Covid legal restrictions should be ended immediately, if we are to save what’s left of our economic, social and psychological well-being in this country.

  38. Alan Jutson
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    No matter what the rules some people will break them, some by error, some deliberately.

    Just like the old rule of 6 which was a complete farce given there was no limit on how many groups of 6 you could be part of in a day.

    If we are to have rules, they need to be clear and simple.

  39. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    To have a better Christmas we need to not be quaking in our shoes at what the government has in store for us after Christmas. Having taken most private sector trading profit this year, we need to be assured that there will be a ‘levelling’ – a concept the Government loves. So in order to retain my cooperation I want to hear:
    1. The immediate repeal of the ‘emergency legislation’ and a requirement for at 66% majority for any similar legislation to be enacted in future.
    2. No more treasure or assets to the EU WHATSOEVER
    3. Massive reduction in overseas and no charity aid
    4. State sector salaries reduced to 80% across the board (not to pay for the state sector inadequacy but because that is the minimum reduction that the private sector has suffered)
    5. Johnson’s retirement date.

  40. beresford
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Why are the Government obsessed with ‘substantial meals’? If I go into a pub with five others, order a ‘substantial meal’ and six pints, and then after I have been served give a pint each to my colleagues, are we legal? In Birmingham a number of small pubs have not re-opened since March and will probably now be forced into liquidation. Boris is achieving what Hitler failed to do, and it looks awfully like the denial of alcoholic beverages to common folk which is part of the Great Reset. If the argument is that people mustn’t be allowed to become rolling drunk for fear of violating Covid restrictions, why not make that the focus and allow publicans to open if they make an individual commitment to restrict the number of drinks served to any individual and turn away anyone who enters already inebriated?

  41. villaking
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Sir John, why does the government have to make any choices for people? We want freedom. The latest measures are just an extension of lockdown. Most areas will be tier 2 or 3 which means the hospitality sector is effectively closed. Even in tier 1 the muzzled pub experience is hardly what it was. It seems this nightmare continues indefinitely without even some supporting evidence to explain the benefits of the first, ruinous 3 and a half month lockdown

  42. ukretired123
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Webmaster please fix the missing names and overlapping icons Asap thanks on Comments page.

  43. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    “A dosing error by researchers on the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine trial led to a huge boost in the jab’s success rate, the firm’s vice president has revealed.”

    Good to know isn’t it, that they have been assessing this vaccine so carefully and methodically that they gave lots of people the wrong dose. I’ve yet to find anyone I know who’s going to have the vaccine, except one high-risk person, stories like this don’t help.

    • RichardM
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      QED covidiots.
      RichardM

  44. Everhopeful
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I have no name.
    Do I have a number?

  45. Philip P.
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Per head of population, the NHS South-East region has the lowest level of serious respiratory disease in England, as measured by Mechanical Ventilation occupancy. The 7-day average new Covid ‘cases’ figure for Wokingham borough is below average for the NHS South-East region. If the Wokingham constituency is not in the lowest Covid restrictions ‘tier’ on 3rd December, we are not being guided by the science.

    • Zorro
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      I hope that JR will be pushing for the interestS of the people living within the WBC area….

      Zorro

  46. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I remain of the view that the ‘cure’ is worse than the disease and in the process our democracy has been undermined. We have endured 9 months of daily fear-mongering and brain-washing based on manipulated and exaggerated data, the likes of which the Chinese Communist Party would be proud. The consequences have been increases in mental health issues and suicides, premature deaths caused by lockdown, other medical treatments and diagnoses delayed or postponed, children’s education and mental wellbeing severely disrupted, increases in unemployment and business closures and an economy in tatters. I note though that certain individuals and companies have significantly increased their wealth, directly as a result of government actions and contract placing.
    I am not encouraged to learn that vaccines, which normally take many years to develop, are being hurriedly rushed through in months. Nor am I impressed by the apparent lack of detailed public information regarding the components of these vaccines, their safety, the potential side-effects both short and long term and their effectiveness. Again, it iis noteworthy that certain people have made a lot of money from the media announcements and subsequent euphoria.
    With the official opposition supporting the government, we seem to have a Parliamentary dictatorship delighting in taking away our personal liberty & freedom. This move to a totalitarian authoritarian state is something we must oppose at all costs.

  47. wab
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    “We need to move on to a more trusting approach, where we all make more of our own decisions based on understanding the messages from the medics and scientists. We can calculate our own risks and the risk we might pose to others, as we do about all other such threats in the normal course of life.”

    About a dumb a statement as it is possible to make. With that argument, you might as well let people decide if they should drink and drive. When what you do can kill other people, the state has a perfect right to regulate your activities. Enough of the “muh freedumb” chants from the pathetically whining right wingers.

    • Zorro
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      Get a grip and a sense of reality, there is no current pandemic.

      Zorro

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 25, 2020 at 1:31 am | Permalink

        +1 – most of the small number of current excess deaths are not Covid but due to NHS failure to provide any decent healthcare.

  48. Will Jones
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Why are children still included in the Rule of 6 in England?

  49. MB
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Dear John.

    17 of the first 19 comments already moderated appear to be from the same person without a name. Not even ‘Anonymous’.
    Is this correct?

    Johnson is continuing to career from one ridiculous set of ‘lockdowns’ to another, becoming more complicated at each stage.
    It appears to us that he has no common sense nor reputable advisors.

    Lockdown is killing small businesses and boosting the larger ones.
    A small corner shop or gym has a much smaller customer footfall than say a large Tesco or Waitrose, so much more likely for transmission to occur.

    Tennis clubs, Golf clubs, Canoe clubs etc have been shut for absolutely minimal gain, and maximum loss to personal health.

    Pubs and restaurants are still vilified despite having made huge efforts and expense to comply with the myriad of rules/directions and were hit with a double whammy with the second lockdown (which the science said was not needed).

    The science tells us that covid is nowhere near as dangerous as first thought and we have no real need to lockdown whole swathes of the country to ‘Protect the NHS’!

    The way to minimise damage to businesses and jobs is to look at ALL OF THE DATA, from ALL of the sources and make some sensible decisions based on the TRUTH.

    Unfortunately the damage has already been done, and is continuing….

    Remember there are lies, damned lies and statistics – take your choice and choose wisely.

  50. glen cullen
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    For a better Christmas all I want is a WTO and not a BRINO

  51. Everhopeful
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    All these shenanigans …from 2016 onwards all fomented by ghastly lefty liberals, have….
    Made me feel incredibly depressed….
    And bloody ILL!
    Where have our lives gone?
    Snorted up a fat government nostril!!
    CHRISTMAS??? Bah humbug! This government needs to give us back our FREEDOM.

    • NickC
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      Everhopeful, True, the freedom of all people is more important than the impact of a disease which, like many others, is only serious for a tiny fraction.

  52. Peter
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    ‘What do you think of the latest proposals?’

    You are talking of Christmas and I am reminded of Morecambe and Wise :-

    Ernie ‘What do you think of it so far?’

    Eric ‘Rubbish!!!!’

    The whole malarkey has been wrong from the start. Rather than admit this the government pretends to finesse the rules.

    Look after the poor souls in care homes and the vulnerable. Let everybody in good health go about their business without pointless restrictions.

    • Peter
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Meanwhile the Swiss want over 60s to sign ‘Do not resuscitate’ forms.

      That’s not very Christian. It is another step along the road to a totalitarian nightmare state.

  53. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Stop the decent, earning, tax paying people from working . . .and carry on importing anyone from Calais ( or now Belgium as well in fishing boats ) who are going to be nothing but a financial burden – and we know nothing about. Danger to the public? Don’t know. Escaping rapists or murderers? Don’t know. Disease carriers? Don’t know . Danger on our roads We know that one. Unemployable . .We know that one. Non English speaking? We know that one. Don’t care about our laws or rules . . We know that one as well.. . and the govt don’t care. Keep bringing them in. Keep housing them. Keep giving them benefits for nothing. Keep giving them free translators and free unlimited NHS. . . . How many innocent decent, law-abiding English people will have their lives ruined or ended by the Flood of freeloaders and criminals??? . . . . BUT . . . Agenda 21 MUST carry on !!!!!!!

    • NickC
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Bigneil, Sadly you are correct.

  54. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Christmas for me is a religious festival of great importance.

    If you believe that everything is down to luck, or pure chance, then that is one thing. The trouble is that you then have to explain the beauty of the human body, the sunset and the end of Nazism and Communism in USSR.
    If you believe that the world is totally wicked and beyond hope then you have to explain the reason that some people (e.g. Nelson Mandela) were good.
    Christians believe that God is our Father and that makes us see the world in a totally different light. Christmas is the time when God showed us that He cares. And what He is really like.

    Please don’t lose that as you accept responsibility for planning our safety for us..

  55. RichardP
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    The Johnson Regime doesn’t own Christmas, to grant or deny as they please, it belongs to everyone. They are only lifting sanctions over Christmas because they know people will ignore them anyway and are frightened of loosing control.
    If lockdowns worked why are we now facing a stricter tier system as we come out of a month of nationwide restrictions?
    It’s time to stop this nonsense and start repairing the nations health, wealth and sanity.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      The sheer arrogance of MPs telling us what to do and how we live our life, once they get our vote they become totalitarian pseudo little dictators, it quite amazing just how quickly they forget themselves

  56. JohnE
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I suggest do your shopping as early as you can, isolate BEFORE Christmas for a week or so, then meet up for a day or two assuming everyone is healthy.

    Surely that’s a safer way to do things? The official approach seems to be that people meet up, spread the disease, and then isolate. Do things the other way round and don’t spread it at all – at least for those that can avoid public transport.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      and empty schools a week early at least, and Unis 2 weeks early.

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

      To be really safe don’t shop, eat your Turkey alone. If you find your safe life is not worth living, Matt Hancock is allowing you, even from tier 3, to fly abroad to Dignitas. Hurrah!

    • NickC
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      JohnE, Why destroy what’s worth living for because of a disease that is mostly harmless to 99.8% of people?

  57. AndyC
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    It’s a reasonable bet that whatever tier a region is placed in, it will quickly proceed to a higher one, as before, simply becuase more testing will pick up more ‘cases’. And also not least because local authorities have twigged that a higher tier means more cash handouts.

    I’d personally have no tiers or legal restrictions on people’s freedoms, and rely on adults to behave as such. There is no material health crisis, and the NHS is under no undue pressure (inasmuch as the inadequate public stats allow us to discern, but there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence to that effect too). This quaint argument about liberty seems thoroughly lost, I admit.

    The government is clearly betting the farm on vaccines. I very much hope the news is as positive as it appears, but it does all look a little too good to be true, both in terms of overall efficacy and likely roll-out timescales. The disparities in the Oxford results especially may need some time to sort out. It seems depressingly obvious that, while we may be allowed a few days ‘freedom’ over Christmas, we will be firmly back in our boxes in January.

    With regard to the difficulties of a vaccine roll-out, perhaps the job should be given to Amazon or the supermarkets, who have proved very adept and adaptable this year. I think we can all anticpiate the likely outcome if the NHS is allowed to mismanage the process.

    • NickC
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      AndyC, What worries me most about the new vaccines is the distinct possibility of harmful side effects in the following months and years.

      All medicines have side effects, and normally are tested over a sufficiently long period so that an informed decision can be made. Not in this case though.

      Coupled with the fact that covid19 is effectively harmless to the vast majority of under-65s means I won’t accept the vaccine. Queue the government making civil “liberties” dependent on vaccination.

  58. ian
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    At least John is toeing the party line.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      there lies the problem.

  59. Mike Durrans
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Sir,

    I think its time our politicians started to fight for Britain in the world and leave the population they have been bullying for the last year to sort out the way they want to live.
    I have very strong views and the destruction of the eu is one I will be encouraging fellow Europeans to persue!
    Its now also obvious the NHS has past its sell by date and should be broken up, money is wasted in the vast upper levels. The treasury must start giving local hospitals and local surgeries a budget based on head count and Tax payers numbers.
    No major change should be allowed unless parliament get clearance by referenda.

  60. Wokinghamite
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    It seems premature to end the lockdown just when it was beginning to do some good. There are still so many new cases. People’s ability and willingness to manage their own risks varies a good deal.

    • Mick Davies
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      The stats were going down before this lockdown. They gave us false data to justify it, then had to admit to a ‘mistake’.
      The new cases are are just test positives for a test that is 93% inaccurate.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      How many new cases are there? How many hospital beds occupied by CV19 patients?

    • NickC
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      No lockdown (in the UK) has done any good – look at the death toll graph for yourself. If you can point to a specific reduction in deaths caused by any of the lockdowns be my guest. Please bear in mind that the mean time between infection and death (for those that die) is about 4 weeks.

  61. Julian
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I’m perplexed by the reaction of many ‘right of centre’ people who talk about covid restrictions being a infrigement of civil liberties – of course it is but its obviously temporary and not part of some sinister agenda.
    My anecdotal view on trusting people more to do the right thing is that they cannot be trusted – I see more and more people not respecting social distancing, I see and hear about people breaking the guidelines during this lockdown.
    Follow the rules until we get a general rollout of the vaccine.

    • a prophecy
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      I’m perplexed by the reaction of many ‘right of centre’ people who talk about covid restrictions being a infrigement of civil liberties – of course it is but its obviously temporary and not part of some sinister agenda.

      …..
      its not temporary and it is part of a sinister agenda.

      • Julian
        Posted November 25, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        There is no sinister agenda and conspiracy theorists never show us the evidence. This idea about vaccines controlling the population with microships has been in circulation for 20 years and nothing has happened.
        ps the real conspiracy is the alignment of the Left with big technology companies, the left-wing media, the woke Universities, the EU, the green movement etc to work against western capitalism and undermine democracy. That is not a theory as its right there for all to see.

        • NickC
          Posted November 25, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

          Julian, On man’s conspiracy theory is another man’s “not a theory as its right there for all to see”. The infringement of civil liberties has been remarkably un-temporary, and has been policed in a remarkably sinister way.

  62. The Antidolt
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Excess deaths a fifth higher than normal.

    2838 of 14000 excess deaths due to CV-19 according to the BBC.

    On top of lockdown Boris is borrowing billions to fund green targets which will make us less able to compete and pay back debt.

    Bonkers.

  63. Sharon Jagger
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I am a firm believer in people taking responsibility for themselves and obviously then living with the consequences of their actions.

    The government think they are behaving like benevolent parents, but in actuality they have been utterly neglectful, cruel, domineering and generally sociopathic in their treatment of the country.

    I’m listening to Talk Radio whilst writing my Christmas cards and the people calling in are describing some horrendous situations. Business owners, are very positive about things but are working to survive, not make any profit. One chap described how even Wimbledon Village has a lot of boarded up retail outlets…..if Wimbledon Village can’t survive? And where to start on tales of health experiences, it’s quite shocking!

    Most people say we should stop lockdown and appeal to people to be responsible.

    The more people are restrained, the more they will struggle to free themselves from their restraints.

    Why can’t things be done for the right reasons for once, instead of for political objectives?

    • NickC
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Sharon, As I go out and about in recent days, I notice roads are as busy as they were last year, with plenty of people going to plenty of shops. It is not like the first (March/April/May) lockdown at all.

      Most people seem to be ignoring the current lockdown. So when the government announces that this lockdown has been a “success” most people will know different, and just laugh at them.

  64. Melanie Naylor
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    “It’s not easy making choices for people”

    Then why is the government doing it? Since when is that it’s job? Our lives do not belong to the state and nor do our deaths.

    I am a competent, tax paying, law abiding adult and Matt Hancock needs to get out of the business of micro managing my life because he is really, really bad at it. We still don’t know what tier we will be in. Local hospitality businesses don’t know whether they will be open or shut, and even once they know there is no guarantee that the rules wont be changed once again with no notice at the whim of politicians who seem unable to admit the truth – a virus can’t be controlled by controlling the people, and it certainly won’t be controlled by the increasingly cruel and byzantine regulations introduced by this State sponsored Nanny.

    • NickC
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Malanie Naylor said: “I am a competent, tax paying, law abiding adult and Matt Hancock needs to get out of the business of micro managing my life because he is really, really bad at it.” Hear, hear!

  65. ian
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    C 19 or no C19, things won’t change much next year as climate change takeover with lockdowns in the winters for seasonal flu ongoing every winter from now on.

    • Zorro
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      If the same rationale, vaccine or no vaccine, is followed, your proposition will likely be accurate…

      Zorro

  66. Peter from Leeds
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Judging the risk to ourselves and others is never easy. For years we were encouraged to believe that the risks of smoking (to ourselves and others) was small. Humans have not become more intelligent – just better informed by science.

    As for the vaccine – it is clear from what was said last night that though the Oxford vaccine was quoted as 70% effective none of the people who had it ended up in hospital. So obviously the vaccine will be used firstly on those most likely to use up hospital resources.

    As for the economy – we need to recognise that even if all the constraints are removed people have been scared and their behaviour will not return to how it was in 2019. For example there are going to be far fewer older folk willing to travel (and other countries will probably tighten up health requirements anyway). So there is probably massive over capacity in the cruise industry for example. The government needs to be careful not to fall into the trap of supporting (with taxpayer money) businesses that have no viable future.

    However there are whole strategic industries that we clearly need to support in the UK and not rely on just imports. And I agree with you Sir John that we need to ensure we can produce our own electricity rather than support EU import mechanisms for example.

  67. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    What has happened to this forum? On the majority of the comments you can no longer see who made the comment. Exceptions being BeebTax and Bryan Harris. All the rest have no name above the date/time stamp.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      I quite like it, its more fun.

      • Fred H
        Posted November 25, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        guess the author?

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      I include a website link in my comments – perhaps that is part of the reason

  68. Keith from Leeds
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Hello Sir John,
    Like most people, I am fed up with a government that does not tell the truth, refuses to listen to equally qualified scientists, including the many who have signed the Great Barrington Declaration, & blunders on damaging people’s lives & our financial future. This lock down was based on false information & I am glad you voted against it. Restaurants & pubs are extremely low infection places & should be open in all tiers. Less than 250 people under 40 have died with or off Covid -19, the majority of deaths are in people over 60 with pre-existing health conditions & the Covid death average age is 82 years old. So on what basis are we locking down the UK & destroying the economy? The only crisis is the panic reaction of the government, assisted by the media, in trying to frighten the population. We are all capable of making decisions on risk for ourselves. I am in the high-risk group because of age & health conditions, but I would rather have a decent quality of life than an extra quantity of life.

    • NickC
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Keith, Spot on.

  69. Everhopeful
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Turkeys voting for Christmas.
    In a technocracy…which is imminent.
    Politicians are redundant!

  70. Ian Wilson
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    If Dr Yeadon is correct around 50 million of us should now have immunity out of a population of 66 million. While I have no medical knowledge that suggests the virus will be finding it increasingly harder to find victims so the spread will slow. The statistics are indeed starting to come down. No doubt the Cabinet will claim this is due to the measures they have taken but it is highly probable these are irrelevant. Thus it would seem sensible to end all restrictions except perhaps in a few local hotspots but protect the vulnerable, as per Great Barrington Declaration.

    The next question – if the above level of immunity is correct, how relevant will the vaccine be?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 1:23 am | Permalink

      Looking at the numbers Dr Yeadon is surely about right. The vaccine (if proved sufficiently safe – a very big “IF”) is largely irrelevant other that for areas that have largely escaped the infection like New Zealand, IoM and some particularly vulnerable people.

  71. DennisA
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    There is still the false pursuit of eliminating the virus. It is endemic and will be with us in the future. It will come and go as flu does. Flu vaccines date back to the end of WWII and we still get flu.

    The other false pursuit is that of testing. It is acknowledged by WHO, US CDC, ECDC and other official and scientific bodies, that the PCR test without medical assessment and without symptoms is not a diagnosis. It is wrong to label those with a positive test but no symptoms as asymptomatic cases, as that implies they are carrying it and are potentially infectiousness. The test picks up strands of RNA, not virus. The rapid test is even less accurate than the PCR test.

    The only way forward is to move away from the restrictions, allow people to mix and let people make their own decisions where they will or will not go.

  72. Sharon Jagger
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Off topic

    I have found that reading some articles on Conservative Woman I dismiss them as nonsense…until they come true. eg I read about The Great Reset about 18 mths ago.

    So, when I read this morning about China building their coal fuelled power stations because their scientists are concerned about a Grand Solar Minimum which is due about 2060….I read on.

    They have plenty of coal and coal fuelled power stations and announced early on this year they have plans for a further 58gigawatts of coal fuelled power. The scientists are concerned about food production in the cooler times, well by then they’ll own all the western businesses….

    And the other country who is poodling on with their coal fuelled power stations is Germany. Do they know something we don’t?

    I remember watching a video of Patrick Moore, the founder of Greenpeace before it got political. He was saying that the evidence showed that there is no global warming…some of the details went over my head, but it seems that during a mini ice period, CO2 is absorbed into the seas and rises again as the air warms. He showed lots of charts, but one that stuck was the one showing us just entering the downward trajectory of a high peak of warmer temperatures.

    The Chinese have said they intend to reduce to zero carbon emissions by 2060. Are we being played by our politicians on a global scale? If so, a lot of people have believed it/been brainwashed to believe it.

    I think if we can get our country back from the politicians, this global warming/cooling topic seriously needs to be discussed before our more efficicient central heating systems are replaced with far inferior heat pumps or plug in heaters in one room only.

  73. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    There seems to be a bug on the site.

    I can only see posters’ names who use a link, and no others – most of them.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      Yesterday it was “server not found” for hours.
      Maybe being hacked…
      By? Lol.

  74. Ed M
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Let’s all agree before going into Christmas that Trumpism has been overall quite negative for British Conservatism.

    I’m a Republican and want a strong Republican to make America great again but Trump wasn’t that man.

    He inheritted a vast wealth from his father. He’s essentially just re-invested that. He’s essentially a glorified rich-boy, property investor. Without his father’s money, he’d be a nobody like most of the rest of us. There is nothing ‘great’ about him, in terms of business sense, that would make America ‘great.’ Just nonsense.

    Half the people on this website (excluding me) would have done a better job than Trump. He had no long-term strategy for the USA. It was all short-term stuff. His achievements (and he DID have achievements) could easily have been achieved by other Republicans – except they would have achieved a lot more plus without dividing and embarrassing their country, breeding socialism and so weakening the whole Conservative movement – both there in the US and here in the UK.

  75. Iain Gill
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Please thank Charles Walker for speaking out about the police acting like bully boys against the weak and vulnerable while often completely ignoring the real thugs in our society.

    This rubbish politically correct but ineffectual cowardice of police leadership has got to change.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      I do hope that these MPs, who apparently stand up for us, are not just “soothers” to make us feel that things will be ok.
      While the real business of changing our economy ( Reset) to an assets based one storms on apace.

    • Zorro
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Well done Sir Charles – the Police are behaving with the zeal I expected. They need to remember that people have long memories and know who they are….

      Zorro

    • formula57
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      We can thank Jacques Offenbach too for: –

      “We’re public guardians bold yet wary,
      And of ourselves we take good care.
      To risk our precious lives we’re chary,
      When danger looms we’re never there,
      But when we meet a helpless woman,
      Or little boys that do no harm,

      Chorus:
      We run them in, we run them in,
      We run them in, we run them in,
      We show them we’re the bold gendarmes.”

  76. Ian
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    We are fed up with this constant Big Brother we do not like being dictated to.
    Especially by people who we have not the slightest respect for.
    To be dictated to by a PM who has been out of his depth since first day, we are Told it is really the girlfriend that is dictating to the PM

    Right or wrong we are feeling this is the worst we can remember in what did Lynn say 47 years of rubbish government.
    I must wait for Farage , he atleast has a back ground in buisiness as does his team, plus I know. No one who has worked as hard as he has to get us Freedom

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      Millions of people are utterly “dictated to” by their employers, thanks to Tory employment “law”.

      The intrusions of government into their lives are minimal by comparison.

      • NickC
        Posted November 25, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Martin, People can change their employer, but in the EU we could not change our government (unless you can point to the election in the UK of the current petty EU dictator, von der Leyen).

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      I said 47 years ‘OF NO GOVERNMENT’ – we have been a subordinate state to the EU. The only sector of the U.K. totally unprepared for Sovereignty is Whitehall. They have drawn salaries, honours and privilege for almost half a century with no responsibility and precious little actual work.

      Lynn Atkinson

  77. Fred H
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    certainly a better Christmas for some…
    BBC website:
    In May, a junior civil servant working with High Street banks noticed dozens of claims for universal credit had been made asking for money to be paid into the same bank account.
    Further investigation identified more than 100,000 fraudulent claims.
    And officials admit they had confirmed thousands of people’s identities to the gangs that had stolen them – and passed on their National Insurance numbers.
    The Department for Work and Pensions wants to write to those whose data has been compromised. But BBC News has learned it is struggling to identify many of them and is wary of sending out letters to last known addresses in case they end up in the wrong hands, exacerbating the data breach.
    Claimants whose identities have been stolen can face real hardship, as it can be months before their accurate benefits are paid.
    Currently, 5.7 million people receive universal credit, almost double the figure for March.
    To cope with the surge, identity checks were processed online, rather than face-to-face, and information such as the cost of rent and whether someone had been self-employed taken on trust.
    Criminal gangs have attacked several government Covid-19 schemes. In May, officials told BBC News about £1.5bn may already have been lost in fraudulent universal credit payments. Last month, a National Audit Office report found as much as £3bn may have been lost through the furlough scheme

  78. MarkLeigh
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I would like some serious questions from MPs and journalists – and serious answers from the scientists, on the PCR test issue. Many studies and scientists question the use of the test for the purpose currently in use.

    further, the move to the rapid mass testing system implicitly assumes that PCR is at best sub-optimal.

  79. ian@Barkham
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    If you treat Children like Children – they act like Children. There’s a surprise. If you treat Adults as Children they also respond as Children. A Headmaster preaching is still dictating to his congregation as Children.

    It is strange in this New UK, there are still people able to look in the mirror and see the person looking back at them as the person responsible for their life. Its just that the Headmaster doesn’t want you to believe that.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Agree

      And today the Chancellor mentioned the possibility of an extra three quarters of a million unemployed as though it was nothing….just a stat

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Christmas is only a big deal for children.

      Let’s forget it.

      • NickC
        Posted November 25, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Christmas is a big deal for families, not just the children. It’s also rather a big deal for Christians.

  80. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Let me be very clear. I would stop lockdowns tomorrow but know that our media and ruling classes will be back on the “save the NHS” mantea come 2 January.

    So I don’t want 3 households being able to have Christmas together our rulers won’t be able to resist locking us up again in January to counter the rise in infections. I don’t want to give up more of my liberty so some cheeky chappies can spend Christmas with their dear old Mums. Many lives have been ruined this year. Write off Christmas and move into January free.

    None of the above applies if they let us live from now on without threat of more lockdowns and tiers

    • Zorro
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      They will lock you down no matter what…. your acquiescence feeds their power trip.

      Zorro

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      The algorithm will conjure the ‘rate of cases’ as required, so whether we all eat our Turkey together to not, there will be ‘lockdown’ in January.
      That’s the whole point, we were told ‘by the experts’ that 3 weeks lockdown in a March would be the cure. Well?

  81. M Davis
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    There seems to be a problem with peoples avatars!

    • ukretired123
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      +1

  82. XY
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    With the silly Budget coming up tomorrow, any Christmas will be ruined for many people.

    It’s reported that Sunak is considering a “flat rate” of tax relief on pension contributions of 25%. This is difficult to believe.

    Effectively, some people will be taxed to pay for other people’s pensions!!!

    Someone whose earnings are taxed at 20% will get 25% put into their pension, while someone on a higher rate of tax will pay tax that is partially diverted into the 20% people’s pension pots.

    This is absolutely nuts. It’s socialism on steroids, worthy of a Corbyn government. It would lose my vote with absolute 100% certainty.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      yep this government is dire

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Indeed it would be absurd to invest into a pension and get basic tax relief only to pay 40% or 45% on it when you draw the pension.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Dental charges going up by 5%.
      Can one even SEE a dentist?

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted November 25, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        We can have a checkup after missing out for a year but no scale and polish.

        • Fred H
          Posted November 25, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

          hygenist?

      • graham1946
        Posted November 25, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        Yep, been today. Full examination, scale & polish, private of course. Cost me 82 quid including the extra for the Covid PPE. 45 minutes in the chair. Now all in order for 6 months, so in my book a bargain. I’ve never had a NHS dentist so I don’t know what they cost, but the time taken and care given, private for me every time. Some people are not prepared to save a couple of quid a week for dental care, which also includes checks for mouth cancer and glands so that’s their look out. I’d rather save a few quid a week for dental care than blow it on a pint, though I do that sometimes too.

    • anon
      Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      If it works to fool basic rate taxpayers to save for a pension. Given today’s and future returns and annuities. It will likely be a saving for any remaining higher rate taxpayers.

      Plus under a totalitarian government you might be allowed to buy from one shop.

      Take a person with no pension and no savings work out the benefits aged 67 and go figure the pension pot needed to match it.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted November 25, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        Yep. We worked out decades ago that the ‘poorest’ in this country had £400,000 dedicated to providing for them.

  83. Mick Davies
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    On March 19th 2020 covid was downgraded to a disease in the same category as flu.
    Two days later Boris ordered a lockdown.
    This u-turn makes you wonder who is running things in this country.
    The comparison with flu seems correct.

  84. Excalibur
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    It was predicable JR would have trouble with this site. His diary entry entitled ‘politically correct speaking’ was so indelibly accurate, a reaction from the woke mob was inevitable.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      What pathetic, conspiracy-obsessed nonsense.

      It’s just a minor technical matter which will be resolved soon.

  85. Alan Jutson
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Many postings made over the last few days few have been published is there a problem JR.

  86. Lester Cynic Beedell
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Surely it’s a bit late to minimise the damage to business and jobs?
    I would be extremely wary of having an untested vaccine, especially as the drug companies are indemnified against legal action, and there’s no vaccine for SARS, 17 years ago.

  87. L Jones
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    I find it hard to understand why Sir J and others are still speaking about this in a measured and sensible way.
    We need passion and anger from people like him – to shout out FOR us. Not to argue in a quiet, civilised manner against such evil that is being visited upon us by his colleagues.

    • Simon Coleman
      Posted November 26, 2020 at 1:39 am | Permalink

      It certainly is evil…but hardly any MPs can see it. They just see an incompetent gov’t making mistakes under pressure. It’s funny how the removal of the right to protest and the law to allow the security services to ‘legally’ commit unspecified crimes have just been enacted. And now freedom passes are on the cards. The state is bargaining with us for the return of a few of our freedoms – freedoms that we thought we held by right. Mr Redwood and others…wake up before your gov’t creates a police state.

  88. John McDonald
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    The COVID-19 virus will not take a Christmas Holiday.
    The Government got it wrong at the beginning of the year and continues to get it wrong.
    Lets spread the virus further around the country as a Christmas present to all.
    We don’t have to shut everything down just keep in your local Area. If family members are not local then that is a tough call. As I know personally. But with a vaccine in sight is a Merry Christmas for some worth the extra deaths ?
    Also we are not being fair to the other religions who had their holiday celebrations restricted.
    The politicians are no longer leaders and just want to please everyone for their votes.

  89. Iain Gill
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    please tell Boris and his Christmas rules to get stuffed

    as far as I am concerned my dad got medals and shot at for the country, and my grandfather is in a war grave, to stop this kind of absolute nonsense

    no no no

    absolutely no way

  90. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Time for Boris to join the Archbishop on a ‘sabbatical’. Many many years long. Forever in fact.

  91. glen cullen
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Before the government announce the EU/UK Brexit BRINO deal next Tuesday following consensus agreement of the Cabinet, maybe just maybe they should allow Tory MPs to vote on the deal before presenting it to HoCs

  92. a-tracy
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    You can have a child come back from Uni early and then the two other children can come home, but even if all your children are working from home, have been locked up for a month and don’t mix anything like a uni student does they can’t come home, I can’t tell you how absolutely pathetic these government decisions are. What if we all have a covid test and come up negative why can’t we meet? We could all go and get on a plane together and go to Italy or somewhere warm if we are rich enough. You people are just on a power trip if I read any of you especially Piers Morgan have been enjoying a break abroad with all their family I will be fuming.

  93. a-tracy
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    So we’re watching the fabulous bake off filmed in the summer of covid, kisses, Hugs, kissing a spoon others have kissed, mixing in big numbers, no 2m distance but a family can’t carefully mix this Christmas even if they all have a covid test 48 hours before travelling.

    We can go and work in meat factory with 20 others, or a bakery or a supermarket with hundreds of visitors, we can all go in shops from next week, but those that do take care, work from home, get a negative test can’t meet because Nicola Sturgeon, the old guy from Wales and bonkers Boris have decided we can only squash together for five days but you’ve got to exclude family members because you can only have two perfect for the two children households what about the rest? I just can’t believe what I’m reading!

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 25, 2020 at 12:19 am | Permalink

      Neither can I and it’s no wonder people can’t be bothered anymore. It’s so ridiculous that we can’t understand the rules.

  94. Paul Cuthbertson
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Open up the country NOW. We do not need anymore government propaganda.

  95. rb
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    The ONS figures are showing 100 excess deaths a day above normal from non Covid deaths at home.

  96. beresford
    Posted November 24, 2020 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Why are the Government obsessed with ‘substantial meals’? If I go into a pub with five others, order a ‘substantial meal’ and six pints, and then after I have been served give a pint each to my colleagues, are we legal? In Birmingham a number of small pubs have not re-opened since March and will probably now be forced into liquidation. Boris is achieving what the Luftwaffe failed to do, and it looks awfully like the denial of alcoholic beverages to common folk which is part of the Great Reset. If the argument is that people mustn’t be allowed to become rolling drunk for fear of violating Covid restrictions, why not make that the focus and allow publicans to open if they make an individual commitment to restrict the number of drinks served to any individual and turn away anyone who enters already inebriated?

  97. Mike Durrans
    Posted November 25, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I do worry! As most of the “ scientific advisors “ are not suitably qualified to comment. We should not be guided by behavioural and statistical druids!
    It is noticeable that the true medical experts are missing from the fold and in some cases
    the comments of experts in viral illnesses is spurned!

  98. C Flynn
    Posted November 25, 2020 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Rebranding the lockdown as Tiers next week will fool no one and will not increase the likelihood of a Conservative govt in 2024. I will never forget this betrayal of your party’s core values – as demonstrated by an elderly lady being dragged into a police van yesterday outside Westminster, simply for protesting peacefully against the ridiculous lockdown. There is no evidence that lockdown or any non-pharmaceutical interventions have made any difference whatsoever to the trajectory of the virus in any country, with the exception of a couple of very remote locations such as NZ. If you are a Conservative, you should believe in personal responsibility and choice, not a big-state, top-down approach, which is wrecking our economy, destroying our social fabric and systematically removing our most basic civil liberties. Cosmetic tweaks are not enough. The restrictions need to be removed now, not in April. Fund the vulnerable to shield, and allow the rest of society to take their own decisions. My children and grandchildren will be paying the price for the reckless destruction of businesses and jobs by continuing with this total insanity. It is helping no one.

  99. Simon Coleman
    Posted November 26, 2020 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    “…where we all make more of our own decisions based on understanding the messages from the medics and scientists.” We should be making more of our own decisions BECAUSE the messaging and data from the gov’t scientists has been so flawed, unreliable and actually falsified. Both lockdowns have been predicated on data that was wrong by huge margins.

  100. deep strategy
    Posted November 26, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    wreck Christmas, then save it

  • 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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