Can lockdowns work?

Many countries have imposed lockdowns and curfews. There is no sign from the international numbers that those locking down more for longer have been more successful in reducing case numbers or deaths.

The 20 countries with most cases per million so far are mainly continental European ones that have imposed tough lockdowns, and the USA with severe lockdowns on the populous Democrat controlled east and west coasts.
The top six countries for deaths per million are small European countries led by Belgium, with Peru in seventh place in the grisly table.

Government advisers have long concentrated on recommending lock downs for long periods while we await enough people being vaccinated. Their ultimate way out depends both on good rates of vaccination and the virus not mutating in ways which defeat the vaccines.

I will press again for better treatments, better isolation and infection control in the NHS, use of the Nightingales as specialist units, better cleaning and air flow in public buildings. I have tabled more questions and will try to raise these matters in the debate.

Once again the official government advisers present the case for lock down but do not present the case about the damage lock downs do to many people and businesses so we can weigh the balance of the arguments. There is also an absence of regularly published and reliable numbers of hospital beds, bed occupancy and deaths from other lung diseases. The death figures remain with CV 19 rather than because of CV 19. I do not doubt that this is a nasty disease and some people catch a serious version of it which can be life threatening.,We need to target our response based on improving knowledge of it, and offer good safeguarding to all those most vulnerable to it.

I will seek more information about the capacity of the NHS before deciding how to vote on new controls.

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336 Comments

  1. Mick
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    There would have been no lockdown needed if people had carried out three simple tasks that don’t cost anything Hands/Face/Space what’s so bloody hard to understand, good job this virus didn’t strike 10 years ago or mankind would be wiped out

    • Sea_Warrior
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Good point. Touch wood, we haven’t had a single COVID case in my extended family. Why? They’ve followed the rules, out of fear, and are the kind of people who maintain high standards of personal hygiene.
      But on the subject of ‘Space’, if the new variant is much more transmissible perhaps we should be upping the separation to 3 metres.
      P.S. I’ve habitually worn my warrior’s ‘contact gloves’ when out an about. I suspect that they’ve helped me dodge the COVID bullet.

      • Andy
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        You have also been lucky. And luck can easily run out.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        Sounds good to me. Apparently it’s not just the distance, it’s the length of time you are exposed to it. Even 20 metres may not be enough if you are standing in a queue with the wind in you face…

      • Simeon
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        Do you also have a horseshoe round your neck and garlic in your pockets? Asking for a friend 😉

      • NickC
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        And how do you know that your relations’ admitted fearful responses caused their freedom from covid19, Sea Warrior?

      • jerry
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        Nor would there need to have been a second and now third lockdown had Pubs and restaurants (who can never be Covid secure by nature), plus Gyms etc, been ordered to close since March, ‘Eat out to help spread the virus’, the data doesn’t lie. Glade to see the PM has finally accepted this virus is being spread by school and college age children, even if they do not become sick themselves.

        As for our hosts questions, all rather pointless, what with the opposition supporting it, not to mention one only has to look at the countries that have had no lockdowns, nor very weak lockdowns, the USA, Brazil, India and Sweden, the latter has accepted their policy was wrong…

        Our host might be better advised to push the govt on policies to help the majority of people, for example, it looks like the Govt. are now expecting people to stand around outside in the cold [1] whilst they have the govt mandated MOT test carried out, some of these people will be vulnerable/shielders, or part of a care bubble, bare in mind that not all MOT test centres offer a free collection delivery service whilst shielders might not want a stranger sitting in their cars for an extended period of time.

        [1] at the hight of the Flu season, regardless of either Lockdown or Covid….

        • Know-Dice
          Posted January 6, 2021 at 11:08 am | Permalink

          Good to see you back Jerry 🙂

        • G Wheatley
          Posted January 6, 2021 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, Government data (PHE/NHS contact tracing referrals) from pubs were 1.6% of the total. Cafés and restaurants 1.0%, Gyms 1.1%.
          Supermarkets 18.9%.
          Primary & Secondary schools ….. 22.8%

          Pubs, Cafés and gyms are NOT, and never have been, the problem.

          The current surge in the number of ‘cases’ and fatalities have timing that relate to the individuals having contracted CV19 DURING the last lockdown.
          Go figure.

          • jerry
            Posted January 7, 2021 at 8:26 am | Permalink

            @G Wheatley; Contact tracing does not work, even more so in hospitality [1], as has already been debated here and elsewhere, the fact that infection rates started to increase during the summer (when many work places and schools were closed) from two weeks after the “Eat out to help out” scheme began does not lie.

            As for your claim that Pubs, Cafés and gym are Covid secure is just the failed hyperbole of the relevant sector, anywhere masks can not be worn 100% of the time whilst within an enclosed space is by definition not secure.

            As for your “go figure” moment, indeed you should, you forget that in the last lockdown schools were still open, and it was within the schools were the virus was being spread further (hence why the govt made masks mandatory within certain settings), you need to ask how the children were becoming carriers, when workplaces and supermarket/shops are between 95-99% secure.

            [1] record keeping was a major issue within the hospitality industry until the govt cracked down, you can not contact trace a fake or lost ID, even worse no ID. Unlike, say, foreign travel by comparison.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Sea Warrior –
        did you ‘eat out to help out’?
        did you or your close family go on a foreign holiday last year?
        did you work to provide essential services?
        did anyone in your close family work to provide essential services?
        did you use public transport?
        did you have a member of your bubble work in healthcare in anyway?

      • Matt Mounsey
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Interesting. I haven’t followed any of these stupid rules and neither has anyone in my family. None of us have gotten sick. Most likely because we haven’t succumbed to the emotional incontinence that fear brings with it.

        We try to use reason instead. Reason tells us that there’s nothing you can do to stop the spread of a respiratory virus other than boost the immunity of the potentially infected. So we ate lots of healthy fruits and vegetables and tried our best to get some exercise. Oh, and we turned off the BBC.

        Who was right in the end? Only time will tell. But it isn’t going to matter very much when there’s hyperinflation and no food on the shelves.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Apparently Boris, Hancock and Whitty do not understand it because all three have tested positive!
      Do you think there is a possibility they have got it wrong? Horrors! What will they do when the vaccine does not work – as they are already predicting?

      • Hope
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Lynne,
        The vaccine might stop you from dying but there is no evidence they claim it stops its transmission! Children and pregnant women advised not to have an injection. So I do not see how vaccines will be the panacea of back to normal. Not that I think Johnson wants to achieve that. So what is the point of closing schools exactly? To stop parents from working?

        • jerry
          Posted January 7, 2021 at 8:34 am | Permalink

          @Hope; No, the point is to stop the spread of the new variant virus, and as a/the parent or guardian would have to be home should the child be ill (of self isolating…) anyway what’s the issue, some seem to think schools are day-care for their children rather than a centre for educational study!

      • jerry
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        Lynn, who is predicting the vaccine does not stop people from dying or becoming serious ill from the Covid-19 virus?

        Any doubt is because no one yet knows if the vaccine stops an infected person being a spreader, passing their infection on, if it turns out not to stop the spread then at worst we will have to keep some/all restrictions until the vaccine roll-out obtains ‘herd immunity’ but without the needless deaths that would occur without both restrictions and vaccine.

    • Nig l
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Agree totally. If our useless test and trace system had identified how people were getting it and Ministers had had more guts reminding people that it is their responsibility backed up by more aggressive fines we might be in a better place.

      However you will see from the fools on this blog who deny it is happening, invent mindless conspiracies, demand the right to infect others because of personal freedoms, etc that it is easier said than done.

      So thanks to them who I view with contempt, I have followed the rules, have not had it but am being punished,

      • G Wheatley
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        If I’d told you last January that the country would be locked-down within three months; pubs closed, exercise facilities closed, people being fined £1000s for meeting their friends in their own houses, people being tasered for delivering shopping to elderly relatives, or pepper-sprayed for refusing to give their name to a police officer, TOLD to stay in their home [also under threat of fines] – what would you have called me?

        And yet here we all are……

        There is a very fine – almost indistinct now – line between ‘conspiracy theory’ and fact. It depends on your outlook, where you get your ‘information’ from and whether you are prepared to acknowledge that things are not as they first appear.

        Many people appear to have had the logic-centre of their brains lobotomised.

      • DaveK
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        I do not know why Sir John published your Straw Man rant, however perhaps you could hold your contempt and explain why 92% of deaths including this months were over 60 years of age. Are you suggesting they all went banzai over Christmas hugging their schoolchildren or. young person relatives? All the ones I heard about caught it after contact with the NHS (following negative tests). Maybe some people are more curious than you and try to understand. Perhaps the ones who did carouse with their families accepted the risks and chose living rather than existing. Are you not even mildly interested that even the WHO have stated the PCR test is suspect? Would you like to know whether a high proportion of the cases may just be flu? It is foolish to suggest people on here believe it does not exist, but there must be proper statistics of those who have the full blown illness or a mild form, presumably through hospital admissions. Since September there have been more than a million cases, are the surviving ones all now immune? Perhaps an open discussion of the NHS figures on Jan 14th may be useful.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      The borders have remained open and flights from high risk areas never cancelled – which makes a mockery of telling the rest of us to remain at home.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Exactly and Boris shouldn’t need Tony Blair and Piers Morgan (Master Hypocrite) saying people should be testing traveling in to the uk since March last year at their own expense.

        British people have been asked to provide certificated proof from private testing agencies (£140 to £160 per test) for months now and just trot along obediently following the other countries rules whilst our pathetic excuse for a Health Department lock us all up and allow the likes of Morgan to travel in untested from his summer and winter holidays (the summer holiday travellers coming back with a Spanish strain I blame more than the eat out to help out).

    • Iain Gill
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      none of those measures make any difference when the airports are open to packed incoming passenger flights, the hand sanitiser bottles at the airports are empty, nobody has their temperature taken, passengers allowed onto public transport to all parts of the country, and nobody at all the slightest interested in monitoring their compliance with quarantine. it is fantasy land scare tactics to blame the local population when the issues are being so badly manged in other ways like this.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        temperature isn’t always an indication I know of two people with covid confirmed who didn’t have temperatures, nor were they very ill.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      This does not seem to be the case. The rapid reduction of norovirus cases implies that the hygiene measures of hands and face, together with cleaner surfaces, spacing etc have been followed. The air spread coronaviruses and rhinoviruses have continued to spread.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      To easy, to sensible.

      Lets keep our ports and entry points open without the proof of no infection being required. To travel to a lot of foreign clims, you require proof that you are clear of infection. To travel into the UK, OH that’s OK – if you feel ill please isolate. Does a carrier feel ill?

    • beresford
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      According to the Government’s own figures, the main vector of virus spread is schoolchildren. There is no evidence that public behaviour outside of schools is to blame. Surgical face masks do not block the virus, never mind the ‘face coverings’ mandated by law. There is no evidence of significant transmission from surfaces, you get the virus from prolonged close proximity to someone exhaling phages. Perhaps Sea Warrior’s family are just part of the 99.5% who have natural resistance.

      • DaveK
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

        Early data from an ONS survey of 100 schools in England which tested random pupils and staff without symptoms suggests this is the case. It found 1.24% of pupils and 1.29% of staff tested positive for the infection in November, mirroring an estimated 1.2% infection rate in the general population.

        Sage, the government’s scientific advisory group, also recognises the challenge of judging the role of transmission in schools.

        “It is difficult to quantify the size of this effect and it remains difficult to quantify the level of transmission taking place specifically within schools compared to other settings,” they say in their latest paper from December.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Agreed pretty well, Mick.

      John’s courage once more seems to be failing him – my first posts explaining the now settled logic of lockdowns has not appeared.

      That’s always an interesting point, I think.

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      We’ve been following government policy on hands/face/space for 10+ months with no effect…….just continuing to do hands/face/space for another 10+ months is utter madness

      • Ferd III
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        CV 19 is a religion, they don’t do science, facts. Like warmtards they manufacture data fraud and talk in tautologies.
        eg. Vaxx’s only reduce symptoms they have never stopped transmission so the Covidiots will say ‘be a maskhole forever’.
        Masks don’t work either. Useless. 0,012 is the micron size of the virus molecule. Bee through a chain link fence.
        But such realities are now ‘conspiracies’.
        On the upside looking forward to more TikTok dance videos by the overwhelmed nursing staff.

    • zorro
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      You mean like in Belgium, Peru, Italy and Spain, countries with the highest death rates per million? It’s always easy to blame somebody else for the failure of a policy which is designed to fail.

      And Sea Warrior, if we get another variant we can up it to 5 or 10 yards eh?

      zorro

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      We have had lockup after lockup And they only pause the problem, they are a discredited tool which must NEVER be used again.

      Please vote against it.

      As a seventy five year old I also think that shielding is for the individual, we musy not assume that age is the criterion. I have worked all my life to stay fit and being lockedup makes that harder.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Wrong on both counts.

      – I am struck by how seriously people are taking this issue – especially the first lockdown (which didn’t work either)

      – That this disease would have wiped out mankind is a gross exaggeration

      And throughout, the government kept our borders open and to a country which was close to source.

    • DaveK
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      People who talk like this are missing the point. The majority of deaths occur in hospitals, the majority of these are elderly people and in my anecdotal experience, the majority of these caught it in hospital. They went in negative, proved positive some time later and subsequently passed away (adding to the stats). The worst example was an elderly gent given penicillin for an infection, the locum didn’t check the patients record showing he was allergic, he had an awful reaction and following a negative covid test was admitted to hospital. Some time afterwards he tested positive, was moved into the covid ward and passed away.

      If I was an MP, I would demand the data on the PCR testing, because if the NHS are still using Ct >40 as a positive result, then we are in the middle of what has been dubbed a Casedemic. The majority of the daily cases therefore will not be infected and the deaths are likely due to other co-morbidities.

      I would ask everyone to watch Dr Yeadons youtube presentation where he called Professor Vallance a liar. During this he points out that SAGE were completely wrong in stating 93% of the country are susceptible (which is what panicked the government into Lockdown 1) and in fact the epidemic was finished by late March.

      1. Covid 19 followed historic Gompertz curve.
      2. Epidemic finished late March.
      3. Minimal to no testing, so no idea how many in population had contact.
      4. Disappeared due to normal seasonality in summer.
      5. Re-emerged in autumn during mass movement of people and hit susceptible areas worst.
      6. It is discovered that the testing method is flawed (by everyone including WHO who pointed this out 14th Dec).

      A rational conclusion could be:

      We suffered a pandemic and since it was novel we had no vaccine. It spread exponentially and a huge proportion of the population were unknowingly affected (I believe I had it in January, 2 weeks of antibiotics and 1 of steroids seemed to do the trick), children and young people didn’t even know they’d had it. An unsuitable test was then used that revealed millions have got this in their systems thereby deeming huges numbers of cases and deaths “with covid”. Subsequently, like all coronavirus we now have a mutated version during the current winter influenza season which is (due to no vaccine) has probably increased this years excess winter deaths.

      As other observers point out nearly every (bad) winter the NHS and unions complain about lack of beds/staff/funding due to the evil government. Yet in my region<5% of beds have covid cases occupying them. What really gets me, is that these lockdowns usually are placed before the Monthly NHS reports come out, which from my experience show no justification for lockdowns whatsoever.

    • Frankfrankly
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Our immune system has prevented us from being wiped out & this staement is frankly bizarre. The age of death structure (average 80+, 85% deaths 70+) shows that this is not a thrreat to the general population, hence lockdown and other generalist actions are useless and destructive. If you look at the cases and death curves, lockdown in March came too late to make any difference. Covid is now endemic and seasonal. We are destroying our economy and society when excess deaths are not even in the top 25% in the last 30 years. We do not lock down during hard influenza seasons when tens of thousands die and we did not in 2018 when the NHS was overwhelmed. It is the lack of NHS bed capacity which is driving this lockdown.

    • James Bertram
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      There would have been no need for Lockdown if people had just behaved as normal, as if this was a bad flu outbreak like 2017/18, used their brains and not been so bloody gullible – what’s so hard to understand, mick?

    • TheBigman
      Posted January 6, 2021 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Don’t be so daft. The virus can travel in the air up to 100ft so the 2m rule is useless. Masks offer no protection against an airbourne virus.

      The way to defeat it is to realise that it will join the other four main coronaviruses that are endemic in the UK. This would be the fifth if we were out and about not locked away.

    • Steve
      Posted January 6, 2021 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      If we’d had it ten years ago we’d have got on with life and taken no notice as we did during the Asian flu (1959) and Hong Kong flu (1969) epidemics, the latter of which killed more people of all ages out of a smaller population than covid has. The defining characteristic of covid is the hysteria it has produced.

    • Ms Maxine Shaverin
      Posted January 6, 2021 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Except that you are totally wrong and your claim is based on unscientific made assumptions which have been presented to you as fact. It is an air borne virus alike many other air borne viruses. Your masks do not protect you or others, indeed, in damp conditions (including those created from breathing alone) and handling are more likely to cause sickness as they are germ catchers. Space – not needed if you are not ill and you know when you are ill. In that regard, nothing further is needed than what people already did. If sick, avoid others and preferably stay home.

  2. Nig l
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Very good questions. Surely they should gave been asked before the decision was taken and therefore readily available.

    This is the umpteenth time you gave raised them, can’t you pick the phone up, it is not as if the Secretary of Stare doesn’t have a plethora of people around him.

    If not go public. Get on the airwaves demanding answers or get Steve Baker to do it. Your ‘polite’ approach maybe needs to get ‘nasty’?

    reply I have gone public! I have also put these issues to Ministers!

    • SecretPeople
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Steve Baker seems to have gone awol.

    • Nig l
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Thank you. I do not understand why you are not getting answers.

    • Hope
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      We should no longer peacefully standby allowing th govt. to wreck our way of life and economy without good reason. This is how dictatorships are borne. It must be stopped.

      Vaccines are not compulsory. Is this another govt threat to coerce people to be vaccinated against the threat of perpetual lockdown and withdrawal of freedom, liberty and democracy? I will not have a vaccine under duress or be coerced by govt to have one. Why are you and other Fake Tory MPs not challenging this JR? Govt. scaring people into submission is disgraceful by any standard.

      • TheBigman
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Well put.

        If the people don’t stand up to this we are no better than authoritarian China.

        Our education system has produced so many weak socialist minded men and women that this love affair for their captors was inevitable.

        I don’t see the Conservatives doing any different to Blairite days.

  3. Nig l
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Ps I suspect the answers maybe too embarrassing? Politics first, people second?

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Being seen to be in control at all costs is the madness that our Government practices

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Politics first – well, while people are preoccupied with this, I see that Johnson has cancelled his trip to India for trade negotiations, on the basis of the worsening pandemic here.

      However, India had reportedly already cooled on the prospect owing to Johnson’s inability to concede increased Freedom Of Movement between the two countries.

      This is exactly as Remain commenters said that the conditions would be.

      I’m sure that the same will be true for other Commonwealth countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, etc.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

        Well if they refuse to sell their goods to us, so what?
        Impoversish themselves if they want to.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        Just for information, that is a market of well over a billion people.

        Only three percent of the CW live in Aus, NZ and Canada.

        • dixie
          Posted January 7, 2021 at 7:41 am | Permalink

          In the context that is meaningless info. They are not equal markets – for most UK businesses Australia, New Zealand and Canada are worth far more.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        Why can’t they do trade negotiations by video link? If people want to sell us stuff they will if they don’t they won’t and we’ll have to find other friends to import from when we can’t provide for ourselves.

    • G Wheatley
      Posted January 6, 2021 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Agreed! They (Govt) won’t like acknowledging the answers they would have to give.

      ….just like both S.A.G.E. and the Govt not liking the data following lockdown-2 – it hasn’t shown what they were hoping…. and so the answer is ‘more of the same’.

  4. DOM
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Our kind host’s article only remains valid if the assumption on which it is composed remains valid ie that the authoritarian restrictions being brutally imposed are designed to limit the spread of CV19 and thereby its clinical impact on the general populace to minimise harm to people and to prevent harm in the future. I believe this assumption is spurious and specious

    It is my belief that what we are seeing is a systematic attack on fundamental freedoms with one single purpose, to redefine the relationship between certain citizens and the political state.

    It is my belief that the British State’s (and I include all major parties, their outliers, agents of the State and other activists) morphed into something utterly sinister and it will use all and any reason to further its grab for power

    So, while our kind host chooses to focus his efforts on the clinical aspects of this medical event I prefer to focus on the abuse of this medical event for political gain which is what I believe is actually happening

    I am certain that Tory MPs know far more than they prefer to discuss in public. They can see the existential changes now being imposed onto the main body of people and how our world is being deliberately exposed to extreme political ideas being generated by agents of the State (academics, bureaucrats etc). The fact that these people are never challenged nor sacked is telling and suggests complicity

    I am old enough (50 yrs) and wise enough to see what is happening and I can see with my own eyes that there are forces at work that I have never seen before.

    The British State is out of control and it is John’s job and the job of other MPs who believe in freedom, decency and morality to challenge the rise of this most pernicious form of State control

    • Nig l
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Conspiracy tosh with no evidence. Reminds me of the McCarthy era in the US, reds under the beds. Thank goodness someone’s prepared to take tough decisions to protect us from the no knowledge arm chair experts.

      • hefner
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Dom’s comment does not hold water, starting with ‘I believe this assumption is spurious and specious’, and going on ‘it is my belief’.

        So he believes, but where are the hard proofs for all he is hinting at later in his comment?

        Would it not be much simpler to realise that the Government and the PM are simply overwhelmed by the events, are receiving information from economic and health experts of conflicting nature for taking decisions, are just trying to prevent things from going completely astray? without resorting to theories made up by half-wits?

      • G Wheatley
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        Nig 1 – And if I’d told you this time last year what was in-store for us all within the next three months……? Conspiracy? Nope. Turns out to be fact now.

        How fanciful would something have to be for it TO be regarded as ‘conspiracy’ now?

    • SecretPeople
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      +++

    • oldtimer
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      The state is out of control as is the NHS component of it. Fear is its chosen instrument. I am a lot older than you and can confirm that the onward march of the state is inexorable and, despite lip service, pays scant regard to the interests of the individual when set against the interests of the state.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      +1
      out of control – and some!

    • Norman
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      “I can see with my own eyes that there are forces at work that I have never seen before.”
      Correct.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      It certainly appears so.

      Some may question the sanity of what you say but none can doubt the eloquence with which you say it.

      This is their moment. It is the other issues which have been sprung upon us with such great force which gives it away.

      Why now of all times ?

    • Hope
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      +1 There is no reasonable cogent or evidence based reason for the govt.’s action.

      The govt is totally devoid of honesty or competence or it is has another aim/purpose. Collectively or individually Govt and civil service cannot be that stupid.

      How can you have an indefinite lockdown based on people being vaccinated where they can refuse? This is naked Govt. duress and coercion. This is contrary to the Human Rights Act. The Govt. is acting against the law. Do you agree JR? How can you support a Govt. acting illegally?

    • Christine
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      I agree. There’s something much more sinister going on. Unfortunately, the media has been taken over. The few dissenting voices are being silenced. TalkRadio had its YouTube channel taken down last night. How long before John’s diary goes?

      This isn’t just happening in our country. It’s happening in all Western democracies.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      The British State has been out of control since the beginning of the last century. Giving the common man and most women the vote was not done freely, it had to be fought. Since then the Establishment has sought to take that control back, not by taking the vote back, but by making it irrelevant. eg Our membership of the EU. No matter who you vote for, you get the same policies since it is the unelected and unaccountable EU Commission that makes the decisions. Today it may not be the EU but the UN and its bodies like the WHO. The UK Government is slavishly following their lead with parliament little more than a rubber stamp.

    • NickC
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Dom, We can see that national lockdowns do not work.

      The death toll graph for the March 2020 lockdown (the first) indicates no effects from either the imposition nor the lifting (using the mean of infection to death of 4 weeks).

      The November lockdown (the second one) actually resulted in increased levels of infection in many areas. That’s diametrically opposite to the government’s claims.

      So what is the reason for a policy which clearly doesn’t do what it says on the tin, yet causes immense damage the health and wealth of the majority? Incompetence? Hysteria? Mimicry? Or an outlier for the great reset?

    • Original Chris
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Excellent post, DOM.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      +1,

      but I do not think a small number of MPs alone can save us.

    • M Reed
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Sense. Unfortunately they’re all in it together.

    • Butties
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Spot on Dom. I think Sir John knows this deep down. You cannot beat the total death statistics to confirm what is going down. Even if you attribute many more to the so called CV19 (the elusive non isolated virus) the total deaths by comparison to the past statistics exposes the truth.

      As usual no risk assessments or cost benefit analysis have been presented, if they have even been undertaken, to justify this proposed curfew.

      Many essential workers (top of my list are those in the food supply chain) are being asked to wear ‘masks’ for prolonged periods and yet NO RISK assesment has been undertaken by HMG of the effcets of breathing back in exhaust lung emissions. There is no excuse for this, especially as a whole trove of studies confirms that the masks that are being used are useless in filtering viruses in both directions.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        Anyone that has to wear a mask all day should have to wear the same masks that medics wear.

    • James Bertram
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, Dom.
      Sir John and his like-minded colleagues need to sit down with Lord Sumption and plot a way out of this, using all political and legal influence to overturn this dictatorship – removing Johnson by force if needs be (criminal arrest).

      • Lynn
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        I agree, it’s him or us. It has to be him!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      The evidence for the prosecution case here is overwhelming. If these restrictions were related to the virus there would be:

      1. solid data about the seriously sick and dead; who they were, how and where they caught the virus
      2. full preventative measures put in place related to who, how and where, and not just random measures.
      3. a halt on importing people with the virus

      Restrictions instead are likely related to
      1. Saving the skin of a disastrous health service and its elite from criticism for obvious failure, which was due to happen in any case with flu;
      2. Cow-towing to the teachers’ unions who shout louder than the pupils as customers;
      3. Blindly following what happens somewhere else;
      4. Opportunity to create money and bargains for the banks to buy up cheap assets from distressed small business owners (previous cases after 2008 refer);
      5. Foreign influence to reduce our self-reliance as a country.

  5. Radar
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    SJR, you also need to seek information about the number of nurses off work self isolating, with a (most likely false) positive PCR test. Not enough staff is making the hospital problem far, far worse.

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Trace and track is still informing people to isolate and furlough without any symptoms – people are indeed off work for no reason …the public sector love it

    • zorro
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Yes, this is gaming the availability of ICU beds allowing them to claim that they are full when beds lay empty. It is utterly sinister, and we have health care staff lying about hospitals being full of sick children with COVID!

      zorro

      • Lynn
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        I know a few people who work in the NHS -they are petrified of saying one word. It’s as though they are under some sort of threat. I mean, not one word, and some are close to breaking down.

      • DaveK
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

        Another way to change the bed stats is to have to socially distance them using the available space.

    • Simeon
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      The information is there. I’ve not seen any indication that Sir John regards it as useful. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of government-approved data for him to engage with.

    • DaveK
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      That information is in the NHS Monthly report, my region it was 38%. Next update due 14th Jan.

      https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-hospital-activity/

      Decembers report: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/12/Covid-Publication-10-12-2020.xlsx

      If Sir John doesn’t like the links, search for “COVID-19 Hospital Activity”.

  6. Andy
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    We are run by an idiot. Our Covid response is a disaster. The two are linked.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      And your EU mates are idiots too then ? Merkel ? Fair enough.

      • Andy
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        They are mostly doing much better. Nobody denies Covid is hard. But it is harder when your government is useless. (And it is YOUR government because you voted for it and, like the majority, I did not.)

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Roy Granger

        According to recent poll:

        “Germany’s Angela Merkel comes out top in leaders’ approval poll for COVID-19 crisis”

        Boris wasn’t mentioned!

        • a-tracy
          Posted January 6, 2021 at 10:14 am | Permalink

          The poll I was was on euronews from May 2020! what is the source for your more recent assertion? This poll focused on Germany, France and Italy with 1500 people questioned.

          I searched for January 2021 Angela Merkel tops leaders poll for covid-19 crisis.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Elected by about fourteen million people.

      Johnson is FAR from the only problem facing this country.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        Agree. A perpetually failing monolithic health service is one – if only we had the German public/private system. Or the Senegal one of course.

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff

        What a lovely democracy we live in. 14m people can give a government a majority of 80 seats.

        And one where 17m brexit voters, mostly made up of poorly educated, older flag waving nationals being manipulated by cynical men, can determine the future of nearly 70m citizens of this country.

        • Lynn
          Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

          You were not citizens ‘of this country’ Margaret, you were EU citizens because this country did not exist before those brave souls saved you.

          • G Wheatley
            Posted January 6, 2021 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

            +1

            btw my previous ID / email seems to have been blocked. I obviously said something that somebody didn’t like…..

      • Edward2
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        I presume Martin, you want to make voting compulsory and reduce voting age to one year old and allow anyone in the UK a vote even if they are not a UK citizen.

    • Sea_Warrior
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Gosh – I agree with you! It’s time for the men in white coats to visit No 10.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        +1 if the men in grey suits refuse to visit them en in white coats MUST. This CANNOT CONTINUE.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        sea warrier

        The men in white coats did visit no 10 in April last year, but then the government was like a headless chicken for a few weeks, be careful who you wish for to replace Boris.

        Just out of interest who would you vote for ?

        • G Wheatley
          Posted January 6, 2021 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          Not Hancock.

      • jerry
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        It’s not the bloke in No.10 who’s the problem, it’s the bloke next door… The real reason the govt wanted schools to remain open is not due to so called problems with distant learning [1] but because a child at home requires childcare, for most households that means a parent, who then can not be (fully) economically active.

        [1] for those children who have little or no access to IP based distance learning schools can always fall back on ‘old school’ methods, weekly printed worksheets – along with a prepaid, addressed, envelope to return the sheets for marking/assessments.

    • Richard1
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      As pointed out above the results are similar across Europe and are worse in some countries. And in the (lockdown) Democrat states of the US. Your comments are irrelevant, driven as they clearly are, by political opposition to the government.

    • NickC
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Yet, Andy, you advocate more and harsher lockdowns, even though the evidence is they don’t work and result in catastrophic damage to the health and wealth of the majority.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      How the old men of Beijing must be laughing as the West tears itself apart.

      This is not the first time the Communists have brought *disaster* to millions upon millions of people.

      I have been reading your comments for many years now and most of them misdirect blame and often in the opposite direction to where it really lies.

    • Fred H
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      our ‘useless’ Government ordered millions of vaccine doses instantly – people like you moaned about the cost. Now we have a supply coming in, and the ‘science’ indicates we cannot beat the virus without vaccines, the UK has already provided more vaccinations (approx 1m) than all the EU put together. France has ‘managed’ 516 so far – wonderful! But they wear masks – clap clap…

      • G Wheatley
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        ….and the government advisors are saying that there is no guarantee that they will work against this (conveniently) extremely virulent new strain.

        ‘Expert’.
        ‘x’ = an unknown quantity & ‘spurt’ = a drip under pressure.

        I tried to respond to your reply to me in another thread but my previous screen name seems to have been blocked.

  7. Ian Wragg
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    The advisers promoting lockdown are mainly left wing academics who are happy to see the economy trashed.
    They then hope we can have the big reset where we ditch capitalism favour of a state regulated economy.
    Boris is aiding and abetting socialism which is doomed to fail.
    Get rid of him now.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      ‘ditch capitalism favour of a state regulated economy.’ Something like the appalling state monopoly, NHS that has and still is failing the public so badly. With covid deaths over twice those in Germany per cap.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        Dear Lifelogic–I applaud your abbreviating to “per cap” which some of us can persuade ourselves is short for “per caput”. “Per capita”, an obvious plural for a start, does not mean “per head”, though I admit one would never guess.

      • Nig l
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        No it isn’t I have had excellent service from it in the last month. You are just churning out you own one eyed view with neither evidence nor a solution. You should have gone for the PPE which you hate. It would have taught you about the political elements that are always missing from your contributions thus making them unworkable.

      • ian@Barkham
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        +1

      • Timaction
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        I think you will find that they record the deaths differently. Belgium officials said similar things about the stats at the start of the first outbreak. For whatever reason our medical people are falling over themselves to record any death possible as Covid. Why? Protect the over 65’s and other people with known problems. Let the rest get on with their lives with sensible advice.

        • jerry
          Posted January 6, 2021 at 9:19 am | Permalink

          @Timaction; “our medical people are falling over themselves to record any death possible as Covid.”

          Nonsense, those who die having tested positive for Covid-19 twenty-nine (plus) days later are not being counted… Quite the opposite to your suggestion, our govt appears to be falling over themselves NOT to record as many deaths as possible due to Covid.

          “Let the rest get on with their lives with sensible advice.”

          Which was basically UK Govt policy before the Autumn lockdown and after until just before Christmas, yet the hospitals were filling up with mostly, previously fit, working age people!

          So either being fit and healthy is no security against this virus or far to many people are walking the streets with unknown-unknown pre-existing serious health issues that make them vulnerable (my money is on the former). Either way, in such circumstances when someone who thinks as you do has that unexpected non Covid medical emergency or accident it becomes less likely there will be either the NHS or private health care resources to deal with them in a timely way, meaning that some people will start to die from preventable non Covid illnesses too.

      • Mike Durrans
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        +1

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        Incorrect. Germany’s death rate now ahead of ours per million

        • hefner
          Posted January 6, 2021 at 10:07 am | Permalink

          As of 5 January 2021 worldometers.info
          ………………….UK………………Germany
          Population….68.069m ……..83.922m
          Cases ……….. 2.774m ………..1.814m
          Deaths ……….76,305 …………37,180

          So Jiminyjim, can you explain why a time derivative is a better indicator than an accumulated number? Thanks in advance.

      • Martin R
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        Germany had half the uptake of the flu jab that Britain had. Research has shown that vaccination for flu renders subjects more susceptible afterwards to coronavirus infection. Research in the US in 2018 on thousands of army recruits confirmed this. As you go further East in Europe flu jab uptake falls and so do Covid-19 fatalities. Just another reason to treat vaccination with caution especially when the medication has been rushed into production in contravention of all previous practice.

        • jerry
          Posted January 6, 2021 at 9:31 am | Permalink

          @Martin R; Care to cite a peer reviewed medial journal or paper that backs up your assertion(s), after all you do mention recent research in the US…

          Might the reason death rates fall the further east you go in Europe, and not doubt the further south you go towards the equator be because they are simply not being counted as Flu/Covid deaths?

        • hefner
          Posted January 6, 2021 at 10:10 am | Permalink

          Which ‘research’? Reference(s) please.

      • jerry
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        @LL; Comparing apples and pears again….

    • Dan
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Please note that the big successes are the privately run firms such as pharmaceuticals, supermarkets and firms that can deal with online delivery. the only state backed organisation to come out with some positives is the military. Every failure has been from a state-run organisation, PHE in particular.

      • jerry
        Posted January 7, 2021 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        Dan, a very selective list there, and indeed even your suggest of private success with online is rather ‘woke’, more people can not access such services or obtain a deli8very-slot that do – and that is totally due to our capitalist system, it is also the reason why some children still have little or no IP access at home.

        Also many PHE failures were due to the private supply sector, either outsourced logistics or a lack of UK manufacturing capacity, the NHS can not distribute/use what they do not have.

    • jerry
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      @Ian Wragg; “[those] promoting lockdown are mainly left wing academics”

      The same political observation could be made toward those who are ant-lockdown, most appear to be hard-line capitalists.

  8. Simeon
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    “Government advisers”

    It’s the government that makes the decisions! Please vote for us. We know we made a complete hash of things, but it’s not our fault, we were badly advised…

    “I will seek more information”

    If you find anything other than dodgy data, do let us know…

    PS THE VACCINE IS A VERY BAD THING. It is not the solution to a problem created by government policy.

    • Christine
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Is it a coincidence that so many World leaders have already had Covid and therefore don’t need to take this vaccine?

      • Simeon
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

        I haven’t seen anything suggesting world leaders would dodge the vaccine. My assumption would be that they would make a very public show of taking it, as and when their turn comes. Of course, we’d have no way of knowing what they were sticking in their arms. My money would be on a saline solution.

        • G Wheatley
          Posted January 6, 2021 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          ….a very public show of taking a 5% saline solution?

  9. SM
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    As you say Sir John, this is a nasty disease, but what seems to have been lost – virtually everywhere – is a sense of proportion.

    Yes, wherever possible sanitation advice should be adhered to; yes, research into cures/vaccinations should be encouraged; yes, there should be a great deal of use of broadcasting methods to explain how the air-born infection is activated by incautious behaviour.

    I do not subscribe to the hysteria that this is all a Globalist/Marxist/Fascist/Capitalist plot to subjugate the masses – and I worry that far too many contributors (as evidenced here, on Conservative Woman and Conservative Home, for example) are getting ‘high’ on the adrenalin induced by spotting conspiracies under every rock.

    Initial lockdowns, while governments took stock of the situation, had some merit – the continued use of them is surely just like walking down a cul-de-sac time after time and hoping that it will turn into a through-road.

    Finally, and commenting as someone now on the wrong side of 75, protecting the very elderly and those in care homes should NOT be the Government’s priority – we have lived our lives, we should not purchase more time at the expense of our children and grandchildren, just help us to die with dignity.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      SM,

      You have my deepest respect on your last para.

      You are quite correct, yes we were unprepared for the first wave, but surely the big brains in Government could have learnt what worked and what didn’t. Who should be shielding and who can go on essentially as normal. And, above all, get the NHS to respond appropriately. This means Covid only hospitals, bringing back recently retired medical professionals and if necessary bringing in the medics from the armed forces to assist. It is clear that no preparations were made for the predicted second wave.

      INCOMPETENT.

      • Nig l
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        Indeed. With your PHD in hindsight you should be in charge.

      • SM
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        As I have repeated ad infinitum, I strongly recommend looking at the Government report available on PDF on Operation Cygnus, a 3 day exercise by PHE and the Dept of Health in 2016 to see how well PHE and the NHS would be able to cope in the face of a very serious flu epidemic. There is a specific section on ‘lessons to be learnt’ – but they weren’t.

        Someone should be publicly holding Jeremy Hunt’s and Simon Stephens’ feet to the fire, whether it’s the serious media or Government or – preferably – both. Why the heck aren’t they?

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        Peter.

        Its people who spread the virus, not the government.

      • Mockbeggar
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        ll very noble, but you forget that it’s the elderly who tend to wind up in intensive care and tie up the hospitals so that they can’t do their real work properly. It’s not for the elderly peoples’ benefit primarily, it’s for the NHS.

        • a-tracy
          Posted January 6, 2021 at 10:41 am | Permalink

          Mockbegger where did you see who is winding up in intensive care for treatment? I’ve tried to find this information and haven’t seen it online. I was told the over 75’s were often not being taken to intensive care and I wanted to know if this was true or not.

          How many over 65’s as a % are those in hospital intensive care right now if you have the figures available?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      @SM, while I respect your last paragraph and your attitude, I do not agree with it.

      Unless we are to leave the over 75s to die in their beds they will need to be treated. Therefore if we abandon them they will still be filling hospital beds. It is the sight of overflowing hospitals that our government is scared of, not deaths. Indeed if Covid was a swift and clean killer without the need for intrusive hospital care, we may not be seeing the responses of the last nine months.

    • Arthur Wrightiss
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      I completely agree with your last paragraph. I too am an oldie and recognise the dreadful damage being done to the working and school age population. There are fewer than 400 deaths of the under 60’s who don’t have pre existing conditions. Every one is of course a sad event, but the entire economy has been trashed to keep oldies a bit more safe. About 80% of deaths from/with Covid are in the over 70’s and 80’s. Let’s vaccinate all the working population first and get the country moving again.
      I’m more than happy to follow the rules, isolate, cycle, walk, read, dig the garden etc…

    • Caterpillar
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      SM,

      6 months back I thought conspiracy theories were just that, now I find myself dropping the theories word. When I see the vast liberties lost, near one party politics, social media censored, mainstream media fact checks being wrong, main search engines not leading to sought information, experts words not matching published data, etc., I think it is an act of misplaced hope to not find some truth in some of the theories.

      • G Wheatley
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        My standard response now (..and sadly also to friends, who may become ‘former friends’ because of it) is :-

        “If I’d outlined to you in October of 2019, or indeed in January of 2020, what would be in-store for us all in the coming months, you would have labelled me a ‘Conspiracy Theorist’, a ‘nutter’, a looney’ or any one of a dozen other disparaging names. …… and yet, here we all are.
        Not so fanciful after all, eh?
        With the knowledge that you NOW have, what would you call me today?”.

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      +1 @100%

    • John Lodge
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Exactly,could not have put it better.

    • Martin R
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, and I’m a few days short of my eightieth birthday. Anyone with half a brain knows the human cost of this idiocy must already greatly outweigh the harm this illness has caused. But that cost will grow exponentially as the economy is increasingly ravaged by the day, which is clearly the plan. SME’s are the future, not existing big businesses, yet they are the ones being targeted for destruction.

  10. Mark B
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    To answer our kind hosts question one must first ask, what is the intended goal ?

    First it was to save the NHS. Then to flatten the curve. Then something else and so on.

    The government has walked away and left the running of this on going farce to people whose skills do not lay within the field of microbiology. If you have a leaky tap you do not employ a bricklayer to fix it, you get a plumber. The fact that such an obvious statement goes unnoticed is alarming.

    Population density is key here. Reduce contact in built up areas and leave the less populated alone. Identify and protect the most vulnerable. Simple.

    The government is looking to this vaccine as a way of pulling a rabbit out of a hat. I think what will happen is that the mood music and the way in which various figures are reported will change to a more positive and upbeat note, offering the government a face saving way out.

    Watch this space.

    • Simeon
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      They’ve been manipulating the figures, then interpreting them to suit since the beginning. No reason to think they’ll stop now. However, I disagree that these gymnastics are an elaborate way of extricating government from a mess they inadvertently made. Government has had a good crisis in the sense that they have successfully grabbed powers from individuals. There’s little precedent for governments returning powers they have acquired.

      • SecretPeople
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        +1

      • SM
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        What powers has the Government grabbed? The power to go bankrupt, the power to be ill-educated, the power to suffer mental and physical health problems, the power to be appallingly isolated when you most need help?

        Are you sharing DOM’s tinfoil hat?

        • Simeon
          Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

          I’ll take that as a compliment. Thank you

        • Mark B
          Posted January 6, 2021 at 6:36 am | Permalink

          Well the government is making more and more restrictions in the hope that it will defeat this virus. Rear restrictions not work but they are targeted at the wrong people. No tin foil hat needed to see that.

      • Hope
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        May made the point a long time ago, govt decides policy and make up figures to justify! This from May in parliament. She is right. Fake figures always cause distrust and make people consider why?

    • DaveM
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Quite. One of those giant church thermometers for measuring roof fundraising should be placed outside Parliament showing how many vaccinations have been administered.

      Something positive for once.

      • Fred H
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        and show it under Big Ben – broadcast at the 10 pm news.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Dave

        “…..giant thermometer…..”

        Good idea, then we want another one showing the rise of the National debt.

        I remember seeing the US National Debt digital clock ticking ever upwards in New York many years ago, not sure if its still there.

    • BeebTax
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      +1. I think they are manipulating the data to engineer a apparently “successful” outcome (ie face-saving for them, but ruinous for the economy and civil liberties).

      • Hope
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        From Frederick Edward in Con Woman today comparing North Korea to U.K. At least I. North Korea theynwere allowed to watch outside state controlled fireworks!

        …. sledgehammering propaganda, compulsory house arrest, a controlled economy, the mandatory worship of state institutions and national media outlets which, like zombies, parrot the government’s official line?

        In another article it questions all those who allow the authoritarian govt to act as it does, people like you,JR. Do you have a reply or are you censored as well?

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      @Mark B
      Worth repeating – “The government has walked away and left the running of this on going farce to people whose skills do not lay within the field of microbiology.”

      No real science, no logic – no idea

  11. Grey Friar
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    We don’t have enough doctors or nurses. This is because your party has chronically underfunded training and wages over the last 10 years, and because Brexit has made the UK a less attractive place for foreigners to work. Please take responsibility for your mess

    Reply Not true. There is plenty of money to pay more staff and we are still inviting in staff from abroad.

    • SM
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Grey Friar:

      Nursing staff were being imported from Ireland in the 1970’s, and during a nursing go-slow about wages in that era, a ward Sister told me that in her opinion, pay was perfectly good.

      No Government has dared to introduce free medical training in exchange for a legal commitment to work for the NHS for, say, 5 years after qualification.

      5 years ago, in a specialist NHS hospital in central London, a senior nurse told me he was very well paid but the job was so fascinating he would do it for half the salary!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      If the NHS were not free at the point of use we would have far more private healthcare and far more money and trained staff in healthcare. It kill nearly all consumer choice, innovation and competition. Running healthcare as a state monopoly is insane. The state never runs anything remotely efficiently. Worse still it kills nearly all alternatives.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        yes indeed. it is the dynamic of real ongoing consumer choice which forces providers to continually improve and optimise, or not as in the case of the NHS.

      • ian@Barkham
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        +1

      • Otto
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        With competition one particular hospital will be better than all the others for a specific treatment – how long will the waiting list be for that?

        Can’t wait? Then the treatment you have to go for will not satisfy the patient. Then we’ll have a nation of moaners.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Almost anything run by the state is a disaster as we know. PPE graduates like Hunt, Hancock, Simon Stevens is perhaps best avoided too. Look at the appallingly inept Pandemic Planning. Has anyone been reprimanded or fired for this?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        LL – why ‘almost’? Everything run by the state is a disaster including the Government and Parliament. Else we would not now be in this horrific mess.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        PPE graduates like Hunt, Hancock, Simon Stevens, Sunak, Cameron (essentially car salesmen types) running things is certainly best avoided too.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Like the military, you mean?

      • dixie
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Non-PPE graduates have been running things during the pandemic – hardly a recommendation.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      The NHS eats over £150 billion every year (of our taxes and monies borrowed).

      I think it can afford to train the doctors and nurses on which it relies.

      The funding model is wrong and the delivery needs to change so that unfortunate but lifestyle afflictions are not provided. A refundable appointment charge should be introduced and of course proof of residence or insurance must feature in the mix.

      To support the NHS taxes on private insurance should be removed. No IPT and certainly no class 1 NI payments or income tax payments. Encourage us to take out insurance rather than penalise us.

      • SM
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 5:48 am | Permalink

        +100

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      When the health system is bombarded with droves of people with lifestyle diseases, it might appear that there aren’t enough doctors and nurses. A big chunk of NHS spending goes on treating the consequences of obesity – type 2 diabetes, heart disease, joint problems.
      If such self-inflicted conditions were directed to private healthcare, paid for by insurance, the NHS would be relieved of much of their burden. Run a high BMI and your premiums go up.
      Let the NHS treat the genuinely sick and needy.

    • glen cullen
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      I still can’t understand why a vocation nurse requires an academic degree to do their job……just rise the vocational standards and recruit more/faster

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        This would allow on the job training without incurring massive debt and make nursing much more attractive as a career.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Grey Friar

      Problem was the fixation that all Nurses should need to have a degree, and the loss of the traditional and long standing earn while you learn training scheme.

      Been a shortage ever since.

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Grey, so how does our starter qualified nurse’s wage compare – From April 2020, entry level nurses will earn £24,907 a year – with European averages? For a full-time 37.5 hours per week, often done in 3 days. Including the [ 20-25% employer contribution to their defined benefit pension], 35 days holiday for 5 years then 37 days for a further five years then 41 days holiday after ten years. Full sick pay for six months and half pay for the next six months, weekend rates, night rates, and other perks and benefits that you can check out on Nursing Today. 1.5 x overtime rate, plus 2 x bank holidays. On-call payments. High-cost area supplements. Increases are often done through pay bands each year. We need to get back into schools and tell 16-year-olds all about this career in detail.

      I personally think nurses should be able to opt-out of the pension and the 15-20% employer contribution and opt into Nest instead with a 5% contribution by them and a 3% contribution by the NHS, any payment in lieu will be taxed anyway. I also don’t believe 12-hour shifts are safe.

      We should increase the number of medics in training by 10-20% depending on available training staff.

  12. Richard416
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John. The NHS employs over 110,000 doctors. Can none of them tell if a person is infectious or not? Not one doctor in the whole world?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      I’ve still got the lasagne ( still edible) stash from Mrs M’s “Bird flu’.
      They’ve been trying to ramp up virus hysteria since early 20000s.
      Just that MSM has become more compliant.
      MSM did scotch the Swine Flu furore though 2009. No lockdowns then.
      But ppl still allegedly suffering narcolepsy from rushed swine flu vaccine.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        *early 2000s

  13. turboterrier
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    Wuhan has proved that lockdowns work if the reports coming out of China are to be believed.
    Lockdown can only work if applied to the full extent of the definition of the word. The lockdown has to be TOTAL. Nothing in, nothing out and anyone found breaking the restrictions incurs the full force, of the law. The PM cannot expect people to accept lockdown all the time we have planes, ships, and trains bringing in people. It sets a thought process ” What is good enough for them, if they can do it so can I”

    Large sections of the population have shown that they have no respect or understanding of what the politicians are trying to achieve and even if they have they have no intention of abiding by the rules. If the rules are too flexible or bordering on too vague about who can work who can stay at home people will take advantage whether it be the companies or the workforce. Some people when advised to self-isolate don’t and they can because there is no way of checking that they are abiding by the rules. our local policeman has told us that instructions from above are wherever possible act in an advisory role and do not enforce the letter of the government rules and advice.

    A full lockdown with track and trace and other procedures in place then and only then has a chance of achieving the desired results.

    Yes, the country has got to try and keep running but to achieve that the companies need a full complement of healthy staff, not wondering on a daily basis who is going into self- isolation. The goverment and it so-called specialist have got to come up with a plan any plan will do as long as everybody is totally committed to it. The perception out here is they are not working as a team and little chinks of dissent or doubt do more damage as more people get disillusioned and flout the laws.

    All companies and organisations are trying to protect their business plans, customer and members interests but all the time there is doubt or indecision the lockdown principle slowly disintegrates and we end up where we are.

    Its a catch 22 but the damage it is doing to political reputations and party beliefs are slowing coming to the fore, witness the recent pole in the press. Governments do not win elections they lose them and it is never too early to sow the seeds of discontent and perceived incompetence to ensure at the next opportunity there is a change.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Lockdowns can work but you must quarantine (at their own cost) anyone entering the country in an isolation hotel for two weeks to stop the virus coming in once it has been eliminated.

      This is what all the countries that have effectively reacted to the pandemic have done.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      +1

      Strange how private enterprise on the whole is managing better than state run institutions

      • Mark B
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 6:46 am | Permalink

        Tell me about it.

        For Private, it us sink or swim. For State, there is the tax payer.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      “Governments do not win elections they lose them”.

      Indeed and under four years to go now. Boris still has his Scottish problem, his Irish Problem, the massive state debt, private sector debt and economic problems, his Queen Carrie/Greencrap problem, his not very good EU treaty and his idiotic destroy the economy lockdown.

      He has a chancellor whose first action was to destroy entrepreneurs relief and thinks borrowing money, devaluing sterling and pissing tax payers money down the drain is a great plan.

      Cheap energy, deregulation, tax cuts, no green lunacy, no lockdown & far less government is what is needed. But it will take some time to act. The clock is ticking!

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      I still don’t know anyone who has been hospitalised yet alone died of CV-19.

      I do not doubt it is a serious disease but the near total cancellation of our whole way of lives is unforgivable.

      Look at us. The West tearing itself apart.

      How the old men of the CCP must be laughing.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 6:47 am | Permalink

        +1

    • Mark B
      Posted January 6, 2021 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      People were happy to comply with the first lockdown. Now that their livelihoods are at risk less so.

  14. DaveM
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    This one’s different surely? This is:

    1. Reduce transmissions;
    2. Bring hospital admissions down to manageable levels;
    3. Jab as many people as possible in the next 5 weeks;
    4. Lift restrictions (no doubt over-cautiously);
    5. Make out everything’s rosy by April;
    6. Do well in local elections (forgive my cynicism).

    If that’s the plan I can live with it as long as small businesses get enough financial support. However, wouldn’t it make sense to mobilise all assets (including the military), and wouldn’t it have made more sense to vaccinate the workforce first? I know my parents would advocate that course of action – they’ve had no life for nearly a year now; another few weeks won’t make much difference.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      4. may be the government’s plan but it is not SAGE’s plan and by extension the media’s plan. They want lockdown until 100% vaccinated – their argument will be “long Covid”. Boris, if still in power, will cave in.

  15. Dave Andrews
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    This situation just underlines your suggestion about using better ventilation, particularly in schools. Everyone knows that infections race around schools, so if the air could be removed and replaced by fresh air with heat transfer to conserve energy, all those pathogens could be eliminated from the classroom. Lots of nasty bugs taken away from the community for ever. This isn’t just a solution for coronavirus, but all colds, flu and the dreaded norovirus.

    • turboterrier
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Dave Andrew’s

      There is nothing new in all of this. Back in the late 1980s a English company in Norhhampton designed and manufactured heat recovery units with an electronic filter. Developers were reluctant to use them only because installation over a MVHR unit affected its energy rating very slightly so it was never considered albeit the pros far outweighed the cons. Have had the system in three of my properties and you can go away for a month and come back to a well ventilated property. No need need to open doors and windows. The electronic filters could be used in all commercial properties. Safety comes at a price. But what price for enduring endless lockdown?

  16. Steve Pitts
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I believe quite a lot of doctors and nurses are off work with no symptoms due a positive test for themselves or their families. This test is not very reliable. The numbers in hospital are the same as usual for the time of year. This means the NHS workers need vaccines ASAP.

    • Richard1
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      I am informed that one of the reasons an NHS worker can miss work is perceived vulnerability to COVID due to being too fat. As anyone knows who has visited a hospital, this is unfortunately these days true of many nurses.

      • Richard1
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        Indeed vaccinate all NHS workers ASAP to avoid this

      • DaveK
        Posted January 7, 2021 at 12:45 am | Permalink

        BMI of 40, classed as vulnerable.

    • Old Salt
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Steve
      +1
      The front line staff should have been the first to be protected particularly as we read so much infection is picked up in hospitals with the effect people are reluctant to go there unless really desperate. The rest of us must use our common sense for if and when we need them they are there for us.

      So we started out we read with some eighty thousand nurses short anyway and beds reducing in number with no self contained isolation units as in the days of old. One way to drive people into private healthcare and or part privatise the NHS.

      Not to mention all and sundry allowed sorry welcomed into the country only to re-seed the various mutated viruses.

      At this rate we will never be out of the woods unlike China we read.

  17. Roy Grainger
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Maybe ask the exact criteria for removing lockdown in February. They won’t tell you firstly because there aren’t any and secondly because they have no intention of removing the lockdown – there was one chortling SAGE advisor interviewed yesterday who said restrictions would continue for a year at least.

    Boris has served his purpose. Get rid.

    • DaveM
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Presumably the criteria will be subjective judgements by hospitals who consider they’ve had a reasonable period of vastly reduced admissions – that’s all I can surmise. Be nice to know though – this government seems to think stick works better than carrot.

    • beresford
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      By April they will have discovered a new strain of the virus, ‘and this one glows in the dark’. They will be unsure if it is affected by vaccines so ‘sadly’ it will be necessary to extend the lockdown.

  18. Lifelogic
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Damaged caused by this lockdown will certainly exceed any good by a huge margin. This is surely very clear to anyone sensible who looks at the figures rationally. Excess deaths currently are entirely normal. When you subtract the dreadful March, April, May bulge of about 60k excess deaths then rest of the year will have only about a 2% increase over the five year average. This is with a larger population than the 5 year average too.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      From that excellent Dr Clare Craig/Joel Smalley on the recent hospital figures.

      1 Net hospital admissions are lower now than at two points in Autumn (and much lower than Spring)
      2 Total admissions normal (just those labelled COVID that have increased)
      3 Winter mortality not doing anything out of the ordinary compared with previous years

    • DaveK
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      And as has been pointed out due to previous milder seasons, countries like Sweden and UK had more “Dry Tinder” demonstrating why the age range was higher than the 82 life expectancy. I imagine if the curves are mathematically smoothed in centuries to come there may only be a slight ripple if anything at all. To any who think me heartless, people over 80 die. We are only one generation away from a retirement pension age @65 being set where most didn’t reach it. Until now, we have lived in the best of times, sadly some want to destroy this and to Build Back Better.

  19. BeebTax
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Good points. Lockdowns have not worked around the world or here, either. Unless we are all put in solitary confinement they never will.

    On deaths “with” Covid, I have heard that hospitals are repeatedly testing patients who are there for other serious (non respiratory) illnesses and who are not showing any Covid symptoms. Are they going out of their way to increase the Covid figures? In one of these cases I was told the hospital put Covid on the death certificate even though the patient had tested negative just before death, and when the relatives complained they were told to accept it or face delays getting the body while further tests were done. That’s hearsay but are the figures being manipulated? Why aren’t there numbers for non-Covid respiratory deaths which we can compare to previous years?

    Also, Sir John, if the plan is to lock us down until the over 70s are vaccinated (end of February) how confident are we in the ability of the cabinet and the health service to deliver? Their record is not impressive at meeting targets. How about getting some outsiders in, to shake things up and bring some new thinking? Why aren’t we mobilising resources in a similar way to we would do in wartime?

    Do please keep questioning, and pushing for a sensible, more balanced approach to this.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      And please utterly scotch any ideas of masks to be worn at home.
      The latest “leak”.

    • DaveK
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Distillery businesses and pub chains offering premises and staff for vaccine centres have been rebuffed by the failures previously known as PHE as they don’t want to be connected to the Alcohol industry. As pointed out by one Twitter reply “You were happy for them to make free hand sanitiser though”. For those into coincidence theories etc there was also a link to a US article where there have been alcohol tax bills sent to companies doing the same there.

    • Stred
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      The non-covid deaths are graphed in the ONS report on excess deaths up to Christmas. They are shown as below average for the time of year, whereas the covid deaths are shown as increasing and the total number has gone above average, but nowhere near as over as during the spring peak. It appears that the hospitals are filling up with very sick patients, some of whom are coming in with genuine covid symptoms caught two weeks ago and others are coming in very ill, being tested until they pick up cross infection or a false positive and then being reclassified if they die as a with Covid case. I don’t believe that after six months of no treatment the non covid cases have gone below average. In this situation it’s difficult to see that the lockdown is going to reduce deaths or positive tests, because they are Increasing testing all the time and hospitals and surgeries are the main source of infection.

  20. Iain Gill
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    My view is that Julia Hartley-Brewer on Talk Radio, Katharine Birbalsingh and her twitter account, “Alex Belfield – THE VOICE OF REASON” and his YouTube channel

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IphT-rMZcCs

    all have called it pretty much correctly and the government, its advisors, the ruling classes and the BBC have it spectacularly wrong.
    Speaking as someone who has a little inside knowledge in a professional capacity, I am staggered that this country is making so many such bad decisions. It defies belief. It’s almost as if we do have some evil masterminds somewhere pulling strings at a high level, this is not just incompetence, there is far more to this than that. And the international influence of firms like Xxxxx really is suspicious to me now.
    We are not just as war with a virus we are at war with our own ruling classes, and the international elite.
    This IS NOT the way to tackle a virus like this.
    Absolute disgrace.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      I see YouTube have removed the Talk Radio YouTube channel, a mainstream media radio station prepared to give other views.

      Says a lot about what is going on, we are under full scale propaganda manipulation, we dont even have the pretense of a free press.

    • beresford
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      …. and the Prime Minister uses the WEF catchphrase ‘Build Back Better’. Next time he does this JR, can you ask him to explain what he means, since in order to ‘build back’ it is clearly necessary to first destroy?

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      It’s clear that the way this is going our way of life is over.

    • John Leak
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      I believe Einstein said that:

      You can not solve a problem with the level of thinking that caused it.

      Verb sap.

    • Original Chris
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Well said, IG.

    • Mary Lowrey
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      You said it. I can’t say it better. I’m furious for grandkids education, daughters multiple failures by NHS for her non COVID operation, son in law on the breadline with no overtime and my final couple of years at work ground to a halt, living on savings, wondering if or when to trigger private pension early.

      So isolation, serious health issues and bloody poverty … for what? The bleeding NHS! Saving lives! Something is going on….

    • Butties
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      ++10

  21. Sea_Warrior
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    My feeling is that most of the benefits from a lockdown come in the first two weeks – so perhaps that should be the limit of this one. When they’re relaxed, public hygiene measures need to be rigorously encouraged and enforced.
    But I’m unhappy with the government sidelining Parliament. Why? Because decision-making by Whitehall has been lamentably poor throughout this crisis. The views of MPs should have been heard last week, BEFORE the Cabinet decided.
    I’ll restate my suggestion that every U-turn by No 10 should now be subject to an quick inquiry by a management consultant. William Hague would be a good choice.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      William Hague! Christ I would rather be in the hands of Boris the Destroyer!

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Indeed, many people still entering supermarkets without using the sanitiser at the door. Perhaps they have used their own but we can’t be sure of that.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        When you are on a cruise ship they have ‘washy washy’ stations everywhere, every time you get on board the boat, at the entrance to every restaurant, they station people next to them to ensure people use them all the time, didn’t stop covid running rampant on cruise boats.

    • Mary M.
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Sea-Warrior.

      What is frightening is that the Government has the power using the Coronavirus Act 2020 to impose these lock-downs up to March 2022. Possibly beyond.

      Here is part of the Government’s response given on 20th October 2020 to the petition ‘Repeal the Coronavirus Act 2020’ (my emphasis):

      ‘A two-year life span for this Act [from March 2020] has been chosen to ensure that its powers remain available for a reasonable length of time, WITH THE OPTION FOR THE PROVISIONS IN THE ACT TO BE EXTENDED BY THE RELEVANT NATIONAL AUTHORITY. These provisions are subject to a six-monthly review and renewal vote in the House of Commons. The first of these was held on 30 September 2020, following a debate in the House of Lords on 28 September, in which Parliament decided that the Act should continue. They are also subject to a two-monthly report to Parliament and an annual debate.’

      By the way, as the petition ‘Repeal the Coronavirus Act 2020’ achieved over 100,000 signatures, the Speaker is to consider this Act for proper debate in Parliament. A debate date is yet to be announced.

    • ukretired123
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Agreed SW – Our system of government needs also a drastic overhaul to be more effective, efficient, productive and economic as it is not for for the last century never mind the digit age. It is stuck in the past.
      Brave new thinking and consulting proven business achievers should be a priority.

    • steve
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      Sea Warrior

      “every U-turn by No 10 should now be subject to an quick inquiry by a management consultant. William Hague would be a good choice.”

      ======

      Look no further than our host…….he has al the credentials.

  22. The Prangwizard
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    You have questions Sir John.

    Will you get answers? If you do will they be valid for more than a day or so; they certainly will not be reliable in any meaningful sense.

  23. Roger Phillips
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Lock-downs do nothing but ruin the economy, once again we are seeing another partial lock-down with people still arriving daily at our airports etc. Masks are nothing short of a joke, I have looked at several on sale in major stores that clearly state on the packaging these are “fashion” items and not PPE? Since when have rules been introduced on the whole population but there are zero rules or regulations applied on the standard or safety being provided by these masks? No CE marking or these days shouldn’t it be BS kite mark?

    • Andy
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Post Brexit standards are called UKCA. Which is a bit ironic as they are largely meaningless in Northern Ireland where products still need the European CE mark. These are to show goods adhere to legally required standards. You’ll notice that having a CE mark used to be sufficient to sell not only in the U.K. but anywhere in the single market. This is the EU27 + the 3 EEA countries.

      From now those wanting to still sell to the whole single market AND the U.K. need to double certify as U.K. standards are no longer sufficient for the EU. This extra bureaucracy is brought to you by people who promised to cut red tape. It will also make British companies less competitive as they have twice the bureaucratic burden as EU companies. Many EU companies will choose not to sell here, limiting choices for British consumers.

      Still – you enjoy having fewer, inferior products.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Don’t you think that in any country worthy of that name the government could, within a year, have organised the manufacture and the distribution of its own PPE to whatever spec?

      • steve
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

        MiC

        The truly bizarre thing is that there were numerous British businesses who offered the government fully compliant PPE, but their offers were refused.

        Instead the government went for foreign muck, a lot of which was unusable. As a consequence of that policy, people died.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      +1

    • zorro
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      They all have a ‘BS’ kitemark just not British Standard!

      zorro

  24. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Where are people catching this virus? It is not in hospitality venues is it?

    Once the trace element of track and trace can determine where most transmission occurs we can employ better techniques than the blunt instrument of lockdown.

    This should already be possible.

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 6, 2021 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Why can’t test and trace tell us who the people that end up in hospital contracted it? If they still can’t do this then close them down there is absolutely no point of them.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 6, 2021 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        how not who

        how the people that end up in hospital contracted it, what were they doing in the month before.

  25. SecretPeople
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Thank you for communicating with and consulting us, Sir John. A couple of commentators have made the point that there is no end in sight to lockdown; that Boris has described us as being in a state of lockdown – which has given the impression of the situation being permanent. If you could push the government to explain its exit strategy that would help – with metrics that can be challenged. People have also noticed the ‘carrot and stick’ approach being taken, that implies there is a long term plan for a long term shutdown, but that it is being fed to the public in a piecemeal way – the boiling frog, if you will.

  26. agricola
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Well if you almost isolate people from people then yes it can work. What it does for education and the economy is a very different matter. Ultimately the answer to the current situation if there is to be one is to vaccinate to the power of ten thereby eliminating the toehold the virus has on the population.

  27. Julian Flood
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Sir John, the cycle threshold for the PCR test is 40. Is this too high?

    JF

  28. Nig l
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Charles Moore in the DT tells a story about how a rumour spread in 1847 that Queen Victoria had decreed all children under five would be killed and had started with two of her own.

    It was to do with a smallpox vaccine. As he points out such credulity and ignorance is still alive today as evidenced on social media.

  29. Caterpillar
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Aside: EXAMS.

    Please suggest to Govt to not cancel any Functional Skills, GCSE or A-level exams. We know from last year that schools were inconsistent in awarding marks, the exams can at least act as an ordinal exercise, even if the reduction of standards is continued. (Of course teachers could submit awarded marks as well to see if their ordering matches the exams).

    At the very minimum English and Maths at Functional Skills and GCSE must not be cancelled.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

      Gavin Williamson has now destroyed motivation and opportunity for many. This Govt could not be more nasty, vile, destructive and oppressive. Apologies, but what the hell is he and the Govt doing? Does this man and Govt have no understanding? Another act to cut social mobility and keep the masses down (levelled would probably be the PM’s term). Socialists happy at having a group to ‘represent’, the ‘elite’ happy at protecting their position with an ever widening chasm.

      Who benefits the most from (and is behind) the destruction that the politicians and advisers have launched on the country?

      Pretending that Covid is a hard problem so that democracy and liberty can be destroyed, I admit is pretty clever, I can only congratulate the despots behind this.

  30. Newmania
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I have previously quoted to you the stats which showed in December that Sweden has a death toll ten times that of Norway (per capita ). If that’s not good enough for you then nothing is .Quite why you would need proof that a virus spreads by proximity I have no idea anyway . Use your common sense.
    No surprise to find Sir John playing a ,lonely game of rhetorical twister what does amaze me is the lack of urgency about distributing the vaccine . Has no-one in this Keystone cops government ever heard of project management., The infra structure for distribution had to be ready before the vaccine arrived…doh ..and where is the urgency
    Its like watching some life boat men having a sandwich and cup of tea while people are drowning. People are dying every day please please , just for once stop playing this contrarian game and get the pressure on to get this done .
    I am sure I speak for most of the country just from once when I say we want you all to stop wittering on and learn the value of the word NOW.

  31. Lisa
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Lockdowns are an abject failure even by the governments own propaganda figures. This is the worst batch of politicians this country has ever seen. When the devastation and the lies become so obvious that even the brainwashed British people can’t ignore it there will be a reckoning. I hope I am around to see the trials of those responsible.

  32. Sakara Gold
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    We are not California, Belgium, Germany or Peru. We are Great Britain – with the advantage, in these circumstances, of being an island. We don’t know exactly how the figures that you quote are calculated; ours have been manipulated from the beginning

    Now that the government has imposed another total lockdown it can retrieve it’s reputation by taking the next, logical step of closing our borders to prevent re-infection with novel strains which may not be preventable with our new vaccines. Enforced quarantine hotels are needed, just telling people from overseas to “self isolate” has clearly not worked

    Currently nobody who flies into the UK needs evidence of a negative PCR test result, we don’t even screen arrivals for having a high temperature. It seems pointless to inflict another – admittedly disruptive – total lockdown without taking these obvious and important next next steps.

    You make very good speeches in the Commons. When Parliament debates the new lockdown, perhaps you may consider mentioning the Australian “zero virus strategy” which has proved to be so successful there and in New Zealand and Taiwan.

  33. Cynic
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Given that the reason for this lockdown is to save the NHS, why were they not needed in previous years when we are told the NHS was struggling to cope?
    Will we now be having lockdowns every time the NHS is overwhelmed by winter respiratory diseases?

  34. Richard1
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Get the private sector involved in vaccinations. Excellent suggestion set out by Matthew Lynn in the telegraph. It’s done for flu vaccines and even for blood donation. Businesses shouldn’t need to rely on the cumbersome apparatus of the state to save themselves.

  35. margaret howard
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    JR

    “The top six countries for deaths per million are small European countries led by Belgium, with Peru in seventh place in the grisly table.”

    Some more selective figures from JR. He omits to point out that we are the world’s EIGHTHS most infected country just behind the likes of North Macedonia, San Merino, Slovenia etc and the top six countries for deaths per million are small European countries led by Belgium, with Peru in seventh place in the grisly table. well ahead of most EU members like France, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Austria, the Netherlands etc.

    Even the likes of Bulgaria manage to beat us. (though I find it crass that he is playing the numbers game in the dreadful situation the world is in)

    This has been the tactics of all brexiteers since the beginning and has managed to mislead millions of voters.

    Meanwhile the only remedies he proposes are:

    “I will press again for better treatments, better isolation and infection control in the NHS, use of the Nightingales as specialist units, better cleaning and air flow in public buildings. I have tabled more questions and will try to raise these matters in the debate.”

    As the saying goes: “A fat lot of good that will do.”

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 6, 2021 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      It’s the footballification of life generally including politics, Margaret.

      It seems to work with people who like to chant insults in a mob though.

      Sadly there are far too many of them.

      It’s always been an aim of the Right and has paid off of late for them.

  36. Lifelogic
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Still no change to the vaccine priority list so as to reflect the far higher risks to men from Covid. This is gross negligence that will kill many and put more pressure on the NHS.

    What sort of foolish experts are they employing if these dopes cannot even spot this? Or has this been over ruled by the politicians?

  37. ian@Barkham
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    Can lock-downs work? Of course they can. The virus is contracted by human contact, remove that and the virus goes away.

    The however, we don’t lock-down. Its a pseudo control of the population by a control freakish state. A single human no matter how benign being able to move between one domain and another removes the effectiveness of the whole of societies efforts. It takes one carrier to infect 100’s of thousands in a matter of days.

    So huffing and puffing to control a whole nation when some one can walk into Heathrow un challenged is pointless. We have a Government that insists of punishment of the obedient just to appease the reckless.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      I know there is an aspect of scale, but up until last weekend the US had vaccinated 3 times the volume of people against the virus than the UK had managed in half the time span.

      Its an illustration of getting the people on the ground close to the action involved and enabling them to get on with it. As opposed to the UK’s, the Government must be seen to do it all and direct the operation from a central control unit. We the Government and our protected NHS want the praise, the stroking of ego and kudus. It is not about controlling the virus, its about controlling society, or more correctly its 1984 in action.

      How can this vanity project go on. The people can do it better always have always will.

      • Ian@Barkham
        Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        4.2 vs 1.3 million

  38. Iain Gill
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    You can tell Mr Gove from me that I will decide how many exercise walks a day I take and not him. That he has shut the gyms and swimming pools is bad enough, but trying to force us all into low levels of fitness is outrageous.

  39. Everhopeful
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    After ten months of this,
    We are apparently back to square one.
    Do a straw poll in the HoC regarding the above question.
    You all know what’s going on…we don’t!

  40. Caterpillar
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Supporting evidence for non pharmaceutical interventions (NPI in the spreading lingo) for coronavirus(es) is mixed i.e. negative/unclear/small. However the costs are clearly high. Obviously a selected sample, but Ivor Cummins (aka FatEmperor) is keeping a list of negative papers, a few dozen I think.

    It is difficult to know anything useful to suggest as it is the Govt and advisers that need to be treated. They have ignored downsides and gone down one route, cutting off flexibility. Then they didn’t even prepare/optimise for the route chosen. (Tracking could have been used differently, testing and test types could have been differently targetted, GBDing could have been worked up, other interventions such as air purification, mask design, prophylactics, hospital use … ). Changing the Govt’s actions (supported by most MPs) is possibly too late and as well as impossible.

    Incredibly sadly, whatever the effect of the virus and the damage of the Govt policies the only worthwhile objective to consider is removal.of the Govt and changing the political system. Lives, liberty and representation have been lost, we cannot get the lives back.

  41. BW
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Just looked. The next plane landing at Heathrow is from Glasgow, the next from Stockholm, the next from Boston. ??? And so on. Yet I am am expected to lock myself in my house. I will do so because I still have some respect for authority and comply. However I do fail miserably to understand as I suspect many others do.
    Try flying into Australia. You won’t be able to. If you could, They would stick you in a hotel at your own expense for 14 days. Mind you we stick migrants in our hotels at our expense for far longer than that. I hope you can understand why people are getting a little fed up with the rules that are being applied differently as seen fit.
    Next we will see the mass anti lockdown protesters making a mockery of the whole thing. Having said all that I agree with the lockdown whilst the jab is rolled out. Just not the way it is applied.

  42. BJC
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    As you’ve probably gathered, Sir John, I’m very anti-union! Their original purpose has been exhausted as most of their demands are now enshrined in law, anyway, so now they’re simply mischief-makers. I believe they only supported the Nightingales because they never thought they could be built and supported recruitment of volunteers because they knew they could trap them in a bureaucratic nightmare, etc.

    Personally, I’d be thinking along the lines of looking for all those Covid-denier demonstrators to stand by their beliefs, who might be only too willing to volunteer to take part in setting up separate monitoring centres (à la Big Brother fame seekers) with different scenarios, to compare how each one affects the spread and identify the immunity point. I’d also ignore union disapproval and open up a single fully operational Nightingale to gather the evidence we desperately need as to whether isolation centres will work effectively and, of course, relieving pressure in other hospitals………..managed by those with a proven track record of success and staff who have pride in their work; saboteurs need not apply.

    There’d be no valid argument that it’s against anyone’s rights as the UK population as a whole are already involved in an involuntary, repetitive experiment. If, however, we can identify the most effective alternative way forward, we should get to the point where we’re talking about releasing us from this purgatory. Meanwhile, the ridiculous NHS administration and SAGE can be left their “vital” and distracting work looking for a virus they’re guaranteed to find with or without a vaccine and massaging their data.

    Would it work? Who knows, but doing the same old, same old or nothing at all unless impossible-to-meet prescribed conditions are met, certainly won’t.

  43. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I just wonder why schools were closed in preference to keeping them open with the army completing thorough testing? A rather potent mix of a well-disciplined, organised group of people completing the task with the opposite- I think we can sense why the teachers were desperate to run away. Add that to Simon Stephens-type folk pushing the PM into a lockdown to “save” the NHS from its customers…. a perverse solution if ever there was one.

    Lockdowns as they are here don’t work, because of all the unintended consequences-kids now free to meet up in each other’s houses, grandparents drafted in to look after young ones etc. You would need total segregation of the whole population into cells for this to work.

    The best practical solution is to help the vulnerable to keep away from the virus and others to get along with care.

  44. Nig l
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I see the Adam Smith institute well in front of HMG in ideas to speed up vacvination.

    No surprise there. Why is Moderna not approved bearing in mind the US have?

  45. percy openshaw
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Oh dear – here we go again! Now that Brexit is relatively secure, isn’t it time to ask Johnson to step down? We need a genuinely individualist Conservative in charge; NOT a collectivist neo-authoritarian who once posed as an individualist.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 7, 2021 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Thanks – that’s the difference.

      All those brilliant successes against this scourge in the Far East, and in Aus, and NZ are headed by people who are not individualists, but who believe in the family of humankind.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 7, 2021 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        Oh bless them.

  46. Roy Grainger
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Secondary schools had a plan to open and operate using multiple frequent lateral flow tests backed up by PCR. To start this sududents were scheduled to take two lateral flow tests within a week and would start at school if both were negative. A positive result would have been confirmed by PCR. Testing of all pupils and teachers would then be done weekly to quickly detect asymptomatic carriers.

    Now before this has even been tried it has been abandoned literally overnight and pupils sent home – the primary place where transmission occurs (apart from hospitals) – where there will be no testing at all unless they develop symptoms.

    1) What data did SAGE present over the weekend which caused this plan to be abandoned ? Why do they think it wouldn’t have worked ?
    2) Why do SAGE think that mass testing of students is a worse approach than not testing them at all ?

  47. Maylor
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Are the high number of cases being driven by the largely discredited PCR test ?

    If so, it brings into question the validity of any action taken. The difference between the numbers of infections and the numbers of deaths should make us question what is happening.

    I am also wondering if the flu cases are included in the covid numbers since their numbers are negligible this season.

  48. Lifelogic
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    The private sector and the country is essentially being held to ransom by a dire virtual state healthcare system and education system and state sector unions.

  49. Bryan Harris
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Let’s look at the observable data.

    Have lock-downs reduced or even eliminated the ‘cases’ of CV?

    Short answer: NO
    Does the warmer weather help? – VERY MUCH SO

    Only someone with no brains keeps on doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results — Which is exactly what the government is doing.

    All of this garbage about ‘saving the NHS’ is just more propaganda – If hospital beds had not been trimmed to the point where the NHS could barely cope with the annual flu run, then the NHS would be in a better shape to cope now.

    Part of the answer is to extend the use of temporary CV hospitals, and allow the normal hospitals to concentrate on all of the other physical problems we need the NHS for…

    With announcements of tougher restrictions being imposed on everybody, we have reached a point where support for draconian actions will just disappear. Especially when they have no effect!

    The other part of the answer is to stop lock-downs, and allow the virus to burn itself out, with the proviso that adequate NHS beds are made available with ‘suitable treatment’

    Just how many people having retired were looking forward to a couple of leisurely years to enjoy a bit of travel, relax and just enjoy themselves after a lifetime of work — JUST HOW MANY PEOPLE’S LAST DREAMS ARE BEING SHATTERED BY UNNECESSARY LOCK-DOWN?
    Their end of life quality has been stolen for no good reason.

    Yes, the vulnerable must be protected but not at the cost of quality of life – What is the point of living in a world where you cannot live it by doing things you enjoy?

    What kind of world will be left to live in when lock-downs wipe out everything worthwhile??

    The government tells us the vaccines will cure us of the problem – Ask me why I and many others don’t believe that and why lock-downs will continue on in any case?

    CANCEL the lock-downs, manage the infected cases, stop the incessant propaganda and save our country while it can still function…!

  50. glen cullen
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    They didn’t have lockdowns during the 1918 flu pandemic and that only lasted 18 months

    Without medical knowledge and understand the non-policy of herd immunity happened naturally throughout the communities…..don’t fight nature or act like god – virus and their transmission is a factor of our existence

  51. Ignoramus
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    When the cabinet has no one with a scientific or technical qualification it is not surprising that they can not challenge “the scientific consensus” on how to tackle a virus.

    When the head of Public Health England can say “you can put my public health credentials on a postage stamp” when he was appointed after an undistinguished career you wonder why he was appointed.

    When no one in the cabinet has a manufacturing or retail business experience and none of them have served in the armed forces you understand why there is so little sign of leadership
    or original thinking.

  52. The Prangwizard
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Big fanfare when the pfiser vaccine was approved. Two shots for millions within a month. Then silence for a while. Then, no need for second shot immediately, ok to delay for up to three months. Why? Answer, we can do twice as many people?

    Why do this? Headlines dear boy. Must be seen to be in the lead. But then far more shots required to keep up with first batches. Maths gets out of hand.

    What’s the policy now? Why is Hancock still in post? Why is ‘Boris’ still waffling and bumbling on everything? Why is he still in post?

    • Ian@b
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • Fred H
      Posted January 6, 2021 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      perfect fall-guys when the shit hits the fan come election time.

  53. Freeborn John
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    It’s obvious that the only measure in the U.K. that has been successful in reducing the r-rate below 1 has been lockdown. It has been shown twice while all other measures such as local tiers have failed. No need to look for evidence overseas.

  54. Man of Kent
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    If the Government was serious about this pandemic then Whitty should have been fired over his first grievous failure : the total absence of a contingency plan at the outset , little PPE , no lessons learned from Asian countries .
    This was his primary responsibility as head of Public Health England.

    Since then he has been given more rather than less responsibility..

    For all the talk of a war against the virus ,bearing down etc.we just accept poor advice.
    By now such people should have been sacked.
    We can all think of other candidates, Ferguson?
    But no one is visibly sacked in the Civil Service whereas in the Military when the chips are down generals are relieved of their commands and not invited to pontificate further.

    The change in attitude would give encouragement to others .

  55. Jazz
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Parliament need to be able to hold the executive to account.

    The health law that is being abused to circumvent the interrogation of the executive and the holding to account of PHE is a disaster. We need Govt to be accountable to Parliament, and Parliament to ask the hard questions.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 7, 2021 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      But if you ask hard questions of Johnson then you get thrown out of the party.

      This is much more of a rubber-stamping Parliament than anything that the European Union has ever assembled in all its time.

      The fixated don’t get irony though.

  56. glen cullen
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    What would really help is the factual and consistent reporting of covid-19 facts

    Make it a requirement that every TV channel and every front page newspaper reports the basic and simple facts

    1. numbers of covid patients staying in hospital longer than 24 hours
    2. number of covid daily deaths

    Not the number of infections due to false reporting and testing

    Only allow the dissemination of information via authorised outlets i.e dept of health and not interviews with doctors, nurses, friends of BBC staff and the children down the road

  57. chris hook
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    At last the beginnings of debate about the folly of the Western worlds descent into self administered bankruptcy. Why do we persist in this lockdown policy hoping that this time it may work.

  58. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    While WE are in lockdown under threats of a criminal record and fines – -the rubber dinghies will STILL be being met and the occupants ferried here. My real comments are unprintable.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Have read on another site that already 10 have arrived today and been ferried straight into the UK. I can hear their laughter from here. Dan Dan the immigration man been sacked yet?

  59. Caterpillar
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Better Treatments:

    Given the through pandemic FLCCC Alliance work on ivermectin is once more receiving publicity, is it possible to seek a response from Mr Hancock’s department on this (in both the prophylactic and treatment protocols)?

  60. Wokinghamite
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    The first lockdown seemed to make a major difference to the numbers of infections and deaths. I hope Sir John will make some progress through pressing for the measures and treatments which he has mentioned above. At this stage, we need the lockdown to avoid the N.H.S. becoming overwhelmed, and to keep the lid on the infections. Hopefully, people being vaccinated will take the pressure off in due course and allow the restrictions to be eased.

  61. Derek
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Sound argument of course but why is the Government not listening to the voice(s) of reason?
    I have to conclude that Boris and his team are under the dominance of the pseudo-scientific QUANGOs he consults. And those fail to think outside of their own particular box and do not consider any collateral damage they will cause.

  62. Nig l
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Another question and would be very useful to start life planning. If and when I get the jab can I then relax my lockdown?

  63. Pat
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Let’s take a pragmatic approach to tackling this epidemic.

    The Adam Smith Institute has published an interesting report here https://www.adamsmith.org/news/vaccination-acceleration-worth-a-shot

    Perhaps their best suggestion is to establish a list of ideas from the general public., and take those ideas seriously.

    On vaccination benchmarking, we cannot improve by comparing ourselves to countries worse than ourselves eg the EU, and this should not be accepted coming from government spokesmen. We must improve and benchmark against the best, currently Israel at ten times the UK vaccination rate.

  64. Rachel Chandler
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    The narrative is being driven by scare-mongering experts and media commentators who think it ethical to keep the public in fear. Most ordinary people are still disproportionately frightened of Covid and live in denial of the harms of lockdown (cognitive dissonance). The government needs to take a lead and face down the zero-covid zealots who will always find a new threat e.g. “vaccine resistant new mutant that kills children” to keep us under devastating lockdown. Or, we need a political movement that gives us back hope for the future and puts the scare-mongering disrupters back in their place (i.e. standing on street corners with “the end is nigh” placards).

  65. alastair harris
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    lockdowns cause immense hardship. Lost jobs. Lost homes. Lost health. Lost educations.
    Broken families. You could understand it as a policy response if we were facing a disease of plague-like proportions, and we didn’t have a modern health system (I know that is a disputable assumption). But we aren’t.
    Boris should be ashamed of himself.

    • Fred H
      Posted January 6, 2021 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      He knows about broken families…

  66. Elizabeth Spooner
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    The NHS ministers and managers (all medically unqualified) of the past 30 years, particularly Jeremy Hunt, should be asked to explain their relentless drive to reduce the number of beds in hospitals in favour of more management. Desks for Beds you could say. Additionally, despite warnings of shortages, little or no effort was made to train more doctors, nurses and other medical staff in the face of a rising population, Those are the main reasons the NHS is under pressure. We now have less beds per head of population than any other civilised country and fewer doctors too which has left us in no position to fight an epidemic other than by quarantining the population at home.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      You are right. The number of beds taken away in Sussex with a population rapidly growing is a disaster.

  67. Derek
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Government data from the Covid 19 dashboard – Latest increase in numbers of new cases in 7 days- 7400. Number of associated deaths – 50. Deaths per case = 0.67%. So what is the problem here? More testing will always produce more positives and more false positives won’t it?
    It occurs to me that locking down the population merely delays the spread of the virus so that when a lock down is lifted, the virus takes up where it left off and accelerates, causing these “waves” or “spikes”.
    The clue is right there in front of us, with this new “Third Wave” following the second lockdown and the absurd Tier methodology and now we are subjected to the Third Lockdown. I predict that we can expect another surge within weeks after this lock down has been lifted, the existing cycle pattern suggests it. So when will this madness stop?
    Taiwan has had no lock downs and has suffered just 7 related deaths. They keep their people safer by securing their borders. How well are our own secured?

    • Derek
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Correction
      Government data from the Covid 19 dashboard – Latest increase in numbers of new cases in 7 days- 17400. Number of associated deaths – 50. Deaths per case = 0.28%. So what is the problem here? More testing will always produce more positives and more false positives won’t it?
      It occurs to me that locking down the population merely delays the spread of the virus so that when a lock down is lifted, the virus takes up where it left off and accelerates, causing these “waves” or “spikes”.
      The clue is right there in front of us, with this new “Third Wave” following the second lockdown and the absurd Tier methodology and now we are subjected to the Third Lockdown. I predict that we can expect another surge within weeks after this lock down has been lifted, the existing cycle pattern suggests it. So when will this madness stop?
      Taiwan has had no lock downs and has suffered just 7 related deaths. They keep their people safer by securing their borders. How well are our own secured?

      • DaveK
        Posted January 7, 2021 at 1:17 am | Permalink

        I predict we will be locked down until late March whereupon it will be proclaimed the policy and vaccine has worked and they will hope we won’t notice that’s when it ended last year. When we get the next season after (winter 2021) that it will be a new variant but the annual covid/flu vaccines will be used. Hopefully lockdown will not be repeated.

  68. Peter from Leeds
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Be honest – it is not really a lockdown! People go to work in office when they cannot “work from home” as the grandparents in the support bubble can look after their kids (this really is happening). Meanwhile the only place the out of school older kids can meet up where it is warm is the local supermarket (this also is happening today). IMHO it would have been better all round to stick to Plan A.

  69. Martin
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Is this not a time when the country needs one big push to get us through until we have enough people vaccinated? I have a daughter working in the NHS, visit her and your opinion might not be the same. No one wants a lockdown and the damage it causes! Have you asked your voters what they want, because you appear to be ignoring the tide coming in? The lockdown reduced covid cases before and deaths, are you happy to allow people in the community to die and the NHS to be overwhelmed? I do not think you are in touch with your constituents at this time!

  70. Christine
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    There is no excuse not to be giving the vaccine at the same rate as it is being delivered. The vaccine production sites are working seven days a week. We are the only country to approve the Oxford vaccine so we need to take advantage of this. Once the EU approves it expect supplies to be diverted, the same as happened with PPE.

    The Government needs to get ahead and stop all this nonsense about needing diversity training.

    I have never seen such an incompetent bunch of people in my life.

  71. Christine
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    If, as the Government says, there are 50,000 positive tests a day then logic tells you there are many more not being identified. So expect the numbers with the virus to be much higher. Add this to the previous figures and we would soon be reaching herd immunity.

    I just don’t believe these tests are accurate.

  72. Christine
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    For the millions who have had the virus, they should be at the back of the queue for the vaccine as they will already have immunity. Is this being taken into consideration?

  73. RichardP
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Sir John.
    It is reassuring to read such common sense when everywhere else is filled with hysterical propaganda.
    I believe the Government are suffering from ‘Group Think’ and the need for a fresh approach, with new advisers, is now urgent.

  74. FreeFromTheEUYoke
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    We could defeat the virus more quickly if the UK population actually wanted that to happen.

    But the UK population is a broad mix of people, ranging from those who do comply with regulations, those fed up with covid and who just want it to go away, while they ignore regulations. Then there are the “libertarians”, the purely selfish, and the “I don’t believe it”, conspiracy theory types. And let’s not forget the “it’s only a cold/flu” brigade.
    Finally there is the younger “invulnerable…can’t touch ME”, group.

    My next door neighbours, and those in the 2 houses across the road, have ignored lockdown and Tier regulations since covid began. Not an usual situation, I believe.

    Nobody can herd these UK “cats”, now.

    Lockdowns won’t work because of non-compliance.

    Unfortunately, we are now wholly dependant on the successful and rapid roll out of the vaccine.

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 6, 2021 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      “conspiracy theory types”

      Do you believe no-one should query anything and that everyone should believe everything stated on the BBC?

      I don’t think it is only a cold/flu I do believe it is its own unique virus but are we not to questions, how, why, where, what?

      Are we not to question why our government didn’t lock down our ports, airports and why do they literally allow thousands and thousands of EU drivers to drive through the UK during this big outbreaks without a negative covid test on entry? When the UK sends drivers to say Italy they have to travel with a private covid negative test certificate.

      Why have we allowed people from India and Pakistan into the UK without negative covid tests when we know for a fact their populations are disproportionately affected and now irony of ironies Pakistan won’t allow Brits in without a negative test and quarantine.

      Our government are behind like utter negligent fools and we should be able to tackle these people we are losing trust in.

  75. David Magauran
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    There is and has been a distinct lack of data regarding many aspects of this pandemic. Most data we are given is intended to frighten the population and therefore get them to comply with whatever rules are to be imposed. Occasionally some useful information is posted on the Guido Fawkes web site that mostly questions what the Government is telling us. I do suspect if there are political motives behind many of the things we are being told. It would be interesting to know what the political leanings of the members of SAGE and other organisations promoting the trashing of our economy and all the associated personal tragedies are.

  76. Dan R
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Agreed. Also, the treatments available to treat patients. Apparently they have moved on much further. I volunteered on Covid19 antiviral drug trial back in April, no sign of that so far. We should be accelerating in ALL areas to live with this virus better.

  77. DavidJ
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    All lockdowns do is trash the economy and peoples’ lives. Unless government changes its policies there will be thousands of business closures and permanent job losses.
    Why, when the virus was downgraded in March to be no worse then the flu in most cases?

    We were lied to based on many false positives and death certificates defaulted to Covid as the cause. The worry is that Johnson is subjecting us to the policies of those proposing the “Great Reset” to suit their own evil ends.

  78. mancunius
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I wonder to what extent the NHS’s problem of ‘coping’ is one of mis-allocated hospital resources and the poor management of holiday rotas? Every year at this same time we have the demand caused by heightened infection rates clashing against the rationing of staff all wanting to take time off during the same few weeks (partly because days off need to be taken by a certain date.) This should all be carefully managed over the year, to avoid the sudden loss of institutional functioning and memory.

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 6, 2021 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Surely the NHS do restrict holidays from December to the end of February? Now I wonder what % of employees they allow to holiday each week during the peak winter poor health season.

      Our business peak time is September to November and holidays are restricted then.

  79. Adams
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Get rid of the idiot in No 10 and no more lockdowns . Is that to simple for you John ? This virus is not the killer it is made out to be. The lockdown is killing people ,their livelihoods and businesses . Just plain madness from our MPs who of course are in no danger of losing their jobs .

  80. Mike Wroe
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    There is no shortage of beds in the NHS.the problem is lack of staff. 30% to 40% . Most without symptoms and still absent for 10 days. We are finding far more cases than other European countries because we test 7 to 10 times more people but a similar numbers of deaths.

    • Fred H
      Posted January 6, 2021 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      and nobody cautions on the rate of false positives….

  81. Al
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Lockdowns can work only if they are properly managed. For example, the current “work from home if you can” routinely fails because of cases that are now being reported online, like a manager saying it is essential staff who could work from home and have been must come into the office because he can’t socialise at home at the moment and he wants company.

    Covid secure requires a risk assessment bypassed just by putting up signs and telling employees to social distance. With no enforcement of the work from home rules, no way to report this, and no consequences to companies breaking the rules, this lockdown is little more than name only.

  82. villaking
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, the points you raise are indeed critical. With only one policy response, no exit plan, lack of the key data you mention and no assessment of the likely wider consequences, I find this situation truly terrifying. If the vaccine is less effective than hoped or the virus mutates and defeats the vaccine, it feel as if we will spend the rest of our lives like this instead of everyone being free to take their own calculated risks in life. How did a Tory government ever come to invade personal liberty and impose state control to this extent?

  83. Jiminyjim
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, thank you for your daily dose of sanity. However, there is one issue that is crucial and is not being aired. Our death rate is not much different to our near neighbours’ and yet we are doing PCR tests at a rate that is many times larger than theirs. On Jan 4th, we had 58,784 positive tests (out of 428,770 tests carried out) and 407 deaths. Germany had 8,039 posiive tests and 527 deaths. There are now a number of reported cases of medical staff who have received two vaccinations and have since tested positive. If this is correct, it means that PCR tests MUST reduce as more people are vaccinated, or else all that will happen is that we will continue to show masses of positive ‘Cases’ whilst deaths drop dramatically. There is already evidence that this is happening. Our government seems to be driven by ‘Cases’ rather than deaths above ‘normal’ levels for this time of year (NB NOT compared to March/April, which SAGE seems keen to underline instead and which is hopelessly misleading). If this issue of gross over-testing using PCR is not addressed, we will be in lockdown for ever, even after our entire population has received the vaccine!

  84. Peter Parsons
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    “populous Democrat controlled east and west coasts”

    It seems John Redwood’s knowledge of US geography and/or politics is not that good. Almost half the US states with an Atlantic coast line (6 out of the 14) are Republican-controlled, including the populous states of Florida, Georgia and Massachusetts.

  85. BW
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    I think what is worse than the virus if that is possible is the constant stream of back biting, back stabbing, sniping, by all politicians, ex politicians, Hasbeen Lords, SNP, Remoaners. All who think they know best. The media is full of it day after day after day for the last four years. Whatever the topic. The media continually dragging politicians into a trap just to make a stupid point instead of reporting the news. The Unions who all think they know best.

    Good grief this country would not know team work if it hit it in the face. The media especially the BBC must take a huge chuck of the blame for its reporting style. 200 things go well but the BBC will search the country to find one kid that missed a school meal.

    It is becoming pathetic. No it is beyond pathetic.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted January 6, 2021 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      What else would you expect in a country where everything is designed to be adversarial? Where everything is “us vs them”, “government vs opposition”.

      The winner takes all FPTP system is designed to pit people against each other, not encourage them to work together, and those who oppose fair and representative voting systems in which the behaviours you are advocating for are a root cause of all you are complaining about.

      Such people include politicians like John Redwood who opposes changing to a fair and representative voting system and commentors such as Edward2 who has some sort of fundamental objection to any form of team work as you describe.

      To get team work, to get cooperation, compromise (isn’t politics supposed to be the art of compromise?), the UK needs a system that promotes and encourages it, and that means fundamental reform and a move away from what is there today.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 8, 2021 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        And here I was Peter thinking there were lots of cross-party committees?

  86. Nig l
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I see Mark Harper us demanding daily vaccination stats. Quite right and I hope you support.

    We will then be able to tell reality from B S. Maybe that’s what the government is worried about.

  87. Robert Mcdonald
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    So, the decision by Sturgeon that if you can work from home you MUST, is somewhat defeated by her decision to allow teachers to refuse to school or even care for the children of key workers IF they work from home. Now is that hypocrisy or ignorance or both. I suspect it is much the same in England. And some people insist that teachers are working hard, what an insult to our intelligence. Anyone who has had to look after particularly younger children knows it is impossible to do that and do any effective work at the same time.

  88. TooleyStu
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    SJR,
    All good questions today, nicely done.

    Lock down.. and slowing the spread?
    This all depends on if you follow Bechamp or Pasteur.

    A little history..
    Edwin Jordan, a public health scientist, reported in 1927 that five studies failed to demonstrate sick-to-well transmission of influenza.
    *
    2013 review conducted by U.S. CDC scientists and colleagues concluding, “Our review found no human experimental studies published in the English-language literature delineating person-to-person transmission of influenza.”

    This and much, much more info regarding this Plandemic is available and ‘hidden in plain sight’.. certainly too much to list on a blog.

    And when it is highlighted, the Fact Checkers (Ministry of Truth) hammer down.
    We now have ‘1984’ meets ‘The Hunger Games’.

    The Lock downs have turned fear into a virtue.
    Those that are afraid.. believe they’re better people.. than those who are not.
    Subconsciously they will look for ways to multiply that fear.
    Because it is their virtue.

    Best regards, as ever.
    Tooley Stu

    • hefner
      Posted January 6, 2021 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      So, simple question, how can it happen that once one person has got the flu, not long after other people who had been around this person can get the same symptoms?
      Do you believe in spontaneous generation of germs/viruses out of nowhere?

  89. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    i think that we need to remove most shackles from the economy by the end of February and I am considering spreading the spirit of rebellion so that Government lockdowns are ignored from 1st March. The young will need little urging.

    Any exceptions? Religious gatherings should be banned, possibly gates at soccer matches should be limited and maybe public transport occupancy rates should be limited, but little else.

  90. Martin R
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Being born is a part of living. Dying is a part of living. Getting ill is part of living as well. Past flu epidemics have exceeded mortality from this illness and governments didn’t panic and destroy the economy or the lives of the citizenry as this one has. And even then the death toll from Covid-19 would have been minimal if this government hadn’t purposely shunned treatment with antivirals such as was pioneered by Zelenko (New York) and Raoult (Marseille) nine months ago. How many thousands died before their time as a result, if only a few months before their time in some cases, we will never know.

  91. Robert Morris
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    How about the question of us not having a functioning democracy but rule by diktat? We should not be in this predicament where we the people have no representation and no questioning of the evidence for the extremely destructive measures. It is about time that parliament held the Government to account for this debacle.

  92. APL
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    “There is no sign from the international numbers that those locking down more for longer have been more successful in reducing case numbers or deaths.”

    As an educated fellow, you know perfectly well that the lockdown doesn’t reduce the number of deaths.

    The pretext for the original lockdown was to spread out the infections and reduce the burden on the NHS. That turns out to have been the first of many lies put forward by Messers Hunt and Johnson.

    Prolonging the epidemic, simply kills the same number of people but over a longer period of time. For my whole life I have been working under the misapprehension that the NHS was there to save the citizens of this country when they needed it. Nowhere in the ‘social contract’ did it say Citizens should be ( actually ) sacrificed to the NHS!

    This is a dishonest, despicable and incompetent government. You should be ashamed to be associated with it.

    • Fred H
      Posted January 6, 2021 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      last para sums it up nicely.

  93. Roy Grainger
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Ah. Now we get the truth. Restrictions again next Winter says Chris Whitty, and he should know because he’s on SAGE – anyone told Boris yet ? He might as well cave in now, get it over with.

  94. Rhoddas
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    We need jabbers jabbing, be it the usual suspects NHS/GPs surgeries ………….. but also those already qualified clinically:
    * Private Hospitals
    * Pharmacies
    * Army medics
    Repurposed
    * Dentists/Opthalmists
    * Vetinarian staff
    * Retired of the above
    * Student Drs/Nurses/Paramedics

    Quickly and locally – GP surgeries, pharmacies, Town Halls etc and drive throughs. Thank you Morrisons.

    We need statistics on jabs per day/week like we have now per local/region/nation so we can track the progress and resolve the bottlenecks.

    We need Boris to press the unreasonable demand button and get this programme mobilised like we have never seen before! No-one else to blame now, so lets just sort it.

    • steve
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Rhoddas

      “Thank you Morrisons.”

      I wouldn’t trust that lot.

  95. Margaret
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Another of my patients of 20yrs has died of covid.The question we should be asking is if there is an alternative to lockdown.It is not time to watch and wait.It is a time for action.

    • steve
      Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      Margaret

      Yes here is an alternative – isolate and shield the vulnerable and let the rest of us keep the country going.

      • Fred H
        Posted January 7, 2021 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        ALL the elderly and/or vulnerable people we know of ARE isolating themselves and have been since about March!
        Transmission happens between people who are NOT in their own form of lockdown. Life for them sort of carries on – but so many do not follow rules. The virus doesn’t blow through closed windows and doors – we have not heard of any of the above catching it.
        However, the numbers of much younger people, we know of by emails and phone, but not very well, are certainly increasing.
        So the people who obey lockdown are NOT the problem!

  96. Iain Gill
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    if they had any sense they would cancel the school summer holidays, and start planning to keep the schools open over the summer to try and get the kids back up to speed.

    • David
      Posted January 6, 2021 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Yes indeed, if teachers really believe the nonsense about this being a deadly disease It’s not to the under-60s; see research by Ioannidis et al. To healthy under-65s it’s more dangerous to drive a car.

      We can be certain that the virus will do its usual vanishing act after about March and return in Sep-Oct. So for about 6 months even teachers can hardly complain about being asked to teach.

      My secondary school days were during the 1968-69 flu pandemic. I was hardly aware anything was going on virus-wise, although I was 16. In hindsight, it was a more dangerous one than SARS CoV 2, especially to under 60s including my parents and my teachers. The death rate was considerable.

  97. DaveM
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Whitty and Vallance need to stop going on TV John – Boris keeps trying to find some positivity and those two are making people suicidal with their conjectures.

    • Fred H
      Posted January 6, 2021 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Good cop, bad cop – – Boris wants to be the hero.

    • APL
      Posted January 7, 2021 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Davem: “Boris keeps trying to find some positivity and those two are making people suicidal with their conjectures.”

      Johnson is either weak or complicit. We don’t want either (lack of) quality in a leader.

  98. Derek
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    SJ has it ever been proposed that the hospitality industry should be able to open their doors BUT only to those who can show an approved and verifiable vaccine certificate?
    Rather like a passport to drink the port, maybe?
    If the Government has full faith in these British approved vaccines, I cannot see why they would object to such an innovation.

  99. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Lockdown has at least revealed to my brother what drivel his grandchildren are being fed by their teachers.

    The Soldier poem by Rupert Brooke is, apparently, all about jingoism and taking territory. It is actually about the raising of a child to adulthood and is a consolation to the parents when he is blown to bits on the battlefield. How can an English teacher get it so wrong ? Here are the words:

    If I should die, think only this of me:
    That there’s some corner of a foreign field
    That is for ever England. There shall be
    In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
    A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
    Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam;
    A body of England’s, breathing English air,
    Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

    And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
    A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
    Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
    Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
    And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
    In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

  100. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Prof Whitty now tells us that we may have to go through all of these restrictions again next winter.

    So is this ‘one last push’ or is it not ?

    We should be told the truth by our Prime Minister.

  101. Paul Steele
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Your sceptical view about the government position is entirely correct. No sensible risk analysis has been published to evaluate the many negative effects of the lockdowns. Essentially fit and asymptomatic people have been denied civil liberties to scandalous degree without justification.
    The non Covid health of the nation , along with the economy is being sacrificed for what?
    Please don’t mention the incompetence of the “health” service.

  102. steve
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    I suggest Boris bans supermarket trolleys during lockdown, making it impossible for the selfish bstds of society to clear the shelves.

  103. Stephen Glasse
    Posted January 5, 2021 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Very good post/article. Unfortunately there are not more like you in the Commons.

  104. everyone knows
    Posted January 6, 2021 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    CDC are reporting all death rate is normal for 2020, no pandemic but suicides have doubled.

    • Fred H
      Posted January 6, 2021 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      and mental health problems quadrupled?

  105. cassandra
    Posted January 6, 2021 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Sure they work, but what at? Ensuring the Government are left in peace to wreak God knows what mischief behind the scenes, while the plebs are nicely silenced, fearful and compliant?

  106. G Wilson
    Posted January 6, 2021 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    If lockdowns worked, no region would ever move to a higher tier, and lockdowns would be over by now.

    If anything, we’ve comprehensively proven that lockdowns can’t eradicate a virus.

  107. G Wheatley
    Posted January 6, 2021 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Dr. Mike Yeadon (amongst many, many, many others) doesn’t seem to think so.

    The timing of the current surge in both ‘cases’ and fatalities means that those individuals will have contracted the disease DURING the last lockdown. That clearly isn’t what S.A.G.E. and the Government had envisaged and so puts them in a dilemma – what to do next?

    Closing schools IS a logical move given the PHE published data from NHS contact-tracing referrals and the Governments own acknowledgements that that is so.

    A further lockdown is NOT logical. We will have it until the end of March. ALMOST THREE WHOLE MONTHS.

    What will be the condition of both the national and local economy, the solvency of businesses (particularly small businesses……. the likes of Amazon and other internet traders will be fine – boosted in fact), people’s livelihoods, their physical and mental well-being and the fabric of society?

    A three month national lockdown will be even more catastrophic (not that the previous measures haven’t also been) and I hope that you and your colleagues will vote AGAINST the measures in tonight’s vote.

    Labour will naturally vote FOR them, in the knowledge that the Tories will shoulder the blame for having proposed and implemented them (and so suffer greatly at the next General Election), clearing the way for another 1997-style Labour landslide.

    The Tory party of that time ignored the fact that they were losing every single by-election that was contested, because that was the electorate’s ONLY way of telling the party that they must ‘change or else’. And the party ignored it, brushing concerns aside with a dismissive “people will revert to their normal voting patterns at a General Election”.

    And when Labour once again hold teh keys to No.10, these measures will remain in-place because the that is what the Marxists within that party want.

    If the Conservatives are to remain in power (other than by not holding any more elections!) then it is encumbent upon you and your colleagues to vote AGAINST these measures tonight.

    Regards,
    GW.

  108. CvM
    Posted January 6, 2021 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Pre-flight testing for all and better follow up on those isolating after travel is essential as happens in many other countries. This is something like 9 months overdue

  109. CvM
    Posted January 6, 2021 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    This virus, especially the new variant, spreads quickly and is slower to recede. Surely the way to cause the least damage to economy, wellbeing and health is to act quickly so the peak is lower, and thus re-opening can come sooner. Track and trace rapidly backwards, led locally, to also find where the person had contacts in the days before a positive test is also I believe known to work better and is done in may Asian countries with longer experience of these things and a better record of dealing with this one

  • 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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