Dear Constituent

I write to wish you a happy Easter, despite the difficult circumstances we find ourselves in. I hope many of you can contact your friends and relatives  with suitable technology, and that you can enjoy your homes and immediate family contacts. For any who have illness in the family, I wish you   a speedy recovery.

Let me begin with some better news. On April 10th at the news conference the government showed that most recent  hospital patients  with CV19 actually fell by 2%, mainly owing to a turn down in the graph in London which still has the  most cases. Let us hope we are somewhere near the peak of numbers going into UK  hospitals. There were 20,204 in UK  hospitals with the virus on Friday ( these figures excluded Northern Ireland). There were 3335 UK wide in intensive care. These  large numbers are so far well within the stated  enhanced capacity of the NHS , though I do not doubt the big  efforts required of many  staff in the front line facilities to sustain these numbers.

For me, the daily tasks of trying to get the government to  ease problems for people financially damaged by the shut downs continues, as does the need to help the local NHS and social care providers where required.

I have stressed repeatedly to the government that their cash assistance to people and companies needs to be faster and easier to access. The initial success in getting schemes to allow workers to keep their jobs with state payment of 80% of wages , and with assistance for the self employed, was most welcome. There remain delays and gaps in provision.

The Treasury has made a few improvements and needs to make more. I have passed on frustrations with banks over access to credit lines. The Governor of the Bank of England and the Chancellor have written a joint letter to the commercial banks asking them to open the schemes and lend the money, but issues still remain.

I am  sending  in more detailed proposals for tackling the pinch points in existing financial support  and for widening access to help schemes. Directors of small businesses are not looked after, job changers can lose out, and companies placing employees into furlough are still not in receipt of any cash to help pay the wages. Ministers want to help, but it is taking time for the administrative procedures to be put into place and to operate on the scale required.

There have been issues over the supply of protective clothing for health and care workers. I have taken these up centrally as have many others  and  more is promised. Companies around the country are engaged in increasing manufacture. There is plenty of government money to buy the kit, and plenty of Ministerial will to see more delivered, but the system is stretched by the sudden and continuing surge in demands.

Many people want to see more tests done to see if people have the virus. Testing care staff who are ill or have been in contact with those who are would allow the return to work of those without the disease. Ministers have made very clear they want many more tests carried out. They  were also prepared to buy 3.5 million tests kits to see if people had had the virus and gained some immunity as well. These kits turned out not to be reliable so the order has not yet gone ahead. The tests for the disease that are being supplied are important for patients in hospital and for care workers as priorities. Government is encouraging the ramp up of more production.

The big decision to be made is how long should the lock down continue?  The medical and scientific advice is that it is necessary to limit the spread of the disease. It does do grave damage to the economy, denying many people the right to work, costing us many lost jobs and damaged businesses. I have been putting forward proposals of how we might start to lift the restrictions so more can go to work, whilst keeping strong protections for the old and vulnerable with other medical conditions who are most at risk from the virus. I am also seeking more accurate figures about the impact of the virus and the capacity we have available to handle patients. It is vital that this important decision is taken on the  basis of reliable data.

Yours sincerely

John Redwood

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Landlords too are not being assisted at all. Their tenants have been encouraged by governments not to pay rents, they are already taxed on profits they have not even made. This thanks to the appalling Hammond interest rules and retained still by Sunac. Plus we have huge stamp duty rates and the extra 3% on top. On top of this we have severe government bank lending restrictions for landlords, more and more red tape, licensing and controls, restrictions on evictions. This “Conservative” government is clearly actively trying to destroy this vitally important sector. Important for tenants and job mobility.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      I think they are trying to tell you something LL 😉

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

        But why where is the logic, not everyone wants to or is ready or even able to buy? They still need somewhere to live. Landlords are an essential part of the economy, vital for job mobility and a decent supply of properties to rent thus keeping freedom and choice for tenants.

        Or do they want a dire state monopoly in rented housing too?

        • Everhopeful
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

          Yes I have thought for a while that they do!
          Low interest rates plus fouling up of pensions encouraged ppl to buy houses and rent out …nice bit of churn…housing stock gets “done up”….house prices soar so a nice rental market is created ( no young ppl can afford to buy).
          Then the govt crushes rental sector by taxation, various disincentives and withdrawal of incentives.
          Very difficult to sell and uber expensive to leave properties empty.
          And now they have shut down the housing market!!
          Wolfish “big boys” waiting in the wings to buy up masses of distressed sales???

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        Yes I’m getting the message. As a commercial landlord I’m responsible for the rates on empty shops – because I have them empty by choice of course. When I demolish my shops it will deprive many SMEs the wherewithal to trade.

        • jerry
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          So Lynn, what are you suggesting, that you want to keep the profits during good times but expect to Socialise your debts during hard time?…

          • Edward2
            Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

            No Lynn is just pointing out the usefulness of landlords.
            And you are just being pedantic as usual.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

            Oh no! My investment is mine alone. But if by Government diktat I am not allowed to recover unpaid rents even when my tenants have been given the money by Government (because of their lockdown) to pay their rents, I think I am hard done by.
            Normally I would recover the property and relet.
            Why should landlords, uniquely have to bear the cost with Government of their unilateral actions? I’m sure we will be able to argue that case free we are all bankrupt, on legal aid, and get redress, but do you think that is sensible? Remember the knock on effect will be of banks going bust, because they can’t repossess everything.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

            Edward, I think that Lynn is freely admitting some of the antisocial aspects of private property ownership.

            I’m all for it, but we have to accept its faults and try to offset them.

            Pointing out the key fact is the very opposite of pedantry too – use a dictionary, do.

          • jerry
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

            Lynn Atkinson; What you actually said was, “As a commercial landlord I’m responsible for the rates on empty shops “, except that was true before the CV19 pandemic and has been for decades.

            “Normally I would recover the property and relet.”

            Err, but you just said you were receiving rent from your tenants (via them receiving loans/grants from the govt), so why are you needing to recover property, and surely your tenants are responsible for the rates anyway, again dealt with via their govt loans/grants.

            So just what are you actually bleating about, unless you were holding massive numbers (relative to your business income) of unlet properties before the shut-down, if so no wonder you are keen to have your debts socialised!

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

            Only a socialist would consider the paying of rent to a landlord “anti social”
            Even housing associations and local authorities demand the rent is paid.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

            If you read Lynn’s comments she was saying that due to the actions taken by the government the premises she owns are closed.
            Therefore unpaid rents may occur and there is a good chance many of the occupants of those businesses will go bust leading to further losses of rents to her.
            Yet the local authority will still demand business rates on these empty properties and there is no scheme to get any lost rental income back from the government.

          • jerry
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; You are totally forging the various govt backed scheme that will allow such rents to be paid or to bridge any shortfalls, thus the only properties Lynn can possibly be asking for further govt relief on are the ones already empty prior to the lockdown.

            Assuming her business was basically liquid before the lockdown surely she could apply for one of the govt backed business loans herself.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

            My look at the help scheme suggest that people in Lynn’s position will struggle to get help but I’m sure she will welcome your expert advice.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      It’s only natural that people will be preoccupied by the immediate problems, particularly financial ones, that the lockdown is causing.

      However, they should not lose sight of the bigger picture.

      That is, that if the Government had acted in a more decisive and timely manner, and if they had not ignored the warnings in 2016, then people may well not have had these problems in the first instance, and would be in the less serious position that people in places such as Germany and New Zealand find themselves.

      Yes, I don’t doubt that John and the rest of his party would rather than people focused only on the first.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        There have been warnings of the danger of new viruses from scientists for decades.
        And governments and their expert advisors have been planning for decades too.

        But I realise you are desperately trying to make political capital for the Labour party out of this crisis.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          No, I am hoping that the Government will change to the evidence and reason based policies used to save thousands of lives in other countries, and not continue with this fatalistic disaster.

          It is not too late.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

            They take the advice of experts.
            Which ones are you backing?
            There are a few out there.

            I realise you follow the PHS
            (perfect hindsight society)

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      One good thing out of this may be that the young can afford to buy their homes once more.

      • Data Please
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        I can’t see that happening.

        In my opinion, Carpet Baggers with ready access to cash or credit not available to the masses, will have gobbled them up while Mortgage Lenders are either still restricting to such as a maximum of 60% LTV (or lower ?) or not offering mortgages at all to the Hoi Polloi.

        My guess is that more restrictive lending criteria, driven by fear of employment prospects won’t help.

        I think, we are in a rare position where Vested Interests across the Political Spectrum see advantages and opportunities in “milking” this crisis and they’re calling the shots one way or another.

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

        However, I could be talking Utter Rubbish.

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

          Hoi polloi not *the*

          Otherwise a fair comment.

    • jerry
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      @LL; But private landlords are not “vital” for either tenants or job mobility, in fact they are often their main burdens, what is more the level of rent is now such that many are getting trapped, not being able to save for a deposit and even when they can ‘cash’ buying BTL landlords often secure suitable properties as soon as they are placed in the hands of estate agents.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        Landlords usually offer a 6 month tenancy which suits many tenants.
        Moving from one end of the country to another isn’t easy if you are an owner occupier and your job changes.
        Neither was doing the same thing when you had a council house.

        • jerry
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

          @Edward2; Again you show that you fail to read/understand what people have said before jumping in with both feet, thus causing needless replies and arguments! 🙁

          Lifelogic said “Private landlords”, and that is the context I (and many others) was replying to, I have no beef what so ever with LA or housing associations property that used to fulfil the needs of those who moved frequently or those for who renting is a stop-gap whilst they secure a mortgage.

          As for your 6 month tenancy suggestion, great for the landlord but what use do many seasonal or contract workers have with such a fixed term legal document, their work can be long gone before the tenancy has expired!

          “Neither was doing the same thing when you had a council house.”

          Wrong, I personally knew people who moved from one LA area to another, and then again, moving from one council house to another in the process (yes admittedly many were work/employment related moves), whilst the lower rents also allowed others to save for a mortgage and thus moving out of the rented sector all together.

          There is no reason why a LA can not be as proactive today as you suggest the private sector is, other than the rules the govt of the day sets.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

            I don’t fail to read/understand thanks Jerry.
            I just have a somewhat different opinion to you.
            Sorry and all that, but it is allowed.

            Your reply fails to address the points being made.
            No change there.

          • jerry
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Oh dear, and you have the gall you accuse me of failings when your reply completely fails to address the points I made made in reply to issues first raised by you, the best you can do is accuse me of having a “different opinion” than your own (presumably political ideology), wow, go to the head of the class for observation!…

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

            Oh dear Jerry you have the gall to accuse me of failings when your reply completely fails to address the points I made in reply to the issues first raised by you.
            The best you can do is to accuse me of having a different view than your own.
            Go to the head of the class for observations.

          • jerry
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Thanks, I’ll take that as an admission that your straw-man argument had no legs.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

            You have the last word Jerry
            I realise it is important to you.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      perhaps mortgaging to rent out for those that can is not the way forward. How about backing producing businesses with your money, instead of living off the backs of workers?

    • steve
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink


      “Landlords too are not being assisted at all”

      Well I have a Tennant on housing benefit, and that’s just gone up from £240 to £280. Which to be honest is a bit awkward, I didn’t ask for the extra, everything was ticking along nicely without it.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    The banks are totally useless. Most still charging 39.9% interest rates on personal one size fits all overdrafts even to solid customer. Many of these customer are better credit risk than the bank itself. 400 times base rate encouraged in this by the appalling inept FCA.

    Even getting application forms of them for the government loan scheme seems to be beyond most of them. They are expensive, inefficient middle men plus they have a clear conflict of interest with their usually hugely expensive existing loans. The government would be far better cutting them out and lending directly. Why have the banks and the government bank too you need to get the loan to the businesses directly.

    • formula57
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Some banks in the USA reportedly have been pushing customers to take their own, pre-crisis loans despite apparent eligibility for government schemes and businesses without any prior borrowings are finding it very difficult to persuade bankers to lend under the schemes or otherwise.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink


      Have to agree, the government support scheme with using the Banks as a distributor has been a disaster.

      The self employed would have been better off with a simple monthly refund of a percentage (perhaps 10%) of last years tax from HMRC, the bank account numbers are already known.

      Just a simple e mail, or even a letter for confirmation, then an automatic transfer.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        In the UK only 500 loans have so far been agreed (just 1.4% of application) and most people I know have not been able to process their applications yet or even get the application forms and details off their banks. So it is even worst than this.

        In Germany on the other hand 140,000 applications so far have already been processed and paid out. Their health care system seems to be rather better run too.

        Going through the existing UK banks is a big mistake. They want to push customers onto their 40% overdrafts or other rip off loans.

        No return to boom and bust Gordon Brown made the same mistake after the banking crash. The taxpayer was forces to rescue RBS/NatWest, Lloyds etc in an incompetent way. These banks then continued to withdraw or sell off loans from perfectly sound businesses or charge them excessive margins and fees. Thus hugely damaging the real economy.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      So you want some “red tape” to control the banks, the private sector, then.

      I surmise that you would in fact like it for most businesses of which you are a customer, but just not for your own?

      • APL
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff: “So you want some “red tape” to control the banks, the private sector, then.”


        The government should have allowed some of the banks that were insolvent in 2008 to die. That would have been the best thing. All consumer deposits were protected by indemnity.

        But instead, we’ve been billed over £100bn over the last twelve years to bail out just one bank RBS.

        But of course, that bank, was the bank that would have materially impacted the then Prime minister, Gordon Brown’s re-election. So, natch, £100bn of Public money to make sure he was reelected, was good value for money … for the Labour party.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        Competition is what Lifelogic has persistently called in the banking sector.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        Not at all it is government red tape that is causing many of the issues!

    • Data Please
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      How much Govt money is now being used by the Banks so that they avoid borrowing on the Open Market ?

      Hence I can’t see that they have any incentive to pass the money on when its effectively boosting their bottom line for the forseeable future.

      Effectively making it Means Tested by the Banks just Beggars Belief.

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

      Or am I just being cynical ?

      • Data Please
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Ahhhh !!

        I messed up my favoutite phrase, that’ll teach me for trying to be clever.

        It should of course be:

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

        Though I prefer the sound of the previous one.

        Cabin Fever ?

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      I’ve got to say our bank called us, were very friendly and supportive, asked if we needed anything, assured us there was money if we needed it, went on to ask about our personal circumstances, our rates aren’t the level you mention or anywhere near it? Perhaps you need to shop around.

    • DavidJ
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      They think that they can do as they please since Brown bailed them out…

  3. agricola
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    A Happy Easter to you, keep the pressure on and lets pray for a happy outcome when it becomes possible.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink


      • formula57
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink


    • SM
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink


  4. Lifelogic
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    I just spotted this.

    Latest from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

    The Government is a strong supporter of free and competitive energy markets

    In reality they have rigged them from top to toe with the absurd fake war against plant food. With the results of exported jobs and frozen OAPs.

    Sure mate, just like the FCA supports free markets in personal bank overdraft rates so long as they are all at about 40%. What about some fair competition in broadcasting, healthcare, banking, education and housing too. But the Competition authority, it seems, not remotely interested in the endless “unfair competition” from the state sector – that does such huge damage to the economy and overall efficiency.

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      Forced to shut down, therefore no income, zero support from the Government, losing thousands. Meanwhile MPs have had £10,000 made available to them for the inconvenience of working from home – poor little darlings. This on top of their over generous allowances being topped up by £25,000 in March and their above inflation salary increase and please don’t deny this won’t be abused by greedy out of touch politicians John. There is nothing to stop them spending it on themselves.

      It seems we really are all in this together after all!

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Sill no changes to the rules on borrowing from your own pension pots so as to assist you business – why on earth not? It would reduce demand for bank and the government loan scheme and help businesses and jobs? The Australian have sensibly done it already.

    • APL
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic: “Sill no changes to the rules on borrowing from your own pension pots so as to assist you business ”

      Take out 25% now, tax free.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:30 am | Permalink

        Only is over 55 and only 25%, you should be able to borrow from it up to 100% then repay it.

  6. Mark B
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I have not counted the days since the lockdown / national house arrest, but I am sure many are feeling what those in that awful game show, Big Brother, must be feeling. The sun is shining and yet, for those at risk, a journey out could be tantamount to suicide. But what of the rest of us ? Research from Germany suggests that a far larger number of the population has been already infected with no ill effects. Coupled this to the fact that, as our kind host points out, London is a major hot spot, I think stopping the rest of the country from working is now unwise.

    The reaction of government and the State in general has been shameful. Here was their big moment to shine and prove that they were up to the task of protecting the nation. Lucky for them the people these days are more sheeplike than before and are willing to swallow the propaganda. At least the Behavioral Unit at No.10 seems to be earning its money. 😉

    As I look at the, John Hopkins Map, I see two trends that are worth noting. One is that of China, and the other of the Diamond Princess. Neither of these two tend to follow any of the others which, once the virus has run its course, should resemble a bell shape. I will post a link to the site separately for those who many not have it.

    This is obviously a very testing time for all especially for those like our kind host. I am sure many in Sir John’s constituency are very happy to have him for their MP, and I we here are grateful for this ‘Diary’.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:34 am | Permalink

      So why are you holding this in moderation ?

  7. Cheshire Girl
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Sir John.

    May I wish you and your family a happy Easter. I am not one of your Constituents, but am very happy to read this blog, and draw comfort and reassurance from it, together with interest in the views of others.
    These are indeed, worrying times, but hopefully, the light at the end of the tunnel will be shining soon.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      The light at the end of the tunnel is the approaching economic disaster train.

      This show has barely started.

      Happy Easter one and all.

      • sok
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Well when your back is to the wall, that train might just miss you!
        Happy Easter to you too)

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          I have been in that exact situation and lived to tell the tale.


  8. Will Jones
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Have you seen the data showing that like other coronaviruses the Wuhan virus does not spread exponentially to the whole population even without lockdown but peaks around 15% infections? This is very important for seeing we can lift the lockdowns safely.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      Indeed it would be very good news indeed if a large section of the population are not very susceptible to it. We saw on the Diamond Princess that only about 15% ( 712 ) tested positive with only 7 resultant deaths. About 1 death per 500 people and that was for an elderly population.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

        1/500 would still be circa 132,000 deaths in the UK, however adjusting for age profile (and with hopefully some better hospital treatments and interventions to reduce mortality) we might be able keep deaths down to 20,000 to 30,000 levels – before we eventually get the vaccine.

        We should indeed get back to work just as soon as the NHS gets it’s capacity up to speed.

    • formula57
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      @ WIll Jones – No. I have seen in every chart showing virus spread exponential increases consistent with a R0 well above 2. What contrary data have you seen please?

      • Will Jones
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        The exponential growth in positive tests occurs because of an exponential growth in the number of tests. You need to look at the proportion of positive tests not the raw number. Follow the link in my comment above to see the data I refer to.

        • formula57
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

          @ Will Jones – Thank you very much: I did not appreciate the significance of your link.

          Your article states (para. 9) “What seems more likely is that for reasons inherent in the behaviour of the virus it does not spread to everybody, or everybody in one go,…”. You also note (para. 6) that there have been seen “…between 48 and 75 per cent asymptomatic cases”.

          If your view (well-reasoned and supported though it is) is to inform policy, ought we to know first why the virus behaves as you suggest, particularly whether asymptomatic cases remain so?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      The only justification for the lock down is the current dire lack of NHS capacity, just fix that and let’s get back to work.

      It would be interesting to know what proportion of the front line NHS staff (who are dealing daily with virus patients) do not get infected. It would be a good indication of virus susceptibility in the population in general.

      • zorro
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        Have you seen the study about Iceland’s population. If a remote island like that had that coverage with its lack of international travel, it must help the UK with an idea of its own infection rate….


      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Was Spain’s capacity “dire”? Was Italy’s? perhaps the States’ or China’s.

        You would not want to pay taxes to keep this capacity available all the time so please stop with the daily whining about capacity and ventilators. You have become a hindsight backseat driver.

        The government is reacting OK in terms of the NHS given the nature of the pandemic, the economy, and lockdown not so much as they have chosen immediate hospital capacity over economic slowdown hoping they can recover in Q3 and 4.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

          Of course you do not need to “keep that capacity all the time”, you just need sensible plans so as to be able to gear up in the 2+ months notice they have had!

          • Mark B
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:42 am | Permalink

            Exactly !

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

            Which they have done – have you not seen the BBC salivating over operating theatres being repurposed for ICUs.

            The level of admissions would overwhelm all systems especially without lockdown. Germany is doing something different and I would like to see focus on what is going on there but we have been quite clear that we do not want to be ruled by Germany.

            The only thing we could really have done differently is to close the borders but I remain fairly convinced that it is skiers from Italy and France who brought his into the country not Chinese students.

        • anon
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

          Overseas aid budget!
          Reserve supplies & equipment kept in UK or other strategic locations so they can be airlifted to where needed most?
          Using our expanded forces or whomever has the proven capability to deliver.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        When the NHS was set up just after WWII it had over 400,000 beds.

        It now has around 127,000, with a larger, older population too.

        Yes, let’s “just” fix that.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          Well that’s the result of technology improvements in the NHS
          Operations which led to weeks in hospital now are done in a day stay.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

            Oh, so everything’s fine, and there was ample contingency for this epidemic, which was foreseen in 2016, is it?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

            You are demanding the funding in perpetuity a complete standby NHS with spare hospitals equipment and staff all left unused for decades on a just in case basis.
            I realise you are desperately trying to find ways to make political capital out of this crisis by using headline statistics of dubious relevance but this is a quite ridiculous idea.

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

          400,000 beds with nurses who were no more than orderlies and doctors who were no more than nurses by today’s standards.

          The NHS was never meant to have been as all encompassing as it is today. This was not Nye Bevan’s vision.

          • jerry
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

            @Anonymous; Yes it was!

            As for advances in health care and its technology, your point was what, by 1947 both had advanced significantly compared to 1934 (when the idea of a State Health Service was first adopted by the Labour party) and compared to 1944 when Conservative MP Henry Willink proposed a National Health Service.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

          And even minor operations involved a week in hospital and two weeks convalescence. Now those operations are done as day care. It’s a different world compared to 1948.

          11,700 doctors in 1948
          115,000 now

          68,000 nurses in 1948
          220,000 now

    • jerry
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      @Will Jones: So what you’re suggesting is, its a Gene-Lottery, and thus the cure is “I’m alright, sorry about you, Jack”?!…

      A lot of people can afford the lockdown but would prefer not to be taxed at the necessary levels, or be subjected to the direction of labour and supply, that would (likely) be necessary to rebuild the economy and pay off the debt following a prolonged economic shut-down, just as was the case post WW2. After all some have spent the last 50-60 years fighting against such Statism.

      PS, never a good idea to back-up your assertions by referencing your own article, via a site that shares your political philosophy – duh!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Good to go to your blog Will, and read all the research you have done. Maybe you can put the link up if JR does not mind?

    • forthurst
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      There is no evidence at all that COVD-19 because it is a member of the coronavirus family or any other reason will only infect 15% of the population if allowed to spread without intervention. In both the case of Gangelt and the Diamond Princess, actions were taken to mitigate spread. Professor Hendrik Streeck who is investigating the outbreak in Gangelt has use the 15% infectivity to estimate the actual mortality rate of the disease, not the potential limit of its spread.

      The Academic Journal “Travel Medicine” in reference to the Diamond Princess:

      “The basic reproduction rate was initially 4 times higher on-board compared to the R0 in the epicentre in Wuhan, but the countermeasures lowered it substantially. Based on the modeled initial R0 of 14.8, we estimated that without any interventions within the time period of 21 January to 19 February, 2920 out of the 3700 (79%) would have been infected. Isolation and quarantine therefore prevented 2307 cases, and lowered the R0 to 1.78.”

      There is only one way of containing this disease and that is to lower R0 to well below 1 and keeping it there; indeed the NERVTAG meeting of virologists and epidemiologists put the upper infectivity limit at 85% of the population.

      • Will Jones
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        But why? The Hong Kong flu in 1968 killed a million worldwide but was estimated only to have infected 15 per cent of Hong Kong itself. Why the assumption that this will infect so many? We need more evidence but there is no reason to assume universal infection.

        • jerry
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

          @Will Jones; “there is no reason to assume universal infection.”

          Sorry but that is pure BS, the first thing with any infection control is to assume 100% infection (or as close as operationally possible), then seek evidence that shows a lower level – no one can catch a viral or bacterial infection if they are not exposed to it, that is why there is very high levels of security at places that research such micro-organisms, that is why when infection is suspected within say a food processing plant the processing line (or entire factory) is shut down and any suspect stock destroyed, and will remain closed until proven safe. Assumptions kill…

          “We need more evidence”

          Indeed YOU do need to provide more scientific evidence, until then your theories are no better that than the idiots blaming 5G.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          Correct Will.
          The percentage infection rate is greatly overestimated as we shall eventually find out.

      • anon
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        So say 10% of the 85% get it bad. Then 10% of the 10% die.
        8billion * 85%*10%*10%= 68 million deaths
        70million * 85%*10%*10%=595,000 deaths

        Diamond Princess deaths with intervention 11?

        When will be prepared ?
        Kit & equipment.
        Testing tracing and isolation teams.
        Mitigation prevention at borders etc.

        No overeaction i think. Lets see. Seems like we allways leave it to the last moment.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Let us hope Boris retains some sense of perspective over the NHS. He might “owe his life to the NHS (and an oxygen mask). Their are indeed there are many excellent and dedicated people working in the NHS. Nevertheless the anti competitive, state monopoly, NHS is one of the very worst health system for a developed and wealthy nation. We see how much better prepared and organised the German system was for example. With far more capacity of Ventilators, ICU beds, testing facilities and PPE gear. A far lower mortality rate 1/5th of the UKs (though this might largely be a reflection of more people being tested).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink


    • steve
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink


      “We see how much better prepared and organised the German system was for example. With far more capacity of Ventilators, ICU beds, testing facilities and PPE gear.”

      You forgot to mention deck chairs…..go figure.

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      Despite the wonderful heroic efforts of our doctors and nurses and all the other front line staff, under equipped and underpaid in many cases, this virus has shown the NHS to be not dissimilar almost but not quite to a health service of a third world country. I doubt Boris or any Tory politician will have the guts to change it.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        What offensive drivel. You should go and try a third world health service.

        • JoolsB
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

          I’ll tell you what’s offensive Mike. It’s offensive watching our brave doctors and nurses going into battle with the unknown risking their lives for lack of protective gear. Its like sending soldiers to the front line without a helmet or a gun. It’s offensive hearing of them having to play God as to who lives and who dies because of a shortage of equipment. It’s offensive watching old people being left to die in care homes rather than be Hospitalised and it’s offensive to watch our hapless Health Secretary three months or more after the outbreak still unable to say when his promised testing quota will be met.

          Unfortunately it’s sentimental drivel from people like yourself and craven politicians too afraid to criticise the NHS that sees us in this mess.

          I have friends and family who work in the NHS who say it is unsustainable in its current form and I know who I believe.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      R4 had an interview with the CEO of Thermo Fisher Scientific , makers of testing kits, with the idea to rubbish the Government’s claim that they were aiming at 100k CV tests a day, instead the CEO said ‘not a problem we had foreseen this and have the necessary supplies, and repurposed facilities to make it happen’ , they also said that in partnership with Boots and Amazon it means they have the product, testing and transport all sorted out. The bottleneck is processing the tests, which falls under ‘Our’ NHS’s centralised facilities in Milton Keynes.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      It’s the dedicated people working for the NHS telling us how useless it is. It did not value its own staff sufficiently to spend .002% on ppp supplies.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        Indeed, we absolutely have to distinguish between “NHS” and “NHS staff”…

        Sadly, there are no other employers to which the dedicated front line staff can transfer their work. Somehow, out of all this, we need to find a system where the customers and staff have a choice.

        We either carry on funding and working for a disorganised hierarchy run by politicians, or put our money and trust in a system run by people who take note of the studies and are transparent about their work and readiness.

      • Bob
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        It’s all a question of priorities.

        Bristol & Weston NHS Foundation Trust is hiring a new ‘Diversity and Inclusion Manager’. The salary starts at £44,606 to £50,819 a year.

        Imagine how much PPE equipment that money could buy.

        • Sea Warrior
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

          And I don’t want a diverse workforce. I want my doctor and nurse to be the best the NHS can get hold of. The last time I looked, it was the Anglosphere countries that dominated a list of the best medical and nursing schools.

          • JoolsB
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

            And a junior doctor after 5 or 6 years training starts on a salary of less than £30k. Unbelievable.

        • Martyn G
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

          And that tells us exactly what is wrong with the nation and I would ask, who decided that such a post should be established and exactly what are the reasons for doing so. It the reasons do not stand up to scrutiny, the person should be sacked.

          • Mark B
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:47 am | Permalink

            New Labour and their laws. The Tories have the ability to repeal these and other damaging laws but lack the will.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        But all (even dedicated) staff moan about their employers, their pay and conditions. Especially public servants that are encouraged by MSM to complain without any recourse

        Never let a fabricated story get in the way of facts….MSM are never see interviewing a NHS hospital procurement manager ? when they could interview a crying nurse after a shift

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:36 am | Permalink

          Exactly. Emotion wins out over brain every time for the BBC.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        Indeed the BBC narrative is that the NHS is superb and we should clap them all. But it is the NHS management that is largely responsible for this lack of PPE, the dire pandemic planning and its very many other failings.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        The Chief Medical Officer is a government appointee.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          But an independent professional specialist.

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

          Dame Sally Davies in the ft said CMO was not a political appointment, she was the CMO before Chris Whitty

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

            I said “government appointee”, not “political appointment”.

            So both she and I are correct.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

            Who other than the Government would you have appoint a Government Chief Medical Officer?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

            Quite, Edward.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

            Thanks Martin

      • BeebTax
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        …but spending money on ppp would have reduced the amount available for non-front line managers’ salaries. We couldn’t possibly have that, could we?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink


      • John E
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Yes indeed. I can’t bring myself to join in the weekly cheering for the NHS because I see it as a way of putting moral pressure on medics to continue working in unsafe conditions. I don’t want to cheer them putting their own lives in danger.
        If someone says they will sort out the PPE and equipment issues and pay a bonus to the health workers I’ll be the first to cheer.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        Obesity is an officially recognised comorbidity for COVID-19 worst effect.

        Anyone over a BMI of 40% is classed as vulnerable and has been sent a warning letter to self isolate for 12 weeks eligible for free food parcels.

        The NHS spent a lot of its budget enabling people to live unhealthy lifestyles and vast amounts of the were spent on pills and treatments to ameliorate symptoms.

        0.002 % of the NHS budget on shelf-life stock is a large amount of money and would have meant cuts elsewhere.

        Since the last pandemic (1918) how many times do you think the stock of PPE would need to have been replaced ?

        We should have been able to trust a global business partner to tell us the true nature of a crisis it was facing and to isolate herself, closing her own airports.

        Alas we were wrong to trust them.

        Unfortunately we now face a situation whereby the auto immune response in the West is to create a cytokine storm and attack itself creating race and class issues where none exist.

        The communist Chinese regime caused this crisis.

        No amount of PPE is going to see any nation through this before a vaccine is produced in sensible time.

        The only realistic way to deal with this crisis is at gunpoint lockdown and the kind of regimes that can do that cause virus pandemics in the first place.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      We haven’t required the ventilators? Perhaps if more people got on oxygen sooner instead of letting the virus develop we wouldn’t need half the ventilators we’re using. As for ppe what a blimin mess we’ve got to develop, and quickly, reusable ppe full body coverings and reusable and better masks. But if there is only 4000 people in hospital just how much are they using each day?

    • IanT
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      We all value the front line NHS staff and their efforts – but whenever the medical unions complain about lack of PPE – the media immediately jump on the back of the Government.

      The NHS is a vast bureaucracy run by highly paid senior managers who operate what (in effect) are large publicly owned companies, which includes their own local and national logistics operations. I’ve dealt with these people professionally and it’s a nightmare of large committee meetings and total group indecision.

      Praise and Protect the nurses and doctors – Yes – but don’t blame the Government for everything that’s wrong with the NHS. Look to it’s senior management and other policy setting bodies like PHE. Let’s not confuse gratitude to the front line workers with an acceptance of the incompetence at higher levels.

      We can change our politicians but how many of these senior health officials ever get fired?

    • Pominoz
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink


      In many ways I think you have been ‘over the top’ as regards your worries about ventilators and concerns about mortality from Covid 19. However, your criticisms of the NHS and the comparison of it to healthcare provided in many other parts of the world, Australia included, are thoroughly justified. As soon as a taxpayer funded monopoly provider for health treatment exists, the captive market means the motivation to management to deliver a quality competitive service is diminished.

      ‘Free’ healthcare idealistic. Treatment for any type of health issue undoubtedly has considerable value and a system which pretends otherwise is doomed to eventual failure. No patient must regard treatment as ‘free’, i.e. without value, and no medical practitioner must be of the mindset that ‘ it is no costing you anything, so what do you expect?’

      An in-depth review of the NHS, and the optional alternatives, is fully justified when the coronavirus crisis is over

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:25 am | Permalink

        We have one of the worst systems in the world for a wealth developed nation. Yet we keep pretending (and the BBC week telling us) it is the envy of the world.

    • Ed M
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink


      Boris nearly died. I think he really meant what he said about ‘love’ and just wanted to mention it whatever the ills or not of the NHS.

      Even if you’ve got the best technical care available, you still want that cheerful ‘love’ as you lie on that hospital bed scared of perhaps dying.

      I’ve been in that situation myself, and grateful to those in the NHS who showed me the ‘love’ they showed Boris – and by ‘love’ I don’t mean anything gushing, but doctors and nurses who give you a cheerful smile whilst they’re under a lot of stress and pressure and tired, themselves, and in this case, scared about catching the virus themselves and passing it on to vulnerable people and their own families.

      It’s right that Boris acknowledged this and the huge amount of benevolent, non-gushing love in the NHS!

      • Mark B
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:51 am | Permalink

        He wasn’t on a ventilator. He was in ICU as a precaution. People like you should stop scaremongering.

        • Ed M
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

          What are you talking about ??! I think you fell out the wrong side of the bed.

          Boris himself reported he nearly died – not me (just listen to what he said!!)

          Nor does this reflect anything more about the coronavirus situation or the government in anyway good or bad. It’s just a positive reflection about people who work in the NHS. That’s all (Boris and 95% of Conservatives would agree – I’m just adding to what Boris said not saying anything different or contrary) …

        • Ed M
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

          So listen to what Boris actually said.
          Secondly, I am not a medical expert on anything but I believe the coronavirus can be dangerous to other parts of the body, in particular kidneys and heart, as well as causing dangerously low levels of blood pressure, as opposed to just attacking the lungs.
          I have been strongly advocating Back to Work which is the very opposite to panic thank you very much.
          I was just focusing here, like Boris, on the good people in the NHS that’s all – and looking at the Gangelt Study, looks as if Boris was more unfortunate to end up in intensive care than previously thought.

    • Ed M
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      And I’ll never forget frequently taking my elderly cousin for radiography treatment for his cancer and seeing all these half-dead people around us, lying on beds and sitting on chairs – so depressing and sad – and seeing the good-natured and cheerful smiles and encouragement of the doctors and nurses around us. That is true love and must be acknowledged, especially as that is a really depressing reality most of us will have to face at some point in our lives.

      And that ‘love’ makes all the difference – yes, excellent technical care is also really important – but when you don’t know if you’re going to survive or not – you need that ‘love’ more than anything.

  10. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Around here there are people congregating in gardens. The lock down is being managed by them in a sensible way. I have not noticed any street parties and such, but then I haven’t been to the town Centre.
    A very happy Easter to you, Sir John, and thank you for your helpful blog at a time of national crisis.

  11. Stred
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Other countries are allowing treatment of Covid using HCQ. If it turns out that this is successful and that the NHS has delayed this treatment because of heavy handed convention, leading to a three month delay while placebo trials are completed, then it will be found that thousands will have died and been damaged unnecessarily. The ministers and civil servants will have to buy in some serious PR.

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    “We know the corona virus will not overcome us” – says the Queen in her Easter message.

    Alas we know nothing of the sort, that is exactly the problem. It is overcoming many thousands of people every single day. We need better treatments, more PPE, more ventilators and the drugs needed for ventilation, more ECMO machines and a vaccine ASAP not vacuous and wrong headed platitudes.

    It seem to me that the UK’s “experts” (as I though at the time) got the mask decision wrong. They surely can do more good than harm on balance in many situations such as when shopping. This on top of the appallingly inept pandemic planning which is surely unforgivable. Was Hancock told that the UK and the NHS was extremely well prepared for a pandemic before he repeated it? If so which experts misinformed him so badly?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      The Queen also talks about different religions’ traditions of lighting candles (surely the EU must have banned these as they are about 10 times less efficient than incandescent light bulbs and they banned those years ago but no it seems). No consistency or science in the climate alarmism religion it seems.

      The bishop of Salisbury seem to have a massive candle and even uses a brazier to light it. Might a match not suffice or was he a bit cold?

  13. Javelin
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Here are some typical Pandemic Response Plans for hospital trusts.

    None are the same, which means that Public Health England has not set any national standards. It appears every health service has been left to go off on their own to invent their own pandemic plan.

    South Essex 6 week stockpile. No secured procurement path.

    Doncaster 2 week stock pile. Nothing about procurement.

    Southampton 4 week stock pile. Nothing about further procurement.

    North Devon doesn’t even mention having stockpile but only refers to Government antiviral stockpiles.

    • Javelin
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      FYI. These happen to be the first 4 NHS Trusts that cone back from a Google search.

      Public Health England set a minimum standard to have a Pandemic Response Plan but did not set “minimum standards” for those plans. Not having a minimum standard meant the trust directors are not legally or criminally liable for the excess deaths that occur.

      The variation between trusts needs to be part of the Preparedness Public Enquiry.

  14. matthu
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Worldwide, it is now almost certain that more people over 100 have died of Covid-19 than have people under 30. And more people over 90 have died of Covid-19 than have people under 50.

    Meanwhile life insurance companies are telling us that premiums are unlikely to be affected (unless by government decree?) because total morbidity rates this ear are actually lower than average.

    So why are we trashing our economy? Oh yeah, we have to keep all the youngsters under lockdown because they are passing the virus on to all the centenarians. Who would have died anyway!

    Somebody in government needs to get a grip.

    • matthu
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      (The above figures came from the Twitter feed of Alex Berenson, former NYT reporter. Although figures broken down by age group are hard to come by, cited figures from Netherlands, Florida, Massachusetts, Italy, Spain, UK all seem to support this.)

    • matthu
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Latest available England and Wales mortality statistics – broken down by underlying cause, sex and age – are for 2018, and they show that 10,712 people aged 90 or over died of LC28 Influenza and pneumonia whereas only 631 died of similar causes aged 0-49.

      I don’t expect the figures for 2020 to be an order of magnitude different to these, even if we include the Covid-19 mortality figures in with the influenza and pneumonia statistics.

    • matthu
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Hi John

      Do you think you could release the above message (6:40 am) from moderation please? Otherwise these other messages you have released lose a lot of context.


  15. Pat
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Happy Easter Sir John

    Some politicians have called for UK free trade negotiations around the world to be paused due to the coronavirus crisis, also calling for an extension of the transition period for exiting the EU. Their justification for this is lack of capacity within UK government, due to the crisis.

    This is unacceptable and would be a failure of government.

    Our actions in negotiating free trade deals and exiting the EU are vital in mitigating the huge economic effect of the crisis and will cost lives if not implemented without delay. They are part of our action against the virus.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:57 am | Permalink

      Do we have any names or is this something straight out of our media’s hat ?

  16. Peter
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    It does not seem like Easter – the most important time in the Christian calendar.

    There was the usual siege mentality added to lockdown in other words even more queues just because the shops are not open today.

    There may some signs of a new Puritan spirit, with a kill joy approach enforced by the police. “Keep out of your own front garden Sir!” “No Easter Eggs to be sold! They are non essentials.”

    However, in reality this is unconnected to religion and simply the latest manifestation of Anarcho-Tyranny.

  17. Data Please
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    If I lose my Savings, Pension and Home that are the result of a Lifetime of Hard Work and Sacrifice, ditto those of my family who also stupidly believed in a strong work ethic.

    Will the Govt compensate me via seeking compensation from those responsible.

    No different to a Reckless Driver compensating those they Maim.

    I wasn’t given any choice in what I believe to be a misguided, mismanaged, blundering, hysterical response to a serious but not decimating virus.

    Not even now, following what we were told was a relatively short lockdown to prepare resources are we being given the opportunity to express our consent ot not to its continuation.

    I’m not aware of the model upon which this Govt placed its bets, being open to peer review (including code and assumptions) or other studies being considered at the time or now.

    I feel we have reached a stage where those identified as most vulnerable (I’m one) should be advised to remain in lockdown, whilst the others are free to return to work or not, naturally with procedures and common sense such as social distancing etc. (idiots shouldn’t drive policy at any level)

    I’m aware that the above concept requires finessing for a variety of reasons which should not though be unsurmountable with a little thought…….. Oh Dear.

    A Govt that destroys a lifetime of effort, without consent and compensation, due to its relinquishing of control to Public Institutions and similar that are immune from the economic consequences and in my opinon are politically motivated, will be creating a catastophically divided two-tier society and Sowing the Wind.

    Disclaimer: (to be spoken rapidly)

    The value of your lifetime efforts may go down and continue to go down with this Govt.
    By electing this Govt you have entered a contract where “Losing your shirt” is a highly likely outcome due to the risks they are happy to take without your consent.
    Past performance of Governments should not be used as a guide to the performance of this one – You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.

  18. Stred
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Happy Easter. It would be even happier if someone did like the Danes and ordered a large load of proper protective equipment for the ITU staff and nursing homes. The nurses and carers in a home in Sheffield shown on Sky this morning, where many of the residents had Covid and were dying, were wearing simple fabric masks. These, we are told, do not filter the virus. The surgeons are not satisfied with the equipment that has been supplied. Lsst week on BBC news the ITU staff were shown wearing a type mask which is sold to builders for dust protection.
    The Danes decided that they could only get the right equipment in the right quantity from China. It arrived quickly in one large plane. Perhaps ministers could ask exactly what equipment the NHS has, where it is and why it isn’t in the hospitals and care homes. Then, if it turns out that the ordering is a shambles, ask someone else to swallow pride and buy some that works.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      That would be impossible here, for the same reason that Cameron found it to be not politically expedient to accept the £160 million of flood relief and prevention from the European Union.

  19. Caterpillar
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    I agree with your final paragraph about the big decision. Unfortunately I think the Govt is being permitted to present this as lives saved vs. the economy, as though the economy kills people. This is a false and dangerous perspective, the decision is lives vs. lives and if it is not calculated and presented in this way then the Govt is either acting on the basis of stupidity (charitably, group escalation of commitment) or power-kick.

    I am currently convinced that the economic shock will have sufficient long lived effects to limit increases in life expectancy (the bigger the shock…), more so than the financial crisis, which already had that effect in the U.K. The Govt needs to clearly show and explain such considerations. The economic impact on lives/years of life looks shockingly more (it’s not even close) than the number of additional lives saved by lockdown.

    As well as moving from the false representation of lives vs. economy, the Govt also needs to somewhat shift from its identification of essential workers and trips, consequently labelling those it is purportedly trying to save as non-essential. Embedding such black and white judgement in U.K. Govt power is truly frightening.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:38 am | Permalink

      . . . the economy kills people . . .

      Well according to those nice [sarc] people at Extinction Rebellion, (you know the one’s, the ones that commit criminal acts and do not get arrested) that is exactly what the productive part of the economy is doing.

  20. Sakara Gold
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Good morning and happy easter

    It may not be wise to trust any figures that are being produced by the government, this from the BBC today – “clearly spikes or dips may in part reflect bottlenecks in the reporting system, rather than real changes in the trend and the figures do not include those who have died in care homes or the community” Even the beeb has seen through the figures being presented by the government at the daily news conference.

    Matt Hancock has been putting his foot in his mouth on BBC R4 again. Apparently the reason the NHS has insufficient PPE for our brave and committed medics is that they wasting it and are using what is available too fast! I cannot remember a UK front line politician so prone to making gaffes, unless perhaps Foxy, one of yesterday’s men.

    Doubtless today’s reported shortages of ICU drugs are due to the nurses using them up too quickly, along with the PPE, bedspace and anti-viral cleaning agents.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Surely it is NHS management that has failed to ensure that the front line staff have this PPE and other gear then it is a failure of the NHS and NHS England? Some in the NHS are hardworking, risking their lives and are heroic while others there are breathtakingly incompetent and inept.

      So perhaps do not clap for the whole of this often dire, state monopoly NHS.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      I take it you believe those in the NHS are above criticism. They never make mistakes, and are incapable of error or carelessness or lazyness. Of course, to some it has become a diety. Sadly it isn’t saving many lives. What proportion of those who are put on ventilators survive?

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        As my old uncle in his 80s says….never go to hospital, thats where you die

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        Good point. Sky News leads me to believe that the prospects for those going onto a ventilator are dire. Getting resources to the ward seems to be more important than getting a good doctor to the bedside. Heresy for me to say this, of course. A few weeks down the line, as we learn more about treatments, the doctors might have more discretion and so become more important.

    • SM
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      I have just read the following in today’s S African Sunday Times:

      “Speaking at a briefing in Switzerland last week, Dr Maria van Kerkhove, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the World Health Organisation, said frontline healthcare workers ALL OVER THE WORLD are facing a significant shortage of personal protection equipment such as gloves and masks’.

  21. Anonymous
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    “It [the lockdown] does do grave damage to the economy, denying many people the right to work, costing us many lost jobs and damaged businesses. ”

    It is also costing lives, John. And it will continue to cost lives – lots of them. But not even you mention this. Why not ? You must know this, surely ?

    And not a single expert – as far as I can see – has bothered to do a comparison between those dying of/with COVID-19 and those likely to die because of the official reaction to COVID-19.

    As usual Peter Hitchens is a must read this morning.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Henceforth may we have every domestic murder, suicide and every undiagnosed avoidable fatal illness attributed to “death by government reaction to COVID-19” ?

      After all, the government is allowed to be most vague on who is dying with COVID-19 rather than of it.

      Soon we will be able to add death by malnutrition and death by aggravated burglary and robbery to that list.

      • Data Please
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Please don’t give them any ideas.

        If we go down that route they’ll never let us out of House Arrest

        How many avoidable deaths will there be due to crossing the road, car accidents etc.

        Its not safe out there.

        In fact I’m learning to embrace my onset of Agoraphobia.

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

          I’m making a deadly serious point.

          Please don’t mock it.

          • Data Please
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

            I apologise.

            I was supporting your point and was attempting to use humour to drive the message.

            I too seriously fear our Govt may have already set a dangerous precedent.

            What happens next year if we have either a similar virus outbreak or a serious flu epidemic etc ?

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Excess winter UK deaths 2014/15 – 44,000 no lockdown
      UK deaths covid19 2019/20- 9,875 lockdown

    • Andy
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      I am still waiting to read Peter Hitchens report from inside an ICU unit. It is all well and good for these well paid and under-worked ‘columnists’ to pen their missives from their large country homes. But I would like to see professional whinger Hitchens actually spend a day in ICU with people who are dying and the hard-working and underpaid NHS staff who are trying to keep them alive.

      Decent journalists are in those hospitals and care home reporting from the frontline. Mr Hitchens is reporting from his front room. What a wimp.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        You have not answered the point I made.

        Going into an ICU would not change Peter Hitchens’ mind. He has been in war zones after all.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        You give us your opinions about the way the crisis has been handled from the comfort of your sofa too Andy.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      I think that quite a few experts have come out with views that differ from the allowed narrative….and they are de-platformed..
      Terrible article in The Times…yesterday I think… denigrating those with a different take on the situation.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink
    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

      Those dying through suicide will be recorded but the reasons will not. So no one will be able to attribute the governments late and heavy handed actions to this. In short, it will go unreported and no one will know or care.

  22. a-tracy
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    3335 in hospital icu and nearly 1000 according to Cadwaller and the bbc are dying in hospital every day, they aren’t good odds! How long are they in hospital for? If we’re still adding a 1000 patients per day to icu then lockdown isn’t working because we’ve been in lockdown for 3 weeks.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Lockdown does work. If you look at Italy (that is about 2 weeks ahead of the UK), then deaths have been falling nicely since 27th March from circa 900 a day to circa 600. But it is mainly just a delay mechanism to stop the NHS overload. We are at about that point now. Once the NHS has its capacity up to speed we need to get back to work.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        Lockdown is the only show in town because we can’t test, track and trace in the U.K. as we’re told the Germans successfully do. We should be asking if the Germans could be so well prepared with this ttt procedure why couldn’t we do it?

        • Mark B
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

          If Remain were honest and that they Germany effectively ran the EU and would therefore make the trains run on time, I think even I might have been tempted to vote Remain 😉

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

            If Germany run the European Union, then why have they not ordained the same approach to CV across it, theirs?

            They do not, simply.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

            Because health is a devolved issue.
            Mark was talking about all the other areas of dominance of Germany in the EU.
            Dio you not realise they are the biggest and most powerful economy in Europe ?

    • Data Please
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      I don’t know if you’re aware of the following charts:

      I’m using them to try and form an opinion on general trends, however as discussed within other posts on this blog and in general there’s debate on the methodology (for want of a better term) being employed in generating them.

      Like you and many others I find that the lack of granularity of the data being reported simply Beggars Belief.

      Its crushing any capability to assess risk or enhance identification of those most vulnerable, well amongst the great unwashed (except hands).

      Good old Data Protection appears to be the reason (or excuse ?) for lack of anonymous collation, despite their graphs already showing anonymous totals and regional distribution.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the link, so many people trust BBC news but their statistics reporting isn’t correct, to say nearly 1000 people died in hospital in one day mis-represented everything else I read. I’m usually a BBC fan and pay my licence but that they don’t ask the specific questions is beginning to concern me. They’re scaring people, today they said numbers are jumping in the NorthWest where exactly in the NW, after three weeks lockdown are we tracking how are numbers significantly increasing in the NW, which hospitals, where should we avoid supermarkets in jumping areas?

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      There’s only about 8 figures the govt/NHS/PHE have to tell us….and they can’t even get that right, every website every organisation has different figures

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Up to 2 weeks for the illness to manifest, then someone who becomes really poorly takes another 2 weeks to die of the disease. So 3 weeks isn’t long enough to judge.
      And we’re not all in lockdown. The NHS front line workers (as opposed to the admin staff that can work from home) comprising 750,000 people, plus the care home industry have carried on, exposing the virus to those most likely to develop a severe reaction.
      Once the disease has run its course there, the rest of the population can resume their lives, adding relatively fewer cases that need the resources currently in short supply.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        Dave Andrews,

        Surely there has been more than enough time to judge; median incubation 5 days, 95% by 11 days.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Read yesterday that Turkey had announced a 48hr lockdown in cities. Turkey is a lot closer to the source of the virus than most of the world yet it seems to have missed what the rest of the world has got. With a virus that can get round the planet faster than the ISS and also into remote places it looks suspicious how this has spread – and how quickly.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:54 am | Permalink

        It is the nature of the virus and the fact that the Chinese withheld vital information that could have prevented the pandemic. This coupled to the fact that governments all acted so slowly.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

          But the UK did nothing at all with the several weeks warning that it had from Italy, once the Chinese had abandoned secrecy too.

          So that excuses nothing.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

            The Chinese have not abandoned secrecy.

  23. ukretired123
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Happy Easter Sir John and your family and thank you for your sterling efforts all round!
    Hopefully you will allow your good self a well deserved rest too.

  24. Andy
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    It is interesting to see the pictures of the NHS doctors who have died treating Coronavirus patients. They are all immigrants.

    So it really does turn out that ‘they’ are not all coming over hear to live on handouts. Some of them are actually coming over here to save the lives of our elderly and infirm.

    Perhaps the next time someone wants to moan about people on little boats fleeing war they might want to reflect on the fact that the people the are moaning about may one day save their life.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      No one said all of them were coming for handouts.

      That was a figment of your fevered imagination.

      Your entire argument about Brexit voters is based entirely on prejudice, generalisations and stereotyping.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        Several commenters here have said exactly that, anon.

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

          OK. You got me. I surrender. All of those boats are full of doctors.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

          So not all.
          Just several.

        • APL
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

          Martin in Cardiff: “Several commenters here have said exactly that”

          The archives are there, shouldn’t be difficult to cite a couple of URLs.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

            Off you go then.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Certainly a very large percentage of current medical students in the UK are of Asian – Indian and Pakistani backgrounds. It seem to be a profession (like pharmacy) that they seem to aspire to. Good for them, we have far too many lawyers, liberal arts and PPE graduates already.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Andy. I suspect most if not all are legal immigrants and many were born here. Nobody has said we don’t want legal immigrants who have good jobs and can look after themselves and their families. What we don’t need are people coming in illegally with no job and no home expecting to be housed with their families.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      So the people in these little boats are doctors?
      No wonder we are picking them up and welcoming them.

    • IanT
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Let’s not confuse “immigrants” – e.g. people who have applied to come and live here legally – most especially those with useful qualifications (such as Doctors and Nurses) with those who enter the country illegally.

      Whatever their merits might be – they are completely unknown – some good but perhaps also some who are extremely bad. We have immigration laws for a good reason Andy. If you are not happy with them, then lobby/vote to get them changed.

      In the meanwhile, anyone fleeing persecution from France has my sympathy but should be returned to the EU immediately. How can you claim asylum when fleeing Europe (unless of course you are Nigel Farage?)

    • ukretired123
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Andy have a Happy Easter and glad to hear you being considerate to us old folks too!

    • Data Please
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      I’m saddend by all the deaths and offer my condolences to all affected families.

      I agree with you.

      Its good to know that they would all be welcomed in via a skill based immigration policy that’s open with level access to the Entire World rather than one that is overwhelmingly regionally biased to approximately 6% of the World Population [1],
      that I believe we are replacing if not already replaced.

      Naturally assisted by existing humanitarian policies towards refugees:

      I like others, wish to attract the best and brightest from around the World rather than having choice and associated opportunity skewed and restricted by mere ease of access to only 6% of the World.

      World Pop. Reference:

      • Data Please
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        I forgot to mention that any attempt to place a salary criteria onto the policy is so stupidly ridiculous that I cannot imagine any sane Govt contemplating it….. Oh Dear

        a) How does that correlate to Currency fluctuations.
        One, day, hour, minute, second, someone is eligible another its not.

        b) Speaking from experience, a salary of $30,000 in the States has the equivalent buying power within the States as £30,000 in the UK.

        However as I write its worth £24102, so if that was the criteria an applicant would be refused.

        Its such a blatantly stupid criteria that bears no reflection on the applicant’s abilities, I can only assume its being proposed by those wishing to sabotage the policy.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Where are all the native British Doctors and nurses? Don’t the ‘immigrants’ own countries really need them? Is it morally right to deplete those nations of their doctors and nurses?

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Correct its shameful that we take doctors & nurses from poor countries…..but we do give them food aid so its okay

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      The people in little boats are not doctors and nurses but you know that.
      What it does indicate is that people of Asian origin are more susceptible to the virus.

    • agricola
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Having sailed across the Channel many times I too recognise the desperation, and admire the sheer guts of those who set out to do it in what amounts to a yacht tender. Such determination to survive in a more agreeable country than the ones from which they come is to be admired. As you infer they could be a greater asset to the UK than many of the indigenous population. However if they are medically trained I don’t think they would need to apply such desperate measures to get to the UK. My closest friend for over fifty years survived Auschwitz to become a professor of orthopaedics, having marched through the winter of 1945 in northern Europe.

    • BeebTax
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      If doctors and nurses want to come here, they will be able to, all the time we need them. No need to try getting in as illegals.

      • Andy
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        Not true. Many nurses fall below Priti Patel’s salary threshold for immigration. They are not coming here after Christmas. Tory MPs obviously consider nurses unskilled.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

          The government have already said medical professionals will be given special treatment.

    • BillM
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      I am sure, if you check, none of those Doctors came here by little boats. They are are great value to this country. Economic migrants are not.

    • BetterTimes
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Why the need to bring race into the equation?

      Cheap political point scoring, at this time of crisis.

    • rose
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      I think it is insulting of you, Andy, to lump “them” all together in the way you have done. Most of our immigrants are law abiding and have not forced their way illegally into the country.

      • rose
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        No-one is fleeing war from Calais. It is under the benign and civilized rule of President Macron, and it is, again, insulting of you to suggest otherwise.

    • Excalibur
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Give us break, Andy. They come here (hear?) because they can obtain a standard of living ten times better than in their home countries. Few are ‘fleeing war’ or come here for altruistic reasons. They come here to secure their own personal advantage.

      The idea that some of them are actually coming here to save the lives of our elderly and infirm is palpable nonsense. They come here from self-interest. If they were interested in saving the lives of the elderly and infirm there is plenty of scope in their own countries.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink


      If your first paragraph is correct that all doctors who have died are immigrants I would suspect that there is a serious bias in resource planning or a serious bias in competence. It could of course be a statistical anomaly, but what I suspect and I really hope is that your paragraph is misinformed.

  25. Data Please
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    I have absolutely no Economic Skills.

    At present I can’t work out if we’re heading for a Major Recession or Rabid Inflation or Stagflation (I don’t really understand that term)

    Could it be possible for you to create a post where you express your thoughts ?

    However, I’m aware that you may be reluctant to either generate False Hope or Fear and that you may regard such an article as irresponsible at this time.

    I’m womdering though if such an article could be written in such a way that it explores the mechanics of the above, set in the context of this crisis.

    Hence not so much regarded as prediction but information.

    Frankly trying to explore this through online information, the terminology and assumed knowledge quickly overwhelms.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      -It comes down to supply and demand. Too much supply and little demand depresses prices. The danger is when this becomes and ever feeding cycle as that seen in the German Republic post WWI. This can lead to a loss in confidence in the government economic policy and in the currency leading to runs (people selling said currency) which in turn devalues the currency leading to large inflation. This can destroy savings and so exasperating the situation. This is what is known as a depression.

  26. Iain Moore
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Early on in the CV outbreak Bild the German newspaper reported on the Chinese organising a fund to snap up any distressed/undervalued companies in the West , today the Mail reports on Tom Tugendhat MP being concerned about a Chinese raid on Imagination Technologies, which designs graphic chips for Apple. Apart from a few MPs like Tugendhat and IDS, most couldn’t care less at seeing a totalitarian state buying out our industries and technology, worse taking advantage of the disease they have inflicted on the world. Jacob Rees Mogg’s company pointing out the undervalued nature of the market, outrage, Chinese buying out our technology companies…well nothing.

    You do wonder what it is with the British political establishment that makes them so keen to KowTow to the Chinese regime. Gordon Brown said we are ‘open for business’ code for we will flog off anything to you. Cameron and Osborne allowing China into our key infrastructure and to build nuclear reactors here, Boris allowing British steel to be flogged off to the Chinese, as well as Huawei into G5 and this is only 6 months into his time on office. Meanwhile we have so much money floating around the Government is going to bung £200 million to the likes of the WHO who helped China cover up the Wuhan flu.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      This is nothing new. You can go back as far as the 50’s to see what past governments of all colours have done. We once had a world leading aero industry. What happened to that will happen to all our industries.

  27. a-tracy
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Happy Easter John, thank you for your daily blog. Your calm daily thoughts are very welcome.

  28. villaking
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Sir John, there seem to be far too few parliamentarians trying to hold the government to account over the restrictions of personal liberty and economic destruction it has imposed. I am grateful for your efforts. Clearly it is time for some personal choices and personal responsibility and an end to this police state. It is scandalous that the government will not even talk about an exit strategy let alone start implementing one

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

      Hear hear !!!

  29. Kevin
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    “denying many people the right to work”

    This is a surprising way of putting it. On the one hand, the Government is said to deny a person the right to work when it apparently believes that such (“non-essential”) work would present a risk to public health. On the other hand, I am not aware of any MP accusing the Government of having denied Dr. David Mackereth the right to work when, as the Daily Mail reported, he was deemed “unfit to work” because he held the mere thought that a person’s sex is defined by biology and genetics, and wished to keep his thinking clear on that subject.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      You can believe in anything you want. So long as it is State approved. And we allow it !

    Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Oh, how Labour and their dependent public sector lackeys are exploiting this once in a lifetime opportunity to expand their political and cultural grip over this nation

    The BMA is now a political activist group operating within the NHS and using this crisis to smash the Tory government at every turn. Their natural allies at the BBC are only to happy to assist

    By filtering all clinical activity through Labour’s NHS you have given them total monopolistic control over such matters which means they can reject political intervention whenever they want and when things go wrong they can simply pass the buck to government or cover it up using emotional blackmail now that the NHS is the UK’s official religion

    Labour’s public sector especially the NHS is the one thing we dare never criticise for fear of repercussions

    The political nature of Labour’s public sector gives those who control this part of the UK’s economy huge power of our lives and indeed huge power over government policy

    Why aren’t private hospitals being used?

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      What the Tories fail to see, and what Mrs.T always knew, is that the Socialists approach politics as if it was a state of war. The Tories are fighting a war many have not realised they are in. That is why they are losing the ideological argument.

  31. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    You ask nothing about what planning came out of the Cygnus report. Any pandemic would require PPE, so NHS planners would certainly have secured potential supply lines by approaching clothing, plastics etc manufacturers and placing tooling and facilities for transfer to PPE in place, wouldn’t they?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Seems NHS managers (planners) are often thwarted by a mythical lack of money for things like PPE. Seems senior staff including some medics sop up any excess in salaries, overtime etc etc. This is heresay, informed by NHS manager.

  32. Tom Rogers
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Since we remain under lockdown (i.e. mass house arrest) on the orders of Colonel Hancock, can Mr Redwood now confirm that all immigration into the country has been halted?

    If we are to believe what is being said about Covi-19 (again, for the avoidance of doubt, I don’t), then I expect the borders have been closed for some weeks now, at least?

    While we’re at it, is there any particular reason that certain people are posting here many multiple times under each missive? Is LifeLogic Mr Redwood’s Jungian shadow or is there some special arrangement extant between the two of you, payment per post or per word, perhaps? A bonus for maximum annoyance?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Immigration from China would now be near-perfectly safe, of all ironies.

      It is emigration from this country, which is an increasing threat to a lengthening list of countries, who have all dealt with the epidemic properly.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        If you are gullible enough to believe Communist dictatorships of China’s figures.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

          OK, change China for anti-communist, democratic S. Korea, then. It makes no difference to my point.

          The British evacuees from Wuhan are starting to say that they wish they had stayed there, though.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

            The figures given by China do not look anywhere near realistic compared to every other highly populated nation on Earth.

            Please give us a link to these many British evacuees you keep quoting.

    • SM
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      It’s becoming quite obvious that Mr LifeLogic has no friends or family to talk to, and therefore chats away regardless to this Diary; I assume Sir John is exercising compassion towards this lonely soul.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      Colonel Hancock ! More like Corporal Pike.

      I too have noticed a certain people are given special leeway. I can accept LL, but the likes of those Remainers / Trolls I cannot.

  33. William Long
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Happy Easter, Sir John. I am glad you have extended this post beyond your constituents. Reading the paper today I have seen it reported that until recently the NHS and the Government have been reluctant to make use of the private sector in the search for treatments, immunisation and testing materials. If this is true it seems extraordinary, or would do if there was not a nationalised industry at the heart of things, clogging up progress. Let’s hope Mr Hancock has seen the light and will bang recalcitrant Health Service heads together to get a speedy solution. The private sector has all the assets and experience in research, development and above all manufacturing and in practice offers the only hope for a good outcome.

  34. Ian @Barkham
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The PPE is hard for me as outsider to understand, the only deduction I can make is it is down to a extremely poor standard of management ideology in the UK Government and the PHE.

    I carry out work for a number of companies, three of them in the last week have donated their own stocks of PPE to the NHS. Although miniscule in NHS terms, they were able to do that and reorder for themselves to keep their stocks up.

    The situation gives the appearance that the UK Government are trying to micro manage the NHS from the Center. Anyone with half a brain would no that is an impossible task. The only ones capable of managing response and need on a day-to-day basis is those at the front end full stop.

    Then add to that the MSM suggest that the NHS are ordering from China as if that is some panacea that will get them out of the woods.. This is all the time the UK workforce is stood down because they are not permitted by PHE to manufacture to supply the UK’s needs.

    Sorry there is only words that can be used ‘this is Nuts’. It smacks of ego, of management at the center being frightened to delegate.. That is a poor costly at every level style of being seen to be in control.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Ian – – ‘The situation gives the appearance that the UK Government are trying to micro manage the NHS from the Center. Anyone with half a brain would no that is an impossible task. The only ones capable of managing response and need on a day-to-day basis is those at the front end full stop.
      Then add to that the MSM suggest that the NHS are ordering from China as if that is some panacea that will get them out of the woods.. This is all the time the UK workforce is stood down because they are not permitted by PHE to manufacture to supply the UK’s needs. ‘

      I dont know about micro managing them …..I think NHS needs external fulltime managing at every level. The more snippets we learn, the more it appears a shambles. It is a wonder how the front line services are able to perform the way they do.

  35. Ian @Barkham
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Kier Starmer has been doing the rounds of the TV Stations condemning Government for not spending enough. Then stating Government cannot then to recoup all the giveaways with austerity.

    He also states the austerity of recent years has damaged the Country. While I find this confusing from a logical stand point, a lot of people buy into the idea that some mystical entity will pay down Gordon Browns debts due to his disastrous management of the economy. Then they same mystical entity will pick up future debt. We haven’t paid of Labours last debts, yet the inability of this Government to understand how to manage anything, with the center is best approach, it does mean they will loose at the next election and labour will get to inflict more damage to the people of this country

    Never forget elections are never won – just lost.

    • Doug Powell
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      ” … elections are never won – just lost.”
      Quite so, it is conceivable that had Labour adopted the honourable position it had in GE’17 and promised to accept the referendum result, it may well have built on the GE17 gains, which could have meant GE19 would have been a close run thing. Well, we all know what happened – enter a shinning knight from the North London Metropolitan Elite – that clique that regards Brexiteers as thick and uneducated!

      The shinning knight conned Corbyn into adopting a piece of sophistry that was in effect a ratting on the referendum result! This ruse may have been applauded in Islington, Camden and Hampstead, but the thickos in the country could see when they were about to be “had.”

      The shinning knight is now leader of the Labour Party – and has shown he has learned nothing! He is brazenly calling for the withdrawal negotiations to be delayed, which shows he is still hell bent on ratting on the referendum result by any means possible! Fortunately, the electorate has his number- he will not succeed! Another dud leader for the Labour Party, methinks, and many more years in opposition!

      • Mark B
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

        The shinning knight is now leader of the Labour Party – and has shown he has learned nothing!</blockquote

        Less shining Knight and more Black Knight of Monty Python fame 😉

        • Doug Powell
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

          Mark, I take your point, but my use of ‘shinning’ was being facetious!

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      The problem is, the Tories could counter by reading out the letter that was left by the last Labour Chancellor informing him that there was no more money. That is why there is so called austerity in the Public Sector.

  36. agricola
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    This diary often covers national and World economics and the vagaries of banking, some of which I understand but much not. When the current crisis is reduced to the locale in which I live it becomes much more understandable. Por ejemplo, our local bra manufacturer has gone bust, a manufacturer of food blenders has gone into liquidation, a local dog kennel has been forced to call in the retriever, a paper company specialising in material for origami has folded, the local strip club has gone tits up , our Interflora branch has had to prune it’s staff, and I hear that a submarine builder in Cadiz has gone into liquidation. This level of economics I can understand. Happy Easter everyone.

    • Stred
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink


    • Data Please
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink


      I think you may be a fellow traveller who believes in Satire to press a point.

      I’m going to outrageously steal all those phrases and call them my own.

      You got me until about halfway when you mentioned ‘retriever’ and the penny (frighteningly too slowly) started to drop.

      A re-read certainly enhanced the enjoyment of the point you’re making and helped lift the spirit in these serious times.

    • Data Please
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      May I humbly suggest:

      a submarine builder in Cadiz has sunk without trace

  37. Christine
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    John, Please can you urgently look into putting restrictions in place so that UK companies can’t be subject to hostile foreign takeovers during these troubled times? I understand Germany has already put protection in place for their companies. It would be unforgivable if China who caused this crisis benefited from it.

  38. Ian @Barkham
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Question, why is it that the Police don’t have to keep to the distancing the require from everyone else.

    The MSM is showing images of a gaggle of Police basically shoulder to shoulder having a chat.

    Don’t get me wrong, I believe we should all ‘self distance’ but time and time again those that want to bee seen as the authorities over our everyday life seem to believe they are excluded from advice and requirements

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      True story.

      Yesterday I was walking through the park. I am allowed. I saw two people sitting in one corner with no one around them for at least 100 yards. Between me and them were two police officers who approached them and told them to move on. They moved and crossed a narrow bridge with joggers, walkers and cyclists coming the other way. Make of that what you will ?

  39. BeebTax
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Happy Easter and good work.

    It is such a pity that “our” BBC goes out of its way to undermine the government’s efforts at this time of national crisis, by concocting malicious stories that clearly have little or no foundation.

    Radio 4’s main story this Easter morning was that two medicines were (I quote) “in relatively short supply” , one single doctor was quoted as saying his department was “running low”, pressed by the BBC the BMA said in that case doctors “might have to use substitute drugs”. The correspondent went on to say gravely that ICU’s “are a bit stretched”.

    Are they, indeed? I wonder why? Could it be something to do with a pandemic? What a shocking revelation – two drugs that are still available are in relatively short supply, somewhere – and if they ever ran out, patients would be given readily available alternatives.

    The whole story was more than a “bit stretched”, it was in effect just fake news. What a disgrace to run this sort of drivel at this time when there are plenty of serious issues to cover. My fear is that the BBC will continue on its mission to damage our country and its people as we try to get ourselves out of the hole we find ourselves in.

  40. Time Lord Community
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    The Church of England is the Tory Party at Prayer ”
    Get off your knees and look to the sky you have missed something.
    No,no, no it’s not ‘for’
    Get out of your sentence!

    • Mark
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think of Archbishop Welby as being a Tory.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:07 am | Permalink

        No, he is yet another deluded, tax, borrow and piss down the drain socialist at heart. But then so are so many Conservative MP and indeed past Conservative PMs like Heath, Major, Cameron and May for example. Even Boris is continuing with the economic basket case of HS2.

  41. Duyfken
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Without any implied criticism of present Government procedure, I should like to see evidence of some longer-term planning.

    From the indications in the media, whether right, overblown or even wrong, there seems to be no light yet at the end of the tunnel. It appears not to be a matter of the next few months that we may be blighted with this virus, but more likely at least a year before adequate control can be put in place.

    Of course we await the miracle cure, the vaccination to protect us all. Maybe also the “herd” strategy could be successful or some other procedure. Perhaps even the virus itself might peter out of its own accord. Let us hope for some such.

    Meanwhile we need to address the reality. During the summer months in UK, the number and severity of cases may diminish, sufficiently anyway to allow a guarded return to a normal social and economic lifestyle. That would be a real success and relief. It may however be only temporary.

    What is uppermost in my mind is how we get through next winter.

  42. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I have noticed that reports say people are being arrested for “Breaking Covid guidelines” – – when did a guideline become a law? and is this the green light for the govt to issue ANY guideline( law) – on ANY subject – at ANY time? – and give the police the right to arrest anyone for it? Instant arrest – instant fines – sounds a great way to treat the people whose taxes you so easily take and throw away. This country is going down a VERY nasty path. Cameras make us the most watched nation on the planet. Any travel is monitored by the ANPR cameras, Our phones, e-mails etc are recorded. Financial transactions by electronic tracking is being forced upon us. Control is what it is all about.
    If we just go to report anything suspicious to the police – or even the council – OUR full details are DEMANDED – name, DoB, address, how long you have lived there, mobile and home phone numbers – with which company , Broadband supplier, email and anything else they can think of. Make the innocent feel like a criminal. Free country???
    Catching this virus is looking to be a better option than living in – what WAS – a beautiful country. REALLY glad i’m old with most of my life behind me.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      The country has been slipping down the authoritarian path since 1939 when government amassed powers it never before had. It can’t start another major war but a pandemic or terrorism it can use as a pretext.

  43. BillM
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Governments and their QUANGOs hold procrastination in spades. Perhaps they should stick to playing Bridge and not play with people’s lives. There appears to be a distinct lack of proper leadership here. The test kits used in the Far East and in Germany are working well. Why have we not purchased their types? Are we having any proven trst kits manufactured in this country? If not why not?

  44. Time Lord
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    You Retweeted
    Fauci expresses ‘cautious optimism’ coronavirus outbreak is slowing, US could start reopening in May


  45. J Lerr
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Whichever expert speaks at the next Virus update should speak on why prisoners worldwide, if possible, are being released early because of the virus when they are perfectly isolated as any human could be.
    Is it because isolating in a ‘domestic’ setting from a virus like that is stupid and insane to consider for one moment except by a village idiot?

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Imagine the poor women who are in lockdown who now have to put up with a wayward son or partner coming back to the flat.

      Just because a prisoner may be ‘low risk’ does not mean he isn’t downright intimidating or unpleasant to be around.

      No petty criminal is in prison these days. They have to work REALLY hard to get there.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        It is also very demoralising for those of us obeying the lockdown to see prisoners we’d thought we’d seen the back of released back into our communities.

        Mr Hancock needs to realise that his authority is wafer thin. We could all just give up on this lockdown and there is NOTHING he could do about it.

        Nothing at all.

        What are the police going to do ? Start shooting rubber bullets at mothers with children ?

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

          The early released prisoners should be made to do the fruit picking etc that we are so short of.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:09 am | Permalink

      To save money and give some state sector workers even less to do.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

        Correct !

        I also see some nice new roads are being laid. Nice to have so few cars on the roads 😉

  46. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    just seen on the internet news pages –

    “Tesco has been given an initial list of 110,000 clinically vulnerable and isolated people by the Government.
    From this list, Tesco has identified 75,000 existing customers who will now have home delivery slots created for them.
    Tesco also says it will make even more slots available when it receives more data from the government.”

    So are the govt giving Tesco our personal details – all in the name of “wanting to help” presumably. Some of those people don’t even shop at Tesco – and don’t want to – but their details are STILL given to Tesco – -which they will undoubtedly use to their own advantage. What’s the bribe – privileged shopping access and 20% discount for the Govt people?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Errrr, why are you surprised? Totalitarianism – no individual freedom, subservience to the state. This is what has been introduced, this is what we live in, this is the future. There might be some small nods in the coming years to pretend freedom and democracy has been returned, to make us masses feel grateful, but the reality is the reality. You are a piece of data in society for Govt to do with what it wishes.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Funny how Data Protection matters until it doesn’t.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink


    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      And how about those who have had online deliveries for years and can no longer get slots….and now have to start going out to shop!
      Nice one!

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Another big supermarket chain won’t even give a delivery slot to a one-legged relative of mine. She used their service regularly before the crisis. Sorting out the home-delivery mess, so we are ready for the next crisis, is something that we will need to do when this one is over.

  47. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    When people are near death and well enough to worry about something it is very often money . My mother was more concerned about ensuring money was in the bank to give to her grand daughter , many suffering with cancer , worry about money . It is the second biggest stressor I know and some would say it is the actual biggest stressor.

    You realise this and are also thinking about continuation of life post Covid-19. There are some going under though and I will not name ,as it could hurt employees even more, who should have been more solid in the first place and I feel they are using this pandemic as an excuse to rid themselves of the struggle to keep afloat.

    I personally am nearing the end of my career and have seen much but I don’t remember a time when my experience as a professional was rebuffed as much as these times. I was one of the first to go back to basics sanitising areas , and making sure the patients and staff did not come into close contact with each other , disallowing whole families to accompany one patient where procedures and consultations took place ( and much verbally abused for this) , I probably contracted covid-19 as I had the symptoms and went into isolation.The difference I experienced from coughs and colds was the dry hacking persistent cough, which started at the back of the nose and travelled down the airways . I gargled with antiseptic frequently. There was always a doubt though : I had the symptoms , I had face to face consultations with many coming from the EU , but a definitive diagnosis might have saved me isolation . A swab should have been taken from Day 1 .There are many Nurses and Drs who feel this should have been available to us to keep systems going.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      M Brandreth Jones,

      A definitive diagnosis from a single test is not possible. As you are aware even the RT-PCR is not perfect sensitivity and specificity, there will be false positives and false negatives. Indeed it is difficult to find agreed data on these characteristics of the tests.

  48. Dunc.
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I hope John that you are keeping abreast of the various studies of the virus from around the world, particularly the random test studies in Austria and New Zealand , and the situation in Sweden that has persuaded the other Scandi countries to ease their lockdowns.
    As an MP , these result should be mobilising you to force the Government to ease the knee jerk lockdown currently destroying our way of life.

    Posted April 12, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    The criminal law demands we pay a cash fee to use a television to finance Labour’s propaganda channel. Why not use the same payment system for the NHS and then we can see how fond the British people are of another part of the leftist, unionised political network we are forced to finance and which now demands uncritical loyalty

    The socialist pariahs yearn to create a total free-lunch, dependent culture as this affords the State huge power over our lives. Well, this is happening right before our very eyes

    The NHS like the BMA and the RCN are political organisations and until people wake up and understand what their real role is then people will continue to suffer from a system that isn’t fit for purpose

      Posted April 12, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      ‘Why not use the same payment system to finance the NHS?’

      Take a cash fee (DD or SO) from each adult bank account each month or year to finance their health care so that the general taxpayer isn’t smashed to finance it

      Unfortunately, we have governments who since 1990, implement policy that benefits their party rather than the nation and the taxpayer

      • Mark B
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

        This is it. We need to start people paying for the services they use and also make people aware that there are those who for one reason or another are economically inactive and are not paying anything in.

  50. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Bearing in mind that the number of recorded cases is unreliable and understated because of inadequate testing in the past, the number of daily deaths is the only reliable key statistic that we have got, and it’s a lagging indicator.

    That being the case, I believe that as soon as the number of daily deaths dips below 500, we should begin to ease the lockdown. It’s not too early to start planning ahead for the order in which restrictions are removed.

  51. Mayday
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    “Coronavirus live updates: China’s new cases rise above 100, Singapore reports 233 new cases”
    This could be the second wave starting ( it started weeks ago actually and the Singapore government did warn!. It warned the world two weeks in advance of even the Chief Medical Officer going on about ‘distancing’ without seemingly being up to date of what the Singapore government had said, even providing a cool little video.
    Of course, curves, plateaus, leveling, hot spots are a bit naff when the virus in the first place was said to be capable of reinfecting ‘cured’ people and, reactivating within a ‘cured’ person being a distinct possibility. He made no mention publicy that he could not have been infected had he himself been attired correctly.

    A complete dump the NHS, and the best solution is to return to work on May 1st, everyone, and get our factories producing whatever the NHS needs . Our food supply could then return to normal which would be a good idea.
    If our own industry has to import plastic clothes and visors then we may as well pack up as an industrial nation and start winkle picking as our main occupation in Northumberland.
    Frankly there does not appear to be any sign of get up and go except from Boris. He sounds a better bet at 50% than most Tory MPs at full bore. Did they adopt their children?

    • Mark B
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      I would not trust any data coming out from China. Their infection rates curve does not match everybody else’s


  52. Iain Gill
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    As for “gaps in provision” almost everyone I know is in a gap.

    The Chancellor needs a stern talking to and reminding that he is here for the whole population and not social engineering against those he clearly has prejudice against like freelancers.

    Sort out basic money for food and the essentials for everyone and FAST.

  • 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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