Taming the virus

Next week I will return to issues over how we handle the virus that I have often raised before. I welcome the arrival of two vaccines which will be widely taken up by those who want protection. The UK has been first of the advanced countries to license these products and to start vaccinating people. The scientific advisers have always seen this as the way out of lockdown, so the sooner a lot of people are vaccinated the sooner presumably they will be satisfied,

Meanwhile there are other things that could help us live with the virus, as we have to do with a number of potential killer diseases without locking down society.

1, Air extraction. Where have the government got to in improving air extraction at their own buildings including hospitals to ensure rapid removal of potentially contaminated air?

2. Where are the grant and advice schemes to allow private sector businesses from shops to restaurants to improve their air extraction and make their venues safer?

3. Air and surfaces purification. Where have they reached in using powerful UV cleaners (in safe spaces) to clean up recycled air and to decontaminate surfaces?

4. Other treatments. After the initial break through with a steroid we were promised test results for a range of other possible treatments. Where have they got to with those?

5. Isolation hospitals. Why are they not using the Nightingales as specialist isolation CV 19 units to cut numbers going to District General hospitals and to allow more hospitals to be CV 19 free? Cross infection is still an issue.

6. Staffing. Why do they not do 5 above to cut numbers of staff away from work because they have CV 19 or may have been in contact with it?

7. When will they cut through the barriers to the return of retired staff who are qualified to help them?

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  1. Stephen Priest
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Hospitals In Britain Stretched to Capacity?

    Every year NHS hospitals are stretched to capacity, and they keep reducing the number of beds. A claimed bed shortage is now the government’s justification for tyranny. – Tony Heller on NEWTUBE APP TonyHeller

    • Simeon
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Stepen, thank you for your contributions.

      • Hope
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        JR, Could you confirm only 338 people under 60 without having disclosed underlying health issues have died.

        The whole economy and way of life being wrecked for this!! Thank god none of the ministers are generals they would never go into battle!!

        Why are the schools shutting when most parents will be under 55 years? This crazy wharped Nut job of a Govt needs to change course ASAP.

        Oust Johnson next week, it will help. Chinese virus and rid us of the Surrender agreement. Use the year to properly get out of the EU!

        • Iain gill
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          A lot of parents are over 55, a failure large number these days.

          • Iain gill
            Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

            But schools should not be shutting. It’s just lefty unions agitating.

          • Great Reset
            Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

            John, the Davos crows have been looking for an excuse for decades to crash civilization and destroy the planet. Are you with us or them?

        • James Bertram
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

          The figures show that 1,979 previously healthy people died in hospitals in England after testing positive for Covid-19 between April 2 and December 23. Just 338 of these people were aged 40 to 59, with another 44 aged between 20 and 39, and just six under the age of 19, according to the data

          • Hope
            Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

            So a very small proportion of the population then?

            JR, why is the Great Barrington Declaration not being followed? Target those over 60 and those with underlying health issues. The rest carry on. Yes, they be feel unwell for a few days, by that is common in winter.

        • NickC
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          Hope, Indeed it is appalling that the whole economy and our way of life, and the health prospects of the majority, are being wrecked for a disease, nasty though it may be, which affects so few healthy people under the age of 60. It is now clear that national lockdowns are worse than the disease. And if it is possible to lock down the entire country, it’s certainly practical to lock down the vulnerable instead.

          Of course the advocates of wholesale authoritarian lockdowns have zero responsibility for the health and economic wellbeing of the majority, they just hide behind a faux concern for every single life, even of those teetering on the edge of death without covid19, who they never cared about before. Many are the same who cheered the deaths of elderly Brexit voters. Nor have they expressed any concern about the Liverpool pathway. They are hypocrites, and irresponsible with it.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          And what age will many grandparents be?

          Especially relevant given how many grandparents play more of a role in child care these days.

          • a-tracy
            Posted January 4, 2021 at 10:03 am | Permalink

            Wouldn’t it an idea for the Country to provide parents with free after school childcare for those who would normally use grandparents for this care? To shield at risk grandparents but open up the Country.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Everything is run on quasi-commercial lines according to Tory – to Tufton Street – doctrine.

      There is no profit in maintaining contingency, rather, it is a burden to be shed, like selling off snow ploughs.

      And who are this “they” to whom John repeatedly refers?

      If the UK had a ministry for public protection and for emergencies then it would be their offices, but no such thing exists here, again owing to the said doctrine.

      The US, from where it was imported, is in the same utter shambles too.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        If you ran the NHS would you have a spare contingency of empty hospitals in every city fully staffed left permanently on stand by for a once in a lifetime extraordinary occurrence.
        It would costi tens of billions a year?
        Or would you use the money to save lives elsewhere?
        Imagine you made the decisions.

        • Hope
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

          Test and track not used at airports. Millions allowed to fly in over the last 10 months without any checks whatsoever. Voluntary test or isolation only! Compare against restrictions over the last year. Johnson and Handcock have gone mad can be the only reasonable conclusion.

          • a-tracy
            Posted January 4, 2021 at 10:05 am | Permalink

            Hancock needs to be asked WHY is he allowing people to travel here without a negative covid test?

            Pakistan are insisting Brits are quarantined for 14 days, let’s insist on the same.

          • Robert McDonald
            Posted January 4, 2021 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

            It is questionable whether test and track is the solution to any pandemic, firstly it relies on accurate testing before contamination spread, and more relevantly it relies on people being truthful about their contact details. There are so many conspiracy theorists out there that I am sure the number of Mickey Mouses living in the UK is enormous.

      • SM
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        I was on a number of local health committees when 2 replacement hospitals were being built in our area in Greater London at the turn of the century. I can assure you that it was the senior medical staff who were insisting that the hospitals needed more day-bed care and far less overnight provision. They were proved wrong fairly quickly.

        Under the Blair administration, one mental health hospital was closed and one was severely reduced, as the emphasis shifted to Care in the Community – that didn’t work too well either.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        There is no profit in maintaining contingency, rather, it is a burden to be shed, like selling off snow ploughs.

        Yet we have a truly massive – and massively expensive – public sector. If it were not so massive they would not need to take so much money off us by way of:

        Income tax, National Insurance, Council Tax, VAT, Duties on fuel, car tax, tax on savings interest, parking charges, duties on alcohol and cigarettes, taxes on flying, land fill taxes, taxes on dividends, stamp duty, inheritance tax, TV Licence and a whole raft of other charges and taxes.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

          +1. Need to be reversed bigtime.

      • Richard1
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        What a ridiculous post. We have the most socialised health system in the developed world. (But very far from the best).

      • NickC
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Martin, The NHS is not managed by the politicians (ie the Health Secretary), it is managed by NHS management.

        And indeed NHS management is not fit for purpose. I know people who have worked both in NHS management and in the clinical side of the NHS. Whilst government is widely condemned for idiot “initiatives”, NHS management is a byword for profligacy, inefficiency and incompetence.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 4, 2021 at 8:18 am | Permalink

          Indeed they have little or no incentives to manage things well. Almost not competition as they kill it by being “free” at the point of use. No real freedom of choice for “customers”.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Indeed we just have fairly normal winter deaths and normal winter occupancy. isolate then Vaccinate the vulnerable (circa 15 million asap & men at a slightly lower age than women) take your vitamin D and get everyone back to work. Stop the pointless PCR testing of healthy people.

      • NickC
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        LL, Genuine question – where did you get those figures from? I had understood the current winter deaths were running (very) slightly above normal when the “involving covid19 deaths” were included?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 4, 2021 at 8:03 am | Permalink

          Very slightly abovc the 5 year average currently but we have a larger population and the last five years have been fairly low in historical terms. Also much of the non covid NHS has been shut.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Actually below normal for this time of year on the figures I have seen.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Imagine the boss of a supermarket coming on the radio complaining about the large number of extra customers, not enough stores, managers or staff to order and sell food.

      • Iain gill
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 2:00 pm | Permalink


      • Qubus
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but the more customers the supermarket has, the more it sells and the more profit it makes. I think with the NHS it is the other way round.

      • NickC
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Sir Joe, Our local hospital shut for non-covid19 patients because of less than 100 covid cases. You couldn’t make it up.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        You have perfectly described an outcome of socialism.
        Too many customers is a huge crisis for the NHS.
        We are a nuisance for them.

  2. Mark B
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    You cannot ‘tame’ a virus, it is not a wild animal.

    The virus has moved from pandemic to endemic much like the flu or the common cold. It is with us and we shall just have to learn to live with it.

    I would imagine that there will be some changes from now on. There will be virus passports where, if you do not have your regular annual vaccinations, you will be denied all services and perhaps even a job. I nice money spinner for the drug companies 😉

    For all the hype this virus is no worse than the flu. The saddest thing of all is, so many people have been taken in by this and are willing to do, and accept, anything to save themselves. The power of fear.

    I intend to live as much as I have lived before. I am not frightened and do not believe the endless propaganda. The government never much had my trust and what little there may have been has long since gone.

    There are rumours about a Great Reset. After the shenanigans of our membership of the EEC / EU where, politicians were advised not to let the general public know who really is running things, one has to sit up and take note.

    • PeteS
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Wrong, ‘no worse than the flu’. The flu does not cause the thickening of the blood and all that organ damage

      • Caterpillar
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:15 am | Permalink


        I don’t think flu should be downplayed, there have been plenty of times in history where it has been devastating (though economies have not been intentionally closed in response). There is even genuine concern now that the lack of international flights limiting the spread of flu this year will mean (i) low infection rates of future killers are not picked up, so the coming year(s) flu vaccinations will not be appropriate and (ii) some flu viruses will die out leaving evolutionary space for future more virulent strains (in future vulnerable populations)

        The national and international responses to Covid19 are affecting different virus types in different ways, the impact of this is varied (good and bad effects) and some unknown.

      • James Bertram
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        The flu is serious to the young and old alike, unlike CV-19. It can be argued that flu is the more serious illness. In 2017/18 there were 50,000 excess flu deaths; no lockdown. A proportionate perspective needed, Pete.

        • Robert McDonald
          Posted January 4, 2021 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          But the Flu vaccine is routinely now given to the vulnerable, including me .. so the Flu is therefore currently being controlled.

    • Chris Dark
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      This I fully agree with and there are many people out there with similar thoughts. Someone wrote on a forum this morning that covid has turned fear into a virtue. People who are scared consider themselves superior beings, whilst looking down their noses at those of us who can see through the scam. They are leading us to a very dark place.

    • Timaction
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Lots of conspiracy theories. Why are the true statistics hidden from us? This is a virus that impacts the elderly (70 plus) and those with underlying conditions. At some point the “woke” have said it targets minorities. Does it? Is it behaviours or living conditions? What ever the truth the msm have been awful at holding the Government to account. Isn’t it time to shield the known vulnerable and let the rest get on with their lives and businesses with sensible and limited restrictions. We need our economy and businesses to function. If three lockdowns haven’t worked, why should another? Einstein’s definition of madness applies ad infinitum.

      • BeebTax
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Agree 100%. It’s also disappointing that so many people (we are told) buy into the government and msm’s Scaremongering, pro authoritarian propaganda. And that most, if not all MPs toe the line.

        • Nig l
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          And your contribution and expertise. I suspect minimal in both cases.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

          They know their sheeple!
          The sheeple have been bought.
          And will soon be sold for slaughter.

        • Richard416
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

          Maybe it’s not so many that buy into the fearmongering. Maybe that is only what the legacy media say.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          Mostly it’s in their interest, 100% pay and no or minimal work. All these nurses wiping their brow and being rewarded with lower prices from houses to supermarkets.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        I was amazed they supposedly had the statistics so quickly to report minorities (I’m not sure if that includes the thousands that have arrived on our southern shores in dinghies all last year) were being targeted by the virus in spite of being unable or unwilling even now 10 months later to give statistics for untreated cancer patients, heart patients & other conditions.

    • Simeon
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      The subtext of all that you say is horrifying, and yet you come across so equably. This is absolutely a compliment. Some people will listen to what you say, and the scale of the problem will slowly dawn on them. Others will respond to a less subtle approach. The message needs to be conveyed as broadly and diversely as possible.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        Life is full of choices, and with each choice comes consequences. We must FREE to choose in order to learn from our mistakes. History teaches us many things and, one thing I have learned from history, is that governments or persons that have too much power of you are dangerous. Think Communism ? Think Fascism ? Think Monarchy ?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          Dead people are not free at all in this world.

          Why should some people’s’ claims to their selfish freedom be allowed to deny others life itself?

      • Simeon
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

        My ‘main’ post from this morning is still held up. I guess it’s my turn again… 😉

    • Everhopeful
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Maybe Trump, Brexit and the general rise of what they call populism ( aka self respect and nationalism) meant that all the globalist chickens came home to roost. Trump and Brexit possibly not MEANT to happen but we strained too hard at the leash and broke it. (The extending leash, always used to make us feel free).Hence the ridiculous charade we have seen since 2016.
      Over-egg a flu virus and beat the people back into submission and then we accelerate the plan!

      • Nig l
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Your tinfoil hat is obviously not working.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

          Maybe you should get one?
          You are obviously susceptible to brainwashing.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        Agreed. 2016 was the year of the ‘Little People’. There was no way 2020 was going to go the same way.

        Funny how the fall of President Trump and the completion of Soft-BREXIT have coincided 😉

        • Everhopeful
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

          Exactly so!

    • beresford
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      For all the muttering about uprisings, I fear the British public are too subservient to join a mass opposition to the Establishment. The demonstrations that have occurred have been put down by the police and our judiciary have blocked legal challenges. Our salvation may come from without, from more active citizens like the French or Americans. In Germany there is apparently a human rights case against the Government and the Portuguese appeals court has ruled that quarantine of healthy people is illegal.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Our major weapon has been the ballot box. That is why I believe they took it away last year. This year will be pivotal. I hope Mr. Corbyn Snr. does well.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Mark B

  3. Ian Wilson
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    I must acknowledge that I have probably been wrong in believing the views of certain minority scientists and hence underestimating the seriousness of the virus, although undoubtedly bad mistakes have been made by government advisers, as you imply by your excellent questions.

    Nevertheless my scepticism, and on reading the Diary I am far from alone, arises from the unscientific hysteria governments of all parties have inflicted on us for some 30 years over climate, leading us to treat with great caution what “the science” and computer models supposedly tell us.

    • Nig l
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Oh yes David Attenborough is really suspicious.

      • ian@Barkham
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        Very, reading a script with out getting real evidence first.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          Seems to be losing his marbles. Climate fanatics using him to whip up the hysteria. Sad.

      • Timaction
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        Nice man. Not a scientist with a proven education on the subject. Many real experts ignored by the Government and msm.

    • Simeon
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      So what changed your mind?

      • James Bertram
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        I guess it’s due to the recent noise of rising cases and deaths, and overwhelmed hospitals? – I’ve found the unrelenting emotional propaganda can easily sway dispassionate logic even amongst those of us who’ve done due research and have noted how cases and deaths are heavily manipulated, and that ICU occupancy is the same as last year (it is staffing shortage, bed reduction and closure of hospitals/wards that is the problem – i.e. NHS planning incompetence).
        Reading the Lockdown Sceptics website regularly is a good antidote to such sentiment, Ian.

        • Simeon
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps, but after so long, why now? I don’t get the sense media-driven hysteria is greater than it initially was last Spring. Since then, there has been ample opportunity to recognise the absurdity of the situation.

      • Ian Wilson
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        Simeon – my reply somehow went into the general list of responses – perhaps my fumble factor! See my post much further down. I am still suspicious of much of what we are told by government scientists and the supposed value of lockdowns, which conceivably make matters worse, but it is outside my field and I remain open-minded.

        • Simeon
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

          I noticed it and wondered whether it was a reply. I think the difficulty Yeadon and others have is that they are working with trash data. I think with all these numbers it could be difficult to see the wood for the trees, even if the numbers could be trusted.

          I think it’s clear that the present crisis is not due to the virus itself. If it were genuinely serious, we would know about it from firsthand experience*, or from people we personally knew. But we don’t. Rather, it’s through the media coverage, whether MSM or otherwise. If it were genuinely serious, the government approach would be very different – and not just because they wouldn’t need to coerce people, because people would be taking measures to protect themselves. And the behaviour of individual politicians would be very different. Many of their actions – the ones not intended for public consumption – betray their real view that the virus is not genuinely serious.

          Given the utterly disproportionate response, I’d say you’re right to be suspicious of government scientists, and anyone else connected with the government. I would be doing you a gross disservice if I were to suggest anything other than that you should cultivate that suspicion as a spur to continued critical thinking

          Finally, the awful effects of the response to the virus are all-too observable and verifiable, even if much of the population have thus far been insulated from their effects. It would be a virus many orders of magnitude more serious that would begin to justify these actions.

          * I am not of course denying that people haven’t died as a consequence of contracting Covid. However, the numbers that have are tiny, and massively skewed towards the older demographic. All life is of course precious, whether you are nearer the end or nearer the beginning. Those advocating or supporting the onerous restrictions would do well to remember that themselves, whilst holding in mind that life is nothing if you do nothing with it.

          Reply This site offers you the opportunity to make a brief reply to my posts. This is long and repetitious. I will start deleting More of your contributions if you regard the site’s main purpose is to publish your long postings.

          • Simeon
            Posted January 4, 2021 at 8:24 am | Permalink

            Reply to reply

            I wasn’t complaining, merely observing.

            As a long-time reader of this site, I have noticed that there are plenty of posters that post at length, and plenty that are repetitious – often at the same time. To be sure, this might be ascribed to certain of us having particular hobby horses, but I would suggest that it also has something to do with your diary entries which, perhaps necessarily, return to previous issues.

            The main purpose of this site is, as I understand it, to allow you to communicate with voters, that you and they might better understand each other’s position. Personally, I see my purpose as to try and hold you to account, and, in your defense, you often allow yourself to be so held. That said, on some – certainly not all – occasions when I have engaged with the specifics of your post – with yesterday being an example – I have noticed that such posts either take a long time to appear, or even disappear. Again, I’m not complaining, but I may have to rethink my approach.

    • oldtimer
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      The late Prof Feynman pointed out that “the laws of science” were best guesses until they were replaced by a better guess. That remains as true today as when he said it many decades ago. We are bombarded on all fronts by “experts” who claim to be the sole fount of wisdom on some (usually) narrow subject which is then used to curtail or direct the behaviour of us all. The “evil carbon dioxide” scam has been promoted for thirty years, successfully brainwashing many people. Yet the proposed “remedy” to ban ICEs and replace them with BEVs makes the CO2 “problem” worse. As Volvo, who make both, has pointed out its BEV requires 1.5x more CO2 to make than its ICE car. If the alarmists are to be believed we shall all be fried alive in the mad rush to convert to BEVS.

      • Nig l
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        CO 2 no scam, science goes well back and temperatures are increasing. You deniers are the scammers.

        • NickC
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          Nig1, The bulk of the IR absorption and re-radiation spectrum is covered by water vapour. Even the CAGW believers can’t do anything about that, given that the planet’s surface is two thirds water. CO2 absorbs only in a few very narrow bands, principally at 15um. The extra CO2 and the slight warming (not causally linked) have been completely beneficial.

          • hefner
            Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

            Hi NickC, do you know how the distribution of the IR emission-absorption by water vapour and CO2 happens to show up on the vertical, for example what it is at the surface, or somewhere mid-troposphere 500hPa, or around the tropical, mid-latitude, polar atmosphere’ tropopause, or in the stratosphere at say 50, 30, 10 hPa.
            Questions: at what heights do you think H2O emission/absorption dominates, are there some heights where H2O and CO2 absorption might be similar, and some others where CO2 absorption might dominate? Will that be at heights where the vertical temperature gradient is positive or negative? If there are heights at which CO2 emission/absorption might dominate could such a feature have an impact on potential change in temperature (aka greenhouse effect aka climate change)?
            How do you think all these things might change with latitude? And with wavelength?
            A lot of captivating questions, aren’t there?

          • NickC
            Posted January 4, 2021 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

            Hefner, CO2 absorption is only about 8% of IR radiation, but is (re) emitted over the full black body radiation spectrum. All atmospheric gases, including water vapour, emit BB IR. The three very narrow bands of IR absorption (at 2.7, 4.3 , 15 um) by CO2 molecules is unaffected by height. The only consequence is an increase in the heat saturation distance. Increasing CO2 simply reduces that again. Neither is relevant at 500mb and above due to atmospheric mixing and the short distances involved (10m – 1000m) to saturation. So the heat retention capacity of the atmosphere remains the same after, for example, doubling CO2, except for at most about the last 1000m on the fringes of space – where there is next to no heat retention anyway.

          • hefner
            Posted January 5, 2021 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

            Just to make sure I start from the same base as yours:
            The CO2 band at 2.7 um is in the near-infrared part of the solar spectrum (that goes roughly from 0.15 to 4 um). It contributes to atmospheric heating by absorption of solar radiation.
            The black body radiation at surface temperatures characteristic of the Earth is in terms of wavelength between about 4 and 100um (Planck’s function). So the 4.3 um band of CO2 is neither here for absorption of solar radiation nor much there for absorption/emission of longwave (terrestrial) radiation.

            The 15um band of CO2 is on the contrary in or near the maximum of the black body function at temperatures representative of the Earth surface and atmosphere. Then it is not that narrow with its effect felt between 13 and 18um with maximum absorption at 15um. That’s the reason why, since the end of 1978, US NOAA has been flying Operational Vertical Sounders onboard its satellites (first TOVS, then ATOVS A for advanced, then … right now since 2002 AIRS, and more recently IASI on ESA/EumetSat satellites).
            All of these instruments rely on the same principle: by measuring radiances at satellite heights in narrow channels within the CO2 emission/absorption band at different wavelengths (from 15um where absorption is very strong and radiance coming from ‘short’ distance to 13.5um where absorption is much weaker and radiance coming from much lower down in the atmosphere), temperature profiles (from 10hPa down to the surface) can be obtained based on temperature retrieved at different levels corresponding to the maximum of emission/absorption at the characteristic wavelength of the channel.
            Such a retrieval method (inversion of matrix linking radiances to temperatures, with proper account of the effect of water vapour originally obtained from radiosoundings, now operationally obtained from microwave measurements) has been carried out everyday from the end of the 1970s.

            And this is one proof among others that your view of CO2 might not be, how to say it politely, adequate.
            BTW the above has nothing to do with climate studies, much more with spectroscopy, engineering and meteorology.

          • hefner
            Posted January 7, 2021 at 9:49 am | Permalink

            I hope that Sir John will allow my longish post in response to yours to appear.

            If not, I would also hope you might be able to figure out that the heat retention approach is supposed to relate to how fast some electrons go up and down the orbits around the atoms, ie between energy levels, ie between emission and absorption, which quantum mechanics tell can occur almost instantaneously.

            Which means that such heat retention approach is as valid to atmospheric physics as the anal retention problem you might suffer from.

        • czerwonadupa
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          Who caused the last global warming that resulted in the Ice Age retreating? Neanderthals?

          • steve
            Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

            Neanderthals did not survive the ice age. (except in small regional pockets of what is now the UK)

          • Fred H
            Posted January 4, 2021 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

            I think S.Wales has the odd specimen.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      The virus is serious but is only deadly to a small minority of the population. As President Trump observed, “The cure cannot be worse than the disease.”

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        In so far as he was seen as a “cure” by his followers, he has proven that that can indeed happen at least.

  4. Stephen Priest
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    PETER HITCHENS: Guess where Professor Lockdown got his ideas … China’s police state


    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Thank you for this link Stephen.

    • forthurst
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      There have been pictures in the press of the Chinese, en masse, celebrating the occidental new year.

  5. Cheshire Girl
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Its my understanding that they have not used the Nightingale Hospitals yet, because they dont have enough people to staff them.

    You make a good point with No. 7. This is where all this ‘diversity’ etc. nonsense has got us. Throw all of it out!

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      They increase the population by half a million annually and reduce the number of beds the quelle surprised we’re overwhelmed.
      Same with the schools and other public services.
      They think we’re stupid but we aren’t.

      • Iain gill
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:25 am | Permalink


        Worse they allow people to fly in on crowded planes from virus hotspots, on a work visa for which there is no shortage of skills, they can rent a room in my mothers house, and interact with her, no bother with a quarantine cos nobody is monitoring, while if I go to see my mother, or congregate outside in a group of four I get arrested.

        Madness sheer madness.

        • SM
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          Sorry Iain, but a young S African friend who is a fully-qualified physiotherapist did indeed get a UK work visa two months ago and flew to an assured post in England from Johannesburg, BUT she had to go into quarantine for 2 weeks before she could start work.

          • Iain Gill
            Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

            nobody is monitoring the quarantine like they are for arrivals in other countries…

          • czerwonadupa
            Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

            My cousin’s son flew in from Thailand, was asked if he felt ok & on replying yes was handed back his passport with the border guard shouting out, “next”

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        They think we’re stupid but we aren’t.

        On the contrary. Most people are stupid and accept without question what they are told by the government and what they read, amplified by hysterical headlines, in the media.

        • Simeon
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          Most people, including, and usually especially, politicians. Traditionally, I have had a very low view of politicians, and an even lower view of ‘journalists’. These days, they are often in essence, or even literally, one and the same. There seems little need for me to make a distinction these days.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        They KNOW that plenty of you are.


    • Timaction
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      They’ve had 10.5 years to rid themselves of this woke/pc world where health and safety, minority priority rules, selection of the “wokest/pc” candidates in all of our health, police, public services, quangos, civil serpents etc. The fact is there are no longer any conservatives left in the Tory Party or anyone willing to do anything about it and we are all suffering the consequences (BLM/ER) as no one in those organisations had better shout they have no clothes as they will be sacked or marginalised. Climate change, unknown privilege training anyone?

      • Iain gill
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Yep. We have senior public sector people on twitter proudly showing Stalinist credentials.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Early on, when Nightingales were first being planned and constructed, there was coverage in the press about the criteria for entry to them. From memory, elderly people were not to be admitted, nor those who may require more than 2 or 3 days on a ventilator (ventilators were thought to be helpful at that time). Therefore, I would suggest that what happened was that anyone in need of treatment for the virus was barred from entry.

    • Nig l
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Presumably you are not someone affected by lack of opportunity through diversity, racial intolerance, stereo typing etc.

      Sounds like you could do with some awareness training.

      • NickC
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        Nig1, When India (now India+Pakistan+Bangladesh) recovered its independence from the British Empire in 1947, all the British – even families settled in India for up to five generations, doing ordinary jobs such as catering management – were made unwelcome. A few did stay, mostly retired, but most left.

        Can you tell me why the same principle should not apply to the native English in England? And why the people of India were admired for their determination to be free of foreign interference, but the English must be castigated for “racial intolerance”? Doesn’t self-determination apply to the English?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted January 4, 2021 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

          At the height of the Raj, there were 1,000 British people in India.

  6. SM
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Re item 7: surely you, Sir John, are in a prime position to ask senior NHS management for the truth about the alleged bureaucratic impediments to recruiting retired staff to assist in this crisis?

    Are the allegations true, or is it just a case of one over-enthusiastic or silly NHS clerk getting his/her knickers in a twist?

    And if the allegations are true, since the vaccine-producing companies have been indemnified from legal proceedings in the case of future problems, why can’t the same indemnity be given – temporarily – to retired medics assisting in the short term?

    • Timaction
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      You obviously haven’t worked in or with these modern day loonies. Of course it’s true. That’s why they are so bloated and more staff in the backroom then frontline, spending most of their time finding work for the frontline whilst they go on- line reading the Guardian or Mirror.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      The 21 pieces of bureaucracy someone has to provide to be accepted to do vaccinations is no more than what is required of all nurses.
      It’s not so much the bureaucracy of the NHS and more to do with the number of people in this country who will seek to play the race, sex, disability cards to confect a claim, with the prospect of a payout.

      • Nig l
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:48 pm | Permalink


        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

          Surely you ‘need some awareness training’?

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        So why have retired doctors & nurses having jumped through all the hoops then been offered jobs on the telephone switchboard or in the hospital car park? With the result they said, “Thank you but no thanks” & returned home.

    • SM
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      I have now read (at 2nd hand) that the Health Secretary has ordered his officials to streamline the recruitment of retired medical staff.

  7. Iain Gill
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    there are multiple videos on youtube of how Taiwan is handling this, they are way better than we are.

    obvious things are massively different, like how the handle incoming passenger flights.

    we really should be sitting down and studying those videos and learning with some humility.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      My football team has cancelled matches because of Covid infections amongst the players, yet elite sportspersons are exempt from having to quarantine when flying into the country.
      The government tells us we should presume that anyone is infected – they don’t.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      There is no point imposing severe restrictions on society, as if it were a self-contained controlled environment, when others can come and go at will bringing in new strains from outside.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:09 pm | Permalink


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely Iain.

  8. Sea_Warrior
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Some good questions. Here’s an eighth: if schools aren’t going back then shouldn’t universities be told to stay shut as well? My suspicion is that irresponsible university students will have been behind the spread of much of this awful third wave (which will be peaking in a week’s time, following the government’s incomprehensible decision to relax restrictions for Christmas).
    P.S. We need a big clear-out of the dead-wood in Cabinet. A third of them just aren’t up to much. The biggest failing? A lack of imagination.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      dont blame the public.

      lots of the cases are cross contamination of people catching the virus while on NHS premises.

      lots of cases continue to come in on incoming flights from virus hotspots around the world (who the government have failed to take sensible precautions about) and spread it allover the country

      if there is any blame to be allocated it should be the senior layers of the public sector, and the consultancies they have hired, who have made so many obvious mistakes in handling this whole thing

      • Nig l
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        And of course nothing to do with the people who have ignored social distancing, hygiene protocols etc.

        I am expecting a senior layer to float through my letter box and infect me, any minute.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Are you really the stuff that warriors are made of?

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        Having fought in four wars for my country, yes. And I’m bright enough to see that we’re in one now.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

          But you seem rather worried by this so called virus.
          Have you stopped to think what our immune systems will be like when we are finally ( if ever) allowed to emerge?
          We will go down like flies with every germ available!

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

          Yep. This is the hundred year war. Last phase I hope.

      • Mike Durrans
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        Doesn’t sound like it to me, RN/RM were always told get it done whatever way.

        • Sea_Warrior
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          A rather dumb comment.

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Perhaps Universities should go back two weeks late and finish two weeks late, they don’t have to stop at the beginning of June, just move the working weeks.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Students are still being taught on campus where it is essential to do so – eg. in a clinical or lab setting, and being assessed on campus where professional bodies require a degree of robustness. Most of the the students I refer to are attending clinics and treating real patients as part of their training, so in an NHS environment most days. Otherwise, libraries and study areas are Covid-safe.

    • Stred
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      The infection rate is still high in universities. One of my wife’s students went home for a family Christmas and the whole family has just gone down with it. His girlfriend is quite ill. Older parents are hoping for the best. Some students were tested but used public transport.

  9. Andy
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Nothing demonstrates the uselessness of this Brexit government more than its inept Covid response. Covid has clearly posed major problems for even the most competent of governments – and yet it is clear that we have, overall, has just about the worst response of any – aside from the US.

    We now have the vaccination strategy wrong too.

    Why are we vaccinating elderly economic inactive people first? 80 year olds are not going to get our economy moving. Our strategy should have been to vaccinate teachers and all key workers first. Then those who work in hospitality to allow our economy to reopen quickly.

    Instead we have done 1m vaccinations on people who are mostly going to stay at home anyway. Totally muddled thinking.

    • Wonky Moral Compass
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      It’s not all about the economy, stupid.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        But you say that it very much is when lockdowns, wearing masks and social distancing are needed.

        • NickC
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          Martin, It is about the economy as well. And as well as the health treatment of the majority.

        • czerwonadupa
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

          The people he mentions aren’t in a vulnerable group. But you can be sure the BBC would highlight the one child or youngster or teacher in 100,000 who died to criticize the action taken.
          You are the first to criticize whatever action the government takes & calling it a Brexit government rather than the Freedom Government that took the country down the Long Road to Freedom like Mandela did for Africans shows his & your prejudices.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted January 4, 2021 at 2:16 pm | Permalink


    • Iain Gill
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      dont really matter much who the politicians would have been, the reality is the senior layers of the public sector advising the government have shown themselves to be seriously low quality

      • Mike Durrans
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 4:13 pm | Permalink


      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        +1 but that does not let the politicians off the hook. They should know whose brain to pick and to assess the facts. It is they who have to decide action. By abdicating to SAGE Boris has abdicated, he is ‘absent’ and should go.

    • Nig l
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Using the Word Brexit just proves your obsession. If you had a more worldly mature understanding you would realise that the inefficiencies in your beloved public sector are endemic tolerated over decades.

      It is only when something ‘big’ occurs that these weaknesses become more obvious.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        I think that Andy is correct to remind people that the Government’s paramount concern has been to deliver some kind of post-exit arrangements with the European Union which somehow provide a pretext for the Tory party not to split, way beyond saving lives from covid19.

        And it shows.

        In the US is was Trump’s endless inflammation of a culture war aimed at securing his re-election, which has, to great joy across the world, failed.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

          What an odd post.
          You swivel from Brexit to Covid in one sentence.
          And then you seek to blame Trump for BLM Antifa rioting.

          You’ve been reading Orwell over Christmas haven’t you Martin.

        • Lester Cynic Beedell
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

          You’re getting ahead of yourself… it hasn’t failed!

        • NickC
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          Whilst it may not eventually dawn on you and Andy, Martin, it will become appreciated by most people that the lock down “cure” is worse than the covid19 disease.

          I know no-one who has died of covid19, but I do know someone who died of the lockdown because covid had priority over his cancer. This is now common. It is a scandal, which you may try to suppress, but the numbers will tell. And the culprits are the lockdown fanatics you admire in politics and the media.

        • steve
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:51 pm | Permalink


          “I think that Andy is correct….”

          Well yes his underling would think that.

    • Sea_Warrior
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      What is the primary health benefit of the Pfizer vaccine? It is to stop people DYING. I don’t believe that it stops the infection spreading. So vaccinating the groups most at risk from DYING makes sense. Included in that group are six of my aunties and uncles who have been largely housebound since March. When they don’t go out, they don’t spend much, which Mr Sunak will have noticed.
      Should front-line health workers get jabbed as quickly as possible? Yes – but to stop them DYING rather than to keep them at work.
      P.S. Try and go at least a day without mentioning Brexit, would you? You really have become rather boring on the issue.

      • BeebTax
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        The vaccines don’t stop you catching or spreading the disease. They are supposed to reduce the severity of the symptoms. But then so is taking a mixture of vitamin D, C and zinc…so if you’re really worried then your vulnerable relatives could take this until they are vaccinated. It’s shameful the government won’t publicise the readily available alternatives to big pharma.

        • SecretPeople
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          I’ve read you may be required to self-isolate for around a month having been administered the vaccine; during the intervening period it is thought you can still pass the virus on. And even with 95% efficacy there is still that 5% chance it won’t work.. So, I’m not sure what it changes, ultimately.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:39 am | Permalink


      In a developed society everyone is a key worker, but no-one thinks of supermarket workers, transport staff, electricity, gas and water suppliers, plumbers, electricians, lorry drivers, etc etc. that is until they get a problem with supply !

      No, the only ones ever though of as key workers are those employed by the state, a very big mistake.

      • Andy
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        Erm, all of the types of people you mention are key workers – and many of them don’t work for the state.

        Incidentally, your government includes an extra category in its definition of key workers. The hordes of bureaucrats working on your Brexit.

        • Robert Mcdonald
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:29 am | Permalink

          Oh I do enjoy your frequent contributions on here, I don’t get cartoon comics anymore. Hordes of bureaucrats are the very foundation of your eurocracy, and your first paragraph does prove you don’t really read the comments you knee jerk anger to.

        • Fred H
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          Not your Government? Did you finally take up the freedom of movement and bugger off?

    • Richard1
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      The response has not been great but no worse than most of Europe and better than some. There appears to be no correlation between degree of lock-down and results.

      The worst hit European country is Belgium. No doubt there are all sorts of reasons – existing immunity etc – why many Asian countries have been much less hard hit, including some like Japan which have had little if any lock-down.

      • Richard1
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        Old people are being vaccinated first because they are more vulnerable.

      • Andy
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        Both China and New Zealand had very strict lockdowns. Both have no Covid.

        We locked down far too late. The US barely locked down at all. And what happened? Oh look – Boris and Donnie. The worst in the world.

        • a-tracy
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:06 am | Permalink

          Italy overtook us and is still ahead of us with deaths and this is with us testing so many more and putting everyone that had a positive test in the previous month down as a covid related death, there are also far more deaths in the EU than in the USA.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:37 am | Permalink

          Yet we locked down at a similar time to most EU nations.

          France has had a very similar number of case to us, for example.

        • rose
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:49 am | Permalink

          Trump was the first in the world to stop flights to and from China. He did this in February and got called a racist for it. You were probably one of those people.

        • SM
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          Actually, NZ Health Ministry has today reported 19 new cases of infection.

        • Barbara
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

          Peru had one of the strictest lockdowns in the world. Cases continued to rocket.

        • Richard1
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

          Peru had a strict lockdown and has been badly hit. Japan had no lockdown and has not been. Within the US (where in any case it is the states not the federal govt which decide) the two states with the hardest lockdowns, New York and California, have been the two hardest hit.

          Anyone looking objectively at the facts – which obviously doesn’t include you – would struggle to find any correlation between lockdown and results.

        • Fred H
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

          NONSENSE ….China openly admit they found cases in a latest test survey in Wuhan.

      • rose
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Belgium has the same masochistic method of counting deaths associated with the Wuhan virus as we have. Very different from the German method which is to record pneumonia or heart failure as the cause of death if they were.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          When the Germans are more honest than we are …. !

    • Timaction
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      …………….because those over 80’s are the ones who are dying or do you believe in euthanasia if its your parents or grandparents?

      • Mike Durrans
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        Always easy to be wise afterwards

    • agricola
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Even our government do not believe in your policy of killing off the elderly.

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Given the apparent reluctance to cancel Mother’s Day, I’m not so sure!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Well…that’s a knotty one really.
      By your own tenets and oft stated theories the economic inactive should be culled.
      So who better to test a new type of vaccine on?

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Old people are vaccinated first because that is where the high death rates are. It is all about getting the CV19 death rates down.

    • forthurst
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      80 year olds are more likely to overload the hospitals or are you suggesting that they should be left to die in their beds?

      • steve
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:46 pm | Permalink


        Just hope andy doesn’t read that.

    • Christine
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      If you inoculate the most vulnerable then the sooner the rest of society can get back to normal. The over 70s are apparently the ones clogging up our hospitals. I thought the Government strategy was all about protecting the NHS?

  10. Nig l
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Re no 5 why are you still asking the question for the umpteenth time? I suspect when they put them up someone forgot the how to resource them question. You ask, they ignore, that’s really holding them to account.

    Sunak announced a green grant scheme without any idea how to do it and surprise surprise it us months later, no one cares and no one pays the price so you are having a laugh re air extraction for government buildings and grant and advice schemes.

    Again re the 21 pieces of paper it needs to give a person an injection. Someone high up in the NHS and allegedly held to account by government should have been asking how the recruitment of volunteers was going and if and why there were any hold ups.

    It took a media campaign to get Hancock off his arse and all you can ask is when is something going to happen.

    Some time ago I read about how many schemes Jenricks department had to sign off and how long outstanding. Some were for years, it’s only money, jobs etc tied up.

    the mantra of the public sector, inefficient, bureaucratic and unaccountable.

    • Christine
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Why do you need any medical training to stick a needle in someone’s arm? Diabetics do this daily from being children. Why not just use the staff recruited for Track and Trace which has been a complete waste of time and money?

      Set up 24/7 vaccination centres. Medical centres already have the technology to invite patients for their annual flu inoculations, use that.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:04 pm | Permalink


        I received no formal training to inject my late mother with her insulin twice a day.

        The NHS has, I believe, some 1.5 million employees. It is Europe’s biggest employer. It costs a fortune and has failed us.

        Time for a review.

        • czerwonadupa
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

          It’s the third largest employer in the world after the Chinese Red Army & Indian Railways.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:35 pm | Permalink


  11. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Re retired staff. To re register Nurses and Drs have to provide a set amount of academic work every 3 years. We essentially have to write about the work we are doing and undertake lectures to remind us or update information. In general practice this means that we are already overworked , dealing with a population of frustrated patients trying to get immediate treatment with the burden of having to compile question related forms/ feedback on how we have performed which have to be completed by the public and staff. Written reflection, citing disease , events and how we overcome problems , new documented learning , how we spread professionalism , how any hours work we have done. Doctors and Nurses then have to spend time looking at all colleagues academic work and put their own conclusions about work carried out on a yearly basis and the list goes on . We simply cannot take extra time out at present to carry on with this waffle. Many just finish at the end of their registration term and are not expected to be able to re register without completing a certain amount of work hours ..But they cant get a job anyway as their registration hasn’t been renewed due to the fact they were saving lives!

    • Qubus
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Hardly academic.

      • M Brandreth- Jones
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        Of course it is : most of it is useless and for theory only , in other words written work for the sake of doing written work and simply repeating what others do in a pedantic analytical way .Having done a few degrees myself I certainly know the difference, however if you are one of these persons who believe that academia is solely the remit of institutions , then things will change with perhaps yourself along with the stuffy idea of how information is disseminated and utilised.

        • Qubus
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

          Ha. That sort of academic:)

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      so Margaret I am unclear if you favour the host of form filling, diversity, health a safety, fire drill and a host of other checks etc that all retired medical professionals would seem to have to go through just to give an injection, or not.

      Surely if someone is only going to do one task only, then competence in that one task is sufficient with regards to a simple refresher course to check for competence in that task. ?

      • Margaret bj
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        Devising forms for feedback. Who is going to give them to patients who put them down.Getting staff to write negative feedback..not on their life .Case studies when you have just spent time and effort thinking about ways of managing and treating and then having to write about it when you could be treating a patient.Written reflections of many cases and incidents when you spend all working hours thinking about it and managing then you have to tidy it up for the sake of written work.Then having to create portfolios and cross reference cases with courses and articles.Then time out to have and beg a colleague to read and do the. Work reading and commenting.. Presentation of this work is an academic excercise and a waste of time. But we have to do it.

        • M Brandreth- Jones
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

          Fire drills and safety exercises are needed for all organisations , but they are not academic , It is paramount that employees and employers know how to behave in these situations. These courses are only a couple a year, The work I talk about is the constant writing about what we have been thinking at a rapid rate , in the car , on the way to work , through our lunches as we consult the patient . Our minds look at many different scenarios symptoms and ways to investigate, signpost, manage or treat , then we have to arrange in in sentences acceptable to a reader , leaving out certain things , incorporating others , citing articles which more recently have come to the same conclusion as ourselves 30 years ago . This is called evidence ..!!!

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Like university lecturers, they have to publish (or co-publish) a academic paper every year to maintain their status and job. There isn’t any quality to these publish paper, its become a paperwork exercise which takes time….and the kicker is that no one really reads the published material

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      It is truly staggering how all the ‘safety’ ends up producing the exact reverse of the stated aim. We literally drive all competent people away. Those who have no alternative (unemployable) love filling in all the boxes, makes them think they have been ‘a doctor’.
      The entire Civil Service culture, not simply the NHS, needs a reset. We need to make them financially viable. Reality is the only power that can straighten this mess out. We need to unleash it.

  12. matthu
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    How many lives are LOST as a RESULT of lockdown and how many lives are SAVED as a result of lockdown? The government has an estimate of this which it refuses to release.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Well if you attribute almost every death to Covid, you’re going to see a skewed result. I liked what Des Swayne was saying about needing a panel to balance and contest SAGE – revolutionary to suggest a debate in which all considerations are aired and weighed, rather than all of us being required to conform and think the same way with no dissent and no questioning.

  13. Nig l
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Another question. What effect has Dido Harding and her world class £15 billion Test and ‘Trace scheme had on infection rates?

    Sorry, thought it was April 1st!

    • forthurst
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      According to the DT it £40 billion which is equivalent to the annual amount on deterring the Russians and Chinese with leaky white elephants etc.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:05 pm | Permalink


  14. NorthernManv2
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Nobody but the seriously deluded claim that covid does not exist. It is real, it kills people and it is here to stay, just like flu and other SARS illnesses.

    Unfortunately every single policy decision to date has been based on either dodgy models (which have historically been orders of magnitude away from reality) or a poor interpretation of partial data. We still have no reliable test for covid. The government’s own website states that the PCR test cannot tell you if someone is infected yet we are using that to drive decisions.

    Counting every death within 28 days of a positive test as a “covid death” is a ridiculous oversimplification – why not count the deaths of those actually treated for covid symptoms?

    Small business, pubs etc. will not survive another lockdown. There will be no “return to normal”. They will have been bankrupted by a Conservative government over-reacting to what has turned out to be no worse than a bad flu season.

    Boris and the cabinet are either idiotic or evil. I am tending towards the latter.

    • BeebTax
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      +1. And they don’t even come clean that these vaccines we’ll be “encouraged” to take do not stop you catching or spreading the disease, so in no way will they “defeat” Covid.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      This is a global pattern, which should tell you something.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        No, it isn’t.

        The patterns are similar in countries which have similar socio-economic philosophies and systems – or lack of them.

        E.g. between the countries of the Far East and between the UK and the US.

    • DaveK
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Exactly right, these situations are like the old joke about asking an old Cornishman for directions “I wouldn’t start from here”.

      People are accepting incorrect assumptions, just look at how easily Warrior (Target I bet) uses 3rd wave. There has not even been a second wave as there is in fact no such thing. Mr Hancock and his sceantist chums can wail exponential as much as they want. However if you look at the graphs of the data it is no such thing. Even Sir Matt Ridley points out that both lockdowns were done after the event.

      If I was Sir JR I would want actual data. What are the Ct values of these 28 day positive sample patients? The bmj paper on assymptomatic transmission states that their results show the median value of Ct = 39. The Oxford Academia paper shows any value over 35 is not infectious. The data needs to be adjusted to reflect this. Is it not slightly suspicious that other causes of death are reduced?

      Try a thought experiment:

      We had 2 very mild winter flu seasons and then came along a particularly nasty novel virus which tragically took a large number of our frail and elderly. That would sadly account for the huge spike Feb – March. It then tailed off due to reduced numbers of susceptible people and seasonality. It then re-emerged from October along with the annual flu season. Don’t forget hiding was the plan to save the NHS.

      Imagine if during a normal year all deaths were labelled flu due to non infective remnants of a corona virus, we could show we’ve cured cancer.

      What we do need to do is to vaccinate the 4% of the population that are at risk of complications of covid requiring hospitalisation (see Lancet paper). That amounts to 2.68 – 3 million people or 3 weeks if Matts team do it right (as claimed).

      I would also suggest the NHS are allowed to remove,

      Equality, Diversity and Human Rights (Level 1)
      Fire Safety (Level 1)
      Preventing Radicalisation (Level 1)
      Safeguarding Adults (Level 2)
      Safeguarding Children (Level 2)

      from the retired staff requirements to allow them to join teams giving jabs, just make sure a “supervisor” is fully qualified.

    • seriously deluded
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Small enterprises will not survive
      Politicians will buy up rows of shops to be happyhutch homes
      Universal Credit for all ( We pay. You obey )
      Cant pay mortgage .( We’ll pay.You Stay )
      You will own nothing and be happy.

      But the above is NOT going to happen because the 99% are waking up.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:11 pm | Permalink


    • Mark B
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Follow the money.

    • DavidJ
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      The latter indeed especially one considers the intent of the UN and others he seems to support.

  15. Vonjarra
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Have these vaccines actually been licenced, or have they just been given approval? I was reading somewhere that there is a subtle difference between the two in that the product has to be proven safe in the long term before a licence can be granted. Three years I think it was. It may even be “emergency approval” that was granted.

    I think the article was on the Lockdown Sceptics website a couple of weeks back.

    • James Bertram
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      LS site: 5th December – Vaccination Certificates by the Back Door? (Dr Helen Westwood).
      Extract: ‘Is it also worth noting that it is only temporary authorisation that has been granted – the vaccine does not yet have marketing authorisation in the UK. This effectively means it is “unlicensed” and as such the prescriber has a duty to explain this to the patient. In usual practice this means that the liability in case of adverse effects lies with the prescriber, not with the pharmaceutical company.

    • NorthernManv2
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      They have bypassed the normal approval process using emergency powers.

      With the best will in the world nobody knows what the long-term effects could be. One of the SARS vaccines had narcolepsy-related effects 12 months after use.

      We could be fine, but we might not be.

      I have had loads of vaccinations but I won’t have this one for at least a year. No amount of short-term testing can substitute for long-term testing. You can’t make a baby by getting nine women pregnant at the same time for a month each.

      • DavidJ
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:41 pm | Permalink


  16. Enigma
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    A clinically significant risk of Covid19 transmission by fomites (inanimate surfaces or objects) has been assumed on the basis of studies that have little resemblance to real-life scenarios.
    The chance of transmission through inanimate surfaces is very small and a more balanced perspective is needed to curb excesses that become counterproductive.
    Emanual Goldman, The Lancet, Vol 20, August 2020

  17. Lynn
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Since 1988 I have had a ‘heat exchanger’ in my home. It extracts the foul air, uses the heat in it to heat the new fresh air that is pumped in. It filters air too (you should see the polin ‘caught’ in the autumn. These are cheap to run, easy to maintain and in addition to the health improvements, recycle a good proportion of expensively produced heat. Every home should have one and a good start would be to remove all taxes from them, including on the installation.
    Isolation hospitals are such a no brainier I can’t believe we no longer have them! Every horse racing yard has an ‘isolation yard’.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      It extracts the foul air

      Perhaps, ‘it extracts the stale air’?

      Does this involve ducts running around in the floor/ceiling all connected together somewhere? Is it a disruptive installation?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Well it extracts the air from over the cooker and from the toilets and other areas where the air is foul as well as the stale air. We notice when the filters need to be changed because of, eg pollen.
        A unit in the loft allows pipes to rooms on the first floor also to be in the loft, piercing the ceiling below. Pipes to the ground floor ceiling can be run through wardrobes etc on the first floor, so not very disruptive. The best saving is achieved because you don’t need to open the windows at all, where you would lose a lot of heat

  18. Nivek
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    The Government immediately, on 26th March last year, introduced a system of fixed penalty notices and unlimited fines in order to control the general public. What system exists to control the Government? Surely, in the post-War period, it is the affirmation of basic natural rights and fundamental freedoms. Yet it is these very rights and freedoms that are vacated by the system of “government by lockdown”.

    • Simeon
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      There are not nearly enough people sufficiently motivated, willing or able to fight for natural rights and freedoms. There is precious little a tiny minority can do, without resorting to violence. We are a democracy. We are shackled to one another, like slaves on a ship.

      It is said that we British have a ‘good chap’ constitution. It is decades since there were any good chaps at all, and even longer since such were in a majority, never mind actually in power. Our political system has failed the people, though in a democracy, the people are the system, and therefore it may be seen that the people have failed themselves. The solution? Either separate the people from one another, or somehow, somewhere, find a person, mechanism or other means that commands universal respect.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Quite. And the ECHR which we are apparently still subject to has done nothing at all to counter the biggest infringement of human rights in a generation. We apparently can’t deport murderers due to their right to a family life, but our right to a family life has been explicitly removed by dictat.

      • glen cullen
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        We where stopped from deporting a Albanian released from jail for murder a couple of weeks ago as he may be a danger to his own country folk….but allowed to stay in the UK where he isn’t ???

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        ECHR has ruled that countries absolutely can deport criminals – not necessarily even murderers – and that their right to a family life does not trump that.

        That was for Russia, but applies to all signatories.

        You are posting fallacy.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

          Having a right to a family life stops UK deportations.
          It has recently.
          Several times.
          Added to an endless appeals procedure.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted January 4, 2021 at 8:28 am | Permalink

            Sorry Ed that’s just plain idiotic.

            Judges may have ruled that way in the past prior to ECHR’s clarification, but are now free to deport.

            It’s what’s called “precedent”.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 4, 2021 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

            So you agree.
            They may be free to “deport” but as yet they have not done so.
            Yes I again agree.

    • Nig l
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Ah that old fundamental right to go out an infect someone. So what are basic natural rights and freedoms? Presumably it is about not giving a toss about anyone else.

      Do you represent the Selfish Party.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        As Roy points out, a terrorist has more rights than we do. And yes, it is selfish to deliberately infect someone, the same as it is to blow up innocent people.

        If we are to have the ECHR then it must be for everyone.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Well it extracts the air from over the cooker and from the toilets and other areas where the air is foul as well as the stale air. We notice when the filters need to be changed because of, eg pollen.
      A unit in the loft allows pipes to rooms on the first floor also to be in the loft, piercing the ceiling below. Pipes to the ground floor ceiling can be run through wardrobes etc on the first floor, so not very disruptive. The best saving is achieved because you don’t need to open the windows at all, where you would lose a lot of heat.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, this is in the wrong place.

  19. agricola
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    The answer to (5) is when they have qualified staff to man them. The answer to (7) is to get risk averse , health and safety, no doubt endemic in the civil service and upper reaches of NHS administration off the backs of those trying to solve the problem.

    Every time you allow the civil service near a problem that is outside the experience of an arts or politics degree you invite trouble and cockups. The inability of the CS to apply common sense is a life threatening disease for the country. Their involvement is an almost certain route to disaster.

    • Sharon
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:07 am | Permalink


      I agree that every time the civil service does anything, it’s a mess. We’ve had examples all year, the latest being the bureaucracy involved with part retired or recently retired doctors, nurses trying to help out with vaccination programme.

      My own small experience. A week before Christmas my husband and I got the Virus. Because of previous pneumonia, my husband needed to go to hospital.
      Our youngest son moved back home to care for me.
      Track and trace called needing to speak to my husband – son told them he was in hospital. T and Trace – ok, can I speak to his next of kin (me). Son – No, because talking makes her cough, but she’s writing down the info, I can read it out to you.

      Track and trace had to go away and find out if this was ok. It wasn’t! So for the next three days, until we blocked the number- we had about three calls a day. Where is the land of Common Sense? Up the Magic Faraway Tree, I guess!

    • agricola
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      According to the Mail on Sunday the NHS requires completion of 18 modules as well as a DBS check, whatever that is, plus a Passport. I assume the last is if you find yourself vaccinating on a cross channel ferry. One of the modules is on fire safety and another about preventing radicalisation, or don’t smoke in a madrassa. Where have the idiots who created this obstacle come from. Yet another Whitehall farce.

    • forthurst
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Arts graduates are ‘generalists’ which actually means they are know-nothing-useful-its. There needs to be a deep cull of these people in the NHS and the civil service generally. Those with the necessary specialisms should be running things because they understand what needs to be done. The rot starts with the civil servants advising ministers and drafting over-the-top regulation.

      There is also the criminal conspiracy against Englishmen who find it extremely difficult to obtain entry into medical schools; we need a law to make ‘woke’ recruitment a criminal offence. Englishmen are more reliable than foreigners and have a much longer effective working life than women. Now when we need them, they are not there.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:06 pm | Permalink


  20. Frances Truscott
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    The answer to all of the above I should think is that govt has been pared and pared down so there are not enough people doing all of those things. The income pyramid at the bottom massively increased so there are not enough net contributors to create the tax we need to pay for the civil servants we need.
    No one prepared for a pandemic. It was always going to be on someone else’s watch.

  21. Nig l
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Off topic I see MPs want to keep their anonymity re expenses/declaration of interest etc rule breaking citing unfair social media comment etc.

    They would wouldn’t they, poor darlings.

    The answer is don’t do it in the first place. It was only when the massive abuse of the system went public the first time that things changed and even then I remember politicians on Newsnight defending the indefensible as ever, their right to privilege.

    Zero sympathy from this contributor.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      What is it they say about having nothing to hide ?


  22. Wil Pretty
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    You would have thought that those at the highest risk would be given advice on treatments they could self administer immediately should they show symptoms. It is left to each individual to evaluate themselves all the heresay on the net. The public has to deal with the infection themselves till a hospital intervention is required.

    • Nig l
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Very true apart from the fact that the NHS website specifically offers advice to those at greater risk and I suspect 111 would be helpful etc plus in my experience my local surgery.

    • Christine
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      This is very true. There is a list of remedies that have proven effective in improving the medical outcome of those contracting Covid. Why isn’t this being given to people? Is it that the elites want to keep these supplies for themselves?

  23. Bryan Harris
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Most importantly, where is the plan-B to lockdowns?

    We can be sure that when the false numbers obtained from a failed testing system decree that another lockdown is required from around September, the authorities will start to impose even more restrictive measures.

    We already hear of gross stupidity and ‘over-reaction’ / abuse of powers by the police – Someone was arrested for buying a baking tray..! FGS

    Is it really possible to believe that lockdowns achieve anything but financial ruin?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:41 am | Permalink


    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      They will justify the September lockdown next year by pointing to the fact that flu deaths have reduced to almost zero this winter.

  24. formula57
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Concerning “4. Other treatments. …Where have they got to with those?” – seemingly not very far!

    Ivermectin and Chloroquine if administered early are usually effective treatments and can shorten hospital stays, so some credible clinicians tell us, and yet these drugs apparently find no use in an NHS now nearing capacity.

    It is all very well for Ministers to be let down by NHS policy makers if they wish but we the public have not consented to be party to the same.

    • Stred
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Ivermectin is a very safe drug and the inventor won the Nobel Prize. South Africa jus banned it and the US and UK aren’t even interested.

    • cornishstu
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Not only in early treatment but have been shown to have prophylactic properties, check out Dharavi in India, a densely populated slum area where HCQ was used to good effect. There are also papers going back to the original SARS out break showing its efficacy. It begs the question of why are we have been waiting for a vaccine.

      A little late, but a Happy new year to our host and commenters here.

  25. DOM
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    The virus is now incidental and has been for months. There are more potent and sinister forces at work as Mr Redwood well knows. We can see it and he can see it.

    The politicised, unionised public sector is using this clinical issue as a pretext to remodel delivery of public services in their favour and to damage the interests of the end user and indeed the taxpayer. In effect, if you’re a taxpayer you are ‘taken to the cleaners’ by Len McCluskey and Johnson who hasn’t got the balls to confront the rise of people like Mr McCluskey, the NEU and the now highly political NHS and the out of control BBC

    The people are being ‘played’, deceived and abused by Parliament, by this PM and his party, outside political forces and by the new masters of British politics, the unelected client state of the Marxists

    And some have actually voted for this. Can you actually believe that some have voted for this abuse of this nation, our taxes and our democracy

    The voting public love a free-lunch which may explain why they persist in voting for two parties whose intent is to destroy our ability to remove them from our politics.

    It’s become impossible to fight back against the authoritarian barrage the activist public sector now throw at us. At some point access to public services that your taxes finances will be used as a weapon of control. This is a highly prized technique used by the Chinese government to keep their people silent and compliant

    The capture of the Tory party by the Marxist hordes will condemn the people of this nation to a dystopian nightmare. Indeed the Tories psychotic desire to maintain access to power does suggest they will sacrifice whatever is necessary to maintain that access

    • beresford
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Who are the people who ‘voted for this’? Perhaps some Labour voters and Andy. We voted for immigration to be controlled; the politicians openly ferry their New Britons across the Channel and boast at the UN about their compliance to the Migration Compact. We voted to curtail the anti-democratic institutions, but the BBC and Supreme Court are untouched and the HOL has actually been expanded! They grudgingly cut ties with the EU but not without a slew of unnecessary concessions in order for us to have a deficit in traded goods. Nobody voted to be bombarded with BLM propaganda, have our history and economy trashed, or be placed under virtual house arrest. And nobody has consented to a ‘Great Reset’, not even the Commons or the Conservative conference. As Richard Nixon famously said, ‘You can’t fool all of the people all of the time but if you do it once it’s good for five years’.

      • Simeon
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Whatever sensible things the Tories said to get elected (and in reality there was actually very little that would qualify as such), it was just words. The actions of the Tories are what matter – and they have a long enough track record to be judged fairly on that. Anyone that voted Tory has no grounds to complain (But they lied is no excuse; of course they did!). Nor does anyone that voted Labour, Lib Dem, SNP, DUP, Plaid or Green, because things would have been just as bad. So people did vote for this, whether they realised it or not.

        The only sensible course of action in the face of a series of unpalatable choices is to decline them all. If the number of people refusing to participate in what passes for a democratic process in this country exceeded those that did, then a path to real change might open up – demand for an alternative might finally be undeniable, and the supply of such might arise. But if people continue to opt for either salt or pepper on their doggy doo, then they will continue to have a bad taste in their mouth.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        +1 the Tories need to reacquaint themselves of the issues we did vote for. It’s in their manifesto.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      The union websites and FB pages are most illuminating.
      Light dawned as to why my usually bossy, disinterested and unflappable dentist was in such a state Oct 2019.
      Was desperately trying to arrange all appts for at least a year ahead ( no more 6 month absolute insistence).
      I could not understand the nervous instrument dropping and bashing against my teeth.
      Later on after “pandemic” was announced I realised dentist must have known. I wondered though why dentist was terrified of a govt. edict??
      But of course it was edict of the “union” ( yes I know it isn’t called that) not govt.
      And my teeth have not been seen to since!!

      • Everhopeful
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        Oh yes..and in the summer why did a left wing local councillor ( thinking I share those politics) tell me candidly that they were “fighting” to get the area into a higher ( worse) “ tier”??
        More interested in economic destruction than in thriving businesses?
        Same council had whole stretch of road blocked ( à la Reset?) for weeks leading up to Christmas with no workmen, no work…nothing until a few of us complained.
        They removed all their plant etc. under cover of darkness!

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:25 am | Permalink


    • pax
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Don’t worry. There are more spiritually good people on earth than bad.
      Good will triumph over evil. Float above it and be an example of humility each day.

    • Richard
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      +100 Brilliant analysis

    • Qubus
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      It’s because the British public love what they think is a “free lunch” that we are saddled with the pathetic NHS. Oh. I forgot, it’s the envy of the (third) world.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Actually it’s the laughing stock of the 3rd world.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      This much heralded Brexit Treaty has hastened two constitutional time bombs.

      United Ireland – slowish burner but the EU must have had this in mind since 2016.

      An independent Scotland – I have lived, worked in Scotland and crossed the border scores of times and felt I was passing into foreign land each time. The sovereignty issue is alive there.

      The solution is a federal UK, English parliament, elected senate and decimation of Westminster and Whitehall power. Such a highly unimaginable commitment might rescue the UK.

      2021 heralds serious political trouble north of the border for BJ.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:30 pm | Permalink


        I have advocate the point you make in your fourth paragraph. But I fear it will never happen. Too many idiots running the shop.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        Totally disagree, Boris has big trouble south of the Scottish border too, but that is no reason to trash the Act of Union. Why do you want to trash the British Constitution?

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:06 pm | Permalink


      Sir John, you devote so much of your letter to air extraction/purification which I believe is a massive red herring. The purveyors of such expensive technology are already enjoying the opportunity of pushing their wares at clinics and venues with the added incentive of PC type, “Surely your clients expect this of you and your establishment”.
      Like masks and distancing, lockdowns, firebreaks, any number of gimmicks, the look back from a future viewpoint will show the fatuousness of these measures and mantras.
      DOM points the direction in his first sentence.
      You, Sir John, were a brilliant and key player in wresting the country from the malaise of apathy and helplessness which the world of Trade Unions and Jack Jones had imprisoned us in. We’re wandering back into that maze of hopelessness again.

    • Martyn G
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      …. the Tories psychotic desire to maintain access to power does suggest they will sacrifice whatever is necessary to maintain that access…..
      Exactly and, amongst other scare and control factors, the imposition of having to wear masks (or covers, as they now prefer to say, a potentially less frightening description) in shops etc have cowed the population in a way never before seen. There is a plethora of data about the ineffectiveness of masks and how useless they are in filtering out covid.
      Why do spectacle lenses mist up? It is because the average mask is a very poor fit, so exhaled air escapes upwards through the fitting gap past or into the wearers’ eyes. Similarly, when breathing in, the air largely takes the easiest route back in past their eyes and even if that were not the case, it is a fact that the covid particle is so infinitesimally minute that the mask cannot possibly filter it out.
      But so far as government is concerned, they have us all under control – perhaps for the first time ever – reduced to living in fear and ignorant compliance with a Law that makes absolutely no sense in the real world.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        The mask / muzzle is an outward symbol of subservience. They might as well make is wear chains.

        • Fred H
          Posted January 4, 2021 at 9:12 am | Permalink

          Thats Tier 6…..

    • James Bertram
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Professor Neil Fergusson’s interview with the Sunday Times was very revealing:
      “I think people’s sense of what is possible in terms of control changed quite dramatically between January and March,” Professor Ferguson says. When SAGE observed the “innovative intervention” out of China, of locking entire communities down and not permitting them to leave their homes, they initially presumed it would not be an available option in a liberal Western democracy: “It’s a communist one party state, we said. We couldn’t get away with it in Europe, we thought… and then Italy did it. And we realised we could.”

      And so totalitarianism came to Britain.

    • Christine
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      +1 We must also make sure that dubious vote-counting machines are not allowed to be used for any elections in the UK. Once the integrity of our voting system is lost then democracy itself is lost. I read Khan is going to introduce them for the London mayor elections. If true this needs stopping NOW.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:51 pm | Permalink


    • Tangerine
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Its not a “Tory thing “. Its a Global thing

      Politicians worldwide comply for one of 3 reasons
      Money bungs

    • anon
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Lack of transparency and democratic accountability throughout the western world presently.

      Time UK parliament started acting like a UK parliament and reasserted our sovereignty and started using common sense.

  26. BJC
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I remember at the start of this pandemic, I pointed out that it was crucial to base government policy on data that would stand up to scrutiny. At no point has this been achieved; indeed, the data continues to be manipulated to justify ever more draconian measures.

    In Spring 2020, we were counting Covid admissions to hospitals, now we have the self-defeating policy of seeking out infections we know will be circulating in perpetuity, when we should be searching for immunity.
    In Spring 2020, we reported Covid deaths, then it quickly evolved to deaths where Covid was mentioned, now there appears to be a presumtion that every death is from Covid.
    In Spring 2020, well-staffed hospitals were nearing capacity and we opened the Nightingales in readiness. Now hospitals are attempting to operate with a high percentage of absent staff, who are actively encouraged to be unproductive by the unions. The level of absences aren’t reported or questioned and it’s the reduced Covid-capacity that’s now the measure of “maximum” load.
    Volunteers willing and able to help with isolation centres and/or vaccinations are being caught in a deliberately constructed web of bureaucracy. This enables faux-pious unions to claim that the Nightingales can’t be staffed (patients and staff would transfer), vaccinations can’t be administered by the uninitiated (1/2 day training) and where working around the unions’ own manufactured roadblocks leads to accusations that the government has lost control. Can’t Means Won’t.

    It’s simply fraudulent and subversive and now the emboldened hard-left teaching unions are showing their true colours by stepping up their demands for their unachievable nirvana of a perfect working environment. They’re drunk on power and itching to withdraw labour, so ensuring teachers can be buried in silos is a “divide and rule” strategy designed to strengthen their position and weaken the influence of any dissenting voices. The fly in their gloopy ointment is the risk that teachers wouldn’t be paid, so they desperately need to force the government’s hand. It’s a return to the repugnant power politics of the 70’s, but this time our precious children are being used as the weapon of choice.

  27. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Directed by behavioural scientists, the government has inculcated a climate of fear amongst much of the population and thereby to allow it to exercise authoritarian control. A test is used which is incapable of accurately diagnosing CV19 and yet we have been incessantly bombarded with propaganda of the number of ‘cases’ to engender fear in the population. Furthermore, Ccross-contamination of samples has been shown in laboratories performing these tests. Deaths are reported, again daily, of anyone who died for whatever reason if they tested postive for CV19 with an inaccurate test within 28 days of death. The fact that on average 1600-1700 people die every day in the UK has been ignored by this obsession with CV19.
    Never have we seen such draconian measures taken in response to an illness. In the process the general health of the public has been almost ignored with deleterious consequences. So much harm has been done to people, jobs, businesses, education, the economy, our personal liberty and freedom. Actions recommended, implemented and supported by MPs and MSM who are largely personally unaffected by many of the consequence.
    I never expected so see such behaviour from a UK government, least of all a supposedly Conservative one. There is so much could be written to illustrate the many absurdities we have had to endure through different government diktats. Given the need to manipulate statistics and the illogicality of so many of the measures taken, it is hard not to conclude that this is driven by a far more sinister motive than dealing with a virus. Until Johnson goes things will only get worse.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      Spot on. Boris MUST go and ASAP. It’s him or us – the SME super-employers.

  28. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    I understand that with 50K positive results per day track and trace is not going to function well but with that number of positive results (even with 20K) it must be possible to compile data sets about activities that most cause transmission. This data can then be used to minimise risk.

    If, for example, transmission is highest among secondary school aged children who then pass it on at home there is a reasoned course of action that can be taken.

    If shopping appears to be a significant area of transmission then shoppers should be made aware of this and use the sanitisation stations at entrances and exits.

    The government and media are keen to publicise meaningless headline figures but if more derailed data sets become more readily available then voluntary behaviour modification will surely follow.

  29. Bryan Harris
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    When you look at data published on Conservative Woman, you have to wonder what the authorities are doing..

    Chances of surviving 2020 were shown to be high, despite the panic reactions, with similar numbers to most recent years:

    Under 65: 99.82%

    Over 65: 95.5%

    If the same numbers are dying as usual, why the panic?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:05 pm | Permalink


    • Stred
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      The overall number of deaths has gone above average since November. It’s all been put down to covid after testing patients in hospital who are re classified as ‘with covid’ after testing positive during their stay. It’s not surprising considering that patients with other diseases received no treatment or diagnosis for five months. Overall deaths for England were 13% up until Christmas, with most happening during March to May.

    • DaveK
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      DOMs posts are becoming less dystopian prediction and more documentary.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        But you read them through the prism of your own apparent imaginings.

        • steve
          Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

          At least he doesn’t talk from somewhere not normally associated with speech.

  30. ChrisS
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The barriers for retired doctors and nurses to give simple vaccine injections have been set ridiculously high. I cannot imagine it would take more than half an hour to train someone with no experience to administer the vaccine, after all, millions of diabetics inject themselves every day wiohtout difficulty.

    This is yet another example of “Gold Plating” which Britain has suffered from for decades.

    • Qubus
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      I remember reading in a daily newspaper, about a week ago, where a retired consultant surgeon suggested that more or less any member of the general public could be trained to administer the vaccine in about ten minutes. I really don’t see the problem. Get the Boy Scouts out !!!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      +1 insane over the top red tape is everywhere and it is doing huge damage.

    • DaveK
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      And if it is a national emergency why not deliver the vaccines for self use.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:55 pm | Permalink


    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      21 certs and documents requested it seems and this from retired doctors and nurses! Yet 7 years back my then 80 year old mum was expected to inject my dad everyday after being show how to do it in about 5 mins!

  31. Everhopeful
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    If there were a virus of any great significance and the powers that have no-bloody-right-to-be wanted to “tame” ( for goodness sake!!) it then they would already have put the ideas above in place.
    Also..EVERYONE in govt. and the media would be terrified of it which CLEARLY they are not. ( More care needed with MP speech video backgrounds showing maskless, tête-à-tête conflabs in HoC!).
    If they actually have any stocks of vaccine OF COURSE it would be being rolled out pdq ..if only to save their own sorry skins.
    More work needs to be done in the “Suspension of Disbelief Department”.
    The “dragon” must be believed in and feared.
    But remember, respiratory failure is what happens to the old and infirm…it always has.

  32. JayGee
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    What a shabby performance by Boris Johnson on The Andrew Marr programme this morning. You can’t blame that on the BBC. I cannot recall ever having seen a Prime Minister with so little statesmanship about him – he is full of waffle. How can you support that? You have no chance of taming any virus until such time as you replace the PM you chose.

    • Polly
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Piers Corbyn wants to stand for London Mayor.

      Having watched Piers speaking right in the thick of things, I think he’d make a great Prime Minister……

      Not least because Piers is brave and unafraid… unlike so many…. !


      • glen cullen
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        He’s also honest, tells the truth and isn’t scared of the media

      • Simeon
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        An independent candidate willing to put his money where his mouth is on the most important issue facing the world – and actually talking sense? Now that’s someone I could vote for.

      • James Bertram
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:27 pm | Permalink


    • Sea_Warrior
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Right-wing, Conservative me agrees with you. Johnson has to go!

    • Bob Dixon
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Tough. You will have to put up with him till the next election.

    • Robert Mcdonald
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      But it was the Marr who marred the show by being a mare and talking the talk… while Boris walks the walk.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        Boris surrendered to Sinn Fein (surrendered Northern Ireland), forced the UK to be a vassal state for a year, sacrificed the fishing industry, intended to ban all known transport in 9 years and most heating systems.
        What a walk!

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      It takes two to have a sensible conversation, the object of interviews is to ask a question and then listen to the answer, not to keep on interrupting before the answer is given, and taking up more speaking time than the person who is being interviewed.

      I thought Boris did Ok in the circumstances.

      If you want fewer deaths then lock down for months, and get more bankruptcies.

      If you want everyone to work as normal, then you will get more deaths.

      Perhaps those are the answers Boris should have given.

      Those with hindsight always try to look clever, but I notice they never ever come up with a solution at the time it is needed.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        “If you want everyone to work as normal, then you will get more deaths.”

        Not so, overall you probably will get net fewer deaths. See the work by Professor Philip Thomas of the University of Bristol who has provided written evidence to the UK Treasury Committee assessing the large economic impact of coronavirus.

      • JayGee
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        I disagree profoundly, Alan Jutson. The object of any interview is to ask questions and to seek answers to the questions asked. The purpose of any Prime Minister is to answer the questions asked – not to waffle on and on and on ad infinitum, as Boris Johnson did today. The purpose of an interviewer is to bring the interviewee back to the question asked, and if the interviewee still fails to answer the question, then that reflects more on the inability of the interviewee than it does on the interviewer. Boris failed at every stage during this interview. An interview is NOT a conversation.

  33. ian@Barkham
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Elsewhere in the World they have seen the benefit of the instant kill provided by UV light. Thinking here Far East bus shelters with AC installed and the air passing through UV light. The New York subway UV light is the instant cleanser.

    Spread is obviously the enemy, that means we are the providers of the spread – nothing else can manage it. Observation while out and about exercising only, about 20% just don’t care. Maybe the have been given the belief it can never be them that first contracts and more importantly spreads it.

    As UK citizens whilst travelling abroad we are required by some nations to have proof of not carrying the virus before being permitted to enter. Yet the reverse is not applied. The previous Government thoughts on this that the risk is minimal – how minimal? It keeps spreading and mutating simple because of human movement. Given that one person as a carrier can spread to it thousand in a short space of time, what is the minimal risk?

  34. Lester Cynic Beedell
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Apparently 70% of the population are in favour of more lockdowns but there’s never any mention of the question that was asked, the pollsters can achieve the desired result simply by framing the question in such a way that makes it practically impossible to answer “NO” such as “are you in favour of the lockdown if it prevents grandchildren killing their grandparents”
    Very difficult to answer NO

    There’s a concerted campaign going on intended to keep the population scared, the hospitals are overwhelmed…. no they aren’t, the Great Barrington Declaration is the way forward!

    The Civil Serpents, Union bosses and NHS managers say jump and Boris says “how high”

  35. John Partington
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Cut the red tape. That is the reason the roll out vaccine program will be delayed. We have left the EU so it is up to the Government to take the lead on this. The army needs to be used full time on this as well. If necessary, repatriate some of our army protecting the EU’s borders. We have a national emergency here.

  36. Caterpillar
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    On point 5, the Nightingales, I think it is important to get a deeper answer on why aren’t/can’t be used. A common response always seems to be staffing levels, but this seems shallow. There is clear advantage to separating Covid19 patients (with symptoms and a non-PCR positive), not only in terms of nosocomial transmission in hospitals but also that asymptomatic positive PCR staff could continue to work. A pure guess might be that the Nightingales cannot be used because many seriously ill Covid19 patients have other conditions for which the Nightingales are not equipped i.e. the Nightingales can cope with Covid19 alone which is not the majority of patients.

  37. Lisa
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I am so sick of the lies politicians and msm tell. There is no deadly virus that is so much worse than any other year. All sorts of bacteria and viral infections have co existed with us forever and we have never , ever, reacted like this. We have lost our minds and you and your kind, Mr Redwood, are guilty of stoking the madness. If there is anybody left to write a true history of this madness in the future you will be listed in the ranks of the criminally insane.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      Steady on !

    • Simeon
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Well said.

    • TooleyStu
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      +1 on all counts…

      Although.. watching this dystopian pantomime with open eyes,
      It is not madness..
      It is not insanity…
      It is all according to plan.

      “If there is anybody left to write a true history of this madness in the future” .. wow.
      What an unbelievable story this would make.

      Tooley Stu

  38. SecretPeople
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    We need to be careful with eradicating environmental pathogens as overly-clean surroundings are associated with childhood leukaemia; see also the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ in relation to the development of asthma.

    On the subject of treating Covid in the Nightingales and outside of hospitals, do we have infection control nurses any more? A relative of mine was admitted to hospital in recent months and acquired three unrelated infections while there. A medic was pictured on the front page of a newspaper yesterday, apparently in a park, dressed in scrubs – part of the cross-infection problem. Nursing homes would also do well to train their staff in aseptic technique and awareness of how infections are transmitted.

  39. MWB
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Wickipedia shows that UK has 2.5 hospital beds per 100,000 of population, whereas Japan has 13 beds, France has 5.9, Gemany and Russia both have 8. Most od the ex eastern bloc countries also fare better than UK. A sad refakection on dacades of Con/Lab misrule.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:04 pm | Permalink


      The NHS has been used as a political football. Labour make it impossible to get any sensible reforms made and the Tories are clueless as what to do.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Yes it is.

    • Fred H
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      those countries seem to be prepared for lots of very ill people?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      So what is the cost of each bed? NHS by far the most expensive? That’s because the majority of the £170 billion pa (U.K. NHS) is for the staff not for the patients. Typical Socialist.

  40. Enigma
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Last term primary school children were given the Annual Childhood Flu Immunisation. Special warnings and precautions for use state that vaccine recipients should be informed that Fluenz Tetra is an attenuated live virus vaccine and has the potential for transmission for 1-2 weeks following vaccination. This is known as virus shedding.

    I am not aware that any children or anyone they came into contact with was required to quarantine for 14 days after receiving the vaccine, in order to control the spread of the flu virus this winter. No mention of closing schools, or protecting teachers either. Has this led to an increase in + PCR tests which pick up virus fragments? Lots or questions, no answers forthcoming.

  41. Roy Grainger
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    “The scientific advisers have always seen this {vaccination} as the way out of lockdown”.

    You think ? They have specifically told vaccinated people they are not allowed to meet family members and still have to self-isolate if contacted by Test and Trace. They say the vaccine may not stop you catching and transmitting the virus. It seems to me they want vaccination AND lockdown on a semi-permanent basis, maybe except for a couple of Summer months.

  42. a-tracy
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Good questions.

    1. How many of the two million people ‘shielding’ have been vaccinated, aren’t the majority of under 60’s locked down to protect them and those people most at risk over the age of 65? Surely you vaccinate those people first so that you don’t need such a total lockdown.
    2. What % of school teachers and face to face less then 2m contact college and university lecturers been vaccinated?
    3. What % of Doctors and frontline health workers have been vaccinated?

    Has the vaccine been distributed evenly around the UK regions or have they been concentrated in London and Scotland? Are they targeting City dwellers who live in the most overcrowding areas? Why isn’t Hancock asked about his strategy in England for roll out by the BBC and put on their website and tv news programs as a matter of public information broadcast (that is their remit isn’t it to keep us all informed, isn’t that the prime reason we have to compulsorily pay the annual licence tax – well they’re failing on this)? Why are we being kept in the dark? Why can’t the government just put the statistics on a Health portal for us to reassure us? Why is Tony Blair popping up suddenly to start to tell Hancock what he should be doing, since when was he a medical expert?

  43. glen cullen
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    When the dust has settled this virus will be remembered as the ‘old age virus’ as it kills the over 65s, but in the dark quiet places of government it will be know as the ‘destroyer of economies’…..why oh why didn’t we manage herd immunity

    • Mark B
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:09 pm | Permalink


      I population density areas such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow should have much stricter levels due to the ease at which transmission can be made. The rest of the UK should have been pretty much left to carry on.

      People, especially foreign students, should have not have been allowed into the country unless they were checked BEFORE their departure.

      The shielding of the most vulnerable made and a calming of the population with accurate data and sensible explanations as to what is happening and why. This would have eased many and gained trust.

      Instead, we get this ****show !

  44. Roy Grainger
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    By the way, you see the arrogance of the medical advisers now in the fact they have cancelled the second vaccination shots of a million older people thus ignoring the consent from them they obtained for the course of treatment and totally against the advice of the vaccine manufacturer. They are out of control and need putting in their place.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:11 pm | Permalink


      If it was SAGE they are not ‘medical’ but behavioural.

  45. Qubus
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Item 3 seems a very sensible one.
    I would have thought, that these days, it would be very cheap and easy to produce, for the man-in-the-street, a “UV machine” with the appropriate output intensity to kill the virus. The output could have some visible light added to it so that the operator was clear as to where it was being directed. I don’t think that it would prove to be damaging to the general population. After all, we are entrusted with driving cars, filling them with petrol, setting off fireworks … I imagine that it would be much more effective than wiping surfaces down a with a damp cloth; that’s what seems to happen at my barbar’s.
    A couple of other points:
    It has seemed to me that, during the whole period of this pandemic, the brunt of the financial disaster has been born essentially by the private sector. Can’t we spread the misery around a little? My two sets of grandsons, in two different cities, have both received almost no remote education during the lock-down periods. And then when, and if , schools are opened in the near future, their teachers plan to have an “inset-day” for the first day of term. Why couldn’t the “inset-day” be the last day before the school opened up? You really couldn’t make it up. How about furloughing the teaching fraternity? That would perhaps fill them with more enthusiasm to return to the classroom! Another suggestion: why not just delay the start of term by a week or so, and then chop that off the school holidays? The long summer break could also well be shortened with no problems, apart from a minor inconvenience of holiday plans.
    I do appreciate that some teachers cannot wait to get back to the classroom.

    Item 3 seema a very sensible one.

  46. a-tracy
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    In what year of a nursing degree are students taught how to give injections and what to do in the case of an anaphylactic shock?

    How many nursing students do we have in the UK in each year of a nursing degree in 2021? If you took them out of university training for a month and put them on the vaccination activity you could pay them a full and proper wage for that month then extend their nursing degree in the month of June.

    Same for Doctors in training, what year are they taught how to give injections and treat anaphylactic shock? Could their universities be used as vaccination stops and this become a mass training exercise with the expert lecturers there to ensure safety?

    Five year Dental trainees aren’t they trained in how to give safe injections (one would hope so) and how treat for shock? Wouldn’t this be a useful exercise in supervised conditions with their trainers in Dental schools?

    Otherwise couldn’t the Nightingale centres be used as vaccination centres? Don’t they all have these individual booths with beds in them? If the beds were removed where were they all removed to? We were told there were 1000’s of these booths.

    Couldn’t we immunise and site all these willing retired and ex-nurses and doctors in full ppe in these centres with top experts to oversee it all.

    GPOnline 24 Jul 2020 — In the 2019/20 flu campaign, around 15.3m vaccinations were administered to eligible groups, covering patients over 65, those in clinical at-risk groups, pregnant women, children aged two to three years old, primary school children and healthcare workers. Is it safe to give both vaccines at the same time? Or shouldn’t covid be prioritised as we’re told there is no flu this year.

  47. rose
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I agree with all your points.

    I would also like the HMG to be more assertive in putting down MSM propaganda against them. The most common trick is to prevent a minister from communicating clearly, by shouting him down, then to put out a lot of misinformation and muddled discussion, and finally to accuse HMG of mixed messaging and losing trust. This appears to be a very successful formula and has been repeated time and time again since March.

    I don’t know how to deal with the MSM subversion, but the Cummings/Cain method of boycotting them seemed the best so far. It would be good to find a better method, one which enabled the Government to communicate through the medium of television and wireless without being shouted down.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Boycott. It really is the only solution.

    • anon
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      How about Public Service Broadcast contracts which are tendered. Only non-state actors or private operators allowed to apply.

      End the license fee tax. and or close the BBC.

      A £3bn- £4bn, a nice tax cut, only a few bleeding stumps.

  48. Mary M.
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Might I suggest an eighth ‘wish’? That the Government and Parliament be encouraged to consider advice from a broader range of experts other than just the advice from Sage and its related sub-groups.

    When it comes to the next six-monthly review and renewal vote on the ‘Coronavirus Act 2020’ in the House of Commons (presumably in March), it is to be hoped that MPs will by then have more information before casting their vote. Last time they condemned us to a further six months of uncertainty and to varying levels of incarceration.

    For example, the efficacy of masks must be properly debated. A local butcher’s shop has a sign up: ‘Please speak loudly when placing your order’. The butcher had complied with initial Government guidelines and he’d put up a perspex screen between himself and customers. Now that shoppers have to wear masks, it is indeed necessary to shout to be heard.

    If only our breath were not transparent – we’d clearly see how shouting projects it even further, especially as the flow of the vapour is restricted to escaping via the gaps around the mask. (If in any doubt, look up the explanation of how a pressure hose nozzle works.)

  49. Mike Wilson
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    All valid questions, Mr. Redwood. It seems you are a voice in the wilderness. Who is listening? Who will answer? Certainly not any of the current cabinet. I wonder how this makes you feel? Helpless, I imagine.

    I think it would be very good for democracy and accountability if you, and like minded Tory MPs, resigned the whip and became Independent Conservatives – preferably, by starting a new party.

    • James Bertram
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:37 pm | Permalink


  50. Mike Wilson
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I saw Thoreau’s ‘Civil Disobedience and Reading’ in a bookshop yesterday. A Penguin 60s Classic – it cost me 50p. (Oddly, the original price was 60p, presumably printed post decimalisation.) It could have been written yesterday.

    It is quite amazing just how many people are blindly accepting what the government tells them. They seem to have no ability to think for themselves. Truly, have we become mindless automatons – doing the bidding of the government and our corporate masters.

    • Fred H
      Posted January 4, 2021 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      That was an essential shop, was it?

  51. Newmania
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Reminds of the sort of thing I used to doodle during the long hot afternoon’s of double maths. Just get the vaccine out

    • steve
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Rubbish !

    • Fred H
      Posted January 4, 2021 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      a lot of world experts on here clearly doodled through most of their lessons.

  52. rose
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    There are reports of patients infected with the Wuhan virus being moved to hospitals in places where the infection is low. Is this a good idea? It is almost as if they want their predictions to come true. Why don’t they use the Nightingales?

    • rose
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      Definite reports now of infected patients being moved from the South East into Bristol Royal Infirmary. So not only will it spread inside the hospital, but also outside as staff take it home with them and into the shops and buses.

    • Old Salt
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      What nightingales- I heard they were all bar one dismantled for lack of staff.

      Not to mention the reduction in bed capacity over the years.

      You couldn’t make it up now a year since the ‘mystery virus’ was being investigated – according to the BBC.

      Management sadly lacking.

  53. Mike Wroe
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    One way to speed up the defeat of the virus would be to by pass for vaccination anyone who has already had Covid and vaccinate the rest. Anyone who has had the virus and recovered has immunity (there have been a negligible number of people around the world who are thought to have caught covid twice).

  54. Mike Wroe
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    It is well documented that Vitamin D, Zinc, and Vitamin C supplements are low cost ways of strengthening the immune system to help the body fight viruses and infections generally. Everyone should be encouraged to take them. For those that can’t afford them they should be free on prescription. This would save lives, and reduce hospital admissions.

  55. Freeborn John
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think we should letting thoughts about air conditioning units distract us from the urgent task of vaccination. It is going pretty slowly with Israel rather embarrassing everyone with a display as to what concentration on the critical task can achieve. If we vaccinate the 10% of the population over 70 it will see a 75% reduction in the death rate. Also, while only giving one dose of the Pjizer vaccine may reduce its efficacy from 95% to 90% it’s not clear what the efficacy of a single dose of the Astra Zeneca jab might be though it would surely be less than the 70% of the tested two dose regime. There does not seem be any lack of vaccine in the U.K. so we really need to vaccinate the first 10% of population as quickly as
    possible using the tested two-dose regimes. Anything else is just a distraction and the single dose gamble just reeks of a public sector culture of hitting targets without thinking about the quality of outcomes.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      The Tories will use anything and everything to distract from their latest ineptitude and bungling.

    • DaveM
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely 100%.

  56. Ian Wileon
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I followed Mike Yeadon and others of similar views closely but now think his repeated claims “the pandemic was effectively over by June” are unsustainable. I erred in multiplying the number of deaths by 500, taking the widely held view that mortality is 0.2%, giving around 35 million should be immune plus around a further 20 million if he was right in thinking 30% were immune at the outset. The problem is that in Britain the mortality rate seems nearer 2 or 3% so nowhere near that number are actually immune. Quite why the UK rate is so much worse than elsewhere I do not know – some suggest we have an older population mix but I’m not wholly convinced. I remain doubtful lockdown has helped much and might even have made matters worse, but it’s virtually impossible to prove. There seems little difference in outcomes between countries (and states in the US) which have locked down or otherwise.

    • Sharon
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      Ahh! Every time the ‘Covid’ deaths rise, all other deaths decrease in number!

      • Fred H
        Posted January 4, 2021 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        what ‘other deaths’ ? There are normally about 1700 every day, could they be categorised for us, please?

    • Mark B
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      People are dying with Covid, not of it.

  57. L Jones
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    ”Why are they not using the Nightingales?”
    Because there aren’t enough people to staff them. If they’re already having personnel problems in main hospitals, where would the specialist staff be found for the Nightingales?

    • L Jones
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      But also – the statistics show that hospital admissions are currently about average for any year. ICUs are always busy about now – it doesn’t mean they’re ”overwhelmed” – a good Newspeak word to intimidate the already Terminally Terrified.
      We know hospitals generally are not busy because of this covid panic (not emergency) and thus the ‘covid wards’ should be expanded to accommodate this obsession since anyone testing positive (with any ailment) is shoved into them.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Then why build them?

      • Simeon
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        Propaganda purposes.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Why did the foolish government build them, at vast expense, if they did not have the staff? Simple to pretend they were doing something and give some royals something to “pretend” to open. Clearly the cash could have been used far more effectively. Just burning it for heat perhaps (or tax cuts) would have been hugely better.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        Possibly because siren voices such as yours @LL were crying out for more ventilators at the time.

        I don’t recall you posting about staffing when you were asking why the NHS did not have redundant capacity for all back in March. The Nightingales provided much needed reassurance and fulfilled their PR purpose.

        20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 4, 2021 at 8:09 am | Permalink

          I did not have any information on NHS staffing levels. But any competent person in charge of spending £ millions on equipping a new building for Covid patients surely would make sure they could staff them first. Otherwise why build them? Little point in having half of something if you need all of it to be any use.

          • Fred H
            Posted January 4, 2021 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

            competent….could be a problem.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        they were operating in panic mode, pulled out the plans to cope with war wounded returning from a big conflict, and didnt understand the complexity of these cases. its not so much a lack of staff, as a lack of other hospital facilities like scanners, x-rays, etc that an unpredictable percentage of the patients will need. lack of idea whether they were treating those with no hope, or only the youngest fittest covid patients, as either extreme is all a nightingdale hospital is suitable for. but lots of mistakes made, the Americans for example put tents around each bed in their and air conditioned each tent, so that they could manipulate the air pressure and reduce the cross contamination between patients, we did none of that and ours were an obvious cross contamination nightmare.

  58. Christine
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    If we live in a sterile environment then our bodies won’t build up immunity against other diseases. We don’t want to compromise our immune systems. Be very careful what you wish for. I can understand it in hospitals but not elsewhere.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      +1 ‘you will eat a peck of dirt before you die’. (And your immune system will deal with it!)

    • Alpipp
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      Well said. We need to stop testing. Only test those in Hospital and segregate. We need to mix and get used to each other’s germs. Humans are social. These lockdowns & online working/schooling will be viewed as a suicidal disaster for the human race. Man-up – obese unhealthy people die young and oldies die from respiratory diseases.

  59. john waugh
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Surprising how acquiescent people have been when freedom has been taken away.
    Nikita Khrushchev became first secretary of the communist party in 1953 after Stalin died .
    Khrushchev made a speech on 25th Feb 1956 denouncing Stalin which became known as
    The Secret Speech.
    He said ” Stalin invented the concept of `enemy of the people`. It made possible the use of the cruellest repression against anyone who disagreed with Stalin . ”
    Today a person could drive to mountain,walk in that area,meet nobody ,and be denounced as an enemy of the people.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Or a judge could rule so as to protect the UK Constitution from tyranny, and be called exactly that by the UK’s biggest newspapers.

      Thanks – so we know from where the brexiters got the term.

    • Fred H
      Posted January 4, 2021 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      so stay home can be ignored if you fancy a walk to the mountains. So can I take a walk to a riverside, a park, a housing estate, a wood, a train station, a bus depot, a crossroads to watch traffic?
      Where do you draw a line?

  60. William Long
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Even Margaret Thatcher balked at taking on the NHS and l am afraid we are now paying the price. The same applies to the education system. What you are asking for is just sufficient flexibility of mind to think outside and beyond the established rules, and the force of personality to get new ways operating. You would probably be wrong to expect either from the left wing nationalised industry mentality that rules in the NHS and Education, but surely Conservative ministers should be capable of making things happen, or has it really taken less than a year for them to go native, when working alongside the Civil Service?
    The only point in the present ‘Lockdown is the only way’ policy, is if the time gained is used to upgrade the capability of the NHS, and also progress initiatives such as those you describe, many of which you have been urging for some time.
    The poor communication of the vaccine strategy in recent days has only added to an impression of muddle and despair.

    • DavidJ
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:37 pm | Permalink


  61. alastair harris
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Experience tells us we can’t tame a virus, but we can kill an economy!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      Boris has proved to be ‘best in the world’ at killing the economy. He does not understand it. He has no concept of capital. He lives hand to mouth (can’t live on the PMs salary – so in spite of earning a huge amount all his life, he has no income from investment!). He thinks businesses have lost 9 moths turnover. He does not understand businesses themselves have been destroyed.
      Boris MUST go ASAP. There is absolutely no alternative.

  62. Multi-ID
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    We are in difficult times but there is no reason boy scouts girl guides cannot be trained to do the job

  63. Paul Armitage
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    We do not need to lockdown, top professors advocate taking vitamin D, vitamin C, Zinc to boost the immune system,the government should be advising the population of this simple and inexpensive fact.

  64. NickC
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Hope, The figure was 388 (not 338) deaths of people under the age of 60, without existing medical conditions, due directly to covid19, recently widely reported in the media.

    The death toll graph shows no indication of any effect from the first lockdown, either from imposition, or removal. Lockdowns appear to be worse than the disease for direct health outcomes, never mind the appalling economic damage.

  65. Oldwulf
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    My local authority has tweeted ” ….. Council has today raised “serious concerns” about primary schools safely reopening next week…”

    I have replied “If there are “serious concerns” about primary schools safely opening ….. then please make them safe. Isn’t that what we pay you for ?”

  66. Adams
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Taming your lunatic leader and his green build back better nonsense would be more to the point John .

  67. David L
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    On display in Robert Dyas in Wokingham is a system of re-useable masks with very scientific looking wording on the boxes. The product can “trap microbial particles down to a size of 5 microns”. Nowhere does it actually claim to protect the wearer from Covid19, and neither should it, as the virus particle measures a mere 0.3microns. Hence these expensive masks are completely useless for what any buyer will surely want. The misleading of the public is another pandemic in itself.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 4, 2021 at 4:27 am | Permalink

      A fool and his money are soon easy parted. 😉

  68. TooleyStu
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Again excellent comments from posters on this blog.

    I have absolutely no FEAR of this virus.
    I have absolute FEAR of the Agenda 21 that is behind it.

    People that have seen through this pantomime are throwing blame at Parliament.
    Yet… we need to see through the charade.
    They are only players.

    The MP’s elected (selected) to run this are, in my laymans opinion, being puppeteered from way, way above.

    It was never about health and safety.
    It was always about power and control.

    Best regards, as always,
    Tooley Stu

  69. rose
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    When I looked at the very long list of SAGE and its subsidiaries, I noticed that while there were many behavioural psychologists, including very left wing activists, there was not one immunologist. Should you press the Government to find one? Or several, to have a proper discussion.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 4, 2021 at 4:25 am | Permalink

      Revolution by other means perhaps ?

  70. Helen Smith
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, I’m very concerned about reports that ministers are considering vaccinating teachers as a priority to get schools back.

    This is a terrible idea, young teachers are at very little risk and to vaccinate them ahead of the elderly is unconscionable.

    It will do nothing to curb the spread of the virus, nothing to ease pressure in the NHS, and nothing to cut the death rate, indeed the elderly will continue to die whilst they wait patiently for their turn.

    • oldwulf
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      Hi Helen

      As an elderly male, I am concerned about the education of our young. If the priority vaccination of teachers preserves their education and maybe also reduces the risk of spreading covid to their families and friends, then I am in favour.

      • Helen Smith
        Posted January 4, 2021 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        By all means stand aside and let someone else get the jab when your turn comes, but you have no right to to make a decision that will result in upwards of 1000 elderly dying because they were shunted down the vaccination queue by 10-14 days.

  71. BW
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    I watched dozens of planes. One after the other landing at Heathrow. What checks are carried out on arrivals. If none and we are expecting passengers to “self isolate”. I think we are taking a wee into the wind and it is no wonder London and the South East case numbers are exploding. I can’t go to the pub, but you can fly from anywhere to the U.K. and be politely asked to please self isolate.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      It’s all a load of tosh. People are sick of all the regulations for us and none for others.

  72. Iain gill
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    I see that a lot of schools are closing even to key workers children, the unions responsible should have injunctions issued immediately against them to stop this. Who exactly is going to run the hospitals, sewage plants, and other essentials if they have to educate their own children.

  73. Great Reset
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Oxford needs to be closed down, all this him pot tyrants went to Oxford.

  74. Great Reset
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    When is someone going toa address the fact lockdown fines go to a chief constables association. No wonder we have a police state.

  75. Great Reset
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 11:24 pm | Permalink
  76. Paul Cuthbertson
    Posted January 4, 2021 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    The MSM and Governmernt have done an excellent job in putting fear into the people regarding something that is no worse than influenza. Wake up people. Beware of the vaccine.
    “When the government fears the people, you have liberty; when the people fear the government, you have tyranny”

  77. kzb
    Posted January 4, 2021 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    Increased ventilation? The future replacement of gas heating with electric heating also demands that properties are almost hermetically sealed.

    If you were designing a facility to maximise the spread of viruses, the modern open-plan office with aircon would come pretty close to ideal.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 4, 2021 at 8:19 am | Permalink


  78. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 4, 2021 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    It’s likely that in rolling out the vaccines the bottleneck will be staff availability, not vaccine supply. So why don’t we recruit temporary auxiliary nurses on a gig economy basis? Four auxiliary nurses could be supervised by each nurse.

    The training of such auxiliary nurses could be narrowly defined to knowing how and where to administer the vaccine, which could be learnt to a few days.

    I wouldn’t normally recommend this sort of thing but when 500 people are dying of COVID-19 every day, the balance of risk is shifted in favour of the maximum possible roll out rate. The NHS and the Labour party will probably scream blue murder. Screw them; saving lives is more important.

    We should remember that the NHS procurement bureaucracy acquired ventilators a month or two later than when they would have been most useful. Also, it failed to acquire PPE in time and informal procurement methods had to be used.

  • 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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