Infinity Fed tries to save the world

The Fed has been buying bonds, commercial paper and mortgage securities on a huge scale. It has made available large swap lines in dollars to other Central Banks around the world to ease the dollar shortage. It has stabilised the Treasury bond market, assisted the corporate bond market, and reassured the financial world more generally.

The Fed is certainly showing willing to do whatever it takes to avoid a financial crash. It is now looking to governments to do more to cushion economies in lock down.

If rapid and decent assistance to companies  banned from working is not forthcoming from governments, we soon move to a situation where companies are borrowing too much to pay their bills, and firing too many to reduce their costs. In a normal recession companies keep the majority of their turnover from the good times as demand throttles back and people’s incomes are squeezed. In this crisis many companies lose all their revenue overnight and do not know when they might be able to resume trading.

The EU is struggling to come up with package for the Euro area that can help sufficiently. The Dutch and Germans lead a group of northern states who resist the idea that the Euro area should borrow money to give to troubled states that face the worst problems with the virus. They have no wish to underwrite EU wide debt spent in places like Italy and Greece.

The Commission, conscious that it needs to be seen to be supportive of member states at this time, has pledged to direct every spare Euro from its budgets to fighting the virus. It has also sought to broker an agreement about more EU borrowing. It is exploring more loans to places like Italy under the European Stability Mechanism, and wants member states to beef up the capital of European Investment Bank so they can lend more to business.

This presumably will have an impact on the green policies that were the priorities of the  planned budgets of this Commission before the virus hit. There will need to greater clarity soon over what is being removed from plans to accommodate the virus expenditures.

The USA government has put together and passed a $2 trillion package of support, but is finding it difficult to parcel it up and pay it as quickly as the companies in need would like. Japan has come up with a $1 trillion package of measures. This all helps, but the onset of this recession is so fast and the impact so severe from just banning much economic activity overnight that so far the governments have not done enough to offset all the damage. As the Chairman of the Fed has wisely said, many companies need government grants, not more borrowing to see them through.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    “This presumably will have an impact on the green policies that were the priorities of the planned budgets of this Commission before the virus hit.”

    Good, the renewables agenda does far more harm than good anyway killing jobs, damaging the EU’s ability and forcing expensive and intermittent energy on to people.

    Delighted to that hear Boris is on the mend. Also good news from Germany where, in Gangelt it seems as many as 15% of people have developed immunity much higher than though.

    • Hope
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Hang on JR. Your govt went on a spend and tax March budget after this pandemic started to travel the world. Many thought the budget ought to be delayed. No, your govt went full throttle socialist spend when taxes at Fifty year high on useless HS2 projects and decided at minimum of a 2-3% deficit forever adding to the £1.8 trillion debt! Unbelievably You wanted more borrowing! Some of us on this site were strongly opposed warning how the UK would cope with another financial disaster.

      How irresponsible. Ten years claiming to balance the deficit, delay, delay balancing while stock piling debt. Then kicked into touch even though your dishonest govt claimed it was its central economic plank for three elections! Even the irresponsible corrupt overseas aid, and EU overseas aid contrition, not cut in the March budget!

      Majors ERM disaster will pale into insignificance compared to this. I am waiting for the barrage of lies and deceit by your govt.

      Hancock making demands from footballers when he knew that MPs sneaked out a 3.1% pay rise to £82,000 with a £10,000 advance! Where is his demand for it not to take place especially as his govt has placed the country in a perilous financially position? Now we learn those MPs who left parliament can have their new computers wiped of information and have them as another parting gift! Institutional culture of entitlement/dishonesty remains in parliament. As we saw with Brexit.

    • Hope
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Hancock propaganda briefing today saying border controls would not alter the position now or in the Future! If that is the science it is rotten and not worth listening to.

      He used Italy as an example, did he forget South Korea the best performing Country? Allowing people from virus hotspots into the country who are infected will increase the number of those who are infected and will increase the spread, that is why he has placed us all under house arrest. If it makes no difference and borders to remain open then the govt house arrest scheme is an utter nonsense! The medical officer standing besides him giving equally appalling advice.

      JR, please explain to us what on earth Hancock is on about. Both positions cannot be correct and that cannot be science it is make believe!

      • Zorro
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        If they really wanted to lift the lockdown, they would have prevented passenger traffic from infected areas unless UK nationals. The fact that they haven’t tells you all you need to know….


        • Hope
          Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

          Social distancing does not occur on a plane, if they are infected the spread is the same from them to the population. It is still claimed The govt strategy is to slow the spread. That is an utter nonsense if people entering the country from virus hotspots are allowed in without testing or quarantine. South Korea tested people in and out and test and monitor existing population comapare and contrast to the science fiction from Hancock. He ought to go. He has allowed the spread to increase from theseknowing some will die while demanding we stay under house arrest. Both positions of govt cannot be correct. You do not need to be a medical expert, statistician or disease expert. He also said there is now enough ICU beds whatever happens. Therefore house arrest must end because that wa the govt objective for housemarrest. Hancock’s mixed messages are for the birds.

          • zorro
            Posted April 11, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

            Indeed, clearly they have another rationale for keeping us under house arrest perhaps? Good to see our police excelling in their zealous pursuit of their new powers… In fact, they think thay need some more to. It’s a shame that they didn’t seem to show the same zeal for catching career criminals or cracking down on violent, anti-social behaviour. Perhaps they find it easier to interact with and fine generally law abiding people?



      • Ed M
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        If Gangelt is true (and I take seriously), then the gov’s position is correct. They need some control over the virus (for various reasons – not over-burdening the NHS at one time and political) but not complete control (which doesn’t appear possible anyway because of the highly infectious nature of the disease (I read somewhere that 1 person can be responsible for spreading it to 59K people).

        Although we must remain cautious and follow the government’s directives (including those of doctors and the police), things looking a bit brighter. Although let’s wait and see what more studies bring.

        • Ed M
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

          ‘They need some control over the virus’ – also there is still a lot they don’t understand about the virus. So it’s right and proper to be sensibly cautious. But at same time, we’ve got to remember the economy as well – we can’t allow that to sink – and time running out fast here. Perhaps the government can do more to get more studies done like Gangelt, and more detailed, including the nature of how the disease actually spreads. I’m sure government ministers have been on all this for a lot longer than most of us but are still fine-tuning strategy.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        Yes, this is illogical.

        People being stopped from congregating in the open air while hundreds arrive in the UK in planes and boats loses credibility for the project.

        Also, why can’t we know the number of health or care staff affected by this per Ruth May’s refusal to let us know? Supposing, just supposing, nearly all deaths were either workers or patients in hospitals or care homes, doesn’t that free us up greatly?

    • Ed M
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      ‘Also good news from Germany where, in Gangelt it seems as many as 15% of people have developed immunity much higher than though.’

      – this is not a criticism (your comment is interesting) but how exactly does this work / what does it mean in the big picture / how does it affect things overall? Thanks.

    • Ed M
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      ‘Gangelt ‘

      – Just been doing some research. Gangelt could be a serious bit of good news.

      Basically, it means the mortality rate overall COULD be as low as 1 in a 1000 (if I understood things correctly).

      However, more good news could be that the virus won’t necessarily affect everyone because some might have natural protection against it anyway. The 80% figure bandied about was based (as far as I believe) on a model related to some flu.

      However, Gangelt is still only a relatively small study. More studies and using far more people need to be carried out.

      But this could be the first rays of good news we’re all looking for. But still need to be as cautious as ever until the government gets more data in and more medical and scientific advice about how to proceed next, not forgetting the importance of our economy as well.

  2. steve
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Life will not be the same after this, JR.

    From me the question is; are governments going to be so stupid and short sighted as to continue trading with China ?

    There are a number reasons why I think trade with China should cease, they include –

    Environmental impact.

    Economic impact.

    National security.

    Global health risk.

    …………if this crisis is the price we have to pay for entrepreneur’s abuse of cheap labour, then sorry, we can’t have things they way they’ve been. Trade with China has to stop, the price is way too high.

    This virus should serve as a warning, the next free gift from China might wipe out entire civilisations.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      Should we also cease trade with Africa for giving the world HIV/AIDS?

      Should the RoTW cease it with the UK for BSE/nvCJD?

      You seem to accept that CO2 production is an environmental problem at least though, Steve.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        Carbonbrief analysis suggests that even if this lockdown was to continue the UK wouldn’t meet its 2035/50 CO2 reduction targets… are the govt targets pathetic or is the plan to return to medieval days real

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

          The targets are insane and will never be met. Lots of scientifically illiterate , virtue signalling politicians who think they can change the laws of physics by passing laws.

          • Zorro
            Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

            Laws like the coronavirus bill…..


      • agricola
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        Well Martin I think you need to start talking to the plants and trees in your garden to get a balanced opinion on the merits of CO2

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        It took France 6 years and a court case to lift the ban on British Beef.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

          I think that Japan only lifted it in the last few years – correct me if I’m wrong.

          • a-tracy
            Posted April 11, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

            I don’t know Martin, but if it’s true about Japan then these two Countries alone took the EU 3 years , > 6 years France and in Japan’s case 34 years to remove restrictions on imports following an outbreak. [cjd 1986 to 1995]

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      We should of course trade with China in many areas but yes we should be careful. A similar pandemic might easily have happened starting in one of the many bat infested churches or buildings in England. It was however appalling that China was not open to the world about the dangers of the virus though. Much time was thus lost and many will die due to this delay.

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Exactly Steve. This is not the first time China have gifted a deadly virus to the world and it won’t be the last. Meanwhile their barbaric practises carry on and craven politicians around the world say nothing. China need to be punished and taught a very harsh lesson where it hurts – in their economy. They already run a £340 billion trade surplus with the rest of the world and now they can sit back and watch whilst the rest of the world economies implode thanks to ‘the China virus’ as trump calls it. The west have kow towed to China for far too long. When we come out of this, they need to be told in no uncertain terms that all trade will cease until they have shown they are willing to change their ways.

    • Data Please
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Careful now, you’ll have the Social Justice Warriors chucking an “ism” or “phobia” at yer.

      How dare you start pointing out inconvenient truths.

      • Data Please
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        Sorry forgot to mention:

        I think we’ll find China owns most of our bankrupted companies when the dust settles.

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

          including the banks

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        The inconvenient truth, for you, is that these viruses can arise anywhere.

        HIV/AIDS came from Africa. MERS from the Middle East. Zika virus from S. America. Swine Flu from North America. And BSE/nvCJD – a prion – from…the UK.

        Yes, there are particular problems in China. There’s no reason why trade arrangements should not be conditional on these being abated.

        That’s a civilised response.

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          I think it would be wise, M i C,to stop shouting about vcjd. 150 people died in total of this condition, virtually every one in UK and it scarcely affected anyone outside the UK, other than the fact that the EU used it as an excuse for excluding British beef from EU countries for five years after we had shown that the disease had been eradicated in the UK. Why does every single comment about the UK have to be so negative? If you hate this country so much, why do you continue to live here?

        • Fred H
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

          this is getting very repetitive….

          • Fred H
            Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

            and even more repetitive…

        • Lester Beedell
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

          Presumably you’re a great fan of China, presumably you also support the WHO who also support the Chinese government, Tedros thingy has been bought by China and refuses to utter a single word of criticism, Donald Trump should immediately withdraw their money from this fraudulent organisation

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 10, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

            No, I would not want to live in China at all, Lester.

            But you can’t claim that they did not build that bridge, nor launch those space missions.

            And, soon, I think, you’ll accept that they were more effective against CV than some other countries were too.

            The US is already in arrears with its contributions to WHO, incidentally.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

            You missed out the bit about their 7 day hospital collapsing killing numerous people.
            But I expect that bit got erased in youn pro Communist China love fest

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

          But the Chinese government lied and lied about COVID-19 and oppressed doctors who tried to report it. They failed to isolate their own country when they knew full well the disease’s true nature.

          Through the WHO they indicated that the disease was not contagious between humans right up until January.

          On the basis of what the Chinese government and WHO told us there were US and Italian politicians in New York and Italy out in support of Chinese people and telling everyone that they were safe from the disease as it was not contagious.

          Can you seriously not see the difference, Martin ?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

            OK, well look what New Zealand are doing then – the same as China say they did.

            It’s working, or are they all liars too according to you?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 11, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

            A country with more sheep than people.
            Ridiculous comparison.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      It will just shift to India or Indonesia.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink


    • Hope
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      JR, we read another underhand action by Govt. with its consultation paper put out on 26/03/2020 from Department of Transport on the future use of cars! Trying to skew people fewer cars required in future and more use of public transport! You could not make up the date the govt puts this out we are under house arrest and warned not to use public transport!

      Has Grant Shapps lost leave of his senses or just does not think through the green quackery before publishing. Perhaps he could have a word with double standards Jenerick driving all over the place during house arrest telling us not to do so. No, I do not believe his excuses. Same for Hancock’s double standards not demanding MPs give up their whopping pay rise during corona virus while slating footballers! It has the hallmarks of Cameron criticising others tax arrangements knowing he had similar!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        Grant Shapps (business and finance Manchester Poly) and his transport department’s “experts” seems to think that Electric Cars, pushbikes and walking are “zero emission”.

        So they are very clearly either complete and utter scientific illiterates or just blatant liars. Perhaps he could explain which?

        • glen cullen
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

          I was going to call Grant Shapps ‘bananas’ however ‘pathetic’ is more apt

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    I have tried to apply for business interruption loans for three different businesses from three major UK banks. I have managed to submit one full application to Lloyd’s but have no response as yet. The other two banks have not even sent me application forms or any details as yet despite several requests. If you ring you cannot get through to anyone relevant, if you express interest on line one bank says they will contact you in 24 hours but they do not.

  4. agricola
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Yes companies from large corporations down to the self employed need grants not burdonsome loans that will blight their recovery. Nor do they need the onerous intermediaries of commercial banks to dictate the process by pushing the recipients further into debt. To date the rhetoric has been good, but the small print has been bad for our post coronavirus recovery.

    • Wonky Moral Compass
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      OK, but what would the quid pro quo from corporations and the self-employed be for burdening the taxpayer with additional debt and blighting the nation’s recovery?

      • agricola
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        The QPQ would be the economy rising from deaths door and a return to profitable employment. The state either pays to support it now or picks up the bill for an enormous social support system that would have no ultimate income. It is investment or the money tree.

      • Al
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        Presumably, not making the state have to pay for benefits for people made redundant or bankrupt when the firm employing them – or the one they run – collapses.

        Also the firms actually surviving to pay future tax revenues…

  5. Mark B
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Many commentators have stated that the cure may prove more damaging both the health of the economy as well as to the population. Whilst it is always too soon to tell, it is worth noting the numbers of insolvencies, redundancies and foreclosures on properties. These are real numbers with real people behind them, and with negative talk of keeping until May, and even strengthening this lockdown, I fear that when we do there is not going to be much left. Of course, to many, especially those last night (8pm), they could always comfort themselves that they saved the NHS and PHE for the lack of preparedness.

    • Data Please
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      This UK clapping because some Minister managed to tie their shoelace, is starting to get scary.

      I wonder if I’m the only one that sees a weird correlation to the 1984, 2-minute hate.

      I’m seriously wondering now if mobs will start aggressively hauling people out of their homes to partake.

      Social Distancing !!!

      People maimed, killed, to Save Lives and the NHS ?

      I fear a nice idea at the start, if not Extreme Virtue Signalling, needs to be knocked on the head before it gets out of control.

      Big Secret: Most that don’t partake still wish Boris well and have absolute respect and gratitude for the NHS frontline staff.

      Naturally, I’ll be looking at the Govt to deal with this…… Oh Dear

    • Hope
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      I will not clap. PHE and NHS England are not necessary. They have proven beyond doubt they added no value to preparedness in coordinating to saving lives.

      The same total inadequacy has been true on many occasions with the MoD for recent army battles. Civil Service needs fresh blood from outside to shake things up. It is costing the taxpayer billions, worse it is costing lives!

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        You get the civil service that elected governments decide that you will have.

        • glen cullen
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

          You get the elected governments that civil service decide that you will have

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 10, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink


          • Edward2
            Posted April 10, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink


          • Edward2
            Posted April 10, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

            My request for an explanation was directed at Martin.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

            Well, Ed, Parliament is supreme, and the Government are firmly in control of this one.

            Any Act that they pass becomes law.

            So they could pass a Civil Service Act, which gives them the one that they want – by law.

            Couldn’t they?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

            They could but they haven’t.
            Because most voters would fail yo elect a party that tried to do that.

            Either you think the Civil Service is independent of government or you dont.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

            Ah, so it’s democracy, for which you always clamoured then?

            Well, you can’t complain then, can you?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

            More nonsensical red herrings from you Martin.

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

          If only that were true! You have clearly never spoken to a minister whose experience has been that often their civil servants do everything they can to get in the way of implementing government policy. It’s become an art form over recent decades

          • Data Please
            Posted April 10, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

            Over the past few years, I’m beginning to think that Yes Minister wasn’t so much a comedy as a documentary.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink


      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        So my brother-in-law in the late stages of Covid 19 (breathing difficulty) in 1st week of Feb rushed to top London Hospital and received best attention money can buy. He survived, but they did not know it was Coronavirus – he was tested last week! Got the result this week! 2 months later!
        Does not give you huge confidence in the Drs does it, I mean this is their specialist subject, China had gone into lockdown, they have a guy fighting for breath, sweats, dry cough, sore throat – no idea!

        • Zorro
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

          There will have been other examples. I had this in October last year having been on holiday for three weeks in SE Asia.


  6. Lifelogic
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    A GP to a care home:- well first of all I am not coming in and secondly we are not sending anyone to hospital. You pay taxes all your life and this is what you get back in return! Protect the NHS – just stay away and die elsewhere please. This seems to be the message to the elderly.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      Meanwhile the national medical director of NHS England says this morning “the NHS has done a fantastic job”. Not alas it seems for many in care homes, or on the supply of PPE for staff or the appallingly inept pandemic planning fiasco.

      No serious questioning on these areas from the BBC’s Naga Muncheti of course.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        In fairness to the BBC they didn’t even attempt to interview him, the BBC just gave him air time to promote PHE….the BBC can’t be criticised for a poor interview as there wasn’t an interview

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

          True but why not.

    • Bob
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      “Protect the NHS – just stay away and die elsewhere please.”

      This is what happens when you pay upfront for something.
      You wouldn’t want to pay a builder or a mechanic until they’d done the work, but if you did and they let you down you could sue them.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        Exactly, they have you money already so patients are just a nuisance and expense he the stay away and “protect”, “our” NHS. The NHS only works at all due to many dedicated front line staff. The system and the way it is funded it is appalling, idiotic and can never work well.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Today I read that universities are going to go bust, blighting many young lives, some people never able to complete their courses.

    Let’s have some perspective here.

    Someone has calculated that the cash injections (dept cancellations) to the NHS means that we are paying £500,000 per year of extended life for each coronavirus patient.

    This cost does not include a wrecked economy – the lives shortened owing to cancelled operations and appointments for other illnesses and nor does it include the deaths that will come with the severe economic depression that is about to hit us.

    Before anyone accuses me of being heartless I ask this:

    No one here was complaining that – before coronavirus appeared – NICE were already putting a limit of a piffling £30,000 per year of extended life for treatment and there was no outcry about it.

    When will this madness end ? And if the government is hiding some truth about this disease that makes this all worth it then it’s time to tell us.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Well about half of them need to go bust. A crony industry subsidised by soft tax payer/government student loans most of which will not be repaid for largely worthless degrees in largely worthless subjects. With half of those going getting 3Ds or lower at A level! Release all the university staff to get real productive jobs too.

      Let them get a job, not have the £50k of debt and go to night school or day release. Perhaps to resit their A levels first of all. At least 50% of UK degrees are virtually worthless and not remotely worth the £50k of debt they incur.

      • Lester Beedell
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink


        When I left school in the 60’s only the very brightest went to university, I went and got a job, now every one goes and comes out with a useless degree such as flower arranging, it’s become so devalued that it’s pointless, universities raking in the money, whatever happened to apprenticeships?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, although there are at least a few jobs in “flower arranging”, unlike many other degrees.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        You’ve missed my point entirely.

        Last year a life was worth £30,000 a year (NICE)

        This year a life threatend by COVID-19 is worth £infinity – including those who can die by any other means, such as those whose medicine is now denied by COVID-19 and death by the coming economic depression… including most COVID-19 patients and most of the old people we were trying to save !


    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      If we get the NHS capacity up to the levels needed then should get back to work. They should by now have done this. But they have not. Perhaps in a couple more weeks they will finally have done so.

    • SM
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      You are not alone, Anonymous. From many people’s reactions, you would think that no-one had EVER died before from either known or unknown causes.

      And personally I find the whole ‘clapping for the NHS’ nauseously cloying!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        I too find it nauseously cloying. As we saw on Question Time yesterday.

        • Mark B
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink


    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Why won’t people here be able to complete their courses? The lecturers will be there, the students will be there and the buildings will be there. If this crisis means a change of business model to reduce Chinese students, and imposing some austerity on some Chancellors’ pay packets and the largesse in general, perhaps that will be for the best.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        People in the private sector have got inventive with home working, virtual meetings, I’m sure Universities could offer closed coded lectures for their paying students with on-lines question and answer sessions and marking still taking place.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely for the best! Universities are not ‘businesses’. We fund them so they educate OUR CHILDREN.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

          They are most certainly businesses and quite big ones too. Much of it funded by tax payer subsidies and soft loans for students. Most of whom are wasting their time on money on rather worthless degrees often in rather worthless subject. 50% have 3Ds at A level or lower.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

            They went wrong once they started trying to make money! They have the wrong objective. They are not businesses, that’s why we fund them.

        • Sharon Jagger
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink


          18 – 21 year olds are not children! Or at least, they ought not to be!

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

            Of course they are children. Ours, it takes a long time to mature in a very sophisticated society and to learn enough to make yourself useful. You get the key of the door at 21!

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 11, 2020 at 5:03 am | Permalink

            Indeed they are not and should not be treated as such.

            The tightening of rules that often restricts children getting part time jobs (especially on Sundays) are very damaging too. Part time jobs are a good learning experience for teenagers.

      Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      You’re role today is to remain silent, pay your taxes and never challenge the deity that is the NHS.

      When will voters understand that the NHS is a political organisation. It is part of Labour’s political power base. It’s also controlling the actions of the current Tory government. That’s how powerful the NHS has become

      It’s become a political and economic vested interest and it is demanding absolute and uncritical loyalty no matter what

      This event is manna from heaven for the socialists in the NHS, Education etc and Labour. They’ll be the ones clapping behind closed doors

      • DavidJ
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        The NHS is a real Curate’s Egg. Sadly the bad parts seem to outweigh the good, sometimes excellent, parts.

        • John C.
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          Unfortunately, it has now become something to worship, rather than to look at critically, applauding where it is successful, and changing where it fails.
          Now that the Left claim virtual ownership, now that we are imprisoned in order to save it, now that the economy is being sacrificed to the same end, it has become beyond rational debate, and will emerge as a Hero Institution, bigger, more powerful, more demanding than ever.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        Much truth in this. Being free at the point of use (or usually of delay and rationing) it kills nearly all competition to the NHS giving us a socialist, top down, state monopoly. Then everyone has to hope and pray that it will deliver – as that is the only option left. As we saw with the pandemic planning it was grossly incompetent and buried the evidence.

        The NHS is clearly rather better than no health care system at all, but far worse than most other systems in comparably wealth nations. That is why Germany and the USA have about 5 times the number of ventilators per head and Japan has 500 times more ECMO machines. How quickly people forget all the endless NHS scandals, the thousands of avoidable deaths and other absolute outrages. Yet hardly anyone is ever fired or even disciplined.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Universities are often “blighting many young lives“ by putting graduates into £50k of debt for usually rather worthless degrees (often in worthless subjects too) . Also by depriving them of 3 years earnings and three years of learning a trade.

      Often, quite understandably, making them rather bitter and resentful in this process.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        Not all of them are like that. Some good students on good courses will suffer.

        The point being lost here is that we put a value on life last year. NICE said it was worth £30,000 of medicine a year.

        Now we are saying that those suffering severe COVID-19 are worth £infinity a year, and that anyone should die of anything so as to avoid anyone dying of COVID-19. Be that missed consultations and treatments for any other illness, suicide, cold, malnutrition or murder in the coming economic depression.

  8. Crerand
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Another day, another whine about the EU. You are obsessed, you cant stop looking over the garden fence. Dont you know we are not a member anymore?

    reply Why are you so neurotic about any discussion of what our neighbours are doing? And why no objection to me discussing the USA?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Because he is a “believer” in the failed EU project and just cannot get over it. He probably even believes in the damaging war against harmless tree and plant food Co2 too. These two beliefs usually coincide. The BBC tries to ensure it this with their endless indoctrination propaganda.

    • Margaret Howard
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Crerand is quite right in your obsession with the US.

      You write: ” It (US) has stabilised the Treasury bond market, assisted the corporate bond market, and reassured the financial world more generally. ”

      Whereas “The EU is struggling to come up with package for the Euro area that can help sufficiently.”

      You should enjoy your Brexit victory by remembering that under our unfortunate, undemocratic electoral system, only 17m people supported your exit while the UK population as a whole did not or were undecided.

      Maybe you should also reflect on why your American friends in New York alone have suffered a higher death toll than even Spain and Italy, let alone the rest of Europe while success stories like Germany are ignored or denigrated as ‘dodgy’ and questionable.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        So now you say anyone who didn’t actually vote for Brexit were against it or undecided.
        Have you asked them all?
        You still cannot accept the referendum result.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      What I found most instructive about the EU economic support package was that Germany hid behind the Netherlands on the issue of mutualised debt, or so it seemed.

      Once again, the country with the most capacity to save the Euro/EU project shows that it is not willing to risk self for the benefit of the majority. Has Germany lost faith in the EU project, or is it just waiting until its intervention will be most advantageous?

      We must leave as scheduled, with or without any ‘special’ trade deal. The cost of delay or extending will be far worse. Get well soon Boris!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      The criticisms by the nationalist Right’s faithful – I’m not pointing at John – during the Leave campaigns were often that the European Union was a “federal superstate dictatorship”

      Now they berate it, precisely for not being a federal superstate dictatorship, and accordingly with no powers akin to the Chinese governments, to tackle coronavirus in that manner.

      • Data Please
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        Looks like Remain didn’t know what they were voting for.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

          Yes, we did.

          We knew that the Leave campaign’s caricatures of the European Union were rubbish.

          • Lester Beedell
            Posted April 10, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

            But you seem to be incapable of accepting the result?
            Please get over it 1

        • agricola
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

          Remain were voting for an undemocratic socialist state that they hoped we would remain part of in perpetuity. It is the way they think and operate. Their thinking was kicked down the road at the referendum, at the last general election, and at the recent labour party leadership election. Socialism must now scrat around to decide what it does believe in, because to date it has not been what the electorate believe in.

          The EU has not changed, it is still the monster it was and some of its component countries are begining to realise that it is a house of cards that is of little use to them in the current crisis.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Maybe Crerand because we all know they’ll come knocking on our door for extra money – they always do. Southern Ireland was crowing six months ago about how well they were doing in relation to the U.K. we should have taken our loan repayment back then, we’d already reduced the interest %.

      • duffle
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        Southern Ireland wanted to repay the loan earlier but learned that it is prohibited under the loan terms because UK wants to make the interest. In the meantime Ireland has already paid back the IMF, Sweden and Denmark under similar agreements. Final settlement date for paying back the UK loan is 23rd March 2021 and with so much helicopter money about at zero interest rates I don’t think it will be much of a problem- look it up

    • Bob
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink


      “ou are obsessed”

      “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”

  9. oldtimer
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    You did not mention the announcement of the (unlimited?) expansion of the UK government’s Ways and Means facility with the Bank of England. This, as I understand it, enables the government to get its hands on cash without the trouble of having to raise it through the issue of Gilts. It seems that the PMs enforced absence in hospital has not inhibited this very significant decision by the Treasury and the Bank of England.

    More widely it seems, to me at least, that decisions to spray helicopter money (in the form of trillions of US dollars) will end badly. In the absence of cures or vaccines on any scale in the foreseeable future to deal with Covid-19 then the world’s population can only respond by developing herd immunity – whatever individual governments may propose or dispose. The world economy will look very different when this is all over. The transition is going to be extremely unpleasant for just about everyone.

    • steve
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink


      “The world economy will look very different when this is all over. The transition is going to be extremely unpleasant for just about everyone.”

      …..very true, & sobering thought.

      However I read somewhere recently from a US journalist that Mexico is set to become America’s key trading partner. So there is light at the end of the tunnel I guess.

    • acorn
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Don’t worry oldtimer, it is the usual smoke and mirrors. The Central Bank (BoE) and the Government Treasury are one and the same. There is no such thing as an independent Central Bank in a sovereign fiat currency economy.

      This is just another form of off balance sheet funding using the magic money tree, basically the same as the Funding for Lending scheme.

      Ways and Means (WM) is a government overdraft account at the BoE, a relic of Gold Standard days. It has a £370 million loan outstanding for decades to the Treasury.

      The BoE will loan the Treasury National Loans Fund (NLF) with billions, while the same NLF guarantees the BoE loan in case the NLF reneges on its debt to, itself, via the BoE. What makes this even sillier is that the NLF is the sovereign fiat currency issuer that has a bottomless pit full of Pounds Sterling it will never run out of.

      The BoE has little money of its own and normally can only handle Treasury paper and reserves swaps. The BoE can’t buy private sector commercial paper or print bank notes, unless the Treasury funds the BoE with its own bits of paper.

  10. Jeff12
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    The Fed has been conjuring up digits on a computer screen to buy real assets from the market and is now the largest property owner in the world. Huge debts have been incurred by taxpayers across the planet in a gigantic banker bailout that dwarfs 2008/9. The effect of this “crisis” has been to transfer even more wealth to the mega rich and indebt taxpayers to a degree never seen before in history. Whilst we are imprisoned by draconian laws that destroy a liberty Britons would once fight for our economy has been destroyed and we are debt slaves relaint on government payouts. So much for the politicians that claimed they were going to free Britain from the straight jacket of the EU. Now we’re a country with less freedom and a worse economy than Stalinist Eastern Europe.

    • Margaret Howard
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink


      “The Fed has been conjuring up digits on a computer screen to buy real assets from the market and is now the largest property owner in the world. Huge debts have been incurred by taxpayers across the planet in a gigantic banker bailout that dwarfs 2008/9. ”

      And that’s what JR describes in his headline as:

      “Infinity Fed tries to save the world”

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        This is a bigger crisis. But you are not complaining are you Margaret? You like Big Government and little people don’t you?

    • Clive
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      No truer words spoken on this Good Friday.

    • Data Please
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      “Never in the Field of History has so much Wealth been transferred from so Many to so Few”

  11. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    The European Union’s budget is only nominally one percent of GDP, so it is tiny compared with national ones.

    There is therefore a very strict limit on what the institutions can do directly.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Good as nearly everything they do is either very damaging or largely pointless.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        Don’t worry, LifeLogic.

        Take your family swimming where there are no blue flags, drink from taps labelled “not drinking water”, buy medicines from the Third World on the internet, and eat food way past its “use by” date.

        Those silly European Union rules won’t stop you, will they?

        • Lester Beedell
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink


          God, please give me strength, you do need a hobby, I’ve been out doing jobs on my 1993 Peugeot 306 diesel turbo, it very satisfying!

          • Data Please
            Posted April 10, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

            If my mind serves me correctly, they were quite tasty for their day, if you could hang on after the 90’s Turbo Lag kicked in.

            I found 90’s Turbo’s “funny”, spooled up just after you needed to hit the brakes and turn into a bend.

            Or was that the 80’s….. Everything’s starting to blur.

            Sorry Sir John.

            Not trying to turn this into a Car Blog.

        • Data Please
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

          We’re currently in I think the first and only lockdown in Modern History and you’re concerned that this Govt will be too lenient on Public Health ?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 10, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

            Martin cannot remember a time when we were not in the EU.
            The UK had clean water and properly tested drugs and clean beaches and decent standards of health and safety and good safe food and a clean air Act well before the EU oticed, caught up and copied us.

    • Data Please
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      GDP ?

      Last time I looked:

      The EU doesn’t generate wealth.

      It strong arms money out of its Members.
      Siphons of money to pay for necessary “Admin & Expenses”.
      Then gives it back, re-badged as EU Charitable Donations.
      That some amongst us clap like seals for its Largesse.

      Wish I’d thought of it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        Indeed but only give a bit of it back and that comes with endless strings attached. Plus you usually have to put up signs to advertise the EU funding!

  12. bill brown
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    The EU finance ministers agreed a major package last night to assist across the EU.

    Reply Scarcely!. No agreement on Coronabonds with risk sharing. No new grant or aid schemes. The only grant scheme is the Euro100bn short time working scheme which was announced from a previous meeting. Euro 100bn is under 1% of Euroland GDP. The rest was a mixture of possible ESM loans and EIB loans. Do you think Spain and Italy will apply for ESM given the conditionality?

    • bill brown
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      Sir JR

      Yes, I do think they will apply even with the conditionality

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      John, you have completely different standards for judging the European Union from those for measuring your party’s Government.

      For the first, unless everything is absolutely perfect, you say that its whole existence is completely invalidated, whereas for the second, no matter what its failures, if some shred of merit can be claimed then you say that everything is fine.

      It is rather conspicuous, to say the very least.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        And you are an unbiased opinion, obviously. If you ever decide to get a job, try the BBC, you would be a shoe-in.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        That wasn’t a request for the EU to be “absolutely perfect etc”
        Just a reply which set out the failures of the EU in this area.

        Which as usual Martin you have carefully chosen not to answer.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

          If John thought my post to be egregiously unjust then he could have deleted it, couldn’t he, Ed?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

            That’s not a very good response.
            You move away from tricky questions and try to avoid an answer by using the red herring method.

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mr Redwood
      540bn euro is not a small amount for the EU. According to the Neth. gvt. this programme will mainly be used by the southern EU and hardly be needed in countries like the Netherlands. In that sense it will prove to have been real solidarity. If more will be needed, the same institutions (ECB, ESM, EC, Eurogroup, EP, European Council) will follow up with more. Always complex, but manageable.

      Reply All but Euro 100 by are loans, and Italy may well not want as ESM loan given conditions

      • Richard1
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        The Eurozone – led by Germany and the Netherlands – continues to dodge the fundamental issue at the heart of the euro system: You can’t have a currency union without having fiscal – and therefore political -union. With debt mutualisation, a banking union, fiscal transfers etc. Just like we have in the UK or the US. It might not be a bad idea, so long as it carries the democratically expressed support of citizens. But for sure, as long as the question is dodged it will be one crisis after another and perma-recession in the deficit countries.

        • Peter van LEEUWEN
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

          @Richard1: Better not try and integrate us (=EU27) overnight, these things take time. Don’t let any anti-EU bias cloud/preclude a basic understanding of Europe i.e. the EU. This is going to be a long process with crises, pitfalls and the like but the prophecies of the EU’s demise have not come true. Public support of the EU has been growing.

          • Richard1
            Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

            In the Netherlands perhaps. Not in Italy.

            I have no anti-EU bias at all, it’s up to EU citizens. But it’s a plain fact the eurozone as currently structured is a recipe for crises and recession – which has a cost, also for the U.K. and other non-EU countries.

        • Margaret Howard
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

          Richard, I have asked these two questions countless times and so far no one has answered it:

          “Why has the euro replaced the pound as the world’s reserve currency after the dollar?

          And why has the pound dropped by over a third since its inception in 1999 and is still dropping like a stone?”

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        reply to reply: Even 100bn is more than half the EU’s annual budget and conditions aren’t punishments but guidelines to improve economies long-term.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

          Love that phrase…guidlines to improve economies long term.
          The austerity is OK

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted April 11, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

            @Edward2: Indeed Edward2, for sensible people austerity is OK. See what austerity during the financial crisis has done for the Netherlands. Over a number of years we have managed to bring our government debt below 60% and our current account even to a surplus.
            Some voices have suggested with hindsight that Dutch austerity has been too harsh for too long, but hindsight wisdom is a bit easy.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

            Dutch state spending has gone up in recent years.
            What kind of austerity is that?

  13. Ian Wragg
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    There should be an immediate ban on China buying up distressed assets. They should not be allowed to profit from their stupidity.
    The nuclear deterrent is looking like wise planning now.
    Cold war mark 2.

    • miami.mode
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      IW, in present circumstances there should be a government edict that all bids are referred.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      I agree.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink


    • Margaret Howard
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      Punish China? The only countries the US with us in tow attack these days are small ones without nuclear arsenals.

      And haven’t we all trashed our poor planet enough without even considering adding nuclear mayhem to the mix?

      Maybe deadly viruses are mother earth’s attempts to get rid of us destructive creatures. After all she managed it before with other nasty brutes like the dinosaurs that infested her in ancient times.

  14. Ian Wilson
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Local authorities need to play their part too. I have protested to mine (South Gloucestershire) about their spending £8 million ‘fighting climate change’ when the money could be infinitely better spent supporting businesses crippled through no fault of their own.

    • Data Please
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Now there’s talk of Council Tax Holidays.

      My guess probably swiftly followed by substantial reductions or stoppage of essential Public Health & Safety services and especially Refuse Collection.

      So apparently, because of the economic meltdown to stop the spread of the Virus and save lives, we’re risking being surrounded by festering Virus dwelling piles of Rotting Garbage

      But lucky us, thats not all we have to look forward to from rotting garbage:

      With: “causes air pollution and respiratory diseases”
      at Number 2 in the Charts Pop Pickers.

      Thats from regular garbage, never mind Virus laden stuff.

      I think we’re going to be having vermin, birds, flies and insects paddling around in and scattering the stuff all over the place.

      Birds assaulting us with Virus bombs as they try and take stuff away.
      Please tell me their digestive systems kill it, before it comes out the other end.

      Flies and insects bringing Virus into our homes, potentially crawling over our mouths and noses while we sleep.

      So whats the next announcement.

      Eat the Paper Tissues that have been Coughed and Sneezed into ?

      When is this Govt going to Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, if it can above the stinking garbage.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink


      I take it that your local authority will be banning anyone travelling to work in a car to help with said fight ?


  15. Lifelogic
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Well done to Zoe, Pembrokeshire’s first female refuse collector. The BBC never seems to go on about the huge under representation of women in refuse collection jobs, just in company boardrooms. Most women, it seems, just do not want to apply for these jobs.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      You make a perfectly valid point.

  16. steve
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink


    “The EU is struggling to come up with package for the Euro area that can help sufficiently.”

    Why am I not surprised ?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Because you accept that such arrangements require the consent of all involved, and that the European Union has no arbitrary powers of compulsion, since such powers as it has are strictly limited and defined by the Treaties.

      Would you prefer that they were not, Steve?

      • Everhopeful
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        What?? Even in a pandemic??

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          Even in a pandemic.

          So much for its being a “dictatorship” eh?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

            Who said the EU was a dictatorship?
            Name them.
            It is just a disappointment that the EU in a moment of crisis have failed to provide any real leadership.
            You can go on about health being a devolved area but it displays how individual members have taken it upon themselves to decide what to do.
            Advice, guidance and leadership.
            All lacking.

      • steve
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink


        You assume too much.

  17. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    It is a new move by the Fed to start buying commercial debt (AAA mortgage-backed securities) rather than just government bonds. Of course this has been going on for years in Japan with no apparent downside, the government there has bought so many company shares (via. ETFs) that many of Japan’s larger companies are effectively nationalised. So the Fed has plenty of scope to increase their buying. Probably I should declare an interest on behalf of pensioners who rely on investment income – that policy helps us too and not just the evil “hedge fund managers” that we here about.

    Off-topic, I’ve been heartened to see that the approval rating for journalists are now the lowest for any group involved in the crisis – their lamentably poor performance at the daily press conferences finally cutting through – let’s hope the public enquiry looks into their antics. All the newspapers I have seen without exception have been a disgrace, the Daily Mail, Express and Guardian at the very bottom of the heap.

  18. SM
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    This lockdown mania has infected South Africa. The current 21 day lockdown period was due to end on 16 April, but last night the President announced it was to be extended by 2 weeks.

    SA is already having serious problems with enforcing the current regulations, and its financial status had been reduced to ‘junk’ only last month. Apparently African countries, while recognising the problem that the rest of the world will be facing, will nevertheless be asking for economic and medical assistance from the RotW.

    One small plus, however, is that the President (a multi-millionaire), the Deputy President and all Ministers and Deputy Ministers have generously agreed to take a 1/3rd salary cut for the next three months, and those savings will be paid into Solidarity Fund. I should add that parliamentary perks in SA (given the current endemic poverty of the country) make Westminster look like Scrooge on a bad day.

  19. Christine
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    If as expected the number of people in Britain who have contracted COVID-19 is in single percentage figures then we are a long way off herd immunity. We can continue the lock down and trash our economy or we can allow the vast majority to get back to work. As a vulnerable person, I choose the latter. I would rather save the economy than gain my own freedom and am willing to continue to live in lockdown for the next few months.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Apologies, Christine, you make the same point as me.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      A long way off herd immunity, but the NHS will get there more quickly. When the doctors and nurses have got through the infection themselves, they will cease to be at risk of becoming infected again and passing the infection on to patients. As time passes, the NHS should get up to speed on PPE that presently has a production lag, which will help.
      When that’s done, patients going into hospital for other conditions won’t end up with Covid-19 as a hospital infection and end up needing a ventilator. Restrictions can be lifted and the small proportion of people needing hospital treatment for Covid-19 infections in the community can be given sufficient resources.
      Isn’t that what the current policy is? Protect the NHS.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink


      Do you have access to the Porton Down results? I have not seen anything anywhere. Govt is keeping us in the dark.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      I think the very opposite. I think 90% of us are virtually immune. The other 10% have a struggle, 5% overcome it on their own. The NHS is dealing with max 5%, most of whom survive.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        thats a fair assessment

  20. James Bertram
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    As posted yesterday (which ‘moderation’ disappointingly excluded) of great concern is the damage these global lockdowns are doing to the world’s poorest. Oxfam reports that 500 millon MORE people might be pushed into poverty because of this deliberate economic damage to the global economy. See their report – Dignity Not Destitution.
    Too, of considerable concern for the UK is the possible E 441 Billion liabilities that we have to the EU under the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by our wonderful Tory government. See Bob Lyddon’s 40 page report – link here:

  21. Kevin
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    “The Commission…wants member states to beef up the capital of European Investment Bank so they can lend more to business.”

    Of course, owing to the Conservative Party’s Withdrawal Agreement (“WA”), the prospect of such action by the EU – a mere three months after the WA was voted through by the Commons – necessitates discussion of the UK’s potential involvement.

    As a reminder – during the election campaign, the Brexit Party claimed that, under the WA, the UK would be leaving £7 billion of our money with the EIB. According to the same source, under the “Brexit deal” we were also said to be, for a period of 12 years, potentially liable to the tune of up to £40 billion in the event of a Eurozone financial crisis, which amount could rise to as much as €500 billion under a system of joint and several guarantees.

    I do not remember the Conservative Party responding to these warnings during the campaign, but I believe it is imperative that they do so now.

  22. Data Please
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I feel like I’m in a Dr. Strangelove movie.

    This is utter madness.

    I think, this is a result of at least a decade of Governments around the world cow-towing to Snowflakes.

    Frankly my guess is that many Governments are now comprised of them.

    When are Governments going to get it into their thick heads that all they are doing are shuffling around the casualty demographics.

    In my opinion, they had a relatively well defined (can never be perfect) vulnerable section of society to protect, yet because they couldn’t be 100% sure, they went nuclear.

    It’s like allowing the house to burn down, to save the barbecue.

    Scientists and the like advise, Governments govern.

    I think that command structure has been catastrophically compromised.

    When this carnage is over, as the Snowflakes eye the smoldering ruins around them, maybe they’ll develop a sense of proportion.

    Will they say “What Have We Done ?”

    That’s the Question.

  23. JoolsB
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    As someone who is self employed and seen all income disappear due to forced closure and having received absolutely no help from Government whatsoever, they are showing just how out of touch they are with the real world I’m afraid John. Robert Jenrick seen travelling between his multi million pound homes despite being the very Minister telling the rest of us to stay at home and only travel when necessary proves this. Sunak says we might get some support but not until June. Unbelievable. Why at least aren’t things like council tax for the self employed being cancelled for the time being? I was informed by my local council that the Government guidelines are to give us a £150 annual discount, that’s a whopping £12.50 off my £270 monthly bill and even that hasn’t been forthcoming.

    This Government’s response to the pandemic is woeful from being ill prepared in the NHS to support for businesses. They clearly haven’t got a clue how the rest of us live. I would like to see them set an example and practise what they preach and take no salary or expenses for three months although no doubt most of them would incur no hardship having plenty in the bank to fall back on. I would then like them to take only 80% of their salary along with the rest of the public sector who seem to have been cushioned in a way the rest of us, the entrepreneurs and wealth creators have definitely not been.

  24. Monza 71
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    When this is all over, every government will have seen a huge increase in its debt ratios.

    This might seem a daft suggestion, but is there not some creative wheeze that can thought up by Treasury Ministers around the world that could see all of this increased debt written off and economies reset to the position they were in, say, in January 2020 ?

    • rose
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      A bit like the breaking up Yugoslavia knocking four noughts off its currency at one time. They still had to count out millions of dinars for the bus fare.

    • steve
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Monza 71

      “When this is all over, every government will have seen a huge increase in its debt ratios.”

      Then surely it is right that China pays compensation, lots of it. Otherwise there should be crippling sanctions so effective as to isolate the country from the rest of the world.

      Unless I missed it, I have not heard one single ‘sorry’ from China.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        China is quite ready to take a serious knock in their economic growth, however, most of the rest of the world will be on its knees. So China starts again with a much more favourable position for them.
        Alternative ? Stop buying their goods.
        Learn from the unfolding domination.
        Become resourceful – produce ourselves, go without products that simply reinforce the Chinese dominance.
        BEGIN AGAIN.

  25. DaveM
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Not allowing businesses to sell certain items because someone doesn’t deem them essential is just stupid and will result in a far worse requirement for borrowing and lending. Just saying.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink


    • Monza 71
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      There is a great deal of misunderstanding over what actions are illegal under the emergency powers and are therefore actionable, and what actions breach “Guidelines” issued by ministers which we are free to ignore if we wish.

      In England it is NOT illegal to :

      Go out more than once a day to shop and exercise or walk the dog.
      Buy stuff that is not deemed essential.
      Drive to a place where you wish to exercise that is not otherwise closed.
      Sit down on the beach/grass/park bench for a rest while out exercising.
      Be closer than 2m from another person.

      All the above are merely GUIDELINES issued by Ministers. They may be sensible, but they are not in the legislation passed by Parliament and are therefore not enforceable by a fine. Nor can you be arrested for ignoring them.

      The Chief Constable of Northampton made a complete fool of himself in his TV interview and statement. He said that if the hapless citizens of Northamptonshire do not obey the “rules” from now on, his officers might set up roadblocks, search shopping trolleys etc for non-essential items.

      He of all people should know the difference between “THE LAW” and “GUIDELINES”. It is extremely disturbing that such a senior officer should make misleading and blatantly unlawful threats. In my view he should resign.

      The Government expressly stated that shops that have been allowed to remain open can sell any of the normal goods they stock. No Police Officer should therefore be searching a shopping trolley because the shopper will not be breaking the law as passed by Parliament.

      If Chief Constables do not take heed and act entirely within the law, they are in danger of losing the support of the public and policing would no longer be taking place with our consent. That would be a very dangerous development.

      • APL
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        Monza21: ” In my view he should resign.”

        You are too generous. He should be fired.

      • Zorro
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

        Just think, a Chief Constable said that, how does that reflect on the rest of the force?


      • glen cullen
        Posted April 11, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        Its not even guideline issued by ministers it guidelines from PHE…like when they tell not to drink more than 10units per week, its a suggestion NOT LAW

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      I ordered some zip scaffolding for over Easter. Company wont deliver it as they can only deal with government approved contractors.
      That’s the last business they get from me.

    Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    China’s strategy is working well. The idiotic west, for we are idiotic, have worked right into their web and now we’re paying the price and will continue to do so for many years to come

    It will prove catastrophic for the British people if the Beijing government and their associated gangster networks if they’re allowed access to the fundamental building blocks of our data communications systems

    How can anyone vote for any party that would agree to this Communist infection of our system?

    The Chinese political State have inflicted huge damage on the global economy and caused harm, suffering and death

    It is my belief that when politicians enter into government and even before they start to exhibit psychopathic tendencies. It only the explanation for their behaviour and their lack of humane actions over the last 25 years

  27. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    The simplest way to solve the recession and keep healthy companies trading is for government to pay the staff costs (job rentention scheme is in place), rent and rates of any company forced to close by government mandate. Finance agreements for hire purchase should be suspended.

    The companies are then effectively mothballed awaiting the opportunity to start trading again.

    Government caused this lockdown so government has to fund the lockdown, no one wants to borrow against the uncertain future. As inflation is caused by demand government can just print this money, keeping firms and production in business will mitigate lack of supply when we come out of this.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      We’re not in a medical lockdown, the governments policy has just stopped the flow of money….thats an economic lockdown

  28. Iain Gill
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I notice that the USA is helping their freelancers far more than the UK government is helping ours.

    I really do struggle at the quality of our political class.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Really needs to be upgraded, now we have a sovereign Government, more quality people will come forward. When I was on selection committees I always looked for someone with my instinctive politics but who was much better at defending and promoting it than me. I always wondered if the person was fit to sit next to Powell – or Redwood.

  29. a-tracy
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    This is no longer like an extra week on top of a Christmas/New Year annual close down fortnight for lots of businesses, it is now going into the unknown with the latest talk of extension. Holiday areas depend on Easter after a winter with low to no earnings if they miss Whit trade too they won’t survive next winter.

    Some businesses with high employment costs as a % of their costs just closed and furloughed when their staff were working socially distant anyway but money for nothing seemed too good to miss. Hmrc are going to have a nightmare to stop fraud. I know someone who had to cancel an event the event insurer won’t pay out, the venue and other related suppliers have all moved date but the band kept their deposit 1/3 of the overall fee, if they are getting self-employed furlough how is that right?

    As for the Unions and their demands for 100% pay for furloughed workers right up to maximum pay e.g. BA just don’t expect the taxpayer to bail BA out for more money to pay this bonus the rest of the furloughed staff and businesses don’t get it you cheeky people. If they go under they go under a 100% British owned consortium could buy the ashes.

    People are being paid to do nothing, then I’m reading people’s tweets moaning wanting the bank holiday moving, my goodness selfishness of people – don’t they realise there are people working who are glad of this two day holiday and some actually working the bank holiday and will use their holidays elsewhere. I hope these BA workers have had to take their holidays as usual with their full pay.

    People who are working full time are doing so for just 20% more

  30. Richard1
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I think the best instrument to use if large scale support for the corporate sector is needed would be convertible bonds. Interest could be rolled up and the debt either repaid to the taxpayer or else converted to equity, not perfect of course as companies won’t like the idea of issuing equity at what they regard as a depressed price (whether listed or not). But we can’t insulate everybody from the economic effects of this virus, the Chinese communist party’s gift to the world.

    The govt should establish a task force led by private sector professionals to agree the terms of such convertibles. While they are in issue there must be restrictions on distributions such as dividends and buy backs, and I think excessive pay. That way only those businesses which really need it – and not all do – will apply.

  31. Iago
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    A feature of rotten England for some time is that news of dreadful crimes is often completely suppressed and the only way to hear of them is to look at the foreign internet.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Oh..the police were keeping their powder dry for arresting people who leave their homes or who shop inappropriately ( rummaging through shopping bags for non essential items!!).

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        The same police who now only recruit top-notch degree educated people who live and breath the law…’re under arrest by advise from the PHE…or is it NHS guidance ….anyway you’re being fined for not following my instructions AND THAT’S THE LAW

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        I’m really worried about Sunday morning. Should I walk to the nearest petrol station and buy my Sunday Times from the shop assistant behind the glass screen, compromising my claim to be exercising? Or should I drive there, to (not strictly necessarily) top up my petrol tanks, and then buy a paper? Or should I join the ten o’clock scrum for entering the supermarket and buy my paper there? I’m worried that I might face arrest for buying a paper.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 11, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

          its not the buying – its the wanting to buy…..deemed irresponsible.

          Just stick with the message….the tv is what you have to listen too.

          • glen cullen
            Posted April 11, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

            Yeah because the TV is so entertaining at the moment…can’t wait for another news update

  32. Everhopeful
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Destruction of what is left of the middle class and the biggest transfer of wealth ( upwards) in history probably.
    Wonder who is waiting to hoover up the British companies brought to their knees BY GOVERNMENT?? Can’t think!

    • ian terry
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink


      In Light of a recent article in the Wall Street Journal well researched by Matt Ridley there are some worrying conclusions to research carried out by various academics:

      RaTG13 is the name, rank and serial number of an individual horseshoe bat of the species Rhinolophus affinis, or rather of a sample of its feces collected in 2013 in a cave in Yunnan, China. The sample was collected by hazmat-clad scientists from the Institute of Virology in Wuhan that year. Stored away and forgotten until January this year, the sample from the horseshoe bat contains the virus that causes Covid-19
      The scientists were mostly sampling a very similar species with slightly shorter wings, called Rhinolophus sinicus, in a successful search for the origin of the virus responsible for the SARS epidemic of 2002-03. That search had alarming implications, which were largely ignored.
      Then in 2016, Ralph Baric and colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill showed that the same bat virus could infect live mice that had been engineered to express the human gene for the ACE2 receptor. The virus was “poised for human emergence,” as the title of Dr. Baric’s paper put it.
      The role of pangolins in the spread of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, remains unclear. A closer look at more of the Sars-CoV-2 genome, published last week by Maciej Boni at Penn State University and David Robertson at Glasgow University, together with Chinese and European colleagues, finds that human versions of the virus are more closely related to the RaTG13 horseshoe bat sample from the cave than they are to the known pangolin versions. It is not yet possible to tell whether the virus went from bat to pangolin to people, or from bat to pangolin and bat to people in parallel. Significantly, the same analysis shows that the most recent common ancestor of the human virus and the RaTG13 virus lived at least 40 years ago. So it is unlikely that the cave in Yunnan (a thousand miles from Wuhan) is where the first infection happened or that the culprit bat was taken from that cave to Wuhan to be eaten or experimented on.
      Rather, it is probable that somewhere much closer to Wuhan, there is another colony of bats carrying the same kind of virus. Unless other evidence emerges, it thus looks like a horrible coincidence that China’s Institute of Virology, a high-security laboratory where human cells were being experimentally infected with bat viruses, happens to be in Wuhan, the origin of today’s pandemic.
      All over Asia and Africa human beings encounter horseshoe bats, any one of which could be carrying a virus that could start an epidemic if amplified in a market or similar setting. Bats have supplied most of the dangerous new diseases of the past two decades. The natural reservoir of rabies is in bats, especially in the Americas. Ebola, Marburg and other highly dangerous viruses come from bats, mainly in Africa. The Hendra and Nipah viruses are caught from fruit bats and have caused lethal but small outbreaks in south Asia and Australia. And most coronaviruses seem to originate in bats, including SARS and MERS, a frequently fatal illness that people in the Middle East began catching from camels in 2012, the camels having picked it up from bats.
      .In a paper published in February last year, Patrick Woo and colleagues at Hong Kong University surveyed the coronaviruses found in bats and came to a prescient conclusion: “Bat–animal and bat–human interactions, such as the presence of live bats in wildlife wet markets and restaurants in Southern China, are important for interspecies transmission of [coronaviruses] and may lead to devastating global outbreaks.”

  33. clive
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Sir John I feel the helicopter money being showered all of the USA is in my view a very short term fix ,at best .
    Mr Trump and crew are holding onto the believe that C 19 will be over and done with within a few weeks . The Dow Jones also appears to concur with his thought process . Like sheep we follow, buying into the model that all will be well by May, as the Ftse climbs away .
    It will be interesting to see if after some three months down the line, the markets will still buy into this Bear trap . Long may the helicopter keep flying , but like all things flying at some point they have to land and refuel, to go again . More dept than you could ever imagine , on a scale that makes the sane shudder . The cost will be felt for decades to come .Greed coupled with self preservation and stupidity maybe this time won’t overcome .

    Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I’m trying to work out who’s more dangerous to our freedoms. Is it the CCP or the British Parliament?

    Thank god Trump is continuously exposing the vile behaviour of the fascist left and the globalists like Blair, Brown and their ilk

    • UK Qanon
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

      Dominic – The British Parliament.

      I relpied previously to your post and added some other very interesting and truthful statements. However, Big Brother who monitors this page did not deem my comments were worthy of sharing. The globalist establishment control everything and keep the minions in their place.

  35. Tom Rogers
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    In your missive yesterday, you told us that you wanted to hear from people with medical qualifications.

    What I’d like to know is what qualifies somebody with a medical degree to tell me when to leave my house (under threat of arrest, if you don’t mind) and what I can and can’t do when I’m out?

    As far as I’m aware, that is not a subject studied on a medical degree and I’m not aware of any doctor with that expertise.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      If you read much about the history of medicine, it does not give one very much confidence in medical doctors at all – leaches, rickets, scurvy, puerperal fever ….. they often seem very, very slow on the uptake and at rationally considering the real evidence. Doctors as a profession fighting against new discoveries by individuals against all the evidence,

      Often driven more by mad group think, money and vested interests. Why for example do we have so many more Caesarian births in the USA?

    • Cosmo Smallpiece
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Mrs Sturgeon not a surgeon, did her bit today and appeared on TV saying “The Four Nations.”. .say the lockdown is to continue.
      What four nations? We are one. Who IS she? She misses a big point. No one voted for lockdowns.
      The clock is ticking under Westminster

    • steve
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Tom Rogers

      “What I’d like to know is what qualifies somebody with a medical degree to tell me when to leave my house (under threat of arrest, if you don’t mind) and what I can and can’t do when I’m out? ”

      Depends, if he’s a Police Officer or member of the armed forces then you should do as asked, regardless of whether he has a medical degree, which he actually might for all you know.

      If it’s a day-glo vest moron then you have to decide. Personally I Don’t have a problem providing they address me as ‘Sir’. If they don’t, I give ’em a new backside and take my money elsewhere.

      They seem to think that being issued with a day-glo vest gives them the same powers as police.

  36. Everhopeful
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Given that “social distancing” is based on a computer model…how can anyone know whether it works?
    Quarantine on the other hand HAS been proved to work. Isolate SICK people.
    This is not quarantine…shutting healthy people up in their houses is HOUSE ARREST.
    And by the by…what about the proximity of gardens and streets to gardens? Scarcely the requisite 6 feet…as advised by a computer.

    • Data Please
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      There’s so many holes in this strategy, maybe they picked up a computer model that generates the design of the optimum colander.

      It doesn’t feel like something that was formulated after the 2016 exercise.

      20:16 on the 23rd March, I could buy.

  37. zorro
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    It’s all going a bit Pete Tong as they say…. I wonder when Boris will return to face the music?

    Report from the UK’s Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) raises questions about the lockdown…

    “The IFS said there is debate over ‘whether the adverse health effects of a recession may be GREATER than the increased morbidity and mortality within the pandemic itself’.

    “It stressed that the scale of the economic hit from the lockdown is unclear, but is likely to be ‘much larger’ than the 2008 credit crunch which meant 900,000 more people of working age developed serious health issues.

    “Another 500,000 are estimated to have suffered poor mental health as a result of that crisis.

    “If the economic hit is twice as large it would be expected to lead to 1.8 MILLION PEOPLE ENDURING CHRONIC ILLNESS, AND A MILLION MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES …”

    “Opinion polls show the public still backs the lockdown.” – Utter madness

    Meanwhile in the USA…Deaths in the US this March are 15% less than the average of the past four years!

    Out of the mouth of babes 🙂

    “Don’t you have the impression that the powers that be would like to reshape the world without a war through this so-called coronavirus psychosis, the infodemic?” – Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko

    What does this say about the lockdown and the effect on the economy? – Rupert Shute

    There are people in hospitals with existing poor health conditions around the world who, after being diagnosed with COVID, who are already being dosed with powerful toxic antiviral drugs.

    There are people on breathing ventilators who are being given too much oxygen and too much pressure—and their lungs collapse. There are perfectly healthy people who are testing positive for the virus because the test is irreparably flawed… All these people are called COVID cases.

    What will the reckoning be?


  38. Caterpillar
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    “governments have not done enough to offset all the damage”.

    If it is not just a power grab by governments (which it certainly looks like in the UK), then I suspect Govts have not calculated the damage they are doing by switching off economies; Govts apparently have a very narrow view of what is essential.

    The past decade UK’s life expectancy has stood still at 81 years, previously it was increasing at 2 years per decade. It is not a coincident that this follows and overlaps with the impact on GDP per Capita of the global financial crisis. The current supply side shock that the UK (and other Govts) have manufactured will have long lived effects. It will not be an overestimate to think that the policies have taken off a potential year of life expectancy gain. For a country of about 70 million people that is 70 million years of life. Ball parking that each of the lives saved by lockdown has on average 10 years life expectancy (many who will be saved are vulnerable), then for an equivalent number of life years lost due to economic damage the lockdown needs to save 7 million people – even Imperial’s half million numbers do not compare with this.

    Other arguments can be made in terms of statistical value of lives saved, immediate impact of lockdown, effect on low income people in other countries, that a 25% drop in GDP is of the order where complete supply chain and economy collapse can follow, that Govt’s unlimited overdraft with BoE can lead to loss of faith in currency (hence again total collapse), that breaking the price mechanism…, that stopping education …

    I would prefer to attribute the madness of the continuing lockdown to an excess of cranial thickness in Govt, but I do not believe such a level is possible. It is pure, reckless power. If it were not just power I am confident Govt could have understood by now.

  39. ian
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    What about my ten grand for sitting at home, I want the same as PMs now, never mind about bailing out my stocks and bonds to all-time highs I want parity with PMs.

    Underneath the arches. We dream our dreams away.
    Ring a Ring O’ roses,
    A pocketful of posies;
    atishoo, atishoo.
    We all fall down.

    Reply The money does not go to the MPs! You can claim it for technology to allow staff to work at home.

    • Andy
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      By technology you mean a computer? £10k? What on Earth are you buying?

      Incidentally working on home is great for me MP. She doesn’t visit her constituency much anyway – I don’t think she’s been seen here since the election. Now she has an excuse.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        She must be popular otherwise she wouldn’t be your MP

    • APL
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      JR: “The money does not go to the MPs! You can claim it for technology to allow staff to work at home.”

      Are you insane??

      An internet connection cost less than £40 per month ( £400 p/a). You can buy a good laptop for £500.oo.

      Most ISP’s will attempt to ‘flogg’ you a telephone line with the internet connection too. Or you could just buy a voice over IP connection for as little as £2 per month.

      Throw in £1000 for a comfortable desk and chair. It could all be done for under £2000.

      Somebody is ripping the tax payer off for £8000.

      Reply You have to reclaim it against receipts for equipment you need. Most MPs have more than one staffer. I’m not planning to claim anything from this.

      • APL
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        JR: “I’m not planning to claim anything from this.”

        OK, 650 -1 = 649

        But 649 MPs and about 780 ‘Lords’ will be.

        £8,000 overcharging times 1429 that’s £11.5 million.

    • Hope
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      I understand “he guidelines” are vague and MPs can spend much wider than you claim. It was an advance not future claim. Why not buy a few computers and when you leave office they are wiped clean and become your personal gift! Hardly as you cite.

    • Al
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      And meanwhile small businesses are using opensource options, going online, or buying laptops which cost well under £1000 per person. We’re simply using a secure dumb terminal solution that people can run from home PCs, and picked up two laptops for under £250 each for the two that couldn’t run it. I’d rather expect an MP’s staff to already have laptops.

      While I’d love to assume all MPs are being responsible and buying only what they need, I do hope the register of expenses will track expenditure for blatant abuse – e.g. 42 inch monitors or custom Alienware gaming machines…

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      Sir John
      Its just the wrong signal while people out there are hurting
      Its not a good why to regain trust

      …..and some are defo more equal

  40. ian
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Email from a trader of stocks in the US of A.

    So all the corrupt TBTFs and Politicians are getting trillions upon trillions more in free money while the serfs get nothing again.

    • APL
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      ian: “So all the corrupt TBTFs and Politicians are getting trillions upon trillions more in free money while the serfs get nothing again.”

      But …. look over here … there is an outbreak of a new and virulent form of seasonal respiratory condition.

      BBC engages in the diversionary hysteria.

      And our ‘representatives’ nod the most restrictive and authoritarian measures since the second world war, into effect, then go off on holiday!!

      • APL
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Ian: “while the serfs get nothing again.”

        It’s not strictly true to say you and I get nothing.

        You’re getting a good shafting. If you were a small businessman, you’re cash-flow has evaporated.

        If you are a saver, inflation will further destroy your savings, and the day to day cost of living will skyrocket.

        Politicians, meanwhile, sit back on their inflation proofed pension and annual pay rises.

  41. Everhopeful
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I see that Good Friday has been all but obliterated by the media.
    Well done to the govt of a Christian country.
    Well done the supposed Christian Church.
    It might have been supposed we needed some comfort at such a time….
    But no…I would as soon believe that this whole charade was all about destroying Christianity.
    because it sure as H*ll ain’t about our welfare!

  42. John Hatfield
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    “The Dutch and Germans lead a group of northern states who resist the idea that the Euro area should borrow money to give to troubled states that face the worst problems with the virus.”

    Which is why the EU doesn’t work and most likely never will.

    • Andy
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure how you conclude the EU doesn’t work. All of its member states are among the wealthiest third of countries. All of its member states have above average life expectancy. It’s people are among the best educated. It is at peace. The EU works perfectly well for its member states and most of its people.

      But, in any case, it is not your business. You left.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        It’s funny how you EU lovers like you Andy claim all the rich members of the EU are only rich because they are members of the EU yet when confronted with EU members who are suffering terrible austerity, low growth and high unemployment you immediately say….its their own fault.
        Nothing to do with the EU.
        You are on your own.

        • bill brown
          Posted April 11, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          Are you getting too old to remember your own factual mistakes or is it even worse?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

            What a silly response.
            Yet again no real argument from you bill.
            How can you have a proper debate when you just continue to make childish comments?

      • steve
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink


        “I’m not sure how you conclude the EU doesn’t work”

        You are absolutely right Andy, it does work, but at our expense and that’s why we voted to leave.

        • bill brown
          Posted April 11, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink


          at our expense, absolute nonsene

  43. Ed M
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    @Sir John,

    Would someone in government or your good self please some shed some light on how many people are most likely to have had the virus / have the virus.

    Oxford University claimed 1/2 the population were infected with the virus – and I read that back on 24 March, ‘Coronavirus may have infected half of UK population, experts believe’

    Read article from Telegraph (I believe it was) online that 1.6 million + people could have been infected with coronavirus last week (can’t find the article now but will keep looking in case it is important).

    But anyway there are experts saying that far, far more people may already have been infected by the coronavirus. What are to believe?

    • Ed M
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      ‘Study: 17.9% Of People With COVID-19 Coronavirus Had No Symptoms’ – Forbes

      And how many have had mild symptoms but not attributed it to coronavirus or have had mild symptoms and put it down to coronavirus but haven’t been tested to confirm?

    • APL
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Ed M: “What are to believe?”

      Given that we have had free passage of people across the UK borders.

      Italy – UK, China – UK to name but two of the most public centres of infection.

      Given that 20th Jan was when China locked down fifteen of its cities to arrest the spread of the disease.

      Given that every University town and City in the UK has a contingent of Chinese students.

      Given that those Chinese students are the least likely ( through youth ) to exhibit symptoms of Covid-19.

      We have already been greatly exposed to Covid-19 long before the BBC generated hysteria that started around the 20th January.

      • Ed M
        Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:28 pm | Permalink


        Thanks for this. This is the picture that is emerging more and more to me each day.

        Prof Gunther Hartmann, involved in the Gangelt Study, said, ’15 per cent is not that far from the 60 per cent we need for herd community.’ This is really good news (although still remaining optimistically cautious), I don’t doubt him, I just don’t understand how this works / what he means exactly – if you or @Lifelogic or someone could explain this – be great.

        At end of day, the country needs to hear more about this because it could really help remove the fear factor – big time – that has brought our country to a relative halt.

        • Ed M
          Posted April 10, 2020 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

          I understand how 60% herd immunity works, but not how the Prof’s comment about 15% connects with the 60%.

          • APL
            Posted April 11, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

            Ed M: “but not how the Prof’s comment about 15% connects with the 60%.”

            I’m not a statistician. Maybe LL could put his obsession with ventilators aside and give us his opinion on what the Professor means. But this is my take.

            It’s to do with the ‘R0’ of the disease – how contagious the condition is.

            If Covid-19 has an R0 of 2, that means every infected individual has a potential to infect two other people.

            Which implies that 15% of the population infected today, will lead to 45% in the next generation of the disease ( one to two weeks for Covid-19 ), and the third generation it will die out, because at 45% of the population it can’t find enough hosts to infect due to acquired immunity.

            The problem I see, is that the quarantine we are all subjected to will delay the passage of Covid-19 through the population and thus delay achieving herd immunity.

            The result is that a condition that would have burned itself out by the end of March, will now run into the Summer. If the ‘lockdown’ continues, we may even not achieved ‘herd immunity’ before the winter at which point we’ll have Covid-19 and the next seasonal flu at the same time.

          • APL
            Posted April 11, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

            The hysteria generated by the BBC, was predicated on the assumption that if the contagion rate was an exponential function; 1 –> 2 –> 4 — 8 — 16 –> 32 — > 64 etc.,

            The death rate would be too. But Covid-19 is not as lethal as you are given to believe by the BBC that persistently presents the headline figure that ‘X’ number of people have died in the UK today. Rather than a more informative figure, ‘C’ people have been estimated to have contracted Covid-19 and the death rate is a fraction of that.

            But I guess that takes more than two brain cells and is too much of a challenge for the average overpaid BBC news presenter.

            Besides, it doesn’t have nearly the scare factor so doesn’t get ‘clicks’.

          • Ed M
            Posted April 11, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink



            Thank you for much for this!

  44. ian terry
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Sir john

    With all this talk of millions and billions to help out with this crisis, I just hope there is no truth in the reports that and extension to the WA will cost the country another £28billion.

    Enough is enough. The government has got to postpone every major planned expenditure coupled with the scrapping of all renewable energy subsidies and constraint payments, Executive civil servants and MPs can fore go all wage rises, and lead by example, if this country has got even the slightest chance of getting off of the floor and fighting back. Rumour has it ” we are all in this together” Well lets see someone start proving it

      Posted April 10, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Rumour has it ” we are all in this together”. That’s called pathetic propaganda. Well, we’re not all in this together. Some will be at home now considering how the hell they’re gonna raise income to feed their kids because their employer’s been forced into bankruptcy. Of course this means nowt to the BBC, the NHS, politicians, civil servants, Labour idiots, union leaders…they’ll get paid no matter what and still be in jobs until they expire

      If I see or hear the acronym ‘NHS’ or ‘CV-19’ once more I fear my brain shall implode

      I also fear the BBC, the NHS, Labour, the unions and all the other taxpayer dependent entities will now allowed to go about their wasteful, politicising activities without reform

      And more propaganda and more socialism to come down the line with collectivist green policies and I bet the destruction of physical cash

      If you cannot the see the building blocks of an authoritarian state are slowly being cemented into place then you deserve to be subjugated

      A vote for the four main parties is a vote for less freedom and more intervention

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 11, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        True words that will surely come to pass

  45. BillM
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    It is not only the Green Policies and their associated tax burden on the residents and businesses on the UK that need to be curtailed but also a serious reduction of planned Government expenditure. Scrapping HS2 and shelving the plans for a third runway at Heathrow until a clearer picture of absolute necessities evolves.
    Furthermore, given the deliberate withholding of vital information on the Coronavirus outbreak in China, this country should rethink its future relationship with China. It is clear they are not as trustworthy as we must expect and for that reason their involvement in our own 5G roll-out should be cancelled.
    Let’s keep it amongst friends and allies regardless of costings. National Security is priceless.

  46. mancunius
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I read in the German press that the Brussels Commission had given the pious assurance that EU aid given to the southern EU countries must be spent exclusively on medical care.
    That made me laugh. The EU’s auditors, notoriously, cannot certify what its subsidies are actually spent on, as the accounts are so untransparent. They will certainly not be able to follow the payments trail within notoriously lax and corrupt national and local administrations within each recipient country.
    That cash will sink without trace. Newspaper blogs show that the German taxpayers have very quickly twigged that, and are enraged.

  47. Bring Out Your Sane!
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Hancock’s Half Hour is on LIVE now talking virusy stuff.
    His best one so far is “Your front door is better than any face mask”
    It’s his dead bedpan expression.

  48. glen cullen
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Just watching the covid-19 daily briefing

    Can’t understand why transport usage is a key performance indicator when they can’t even tell us the up to date virus recovery figures

    In fact I don’t really see any standard KPIs, the brief format and delivery team changes everyday ….why?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Yep, KPIs need to link to strategy. The purported strategy is to keep capacity ahead of demand so one might think of utilistion, capacity, volatility measures. The other part of the strategy is research, but nothing is reported from the Porton Down antibody tests.

      The other issue is that strategy should link to objectives. One would think that the basic objective should be that the number of lives/life years saved from CV19 is greater than the number of lives/life years lost to the interventions. The Govt shows no interest in this whatsoever, it keeps stating its objective as protect the NHS.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 11, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        Correct – there doesn’t appear to be any coherence to KPIs, a strategy nor objectives

    • Zorro
      Posted April 10, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      The graphs are pretty basic and they seem to be in euphoria when they describe how people travelling on public transport has reduced so much as if that is an aim in itself.

      Interesting the way the broadcast cut off before the reply given by Hancock as to why he has had so many people in close proximity whilst conducting meetings, or perhaps I have missed his answer somewhere?


      • glen cullen
        Posted April 11, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        Yeah its mission drift……keep cars off the roads to save life’s……just wait a few weeks someone will suggest its okay to use your car if its electric

  49. ian
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Pull the other one, 200,000 a year for staff and office for all MP, 82,000 a year wages, for all MPs, 26,000 a year for expensive and now another 10,000 a year on top and not forgetting about pensions contributions which some MPs are already getting because they are passed retirement age.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 11, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Yeah they’re almost on as much as an NHS senior consultant or GP

  50. Sea Warrior
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    I trust they WE are not on the hook to support the EU financially.

  51. Polly
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    So aren’t you concerned, doesn’t it worry you ?


  52. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    All the borrowing and monetary incontinence in the world won’t get over the fact that lockdowns hit their economies very hard. For example, UK GDP will fall about 15% in Q2. We need to get people back to work. Some initial examples are:

    – Teachers and children
    – 20 to 30 year old workers (a recent suggestion in the media)
    – People working in sparsely populated locations

    This can start as soon as we know for certain that there are sufficient resources to treat all coronavirus patients – isolation wards, doctors and nurses, ventilators, critical care beds and PPE. Why is the Secretary of State for Health not informing us of progress but instead giving us the mushroom treatment?

    We also need more information about the acquisition of ventilators etc:
    – How many ventilators are being acquired on an emergency basis?
    – When will Dyson deliver the 10,000 they are contracted to produce?
    – Why were GTech ordered to halt production of their design?
    – What is the delivery schedule of the devices designed by UCH and being built by Mercedes?

    The Government is making enormous demands of its citizens. The very least we can expect in return is total transparency. This is peacetime, not war.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 11, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      And yet the govt still can’t produce covid19 recovery figures ?

  53. Hey Hey!
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    Have the number of road accident deaths and wounded reduced? I see few ambulances?A cruel academic point of interest but what are the virus death and ‘accident’ numbers minus the car death and accident numbers,. also on an age basis?
    A General must know the strength of his army. He does not care how they died just how many are left fighting fit.
    Rommel had nothing on me.Nor to be fair Monty nor Churchill. I AM Cruel!But I’m a winner!

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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