Closing borders

During the crisis so far the EU has battled to keep its belief in open borders as law around the EU. The member states have taken a different attitude.

The EU says “A crisis without borders cannot be resolved by putting  barriers between us”. It has despite this allowed or encouraged tougher border controls around the EU as a whole whilst wanting to avoid all controls at borders between member states.

Instead Germany has imposed border checks against Austria, France, Luxembourg and Denmark for the movement of people. France has imposed checks on Germany, Belgium and Spain.

In the UK there have been criticisms that the government did not impose stricter controls on people entering through our airports and ports. I currently get complaints  that there are still lots of planes flying into Heathrow. I have to explain that some are planes bringing UK nationals home from holidays and stays abroad, and many are freight planes. Some are passenger planes that have been adapted to carry more freight. Passenger services have traditionally also carried some freight in holds as part of our complex supply system.

The EU, realising that countries do wish to impose checks on people at their national borders, is now trying to protect the idea of a barrier free single market for goods.  They state “All internal borders should stay open for freight”. Regardless of  this some member states are diverting export goods for home consumption and inserting their own rules. France and Germany for example are keeping various medical supplies for home use.

This crisis is putting the world trading system under new pressures. In a world of lock down there is more attention to the local and national. Countries are seeking to increase their own productive potential in shortage areas like tests, protective clothing and other medical supplies.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Pominoz
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    The EU will not survive this.

    • Andy
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

      That is what hard right Tories have been saying about every event since before the EU launched.

      You have now all been wrong for 3 decades.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

        Oh Andy…if only there were such a person as a “hard right Tory.”!!
        Still…we can only hope.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

          Indeed 90% of Conservative MPs are big state socialists at heart.

      • graham1946
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Spain Portugal and Italy have been abandoned by the EU. Six hours of discussion by EU leaders in Brussels last week and nothing decided, except to pass the buck to finance ministers to cobble something up in 14 days. Very urgent eh? Some Italians are burning the EU flag – have we seen that before, Andy? The Italian PM Guiseppe Conte said that if the EU isn’t capable of rising to the challenge, then the EU risks losing its legitimacy. The cracks are definitely showing.

        • Andy
          Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          The trouble with you lot is that you really can’t decide what it is about the EU that you object to. You demanded Brexit because you said that the EU was too controlling and too bureaucratic.

          And yet you can only leave by creating masses more bureaucracy than we ever had as members. And now we have left you are moaning that the EU is not controlling enough. You can’t have it both ways.

          Health is not an EU matter. It is left to individual member states to deal with the health consequences. It’s called sovereignty apparently. Now, the economic rescue package is complicated, it will require EU involvement and everyone will moan but it will be sorted in the end.

          Graham1946 sort gives your age away. You are 74ish. People like you have been predicting the collapse of the EU since before it launched, when you were in your 40s. You’ve now been wrong for almost half your life.

          Now give it a rest. You left. The EU will ultimately thrive again and the UK will rejoin in due course.

          • graham1946
            Posted March 31, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

            Not asking for control but support – there is a difference which you fanatics can’t understand. You want a federal Europe but not when things get rough. Give it a rest, you lost but can’t accept that and I’d thank you to be polite and not refer to us as ‘you lot’ in a disparaging way. which just shows your lack of education. Also your Ageism is tiresome. We built what you take for granted and paid for you all your life and still do as you have kids.

        • dixie
          Posted March 31, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

          The proof of a system, organisations and people is when things have gone wrong. The EU has demonstrated it’s lack of value on many occasions not least the financial and unemployment turmoils in the southern countries, it’s instigation and mishandling of illegal immigration and it’s behaviours and mishandling of Brexit.

          That it is found wanting in the latest crisis is not surprising at all. The question is when the member countries will come to the view that a wannabe federal megastate that takes so much and gives so little is not the answer for such a disparate set of countries and cultures.

      • agricola
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        This is the first time the EU has had to face a major threat from outside. They have left the threat to actions by individual nations. When the dust settles on Covid-19,these member countries will reasonably ask, where were you EU when needed. They will quickly realise the EU was with the ration truck, and then ask themselves the second question. Do we need this undemocratic rule giver that cannot even solve our unemployment problem. The EU has almost guaranteed its own demise. Back to the drawing board.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

          Yes, the Apollo moon landings were an utter failure too, weren’t they?

          They missed the landing site by three metres – pff, what utter ignominy.

      • dead right
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        Andy the UK has left, so that part of the EU from an EU perspective has died.A twenty-eighth part of the EU is dead.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

          And other nations are queuing up to join.

          • ChrisS
            Posted March 31, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

            They only want to join because of the handouts !!!!

          • graham1946
            Posted March 31, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

            It’s not the quality, feel the width.

      • Hope
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        JR, specious response in paragraph 4. The govt strategy was to slow the spread of the virus, hence peop,e taken to Liverpool, then those arriving should have been put in quarantine and tested. The govt resoundingly failed. The govt resoundingly failed to test and the current strategy is pathetic at best and going to cost lives of the elderly by not being treated for a host of other medical conditions! This brings into disrepute the current house arrest of all of across the nation.

        The govt has blindly followed the Imperial College report which has back tracked and being heavily questioned by experts across the world.

        Where is Johnson going to jump next? When the media start to cry about the catastrophic consequence on the economy which will cost lives?

        Remember it was only two weeks before with the wreckless spend budget that you all heralded! How about Haewei, Hinkley and purchase of Scunthorpe steel to the Chinese? They should all be cancelled and there should be world wide condemnation of the Chinese govt and consequences for their behaviour. What has the govt done about the reports Chinese nationals buying masks and other equipment across the world to “send home” denying the host nations of vital equipment? Or would this weak rudderless govt call it racist?

        Johnson failed to act or prepare in a January, his current actions impacting on those who lost their homes through flood in January and February.

      • NickC
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        Andy, As usual you are wrong. I said back in 2012 that the EZ and EU would survive; and I am saying that again, now. And I’m not alone either.

        Worse, you misrepresent the majority (there’s a surprise!) who make the caveat that the Euro won’t survive unless there is full monetary and fiscal union. In other words the EU/EZ will survive if it copies the USA, to become the USE. And that’s another reason we were right to vote Leave.

    • oldtimer
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      It is not only the EU that may not survive this. Yesterday the UK’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer suggested things would return to “normal” after 6 months of restrictions that might then be lifted. If these restrictions prevail for as long as six months thousands of businesses will no longer be in business, because of insolvency, bankruptcy and lack of any buyers with cash to spend. Supply chains will be broken. There will be a mass of debt defaults. The UK service economy itself will be on life support. The government needs to test, test, test to establish a solid base of knowledge, not guesswork, about the spread and virulence of covid-19 among the population at large not just testing those the NHS staff wanted back at work. That way offers the route to a faster return to “normal” whatever that may turn out to be.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

        How much cheaper it would have been to have retained all the hospitals pulled down for housing and to have kept a fully funded NHS!
        Maybe no spending on the woke agenda though.
        Mothballed wards make sense!!

        • dixie
          Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

          What does “fully funded NHS” mean?

      • Stred
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

        It would be good to think that the chief medical officers and other civil servants are trying to find ways to help tradesmen and factory workers to work in safe ways without transmitting the disease. Perhaps the workers who are at low risk could work while those at high risk did remote work. The medics seems to be only thinking about the treatment side of the problem at the moment.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

        Again, we need a PLAN as John E. says below.

        At THIS STAGE, no sooner, no later, the government has sufficient information to put together a comprehensive plan for isolation, testing, return to work etc. etc. We should know where we stand when certain benchmarks are met.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        We should follow Sweden.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

          The Swedes are now getting worried that their government may have made a very serious miscalculation.

          Time will surely tell.

      • glen cullen
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        Agree this policy of lockdown isolation is killing the economy

      • In a time of revolut
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        If these restrictions prevail for as long as six months thousands of businesses will no longer be in business

        That is the idea. Why can you people not grasp we are in the middle of a communist coup? On a global level. Listen to the noises coming from Gordon Brown.

      • formula57
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        @ oldtimer – the UK ceased testing for mild cases (they all start mild!) on 12, March – which evidently conflicts with World Health Organization (WHO) advice that was and remains to test all suspected cases, quarantine them, trace all close contacts and ask them to self isolate (for periods longer (14 days) than the UK government advises (7 days)).

        There is concern (discussed by Robert Walker at scince20) that UK Government policy is informed by the Imperial College model which deviates in material ways from Covid-19 characteristics identified by the WHO, notably in assuming airborne transmission, presuming community spread is other than rare, and believing most infection occurs from between 12 hours before symptoms to 7 days after.

        The WHO by contrast deny airborne transmission, state community spread is rare in contrast to household spread and believe infection occurs earlier (24 hours) and last longer after symptoms cease (14 days).

        There are troubling implications, clearly, if the Imperial model is an inferior predictor to the WHO understanding.

        • formula57
          Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

          erratum – rather “science20”

        • forthurst
          Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

          This is why there needs to be an Expert Group set up urgently to evaluate the evidence from all sources and propose actions arising from it. The situation whereby the government listens to one ‘expert’ after another without the intellectual or scientific ability to assess the quality or implications of what they are told starting with Vallance and his herd immunity is why we have lost over two months and are still not on the right path. Let’s get a team of distinguished virologists and epidemiologists together under the chairmanship of Whitty to make decisions about how to fight this disease. The Chinese version was established in January and has directed all aspects of the Chinese response from the Wuhan lockdown to protective clothing. The Chinese are now moving towards normality.

      • Richard
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Italy Finally Starts Mass Treatment with Hydroxychloroquine for “every single person with Covid-19 that has early signs, like a cough or a fever… The results that we are starting to accumulate suggest that hydroxychloroquine administered early, gives the possibility of avoiding [respiratory failure] in a majority of patients and is also helping us to prevent hospitals from filling up.”
        France & USA today approved it also. So should the UK.

        Reply Thus site does not offer medical advice which needs to come from a registered Dr

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      “The euro will be dead and buried by Christmas 2012” said Nigel Farage.

      The European Union will most likely be strengthened by this in the long term, as it will by the UK’s exit.

      Why are John and his commenters so fixated on what it does or does not do anyway?

      The UK has left.

      Is it because the silly Leave project was really all about trying to destroy it, and they see that so far that has utterly failed?

      Emergency measures have involved all manner of barriers, such as isolating areas within countries anyway. If appropriate that will be done wherever. It is no reflection on the success of the European Union.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        You should be asking the Italians, Spanish & Poles if they think it will be strengthened after this, Especially after the PM Morawiecki complained they or others hadn’t received a cent of help from Brussels.

      • NickC
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Perhaps Nigel Farage did really say the exact words: “The euro will be dead and buried by Christmas 2012“; and you’ve not taken it his words out of context, but I can find no evidence of your claim.

        There is an Irish Times report (May 2012): “British MEP Nigel Farage, speculated that the euro could collapse in the next few months, making a referendum [in Eire] redundant“. But that’s not the same as your claim. So what about a link or a reference to the actual words you think Farage said?

    • jerry
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      @Pominoz; Globalism will not survive this, at least in its more recent form, and I think many on the right might do better worrying about that -you mean my company will have to invest in manufacturing. training and employees here in the UK?!…

      Suggesting the EU will not survive this is as daft as saying the USA will not survive, what is not so sure though is what either will look like politically post the pandemic, it is quite possible that the EU will revert back to a EEC style trade-block or it might Federate, it is quite possible Trump will not be re-elected in November (or when ever the election takes place).

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        Trump will be re-elected.

      • NickC
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, I think you are correct on both points.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Will Corona-bonds be the final straw that breaks the German back?

      If the ECB expects German savers to pick up the majority of Corona-bonds then they may be in for a shock. Perhaps the ECB should issue in Deutschmarks! 🙂

    • nshgp
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Correct. From friends in Italy, its turned to hatred. Just 4% support the EU.
      Going to be hard for the government to tell people the EU is their friend.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        I doubt that many in Italy are reading your propaganda.

        • Fred H
          Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

          not many understand English…..

        • czerwonadupa
          Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

          They certainly won’t be abiding by yours

        • NickC
          Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

          Or yours.

  2. Ian Wragg
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    And we’re still providing a taxi service across the channel for people of whom we know nothing.
    Makes a mockery of flying drones over the Peak district by police.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      They’re in France.

    • Christine
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Our Home Secretary Priti Patel should be finding out who these police chiefs are who are authorising such ridiculous actions as vandalising beauty spots, asking people to report on their neighbours, reporting Covid-19 hate crimes, flying drones over remote countryside. She should then give them a good shouting at, as she’s allegedly famous for. If we are not careful this country will slip into being a police state. It needs nipping in the bud immediately.

      The continuation of the people smugglers tells you all you need to know about the French Government and their intention to offload as many of these people as possible. Until we get tough and turn them back the problem will just get worse.

      • glen cullen
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        And with schools out there has been an increase in my region of teenagers on scrambler motorbikes that the police can’t pursue because the bikers aren’t wearing helmets

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        Agreed, send these police to the borders.

      • graham1946
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        Give any official additional powers and they will always, always abuse it.

    • turboterrier
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      The drones would be better used covering the shortest routes across the channel.
      Locate the illegals further outside our national waters and take them back to the national waters they have left to take advantage of the nearest land from which they came. Those inflatables outboards can only run for so long and the nearer they are kept to France the biggest the risk to attempt the crossing if fuel runs out in the middle of the busiest shipping lane in the world. Maybe just maybe President Putins warships will then pick them up.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      The police are only prepared to bully British natives, they know we will never hit back. They are afraid of foreigners! So I’m beginning to accept that accusations of xenophobia are correct! Kow tow!

    • glen cullen
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Makes a mockery of lockdown isolation

    • Lester Beedell
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink


    • Hope
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Police in London shouting at people for lying on the grass but two weeks ago happy to watch eco idiots commit criminal damage by digging up grass at our top universities!

      Prosecute those for Hate speech rot over transgender garbage, brainwash our children over the same starting September, stop us eating sugary food, now house arrest of the nation when more have died from other illnesses that do not get a mention! This nanny state govt needs to be ousted ASAP. The country voted Johnson and got Fidal Castro!

      Wait to see the govts back track from its over sensational group think response. Every saver, striver, prudent person will suffer from the economy being savaged. Welfare will get another healthy rise for sitting on their arse.

      Slimily sneaked under the radar 650 MP will remain despite Tory Govt promising ten years ago to cut the number! All just given themselves a whopping 3.1% percent pay rise, £82,000 top five percent earners, additional £10,000 advance plus still receiving subsidised food and drink at parliament and a host of other perks! The swamp needs clearing.

    • Everythings in orde
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Sometimes police do a Good Soldier Schweik, obey orders to the letter deliberately and undermine the Order completely. Be a policeman, you will understand. They know this nonsense is unachievable in real terms. Only a Civil Servant totally divorced from reality would issue such an order.

      • margaret
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Been there .They have to make new rules or find an angle to state rules were not followed, but follow the new rules they will.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        My cousin’s son left the force as he said he joined to be a policeman not an extension of the social services

    • NickC
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg, The establishment Martins and Andys seem unable to change their knee-jerk “solutions” when the circumstances change – more prodnoses from the EU, and more EU rules, and more open borders, they cry.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        No, countries are right to take whatever emergency measures science advises, including closing borders – exactly as permitted by the Schengen agreement under these circumstance.

        Yes, keep putting silly words into our mouths.

        It’s the only way that you can seem half sensible by comparison, and I understand your desperation.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          “our mouths”
          Hmm interesting and revealing comment.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted March 31, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

            IW referred to two people.

            Do you understand plurals?

          • Edward2
            Posted March 31, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

            Not when you say, “keep putting silly words into our mouths”
            Presumably you are posting on behalf of the whole EU.
            Thinking that they consider you a spokesperson for them and part of their elite aristocracy.
            How wrong you are.

        • czerwonadupa
          Posted March 30, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

          Does that include refusing an export license of goods made in a foreign owned factory & going to that owners own
          country & forcing them under emergency laws to sell the goods to the local town at a fixed price? Fact as a certain Mr Benitez might say.
          If so that’s more like the deceased USSR.

        • NickC
          Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

          Martin, I suggest you read Andy’s latest epistles. And it’s the first time I’ve seen you advocate closing borders. Good job we still have borders to close though, isn’t it, despite your continual advice to dispense with them?

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      It’s the soft option; the solution of cowardly police and all in authority. Much easier to demand that an old lady opens her shopping bag than tackle a drug dealer and smuggler.

  3. Peter Wood
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Is the EU Politburo learning the first rule of democracy: to govern, you first need the consent of the governed?

    Meanwhile, member states, and the UK(!) still need the approval of the Politburo to provide state assistance to our domestic corporations…..

    • Andy
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      Ironic. Seeing that 57% rejected Johnson’s police state Tories at the election three months ago. Including the vast majority in Scotland and all of N.I.

      • Fred H
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

        you may be surprised to know that the under 16s typically haven’t a clue about what a police state is. Your bizarre 57% is such nonsense.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        What a foolish comment. Boris Johnson got a bigger vote share than any other European leader. We have a first past the post system. You might not like it, but a referendum confirmed the public’s strong preference for it. And you lost the election. You weren’t complaining when Blair and brown governed with a far smaller vote percentage and you wouldn’t be complaining now if by some bizarre turn of events Corbyn or say Ed Davey had ended up as PM.

        That’s the problem with democracy, you have to accept you might lose.

        And it is absurd to describe the Tories as supporters of a police state.

        But keep it up, the more absurd people like you appear, the longer we will have Conservative govt.

        • Andy
          Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

          I was complaining when Blair and Brown were PM because they were elected by the minority and I have supported PR since I was a teenager in the 80s.

          And we have not had a referendum on PR. We had a referendum on AV – which is not PR. Your mate Nigel Farage supports PR. He knows it is the only way he will ever get a seat in Westminster. I would like to see him in Westminster so his nonsense is more easily exposed.

          And, incidentally, Macron got 66% of the vote – far more than Boris. And we won’t have a Tory government for long.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 31, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

            “AV which is not PR” is a silly argument.
            The campaign to have that AV vote was non stop all about the benefits of a PR system.
            It was chosen as a mild version and the first step towards full PR because you all thought you would win.
            And the attempt failed.

            What is it with you lot on the left that you cannot ever accept the results of democratic votes?

      • Thud
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        Yet a majority now support the Tories in all polls…good news hey?

      • agricola
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        But none of this disperate fragmented opposition could produce sufficient votes to get them into government. Imagine the clarity in government in a crisis you would get with marxist labour, the miss named lib dems , the ranting SNP and one green. Thank god for the sense of the electorate.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        Just because 57% of the electorate did not vote for Johnson that does not mean that 57% rejected him. They just preferred someone else. Johnson however, received more votes than anyone else by far, which is why he is Prime Minister.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 31, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          Yes, everyone knows that.

          The point is, that the mere fact of being in government under the UK electoral system does not mean that it has the support of a majority of the electorate, never mind of the whole population.

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        Andy, how do you square off the ruling candidates in the EU who are often elected on much less than 43%, if they are elected or chosen without anyone voting for them at all?

        • graham1946
          Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

          Ursula Von der Leyen for instance squeaking in by 12 votes out of 750 or so. Still that’s the EU, so that’s all right then.

      • formula57
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        @ Andy – 57% of only those who expressed a preference – and then expression of a preference does not necessarily imply repudiation of the unchosen alternatives, clearly.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        The Conservatives weren’t standing in NI. Best stick to what you know Andy, like asking us to pay your electric bill and hurling abuse at old people.

      • NickC
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Says the man who thought that Leave was voted for by 17.4 million angry Tory pensioners. Yet ironically 100% didn’t vote for your EU Commission. How’s your brotherhood of the EU doing now, eh? Still hankering after more open borders and more EU authoritarianism? That’ll really solve this pandemic.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      Since only fourteen million out of sixty-seven million voted Tory in the UK, then where is that consent here?

      • SM
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Martin, the size of the electorate is NOT 67million, that is roughly the size of the population.

        The size of the electorate in 2017, for instance, was 46million, and it dropped somewhat in 2018.

      • graham1946
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        For Gods sake, you have been told often enough that even you ought to understand – there are not 67 million voters in the UK. No doubt you would like all children to get the vote and for Andy and you to vote in their proxy. Pls don’t use this stupid number again, you already look silly enough.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        More of your silly statistics.
        We have simple rules for voting
        You have to be citizen and 18 years old or over.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

          We’re not discussing voting.

          We’re discussing popular consent.

          It’s not quite the same thing.

          • SM
            Posted March 31, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

            MiC – you quite specifically used the term ‘voting’ in your comment.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 31, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

            Well stop using that ridiculous percentage figure then, because it is calculated using you bizarre idea that babies and toddlers should have the vote and that voting should be compulsory and that anyone from anywhere in world who just happens to be in the UK on the day of our election also gets a vote.

          • graham1946
            Posted March 31, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

            How does a baby or toddler give political consent? Desperate defence of an indefensible and silly argument.

          • graham1946
            Posted March 31, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

            It was you who mentioned voting in your post

      • Mark
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 1:49 am | Permalink

        The latest poll I saw reported had 54% support for the Tories. Support for handling of the crisis runs much higher.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink


        …are you being deliberately obtuse?

    • glen cullen
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Isn’t that because under the terms of our withdrawl agreement we still have to follow all the rules of the EU and pay our fee

      • NickC
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:19 pm | Permalink


    • nshgp
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      On consent. How can I say no? ie. Where is my right of consent?
      For example where can I say no to participating in the state pension, keep my contributions and invest them? Equally there should be the right for socialists to say yes.
      Consent means the right to say yes, the right to say no, and not be targeted as a result.
      Something MPs need to learn. It should be article zero of the human rights act.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        The British Housewives’ League, of which I was the last Hon sec. campaigned for the right to opt out of the state pension (it killed the norm of people saving for their retirement) NHS (which I would gladly pay money to be certain never to end up in their clutches). Time to listen to the wisdom of the ages – we want the right to opt out and we take all responsibility for our own future in a quid pro quo.

      • graham1946
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        On the other hand nhs gp’s do very nicely out of the NHS pension even though you are self employed which no-one else can get. You’d never get such a good return investing yourself. Those of us relying on pensions from the NIC’s on the other hand………………..

  4. Mark B
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The stable door was left open and the horse bolted long ago. Whilst I am sure many are UK nationals returning, and some resident non-UK nationals, what I and I am sure many others here are concerned with, is that :

    a) no one is being checked for illness as they enter.

    b) no one is taking into considering that a more virulent form, or even a new virus altogether coming into the country and making a weakened suffer more.

    As I mentioned yesterday, a nurse I spoke to recently recons the virus has been in the UK since before Christmas, and that James Delingpole said he had it around the time of the BREXIT celebrations. So I would argue that most of the populace have already been infected and, that the measure being taken are both too late and are counter productive.

    There is a problem when people make predictions such as the ones the government have been told. We have discussed here many times the fallacy of economic Shamen and how they get things so wrong. It is not therefore inconceivable that we are faced with another type of Shamen who, let it be said, seems to be downsizing his predictions as matters develop and the drama, now a crisis, seems to be not as bad as he first thought. I would argue that, once the economic, political and social damaged becomes evermore clear, there will be some backtracking with the usual caveats that they had to do what they did otherwise it would have been worse. Trouble is, no one really knows.

    Once again we have to suffer the danger of so called, ‘experts’.

    • NickC
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

      Mark, “It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future” as Niels Bohr supposedly, and others have famously said. In our computer obsessed culture we seem to think that putting our assumptions into a computer program to make predictions somehow makes the predicting more accurate. CAGW and Treasury Brexit doom predictions shows how wrong that cultural assumption is.

  5. Horatio
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Im sorry John, the majority of the flights coming in are passenger not freight. Last week we were still receiving flights from iran, china and italy. We probably still are. My neighbours just returned from Spain. While we destroy the economy with lockdown, for what increasingly looks a less dangerous disease than seasonal flu, surely we should also lockdown passenger flights from badly hit countries. Indeed if we had shut the borders to these countries when Trump did, perhaps we wouldnt be having this lockdown now? Though doubtless we would still be bowing to the ‘foot and mouth, ever back tracking scaremonger ‘from Imperial College: You know there is something awry when climate professors from East Anglia support the models.

    It appears that the 21 yr old girl who tragically perished last week from natural causes was not a covid fatality as expressed by the coroner against the hospitals original cause (heart attack) The coroner had no legal right to get involved, was this politically motivated?. When will the govt clarify deaths from and deaths with covid. This lack of testing and clarity onlh benefits those desperate for more state intervention and Stasi-esque patrols on our streets.

    The French have now joined many US states in permitting the use of hydroxychloroquin/azithromycin, a malaria drug combination, for use against Covid. The results are very good. What is NICE doing to fast track approval for use in our hospitals?

    • matthu
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately, results cannot be assesses without proper blind trials. Many people are recovering without any intervention at all.

      • forthurst
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        What is an appropriate course for testing a new drug which big pharma hopes will make it megabucks but might be a new thalidomide is not the same as using a known safe drug in the context of an acute illness where the course of the illness has been observed in many patients and in an individual case a prognosis can be derived with the assistance of a pulmonary scan with other vital signs.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Apparently if tested many would test “positive” for corona virus. That is because corona causes disease from the common cold, through to flu and then finally to SARS and MERS.
      COVID19 is a SARS and there is no specific test for it..just a test for Coronavirus.

    • zorro
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Indeed, there is clearly lying going on about the causes of deaths in the UK. Such a person died and tested positive for COVID 19, therefore she died of it…. Not at all, there are many underlying causes which are the main cause of death. They are trying to inflate the numbers to justify drip drip repressive measures to implement a police state.

      Ask yourself why not one MSM journalist has asked the question to the government handlers at the press conferences why COVID 19 was downgraded from being an HCID…

      The only well-known one is Peter Hitchens and he is having to suffer pathetic abuse from alleged real citizens, well maybe not civvies….


    • Stred
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      NICE will, if past form is taken into account, spend until the epidemic is over and recommend it’s use after further trials, then spend more on public relations.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Indeed unless this drug combination had some dire side effects there seem to be little to be lost in trying it out. Do was have any stocks?

    • Addanc Monster
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely correct.

      I liked the article on the paper alleged to be the basis of the Governments lock down decision; Zombie apocalypse all the way through the article; last paragraph has caveat that there is lots of guess work involved and consequently the paper could be complete rubbish.

      Nice to know the Government is basing its decisions on science. You can guarantee that if the economy is destroyed for no good reason, will not be forgotten or forgiven at the next election.

    • NickC
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Horatio, Excellent points, especially about closing down borders completely, and using existing proven drugs as stop gaps.

    • Horatio
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      On testing, the esteamed German microbiologist Sucharit Bhakdi’s letter to German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel has has much press in Germany and none here. See link below: it raises very serious questions about the economic destruction we are bequething, probably, to our grandchildren.

      He is clear:
      1 fatalities are being unjustly ascribed to Covid.
      2 Much more of the population has had the virus than we understand through negligible testing and the Germans have done far more than us.
      3 infection does not mean disease. This is not how we measure infections. An asymptomatic person or what not requiring hospitalization should not be counted in the same way
      4 it is not accurate to compare italy and spain with uk and Germany. The situations are quite different and to threaten italian level of deaths is wrong. One reason being that typically in those countries old and young live together.

      We need to be more critical and how we classify this and mass testing will help but likely shame the authorities

      • NickC
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

        Horation, Mass testing both for infection and for antibodies is critical, as you say.

    • Original Chris
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      The USA FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has given emergency authorisation for the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in the treatment of CV. This was announced in the White House CV Press Briefing yesterday.

      Also, a rapid diagnostic test, developed by Abbott Laboratories, has been approved by the FDA for use in the USA. Results in 5 minutes, and Abbott, starting this week, will deliver 50,000 tests per day. The normal 10 month procedure for testing and approval was reduced to 4 weeks, without compromising standards.

      See link to video of P Trump delivering his White House Briefing. The piece about the approval of the CV diagnostic test is in the first minute.

      These development (diag. test and hydroxychloroquine approval) are just two of a significant number of other very important developments that P Trump announced in the Briefing yesterday.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        Well, let’s hope that the subjects of this experiment do indeed benefit from it, or, given US litigation, we, the world’s insurance policy holders are going to see yet another big, US-precipitated, rise in our premiums.

      • Mark
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 1:44 am | Permalink

        I believe several other countries are now using some of the drugs that are well tested in other uses on the basis that they are unlikely to do much harm under medical supervision, and may do good. They will be discontinued only if it is shown that they are not helping.

  6. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    The funny thing is that thanks to this Covid19 we have all but destroyed the EU, we have introduced unprecedented stringent new laws, we have really hurt the JIT system (warned about during Brexit), we have closed parliament…
    None of this was in the Conservative manifesto.
    Thank heavens we have Boris and his excellent team (including you) at the helm!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Alas we do not have JR “at the helm”.

      I suspect if we had we would already have cancelled HS2, the net zero Carbon agenda and similar lunacies.

      It was appalling that the Coronavirus bill had no sunset clause.

      Gove says he can give no accurate prediction on the timing of the Corona Virus so why on earth does he believe the “experts” can predict the far more random and complex climate for 100 years? And that we therefore need expensive energy and this idiotic war on plant food?

    • Cure or kill?
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      If we really think about it, the Virus has not done anything to us at all as a Country and People.
      Condolences, but our number of dead are relatively tiny. minuscule .
      All the harm has been by our reaction to something which has not touched us yet.
      I’m sorry for Boris.His health. I personally always avoid hospitals and doctors waiting rooms like the plague. I go in with one ailment and come out with three ailments, Commonsense. I spread myself around but lightly

  7. John E
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    This is happening in large part because there is a lack of leadership in dealing with the crisis. I’m not getting a great feeling from the government briefings here that anyone has a grip on our planning. They seem to have gone from complacent denial to panic to the reliable political ploy of looking for scapegoats. Meanwhile we are being depressed further with vague warnings of doom and greater punishment and oppression of the population.

    If this activity was being run in a business-like manner I would expect to see an overall project plan identifying the main project streams, the person accountable for each stream, the key deliverables with timescales and the current status.
    For example the streams would be:
    Increase hospital capacity – which new hospitals, where, opening dates. Owner – Health Secretary.
    Ramp up testing. Which tests. When available. Ramp up plan.
    Personal protective equipment for health staff. Actions to fill gaps in availability.
    Ventilators – orders placed. Delivery dates. Staff training. Availability for use.

    Financial measures to mitigate impact – Chancellor

    Lockdown and Communications – Cabinet Office

    and so on.

    This would all be pulled together under a Programme Management Office, tracking progress of each stream, pulling together status updates for senior ministers.etc.
    In the current Cabinet Therese Coffey would be an ideal person to run this using her Mars experience.
    Perhaps this is already happening in which case I would very much like to see the regular status updates. I expect MPs would also want to see them.
    There is no good reason to my mind why it shouldn’t all be publicly available. I would find it reassuring to at least know that an overall plan exists and to be able to see it to know what is actually being done in our name.

    • zorro
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      It ain’t going to happen…. They are using fear to weaken and depress people and make them susceptible to illness.


      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Yep, doing the enemies work for them. Every General knows that morale is critical but our ‘leaders’ from the PM to the lunatic of Imperial College and the erstwhile Governor of the Bank of England, clearly engaged full time in destroying morale.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      I think this is why the Chancellor has high ratings. Apart from the slight delay in help for the self-employed, there’s clearly a plan and gaps are filled quickly.

      The health side seems all a bit more random. There should be a section allocated for a simple matrix where future perceived supply meets future perceived demand in the areas you mention. We should also know future perceived actions to release us from quarantine now, having met certain targets. Otherwise we’re all sitting here waiting for Godot.

      It would also save all this questioning and lack of clarity. Let’s see.

    • Horatio
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      This testing issue is very fustrating:

      Why have we wasted so long developing our own tests when biological and advanced industrial powerhouses Germany and South Korea already have great tests which they are mass producing. Is it beyond the wit of govt to ask for/pay for these test and then replicate on a mass scale? Im sure, given this global state of emergency, they will share. Or if that fails buy some and reverse engineer the Tech.

      Who gains from lengthening this process and increasing the debt load???

      Adopt a business approach and everything is easier.

      • Mark
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 1:40 am | Permalink

        I wouldn’t be so sure about the quality of the tests being used. I looked at the statistics for an antigen test which shows about 10% false negatives and the same for false positives. It can’t be used to test for active infection. In Korea, it was the quality of contact tracing and quarantine enforcement that made the difference. In Germany, they have not given real statistics on severe cases (they were suck at just 2 for days on end, while they had tens of thousands of recorded cases, and rather more deaths than just 2…), and deaths are seemingly only attributed to the virus if there is no other condition they could blame.

        We will have to wait for restrospective analysis of excess mortality to understand the German realities. What does appear to be the case is that more careful attitudes in the light of the epidemic are leading to lower deaths from other causes across the EU/UK.

    • turboterrier
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      John E.

      If this activity was being run in a business-like manner .
      Most people I know who are working in the NHS and are passionate about it for years have been saying “The NHS is not and cannot be run as a business”….Why therefore have all these trust which for all intent and purposes are stand alone business units paying massive salaries to CEO and Directors? Who created the legislation for the formation of all these indvidual trusts?

      person accountable for each stream…. Not going to happen as the current situation is one can be accountable but never hold to account. It is only when one knows and fully understands the full consequences of your actions that full focus and committment is guaranteed. Sign up for the big bucks one has to over perform.

      Far to many politicians are now being shown wanting in that they have no real life experiences, never managed large business enterprises and are qualified in the wrong arenas of life and have never been real decision makers creating visions for their employees, never having to rely on consultants and external advisors.

    • rose
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      How can you seriously think there is no plan?

    • gregory martin
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Perhaps one might ask whether we have increased funding to the NHS beyond £350million per week, perhaps the new buses proposed by Grant Shapps to replace private cars, (Telegraph report on Saturday) should be equipped with a digital display of the sums, revised weekly.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        – actually we could have a ticker tape! Real-time surge of funding!

      • Mark
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 1:31 am | Permalink

        Are the buses being redesigned to permit social distancing?

    • forthurst
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      John E, What you refer to as a Programme Management Office I have already recommended as a Command and Control Centre. I have also suggested an Expert Group on COVID-19. The expert group would take decisions about what was needed to fight the virus such as medical equipment to protect staff and help patients, medicines and treatments, how the spread can effectively be controlled including how to block the introduction of new cases into the country. The decisions of the Expert Group would be passed to the Command and Control Centre which would give instructions to the politicians to give legal force to the strategy and it would have the responsibility of monitoring the delivery of the strategy as well as operating the testing, tracing and quarantining process. The Expert Group would need to be able to override NICE which according to their website is still reviewing the safety of Ibuprofen and ACE Inhibitors and gives no mention of antimalarials etc as a potential treatments. Only real time thinkers and thinking will do.

    • We Will Win!
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      The observable panic in the media, its journalists, financial world, its pundits and experts, their propagandists, is palpable.
      We have not got War Leadership.
      Hit the invading forces where they present immediate danger and are concentrated. Leave aside their commando and parachute operations in 5 to 10s as a distraction which can be mopped up as we go, just now they take up our troops time, take them away from the front.
      We know what Churchill would have done. He would have sacked his Generals, his experts.
      Let us hope it will not be necessary to do a Coventry. But present Government silly scattergun actions make that possibility too close.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      John E – yes, indeed. But if they give us too much information, it may become clear that (at present at least) the figures just don’t add up, and it will look as though we are being deliberately made afraid. Perhaps we are.
      Of course, that makes us easier to control. Isn’t that what is required, for whatever reason?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      John E, I could translate your post into this:

      The Anglo-Saxon socio-economic model is finished.

      All your complaints are about absolutely intrinsic aspects of it.

    Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Protection of one’s own interest is an innate response when things turn sour. The political Left term this selfishness. Their agenda is control through dependence. The master-slave relationship is fundamental to all forms of leftist authoritarianism. The EU understand this very well.

    EU States are now waking up from the dependent slumber and taking back control, taking back their self-respect and reasserting control.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      It’s every man (country) for himself . As someone points out this is an slap in the face for the liberal left, they are losing control. The EU is being seen for what it really is, a job destroying monolith with no function in todays world.
      We need to rebuild our country with more emphasis on self reliance and dismantle the client state.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink


    • NickC
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Dominic, You are right, and Andy demonstrates this. It is (according to him) in Andy’s interest to call for global government, as though having a global version of the EU Commission will get us out of this pandemic. Fundamentally he does not trust other people to be sensible; and so insists on authoritarian control as a solution.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      They never lost it.

      No European Union institution has the power to impose the strictures that we see the nations of Europe doing with their peoples.

      The real power rests with the nations and always has done, as emphatically demonstrated by this.

      Statements to the contrary are now proven to be fiction.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        Read the Treaties.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

          I have read them.

          They do not remotely confer any such powers on the institutions of the European Union.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 31, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

            The Treaties give the EU real powers over member states in many important areas.

            You are trying to float this idea that member nations can do exactly what they want to just because Covid 19 virus has seen some EU member nations close their borders.

            Why are you so embarrassed that you need to deny the EU has great powers over member states?
            I’m not.

      • NickC
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

        Martin, The member states started closing their borders in defiance of the EU. The EU Commission has had to accept reality. For once.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 31, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

          Yes, in opposition to an expressed ideal.

          That expression carried no legal force, however, and no member country has broken any law.

          The European Union’s institutions deal exclusively with reality, and go to assiduous lengths to establish what the facts are in every relevant matter.

          It is John’s party leader, who famously peddles myths on the other hand.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 31, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

            Hilariously biased pro EU nonsense. from you as usual.

            No one is saying individual member nations broke the law.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted March 31, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

            So what is your point, then?

        • Edward2
          Posted March 31, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

          To counter your statement that they had.
          In short get your facts right.

  9. Andy
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    For someone who does not like the EU you spend a lot of time talking about it. But what the EU does with its borders is not your problem – you left.

    For EU members health is, of course, a national competence which is why individual states are choosing to tackle it in different ways.

    Italy, which was unlucky enough to have the first significant outbreak, has a complete lockdown. Sweden is still largely open. The wisdom of these various approaches will only be clear in time. Demographics play a part. Italy has an older and more urbanised population so perhaps each country is right. And borders are still open. There are just checks on people.

    But as both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have – correctly – pointed out in recent days, ultimately we need a global solution to this. Obviously this angers the Little Englander Faragists – but it is also clearly true. So long as Coronavirus is a risk anywhere it is a risk everywhere.

    And, to be frank, your mostly elderly contributors have more interest than most in resolving this as quickly as possible. Because life will not be completely back to normal until this is a non-issue everywhere. Not just here and in the EU, but in China, Trumpmerica and Africa too. And in Africa it has the potential to cause devastation on an epic scale.

    Closing borders – erecting barriers between people – is an easy answer for xenophobes everywhere. But it is never the right answer and the barriers always come down in the end.

    • SM
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      Could someone enlighten me – what is the correct psychiatric term for those who have a persistent, morbid and manifest fear of the elderly?

      • Edward2
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink


    • Edward2
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      I dont follow your argument andy.
      In the same post you tell us individual EU members have the right to decide what they want to do regarding control of their national borders and then you call anyone who does so a xenaphobe.
      Then you say older people have more of a reason than most to want an end to this crisis, yet most will not be working nor running a business affected by the lockdown and will probably have their home paid for and be in receipt of pension income.
      There is no logic to what you say.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Thank you Andy, for your patient, clear explanation of reality once again.

      • graham1946
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        As someone shouted from the audience at the Glasgow theatre when Mike and Bernie Winters appeared ‘Oh No, there’s two of ’em’.

      • Fred H
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        that ought to rank as the best put down seen on here.
        Well done Martin !

    • Stred
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Fortunately, air freight is able to fly over border controls and prevent Micron ordering the theft of British medical supplies delivered by lorries. Meanwhile, the Channel border is patrolled by the Border Force illegal migration service.
      At least I won’t have to go there for my holiday this year and avoid the usual heat rash.

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      Trying to understand your rhetoric here. “And borders are still open. There are just checks on people” Seems like border controls to me. By your argument the borders with, say China or Russia, are still open .. there are just checks on people, but plenty of trade gets through.
      Erecting barriers between people, “closing borders ?”, is happening inside countries now, with social isolation one could argue. And all countries are now controlling who comes into their society to minimise CV transmission. Can’t believe that you cannot see that being cautious is not being xenophobe. Then again you are clearly a gerontophobe, it seems to come with being a losing europhile.

    • rose
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      World government such as you yearn for is probably on its way in the form of Chinese government. Africa may be benefiting from taking the much derided Trump hunch anti malarial drug.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Yes Andy and we can all see how effective and in front of the curve the WHO have been. Great advertisement for Global Government which you obviously favour. I look forward to seeing you living on an average world income and having you own designated tree to live under.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Well, WHO have been several weeks in front of the UK government.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 31, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          Using the questionable statistics they’ve been given by China and others.

    • formula57
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      And for someone who does not like much of what Sir John writes, you spend a lot of time talking about it.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      There are two solutions and two solutions only: herd immunity (like for measles) or eliminate every single instance of the disease everywhere in the world (like for smallpox). Take your pick. By favouring open borders you already have of course – you and Cummings agree for once.

    • NickC
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Andy, We haven’t left the EU yet. The UK is bound to obey all EU rules having signed the WA treaty. That obedience may now be time limited in UK law to 31 Dec 2020, but obey and pay we must until then.

      Without either a vaccine or efficacious drugs the only option we have is to close borders. If China and the rest of the world had done that initially the coronavirus could not have spread globally.

      We don’t need a “global solution”, we need a vaccine. That will be developed by a small group of scientists in one country. Indeed competition between companies and nations will get us to a remedy faster than Gordon Brown’s ghastly prodnose global government would.

    • outsider
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Dear Andy.
      You are right that no-one should gloat. There are as yet no global solutions but if you check the IMF website you will find that most countries are following similar policies that are clearly related to WHO guidance. Differences are mainly matters of degree and varying circumstances.
      Closing the borders is common in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America; it is more to do with common sense than xenophobia and is evidently not intended to be permanent.
      At the medical level, competition is most likely to produce solutions and deliver them faster , hampered in some countries by the “not invented here” syndrome.

      The IMF will doubtless provide or co-ordinate information and guidance for the financial response (on the WHO model) as and when the pandemic subsides. If there is consensus it may even provide some mechanism for global state debt relief.
      Again, however, differing approaches will more likely produce the best responses, simply because the more decision-makers there are, the more likely some are to be right.
      Finally, dear Andy, please suspend your obsession with today’s pensioners long enough to grasp that it is private sector workers aged 40-65 with ccupational pension plans whose material futures are most at risk here.

      • outsider
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        Aso worth comparing the surprisingly similar independent responses to information and guidance on the current virus with the “global solution”, by treaty no less, on CO2 emissons, on which more than half the world appears to be doing nothing at all.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink


      Political perspective vs the real world perspective:

      I am guessing EU countries closing their borders without consent from Brussels; EU losing control (further demonstrating its intrinsic incompetence and non-value); Nation-States reasserting their Sovereign powers to resolve their nation’s immediate issues; EU countries lending their support to Greece against Turkey’s disgraceful and dangerous open-border political objectives, is an anathema to your open border; centralised EU (global) control; destruction of nation-states agenda is rather unpleasant for you personally and neo-soviet (Tony Blair and Gordon Brown) ideology zealots.

      It does seem a very small entity (which is indifferent to political agendas) has put a gigantic spanner in the NWO’s global plans? This unforeseen situation has put their goals back 20 years?

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      What’s the global solution to the next outbreak from Wuhan ? (it is reported that the markets have reopened.)

      The next could be an airborne ebola with an incubation period of 14 days.

      Properly policed borders are good for world health.

      In any case – do you really want you and your family having to compete on the level with non-paying new arrivals for your welfare handouts ? (As you may be about to get a taste of.)

  10. Ian @Barkham
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    Good insight as usual.

    The EU is inherently a protectionist collection of States, as such their Politburo style of control and government means they are not capable of taking a view that people want to live in a global community.

  11. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    You really have to wonder if the lockdown is a good idea, when it will surely destroy economies and many businesses – will the resulting chaos be worse than if the virus had been allowed to run it’s course with some sensible procedures in place….
    We surely are used to many dying from the latest version of the flu, and many other problems – would the CV deaths be any worse than the 170,000 deaths from Heart and circulatory diseases each year?
    There needs to be a better balance, because if lockdown continues for even a few months, we are still likely to get many deaths from CV, but society will break down as people and companies reach a critical point with no resources. Life has to go on. We have to confront this virus head on, not hide away until it’s effects ruin us economically and morally.

  12. Conroy
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Whatever hapens, it reflects badly on the EU. That is all you can think of. What a sad little world you Brexiters live in

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink


      Oh dear, is your neo-soviet dream (aka EU) being spoilt by reality?

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      And you’d be rubbing it in were the EU solving the COVID outbreak.

  13. Ian Wilson
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    We probably have little choice but to support government policy in every way we can, but looking at South Korea’s apparent greater success in containing the virus without closing down their economy or even cancelling flights, some questions do need answering –

    As Korea clearly did contingency planning after their experience with SARS and Bird ‘Flu, did Britain do similar planning?
    When the spread of Covid 19 became clear, did medical specialists and ministers look at what Korea was doing in terms of airport screening, testing, contact tracing etc while keeping their economy moving? Or was there NIH factor (Not Invented Here)?
    While until now we have been told tests were too unreliable, were Korea using the same imperfect tests or do they have better ones?
    Have ministers including the Prime Minister been so obsessed with climate that they have neglected real threats like epidemics?

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wilson

      North Korean economics 101

      North Koria is highly dependent on capalist revenues. It sends 100,000+ cheap labourers across the world to bring back $billions. Shutting off these billions due to international shutdown in travel could be an economic disaster for North Korea?

      • hefner
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        Dennis, did it ever come to your attention that there are both a North and a South Korea.
        Given how North Korea appears to be a closed society, I doubt very much that there 100,000+ North Koreans going around the world. Moreover, even if say such 200,000 cheap NK labourers (your definition) were sent across the world, I doubt even more that each would send $5k back home.
        Where did you get that story from?

    • Mark
      Posted March 31, 2020 at 1:27 am | Permalink

      Korea imposed lockdown quarantine on anyone who might have been in contact with anyone who appeared to have the virus: that was the key measure. They still haven’t tested more than 1% of their population, probably much less, as there was a lot of re-testing of people who might have contracted the virus, some of it motivated by the relatively low accuracy of tests I suspect. They do appear to have tried various treatments which may have helped as well.

  14. ukretired123
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Andy’s opening bitter sentence is all you need to know – ouch! Like a snake bite.
    Bitter & twisted caustic against a lifelong public servant knighted for decades of doing what he believes to be right and having the guts in a sea of non-stop turbulence.

    A secret of my happiness is this Dear Andy :-
    “Don’t let anyone or anything Pickle Your Heart, Ever!”
    “Oh be joyful, why he woeful, life is too short”.

    As for your hatred of Old Folks, I leave you with this to ponder :-
    ” Look forward to what’s coming up & Don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it! ”

    Sir John Redwood has explained the tensions at all borders and levels in Europe because he has been a leading light on this for 50 years and only a fool would not recognise this….

    • ukretired123
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      SJR has been a leading light on European matters affecting us here in Britain for over half a Century, indeed! (That is why Andy doesn’t ever get it, sadly).

    Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    The treatment of Mr Hitchens is genuinely disturbing. Liberty, freedom and limitations on the actions of reactionary politicians in government are of the utmost importance in a free society and the bedrock of liberal democracy.

    The Left have an interest in seeing this PM massively increase State spending and impose controls. This PM’s imposition of authoritarian control upon our nation is doing the devil’s work.

    This PM is now the authoritarian Left’s and Labour’s greatest asset

    What protection do we have from this headless behaviour other than sane-minded politicians in the Commons who must voice their concerns at the destructive actions of politicians in government and State officials who see an opportunity to expand their political reach and power?

  16. BJC
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    I believe I’ve mentioned before that we should always work with nature, but the EU’s entire setup ignores this simple fact. At a very basic level we are still tribal, territorial animals and as such, when backed into a corner we will always fight for our own tribe and our own scrappy piece of land as if they’re priceless treasures. The only things holding the EU political construct together are treaties, ideology, threats and sanctions, which do nothing to create the environment needed for a fundamental sense of belonging and ownership within the EU collective.

    In other words, the Single Market ethos is simply a figment of their imagination and has always been destined to fail.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink


      The only thing holding the EU political construct together is money…no money, no EU, plain and simple!

  17. Alan Jutson
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    In a dire National emergency, the EU laws and policies were always going to be overrun for National self interest.
    Thus it comes as no surprise that some Nations are acting as they are at the moment.

  18. Everhopeful
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I know of two people who very recently squeaked back to the UK from America.
    All was very nice and civilised and kind and friendly.
    Contrast that with the people accosted by a pop up police force…suddenly and aggressively visible, trying to stop people walking their dogs.
    Apparently the National Parks are now verboten?
    I thought the PM said very clearly that we could walk our dogs? And drive where/when necessary?
    Do the police still go around in pairs? How about the “social distancing”in a patrol car??

    • glen cullen
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      The Health Protection (coronavirus, restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 doesn’t said you can’t travel by car….but appears that police are stopping car drivers and asking them if they have a ‘reasonale excuse’ to be traveling (they’re not asking people on trains or buses just car drivers)

    • Fred H
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      The Police used to sit at desks 2 feet apart form filling on the computers. Now social distancing comes into force(boom boom) they have to leave the office and show their face outside. Walking the street, with or without a dog, going to the queue at the shops, petrol stn, surgery, etc quite likely to be a crime – so pull ’em over.
      Brings a new view of knowing your local bobby!

  19. ukretired123
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    If our kind host will allow : Spike Milligan poem!

    Smiling is infectious,
    you catch it like the flu,
    When someone smiled at me today,
    I started smiling too.
    I passed around the corner
    and someone saw my grin.
    When he smiled I realized
    I’d passed it on to him.
    I thought about that smile,
    then I realized its worth.
    A single smile, just like mine
    could travel round the earth.
    So, if you feel a smile begin,
    don’t leave it undetected.
    Let’s start an epidemic quick,
    and get the world infected!

    • dixie
      Posted March 31, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink


  20. Irene
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    When Robert Jenrick said “We have a special plan”, an image of Baldrick sprang forth. Except that Baldrick was funny; Jenrick was pathetic.

    If only our government had put together a plan of any sort- cunning or not – weeks and weeks ago, we would not be in the desperate state we are now. Watching them all try to justify their invisible thinking (aka planning) is beginning to resemble more than a comedy show, and if you watched Gove yesterday, you will understand why I am struggling. Just answer a straight question with a straight answer. Stop blaming everyone for your own sins of commission and omission.

    I long for the day when any MP can stand up and apologise for having got it all so wildly wrong. Just one apology would do to begin with, just one admission of failure. Then, and only then, will a modicum of trust in government be restored. Or are you all so perfect that you never need to admit to errors?

    • Irene
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Correction – “We have a clear plan.”

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink


      Oldies are goldies…..and some truths?

      In general, I don’t believe in Political jokes….I have seen too many of them get elected!

      One of the penalties for refusing to participate in Politics is you end up being governed by your inferiors! Plato…..thank God our kind host is in Parliament!

  21. Fred H
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Hopefully we are now learning, due to tragedies, that we need to be self-reliant on essentials, food, medical supplies, making border and immigration controls.
    Importing far too much to save pennies is foolish. Buyers – get wise.

  22. Iain Moore
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    In Brexit we voted to reinstall borders, as such it has been very disappointing to see how lax this Government has been to manage our borders, failing to close the with China, failing to close them with Spain, and seemingly still allowing flights in. Meanwhile the Police get heavy handed with people for straying out of their houses, but 10 people in a dinghy in the Channel is just fine.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Iain Moore

      Get with the plan or else?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      You claim to have voted for everything from scrapping bus lanes to reversing the smoking ban in pubs on that silly, single question paper.

      The UK has always had borders, so they cannot be “reinstalled”. Why else do you have to stop and produce a passport when entering?

      • Edward2
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Anyone from an EU nation can come here.
        A border suggests control and a right to refuse entry or to have a system of immigration control.
        Waving a passport is no definition of a border.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 31, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          Anyone from most nations can come here, with a passport and a visa.

          Why do the signs say “Border Control” if there is no border?

          Do you claim that there is also no Eiffel Tower?

          • Edward2
            Posted March 31, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

            Oh with a Visa.
            I note you added that.

  23. agricola
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Before Coronavirus the EU was not exactly a cohesive unit displaying an all for one, one for all attitude to even its basic problems. The most basic , employment/ unemployment has never been properly addressed across the membership. Their voiced belief in a coordinated EU defence policy has never been matched with the finance to achieve it. The EU are theory, talk and inaction.

    Just as their response to a military invasion would have been a collapsing house of cards, so was the very real invasion of Coronavirus. The EU response has degenerated into every country for itself. I do not blame those individual countries, there was no alternative strategy from the EU.

    When the virus becomes history , many members of the EU will ask themselves what the point of the EU is. Coronavirus apart it has not even answered their most basic of questions, like unemployment. To me it is laid bare as an undemocratic, virtue seeking socialist project that has failed. Even as a trading bloc it is an inward looking protectionist cabal. This is why its so called negotiating stance with the UK stems from a fear that it will be bordered by an open, free dealing, capitalist entity. It does not want Singapore two parked 20 miles from it’s shores.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      It sounds like you want the European Union to take over all areas of policy from the nations.

      If you don’t, then how can you criticise its non-involvement in sovereign national matters, such as the emergency curtailing of civil rights for public health reasons? Or on spending and organisation on health provision?

      You just don’t stack up at all, do you?

      • graham1946
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        What did they do to Greece? Why did they oust an Italian government to install technocrats if they don’t want to control?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 31, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

          Come, on Graham, tell us.


          • graham1946
            Posted April 1, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

            You and Andy are the EU experts. Do your own research and try to come to a valid conclusion rather than all your usual b.s.

    • Pominoz
      Posted March 31, 2020 at 2:12 am | Permalink


      A very good summary.

      The EU was only ever designed as a power grab by the arrogant few who believed they had the superior intellect which gave them the right to dictate to the masses.

      The current crisis has proven that they haven’t a clue. The fault lines within the European Union, feverishly papered over for decades, will increasingly be exposed as immediate steps by individual nations for short-term survival become less imperative.

      The European Commission, irrelevant since concept, will increasingly be recognised as such. Inevitable failure of the Euro is likely, most regrettably, only add to the world’s financial woes currently being (over) created by individual governments based on extremely questionable ‘expert’ advice.

  24. Peter
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    No mention of the huge numbers attempting to cross borders illegally.

    Instead of pretending these are helpless refugees they need to be officially treated as unwelcome invaders.

    Poor old Greece has its neighbour Turkey shamefully using these invaders as shock troops for its own political ends. Borders need to be properly protected – by force where necessary. That includes opening fire on those who blatantly attempt to defy them.

    In the case of the UK our sea defence should sink any vessels that deliberately enter our waters.

    A strong response is long overdue to deter further incursions.

    • Andy
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      They are mostly refugees.

      And it continues to stagger me just how many of lack even an ounce of humanity.

      It is both shocking and, frankly, disgraceful.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

        Nearest place of safety is what the international agreement says.
        Then to return as soon as their homeland is safe.

      • Fred H
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

        these refugees are French citizens, having lived there all their lives, they are being persecuted in fear of their lives? The ones I meet in London, and a certain restaurant in Sir John’s ‘parish’ are rather well-healed and certainly not forced to flee….

      • dixie
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        They may have been refugees when they landed in an EU country, so why has your vaunted EU failed in it’s duty to treat them humanely and properly?

        Any coming here from the EU territory are not refugees, they have been not been forced to leave the EU in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. Instead they are illegal immigrants.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        I think that such commenters only deserve the same treatment that they advise for others, should they ever find themselves desperate.

        It’s a pity that they can’t be identified in the queue for ventilators.

      • graham1946
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        How can you even mention humanity with your view that the elderly (at what age does that start) have no value and deserve no respect or even a right to live as you’d have them starve with no pensions. Usually a sign of a poor upbringing. Most societies respect their elders, especially in your EU, but not you and not here.

    • bill brown
      Posted March 31, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink


      Sit down relax and read what you just wrote once more an then change it that’s a good boy

  25. Lifelogic
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    The EU is reverting back to the various more natural demos areas – rather than the one that the EU bureaucrats try to impose. Will the EURO survive this? The EU is not a democracy nor even a real Demos on which you could have a real democracy.

  26. Davek
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    John still banging on about the EU- scraping the bottom of the barrel

  27. Lifelogic
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    The number of UK deaths yesterday (209) was rather more encouraging, let us hope the rate of increase slows even further with the figures today.

    Radio 4 yesterday at 1.00pm decided to have had an absurd (one way of course) discussion with two female academics on how this virus shows how important it is to have a huge state sector. What on earth would one want a bloated and invariably misdirected, grossly inefficient state sector for.

    Where on earth do they find this deluded dopes?

    Some Scottish actor on Desert Island Discs said he was a socialist due to having lived in poverty.

    In may experience quite the reverse happens. So long as you are healthy and not too daft most people in that situation realise that you can escape from poverty with hard work and it poverty does not really matter too much at all. If you are all poor together you hardly notice. They soon realise that socialism is the cause of poverty not the reverse.

    Endless dopes coming out of private schools like Corbyn types and even many so called “Conservative” MPs who are essentially big state, socialists are far too common. These are the real problem. Once this mess is over let us hope Boris can finally roll back the largely parasitic state sector hugely. He will need to to slowly repay the huge government debts.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Just 180 death today which is rather encouraging. This suggests that many people were taking sensible precautions well before the government finally locked down and were (very sensibly) not listening to people like the Mayor of London – telling everyone just how very save the Tube was with its hospital grade cleaning – when it clearly was not at all safe. The footage from places like Italy and Spain surely had has an effect of people here.

      It looks to me as though the NHS will now (just about) be able to cope and not that many people will die for lack of proper care – unless it flares up quickly again for some reason.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        Those dying today will have been infected before lockdown.

        You sissy !

      • Mark
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 1:18 am | Permalink

        Sundays under-record the true picture. Expect a catch-up in the next figures.

  28. Dan Boys
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Yet the rubber dinghies still come across, met by our border forces and RNLI, and brought here at enormous expense to the taxpayer. People that most of us do not want here. We cannot drive a short distance to walk the dog somewhere quiet without risk of a fine from the police, but a never-ending stream of people can arrive here without trouble, day after day after week after week.

    This is madness and there does not appear to be anyone willing to save us from it.

    • Peter
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink


  29. rose
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    You are very polite in that you didn’t mention that our nearest neighbour impounded two of our lorries which were carrying medical supplies and threatened to shut the border if we didn’t impose a curfew.

    • dixie
      Posted March 31, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      We should reduce our payments to the EU by £1m per seized medial item, per illegally taken fish/shellfish/sandworm and £10m per illegal immigrant they ship over here.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 31, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      What, Ireland did that?

  30. BOF
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    It seems that the member states of the EU are protecting themselves from the protectionist EU.

    There was an excellent art in the Telegraph (paywalled) by Jullien Gaer. Essentially we will not be free of the Chinese virus without herd immunity, either by a large number of the population contracting it, or vaccination. Vaccination is too far away so it has to be the former.

    Perhaps Boris has a better informed special advisor than ‘expert’ and now quickly needs to get back on track before the economy suffers irreparable damage.

    • BOF
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      John was careful to avoid publicising the central fact in all of this.

      Yes, the European Union’s senior figures very much would like to keep borders as open as possible.

      However, the Schengen agreement provides for their closure under emergencies such as this.

      No country has broken the law on the point therefore.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        Who is suggesting they have broken the law?
        The point is that it shows how quickly the nation state takes individual action and how useless the EU is in a crisis.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 31, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          Well NATO has been pretty redundant, as has the WTO for that matter.

          Public health provision is no more part of the European Union’s remit than it is of the above bodies.

          Do you think that it should be?

          If yes, then you contradict all your earlier comments on the European Union, if no, then your post is rubbish.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 31, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

            I see the EU trying to exert some community discipline and finding member nations are doing their own thing.

  31. David
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    How about controls on people turning up on the beaches. We are not a real nation unless these can be sent away.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      What a strange definition of reality.

    • Mark
      Posted March 31, 2020 at 1:16 am | Permalink

      There are if you drive there…

  32. Freeborn John
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    There is a concerted campaign from remainers to extend the standstill transition. There is absolutely zero counter pressure for Brexiteer’s. We have seen this over the weekend with Remoaner friendly publications like the Daily Mail calling for extension. Today we see Irish broadcaster RTE saying “ In reality the Brexit process, in terms of negotiating the future relationship, has been parked”.

    It is imperative that the British government makes it clear it will not ask for an extension in June and that the Standstill transition ends December 2020. Remainers believe they can pursue the May/Hammond approach of never ending standstill transition and it is clear this is what Brussels wants. In order to defeat this it is imperative that brexit supporting MPs hold the government to no extension. Yet we have complete silence for you and others on the matter. If extension is agreed the EU will perceive this as the U.K. buckling under pressure and continue to push for a future relationship that is essentially a colonial status for the U.K. So please speak up because past history suggests that silence from brexit supporters is a precursor to surrender.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      I think that most people are a bit more concerned by things other than a little ring of gold stars on their number plate just now, FJ, even if you are not.

    • Andy
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      I’m a Remainer and I am happy for you to have your hard no deal on 31 December.

      It will be funny to watch it all go predictably wrong.

      By far the best outcome for our country is for you to fail quickly.

  33. James Bertram
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    An interesting article that expands on today’s theme:

    [In a prescient note, in 2008 he wrote:
    ‘Indeed, it is clear that the best avenue which nation-states can take is one marked by gaining as much control over their own destinies as possible. That requires a growing focus on domestic food self-sufficiency, and domestic market bases for manufactured goods and services. In other words: a return to a sense of the nation. The age of globalization is ending; it was a brief window in which the technologies which were created to fight the Cold War became the technologies of global social integration. Now, again, the luxury of internationalism is ending, and survival is based around the extended clan: the nation.’]

  34. John S
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Why are planes still coming in from Iran? Are the passengers all British nationals?

  35. Cliff. Wokingham
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I suspect that, the EU see themselves as a single country in much the same way that the UK and USA do.
    Just as we would not close the border between England and Wales etc, so the empire builders of the EU don’t want to close the internal borders between the member countries. Sadly for the EU, many people don’t seem to embrace the project with the same enthusiasm as the politicians mic and Andy do. In a crisis, people tend to become very nationalistic and patriotic and fortunately, many do not see The Use as their country.
    One off topic observation… Given the budget give away and the emergency measures implemented, it just shows how vindictive IDS was with his £14bn welfare cuts which caused so much misery for many sick and disabled people.
    I now call the covid19 virus Andy because it seems to hate the elderly and disabled.

    • Andy
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Strange because I have told you all for years that Universal Credit causes misery for the sick and disabled – and only now do you believe me.

      And I don’t hate the elderly. I hate the system which treats the elderly more favourably than everyone else. I don’t want you treated less favourably. I want you treated the same.

      It is you lot who fail to accept you receive preferential treatment. Instead you blamed the EU / international aid / migrants for pre-Coronavirus economic problems when they are mostly caused by your generation.

      Incidentally I don’t doubt that you have paid off your mortgage and will continue to get 100% of your pension throughout this crisis too. So my generation is taking most of the economic hit to save your generations’ lives.

      • graham1946
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        Pension – yes all £129 of it after paying in for 50 years. We went through several crashes in our lifetime whilst you were still in nappies. Many lost their businesses (including me) and homes. You are not a candidate for pity until you get some experience of life. I pity your bitterness which warps your own happiness.

      • Cliff. Wokingham
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        Hello Andy
        I think the concept of universal credit is sound, it is the way IDS chose to implement it that is the problem. We have form form for this kind of mistake, with Mrs T’s Poll tax… Sound idea, terrible implementation.

        You say you don’t hate the elderly, well you could have fooled me.
        I think all generations have periods in their life when there is milk and honey and other times there nothing.
        Yes, I suspect we will keep getting our pensions, but I suspect they will be worth a lot less once inflation kicks in, as I am sure it will.
        I think the left always looks at others and what they have in the wrong way. Rather than advocating taking everything away from pensioners, why not advocate helping the young to elevate themselves to the same level?
        I would not want to be young in todays society, not because I would be worse off but, because society has changed for the worse.
        Young people have one big advantage over us… They have their youth and health to be able to get to where they want to be. I would gladly give up my wealth which you think I have, for health and energy.
        I think the three things that made get out of life what I and those of my generation have are, pushy parents who instilled a strong work ethic into me, a grammar school education and a strong sense of ethical and moral values through a strong Catholic faith.
        I know what it feels like to go to bed at night hungry and worry about paying bills. I have pulled double shifts to earn enough to get the things we needed and wanted.
        I remember getting my first home and having just a fridge, bed and camping cooker and looking at my elderly relatives and what they had compared to me but, not once did I advocate taking it away from them. I knuckled down and worked for it.

        You will be old too one day Andy and let’s hope you don’t have all you have worked for taken from you by a socialist state.

  36. Norman
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Apologies, John, this is off today’s topic and includes a link – but is extremely important.
    It describes how a New York doctor successfully treats hundreds of patients with a drug cocktail based on hydroxychoroquine, with so far, a 100% success rate. There’s an embedded video interview of him being comprehensively quizzed by former mayor Rudy Giuliani – fascinating clinical detail from a dedicated GP in the front-line. This may already be widely circulating, but is too important to miss. I hope the NHS/GPs here and elsewhere will not be slow to act on this.

    Reply This site does not vouch for any links or advice and the moderator is not a medical Dr.

    • Norman
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      PS: I vouch only for the text, and the embedded Giuliani interview.

      • Norman
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Thank you – understood.

  37. Chris S
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    As ever, at the first sign of a problem, the member states have taken action to protect the interests of their own citizens. Everyone can see that the idea of European solidarity is flimsy in the extreme and, for all the talk, the power of Brussels to intervene is minimal.

    The Corona Virus problem has starkly exposed the “every man for himself” attitude and Germany in particular is doing what it always does : dealing with the epidemic with the kind of ruthless efficiency we should have adopted. Their taking hundreds of thousands of tests appears to be paying off with a very low death rate which would seem to point to the virus being far less deadly that others, when compared with the numbers known to have contracted it in the country.

    Then we have the monetary issue. German and the Netherlands, in particular, are determined not to concede the principle of collectivising debt by refusing to go along with”Corona Virus Bonds”, a thinly disguised attempt by Macron and others to make the currency union a reality. They are effectively hanging Italy and Spain out to dry and a little further down the track, this will extend to the French economy.

    There has always been a strong possibility that Italy would sooner or later be forced out of the Euro by events, and this might become a reality in the next few months. This time, though, the Italian public might well get behind the idea, such is the anger at the response from Germany and other net contributors to the idea of Fiscal solidarity.

    Thank Goodness we are out of it !

  38. John Hatfield
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    To the EU ideology is more important than common sense.

  39. Max
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    HK require anyone entering to mandatory quarantine for 14 day, whether they are returning home or staying in a hotel, it’s enforced by a GPS tracking bracelet (tag) and arrest if the person leaves their designated location.

    Appreciate that HK have had more time to implement, but allowing people into UK, a % of whom will be infected doesn’t make sense it makes the problem worse a. People are already starting to question the veracity of the lock down, continuing to keep out boarder open doesn’t help, especially when the majority are making such sacrifices.

    • glen cullen
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      As does Australia

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 31, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      It does make sense, in fact, perfect sense, if you advocate a pathogen-mediated selective cull of the frail and elderly – “herd immunity” as it was deliberately wrongly called, I think.

      That remains the underlying policy, or at least if it is not then the various inactions make no sense to mea at all.

  40. Tom Rogers
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    This is becoming very tedious.

    I must repeat what I said previously.

    (i). One day I will die.
    (ii). One day you will die.
    (iii). One day we will die.

    You don’t need a medical degree or a PhD in epidemiology or infection control to understand the above facts. It’s common knowledge and the implications are widely regarded as common-sense.

    One day I will succumb to an illness or condition, or other adverse circumstances, and I will die. This is a fact I must accept and confront.

    Now, let me say, I will be flattered if you all decide to shut down the country for me on the appointed day. That will be very nice. No doubt there will be a state funeral and a tearful address from the Prime Minister. Thank you very much indeed.

    But I’ll still be dead. Death is a fact of life.

    Please can we now stop this nonsense? I appreciate lots of important people have made themselves look very silly, and they’ll now want to save face. But this is now embarrassing.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Why do you bother looking before you cross the road then?

      • Fred H
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        we’d like to know what vehicle killed us?

  41. zorro
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Current Vital Statistics,,,

    Coronavirus cases – 19,552 – Active + Closed

    Active Cases – 18,159 (currently infected) – 17,996 (99%) in mild condition, and 163 (1%) in serious/critical condition

    Closed Cases – 1,363 – 135 recovered/discharged (10%) – 1,228 (90%) deaths

    So, how many people are currently on ventilators in UK hospitals? Why will the government not release the figures, and why are they not being asked by the media???


    • SM
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      You really want to make another demand on hospital staff? Tell us every day your exact number of patients on ventilators, wait…someone died, someone new came in, they’re still debating whether Patient X should stay on or come off?

      And what will you do with the information, what use is it to you, the BBC or the Daily Mail?

      • zorro
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        Oh my! God forbid that we should ask for transparency/honesty of our public services! This is CRITICAL INFORMATION which should be on the fingertips of any decent command structure.

        We need to know how many are free, and how long patients are kept on them. Please don’t tell me that they can’t be bothered with that information. So are we saying that people with a mild condition are currently in hospital on a ventilator?

        The Closed Cases figure is telling. It is clear that there are a number of people who were already in the hospital for ongoing treatment who are being classed as having died with a positive test. That could also mean that they didn’t display any symptoms too but are still being recorded as having died because of COVID 19.

        There must be a detailed public enquiry into this fiasco which will have caused in a few months time the largest recession/depression this country has ever seen. If the number of deaths is not more than would have normally happened, and I suspect that it will be considerably less on current projections, there will need to be a public reckoning.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        If western economies stay locked down for any longer these deaths will be nothing in comparison.

        I’d like to know what age group and health too.

        We are condemning those who live to a miserable existence.

        We are letting this destroy our civilisation.

    • glen cullen
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been asking and researching for those statistics for 2 weeks now, can’t find the answer anyhere. Also the numer of virus patients actually staying in hospital?

      I therefore can only concluded that the figure of those in hospital are those recorded as serious/critical cases i.e 163, unless someone can point me to the offical government figure

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Well with nearly 200 dying a day and only 163 ‘critical’ they must be very critical indeed before they are put into that category.

        • glen cullen
          Posted March 31, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

          Yeah, but all I am looking for is basic information i.e how many virus patients are actually in a hospital bed…the NHS and govt must have the info ut it isn’t published anywhere

      • hefner
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        Statistics per age, etc … not for the UK unfortunately but for France. Given that the UK COVID-19 progression looks similar to the French one it might be relevant. I don’t think one has to be able to read French to understand the graphics or the tables:
        Look for ‘COVID-19 Point épidémiologique hebdomadaire du 24 mars 2020’ on the website. The info is in a .pdf file that has to be downloaded.
        It gives statistics per region, age, sex, with/without co-morbidity factor.

        It would be good to get something similar in the UK.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Well in Italy they have 3,981 in intensive care units + 27,795 in hospital and deaths running at about 4 times the UKs currently. So perhaps we can infer that we have about 1000 in intensive care – plus about 7000 in hospital.

      If journalists ask anything sensible at these briefing they never get any real answers anyway just distractions, waffle and obfuscation (nor do they get any chance to follow up and point out the lack of any real answer).

      • zorro
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but how many do they have normally in Northern Italy? As in the UK, every year they are at critical with ICU beds in dealing with respiratory infections.

        There are barely any sensible questions, and NOBODY has aked why COVID 19 was downgraded from an HCID on 19/03!! It’s the same old Laura Kuenssberg and Beth Rigby asking non-questions, you might as well be in Pyongyang!


        • hefner
          Posted March 31, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

          The journalists have to submit their questions beforehand, and cannot put follow-up questions. The actual procedure followed/imposed by the Government has now been detailed on a number of newspapers/media websites.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Never assume or infer! Facts please.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 31, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

          Oh boy, is that rich…

  42. Lester Beedell
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    This shows the folly of relying on a potentially hostile state for many essential services and products ,we were able to prevail during the Second World War because we had the capacity to manufacture all the ships and weapons, of course we relied on imports of raw materials, imagine the situation now?
    Time to rethink Huawei!

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Lester Beedell

      Indeed. Destruction of Britain’s industrial base into a services/consumer base was always part of the plan?

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        The destruction of Britain’s industrial base was borderline justifiable before CV 19

        Was it worth putting so many of our regions onto welfare dependency and outsourcing their labour ? Each and every ‘cheap’ import ought to have had an extra dole tax put on it to show the true cost we were paying – and this wouldn’t have included the cost of crime, degeneracy and social decay.

        Now the virus ?

        Well. That pop up toaster doesn’t look so cheap now, does it ! And now we’ve helped create the next ruling superpower, a land where they blow torch dogs alive.

        I wonder what Sir John thinks of the general policies on employment over the last 50 years now .

  43. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I do hope that the UK takes this opportunity to repatriate manufacturing and make ourselves less reliant on globalism.

    We will be propping up wages and jobs for some time to come I suspect so I would like to see that support directed at rebuilding our own capacity.

    I am happy to be a court that welcomes the world but in competition with our superiors products not as a recipient of the cheapest manufactured or produced item.

  44. John McDonald
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Having had a quick look through the comments and feedback from Sir John, a couple of points:
    There is no issue with freight only planes coming and going. Their crews can be monitored and the plane/or goods stored for a quarantine period. A member of my family aware of the situation in China was having second thoughts as to take a plane trip to visit Family members in main land Europe. This was the third week in January. For what ever reason, anyone taking a Holiday after the end of January was taking a risk for themselves and others on their return. The Government should had advised against holiday
    travel at this time.
    The rubbish spoken that people who voted to leave the EU ( By this I mean that expensive Parliament in Brussels) are little Englanders is absolute **** . I voted to leave the European Parliament. I have family in main land Europe, and have worked their in the past for over 10 years. This will still continue if the Politicians don’t get involved.
    What is the big issue about closing boarders, if as an individual I must stay in the boarder of my own home. Commonsense seems to have gone out the window here. Every sensible thing to do is viewed as some Political move/angle. But agreed that Political dogma was put above the lives/health of all Europeans which we still are, even after Brexit.

  45. Sam Duncan
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    “The EU says ‘A crisis without borders cannot be resolved by putting barriers between us’.”

    It’s only “a crisis without borders” because there were no borders. Taiwan, a country of 24 million people, which already had looser ties to the PRC than its geography would suggest, stopped all incoming passengers from the mainland very early on. It has seen, so far, just 306 cases and 5 deaths; rates comparable to South American countries where the virus is yet to take hold.

    We’re told that the vulnerable and infected should isolate themselves in their homes, yet we’re not isolating the most infected countries. Why not? When you’re dealing with a disease with a 7-day incubation period, therefore countless people wandering around completely unaware they’re carrying the virus, what’s the difference other than scale? International borders are the worst thing in the world, apparently, but brick-and-mortar borders between neighbours, friends, and family seem to be just fine.

    I should add, for the benefit of the uncharitable and hard-of-thinking, that I’m absolutely not advocating severe restrictions on international travel forever. And anything we did now would be shutting the stable door after most of the horses have bolted (although it might yet help). But the fear of governments across the world to close their borders to badly affected countries in case they’re accused of the modern sin of xenophobia absolutely has exacerbated this present danger and cost lives.

  46. NickC
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I have long argued that it is foolish to assume Jonny Foreigner can be relied on to look after us. And been roundly condemned by both left and right for my pains. Yet the SARS-CV-2 pandemic has demonstrated we need to retain both national capabilities, and independence.

    Borders are vital for protection, and for resilience too. Retaining industrial capacity – beyond either the tenets of international socialism or global “free” trade – is also absolutely essential. If the supply of any product from abroad exceeds 50% then alarm bells should ring.

    Unfortunately we put ourselves up as hostage to the EU, and to some extent China, by relying too much on their food and manufactured goods. We seem to be leaving the EU just in time. The Chinese government is bad for its own people and bad for us, so we must become less reliant on that too.

    That may be more complicated than is first apparent. As I have noted before, China has injected massive deflation into the global economy. That is why we have not had the inflation we would expect from the grotesque money printing from the BoE, Fed, ECB, etc. So even if we disentangle slowly, inflation will return.

  47. ian
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    The gov and its political backbenchers are in shell shock mode it will be weeks before they can get a handle on what is going on.

    Barriers and protectionism will rule again around the world and at home wartime attitude will comeback of I can make do with what I have got and will prevail for years and as for going back to work in June, for most will be a pipe dream with a just in time globalist system.
    GDP and wages will substandard for years to come with the most stock market being shunned and distrusted,

  48. Time Lord
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    The person told me this in your time-frame, decades ago,half a century ago, in fact.
    Looks like many of you will die.Your “experts”
    take money
    for their advice.

  49. Original Chris
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    In my first comment above about the new CV diagnostic test by Abbott Labs which has got FDA approval for use, the link I provided was incomplete. Apologies, The following link is to the White House Press Briefing, in which President Trump goes through all the latest developments in the fight against CV, and helpfully the piece about the diagnostic test is in the first minute. Later on, P Trump refers to the FDA emergency authorisation for hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of CV.

  50. Original Chris
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    If any readers here have not seen the Regulation governing what we can do during the CV epidemic, the link is here.

    For example, Regulation 6, 2b refers to going out.

    It is most helpful as it dispels some myths that have been put around and which have been used to alarm people unnecessarily, and also it provides a useful check against any overzealous interpretations.

    NB The law is separate from “Guidance”.

    • glen cullen
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      The statutory instrument attached to Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 is Law

      • Original Chris
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        Gc, could you give details, please, of any additional requirements backed up by law beyond what I have posted.

        • glen cullen
          Posted March 31, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          There isn’t anything in addition to what you’ve published

          However the Home Office will issue guidance on the implementation of the new regulation (statutory instrument) to police forces

    • glen cullen
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      And its dame hard complying with to the sprite of the regulation 6 (b), it nearly killed me riding my bicycle for an hour, haven’t done that in years

      • Fred H
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        clearly affected your typing fingers too!

        • glen cullen
          Posted March 31, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          It can only improve like my bicycle riding

  51. L Jones
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    The prescient E Powell:
    ”What would have been the fate of Britain in 1940 if production of the Hurricane and the Spitfire had been dependent upon the output of factories in France? …..”
    Surely this question has relevance today.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Indeed it does and making ventilators is a damn sight easier than making Hurricanes and Spitfires. Especially with modern manufacturing gear.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        Well, you’ll have to vote for parties which advocate a large manufacturing sector in the UK.

        Not the Tories, that is, then.

    • steve
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      L Jones

      FYI…..the first Messerschmitts that saw action during the spanish civil war, were powered by Rolls Royce Kestrel engines.

      But you’re right.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Nice fact, Steve.


      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink


        Rolls Royce Kestrel engines were used for testing Messerschmitt Bf 109s due to the lack of a suitable German engine in 1935 until the Junkers Jumo 210 variant engines became available….I believe these were the engines that were used in the Spanish civil war operations.

        I am not aware Messerschmitt Bf 109 with Kestral engines were used in the Spanish civil war conflict directly? Perhaps you can point me to this information. I am interested in German WW1 through to WW2 aircraft operational activities?

        There are some excellent examples of German WW2 aircraft in the Deutsches Museum Flugwerft Schleissheim, located in the German town of Oberschleißheim near Munich if this is of interest?

    • Fred H
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      now we should replace France (et al) with China.

  52. NigelE
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    The lack of any checks at UK borders is a big hole in the Govt’s strategy. It’s not about whether such checks will identify those carrying the Covid 19 virus but more about showing that all reasonable checks to reduce the spread are being carried out. UK subjects are instructed to stay in their homes and only leave for food, medical needs and limited, local exercise. Yet those arriving by plane from countries with far higher levels of infection (so far, anyway) are allowed to travel by private and public transport from airport to home/businesses. It is clearly inequitable and is the kind of niggle that will soon undermine the agreement of those of us who are in a unwelcome situation that is close to house arrest.

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      I agree Nigel, did I hear 30,000 from Australia tonight? Hey? These aren’t tourists and where are they going to live when they come back? Are the U.K. putting them in hotels like they did those of cruise ships or mixing them in with locked down families all over the U.K.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      And seeing certain troublesome groups allowed to do what they like… as usual.

  53. UK Qanon
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Trump and his team are Masters – Demise of the EU – Demise of the FED – Demise of the Globalists – Trust the plan. Enjoy Easter Sunday.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Demise of socialism, feminism and NHS too – all good and well worth the price!

  54. Fred H
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Poor Boris. Tries to pick experts to delegate to, found a right whacky bunch on this virus.

    He desperately needs an expert on ‘public reaction to announcements’ – so far panic, misinformation, changing cast-iron forecasts, late actions, NHS ready, then its not, military late…..oh dear.
    It was all going so well …. err .. NOT.

  55. margaret
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    These heartless people who want to wait until thousands die and create a pseudo immunity are crackers . Immunity doesn’t happen the first time , but perhaps the second and the third and so on . Why do you think we give infants sets of immunisations against diseases?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Life has generally been cheap to the traditional English ruling elite.

      Look at how many they sent to perish in pointless wars, such as WWI?

      • Edward2
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

        The ruling elite didn’t have a care for life in those 20th century socialist worker paradises either.
        Many millions perished died in Cambodia, USSR and China to name just three.

      • Fred H
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        not a pointless war for those who have been invaded.

    • Norman
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      I am not a medic but a retired vet. I think the evidence, across all species, is that natural infection invariably confers a good degree of immunity – and even passive immunity in the case of nursing infants, through either the placenta or via milk. Dead, or attenuated live vaccines are meant to provoke immunity without causing the disease – so in many cases they need to be given twice, and perhaps a booster later. In the case of some viruses like Corona Viruses, they tend to mutate, so a subsequent infection may occur (apparently we do not know yet if C-19 will recur although if it did, it will probably be much milder.) It is surely a good thing if the general population can become immune, and the disease will peter out. Meanwhile, older or vulnerable people do need to avoid the risk – there’s no question of putting them in the front-line – that WOULD be heartless – so important to get food deliveries to them, so they don’t need to go out to the shops.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        You are advocating imposing indefinite apartheid on the elderly and on the frail of any age, in complete breach of their human rights.

        The correct course of action is to extinguish the epidemic, as the South Koreans have nearly done, and the Chinese have reportedly completed.

        • Mark
          Posted March 31, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

          You do not understand that with herd immunity, virus outbreaks cannot sustain themselves. Any future outbreak can be further minimised by isolation, but will be unable to generate a pandemic even absent that.

        • Fred H
          Posted March 31, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

          they would say that, wouldn’t they!

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Please don’t presume we are ‘heartless’. We are looking at the bigger picture.

      18 months of this (for that is the earliest a programme of vaccination can be completed) will see the beginning of the end of our civilisation. To repeat what I have posted already:

      The cure must not be worse than the disease. Lord Sumption’s view of the real threat facing humanity is eminently sensible. Regrettably, the West is in it’s dotage and no longer robustly sensible; we are as a culture an economy and a society only worrying ourselves into increased frailty and an early demise. Without any steadying influence from the West, less developed nations will quickly run mad in suicidal frenzies. This is the chief ‘underlying health issue’ that may well see us all off this planet, as any normal existence collapses. It is now by far too late to head off this stampede of accident-prone hysteria: The fatal cliff beckons as surely as our early ancestors resourcefully drove the teeming herds of wild cattle to extinction. The only lurking question remains, Who believes they can benefit from such an ongoing disaster? The answer of course is the very worse kind of cynical, opportunistic criminals. Our governments’ pusillanimous signalling of weakness and moral funk, far from defending us, has actually only served to alert such predators to the easy pickings that our utter ruin will soon present. Those who died of COVID 19 might come to be seen in retrospect as the lucky ones.

      We are most certainly NOT heartless people. Do you have any idea at all of what you are demanding of our young people ?

    • NickC
      Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

      Margaret, We haven’t got a vaccine against the coronavirus, so we cannot “immunise” as you’d prefer. The purpose of “herd immunity” is to create enough natural immunity by the fit and healthy going through the cycle of infection and recovery, so that the vulnerable (those most likely to die from it) are better protected. It’s either herd immunity or trash the economy (which will also cause deaths). That’s all we’ve got at the moment.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        Rubbish. Ask the S Koreans.

  56. steve
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink


    Might I suggest you monitor one of the many commercial flight tracker websites prior to assuming how many aircraft are cargo carriers.

  57. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    12 flights from Milan to Heathrow today John, and four from Shanghai, 12 from Madrid! We we must be quarantined but Boris refuses to quarantine the country – still!

    This is not going to end well.

  58. Anonymous
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Borders are actually a good idea.

    Rather like the compartments on a ship (which do not allow totally free movement either) they can be sealed and stop the ship from sinking.

    I sincerely hope we are not going to be kept in lockdown to save someone’s face.

    I fear that there will be riots and the prospect of prison breakouts is terrifying. And the early release of prisoners and the Corbyn like spending and crushing of viable businesses is utterly horrifying.

  59. Iago
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Dr Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer, is quoted in the Telegraph as saying:

    Every death that we have is a really sad event that involves a family and a lot of sadness. We have to make sure that what we are reporting… that the family are content, and that all our data is absolutely accurate,” said Dr Harries.

    Does this mean the family can forbid a death medically ascribed to corona virus being reported? What madness is this?

    • SM
      Posted March 31, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      I don’t know about ‘forbid’ but have you had any experience of discussing the cause of death of a relative? It’s actually not quite as clear-cut as you perhaps believe, and that includes whether or not an autopsy should be conducted.

      When my father-in-law died suddenly at home aged 86, his GP knew that Dad had been treated for a relatively mild cancer, but suggested that ‘old age’ be entered as cause of death to prevent delay and a possible autopsy that would be of no benefit to anyone. The family were happy with this.

      When my sister-in-law died in hospital, quite unexpectedly, the family was asked for permission to hold an autopsy, even though it was known she had a terminal illness. We asked for that not to happen, on the grounds that it was known she had suffered a lifetime of serious health conditions and since nothing could be gained by this action, we preferred that she was left in peace. This position was upheld.

  60. There you go
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    BBC “Around one in four doctors are off work at the moment either with symptoms or isolating because family members have symptoms, the head of the Royal College of Physicians estimated.”

    Of course!
    And the testing has not even begun .

    Keep NHS staff and their families away from people as much as humanly possible.

    • glen cullen
      Posted March 31, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      You see more doctors at home doing webcam interviews on BBC & Sky than you do in hospitals

  61. Anonymous
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    The cure must not be worse than the disease. Regrettably, the West is in it’s dotage and no longer robustly sensible; we are as a culture an economy and a society only worrying ourselves into increased frailty and an early demise. Without any steadying influence from the West, less developed nations will quickly run mad in suicidal frenzies. This is the chief ‘underlying health issue’ that may well see us all off this planet, as any normal existence collapses. It is now by far too late to head off this stampede of accident-prone hysteria: The fatal cliff beckons as surely as our early ancestors resourcefully drove the teeming herds of wild cattle to extinction. The only lurking question remains, Who believes they can benefit from such an ongoing disaster? The answer of course is the very worse kind of cynical, opportunistic criminals. Our governments’ pusillanimous signalling of weakness and moral funk, far from defending us, has actually only served to alert such predators to the easy pickings that our utter ruin will soon present. Those who died of COVID 19 might come to be seen in retrospect as the lucky ones.

  62. APL
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Here is a question, Mr Redwood.

    Is the British government taking advantage of the historically low price of oil to increase our strategic oil reserves?

    • glen cullen
      Posted March 31, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      $23 brent crude down 65& year to date

      Fuel pump price almost no change

      • APL
        Posted March 31, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        glen cullen: “Fuel pump price almost no change”

        Fuel duty, before you pay VAT is around 50% of the price of a litre.

        but guess what, according to the Metro the price of fuel has fallen from £1.20 a week ago, to £1.12 as at publication. Fuel duty, still 50%

  63. MeSET
    Posted March 30, 2020 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Did I tell you I once wrote an article for The Daily Telegraph? I did.
    They were unwise enough not to publish it. It was a lousy article too designer-written for their out for a duck stumped minded readership. So we all lost.
    It doesn’t rain, it pours.

  64. Mark
    Posted March 31, 2020 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    Normally, only about 5% of air freight through Heathrow comes in dedicated freight planes, which account for just 0.5% of aircraft movements. Air freight is important for vital and urgent equipment.

  65. Mark
    Posted March 31, 2020 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    I think this is some good news: following the obvious differences between Oxford and Imperial over modelling (which may even partly be motivated by historic academic and personal rivalries according to a report I’ve read), the government has asked Cambridge to produce rather different models based on more real data, aimed at working out how best to come out of the nationwide lockdown. Some details here:

    Hopefully they will find ways to restart the economy sooner rather than later, and move us more toward the Korean experience.

  • 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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page