Following up needs for improved government responses

Today I joined the Cabinet Office call where MPs can reinforce the issues they are highlighting for constituents and urge the government to resolve the problems.

I repeated my regular requests for better and speedier  treatment for the self employed and small businesses prevented from earning a living by the controls. I was told the Chancellor is making an improved set of proposals today.

I urged the government to respond positively to the Speaker’s proposals for a virtual Parliament to meet, offering  more opportunity for MPs to cross examine Ministers on progress and policy. I will follow up with the Leader of the Commons.

I asked about the numbers and requested regular publication of how many beds there are available in hospitals and how many net new admissions there are day  by day. I asked for an early sample testing of the population to find out how many people have the virus currently and/ or to find out how many people have now gained some immunity to it. We need population wide figures if the government is  going to manage the totals.


  1. zorro
    April 2, 2020

    Thanks, JR, basic management information as you describe is desperately needed so we can measure the actual requirement and compare it year on year.

    We also need clarity in how deaths are recorded after the worrying slackening of controls under the new Coronavirus Bill and particularly in how Councils can now downgrade treatment to elderly citizens.

    The overall death rate is lower than in previous years and this needs to be properly compared as the public will not accept than everyone allegedly died with or tested positive with COVID 19 but there is a remarkable drop in recorded deaths by other normal diseases or causes of death. The COVID 19 situation must not be allowed to be used to cover anyone’s political embarrassment.


  2. Peter
    April 2, 2020

    I’m not sure anyone is ready for what is about to hit this country. In the US they are predicting up to 32% unemployment (which I think is a low number) and an overall loss to the economy of $32 trillion. What does the government think is going to happen here? A couple of per cent off growth this year? This moronic policy of locking us up like criminals is going to cause vastly more damage than any realistic death toll could ever do. Terrorising the feeble minded into behaving like idiots sems to be the stock in trade for most of the media now but our “leaders” are supposed to use calm and considered thought to mitigate a crisis. Instead we have seen panic measures designed to pander to idiots like Piers Morgan. What a pathetic shower. Surrender monkeys doesn’t even begin to describe the cowardice evident in this political class.

  3. formula57
    April 3, 2020

    Mindful of your comment to Kirk Meighoo in the recent podcast (which I enjoyed) that you are researching this corona virus crisis, improved government response seems to be urgent in the face of bad policy failures described by the Lancet’s editor Richard Horton on 28, March @ .

    Horton states The UK Government’s Contain–Delay–Mitigate–Research strategy failed. It failed, in part, because ministers didn’t follow WHO’s advice to “test, test, test” every suspected case. They didn’t isolate and quarantine. They didn’t contact trace. These basic principles of public health and infectious disease control were ignored, for reasons that remain opaque.

    He quotes an NHS worker as saying of London, “The public and media are not aware that today we no longer live in a city with a properly functioning western health-care system.”

    And a physician as saying, “The utter failure of sound clinical leadership will lead to an absolute explosion of nosocomial COVID-19 infection.” and Horton states that “Front-line staff are already contracting and dying from the disease.”

    He reminds readers that modelling of the Wuhan outbreak was reported in the Lancet on 31 January 2020 and served as a warning that “… should have been read by the Chief Medical Officer, the Chief Executive Officer of the NHS in England, and the Chief Scientific Adviser. They had a duty to immediately put the NHS and British public on high alert. February should have been used to expand coronavirus testing capacity, ensure the distribution of WHO-approved PPE, and establish training programmes and guidelines to protect NHS staff. They didn’t take any of those actions. The result has been chaos and panic across the NHS.”

    Can we please have immediate replacements of the Chief Medical Officer, the Chief Executive Officer of the NHS in England, and the Chief Scientific Adviser? All experts we have every reason to not believe. Hancock should be replaced by Patel so those clowns can be Putnamed forthwith.

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