Tackling poverty

The government has long held the view that the best way to combat poverty is to help people into jobs. It is easier to get to a better paid job from a starter job than from no job at all.

The government had been very successful at creating the right conditions for many more jobs to be created. This Parliament was meant to  be about securing more and better training for the many, so they can get better paid jobs. Business will work smarter as the workforce becomes better trained, and  better supported with technology.

The current surge in unemployment is a most unwelcome interruption in this policy. People who lose their jobs or who are told they can no longer earn from their self employed businesses are suddenly plunged into poverty through no fault of their own. Many did not earn enough to save for a rainy day, and have no other sources of cash or income to fall back on. It is all very well for senior civil servants and Ministers with well paid jobs to tell them they  must not work. They can afford to because they will still be paid, and can work from home in many cases.

It is vitally important we end the rise in unemployment as soon as possible. If we can start the return to work soon  we may be able to retrieve the position more quickly. If we stay in Lock Down Britain for too long more of these  jobs will be lost for good. The UK needs more productive capacity. We need to make more things for ourselves and grow more of our own food. This needs more all the companies and entrepreneurs we now have and more besides.

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


  1. Peter Wood
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    What is government going to do to help the farmers bring in their crops this year? They are asking for labour that cannot come from abroad. Or is government going to sit back and watch good food get ploughed back?

    • agricola
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:46 am | Permalink

      Draft in students and their lecturing staff. It might do their physical well being a world of good.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

        Indeed if would be good to get university students & staff to do this. About 60% of UK university courses are of highly dubious value and should be closed down anyway (by stopping the soft loans for hobby subjects or anyone with lower than say 3 Bs at A level.

        So it would be good training for them to get a real job.

        Many universities are surely going to go bust anyway as so many of the overseas student paying the higher fees have disappeared. Many deserve to.

        • margaret
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

          This is ridiculous. so many children who got high grades in A level have no idea when it comes to employment Many have been coached to pass those exams and nothing else . Some with more open degrees which require them to think about many situations often fair better , however, how illogical your arguments often are, despite you claim to be logical, I agree that many degrees don’t help society at all . I have worked with many who have first class honours as a bachelors and to use the words you often use.. are daft.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

            The median entry to university in the UK is three D’s at A level so half the people going have even less than this. Let the students and get a job and the re-sit if they really want to go to University. Or save up and pay for themselves to go. I would only restrict the soft loans to high grades. If people want to spent their own money fine.

            Someone with three Ds clearly has little interest in these subjects and little ability in it too. So what is the point in continuing?

            I agree lots of people get first and are as daft as a brush. Denis Healey got a double first in Greats (Balliol) yet he was daft enough to think a 98% income tax was a fine plan hence the cap in hand to the IMF fiasco! Even “no return to Boom and Bust, Save the World” Gordon Brown got a first (History, Edinburgh) and was an appallingly idiotic chancellor.

          • Original Chris
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

            “Fare” better.

      • JoolsB
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        And then there are students like my son, a 5th year Medical student at Cambridge volunteering to help tackle the virus at Addenbrooks Hospital. His reward – no protective gear and the minimum wage.

        I would much rather he was out picking crops in some farmer’s field.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          Well at least they are paying him and he is young (so not at much risk) only 3% of deaths in Italy were people under 60. Many medical schools were offering no pay to volunteers and calling back elderly retired ones too.

          Well done to him anyway.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      There are a number of farm labour-sourcing companies that are already on the case. They have had, I believe, a very good response to their call for more UK temporary workers. If more are needed then prisoners are an obvious source of labour – as in WW2. Right-wing me would be relaxed about their earning the full-rate for the job, with the money handed over on release. I suspect it would be a good way to reduce the reoffending rate. BTW, a good picker can make £150/day.

      • dixie
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

        Good idea on offering paid work to prisoners.

        I saw an article last week that said that three of those labour sourcing companies had grouped together on one appeal and had received 26,000 applications.

        Makes Andy and Martin’s claims that brits view such work is as beneath utter claptrap.

        • dixie
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

          .. as beneath them ..

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          It is not my claim.

          It is the farmers’.

          Out of millions laid off, yes you would expect quite a few applications these days.

          But what is the long term solution, for when these hard times are past?

          • NickC
            Posted April 15, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

            I know, Martin, let’s pay a foreign power to run our nation, make our laws, and decide what we’re allowed to do, just so we can import a few thousand seasonal farm labourers.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

            My long term solution is two things.
            Invest in machinery.
            Increase the wage rate to attract staff.

        • Sea Warrior
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

          I wasn’t proposing that the prisoners would have any choice in the matter. 🙂

          • dixie
            Posted April 15, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

            An offer they can’t refuse then ..

        • John Hatfield
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          A propos rien, when I was little, we had German prisoners of war working on out farm. Of course they didn’t stay lng as they were itching to get home.
          Good workers, as you would expect Germans to be.

          • John Hatfield
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

            stay long, pardon me.

      • jerry
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

        @Sea Warrior; “If more are needed then prisoners are an obvious source of labour”

        No they are not, given the number of prisons with confirmed CV19 cases, might as well use passengers of one of those infected cruise ship – to high a risk of asymptomatic people slipping trough pre-job testing.

        If there are not enough voluntary labour then, like WW2, direction of labour might have to be considered.

      • Hope
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        JR, it is probably the first time I have read you slightly criticising ministers, para.3, Matt Hancock going to ask pay rise of MPs not given or handed over like he asked footballers?

        Para.1 not correct. Education system is failing millions and not preparing for jobs. Some employers have their own tests not relying on exams from schools or useless universities. Comprehensive failed everyone. Grammar schools need to be brought back so those wanting to learn learn, those disruptive pupils placed in an alternative school.

        The Govt. failures in this issue will come out no matter how it trying to hide facts, no matter how many strap lines, no matter how evasive in answering questions etc.

        Borders are still wide open! Open border policy failed to protect us from terrorism, Manchester Bomber coming in and out U.K., hundreds of thousands illegal immigrants entered and lost under May and Rudd- presumably taking up NHS beds, are they staying at home ? Why not arrest them it would be easier to catch at the moment, open borders from virus hotspots spreading the disease and killing people. Your govt open border policy. Your Govt. these paid and sometimes illegal people keeping wages low and causing crime. Your Govt policies.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        I’ve heard a rumour the farmers like to claw back some of the daily pay for the accommodation they provide for imported Labour so this could apply to you suggesting they be paid for their labour and deducted for the cost of their keep.

    • So...
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      If farmers have planted appropriate crops for the soil, area and possible local labour they will not have a problem. We voted Leave years ago. It has never been certain they would get foreign labourers. They gambled. So…

    • clive
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Good morning every one .
      I have never been able to understand why on earth very low risk prisoners could not be used to pick fruit and veg under strict supervision . . Some may wish to be considered after their release to work in the agricultural environment . Intensives for early release could easily be achieved on productivity and good behavior. Surely better than nothing . A ready made cheap work force in waiting .

  2. agricola
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    The situation is neatly defined by being between a rock and a hard place. Lifting the lockdown for many of the self employed is still going to be a struggle for the ones who have direct contact with the general public. Who will risk inviting in decorators in the present situation. The final judgement should be governed by the figures and the availability of viable medical countermeasures. It will not be unlike deciding the date for D-Day. A decision not without risk and the recriminations of those of a “I told you so” inclination.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink


      • Hope
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        No rock and a hard place. PHE and NHS England completely failed in their preparations for this pandemic when there had been previous ones in recent history. South Korea ambassador to U.K. On TV made it clear they had learned from previous pandemics from China: test, trace and treat strategy. The respective Health Secretaries- Lansley, Hunt and Hancock- failed the nation created layers of unnecessary bureaucracy, i.e. PHE, caused suffering and cost lives as a consequence.

        Patrick Vallance (clip on Guido today) already broke ranks last night on TV shooting a great big hole through the use of the very costly Public Healh England and the govt by saying not enough testing has taken place and not soon enough!

        Ministers repeatedly claiming right decision at the right time strap line. Completely false and dishonest claim knowing that China had stopped internal flights from specific areas on 21/01/2020 while allowing international flights from the same cities! Taiwan, Australia and South Korea picked up on it straight away banning flights while our govt allowed flights in! Taiwan called out the WHO at the time, as did Trump later, while our Govt lamely followed! WHO called a world pandemic and our Govt. allowed flights in without testing, tracing or quarantine and Cheltenham festival etc. to go ahead!

        Govt already changing the goal posts time when house arrest can be stopped!

    • oldwulf
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      Agricula – I believe you are right.

      Whilst getting back to work quickly, is a laudable aim, I do not believe that the Government has yet done enough to justify this course of action.

      I believe we need to see better availability of PPE for front line workers, more and better life saving equipment and staff to use it, a very, very, very significant increase in the availability of mass testing to include all new arrivals, the availability of the new NHS tracing app and then more transparent numbers. To repeat my post ftom yesterday evening:

      “As I understand it, the daily figure of reported deaths:
      * does not necessarily record the death on the correct day
      * does not necessarily say that the death is 100% because of covid 19
      * does not necessarily identify all potential covid 19 deaths

      On this basis I am not sure why the media makes such a big deal about the numbers.

      However, if you look at the 7 day moving average, the trend is still rising. I do not believe that we should relax things just yet.”

      A magical medical intervention such as a vaccine or a wonder drug, would be the icing on the cake.

    • Tom Rogers
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      It is not “between a rock and a hard place”. Thousands of people die of the flu every season. All you’re doing is spreading panic and alarm.

      • anon
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

        If you don’t get transparency on simple numbers which can be verified later. Then the kindest explanation is they are trying to avoid panic.

        How are you sure this is not a pandemic virus, capable of killing thousands in excess of normal death for a considerable period?

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      An unscientific observation today when walking the dog early. There are many more vehicles missing from driveways today.
      I visited elderly relative with shopping and the A38 was much busier. I believe many are finding way around the lockdown to get an income .
      It is human nature to provide for the family.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        I’ve also noticed walking too and while at the shops no one, and I mean absolutely no one, is talking or smiling…its quite eerie

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      If I were a decorator at the moment I’d be advertising for outdoor paintwork, fences, etc. and offices that are empty.
      My window-cleaner is still operational.

    Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    This Tory govt carry on protecting your new found public sector clientele while abusing the interests of those they know they can abuse, private sector employees and self-employed people.

    No fear of unemployment or interruption of income if you’re a nurse, teacher or police officer. No fear of being unable to feed their children for your average civil servant or BBC employee. No siree. It’s still party time for Labour’s army of loyal public sector lackeys

    I still don’t understand why people vote Tory or Labour. Both parties treat the private sector will an almost gleeful contempt. Both parties will continue to pray at the altar of an unreformed public sector. Labour for it’s their power based and the Tories, because you’re now captured by them which in effect means no reform and higher taxes for private sector employees to finance the abusive waste endemic in the system

    Oh, sovereign debt, that it allows this party in government to finance the waste that wouldn’t be there if they imposed reform

    They smash the private sector into smithereens and yet they won’t impose massive changes on Labour’s public sector power base? Why is this?

    It is the private sector that is the BEATING HEART of the UK, not the NHS. Each and every waking moment is dominated by the private sector. Our material world is delivered to us by the private sector. The private sector is the beating heart of the NHS for without the wealth we create the NHS goes into cardiac arrest

    We want to see reforms imposed upon public sector employment and practice to create genuine equality. We don’t want to see this PM elevating the public sector to divine status and using it to protect his own party

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

      “We don’t want to see this PM elevating the public sector to divine status and using it to protect his own party”.

      We certainly do not. As Churchill said:- Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon.

      We desperately need a larger sturdy horse pulling a sturdy wagon now.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

        Is Boris going to be up to it? The first thing to do is to cancel HS2, scrap the net carbon neutral lunacy and then abolish are the various arms of government. Most of which do nothing of value anyway and many do positive harm. Release these people so they can get real & productive jobs now.

        A win, win, wind for the real economy.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

          Not sure where the “wind” came from. Perhaps I was thinking about all those wind farms that generate slightly more (albeit intermittent) power than the fossil fuel energy used to manufacture, transport, build, install, insure, back up, repair, connect to the grid and maintain – if you are lucky that is. The ones the government has pissed so much tax payer subsidies on.

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

      You omitted to mention what viable alternative there was to voting Tory or Labour.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

        I voted Tory for one reason only – to save the country from Corbynist spending…

        … oh dear.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

        None that could get even remotely near to a majority under the FPTP voting system.

        Soft Socialists (the Conservative) or Socialist/Marxists wagged by Sturgeon and her dire National Socialist Party of Scotland seems to be the appalling choice.

        The only hope is that Boris finally sees the light and becomes a proper small government, freedom and choice Conservative. No sign of this until he, at the very least, cancels HS2 and the net zero Carbon expensive energy lunacy.

        Sir Nicholas Soames (who voted for the appalling Benn Act & yet for some inexplicable reason was allowed back into the party) thinks that Boris will go the other way after his near death experience with the NHS. But Soames is nearly always wrong, let us hope he is wrong in this too.

        • miami.mode
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

          LL, after his experience it’s doubtful that Boris Johnson will be much less than 100% in favour of the NHS.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

            Hopefully he is a brain over emotion person!

      • dixie
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

        And to be viable it has to demonstrate a track record of competence, not just pop up at a general election.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        We had one, but that option for many was taken away at the last minute to get the Tories re-elected and faux BREXIT done !

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        Labour not viable.

      • Andy
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        A quarter of voters – one in four – didn’t vote for either Tories or Labour.

        You would not know this from our rubbish Parliament where, because of our failed electoral system, they are barely represented.

        • NickC
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          Says the man who was willing to trash our democracy so our country would remain a province of his EU empire. Says the man who gloated over the deaths of elderly Brexit voters to promote his politics. Says the man who brayed that closing our borders to disease carriers was “xenophobic”. Says the man who failed to predict Covid19 but who was absolutely confident that his predictions about our economic future were true. Etc . . . .

          • Andy
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

            I said in February we needed to shut down the country to tackle Covid. The Brexit obsessives in government didn’t. They followed your favoured route and there are 12,000 dead and counting – most of them elderly. Not very good at this, are you?

          • Le Libertarian
            Posted April 15, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink


            I think as someone who

            a) Promoted a desire for the elderly to die
            b) told us that young people should have a vote as we ruined their future ( and who are the ones spreading the disease by NOT isolating )
            c) Trying to claim that the CV19 death toll would have been totally eliminated by locking down two weeks earlier

            d) Unable to explain why France who DID closedown two weeks earlier has a higher death toll

            You really ought to stay very very quiet

          • NickC
            Posted April 15, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

            Andy, On 30 March you declared that closing borders was xenophobic and never the right answer. Yet you’re happy to shut down internal borders – closed schools, closed businesses, people locked down in their homes. Yet if international borders had been closed instead from the start, our national lockdown would not be necessary. Not very good at this, are you?

          • dixie
            Posted April 19, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

            @Andy wrt your claim that “I said in February we needed to shut down the country to tackle Covid.”

            Prove it.

            I can find no such statement by you on this blog, no mention of coronavirus at all in February.

        • JoolsB
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          For once Andy I agree with you. Indeed if they were represented, more would vote for them otherwise we feel it’s a wasted vote. Labour and the Tories have the system stitched up between them.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

          So three quarters did.
          Sounds like a big majority.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

          The evidence of studying elections from around the world is that, if the electoral system delivered a much more representative outcome, many of those who don’t bother voting actually would.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

            And that would alter the outcome of the election.
            For all you know those that currently do not vote might be electors who support the two main parties but don’t vote because there is an acceptable large majority for the party they like.
            You assume they will all vote for your favourite party.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

            I don’t assume who they would vote for, but I do want each person’s vote to be as worth using as everyone else’s and to deliver representative outcomes. That’s what democracy should be about, fair and equitable representation for all.

          • Anonymous
            Posted April 14, 2020 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

            The whole point since 1950 is to create a disparate society and one that can never reach a consensus – so that the Blairist middle road is the only way.

            You can choose any party so long as it is a faded red.

          • Le Libertarian
            Posted April 15, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

            Easy way to do that old mate

            a Presidential style election you know like the referendum where EVERY SINGLE VOTE counted , but you didn’t like the result ….hmmm

      • DavidJ
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        Indeed; that is a huge issue.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Have you not heard of the Brexit Party?

        • steve
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

          John Hatfield

          Isn’t that the one which promises to stand firm alongside patriots, but runs away when there’s a fight?

          Yes I remember them, their mascot is, err….a wooden spoon I think.

        • Andy
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

          The Brexit Party got fewer votes than the Green Party. Though you wouldn’t know Farage was such an electoral irrelevance from the amount of media attention he gets.

          Imagine if Caroline Lucas was on TV and radio as much as him?

          Infact Farage gets more coverage than the Lib Dems
          – and six times as many people voted for them than compared to him.

          • Le Libertarian
            Posted April 15, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink


            Any thoughts on the French recession and closing of internal borders?

            Any thoughts on Germany throwing out most EU rules , closing borders and providing state aid to German companies

            Any thoughts on the TOTAL rejection of the laughable EU loan offer

            Any thoughts on the EU’s failure to not only deliver ventilators but to even complete the bidding process

            Any thoughts on the way the EU treated Italy?

            Any thoughts on an EU country declaring full martial law?

            Any thoughts on the TOTAL & COMPLETE failure of this bunch of tired, old, dysfunctional bureaucrats and their total incompetence when faced with a massive emergency

            The EU has proved its a busted flush

          • NickC
            Posted April 15, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

            Andy, In 2019, less than a year ago, the Brexit party decisively won the most votes, and the most seats, for the fig-leaf parliament in our primary government – your EU empire. That’s why Farage is more important than your CAGW-deluded Lucas.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      It does seem strange that this Conservative Government punishes those that provide their income, punishes those that provide the finances to their monolithic centralist rule.

      For the most part when the whole package(pensions, holidays etc.) is costed the public sector is heads and shoulders ahead above the median earnings of those that pay for them. There can be nothing against effort and efficiency being rewarded, but for sometime those that directly create the income stream have been punished never more so than now.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

        Indeed last time I looked the average pension pot value of a state sector employee was about 5 percent times that of the private sector (excluding the state pension that is).

        Better pay and working conditions too on average too. Many clearly do not have anything much of value to do either other than harass the productive. 20% riding on the back of the 80% in general (with a few honourable exceptions).

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          5 times not (percent)

          • Ian @Barkham
            Posted April 15, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

            Yet for some reason that is not counted as remuneration – but a right.

        • Cheshire Girl
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          Better pay and working conditions! Experts in everything, like you, have obviously never worked in the public sector.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

            No I have not, but do I know many who do, both my sisters and very many others. I also deal with this organisation all the time HMRC, planning departments, LEAs, building control, reporting crimes to the police, using the NHS and so I form my opinion of these organisations from this experience.

            They are hugely inefficient and massively misdirected in general. Often a few good front line staff tying their best but the systems are appalling often doing more harm that good.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

            I am however constantly being taxed, inconvenienced and having my time wasted by the state sector.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        I have little concern about a public sector employee on £30 – £45K getting better holidays and pensions than me as long as they are properly performance managed and do a good job.

        I have a huge issue with the higher echelons of the public sector with heir obscene pensions and job security with pay rises increasing as they move towards retirement.

        There should be a cap on how much the taxpayer puts into these pension pots and they should be defined contribution like the rest of us have to live with.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      There are salivating jaws just awaiting the final tasty morsels of the totally ruined private sector. They had a nice taster post 2008 when many small internet businesses went to the wall.
      Think of the nice cheap shares that have been bought with such glee! Bad news ( virus)…markets drop…apply hoover…whoops….all ok again….well actually…extremely ok for some! Maybe if it suits a property crash bonanza will follow?
      Don’t forget that we only have the choice of far, far, far Left and pretty far Left to vote for and that all our public services actually HAVE been devastated to the point where we have been abandoned.
      We, by their own admission do not have a health system that can cope with an infectious illness.( So pardonnez-moi…but WHAT exactly is a health service for?? Never mind bl**dy CLAPPING!!) Not only because govts have overseen mass immigration but because having so done they have wasted the resources of the Health Service we once BOUGHT for ourselves…or actually were forced to buy.
      No wonder they are so keen on taking away free speech.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

        People in this country must accept a lot of the blame for allowing successive govts to destroy the right wing.
        I mean, obliterating all political opposition with weasel propaganda just wasn’t FAIR…was it?
        But good old Joe Bloggs fell for it.
        And now he’s under house arrest!

    • Mark B
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      The Tories are more concerned with stealing New Labour’s clothes than making their own garment.

      • Original Chris
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        Well said, Mark, and that is why they will never be trusted. They simply are not authentic, but trying to emulate others in the hope of gaining votes. Foundation on sand. Hopeless. (I do not include John Redwood, and a very few others, in this).

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      100% agree with your assessment and comments

      As was mentioned yesterday there are now two types of people in UK i.e the Public Sector and Private Sector employee. One see’s this event as an inconvenience and the other a fight for survival

      The real poverty is the number of SMEs and private sector employees who are going to be unemployed at the end of April…..Unemployed by the actions of this government

    • RichardM
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      The government care so much about the ‘public sector clientele’ that they dont even know how many NHS and Care workers have died because of Covid 19.

      • Le Libertarian
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        Yes they do, they announced it, 42 the last time I saw

    • BOF
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      I agree with you DOMINIC. The damage of this disastrous lockdown will be to the private sector, the tax base without which there are no services.

      I am greatly relieved that the PM is making a good recovery, but I do not look forward to seeing him again leading the Thursday night service in praise of ‘OUR NHS’.

      • Original Chris
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Apologies, I meant to say was MAYBE due to ……. Huge difference, I know. Long day.

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      To show we are all in this together, all public sector workers should receive only 80% of their salary until this is over, our wealthy and overpaid MPs should receive NO salary whatsoever for three months in the same way they expect the self employed to do and thereafter one quarter of 80% of their average income over the last three years. Also the £10,000 they have all disgracefully been awarded for the inconvenience of working from home should be scrapped immediately. How offensive and out of touch when there are people out there losing their livelihoods through no fault of their own for want of help from the Government. They would love to receive £10,000. John will say it’s to cover extra office expenses but many MPs will totally abuse it – they have form on this. It will be interesting to see how many state of the art 72” TVS, the latest iPads and iPhone have been bought, all to keep up with what’s going on of course whilst they’re working from their taxpayer funded homes.

      John, Dominic is absolutely correct in that your Government are protecting the bloated, pampered, cushioned, wasteful public sector whilst throwing the private sector to the wolves. As someone forced to shut down and having lost thousands of pounds already, I have received not one scrap of support from the Government. One point I’ve mentioned before is why isn’t all council tax stopped for the self employed for the time being. Government guidelines to my local council are to give me an insulting £12.50 discount off my £270 a month bill and even that hasn’t been forthcoming. What help is that to people who have seen their entire incomes disappear overnight?

      It feels as though the wealth generators and private sector workers are the only ones suffering any financial hardship in all this and we will not forget when this is all over how we were hung out to dry by your Government, a ‘Conservative’ (????????) one at that!

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      It doesn’t stop with essential public sector workers like [nurse, teacher or police officer], two of those three the majority are physically working right now.

      It is all the Council workers who have cancelled our bin collections, road sweeping has stopped (last time I looked two persons didn’t sit in those), grass cutters an ideal time to do this job. Pothole fillers (an ideal time to do this job), what is stopping them wearing masks and carrying hand gel if they have to work in teams of two? Libraries etc. how many of these staff were re-deployed or we they all furloughed on full pay?
      Ex nationalised industries like BA their Union have negotiated full pay during furlough, I hope they don’t come to the rest of us for a bailout if they do this, they should pay this excess themselves.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      ‘why would anyone have voted Conservative or Labour in the last election?’

      Well why would anyone have voted for Libnodemocrats or Green?

      Brexit Party was widely available – and then it wasn’t.

      Those who thought ‘why bother’ had a point.
      I’m still waiting for Boris to show what I hoped he was going to do….probably like millions of others.?

  4. Mark B
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    First we need to define what is poverty. The best definition I find is :

    “Poverty is not having enough material possessions or income for a person’s needs.”

    Now we must define, “needs,”, because this is very subjective. The basic needs are access to a home, clean water, electricity, food, safety and security. I argue these are the basic “needs” and, once a person has access to those they can no longer be considered poor.

    The trouble is, the Left in order to expand its victim / voter base (eg child poverty) creates evermore “needs,” and so gives itself evermore reason to push into and onto our lives. They, the Left, are piggybacking and the most vulnerable in society for their own selfish ends.

    Access to work is important as it is not only a means of making money but a way of increasing one’s personal pride and esteem. So their is great psychological benefits to work.

    The best I find that government can do is to let the market and individuals do the creating. Letting people who create ideas, companies and jobs keep more of their wealth. The notion that you must tax those that are successful to give to the poor actually prohibits growth as there are so many more.

    And we will never be able to develop good business when government is interfering, effectively telling private companies who they can and cannot employ. eg gender and race quotas. The best job should always go to the best person irrespective.

    In short. We need less government, not more and the first line of this article suggests.

  5. APL
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    “People who lose their jobs or who are told they can no longer earn from their self employed businesses are suddenly plunged into poverty through no fault of their own. ”

    But for an action of the magnitude the government has taken. We need some accountability throughout the civil service and its advisers. In that last category Neil Ferguson, who’s wild forecasts led to the destruction of may farming businesses during the F&M outbreak.

    The man and his models is a menace.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      The models are guess work an nothing more than egotistical experiments.

      Put a human in charge that will trust the people and we will thrive. This Conservative Government is acting as if its a local version of the EU Commission – they know better than everyone while they preserve their empire and jobs for the boys.

    • Aye
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      I think a full review of all in decisive positions, of their education, where they were educated, who by,what they were taught and how, is a sensible and humane course of action in the coming months. Something is not quite right with them. Rather confused hazy thoughts with almost obsessional sideways focus. Most odd.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink


    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Absolutely so! Proved a failure and retained at all costs! Rather like Carney …. and others.

  6. oldtimer
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    The world of the taxpayer funded salariat is, for all practical purposes, another planet so far as those who run their own business are concerned (or those who work in private enterprise businesses). It is probable that just about everyone involved in the Sage and ministerial groups deciding how long to extend the lockdown belongs to that salariat or funded organisation that does not depend on achieving sales to customers day by day. The decision to end the lockdown in unlikely to be balanced between the interests of the public v private sectors.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink



    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      That is another weakness of the Anglo-Saxon economic model.

      You have a very large proportion of people who are either self-employed, or in otherwise precarious, casualised positions.

      They have very little resilience, and because they are such a significant sector in the model, nor does the whole in turn.

      • oldtimer
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        It is not a “weakness” that businesses must respond to customer and market needs to survive and prosper. That is the whole essence of their being. The problem arises from the government’s decision to order the lockdown which prevents them from functioning at all. Not all are weak. Some will survive either because they have been able to accumulate reserves or to raise new capital in the recent past to fund growth and development (this is true of several AIM companies I follow closely).

        • glen cullen
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

          And a lot of SMEs who survived the 2008 recession and used at lot of their own resources, financially, physically and spiritually will not go though that pain again….I don’t want to be the messenger of doom but many SMEs will either go bust or just give it up

      • Edward2
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        What economic system to improve the standards of living do you like Martin.

        There is not a large proportion of self employed (16%) or casual emplyed people (5%) out of the whole workforce(100%).
        More nonsense from you.

      • NickC
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        Martin, So why don’t you emigrate to your favourite authoritarian regime – the EU empire? Where everything is planned by the dirigiste, anti-democratic, eurocrats. Where all self-employed are sent for re-education. And all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. Please seriously consider it.

        In the meantime you must be hoping that Jeremy Corbyn snipes away from the backbenches, like Ted Heath did, complaining about disloyalty – when he showed none for 30 years – preparatory to a stunning comeback in a few years. Jeremy Corbyn is 94.

      • steve
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        “That is another weakness of the Anglo-Saxon economic model.
        You have a very large proportion of people…”

        I think you should explain yourself, before someone takes umbrage.

        We’re supposed to be in this together, regardless of race, creed, ancestry etc.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

          Not the extreme left Steve.
          They want to first compartmentalise us, then use that to divide us by setting one group against another.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

          In economics and politics “Anglo-Saxon” has a particular meaning, particularly amongst Continentals.

          It is nothing to do with race, but the model that Reagan notably, and Thatcher, tried to force on the rest of the world, and their successors to the creed still do.

          Its fundamental requirement is insecurity amongst the workforce.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 15, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

            Pretty successful then Martin
            Despite both being pantomime villains for you on the left.
            They didn’t force it on us.
            They were elected to do it.
            Standards of living rose
            Inflation was reduced.
            The numbers in work in the UK recently was a record.
            A 40 year record low level of unemployment too.

  7. Sea Warrior
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    ‘Many did not earn enough to save for a rainy day, and have no other sources of cash or income to fall back on.’ And it seems that many who could have, just didn’t bother – and why should they when the Chancellor has been so quick to throw money at people. I’m not going to suggest an answer to the problem but I would like to see politicians looking at how to encourage people to have some resilience in their private finances. And for companies to have the same discipline.
    One other point: when this is all over, Amazon will be stronger and conventional retail companies weaker. That has implications for employment and tax revenues.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      People on the dole as a lifestyle choice or in state sector jobs or retirement don’t have to worry about resilience in private finances. Not a lot has changed for them and lockdown’s still a bit of a jolly at the moment.

      Those high street shops aren’t coming back, nor most of the pubs.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      So too will TESCO as the government gifted them the personal details of many people.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      The Government have to deliver ‘honest money’ on which you can earn a return by saving if they want savers. At present savings are decimated by inflation and tax. So nobody saves because it is impossible to do so.
      Successive governments have followed this course.
      The people have acted rationally in an irrational system.
      Ergo ..

    • APL
      Posted April 15, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Sea Warrior: “And it seems that many who could have, just didn’t bother – and why should they when the Chancellor has been so quick to throw money at people.”

      Well, why should anyone save money? Interest rates 0.5% inflation currently in the range 2-3% soon with the money the government is printing 10 – 20% – It’s a sensible thing to spend your money as fast as you can.

      Your spending power is at its maximum the moment you lay hands on the cash, it only declines the longer you hold it.

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Over 2,200 care homes now have the infection it seems. It is hard to believe that the virus deaths in UK care homes are going to be less than about four thousand already.

    Most it seems will not be given any hospital care or indeed much by way of palliative care either.

    • SM
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      Perhaps you are unaware that many care homes are not licensed to give palliative care?

      Would you rather a hospital bed be given to an 80yr old with incurable dementia or a 40yr old with a decent chance of survival?

      How many care home residents die in any year that there is a particularly strong flu virus doing the rounds, and do you make a huge fuss about that?

      John, you are absolutely right – the world, not just the UK, needs to get back to work.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        We are assured each evening that the NHS has spare ICU capacity and ventilators. Did all these people at nursing homes choose to die without any intervention?

        How many, if any, have been even taken to hospital?

        • SM
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 4:48 am | Permalink

          You really refuse to get it, don’t you?

          You don’t put the elderly and frail into extreme recovery therapy because it’s likely to kill them anyway.

          And it appears the latest care home death figures are being assessed on very little helpful information – how many of the deceased have been tested either pre or post mortem? How many autopsies have been performed to confirm cause of death?

          I’d suggest that not being able to have visitors and possibly seeing the panic-spreading MSM response will have removed most of the will to survive.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      Last March a 92 year old relative died in a Home of an upper respiratory disease.
      The Home was able to offer “End of Life” care which is so much better than being whisked off to hospital.

      Are my comments really THAT much more radical than others? Deserving immediate deletion? 😳

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      Yes, that’s deregulation for you.

      The workers in these places have no particular clinical training, nor in infection control.

      And they would be short of PPE even if they had.

      The Government passed over three chances to join the European Union’s bulk buy of PPE.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        There is no deregulation in the care homes sector.
        Government has brought in loads of laws regulations and inspections.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        France held back our delivery of PPE and are struggling themselves.
        It is amazing to me that no-one is asking just how does Germany have all the test kits available for themselves, where were they produced? How long before the outbreak were they ordered if imported?
        Other nations such as Spain also ran short of PPE it has been very badly organised by Public Health England, they knew this virus was coming, they are the stock orderers not Matt Hancock, there are about three organisation in the NHS to deal with stock, staffing etc. they need to be held to account and stop passing the buck.

        This massive reaction now is just draining the ppe from other organisations that are operational right now and it is grossly negligent.

        • hefner
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

          It might be amazing to you but could it be that all these test kits had been/are being produced by companies like TIB Molbiol GmbH, Robert Bosch GmbH, or the German subsidiary of the Swiss Roche? No need for a conspiracy, you know.
          And could it be that health in Germany being the responsibility of the 16 Laender (not the federal government), these have been ‘nimbler’ at reacting to the Covid-19 threat?

          • a-tracy
            Posted April 15, 2020 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

            No that’s not amazing to me at all, if Germany was decided by the EU to become,the pharmaceutical specialists in Europe why weren’t the tests available to everyone in the EU why were they just kept in Germany? If we centralise specialities then this is what happens!

            The nhs is too big, to centralised in decision making, too London centric at the moment and I’m sick of the poor management and buck passing.

      • NickC
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Anyone can buy PPE. The issue is who is willing to sell it at the moment. The NHS had a contract with Valmy (of France) to supply face masks. The French government has just prevented Valmy from honouring the contract. Then there was the little matter of Germany stopping the export of medical equipment to Italy. Oh, yes, your EU is real friendly and co-operative isn’t it? I have a bulk buy of bridges if you’re interested??

        • hefner
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

          Are you sure? What is your source? Valmy SAS Ltd is a British company specialising in masks and based in Luton.

          • NickC
            Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

            Hefner, The reality of Germany preventing exports of medical equipment is so well known – including responses by Italian politicians – that you have to be lazy indeed not to know it. The report about the same approach by the French government in regard to the Valmy contract for exported masks to the NHS was in Moneyweek. They may be wrong of course, but equally many foreign owned businesses have branches in the UK which do no, or limited, manufacturing here, but purport to be British based.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        The government tells us there’s enough PPE, the PHE tells us there’s enough PPE, the NHS Trusts tell us there’s enough PPE and that while out-patients and routine operations are cancelled PPE has also been re-allocated to where its needed most. So is it just a few nurses and doctors on TV telling us there isn’t enough or is there a real problem of disinformation? Someone isn’t telling the truth

        • Fred H
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

          Glen – – and a lot insist we will have 100,000 testing every day by 30th April. And will the false positives, and the false negatives be identified and retested a couple of days later to be sure? Pigs might fly….

    • Tom Rogers
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Of course care homes have the infection. But what does it prove beyond that simple fact? Care homes always have infections, just like schools have infections. I’m just wondering what further alarm and panic lunatics like you can squeeze out of this?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      We’re going to see the death numbers go up whilst 95% of issues are going to be in the hospital and care sectors. However hard working and dedicated people are in these sectors, we can’t have 100% of the population held captive by the problems being almost completely in this sector.

      There needs to be a way of supporting folk and their households plus the sector itself independently of everyone else.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        In the old days (pre-2019) people would go to bed for 2 weeks or be in a hospital isolation ward.

    • Richard1
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      What are GPs doing these days? Most have severely cut back surgery times. They largely no longer go into care homes apparently. This is happening all over the public sector. Bin collections are being reduced for no reason. I fear lock-down is becoming an excuse for some segments of our public services.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        There are plenty of people getting a very annoyed about this, some of these services could be re-opened but why would they when the future taxpayer is picking up the tab. Why is a bin person in more danger than a nurse or shop worker?

        • steve
          Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          “Why is a bin person in more danger”

          Actually they have very tough immune systems – fact.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        Indeed it is. What are GPs doing? A few online surgeries I suppose and signing death certificates perhaps.

    • Richard1
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      as pointed out by prof Karol Sikora, eminent cancer specialist + 2 others yesterday, the NHS has effectively closed down now for anything other than Wuhan virus treatment. There will be serious consequences unfortunately for people with other medical complications. This needs to be revisited.

      Unfortunately such questions are not being asked by that privileged little group of generally left leaning journalists who get to question ministers every day. They are all focused on a gothcha moment it seems, getting a minister to ‘apologise’ over something etc, instead of asking useful and insightful questions.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Who are the private hospitals treating right now too?

        • Richard1
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

          They have all in effect been nationalised

          • a-tracy
            Posted April 15, 2020 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

            Someone has told me they’re virtually shut.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Those infected in care homes MUST have been infected by staff!

      This is again is surely down to the inefficiencies of preparedness to supply care homes with the necessary PPE

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        Two weeks incubation period – three weeks to die – it is just as likely to be visitors infecting them at present and then those infected by visitors spreading it around.

        But PPE makes a good story doesn’t it?

      • Fred H
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        people in Care Homes are often taken for attention to hospitals, where they might catch anything – MRSA, Noro , now CV….Quickly discharged back to Care Homes….see the connection. It happened to my late father-in-law.

    • clive
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      I understood one of the reasons we are all at home was to shield the elderly and very poorly people . How is it then that Cancer patients along with transplant and other very serious operations are now being pushed back weeks and in some cases months. People in care homes left where they are .
      Many, many , will die as a direct consequence of this. Despair and worry must be intolerable .
      The very people we are told we are protecting, are the very said same that sadly we are not .
      I lost my wife to cancer two years ago last week , if only the same amount of effort and money was afforded to finding a cure for that hideous disease.
      Us British don’t tend to do cowering under a rock very well . So lets look after who we can ,when we can, and get back to work.

    • John E
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      The community nurses in Earley are using goggles donated from the science lab at the local Maiden Erlegh comprehensive as PPE.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink


      Indeed, and I see the actual figures for deaths in such homes, and for those outside of hospitals, have just been released this morning, which show very significant numbers indeed, and a huge increase in comparison with the average of the last five years over the same period.

      I really do not think the Government or indeed the population, have a real clue as to how far this virus has actually spread at all as yet.

      Afraid this is going to be a long drawn out battle with many people being financially affected, even if they escape the personal effect of the virus itself.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Some evidence from other countries that care home virus deaths can be about 50% of the hospital death figure. In which case we are only a couple of day from having 20,000 deaths.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic are you anticipating 40,000 deaths in the next few days?

    • APL
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic: “Over 2,200 care homes now have the infection it seems. ”

      The primary transmission vector is not via aerosol droplets ( coughing or sneezing ) although that might contribute some.

      The virus sheds in faeces, and low cleanliness standards in care homes ( where they often deal with incontinent patients ) is the dominant vector of disease transmission.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    There has not been one shred of thanks for this large group of people.

    The ones who have done there bit by losing their jobs and are deprived of any source of funding.

    How they must envy *key* workers.

    They’d have been better off had they spent their lives sponging on the dole and newly released prisoners are going to be put in front of them in the welfare queue. Who’d want to start up a small business knowing that this is how you’re going to be treated in a crisis ?

    The very spirit of Capitalism is going to be infected by this disease and the reaction to it.

    Enjoy the war while it lasts because the peace is going to be utterly awful.

    China gets away with it. Communism becomes the solution when it caused the problem in the first place.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      sad but true

    • steve
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink


      “How they must envy *key* workers.”

      Actually some of us key workers resent some of those fortunate to be able to doss about on their backsides while on full pay.

      “China gets away with it.”

      Yep. No apology, no demands for such from our government, they’re not even considering that China should pay compensation. Instead, they’re paying money to China for PPE…..needed because of a problem caused by China in the first place. You couldn’t make it up.

      On the bright side US corporates are already talking of pulling out of China and going to Mexico and the US.

      Consumers globally can also boycott Chinese goods. I certainly won’t buy Chinese goods ever again, I’d rather pay extra for something made where they don’t torture animals (including endangered species) lie, cheat, steal etc.

      Personally I hope Donald Trump sticks it to China. Tens of thousands of deaths worldwide by one country can’t be allowed to happen without consequences.

  10. Ian @Barkham
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    As a country we would be nowhere without the services provided the public sector and I for one value that concept.

    But, in a time of what can only be seen as a national emergency the real inequality raises its head. As a for instance(and there are many other examples) the teaching profession is unable to work full time because of the situation. Most of those that pay their wages are now furloughed on 80% pay. These are the same people that will have to pay back the debt incurred by being financed with taxpayer money for their furlough, while at the same time still funding those public servants receiving 100% of income and benefits.

    The point I am making is were is the all in it together? All treated equal?

    We already had an unequal tax system in that not everyone paid their equal share. All in it together.

    On the lock-down either the ‘science’ (word used loosely as there was no science) was wrong, or the population at large just didn’t care. The theory was the virus couldn’t survive if it was denied a host, nowhere to jump to after 7 days it would die. Either way the lock down didn’t work and for the same reasons it would be pointless continuing it.

    This Conservative Government now needs to get a grip. Push more of what they are trying to micro manage down to those that are paid to manage and start trusting in the people. In them not trusting us, why should we trust and believe them?

  11. George Brooks.
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    The government strategy of ”stay home, protect the NHS and save lives” has worked and got the lockdown successfully through a brilliant Easter weather wise. Well done, but don’t think for one minute that it will support the lockdown for another 3 weeks. It won’t, the media will see to that.

    There are millions of self employed workers from gardeners to programmers from window cleaners to engineers who can easily go back to work and not disrupt or break the rule of social distancing. The government must now give a clear indication as to how we are going to be released back into the work place.

    We have been told several times at the No10 briefings that the NHS has gained working space in the number of ICU beds and equipment, the facility to test is expanding and there is PPE being distributed 24/7. If this is all based on fact and is true and improving then we can turn to getting the economy going again.

    This Conservative government has tilted a long way to the left in its support of the population during this pandemic and yes, we drive on the left, but for God’s sake don’t drive completely off the road to the left and kill our economy completely.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      All shops can be opened now that we see social distancing can work and that our people are compliant.

  12. M Hopkins
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    In Wokingham we have built houses on our farms. At election times when I have been canvassed on my doorstep I have asked about food security. Not one single person has understood what I’ve been talking about. When I explained one hopeful said he didn’t think it was important because we could fly food in. Another told me there was plenty of food in the supermarkets.

    • NickC
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      M Hopkins, Just so. I have been concerned about the security of supply of manufactured items. International trade is fine. But when the UK ceases to have the facility to make certain indispensable items we are in trouble if anything goes wrong. As has become all too apparent.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      M.Hopkins – – We also built on floodplains, school playing fields and on gardens where a small parcel was left adjacent to railway lines, ‘A’ and ‘B’ roads. We knocked down homes and rural businesses to build large carparks for supermarkets.
      Do any councillors in East Berkshire have any idea of self-sufficiency, green and pleasant land or waking to birdsong?

  13. jerry
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    “It is easier to get to a better paid job from a starter job than from no job at all. “

    Politicos and those in ‘executive’ positions always trot-out that comment, after all its easy for salaried executives to take the morning off, to play golf or find another job, they just book it down in their diary as a off-site meeting.

    How does someone working an 8 hour shift “on-the-clock”, in a job were holidays can only be taken during a factory wide shutdown, with perhaps no way of leaving their location during the shift during lunch breaks even if long enough, find another job when interviews are held during the same shift pattern – sure they could pull a ‘sickie’, but that carries risks…

    “If we stay in Lock Down Britain for too long more of these jobs will be lost for good.”

    Jobs can be (re)created, as they were during the 1930s in the USA under Roosevelt’s New Deal and to a limited extent here in the UK, and companies can receive greater support to tide them over during the lockdown – lives lost to CV19 can’t…

    Science, and nature, should dictate when the lockdown ends, not capitalism and their macro economists.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Jerry, people typically book an emergency ‘dental appointment’, ‘solicitors appointment’, doctors appointment that can only be held in work time for an interview and ask the recruiter if they can have the earliest morning interview slot or latest interview time or indeed lunch time interview slots from my experience of accommodating interviewees, I’ve also done telephone interviews and agreed to see people on a Saturday morning. Or they just take the day I’ll if they can’t get a short notice emergency day off.

      ‘Science and nature’ with a virus that has no vaccine and keeps coming back – how long do you want the lockdown to continue and do you think the current workers are going to be happy producing your daily bread and milk for just 20% more for a long long time?

  14. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    The problem with this approach to poverty – ie that getting s job is the best way out – is that current benefit levels give too comfortable a lifestyle and therefore many of those in work without benefits fit the criteria of “relative poverty”

    So when a system is being designed to replace those high rates of benefit, it builds in high rates of benefit. In my circumstances, if I could get myself on the Universal Credit gravy train I could take home £36K per year (the equivalent of a £50K job after tax) , with no commute or travel costs by stacking shelves in my local Sainsburys.

    By removing relative poverty, you are also removing the incentive to work in a responsible job.

  15. Javelin
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Things will be quiet until the end of the month when people realise they are not getting paid. Then the lock down will turn into a huge political liability, rents won’t get paid, landlords will go bankrupt, people will ignore the lockdown.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Correct. I think it’s already happening

  16. Jeff12
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    What better way to help people into employment than shut down the economy for a virus that is no worse than the flu that we get every single year? What better way to justify the shutdown than by manipulating death figures and cajole elderly patients into agreeing not to be resucitated? What better way to reduce early deaths than by ceasing regular treatment and operations? What better way to build on the freedom of Brexit than remove civil liberties from the people in a more draconian manner than was ever done in Stalinist Russia? What better way to celebrate the new decade than to allow police to harass and intimidate and use the social media mafia to spy on the people? Problem, reaction, solution.

  17. Tom Rogers
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    I wonder, have you Tories and also the Labour Party considered changing your party names in view of this shift away from sanity and reason?

    It occurs to me that ‘Conservative Party’ and ‘Labour Party’, respectively, don’t quite reflect what you are now about, and I wonder if negotiations might have already been entered into with the Official Monster Raving Loony Party in order to adopt names that better reflect the lunacy on offer?

    No doubt brighter minds than mine have thought of this already, and it may be that, behind the scenes, there is an impasse over the legal issues, so may I offer my assistance?

    I would suggest, for the Conservatives, the name Right Loonies.

    For Labour, I would suggest the name Proper Loonies.

    Thus, for instance, you would be a Right Loony, while Mr Starmer, for instance, would be a Proper Loony.

    No doubt the Liberal Democrats and the SNP will come up with their own similar formulations. For instance, Ms. Sturgeon could, henceforth, be a Scotch Loony.

    I surprise myself sometimes with the ideas I come up with, and it does seem to me all this reflects the position of the main parties. You are all, actually, lunatics.

    I’m sure the mainstream media will be very supportive, as they’re lunatics too. Thinking about it, you could even have a whole TV channel to yourselves called the Loony Channel, and all the lunatics can tune in and watch the latest lunacy. Maybe join in too, as technology now allows programmes to be interactive. Whether it’s spreading alarm about Brexit, support for mass immigration, accusing random people of racism, telling men they can be women and vice versa, starting a war for no good reason at all, or a panic over the flu or some other health malady, I’m sure it will be gripping viewing for lunatics. A music channel could be started too – you could call it Loony Tunes.

    As I stated earlier, greater minds than mine will – I am sure – have already been ruminating on a similar idea. I’m pleased to offer my humble input. Anything that would allow the minority of Normal People, like myself, to be left alone to live our lives in peace without all these mass panics and melodramas.

  18. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I have just been listening to Anglican Unscripted on u tube where an Archbishop in USA tells how in the Southern States, there are lone queues of unemployed and homeless waiting to be fed.
    My daughter-in-law in Singapore tells me that the Police visit individual flats, knock on the door and ask for everyone to show their ID card. If the address is not the same as the flat, then they deliver an on the spot fine. This in a country where on New Year’s Day, the Police Stations are usually closed for a holiday!
    In Abu Dhabi I hear from my contacts there that there is an 8 p.m. curfew. Everything is firmly closed too.
    So this is a world wide thing.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Not in Sweden

  19. Fred H
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I hope the Government has a team of people pulling together ideas on which types of jobs can be allowed ro resume ASAP. Those where minimum contact with others in factories, construction site, homes and shops is possible should be considered the first to be released from lockdown. Production of things like testing materials, hospital and care home items, food, drinks, the basic living essentials would be next. We should already have documented the things being held back from import to the country, and plans to become self-sufficient where entrepreneural activity might be encouraged.

  20. Ian @Barkham
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    In the Spectator this morning there is an interesting take on the situation from a Dr John Lee. It highlights how much of what is being stated by Government is just based on advisors hunches.


    “Barely a day goes by without a politician saying that they will be ‘led by the science’. But what we are seeing with Covid-19 is not ‘science’ in action. Science involves matching theories with evidence and testing a theory with attempts to falsify it, so that it can be refined to better match reality. A theory from a group of scientists is just that: a theory. ”

    “Imperial College paper published on 30 March states that ‘Our methods assume that changes in the reproductive number – a measure of transmission – are an immediate response to these interventions being implemented rather than broader gradual changes in behaviour’ – That is to say: in this study, if the virus transmission slows it is ‘assumed’ that this is due to the lockdown and not (for example) that it would have slowed down any way.

  21. Richard1
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    I think higher paid public sector workers – those earning eg more than £50k should be invited to take a significant salary cut while this is going on. Accept a temporary cap of £50k. This is after all what is mandated for large parts of the private sector.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink


    • rick hamilton
      Posted April 15, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Japanese lawmakers have agreed to take a 20% salary cut for one year.

  22. Newmania
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    The high employment levels in this country were directly related to the low employment protections and high quasi self employed status numbers you have now left stuck in dingy rooms with nothing . You did this .
    You are time relaxing and opining in luxury while I try to save my job and they try to stay alive .
    Support for extending the Brexit transition is 56% as compared to only 27% who are against by the way .

    I increasingly feel that it is not good enough to have a Brexit government in charge at this time of National crisis , it does not speak for the country . it is detested by much if it . This is simply not right

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      I doubt there’ll be an EU after this. It hasn’t performed well and Germany will not tolerate the economic control other member nations need.

      I wish we were out already.

      • bill brown
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 2:40 am | Permalink


        You are running on arguments with no knowledge about the continued negotiations going on , on more support packages within the EU, so just more fake news

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 16, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          Support packages within the EU! So who is going to pay for that? You think Germany and the Netherlands.

          The EU has no money, it just spends other Countries.

    • Richard1
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      Should we just reverse the result of the election and ask the losing side to form a govt instead, would that be better? Or why not indeed just abolish democracy and have a ‘people’s assembly’ in the fascistic language of extinction rebellion, simply nominated by suitable qualified persons. could that work for you?

      The countries with the highest unemployment in the world as we came into the Wuhan virus crisis, excluding the socialist basket cases, were the deficit countries of the eurozone. If we’d listened to the likes of you we’d be one of them.

      • bill brown
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 2:37 am | Permalink


        You have no idea about the unemployment in the rest of the World like Argentina, Brasil and Venezuela of Burma so stop this deficit and unemployment nonsense

        • Richard1
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

          Read what I wrote. I said excluding the socialist basket cases such as Venezuela. Look at the figures for youth unemployment in Southern Europe. And look at the debt / gdp ratios.

          • bill brown
            Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

            Richard 1

            what about the rest of the world?

        • NickC
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

          Bill B, Neither do you, apparently. Otherwise you could have stated the facts. So stop this fact-free nonsense of yours!

          • bill brown
            Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink


            at least my facts when used are correct

    • NickC
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, If our politicians had accepted the result of the legal Referendum we would have left the EU by July 2018, and could have left in July 2017. It would all have been implemented well before the Wuhan pandemic got going.

      Do not use the excuse of a medical emergency to trash our right to leave your corrupt EU empire by perpetual delays.

      • bill brown
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 2:34 am | Permalink


        With your latest lack of facts on the Eu I can no longer take your EU empire nonsense seriously

        • NickC
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

          Bill B, Can’t you read? I commented on the (lack of) implementation of the 2016 UK Referendum, not about the EU per se.

          However you are wrong to reject “empire” as a description of the EU. Definition of “empire”: “an extensive group of states or countries ruled over by a single monarch, an oligarchy, or a sovereign state.” The EU conforms to that definition: EU laws have primacy (“ruled over”); the EU’s government is an oligarchy (self-selected officials); and the EU is sovereign in international law.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Yet in France where employment protection laws are very high so is unemployment levels.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

        I’m a little disappointed that our resident EU troll bill/hans hasn’t had a go at my post.
        I feel a bit left out.

    • Le Libertarian
      Posted April 15, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink


      Total cobblers as usual

      32 million in employment

      4 million self employed

      less than 8% earning minimum wage

      ps Hows it going working in Germany, you know where you told us your job and all other city jobs were being moved too?

  23. bill brown
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    Thank you for a good and very valid contribution.
    The covid economy will have effects in our lives for more than 12 months and what is now important, is to try and understand , which parts of the economy we might have to support longer term and which parts we will just have to le go ad see if they are still able to compete and survive.
    These are some of the more important decisions the politicians will have to make in the coming months and on how to hand the freedoms back to the people

  24. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    I see the papers once again speaking of:

    In other UK news, gym and leisure centre bosses say they face being evicted during the crisis and are calling for urgent action to tackle unscrupulous landlords.

    The tenants in receipt of grants to pay their ongoing business cost (like Rent because ‘unscrupulous landlords got nothing’) and who refuse to pay the rent, expecting to keep the Grant and the property, are of course, never called unscrupulous. The Government has trashed our legal contracts and denied landlords of the right to recover their property thereby ENCOURAGING unscrupulous tenants not to pay their rents.

  25. Lifelogic
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Said Javid today in the Times “Free market is the only way to revive out economy” it is indeed but he goes on to say “we must resist the call to abandon our free-trade, free-enterprise economic model”. Well Javid we do not alas really have much of free trade and free enterprise model.

    Certainly not in much of the economy. In health care, broadcasting, housing, transport, refuse collection, schools, universities, cell phones, the internet, banking, energy, employment laws, farming, long term care, forestry and very many other areas the government is hugely distorting markets, running dire state monopolies and unfairly killing fair competition and innovation. They government are spending 40%+ of GDP (even before this virus) while delivering very little of much value at all to the public.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Sajid Javid (stupid autocorrect thing).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Even car manufacturing is not a remotely a free market. It is being damaged hugely by the Government’s net zero carbon lunacy and the misguided push for very expensive, impractical, limited and very premature electric cars – cars that do almost or actually nothing even for C02 output anyway.

      Cars that (due it seems total scientific ignorance at the transport department) they think are zero emission.

      • James1
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        We don’t have capitalism, we have crony capitalism. We ought to try capitalism again. It works. On the subject of easing up on the lock-down, certainly many businesses could immediately restart without being a danger to the general populace. If supermarkets can implement “social distancing” then so can many other businesses, not least garden centres, hardware/tool shops and numerous other categories.

  26. IanT
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    I’m resigned to remaining in lock-down for a long time to come, as our chances of surviving the virus (we fit the “Elderly” category) do not seem good. However, we should try to get as much of the rest of the economy moving as fast as we can.

    Get the schools back, let younger folk visit bars and restaurants (no need for age restrictions – we won’t be joining them), get building sites going again, open factories and offices. Come up with new ways of working and maintaining social distancing but start moving forward.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink


  27. Irene
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    As a matter of urgency, would you be able to concentrate attention on care home residents? A full investigation is required.

    Chris Whitty said yesterday that 13.5% of UK care homes had a confirmed case of Coronavirus. Many care homes are reporting a scandalous lack of PPE, and in one case quoted an equally staggering cost of the equipment they had already ordered/bought/in use.

    Bearing in mind that care home residents have also been in lockdown, and with 92 more care homes identifying cases in the last 24 hours (source: Whitty), one can only ask what on earth is going on in those care homes? Visitors have been banned for weeks now, and residents are not allowed to leave their homes. Is there an investigation into how Covid-19 has been allowed in? Test – test – test seems to be required.

    Who would willingly pay upwards of £1000 per week to be given the opportunity to acquire Covid-19? Or is this the ‘herd immunity’ that was deemed desirable at one point? I know some of your contributors would relish the demolition of a whole sector of society, but people who have done exactly what you are wanting – worked and earned their living for the whole of their lives, without squandering but saving for that ‘rainy day’ – deserve the respect of all. That ‘rainy day’ did not include being neglected. Show us that you care, please, about them.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Irene, you know how Care Homes have visits in from Doctors, some had staff live in for the past 3 weeks and actually did lock down others had care givers and cleaners, cooks etc go home at the end of their shift.

      I see people’s children where I live meet up and hang around in a pack, I see neighbours all sitting right near each other in a nearby close with their pet dogs running around between them getting petted. My children have told me of big groups of boys mainly meeting up to play basketball or hanging out together. They then take cv19 from a-symptomatic children back into their parents homes.

      Lots of people have to leave their parents in care homes because they work full time, I wonder if some of these care homes would allow furloughed workers to collect their parents and take them home for self-care and keep their rooms available for them at the end of lockdown?

  28. formula57
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    A swift, popular, cheap, easy solution to the issue you identify of ” It is all very well for senior civil servants and Ministers with well paid jobs to tell them they must not work. They can afford to because they will still be paid…” would be to decree that:

    – all public sector pay (perhaps above a minimum threshold and certainly excluding front-line health workers) is cut by say 20 per cent. during this crisis,

    – and (to encourage cessation) perhaps some higher percentage whilst the lock-down endures.

  29. Bob Dixon
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Creating Home & Business Budgeting should be taught in schools. Youngsters would then learn to create reserve funds for a rainy day.

    Many are regretting that they failed to save for the current crisis,

    • Fred H
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      so help me out here. You are living in the S.East or maybe Devon/Cornwall on minimum wage, sometimes the only work you can get is zero hours based.
      How would you go about creating reserve funds for that ‘rainy day’?

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        FredH, there are a lot of computations to make on this question. Is your person A living alone? could they just rent a room in a shared house (there are apps for this) or live at home with parents or a relative, if they have no parents or relatives nearby why are they living in that area if they can’t find full-time work there?

        If they are a couple can they split shifts between them (especially if they have childcare to incorporate for a year or so to get off their feet) and take on more than one zero-hours job, whilst keep applying for full-time positions. I know people that do this multiple job work on a regular basis. I also know couples who house shared with others for two years to save up a deposit both on low valued jobs after being students. It’s not ideal but there are ways to save and train after work to obtain better-paid jobs, I did all my training as a youth at night and weekend home study with exams at the end whilst holding down three jobs.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

          Thank you for that – I’m sure the folk who I was writing about will be greatly encouraged by your ideas.

  30. dixie
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    “We need to make more things for ourselves and grow more of our own food.”

    The notion that if we (ie the city) have the money we can simply buy what we need when we need it clearly doesn’t hold when we really need something and/or there is competition. The notion that our “friends” across the channel can be depended on, even to honour contracts, clearly doesn’t hold. Once again adversity has revealed who our friends are, and who are not.

    We clearly have to be far more self-sufficient in manufacturing and food as well as pharma, energy and more besides. As a first step there should be far more scrutiny and more stringent requirements on foreign takeovers of UK companies.

  31. Ian Pennell
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood

    Excellent article. There is indeed a trade-off between saving as many lives as possible from Coronavirus and saving as many lives (and livelihoods) as possible by lifting the Lockdown sooner- so that we don’t end up in a deep Recession that will mean many more lives lost (through suicide, ill-health, crime, etc.).

    If the Economy contracts by 20% and stays that way, then only recovers slowly then lost Tax Revenues could easily exceed £1 trillion over a few years. There is no way on Earth that, with a 20% smaller economy, the Markets will let the Government borrow that sort of money just to keep Public Spending levels where they have been. The additional borrowing by Rishi Sunak (to help the economy) could well push the National Debt up by a further £500 billion. Neither Fitch, Moody’s nor Standard and Poor’s will let the British Government borrow those sums on a 20% smaller economy without downgrading Britain to junk Credit Status- causing an explosion in borrowing and debt-servicing costs!

    So obtaining all the monies to keep Public Services going and to re-build the UK Economy after Corona-virus -through investment in Education, Apprenticeships and cutting Business Taxes requires printing money. The Bank of England should start a Money-Printing Gold-Buying scheme (Gold-backed securities and shares, rather than the metal itself). The Gold-backed securities will be absolutely vital to back up the value of the printed money given the amounts needed. This Scheme will involve the Bank of England buying Gold-backed shares and securities off Gold companies in the UK and platforms such as the London Stock Exchange.

    A Gold-buying/Money Printing scheme ensures liquidity enters the economy on a big scale- enough to prevent a Recession being a deep, prolonged Recession. The sellers of gold shares get lots on money that they use to buy things- this feeds into extra VAT receipts, Corporation Tax and Income Tax receipts at the Treasury. This Scheme greatly reduces the borrowing needed (protecting Britain’s Credit-ratings in the process), and will (eventually) make possible additional funds for the Government to help up-skill the workforce, invest in Infrastructure and cut business taxes.

    Printing money like this (even if backed up by Gold) could not be used in normal times (increasing the Money Supply greatly pushes up Demand to the point where the Economy cannot absorb it without price rises- i.e. Inflation) , but when faced with a deep Recession such a programme would help stabilise the Economy.

    It is, though, best to avoid as much Recession as possible not only by Printing Money (but ensuring it is backed up) but also lifting the Lock-down measures as soon as is practically possible: The trade-off is not “Lives versus The Economy” but “Lives versus Lives and Livelihoods”. If two million people lose their jobs (not unreasonable if the Economy collapses by 20%) it is not unrealistic to suppose that this will lead to thousands more deaths from suicide-driven-by-desperation and ill-health. That must be avoided!

  32. John E
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Will we allow in the 70,000 to 80,000 seasonal workers that normally pick our food? It’s hard and somewhat skilled work. If not, where are farmers in relatively sparsely populated rural areas going to get workers from?

    Saying we’ll get locals to pick the crops sounds great. But it won’t be enough. Does anyone seriously think it will?

    It’s an even bigger problem in Europe so don’t count on imports from there. Germany has gone from banning entry to these agricultural workers to actively flying them in.

    The Government here seems to think that once they lift the lockdown everyone will surge out to resume life as it was before. They are very mistaken. It will take years.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      Robotics, that is where, it just needs the Government to push for the development instead of waiting to import it from Germany, Japan or China . They say we are a center for AI, well lets put the Universities, Tech companies, and engineering together and get on with developing the next industrial revolution in agriculture.

    • IanT
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      I think JohnE that you are assuming everything will go back to how it was, once the first wave of CV passes. One reason we’ve needed foreign workers is because our own people didn’t want to do the hard work.

      But they did that work in the past – in hard times.

      I’m afraid hard times are here again, it’s just that most haven’t quite realised it yet.

      • dixie
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

        26,000 brits applied for crop picking jobs in a recent appeal, kinda gives a lie to the “our folks don’t want to do the hard work” bullshit.

        • anon
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

          Maybe they actually advertised in English to the UK?

  33. formula57
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Sort of O/T – I am at a complete loss to understand how “Desperate hospitals are forced to crowdfund for vital PPE equipment” (quote from an online newspaper report of today).

    If this report is accurate, how come and how dare the Government allow NHS hospitals to be short of money for this purpose in today’s circumstances?

    • Martyn G
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      It is not the government at fault, it is the layers of hugely expensive and hugely inefficient PHE and NHS executives, who alone are responsible for procuring the necessary equipment and PPE needed for the service and protection of its employees. I suppose that, in a way, government could be said to be responsible, by putting their trust in those agencies. It would be nice to think that, when this all settles down, heads will roll but I doubt that will be the case.

      • IanT
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        Government can only set out policy and make funds available – but the actual implementation is down to the organisation itself. Understandably, no-one will criticise the NHS but let’s not confuse the frontline troops with the Generals at the back.

        I’ve attended meetings with NHS Trusts and senior central management teams (albeit 20 plus years ago). Meetings took weeks to organise, were attended by a dozen (often more) people – with no clarity of who was ultimately in charge or who would make any difficult decisions.

        So it wasn’t very surprising when those hard decisions got delayed, deferred or simply not made. It was some time ago – but somehow I very much doubt anything has really changed. This approach just about might work in ‘normal’ times but it certainly is not the way to solve problems in this current situation.

        I’m fortunate that we live in an area that I consider has a fairy well managed Trust – and it was a key consideration in our not moving on retirement. Others are not so fortunate. It is a mistake to think that all Trusts are part of the NHS and therefore somehow equal. That was certainly not my experience – and I hold to that belief still.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      my impression is that it is supply rather than payment which is the issue

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      The media are in the process of causing another run …on masks today, it’s their new toilet roll hysteria. Now businesses that need these masks because of close proximity can no longer get them. Orders for masks lodged three weeks ago have been cancelled because the ‘quality wasn’t good enough’, ‘the container won’t be released from customs’ and ‘we’ve no supply any longer’ – then a few days later you see some of these companies advertising the sale of masks much over the original price – FFP2 £3 masks are now £12.

  34. BOF
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Does no in Govt. understand the extent of the damage, both economic and social, that will be inflicted on the country by closing the country down, Sir John.

  35. nhsgp
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Not enough.
    The second part is once in a job, to stop MPs like yourself taking 17-18% of their income and redistributing it for the pension ponzi.

    Instead they should invest their NI, and accumulate wealth. Problem is that everything you do is designed to stop that from happening.

    If we look at the current mess where people can’t access help, its because the welfare state is bankrupt, up to its neck in off the book debts.

    If those people had invested, and owned their NI, then they could access that wealth in times of need.

    The claims “Many did not earn enough to save for a rainy day” is not true. How can they afford 17-18% of their income going to other people? You didn’t say, they can’t afford it after MPs get their hands on their money first.

    This mess of no support is a direct consequence of government policy.

    Problem is you can’t fix it. Those debts need to be paid, so you have to hit people. 220 bn a year goes on the debts. 55 on the borrowing the rest on pensions.

  36. Johnny Dubb
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    The “entrepreneurs” may well decide in future not to bother. I’m lucky. When I started my business years ago I did not worry about an inexperienced government closing it down, leaving me with no income if the business was new, or very little compensation if it was established. Will the same thing happen in the next bad flu season for example? Why take the risk?

    • le libertarian
      Posted April 15, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      I agree with this to a large extent

      Small business has been so abused by the Tories over the last 10 years already , mounds of regulations, huge hikes in employment costs , stupidity like IR35 , reverse VAT , VAT MOSS , GDPR etc

      I think a lot of business owners who’s businesses have been trashed just won’t bother restarting

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Lots of business owners started in the Thatcher enterprise growth years and are getting near to retirement ages now – if the government expect them to loan for two or three months with no turnover they might just decide that risk with their retirement savings isn’t worth the risk.

  37. Bob
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    We continue to see reports of police officers trekking across open parkland to accost people out bathing in the spring sunshine.

    Couldn’t they find something useful to do, like for example accosting criminals or if the criminals are inactive due to self isolation perhaps the police could try patrolling the beaches where undocumented immigrants are arriving in inflatable boats or even delivering food parcels to the elderly?

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Maybe the police should try arresting those they’ve been after for some while. It can’t as difficult now to find them. But no, that’s too much like hard work and risky. They don’t find it difficult to get close to people out for a walk though.

  38. Lifelogic
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    “Many did not earn enough to save for a rainy day.“

    Indeed and perhaps this is due to the rather large burden of taxation, NI, expensive energy, VAT, road taxes, congestion taxes, landfill taxes, carbon taxes and all the other taxes that have been inflicted on them in order to sustain the bloated state sector in the style, salary and pensions to which they have become accustomed? Perhaps repaying a £50 student loan for their worthless degree too.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Not to mention all the red tape that take them away from productive cash generative work.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      A £50K student loan with interest at up to 6% on top too.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      With millions on or about minimum wage it is no surprise that they did not put away for a rainy day.

      • Le Libertarian
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Fred H

        Just 8% of the 32 million in work were on minimum wage

        The major reason no one saves is because THERE IS NO INTEREST paid on savings

        • Fred H
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          two types of saving…..a small period of one-off saving ‘for a rainy day’ fund, and a lifetime nest-egg for retirement etc +interest.
          I allege if you can’t make an acceptable standard of living, you certainly don’t do without on your meagre standard of living to put by for something ‘that might never happen’.

          • a-tracy
            Posted April 16, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

            There used to be a savings plan when I first started work on around £23.50 per week, my Dad made me take it out, you paid in £1 per week for 10 years, it covered your funeral costs and paid out next of kin if you died and after 10 years it paid out £1,000. I can’t remember if I could have cashed it in half way through>..

  39. NickC
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    The lockdown is not an end in itself.

    I believe Boris Johnson understands that. But all too many in the frantic MSM, in the police, and those of the public inclined to authoritarianism and snooping, have lost track of it.

    What is important is social distancing, and restricted mixing, to inhibit disease transmission (assuming the virus is not airborne).

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      There is growing evidence that the virus is, indeed, airborne, and that one of the main activities which spreads it is speech.

      Every consonant creates a mist of tiny droplets.

      That would explain why politicians, and other specific groups are particularly at risk if correct.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        Well maybe a few less than 20 posts a day will keep you safe.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

          Do you understand the difference between speech and writing, Edward?

          Perhaps you do have to say out loud every word that you type or read, but I do not.

          And your comment as to numbers is as comical as everything else that you write.

          There’s barely a single post by me or by Andy to which you do not reply, and so your own tally is at least the sum of ours.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 15, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

            Do calm down Martin.
            A few less posts would be good.
            Maybe concentrate your lefty angst to say just 10 a day.
            The reason I respond to you two is the majority of your posts are factually incorrect.
            Too many paragraphs.
            Why do you and Andy paragraph every sentence?
            Don’t you know this is wrong?

        • bill brown
          Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          less than ten form you would also be much appreaciated

          • Edward2
            Posted April 16, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

            Ditto you bill.
            Another analytical and factual comment from you.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        best not to say anything, or write anything? The keyboard must hurl droplets about.

      • NickC
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Martin, I have found that one of the defining characteristics of Remains is their propensity to imagine that when they discover something new (human respiratory droplets), that no one else could possibly know. The creation of respiratory droplets (>5 micron) is actually well known.

        In contrast, “airborne” usually refers to particles below 5 micron that can be carried on air currents fairly long distances and remain for some time. To put it in layman’s terms for you: the 2 meter “safe” distance may be nothing of the sort.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

          Nick, I have found that one of the defining characteristics of Leave voters is their propensity to imagine that when they are told the same fact more than once, they cannot remember the previous occasions on which they were told, and so begin the same argument, that led to their previous repeated defeats.

          You appear to contradict your original post here too, incidentally.

          • NickC
            Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

            Martin, Another defining characteristic of Remains is their propensity to imagine that when they repeat what they have only just discovered – but many already knew – they come to believe they originated it. I have known about respiratory droplets for over quarter of a century.

  40. John Waugh
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Events have left Boris weakened for the time being.
    The good people of the health service front line have given us their best.
    We now need a COMMANDER on the battlefield.
    To deal exclusively with taking the country back to full operation .
    Provide a plan that will immediately lift our spirits.
    Step forward Iain Duncan Smith .

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      No “the quiet man” is not what is needed though he can be sound some of the time.

    • James Bertram
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      John, I expect what we’ll get though, is Delia Smith.

    • peter soakel
      Posted April 15, 2020 at 1:56 am | Permalink


  41. Dennis
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    ‘The UK needs more productive capacity. We need to make more things for ourselves and grow more of our own food. This needs more all the companies and entrepreneurs we now have and more besides.’

    Why do we need that? Oh yes of course, we are grossly overpopulated and forget about the environment – keep the population growing, housed in rabbit hutches, and f**k everything else. That’s the way to do it.

  42. Lawrence Hartley
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I think that the current safety rules for Certain Shops can be extended to all other shops and smaller business to bring back millions into work.
    Currently you have to queue with 2m between shoppers and be let into the shop one at a time and stay 2m apart inside the shop and check out Queue.
    These rules comply with Government Guidelines so if they can similarly be applied to other shops and small businesses they should let them reopen

  43. Christine
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Wake up people. Watch The Case Against China by philosopher Stefan Molyneux. It’s time to disband WHO, the UN and all the other global institutions.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely! And to ask for our independence from the blasted Commonwealth. We, the Dominions and the USA need to stick together and keep the Capitalist candle alight.

    • ian terry
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink


  44. Rhoddas
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Covid & lockdown => increases in 1) risk of death in the elderly & immuno-compromised
    2) Poverty for the newly 2+ million unemployed (with
    rent and mortgages)
    3) Poverty in self employed & severely isolated elderly.

    Actuarily this means a reduction in the longevity for many of us (unless/until a proper vaccination comes). I would fervently hope the state pension and NPA Normal Pension Ages are REDUCED from the current 66/67 to reflect the new normal.

    As you have wisely recommended, with others on this site, after the lockdown the incentives for being self employed and creating wealth to fund the NHS etc must be tangible for the risk taking ….. = Repeal of IR35 not more taxes – Rishi wants more NI from the self employed – wrong way – go back!

    • anon
      Posted April 15, 2020 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      UBI and a flat tax, and a land tax based on use and change of use.

  45. Peter Parsons
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps it is now time for the UK to consider a Universal Basic Income. A well designed UBI set at an appropriate level would have mitigated some of the issues people are currently experiencing due to the lockdown as it would mean no one’s income would ever drop to zero. By appropriate redesign of the income tax system to slowly claw back a UBI as someone’s income increases, a UBI can also be targetted at those with the lowest incomes and also act as a better incentive to work than a Universal Credit system that leaves people with just 37p for each extra £ they earn, an effective marginal tax rate of 63% (which is even higher than the highest marginal rate towards the upper ends of 62%).

    • dixie
      Posted April 15, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      Has UBI actually worked at all, anwhere?

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        It’s never been tried. They are still learning the lessons from trials in places like Finland.

    • Le Libby
      Posted April 15, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Peter P

      Explain why giving someone UBI is a better incentive to work than giving them UC

      If its UNIVERSAL , how can it also be TARGETTED ?

      Everywhere UBI has been tried it has failed

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        For a start, under UBI someone will keep more of their money after tax and deductions than under Universal Credit. We’re always told that high taxation rates are a disincentive for people to work more. Would you feel incentivised to work more knowing that, for every extra pound you earned, you would end up with just 37p in your pocket? Yet, that is what Universal Credit does.

        It can be targetted by changing income rates and bands such that, the more you earn from work, the more the UBI is paid back in additional income tax payments. It’s called progressive taxation. Everyone gets the UBI, but the highest earners pay it back in increased income tax.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 15, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Presumably this would be in addition to child benefits, housing benefits, free school meals and tax credits?

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

        A UBI isn’t something you just add, the whole benefits system would need overhauling. In fact a lot of it could go and be replaced by a UBI, with the benefit of being much simpler, and therefore much cheaper, to implement and administer (how much has been spent so far on the computer systems for Universal Credit?)

        Child benefit was universal for decades until means testing was introduced.

        Housing Benefit would probably need to be retained in some form due to the massively distorted nature of the UK housing market and the huge disparities in housing costs across the UK, as would things like Disability Allowance (as such benefits for those with additional needs are necessary and appropriate).

        • Edward2
          Posted April 16, 2020 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

          Sounds like it will cost hundreds of billions extra.
          Where will a government get those funds from?

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

            Read my answer above about adjusting income tax bands and rates.

  46. zorro
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Very laudable aims JR and we will see if your government takes heed or not. I won’t hold my breath. I suspect that there will be a tsunami of small business closures and widespread unemployment which will help thin out the middle class and increase the supplicant to master ratio. The lockdown has been a useful experiment. Through engendering fear they have managed 90% compliance – so much fear that they are worried that people won’t want to come back out (even for a short while)

    So the government knows that it can effectively launch a martial law lite on a health scare with 90% compliance. They have also engineered social distancing as a normal concept – which is keep your distance and QUEUE – they have normalised queueing for your provisions in a land of plenty.

    You mention that the UK needs more productive capacity – absolutely, you and I can see that so why can’t the government. Does the government want to increase productive capacity… maybe not?

    We have to look at the actualite and what is driving this near total compliance amongst nations around the world? They are insisting that there is no cure until a vaccine and they will want to mandate that vaccine. How will they do that/encourage that?

    Let me introduce a scenario – perhaps there will be a withdrawal of the lockdown over the summer months (don’t expect the coronavirus bill to be repealed though), but what about if a second wave comes in the autumn? I suspect that a vaccine will miraculously have become available and that this time you won’t be able to get out of lockdown until you have consented to have the ‘vaccine’. No vaccine – no food (food will be limited because of shortages in productive capacity), that is why they are mind conditioning people to social distancing and queueing.

    If that scenario unfolded, would you approve the mandated vaccine, if you still have a chance in Parliament to debate it?


  47. margaret
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Poverty ..we might need to rely more on that state every one hates . you know that state that gives us unemployment benefit , housing benefits, invalidity benefits , sick benefits , ad infinitum , the one that tops up wages when employers wont give enough , the nanny who provides for poverty . Perhaps we need to remind those what real poverty is . It is not being able to afford a phone or car , it is not being able to have a computer or car to run to the food bank , it is not adding up your money for cigarettes , betting and alcohol, it is starvation without a roof over your head exposed to all the elements ( rant reminds me of Lear) We need to make and grow British , but British and start the haul up without too much red tape.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      The State has no money Margaret. Just their hands in our pockets.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      China tried that and it ended with people eating bats.

      Just where do you think State money comes from ?

    • NickC
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Margaret, The state “gives” us nothing. It simply returns what it has taken off us.

      Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      In the politicised cesspit that is the UK all language has been purged of its original meaning. All parties have deliberately, through connivance or cowardice, created a political world designed to promote their party, their political influence and to create a dependent electorate open to emotional, psychological and physiological manipulation by a State that’s been infected by political filth

      We are viewed as mere pawns in a game. Self-reliance targeted. Independence targeted. Individual liberty targeted. All designed to create a slavish, unthinking mass of sheep.

      • peter soakel
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 2:27 am | Permalink

        My gast is truly flabbered, that anyone would think that any Government would give a monkeys elbow about an individuals sanity, sanctity and security;- Three weeks ago, anyone listening to me was calling me a nut when I suggested that basic princials of liberty etc were going to be erased arbritarily. Do not listen to me though, I am one of those conspiracy nutters …..wha,wha- wha,what) Mega reset we common plebs are being rinsed on a scale that few realise. pure evil.There’s going to be a reckoning when the common man realises they have been taken for fools and it aint going to be pretty.

        • NickC
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

          Peter, There are in fact many who see what you see. The problem is that technology gives a whole new meaning to government control.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      The lockdown is costing £2.4 billion a day which is the construction of 6 General Hospitals a day.

      The State is being bankrupted because it has shut down its economy.

      Yes. We have condemned our young to life threatening hardships of the sort you describe and there won’t be an NHS of any great worth after this.

    • Ed Hirst
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Margaret, the state does not give us any of these things. It is our money.

  48. Si Oliver
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    We need to lift many of the labour laws that have crept in to an horrendous degree over the last 50 years.
    Why would a small business hire staff when it opens them up to unlimited fines for discrimination which is often open to interpretation. Then there is all the beaurocracy of pensions, paye, etc etc etc. The minimum wage keeps going up and we keep having to pay extra for various forms of statutory leave.

    I have one will never hire again.

    • Si Oliver
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      *I for one*

  49. APL
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    JR: “It is vitally important we end the rise in unemployment as soon as possible. If we can start the return to work soon we may be able to retrieve the position more quickly.”

    Who in the UK is going to start a business now, knowing that it could be shutdown at any time and for any reason.

    Your government has just destroyed the entrepreneurial base of the UK.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      +100 !

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        And get put behind early released prisoners in the welfare queue.

        Who would want to start a business now ?

        It’s a terrible risk.

    • bill brown
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink


      The government has done what was necessary unfortunately too late but your conclusion is sheer nonsenss

      • APL
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        Bill Brown: “The government has done what was necessary unfortunately too late but your conclusion is sheer nonsenss”

        OK Bill.

        So, You put up £250,000 to start a business, you expect to break even after three years, and start making a reasonable profit in five.

        Year three, while you are still burning through your start up capital, the government shuts you company down.

        What do you do?

        • bill brown
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

          ask for government grant as I am able to do now

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      I think that this is the worst government by far that I have known in my lifetime.

      However, if they did not do something – and their earlier inaction left shutdown as the only effective option – then hundreds of thousands of people would be dead within a short space of time.

      Health provision for all categories would have broken down.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        I expect you have said that about every single non Labour government since you were born.

        • bill brown
          Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          they have not excelled during the past 4 to five weeks

          • Edward2
            Posted April 16, 2020 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

            Come on bill.
            They only elected a leader a few days ago.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        I think the Chinese government is the worst that I have known.

        Had they closed their own airports instead of arresting doctors we might not be in this situation.

        Xi Jinping should be a name tripping off everyone’s tongues but the BBC rarely, if ever, mention him.

        So, of course, there is no balance in the news and you don’t get to sound like a Brit hating loon.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

          If your house is on fire then extinguishing it should be priority.

          Establishing blame for who started the fire can wait.

          The Government wasted weeks of irreplaceable time.

        • NickC
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

          Anon, A solid antidote to Martin’s lust for authoritarian control.

        • anon
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

          Maybe but many people in power in the West, may have danced to certain tunes for reasons unknown or undisclosed. We have seen it with the EU.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        “this governments earlier inaction”, I’m curious who is responsible for not informing us just how bad the outbreak was in Italy and Spain just before the half-term break and people went on their holidays to these outbreak areas like Lombardy? Then our government just allowed them to come back into the UK without isolation or CV19 checks why?

        I wonder why the outbreak in the North West, we no longer seem to get regional news after 6pm to discover where the new outbreaks are. One day we’re told 5000 Brits are being repatriated at this late date from Pakistan by Raab did they go back to the NorthWest and thus have increased the outbreak? Or did Raab put them into quarantine? Just what is the picture, which areas of the NorthWest are being overwhelmed, which hospitals in the NorthWest are short of PPE, who is being treated in the Private hospitals in the NW? Why has regional reporting stopped?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 15, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

          The Italians implored us for weeks not to make the same mistakes as they did.

          And that was EXACTLY what the Government did.

          All good questions.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 15, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

        you really should emigrate to China, or Germany…South Korea take your fancy?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      I reckon that the got has just destroyed the psychological and emotional stability of this country, or what was left of it and I would like to know how they think it will ever be recovered.
      I always thought that the smoking ban was a step towards totalitarianism…all “for our own good” of course.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        Reply to APL

  50. Ian @Barkham
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    There is nothing more frightening than fear itself .

    All stoked by the need for the MsM to ‘sell’ its stories and a compliant government that has the priority of controlling the population.

    A massive jump in care home fatalities. These have not been reported before and therefore are a new inclusion – so massive jump. These deaths are shown because the death certificate said there is a possibility that corvid was involved. The primary wording is ‘possibility’. The people were never tested, never autopsied and in most cases never seen by the physician prior to death. It could have just as easily been the flu, pneumonia and many other ailments – but, to join in it had to be corvid

    The ONS has a the reputation of always being wrong with their stats, so much so they themselves say in all probability they are wrong.

  51. glen cullen
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I just can’t watch the covid19 daily brief any longer…..its just too embarrassing

    The format, the graphs, the presenters constantly changing

    At least the ‘transport usage’ graph has reappeared ?????

  52. Everhopeful
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Re Nightingale Hospital: the political editor of BuzzFeed UK said that there were “just 19 patients being treated at the facility over the Easter Weekend”.

  53. ian terry
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    O/T The war hero 99 year old Captain who has raised £200m for the NHS should get an immediate knighthood. What a man British excellence at its very best.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 14, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      Though I wished he’d raised the money for broke business owners locked at home with no money to feed their families.

  54. ian terry
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Sorry should have been 2 million plus.

  55. Iain Moore
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    “The UK needs more productive capacity. We need to make more things for ourselves and grow more of our own food.”

    Yes agreed, but I fear you will have difficult task selling that to Boris, a confirmed Globalist, who wants to keep the ponzi scheme that is based on a rising population, rising borrowing, offshoring production and importing everything. The high CV death rate here is going to expose the cost of the overpopulation policy.

    A lot of talk about who is going to pay for the debt we will have run up battling CV, that seems fairly simple to me, the virus came from China, as has others, due to their awful wet markets, I think we need to slap on a 100% import duty on Chinese goods to pay for their rotten virus.

  56. Iain Gill
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    I see the Chancellor remains convinced leaving freelancers to ruin and starve, while bailing out the big tax avoiding consultancies, is a good idea.

    Lets have a vote on that in parliament as soon as it reopens, even virtually.

  57. Anonymous
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    What is the truth that the Cabinet has been briefed that 150,000 are likely to die as a result of the shutdown (not C-19) ?

    This is a claim that Peter Hitchens has made.

  58. steve
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink


    “Your government has just destroyed the entrepreneurial base of the UK.”

    And you might come to realise, Sir / Madam, that the entrepreneurial class (globally) has got us where we are now.

    All because of the obsession with going where labour is cheapest.

    Even if government could be blamed for destroying the ‘entrepreneurial’ base it will have got something right in my opinion.

    Moreover if the Conservatives were to bring about initiative to make this country not dependent on anything from China, I’d vote for them.

    • NickC
      Posted April 15, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Steve, It was not the “entrepreneurial class”, it was the global corporates.

      • APL
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        NickC: “it was the global corporates”


  59. Everhopeful
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:50 pm | Permalink
  60. Cosmo Smallpiece
    Posted April 15, 2020 at 4:08 am | Permalink

    Most of my seeming jokes are deadly serious. How many boyfriends and girlfriends have ceased contact? How many unfaithful partners have stopped contacting their lovers?
    And physically? What are the numbers?
    The Cabinet have either had very sheltered existences on this one count only or are barking mad. But one feels they have little understanding of how people really behave in all kinds of situations.
    They have wasted our country’s wealth big style. How could it be otherwise realistically?
    Have they never heard of even two parliamentarians having a liaison?

  • About John Redwood

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

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

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

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

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

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page