Changing patterns of life

As we all adapt to life at home, so the way we do things changes. Many more people buy items on line and grow use to not visiting shops other than the main  supermarkets for food. Many conduct business meetings on line through web based meetings. People turn to on line services. Families learn to talk to each other through video links.

It is boom time for  services like Zoom, Webex and the download  home entertainment providers. Suppliers of laptops and smart phones I am told have plenty of demand as families extend their range of equipment to conduct life digitally, and as firms provide employees with the kit to work from home.  Our domestic broadband capacity is being tested with much more use.

So today I am asking you to write in and tell me how you have changed your lives to live with the stay at home guidance. Which new services or activities have you found most helpful? Have you acquired any new hardware to help? What things are you now doing on line which you used to do by going out to a gym or sporting event or meeting or party?

I would also be interested in how you think people will react when we do start to see the relaxation of the lock down. Will many of you stay with more on line shopping and digital entertainment, or will you be back to shops and the events as soon as they re-open? Will your attitude to public transport be different all the time the virus lurks without  cure or vaccine?

How much damage to personal incomes has this all done so far, and what impact will that have on people’s capacity to spend again when there are more businesses able to sell us goods and services?

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  1. Bob Dixon
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    I know of no vaccine for influenza. Why will there be one for Coronavirus?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:04 am | Permalink

      Well there will be a lot of money going in to finding one, this is clearly no guarantee but I have confidence. Let us hope one that works can be found quickly and before that better treatments that improve survival rates for those badly affected by the infection.

      • Hope
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear. There is no cure or treatment for the virus. The govt is allowing people from virus hotspots to fly in by the tens of thousands without any check while fining the public for going out and Johnson, Symonds and Jenerick allowed to break the law/rules by going to their s done homes!

        Raab on TV talking absolute rot. The figures for deaths are with the virus NOT from the virus. Deaths in Care homes not included. The govt let out old people from hospital to care hoes without testing! It is tantamount to giving them a death warrant! The house arrest scheme has not proven evidentially it has achieved anything whatsoever. None.

        Whatever it takes and all the other dishonest strap lines should be treated with the contempt they deserve. Johnson’s said the govt would be testing 25,000 a day by now, woeful not even close. Those coming in might be infecting more than those tested! Now the govt. is intent in destroying the economy. It is our lives our choice.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      Because apparently the govt thinks it is developing a vaccine in partnership with The Gates Foundation and Wellcome and the like.
      Yesterday it was reported in The Express that a Minister had said we would not be released until a vaccine was found.
      And no doubt made obligatory! Or you don’t go out.

      • Hope
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately the govt ministers and advisors cannot recall what they said in January, February or March. Hancock had it p,aged back to him this morning what he said in parliament he would not even accept the rot he spoke then did not match the actions he took and led on for the country!

        Be comforted, Sunak told us the economy will bounce back, as if it was n insignificant blip. Utterly clueless and utterly useless. They make it up as they go.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      There is a flu jab every year.

      • Bob Dixon
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Why do so many older people die each year from pneumonia.The jab does not protect them.

        • outsider
          Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

          There is a separate log-term jab against bacterial pneumonia Bob, but not against viral pneumonia.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

            So viral pneumonia is ‘flu’?

      • DennisA
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        Not mandatory. I don’t partake because there are many strains of flu and the vaccine only covers the one they project as the likely one. Hit and miss.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        I was going to say that Mike.The jab seems to keep me healthy, in respect of the flu bug at least.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink


      Of course there is a vaccine for influenza. It is fine tuned every year in an attempt to track virus mutation. But, if you have flu then it’s paracetamol and bed.

      Rumour has it that there are three strains of Covid-19 which to some extent explains the different mortality rates seen in different countries

      And whilst I’m at it… Why no mention of the virus situation in France on the BBC? Looks like France will have more deaths than Spain in the next 24-48 hours.
      And Macron has the cheek to criticise the UK

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      Then what is being given to my elderly aunties each year?

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        @Sea Warrior

        The flu jab is a best guess – It’s been said they need 2 years to test a vaccine, so one does wonder at the confidence placed in flu jabs, when they are usually available within 2 months of the flu season

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      So what exactly is the flu vaccination that 70% of over-65s have every year ? Why don’t you know about it ?

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Only know treatment is paracetamol and 2 weeks in bed at home or isolation ward

      • Original Chris
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin have been demonstrated to be very effective. Some refer to it as the Lazarus treatment. St Thomas’s is apparently one of the hospitals using hydroxychloroquine to treat patients. Put two and two together. It was certainly a Lazarus like recovery, if the reports about being at death’s door were accurate.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      There will be something to suppress Covid19 but will be totally useless against the next virus.
      The lockdown is worse than the illness.

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

        It isn’t.

        • NickC
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          It probably is.

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

      @Bob Dixon; “I know of no vaccine for influenza”

      Strange, so those who are offered annual influenza ‘jabs’ receive what exactly?!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        Last years flu virus. Every year the virus mutates so some of us get it.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        it might be a placebo —– hilarious.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      The influenza vaccine is available over the counter at most pharmacies in the UK, for around £7-9.

      Covid-19 is still not understood, just guess work. There are trials in the UK and the US on a possible vaccine. Some 500 plus in the UK have received the test version. That still puts it at least year away from general use.

      • M Davis
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        … The influenza vaccine is available over the counter at most pharmacies in the UK, for around £7-9. …

        Costs nothing if you live in Wales, either from the Doctor’s or the Chemists.

    • agricola
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Well whatever it is they jab in my arm each October has worked for the past 20 years at least. There will be one against coronavirus because work is afoot to create one PDQ.

      • DennisA
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        Not having one for the last 20 years has worked for me.

    • Hope
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Hancock has proven beyond doubt no one should trust him or the govt. He changes his position in stark contrast to previous statements and answers, yesterday at the briefing today on TV. Comes across arrogant and egotistical.

      For example, The fake graphs comparing countries as a comparator to U.K. then he later says in the same briefing you cannot compare countries because their approach is different and at different stages of pandemic! He claimed govt very prepared in March and has failed in every response and timing.

      He demands footballers give up salary knowing MPs gave themselves 3.1% pay rise and a ten thousand advance under cover of virus outbreak! New Zealand ministers cut their pay by 20%!

      Demands house arrest compliance knowing Jenerick, Johnson and Symonds broke the law/rules, last two still doing so while 3200 fined!

      Hancock admitted today 50,000 entering the country try each week from virus hotspots without checks, testing or quarantine and thinks this does not alter the spread of the virus! Wuhan wet market opened again with WHO in agreement. Australia PM claimed it “unfathomable”.

      The dishonesty and double standards of this govt is beyond anyone’s civic duty to comply or help it. The govt cannot arrogantly through Hancock keep implementing double standards, telling us one thing while ministers think they are exempt and keeping open borders to spread the disease and cost lives.

      Times up for this govt. it resoundingly failed to keep us safe.

      • Hope
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        JR, tell us how Hancock can possibly believe open borders without checks will not be a burden on the NHS when it is not known if those arriving do not have any underlying health issues let alone symptoms? We read first wave of fruit pickers from Romania arriving today, any health check before becoming involved in the food chain?

        If Spanish or Italian, or anywhere else, health service overwhelmed why would these people not come here and present themselves at A&E if desperate? Health tourism never addressed by Hunt or Hancock.

        Dr Witty has done himself a disservice by getting Gove’s daughter tested before front line staff, it severely discredits his judgement and goes to the heart why people would trust him.

        People are starting to visit family quite understandably as the Govt does not have a cure, the house arrest will not change this and govt allows anyone to enter the country and is still backing WHO and China to open Wuhan wet market. Still not banning travel from China.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        I’m sad to say I agree wholeheartedly. I’m afraid members of the Cabinet should keep very quiet, especially in view of the fact that very soon we will be measuring their words and actions against reality.
        Better to be thought a fool than stand at the podium on TV every day and prove it.

    • John E
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      I get a flu vaccination every year.
      But as for Coronavirus it is wrong to assume we will get a vaccine quickly and perhaps at all. I know there’s a huge amount of work being done and for everyone’s sake hope it quickly succeeds but there are too many unknowns to take it for granted and make it the base case for our lives.
      We don’t know nearly enough about the virus, how many people have had it, whether people can be reinfected, the rate at which it mutates etc. And many of the methods being touted to produce a vaccine have no history of success in producing a vaccine for use in humans.
      Most drug trials fail. And they always have a rationale, a mechanism by which the backers believe the drug will work, committed investors etc. Otherwise the trials would never start in the first place.
      Planning to wait for a vaccine is not a plan at all, it’s just hoping for something to turn up.

    • formula57
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      @ Bob Dixon – “In 1938, Jonas Salk and Thomas Francis developed the first vaccine against flu viruses. This first flu vaccine protected the U.S. military forces against the flu during World War II.”

      The World Health Organization states its produces new influenza vaccines annually.

    • Stred
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      There is a vaccine for flu every year. This year it was ordered in time and it was working well so far, with reduced flu deaths. Corona viruses vaccines have not been available as far as I know but, as this one is nasty, most countries with biosciences are racing to make one. They will be tested and some say ready in six months but approval takes ages no matter how urgent the need

      • Fred H
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Stred please don’t keep wittering away about something you have no knowledge of. The flu vaccine is used assuming we know the most likely to hit us in the next winter ( there are lots of strains) ….We can produce vast quantities well in advance. No surprises they are well known.
        This nasty corona virus has NOT been known, so vaccines have not been prepared in advance, indeed a cure not even solved yet.

        • Stred
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 5:32 am | Permalink

          Please don’t witter on about what you haven’t read properly. I have had the flu vaccination this year. Previously I was unable to get one in time because the NHS hadn’t ordered it in time. The NHS does not provide vaccination against corona viruses such as the common cold because it is not serious enough and they mutate. Vaccines are being produced for Covid 19.

    • cornishstu
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Well they dish them out every year to those who are deemed vulnerable, and of a certain age. There are many strains so an educated guess is taken as to which will be doing the rounds each year but I think you already know this. Why should there not be one for coronavirus? There is research going on around the world for such a vaccine, Moderna, in Massachusetts have already started phase 1 trials. Inovio Pharmaceuticals have been doing animal testing and phase 1, moving to human trials this month.

      • margaret
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        There are quadrivalent flu vaccines at present which protect against 4 different strains of flu from last season and trivalent vaccines protecting against 3 strains . These strains are the more deadly types of influenza virus , however there are many different strains . Whilst the vaccines may offer a minimal type of protection against some of the other influenza virus’s , due to its history of mutation, it is not effective with all strains. Any type of virus or bacteria can cause pneumonia . The lungs are just organs which will be damaged without a good immune response.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Well I was playing lots of badminton and table tennis in the garden with by children but too much wind now. I suppose I am going to have to mow the lawn myself too if I can get the old mower working. The dog is getting lots of walks.

    We have been eating our way round the world Greek last night and Mexican this evening with suitable music played on the kitchen Echo Dot. Rather like being on holiday.

    Hancock last night with his “give them a badge speech” got the tone completely wrong. Asked if anyone in care homes had died who did not need too – he actually said no! Many very clearly have done. It seem very few have even been taken to hospital at all despite all the empty new hospitals.

    Plus the nursing homes have been supplied with derisory quantities of PPE and almost zero support from the NHS. This despite the fact that we were assured (by Hancock) that the EU was a country “very well prepared indeed for this pandemic”. It is likely that the real death rate (including those outside of hospitals) is already over 20,000. It look like the UK are going to be one of the very worst affected.

  3. Nigl
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Your governments ‘theft’ of dividends depriving prudent savers relying on them for their pensions plus their inevitable reduction anyway will reduce spending power and even if pubs/restaurants etc open, I will certainly not be risking going where numbers congregate until it is clear the danger is over.

    As for the current situation it just proves more than ever that I do not need a physical location to buy from except food and plants so goodbye even more, the high street. No doubt Canute like, HMG Will throw more money away trying to reverse the irreversible for political reasons.

    What I am more interested in is now the centrist, controlling statist side of the NHS has proved what people have been shouting at ‘you’ for years has proved how inefficient it is, relying on its front line care side, to cover up its defects, what lessons will be learned/actions taken.

    I guess nothing. Some people will have died in vain.

  4. Stred
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Some members of my family are managing to do more work than before. One works the same twelve hour day but saves the commuting time. She likes her bedroom office with a sea view instead of an internal office in an inner city dump. The other has a learning website and business has doubled as teachers have nothing to do and learners have more time to fill at home. In my case, my house has never looked better, after four weeks of finding things to do.

    However, certain conversations have lead me to believe that the government has left itself to fraud on a huge scale and with massive sums transferring from the taxpayer to some businesses and professionals. It is possible to furlough staff who may work in financial services, law or simple manufacturing and fitting and then for them to continue working on the quiet at home or perhaps travelling locally without being noticed. The government pays 80% and the employer 20% with perhaps less NI and other overheads. The internet working will be undetectable. No wonder it is three times as high as they thought it might be. Ricky isn’t looking quite as cheerful as before. The sooner it’s over the better but the medical chiefs won’t even think about it.

    If the lockdown ends with the danger of infection still there and no treatment or vaccine approved, then my wife will have to go back to London and use the tube, risking coming home with the virus. In this case, we will have to be separated again and live alone because if I catch the horrible bug, it will be curtains. Other members of the family will not go back to London or using the train.

  5. Mike Wilson
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    While we tell you how we are adapting, when are you going to tell us where all the money the government is spending is coming from and how it is going to be paid back?

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Deafening silence on this question.

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

    I do know one thing. Your party in government and in collusion with that poisonous entity in opposition have deliberately taken from us our most important freedoms.

    This event has merely allowed the British State to reset the stage for an even greater degree of intervention and control of our lives both public and private

    I have watched from afar as both main parties have conspired in Parliament to pass laws that would not look out of place in China, Cuba or East Germany

    The UK today is a shell, devoid of civil capital. We have become a political entity. We have given willing approval to the destruction of our most important values. Politicians and their parties have ripped the heart out of our civil world and replace it with a political core. Our freedoms will suffer for it

    Covid-19 is the gift that keeps on giving to governments and autocratic politicians to justify the most appalling attack on our world for many a century

  7. Mike Wilson
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    After the lockdown ends I am going to refuse to buy goods made abroad. Globalisation leads to global pandemics.

    As for this endless jetting round the world, it has to stop.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Restarting the jetting around is a government priority, for the benefit of their rich friends travelling business class. Right now, flights are stopped because there’s not enough passengers in economy class to make them viable, and that just won’t do.
      I’m waiting for the justification for the government to bail out the airlines.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Agree with the jetting. Younger generation gets on planes like we used busses. Don’t ‘save’ any airlines!

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

      You will and it won’t.

      • NickC
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        Says the man who thinks he knows the future, but failed to predict the Covid19 pandemic.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

          He does not even know the past!

    • Original Chris
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      I’m certainly not going to (intentionally) buy anything from China.

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

    My eldest son, who is negotiating a deal on line with a business in Sweden, tells me that they are all working from home there, even though there is no formal lockdown in place. Before the lockdown he worked from home 1 to 2 days a week and divided his time with clients and his London office in the same way. Currently it is 100% home based. My youngest son runs a business comprising c30 staff using Microsoft Message. He tells me it is very hard on those living alone in a small flat or those with young children in a small house or flat without a garden. He tells me he faces the tricky task of remotely recruiting someone with specialist skills and retrieving the office laptop from the person the new recruit will replace.

    As all the signs are that the government has unwisely opted, on our behalf, for 35% economic suicide over the 1 to 10% risk of death according to age group. In the circumstances there will be no V shaped recovery, as predicted by the economists. The current devastating restrictions on cash flow from sales revenues, the oxygen of business, will ensure the death of many firms both large and small. Some will be critical to supply chains. Many people will continue to maintain their distance from each other. Shortages of many products will become a fact of life. Grow your own food will stage a revival.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      Grow your own food will stage a revival.

      Many people live in houses built in the last 50 years. Few of them have gardens big enough to grow a row of carrots in.

  9. Everhopeful
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Since being let down by the supermarket from which I have had home deliveries (since they started doing them) I will stick with newly discovered online sources.
    There are fishmongers, butchers, lovely Italian shops, farm-shops that even send out eggs and eBay is great for bulk buying household essentials.
    Also I now have deliveries from a milkman and a local box scheme.
    For years I believed that it was my imagination/fussiness that made supermarket fruit and veg seem disgusting.
    But no! I was right…the box schemes stuff is really superb. I actually WANT to eat cabbage again!

  10. Sea Warrior
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Being retired, lock-down hasn’t changed my main pension income, but investment income, from dividends, will probably take a one-off hit during the course of the year. Being comfortably off, I now see it as my duty to help out both the government and businesses.
    To help the government, I will be starting SIPP draw-down earlier than I need to, which will give Mr Sunak some additional income tax from lightly-taxed me. I’m a realist, my altruism won’t catch on.
    To help businesses’ cash-flow, I have been buying more on-line than I need to – mainly clothing. The down-side is that this means that I won’t need to buy anything for a year or so after lock-down ends.
    A soon as lock-down ends, I will be able to travel domestically, but not internationally. The removal of CV-related cover on most travel insurances will act as a brake on people going abroad. So I’ll be taking one of two UK staycations – in the Lake District and, perhaps, York – once the summer season is over. This is a major shift in behaviour for me.
    More locally, I will make a point of making more use of some of my local businesses, to put money through their tills.
    Not all people are in my fortunate situation but a great many are. What does this mean for government? I think that it needs to:
    (a) Re-open businesses as quickly as possible. Garden-centres, for example, could safely re-open tomorrow. A sector-by-sector review is needed, this week.
    (b) Push those with money into spending, and in such a way as benefits UK businesses. A VAT reduction for tourism-related spending? Prices wouldn’t necessarily fall, but the hotels would get a bigger share of it.
    (c) Engage with Insurance providers to restore CV-related cover at the very earliest opportunity. Insurance changes mustn’t lag the restoration of air travel routes.

  11. Mark B
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    There has been little change in behaviour in my household. The internet has clearly been the biggest boon and so has the mobile. I have been able to run errands for my elderly neighbours who cannot get out and that has shown me how vulnerable sometimes people can be.

    Shopping is the same apart from the 2 yards rule. But the biggest shock is the behaviour of people. I have witnessed sheer unadulterated greed, selfishness and blind panic. Call this country civilized ? Don’t make me laugh ! Everyone tries to avoid each other now. How this will pan out nobody knows.

    The other thing, although this has come as no surprise at all, is the behaviour of some MP’s and most of those in authority. They all discovered, and couldn’t wait to show, their inner ‘Little German Corporal’, and start bossing us about. We have also seen, and again this has come as no surprise, how utterly poor some people are in their roles. How unprepared we are and how much we need root and branch reforms in this country.

    Leaving the EU was only the first step. The process is to eventually have the right people in the right places who can do the job, irrespective of the gender, age, colour of skin or religion. Only when people are truly tested can we know if they are good enough. And we now know !

    • Mark B
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Oh. And tonight we are to be subjected, yet again, to our 8pm clappathon. I do not possess a Opportunity Knocks style Clapponomter but I bet it will be a few fewer than before.

    • Stred
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      My ex boozing mate queued outside Lidl for an hour, strictly 2m apart with the wind blowing in his face, and when he eventually got inside it was like dodgems. Tesco is now better organised with one way routing. Click and collect is better too with a person in a booth who puts the shopping in the boot.

  12. davews
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    I will list the things I miss which can never be replaced by things electronic:

    Church services with the friendship and in particular hymn singing. We are using Zoom at the moment but that has drawbacks and can only be a temporary substitute. Our experiments with a ‘virtual choir’ shows that this can never work.

    Long walks in the countryside with a lovely pub lunch and using the train and other public transport to get there. Visiting museums and stately homes.

    Daily visits to the supermarket for my needs with no need to queue and a nice friendly person at the till to greet me.

    Being able to leave my house without fear of being arrested.

    As a single person household very few realise how much all these activities mean to me. Zoom and similar can never replace the sheer pleasure of meeting people and making friendships.

    But I guess so long as the banks survive and my pension continues to arrive I don’t really have any money problems. Just nothing to spend it on at the moment…

  13. Lifelogic
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    James Bartholomew in the Telegraph is right today:- The NHS is clearly not the envy of the World.

    In bald deaths per million population we are performing the fifth worse in the world in this pandemic so far. Plus we are excluding about 1/3 of the deaths that happen outside hospital from the figures. The shut down was a done week or so too late, they were wrong to rubbish the use of masks, the advance pandemic planning was clearly appalling, we have insufficient testing, a lack of PPE and inept distribution of it, generally low capacity of ICU beds, ECMO and ICU beds and suitable staff. Plus they have largely just abandoned anyone in a nursing home or working in one.

    It is a government run, centralised, top down system that kills most competition by being free at the point of “use” (or more likely of rationing). Anyone not wanting to use it has to pay four times over for their health care. In taxes for others, tax/NI on your earning to fund you insurance premium, the insurance premium itself and then a 12% insurance tax on that.

    So where is the competition authority in this? Oh I forget they are not interested in unfair competition from the state sector – they are allowed to kill competition and rig markets at every turn. See how much better the German system for example seems to be performing. Mortality per case Germany 3% and the UK 13%. (It part perhaps due to more extensive testing in Germany I accept but never the less).

    I see that HS2 is still progressing further yesterday – get back to work Boris and cancel this wasteful lunacy now!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      It was Thatcher’s Tories who centralised power away from democratically-elected local authorities.

      Oh, the irony, as to how they shrieked, when the European Union, even in very modest, uncontroversial areas, did a mere fraction of that to them, to the very Disciples Of Centralisation.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        What are on about?
        Such a cliche to blame Lady Thatcher in 2020.
        After 15 years of Blair and Brown.
        Local Authorities have huge powers today.

  14. Javelin
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    I noticed a lot more people about yesterday. Probably over double the day before. Cafes, kebab shops are opening. All the surveys show people do not have more than a few weeks of savings. That time is now running out for people. They are starting to get desperate and are saving their livelyhoods.

    I have been looking through social media and have noticed a very largebuoswing in people saying that “every life matters” is nonsense because the number of lives being lost to corona virus is not significant compared with the total people who die everyday.

    SAGE, The Cabinet and BBC may not be looking at the mortality and economic consequences but the public are rapidly educating themselves that the medical technocrats running the country are suffering from “socratic myopia” as they destroy our economy to save a few thousand lives of sick old people they have been made responsible for.

    As you know I have spent years studying social trends in the media and I would give the
    Goverment DAYS, not weeks or months to start lifting the lockdown before they are blamed entirely for this mess.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      When people wake up and realise the Germans went into this later than the UK and are coming out of it sooner than we can more and more weeks in lockdown will start to result in anger when the holiday feel and decorating is done.

      Our garage just closed down and furloughed all staff, we had to find an alternative for services and repairs quick we did but it was too far away to do all the work regularly, we’ve now found another local garage that stayed open and wants our business we are trialling them. We are a loyal customer and tend to stick with our suppliers when they provide a good service.

      Ordering PPE has become a nightmare, we’ve found new providers the prices are ridiculous now.

      We have found hotels and guest houses that are providing rooms for key workers they now have our business when others closed completely.

      Sometimes forced changes make you look again at where you spend your money.

    • NickC
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Javelin, Yes, if the government has any sense they will ignore the assorted snoopers, police chiefs, authoritarians, panicking MSM, etc, and begin to unwind at least some of the lockdown. Without a vaccine or cure it is impossible to actually stop the virus, so those least at risk should be allowed to begin to restore their lives and livelihoods.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Well the lack of analysis is startling.

      Where are the new infections?

      London, Cambridgeshire?
      In care home residents, folk in hospitals or are they all in folk who have isolated themselves for 4 weeks (impossible)?

      Let’s hear the b-oody analysis please.

      Isolate the places people are getting infected and let the rest go, please…

  15. Cynic
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    “They created a wasteland and called it peace”. Will there be anything to go back to?

  16. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Not much difference in lifestyle here, just using on-line services a bit more than before, nothing new. I am resisting the craze for Zoom when Skype and Facetime are perfectly adequate. You do wonder how those “free” services will keep going if there is a big fall in advertising revenue though.

    Financially I will suffer a bit due to companies who for political reasons will cut their dividends (eg. insurance companies) – lucky for all those in the public sector with their guaranteed jobs and income and pensions, they aren’t bothered if the lockdown lasts forever, it will have no financial impact on them.

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      “lucky for all those in the public sector with their guaranteed jobs and income and pensions, they aren’t bothered if the lockdown lasts forever, it will have no financial impact on them.“

      Exactly and that includes the politicians who’ve thrown the private sector to the wolves, especially the self employed. We’re all in this together though – yeah whatever!!!!

  17. S. Attwooll
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    A very interesting comment was made by a teacher in a French school. Of late, this young man has been teaching his class remotely. Using Zoom, he found that discipline problems had become virtually non-existent because each student was on his own.

    When things return to normal, I am sure there could be some way of channelling this advantage. Poor discipline is a huge contributor to an unsatisfactory learning environment. Teachers and students alike would benefit greatly from a dramatic reduction in unruly behaviour in the classroom.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      and if teachers award the exam grade — they had better listen and do the work !

  18. BeebTax
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    To answer your questions:
    1. New services – making more use of services I already used (Netflix, YouTube, online local
    library). Turning more to foreign radio stations for news/comment and almost stopped listening to Radio 4. One new service- online free gym lessons.
    2. New hardware- charging cables for iPad, but only because old ones are worn out.
    3. Online activities- just the free gym lessons; others I know are sharing their live music performances online, but this doesn’t appeal to me.
    4. After the lockdown- back to normal for me, with more opportunities for exercise I’ll revert to modest use of Netflix.
    5. Damage to personal income- I’m lucky to have a job, though it’s minimum wage so only pays my basic living cost. I rely on income from shares to pay for an occasional bottle of wine and two cheap holidays to Europe per year. Dividends have been cancelled, so no more holidays until they are reinstated (not completely cutting wine but have moved to a bottle per month of a discount supermarket’s cheapest…really not as bad as it sounds).

  19. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Biggest problem and highest risk to our lives at the moment is food shopping, as due to age, we are in the at risk group, so should self isolate.
    Have found it impossible to get a home delivery service from the Supermarkets, have managed so far just one click and collect, with another due in 3 weeks time.

    Thus the need to personally visit either a supermarket or smaller local shops, which I try and do at the expected least busy times.

    Next is medication, most pharmacies have reduced the hours they are open (amazing) so its a long wait outside. Given we are both reasonably fit and well we do not feel like we should take up a home delivery slot that is more valuable to the very unwell.
    We have managed/been allowed to now get two months supply of medication at a time, rather than the normal one, so this helps a little.

    Have not purchased any new equipment, as all equipment we have still works effectively.
    Not a computer freak and am totally self taught, but food shopping on line we find very time consuming and boring.

    Our Local Lions Club now holds meetings via Zoom, and we continue to help those in need in the community with donations from our Charity fund, which still has funds due to prudent and sensible management over the years. All of our planned fundraising activities have however now stopped or have been cancelled, we hope that our large public Firework Display in November can still proceed, and we are planning ahead on that basis.
    Very much miss the social aspects and personal interaction of on line meetings.

    Had I still been in business, (now retired) this period would have been devastating to our business and finances, as it involved meetings, site visits, surveys, inspections of works, customer and contractor liaison, with also the occasional visit to manufacturers of custom-made products.
    I think small business and the self employed have been treated very poorly indeed, perhaps the will was there from Government to help, but the application is absolutely dire.

    We are fortunate enough to live in a good sized home, that I designed and built myself, which has a good sized garden, so the physical activity of maintenance is both practical and rewarding for body, mind, and soul.
    I see no point in paying for gym membership, and then pay again for physical work to be done at home !.
    I would hate, absolutely hate to be cooped up in a flat without a garden or even a balcony, and can fully appreciate why people want to simply get out into the fresh air if they can, especially in good weather.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      Given the Council have now closed all of the recycling centres, garden waste is now building up on the drive, the brown bin service is of no use to us, as one collection every two weeks will not even take away our grass cuttings, let alone the trimmings from the hedges, trees and weeds, so we used to visit the local tip and dispose of such ourselves.
      Why did they close this facility John when you unload all of the rubbish yourselves, no wonder reports are now coming in of fly tipping increasing.

      Having had a compost heap many years ago, which became a home for rats (nice and warm) and being told by the local council official that a compost heap is the highest risk for the homing of such vermin, I really do not want to go back to that system again.

      When these centres do eventually open, they will be inundated with people trying to get rid of rotting garden waste, packaging and all other sorts of rubbish where they have sorted out and uncluttered their homes (something many are doing at the moment with spare time on their hands)

      Likewise the closing of Parks, especially in high density areas, why for goodness sake if people are keeping a social distance, it no worse (perhaps even better) than standing in a supermarket line up for hours !

  20. George Brooks.
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    The work put in by ”Open Reach” should not be overlooked. The network so far has held up brilliantly.
    Only yesterday evening I linked into a Webinar, from a yacht club to which I belong, for three very interesting short presentations. We should have been getting together for a weekend at the club and this was an excellent substitution.

    Zoom has had a field day and is a great way to keep families in touch and I will continue to use it after the curfew is lifted. Also at that time I will travel to meet up with friends who I possibly only see once in 18 months.

    As we come out from under CV 19 industry and commerce will bounce back fairly quickly but as personal wallets will have taken a beating the entertainment and travel industries will take a long time to recover. Many restaurants and hotels will not re-open.

    The general pattern of life will change but it is very hard to predict. I hope we become ”greener” and respect planet Earth a lot more. However this is not an invitation to the ”fruit cakes” who want us walk everywhere and eat berries by 2050.

  21. Javelin
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    This country has a pulse and this Government is strangling the country.

    • peter soakel
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Attempting to, but ultimately will fail.

  22. SM
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    May I relate how the lockdown is affecting 2 very elderly ladies in London with whom I am in regular contact?

    One lady is a 93yr old widow, living alone and still compos mentis, coping without carers or cleaners. She never learned to master computers or smart phones and although she tried to do so a couple of years ago, she found the details too overwhelming. Apart from 1 journey a week by taxi to the local supermarket, she sees no-one, and cannot access a beloved resource – the local library. She is bored to tears: she only has access to the usual TV channels which apparently are showing few if any culturally interesting programmes, and her only source of classical music is R3. She has no-one who might have considered setting her up with a DVD player and a film library before this crisis.

    Another lady is 85, living alone with a severe and incurable health condition, reliant on regular therapy in the local hospital, which has now been cancelled for the foreseeable future. Her only relative is a son who lives in Australia. She has been determinedly independent throughout the 30yrs of her widowhood, rejecting the suggestion of having any social help. She too is bored, and also feeling helpless – she is having problems with her computer tablet and with her telephone line, but who will come to her house to talk to her and help her with these technological problems?

    Both ladies have told me they would be happy to go to sleep now and not wake up in the morning.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      SM that is so sad, the libraries know who their regular elderly book hirers are, wouldn’t you think the librarians could organise a contactless delivery and re-collection of books each day, then repeat after 3 weeks if the lockdown isn’t over. If they don’t have transport there are 1,000s of volunteers at the moment that aren’t being used.

  23. glen cullen
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Reported by BBC that Ministers to back a further 3 week lockdown extension

    The conservative party and this government has lost faith with business, industry and me

    MPs in a safe position again making decisions about companies going bust and people unemployed…..what a disgrace

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      Literally inconceivable. Who would have thought that the Tory Party would be so removed for one the wealth creating sector. I mean they do t even have a passing acquaintance.

      • Stred
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        The boss of the CBI was on the news this morning. She backs the extension of doing nothing and furloughing. I wonder why that’s what the government decided to do.

  24. IanT
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Family life is being conducted via Whats App and FaceTime, with gifts being ordered online. Our Grandchildren are fortunate to have a garden to play in and seem to have moved outdoors…

    Our car wouldn’t start Tuesday (it’s done about 4 miles in six weeks) so the neighbours went and collected our Click & Collect. The AA man came yesterday and changed the battery – my wife got a chair out on the drive and sat 12 ft away and chatted to him (possibly tired of my company by now).

    We are retired, generally live quietly – so it hasn’t impacted us as much as it must have done others. I don’t think we will be coming out of lock-down anytime soon – although younger folk should be encouraged to do so. I’m sure the restaurants, tea houses and nurseries are missing our trade – but the ‘Grey Pound’ will be AWOL for some time to come I suspect.

  25. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    “Will your attitude to public transport be different all the time the virus lurks without cure or vaccine?”

    There is no reason for the virus to “lurk”.

    As Greece and many countries are showing, it can be reduced to a few sporadic cases, at which point the probability of being infected for everyone is low enough for life to be reasonably normal.

    Please do not try to normalise the appalling consequences of your government’s inexcusable inaction, and its foot-dragging in remedying these.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Yet in South Korea once your favourite comparison country, now has a second wave lurking.
      Over 100 new cases yesterday.

    • NickC
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Martin, You have explicitly and loudly commended the policy of lockdown. That’s the government’s policy. Moreover, the virus will continue to be infectious unless there is either: herd immunity; or a cure. You sneer at the first, and the second doesn’t yet exist. The only other hope we have is that the better weather will reduce infection rates, or mutations will make the virus more benign. There is no evidence for either at the moment.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Incidentally, South Korea has had NO lockdown.

      Repeat, South Korea has had NO lockdown.

      And thanks to its rigorous testing, contact tracing, and quarantining, it has only had a small fraction of the fatalities that other countries have.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        I thought you previously criticised the Government for a not lockdown sooner than they did?

        Much easier to do tracing and testing in South Korea where total population is less than London.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

          I criticised them for doing effectively NOTHING.

          When you have let things progress as far as they did, then the lockdown is worlds better than that.

          They aren’t even serious about the real stuff – PPE in spades, mass testing, tracing and isolation though.

          Listen to what Austria has to say about the UK. It’s all over the Daily Mail and others.

          So what about Greece and these other countries then, or China, population 1.4 billion?

          Are the thousands of westerners there posting fake videos of life returning to normal?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

            Look at the revision figures in China today
            Slowly moving towards the true figures for their casualties.
            Once you used them as your model country.
            Gone a bit quiet mentioning them now Martin haven’t you.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

            bill I was looking at Singapore.
            Well corrected.

        • bill brown
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          You never really check the facts do you ?

          I was not aware the is more then 52 million living in London, so what happened to the rest of the UK population?

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        Do South Korea allow thousands of people from crisis hotspots arrive in their key airports then travel on their buses and underground services without masks and basic testing and then not get told to lockdown on fear of arrest and large fine if they leave their home for 3 weeks?

    • steve
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink


      Agreed, Martin. But I do think the government is doing a pretty good job under the circumstances.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        Listen to what Austria has to say about the UK. It’s over at the Daily Mail.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      You haven’t got much of a clue have you Martin ? When any country raises the lockdown cases will increase. That’s just a fact. It applies to UK, Germany (as Merkel explained clearly today) and even Greece. The purpose of the UK lockdown was to ensure NHS capacity was not exceeded – as such it’s been a brilliant success. It’s purpose wasn’t to eliminate the virus because that’s impossible.

      • NickC
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        Roy G, That’s exactly right but Andy is too full of himself to understand.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        I never claimed that it alone was.

        It has to be combined with the actions of other more successful countries for that, and that is what I urge, along with the rest of the global scientific community.

        And they’ve been shamed into it at long last.

  26. Chris Dark
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    In essence my existence hasn’t changed a great deal; but the restrictions prevent me from completing my walks on the Cotswold Way, for example; and prevent me from physically visiting my offspring. None of these can be compensated for by whizzy technology and video links. I don’t bother with digital enetrtainment, I have cultivated my own hobbies over many years; my shopping remains a mix of high street and online….shoes for example, how on earth do you get your feet fitted correctly online? Friends and club activities are now out of reach; the small groups I belonged to provided interesting and direct human interaction and conversation; again this is not compensated by technology. If our remaining lives are to be conducted via skype and phone-line we will be all the poorer for it. That’s not utopia.

  27. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    I have started taking more baths and am enjoying reading in them. A good soak and read in place of my commute is a fine way to relax at the end of the day. Amazon is still delivering hard copies which remains the only way to read.

    I was already using the technology to occasionally work from home and contact family spread over a wide area, but I don’t use the video camera, they say it improves interaction as you can see facial expressions but sitting in front of a camera without moving is such an artificial situation that I think it adds nothing. There is plenty in tone of voice.

    Home working remains a great productivity tool occasionally but does not substitute for the spontaneous interaction of an office.

    I want the supermarkets to make the queuing automatic, sell time slots for a deposit which are refundable when you make your purchase. The queues are taking the time we are getting back.

  28. Cheshire Girl
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Im one of the older group, so we are on lockdown at the moment.

    My life hasn’t changed that much, except for not going out for anything except a daily walk. I have been online for quite a few years, so I order more like that, if I can get a grocery slot. Not at all easy at present. Amazon and Argos are good. My local newsagent is helpful for a few basic grocery items.

    I keep in touch with relatives and friends through email, imessenger, phone and Skype. Its not the same as meeting up, but better than nothing.

    I must admit, I will be a bit wary of taking public transport when the lockdown is lifted, but Im sure that will lessen with time.

    I think the Government is doing a good job, faced, as they are, with an impossible situation. Less sniping by the Media would be helpful.

  29. Ian @Barkham
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    The utopia of an online world is still a rarity and is littered with dangerous pitfalls.

    Zoom an some of its like, while seemingly offer a service primarily are just ‘click bait’, the main structure of the software is occupied with stealing the personal data of the user and their contacts. Yet as with all companies of this ilk when that private and personal data gets out in the world the resulting damage is nothing to do with them.

  30. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Slightly off topic but potentially about a changing pattern in life – pharmacies are being fleeced by medicine suppliers

    How does the NHS negotiate contracts with suppliers for fixed price prescription medicine which allows those suppliers to put their prices up? I assume this is an NHS operation and if not it should be with their buying power.

    Why is paracetamol available on prescription? It is a cheap drug which can be purchased for nothing in Wilkinsons or Savers

  31. peter soakel
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    The reliance on tech is fantastic and if more are using it well that’s just great. Government needs to get the message out there to persuade everyone who can to dig up their lawn and grow some food. We do not need to hear any more death stats, we gotta look forward now.

  32. M Hopkins
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Despite reassurance from you that dog groomers may carry out work for animal welfare if they observe social distancing rules, the ones I have contacted say they are following advice from their industry that they must close. It is going to be a lot harder to get people back to work than we think I fear. The nation of animal lovers suddenly doesn’t seem to mind if dogs that require regular grooming become matted and overheated as temperatures rise.

    • Original Chris
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      How about hairdressers let alone dog groomers?

      • Stred
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        There have been some educational lessons on the media about home hairdressing for women. As someone who has cut his own hair from the age of 15, when I used to divert the 2/6 pence for the barbers into better use, I offer this advice. Stick your open fingers up the side of your head between the hair and, with sharp kitchen scissors, cut off the hair that sticks out. Do this several times both sides. Snip off the edges around the ears and at the back. Comb forwards and snip off half an inch of the fringe at an angle towards the parting. Brush and tidy then wash it. All over in less time than you wait for Teezyweezy and saves five quid.

  33. jerry
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    I suspect the damage to the retail industry will be limited, what will suffer is supply side of luxury and highly discretionary purchases, either due to a lack of money (as in any recession) or more likely due to many people simply realising that they can actually survive without, I’m glad I don’t own any shares in trendy coffee-shops and other on-the-go outlets!

    Some retail sectors might actually see an increase footfall as people continue with activities or interests taken up during the lockdown, such as hobbies or DIY. Will people shun bricks-and-mortar shops for (continued) online shopping, not unless the e-commerce sorts out their capacity problems, be they the queues to get on the site or the available delivery slots, people are simply using online out of necessity, accepting the problems or shortages in the same way as those who lived through WW2 accepted rationing.

    I suspect online entertainment will see little continued benefit after the lockdown, indeed this could actually become their nemesis, showing up all the limitations of the commercial technology/marketing format compared to owning a physical boxed set of DVDs for example.

    • jerry
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      I am shocked that the govt (and MSM) is still trying to make a daemon out of private car use, the one form of transport that doesn’t spread the virus beyond the household unit. Looking at the govts own charts on public transport usage during the pandemic I do have to wonder how many self-isolating key-workers who were using public transport became infected outside of their place of work (we know that TfL workers have become infected and some have sadly died). Then, to cap the madness, we are now also getting anti-car (or are they just anti-roads) pressure groups using the social distancing doctrine to suggest pedestrian pavement areas should be increased.

    • jerry
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      One aspect that might need to be considered, even by those who prefer the free-market, is price controls on certain products if the latest data from the ONS is correct. There is no reason why a basket of high demand products (as compiled by the ONS) should have risen by 4.5% within just one month, other than either shortages or price gouging.

      • Stred
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        Tesco click and collect must be doing alright. I ordered a small free range chicken and they substituted a big organic one costing almost £16. Every mouthful will make me regret using them.

  34. Ian @Barkham
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Other than shopping for the basics which has become and ordeal, the rest of my life carries on as always.

    The Airline has cancelled my holiday flight, so I will probably work instead. The HMRC has sent me a reminder today to get my tax returns in by 31st December, so I could do those to keep occupied.

    My income has gone down the drain, so I will change tack and head in a new direction – that’s just life.

    Online shopping grocery wise never counted for much in the UK, it is said to be around 6%. So most of us cant get any. Which is understandable, a 300 or 400% up lift overnight was out of reach to most suppliers. Staff, vans, stock do not appear as magic.

  35. Margaret Howard
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Unlike lucky MPs who are awarding themselves an extra £10 000 to help them cope with these new situations the working public will have to make huge personal sacrifices for years to come. How does the establishment in this country get away with imposing such ‘them and us’ conditions?

    • Know-Dice
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Agreed MH

    • NickC
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      The same way the establishment imposed the EU on us, Margaret.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        A thumping 68:32 referendum did that Nick.

        But you and the Establishment media wouldn’t accept the result.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 18, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

          We lived with it for over 40 years.
          Your turn.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      If MPs pay and allowances where stopped until the covid19 issue was resolved and they had to sign up for universal credit……we’d soon get some action

    • Andy
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Look at New Zealand. The PM and Cabinet have taken a 20% salary cut.

      You’d literally have to prize money out of many of our Cabinet members hands.

      • NickC
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        Andy, How about “prizing” the money out of overpaid NHS management instead – they’re paid more.

    • peter soakel
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      They are not going to ‘get away with it’)

  36. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    The lockdown has demonstrated to many people that life isn’t all about GDP figures.
    Young and old alike are realising that the relative peace of less dashing about hither and yon is a preferred way of life. We can limit shopping to once every couple of weeks. Working online isn’t for everyone of course, but there is benefit to be had in increasing the amount done.
    At the same time, whither business rates? Why should manufacturers be charged for space used for working when home workers are not?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Working from home a couple of days a week increases productivity for those days. Any more and the worker becomes a burden on their manager and the organisations with the support required.

      A balance between office working and collaboration and home working for roles that benefit from it is good. Moving to only home working is bad.

  37. glen cullen
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock on ‘Good Morning Britain’ at 08:45 today….one of the worst interviews I’ve seen in a long time….he didn’t have a clue and he’s the man in charge?

    • Fred H
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      glen – – don’t watch or listen any more. If this was auditioning for a part in radio or tv, they would have shouted ‘next!’ within a few minutes.

    • steve
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink


      Yes, and it’s odd that sometimes he gives excellent interviews and briefings.

      Can’t fathom it out.

      • Stred
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        Matty would make a good vicar. Very nice solemn tone when mentioning those who have passed away in NHS wards and nursing homes without tests or equipment.

  38. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    One income problem relates to the Stock Exchange and the value of shares. Many pensioners rely on dividends to keep going.

    Will the value of shares ever get back to the high point before Brexit? We can but hope, otherwise a lot of people will not be enjoying retirement at all.

    House prices are set to fall by at least 13% we are told – Something else that will not help those wanting to use their house to move to sheltered accommodation, for example.

    So, please – Let’s have no more comments from those that imagine the elderly are ripe for more taxation. Most were just surviving even before the CV arrived.

    Providing new businesses start to flourish when this is all over, the big winners of this lockdown are likely to be the young.

  39. Richard1
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Video conferences are a reasonable substitute for meetings, better than phone calls, but still not the same thing. Many jobs of course cannot be done remotely. I’ve noticed a lot of delusion on this. For people with professional service, managerial or creative jobs and who live in nice houses with gardens it’s really not too bad. Especially if their incomes haven’t been crushed. No doubt politicians and civil servants are in this category.

    But for people who live in cramped urban environments and / or who have seen their incomes crushed, it is hell.

    The first week of April showed c. 6,000 extra deaths (up from a normal 10k). Only 1/2 from the Wuhan virus. So that’s 3k extra deaths from other things. We also hear cancer referrals are down by 80%. The lock-down is almost certainly killing – or will kill – more people than it’s saving now. But the non-Wuhan virus deaths are invisible, they don’t get reported every day.

    It’s clear the NHS has built capacity – we now hear NHS Nightingale may hardly be used at all. So let’s congratulate ourselves on buying the time to create capacity and re-open the economy.

  40. Ex-Tory
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Although various online services are proving their worth, for me this is outweighed by the fact that so many retailers that previously delivered are no longer doing so, and so in this respect the internet is less useful than it was.

    Surely humans are gregarious creatures, so we’ll want to be out and about as soon as we can.

    Presumably in the short term a lot of pent up demand will manifest itself, even allowing for the drop in our income. In the longer term I suspect much will depend on government policy, and on whether this turns out to be a deflationary recession (as I suspect) or an inflationary one.

  41. clive
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John and everyone else .
    I would imagine that a lot more people will work from home as this shut in period will demonstrate that in many cases it can work .
    The need to have meetings face to face , will because of the fear factor, become far from the norm .
    Also the probability that we will all need to parade around out side with these idiotic masks on , will make having a face to face a nonesence .
    The only good thing that may come from this calamity , will be the Government might finally wake up and think why on earth do we need HS2 , but I am not holding my breath .
    Pressing on with the HS2 project when the Country is going to be on its knees for decades to come bewilders me, and frankly most of the nation .
    The Labour party used to come under such flack about spending money, shaking money trees, etc .
    Me thinks, pot and kettle now spring to mind.
    As we all expect our house arrest to be extended , watch GDP fall off a cliff and unemployment take off like a scolded cat .
    But for some the power must feel almost surreal .
    Nero in the end ,was no hero , but fiddled well I am lead to believe .

  42. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Sir John, I will change nothing, if I ever get out of jail. Perhaps we will all be beankrupt, we will devise a barter system which leave the State and nbanks out of te equation. We, the people, might do well!
    But here is the running sore! With political collusion, desperate and pellucidly clear attempts to get the death rate up!
    (from Conservative Woman, brilliant full analysis)
    ‘The total number of deaths attributed to Covid-19 (i.e. where Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate) for the year to date is 4,119. The number of such Covid-19 deaths just in week 14 was 3,475.’
    And Nadine Dorries wants a universal life sentence! No parole!

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Well said Lynn

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      I think Nadine Dorries probably feels guilty from being patient zero in the cabinet infecting so many of her colleagues.

  43. Ian terry
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    How do you eat an apple? One bite at a time.

    As much as this might upset some of your readers:

    The quickest way to get signs of growth and wealth creation is to start at home. Support your local shops and services putting money into the local community, which gets spent in the community, new or re-employed people start to feel good as they have money in their pockets and all the time around them the area is showing signs that things are picking up. It is growing confidence and belief. We the people are taking the real hit and it is us that will be paying for it. It will have little or no impact on our lives if the multi nationals make vast profits because they have very highly paid accountants to make sure their tax liability is minimal. Like a 99 year old army captain you can make it happen if you have the determination and believe in yourself and the people around you.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Its about getting the flow of money moving in the economy again….this government stopped it over-night and only they can kick start it again

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        I wonder if the Govt. realise they have shut down their own income stream? Or do they believe there is a store of ‘Government money’?
        Costs increasing exponentially, no income stream, what on Earth is their plan for their own financial survival?
        Once this collapse starts nothing is big enough to arrest it. Does the Government know that?
        Maybe they have a cunning plan?

    • M Davis
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      … Like a 99 year old army captain you can make it happen if you have the determination and believe in yourself and the people around you. …

      Three cheers for the wonderful, Capt. Tom Moore! What a lovely man!

  44. agricola
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I am retired, consequently my income and way of life has not changed that much. On the plus side I have spent less. Being self sufficient, a tolerable cook, and a reader of books, the lockdown has not bothered me that much. The old adage of a public school education being an ideal preparation for prison has some merit.

    As soon as the pool warms up I will be back to half a kilometre a day, and I will continue with containment gardening. While my restaurant spending has gone down, my phone bill has probably gone up. A return to my first love of flying sailplanes will have to stay on hold until things are back to normal. Unlike the UK there is absolutely no shortage of any food in the shops.

    The lady who cleans my house here in Spain has changed her attitude to membership of the EU. Spanish people went with the flow of better roads and railways that came early with the EU, but have now begun to realise that they have done little for employment or combatting coronavirus. Before the lockdown the general level of unemployment was around 20% and youth unemployment around 50%. Bare in mind that the Spanish are a well educated people. Sophia’s attitude is now that Spain would be better off running it’s own economy and resolving it’s own problems. Spain has a somewhat atrophied political thinking, keeping it still stuck in the Franco era. It needs a figure like Nigel Farage to lift it’s veil on the EU, and to collate the growing anti EU feeling.

    Spain has a population level and the physical space for it to return to life as before, when the crisis is over, notwithstanding the growing realisation that they would be better off running their own economy. Coronavirus in the UK has shown the need for profound changes in the way life is run, and the end result could be for the general good. The attitude of the majority of the population towards their fellow human beings has been quite heartening.

  45. Richard1
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Saracens Rugby club, which employs many of the great players, has furloughed some employees but also told its highest paid employees they need to accept a salary cap of £75k pa. an excellent move.

    The government should 1) make this a condition for any business accepting state aid at this time and 2) impose this on the entire public sector – politicians, civil servants, the lot. Everybody needs to feel and understand the economic pain which is being inflicted. This would be fair to the taxpayer and be likely to make sure that economic restrictions don’t last a day longer than absolutely necessary.

    • NickC
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Richard1, ” 2,381 were employed by NHS trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups, in non-clinical roles: 472 received more than £150,000; 124 received more that £200,000; 23 received more than £250,000″ – Taxpayers Alliance, 2015.

    • Ian terry
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Richard 1

      I have just been told that the New Zealand Parliament is take a drop in wages.

      Fake news I ask myself.

      If not what a set of players.

      • Richard1
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

        Good for them it’s the right move when the private sector is suffering as it is.

  46. Sakara Gold
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    I must admit to being very bored in the past week or so, locked down at home. I have spent a fair amount of time reading, particularly in the evenings and have discovered YouTube, which has much interesting content.

    It is possible get up to speed on Ancient DNA and human evolution (Neanderthals, Denisovans, Species X) by watching YouTube videos by the University of California TV (UCTV) an interesting example is “Ancient DNA of humans and their pathogens – Anne Stone”. This got me interested in historical plagues and pandemics, which can be traced back to the Romans (the Justinian plague which affected the Eastern Roman Empire 541–542 AD)

    Everyone has been using video conferencing to keep in touch with friends and family, the messaging services have also helped. I haven’t bought any new hardware but I have used Amazon to buy several books, mainly non-fiction. Friends in the British archaeology community have pointed me to recent work about the Beaker People who apparently replaced our Neolithic farming forebears with their pastoralist culture that emanated from the eastern steppe (the “Yamnaya”) as shown by DNA analysis of their teeth. Several of their graves have yielded DNA from Yersina pestis, the pathogen associated with the black death plague.

    This is a fast-moving field where new technology has been expolited by scientists, ancient DNA is giving us real insights into human evolution and the “out of Africa” theory.

    I’ve also tried to keep my garden under control, my gardener is also locked down. However I’ve been paying him a modest retainer to keep him onside, likewise my cleaner. Both of them are retired and rely on their part time jobs for basic needs; I would encourage everyone to do the same.

    Going to my gym two or three times a week was an important part of my life pre-lockdown, I like high-intensity exercise and the social part of the flexi-yoga class I went to once a week. So I’ve been going for long walks in the mornings, there is a nice hill near me that gets the heart pounding as I walk briskly up it and I’ve been using a lawn in my back garden to do the yoga during the current spell of fine weather.

    I’m not sure the world will be the same after the global lockdown ends. In the USA their President is talking about paying the public a monthly stipend of $2000 a month – whoever would of thought that an arch-capitalist like Donald Trump would embrace the universal basic income concept? Stay safe everyone.

  47. Caterpillar
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Changes to life during lockdown:

    1) Being asked by octegenarian relatives (by phone) (a) what is true, who can we trust? (b) do we have to spend the rest of our lives in prison?
    2) No longer living in a liberal democracy.
    3) Govt introducing new class system: those who are allowed to work ( “heroes”), those who might be useful in the future (” furloughed”), the risky self-reliant (“unsupported”).
    4) Realisation that sunbathing is far worse than knife crime, acid attacks, sucker punches etc.

    n) Fear the list is endless.

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

      New Hardware: A Diary.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      and this government has just increased your sentence by at least another 3 weeks

      • Caterpillar
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink


        Yup, no parole for anyone.

  48. Viv Evans
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    I’m one of the ‘cocooned’, ‘shielded’, ‘vulnerable’ group of the over-70s who can look forward to more of the same if reports on government Lockdown Exit Strategies can be relied on.
    Will I invest in new hardware? I was on the point of doing so – and then the Local Council Tax demand came in. We may be ‘shielded’, but we’re not shielded from having to pay taxes, so no new hardware for me: taxes come first, especially since I assume that the few stocks and shares I do own, to pay for care home fees if and when I need them, will have crashed and will go on crashing due to the now looming economic disaster. So I’m prudent.

    Here’s another observation: if one’s got restricted mobility and had been relying on online grocery deliveries, this has now become impossible. Yes, our wonderful neighbours help out at the moment, being in Lockdown and not at work. How will they be able to continue this, for months, once they’re back at work? Will the big online grocery stores, happy to cash in on the momentary extraordinarily high demand, allocate slots to ‘the shielded’? I’m not hiding my breath!

    As for the truly detrimental effect on the mental health of the over-70s who still won’t be able to even have minimal human contact when their neighbours are back at work – well, no matter: we can surely all go into care homes, right?

    Why this one group has been ‘selected’ by government, purely on their birth date, never mind their actual health, never mind their carefully maintained independence, should be severely questioned.
    I’m not holding my breath though: given the demand on ‘tests’ by ever more significant groups, it’s obvious that we over-70 will be at the back of that queue. After all, we can surely put up with being ‘cocooned’ for our own good, for the duration, to ‘protect the NHS’ …

  49. Christine
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    My SIPP, on which I depend for income, has been decimated. On average my monthly credit card bill (excluding holidays and large one-off purchases) runs at £1500 to £2000. As of now I have set myself a monthly budget of £250 to £300. No new clothes, no holidays, bare necessities only. I expect that to continue for two years. My consolation is that the best things in life are free:-).

    • Fred H
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Christine – – never mind Andy will be thrilled you are suffering after saving all that pension money instead of frittering it away, and now you have lost a vast chunk of it.
      The pain is shared.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      same with the government decision to stop banks and insurance companies paying out 2019 dividend to its shareholders

  50. Andy
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I see the Brexiteers call to arms has failed – with elderly leave voters refusing farmers’ demands to help pick fruit to stop it rotting in the fields.

    So we have chartered a plane full of Romanians to do it instead.

    It seems the Brexit backing Blitz spirit pensioners – who demanded we all show some backbone and dig for Britain – didn’t actually mean they would do it themselves. It was a hypothetical someone else they expected to dig for them.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      What call to arms us this?
      Something you read in the Guardian or Independent I guess.

      What about increasing the wages of these jobs and encouraging some of the 70 million who are already here to take these jobs?
      Or maybe these wealthy farmers could invest in some machinery like other nations.
      What do you think Andy?

      • Andy
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        Machinery is not yet able to pick most soft fruit and robotics experts think it will be at least a decade until it can. Mark Francois told you that, right?

        Farmers here could pay more – that is true. But then the price goes up and most consumers won’t buy it because they can get imports for less. This is your problem now. I am not a farmer. I don’t care if farms go bust. It doesn’t affect me. You have to work out how to stop it happening.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

          Having travelled a fair bit I have seen a lot of machinery being used in other countries for picking fruit and vegetables.
          But having spent decades in engineering I already realise there are some fruits that do not yet have a machine invented to harvest them.
          But necessity is the mother of invention and if cheap labour isn’t available then the situation might change more rapidly that you think.
          So I don’t need the advice of the person you mentioned.

          Yes some prices would rise if UK farmers and growers had to pay a higher wage rate than they currently avoid by importing labour from poorer countries.
          But consumers would either choose to carry on buying or if they didn’t the farmer would change to growing a different crop.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink


      They ‘ dug for Britain’ many years ago. It is thanks to their digging, that such as you are here, alive and well, and able to make your disgusting remarks!

      • Margaret Howard
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

        Cheshire Girl

        I doubt it. They would have been born in around the 1920’s then to be old enough to dig in 1940. So well in their 90’s now.

        Here in East Anglia we’ve had to bring over foreign labour for as long as I can remember as the locals wouldn’t work in the fields for love or money. Can’t say I blame them. Just picture yourself being bent over in a Lincolnshire field harvesting sprouts etc on a cold winter’s morning!

        • Edward2
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

          Depends what the hourly pay rate is.

        • Al
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

          I don’t have to picture myself doing it. I did it growing up, as did many of the children and teens in our area. In the last twenty years, the council have built over many of the farms now but it was a viable summer job.

          If they aren’t in school, why not open it up?

        • NickC
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          Margaret H, Since when did “many years ago” (Cheshire girl) become “1940” (you)?

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      You could send your kids to pick fruit etc. We did it as youngsters and it was thoroughly rewarding. Made some great friends.

      • Andy
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        When they are old enough I don’t doubt my kids would love to spend a summer picking grapes in France or Italy. In the unlikely event they are still allowed as a result of your Brexit.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

          Plenty of jobs picking fruit in the UK.
          Reduce your family’s carbon footprint.
          Save the planet.
          There is a climate emergency don’t you know.

        • NickC
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Fellow students did exactly that before 1973 to my knowledge.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

          What about picking grapes in England – lots of vineyards now!

    • NickC
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Andy, As you have been told before, only about 16% of Leave voters were elderly (65+). Your obsessive hatred of the old which you persistently display isn’t even effective: it simply makes you look peculiar, if not pathetic. It does not help you in your quest to prop up the ailing EU empire.

      • bill brown
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 2:43 am | Permalink


        Andy is too much I agree but you going on about empire and disaster nearly puts you in the same category, come up with some new stuff, like for example why the Dutch are so inflexible about the corona-bond and use that against your so-called no exsisting empire

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

          The EU is Germany’s Empire… they then still hope to expand by the old idea – der drank nach osten.

          • Margaret Howard
            Posted April 18, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink


            “der drank nach osten”

            I know that like us the Germans like a beer or glass of wine or two but didn’t know they had to go east to do so.

            Unless of course you mean ‘Drang’.

            Does that mean that you yourself hanker after us invading a quarter of the globe again in search of a new British empire?

        • NickC
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          Bill B, As you have been told repeatedly the EU has the characteristics of an empire. Even some of its own politicians have admitted it. The fact that you refuse to face reality – that the EU is an incompetent, authoritarian empire – is your problem. Ditto about Andy’s obsessive hatred of the elderly. And I will keep repeating the truth, what ever your sensibilities, as long as JR permits me on his blog.

          • bill brown
            Posted April 18, 2020 at 2:04 am | Permalink


            the question is should he?

          • bill brown
            Posted April 18, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink


            You mean your truth nobody elses

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Quite happy to do this but the employer thinks otherwise.
      It seems it’s easier to use traditional routes and pay Romanians who don t have a tax/NI liability here than pay people who do.
      Perhaps employers of these Romanians should suffer a tax levy for bringing people in to do jobs which millions here could do. Or perhaps we just leave the EU properly.

    • steve
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink


      “It seems the Brexit backing Blitz spirit pensioners – who demanded we all show some backbone and dig for Britain – didn’t actually mean they would do it themselves.”

      What a nasty selfish thing to say.

      Listen – I think you should do some digging, then crawl into the hole.

    • Al
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      “I see the Brexiteers call to arms has failed – with elderly leave voters refusing farmers’ demands to help pick fruit to stop it rotting in the fields.” – Andy

      Andy if you’ve tried to sign up for this, you would see that April roles are completely filled and they have a large number of volunteers for May/June.

      I did consider this when it was mentioned. Sadly the group running it want sensitive details like a candidate’s NI number before they let them know whether there is any work in their area. As many have been hit by CV harvesting on jobsites and the resulting spam, few people will hand those details out to a company that may not even have work relevant to them – and what an agency doesn’t have can’t be taken in a hack.

    • M Davis
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      Do you have Parents and Grandparents, Andy?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        Nobody who would admit to being so!

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      Elderly people are in lockdown for 12 weeks.

      Found anyone to pay your electric bill for you yet Andy ?

  51. Alison
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    People will want to save more after this – put more money away for a rainy day.

    However, unless the big banks ‘get their act together’ in processing the loan support provided by the government, the public will turn to other providers. Those banks which are particularly poor at this – they will surely be vilified, seen as having betrayed the government and people who rescued them just a decade ago.

    What will those banks’ goodwill be worth then?

    Meantime, small businesses will go under, their owners and staff having been condemned to months of worry, despair, disillusion. When will these enterprising people ever want to run a business again?

    We watch so many people working massive long hours, every day of the week.

    How about those directors and managers at the big banks not processing the loan support doing something similar?

    What can the government do here?

    • Al
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      “What can the government do here?” – Alison

      I suspect very little, in the same way that when the banks ignored the government’s guidance on cryptocurrency and simply refused banking facilities to any start-ups in that area forcing them overseas, the government has proved completely unable to stop them.

      The one rule I learned early in business is that a contract without a penalty clause is worthless. Given the banks’ past records, perhaps the government should be looking into stating direct penalties for failure to perform whenever they provide direction or funding to an industry.

  52. Caterpillar
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Transport view if I trusted Govt:

    Public transport will need to be increased so that people are seated and not standing. It will need to be cleaned more thoroughly and more often. Behaviour on public transport will need to be policed (now that we know visible policing is possible). It will need to run on a robust energy supply.

    Cities need to be built upwards allowing elevators and walking to be an increasing means of commuting.

    Transport view as I now fear Govt:

    Individual transport for all with switchable fuel supply so more challenging for Govt to switch off than public transport.

    Individual family housing with suburban spread so more challenging for Govt to weld shut.

    Increased provision for travellers in case others wish to choose this way of life under the threat of Govt control.

  53. NickC
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    What will change? To value even more highly the freedom to live my life without daily government control. To celebrate more strongly our independence from the failing, uncooperative EU. To give more credit to the doctors, nurses and ancillary workers of the NHS; and even less credit to the NHS management. To resist more strongly Remain-doomers and CAGW-doomers – our experience of the Covid19 lockdown puts their drivel in perspective. To make an extra effort to buy British. To be even more sceptical of the MSM, particularly the BBC. To visit more places in Britain. To spend more time visiting my family.

    • Andy
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      To be even more of a Little Englander? Is that even possible?

      • NickC
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Did you know that a “little Englander” was someone who opposed the British Empire? Evidently not. Your ignorance and bile are unmatched – even Martin rises above ad hominems sometimes.

      • peter soakel
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

        It is called the British ISLES and you are FREE to leave at any time)

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      The fact that the European Union could never have imposed these strictures on any of its member countries shows you just where the real power is and always has been – with the nations and their own governments.

      So anyone telling you otherwise was clearly wrong, weren’t they, Nick?

      • NickC
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        Martin, This pandemic has driven the EU’s sub-states to defy Brussels’ strictures to keep their borders open. It has been an example of the exception proving the rule. They were sensible when the EU was stupid. When are you going to call for our borders to be locked down too?

        • Margaret Howard
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink


          “Martin, This pandemic has driven the EU’s sub-states to defy Brussels’ strictures to keep their borders open”

          NOT AGAIN!

          EU countries are closing their borders to protect their citizens. This eventuality was written into the EU policy document from day one. Should it be required for public health or safety any EU country may close its borders.

          • Fred H
            Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

            we want to close our borders to ….protect our citizens too!

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

          The Schengen Agreement allows for closures under these conditions.

          And some countries, e.g. Italy, set up borders within their borders too.

          It is this country, which even failed to sample test people arriving from virus hotspots for weeks after the warnings from WHO and from science generally, let alone close its borders.

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


          Did the EU actually say that the member-countries could not close their borders?

        • Margaret Howard
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink


          Further to your EU states defying Brussels:

          In the Federal Republic of Germany, the 16 states, or Länder, carry the responsibility in emergency situations. From a purely legal point of view, they are the primary authorities in charge of protecting citizens from dangers and disasters. That is why the national German government is constantly holding discussions with the state premiers about how to fight the spread of COVID-19.

          Each Land has its own laws on disaster control and civil protection. The objective of these laws is to organize processes under the special circumstances so that authorities and emergency services such as the fire brigade, the Red Cross or the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) can operate effectively and in coordination with one another.

          I think similar conditions exist in Italy and of course the individual US states are independent from central government in Washington as Trump has just painfully learned.

          So you see how ill informed you are about the powers of Brussels on EU members whose own governments don’t wield the sort of controls London does over the rest of us.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 18, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

            Most people understand how Germany organises its regions.
            But that isn’t the real point.
            After decades of development I expected the EU to take the lead and to do far more than it has.
            Member nations have gone away and done it independently.
            Leaving the EU impotent.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        So is there a real purpose for the EU?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

          To people with a moral consciousness the answer is self evident, and they would not need to ask the question, Ed.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

            Well I was just interested to know .
            The EU should have led this crisis for Europe.
            I hoped it would.
            But it failed to do so.

            PS the correct word is conscience.

          • Fred H
            Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

            yours is easily soothed….

          • M Brandreth- Jones
            Posted April 18, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

            It can be either conscience or consciousness. The distinction is that a conscience usually dictates an action due to a feeling of guilt if he/she did not do or think in a particular way as opposed to consciousness which is an awareness of morals and moral opposites.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 18, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

            Well thanks for that further explanation.
            But if you try to have a go at someone by saying they have no moral conscience which us what Martin tried to say then that is the correct form of the word.
            Past tense.

          • M Brandreth- Jones
            Posted April 19, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

            ” One impulse from vernal wood can teach you more of man of moral evil and of good than all the sages can ” Wordsworth.
            Is this past tense?

  54. Lifelogic
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Just has a valuation back on two houses that my company owns due to the corona virus and agents being closes the valuer has down valued them by about 22% and then the bank only want to lend just 50% of this value (less feesl legals cost and valuation fee. So houses would have had to borrowed about £600K a few months back and now they only want to lend only £350K on them.

    Should do wonders for the real economy sucking back all this lending from the productive reducing what they have to do the next development! Get the damn NHS capacity up and get people back to work as soon as possible. Building supply companies should never have been closed. I though the government wanted more houses building?

    Meanwhile still awaiting assistance from any of the banks for the business continuation loans. They are very, very slowing processing them. This scheme should never have gone through our useless banks with their clear conflict of interests. Any bank that charges 400 times base rates for overdrafts (as they nearly all now do thank to the FCA) is clear not remotely efficient or competitive.

  55. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Well, I’ve learnt to play Bridge On Line (for free!!). I’ve learnt to use Whereby for video conferencing and have been told to learn Zoom. I’m doing more puzzles (‘i’ newspaper now has 4 pages of them, including the mind blowing knight’s tour). And I’ve promised myself to get out my Russian books and start to learn the language properly.

    As a family, we are making more use of Netflix and similar facilities. Freeview isn’t enough. We have acquired more board games, including Black Birmingham, in spirit like Monopoly but based on the industrial economy of the Midlands in the mid nineteenth century.

    In the world of work, my son is working reduced hours at the filling station. Their takings are down by 50% and they now shut at 7pm rather than 10pm. He has signed a Furlough Agreement just in case. It’s an interesting and normally very busy site, with a filling station, a motor car servicing company and a labour intensive car wash company. The minimum charge for a car wash has gone up from £7 to £10, so I guess they are now paying (illegal?) immigrants the living wage.

    Individuals could look for ISA investment opportunities from home on the internet, if only companies were totally transparent about their trading and prospects.

    My grandson does a weekend paper round, which is difficult to do remotely.

    My wife shops at supermarkets as much as ever (a) because she enjoys it and looks for special offers and (b) the delivery time for internet orders was 3 weeks the last time she looked.

    In my world of transport planning, often in the overseas foreign aid market, I was Team Leader on complex projects, often involving 20 foreign and local experts. They would have been impossible to do remotely. My last such project was in 2011. Mind you, I had to update the Draft Final Report to the Final Report from home, with the experts available only by e-mail. It involved understanding their methodology and acquiring copies of their spreadsheets in order to correct their mistakes.

  56. Christine
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I’ve been buying my food online. I will go back to visiting the supermarket when this is over. I won’t be booking a foreign holiday for the foreseeable future just in case it flares up again but I will arrange UK breaks. I already used Zoom, WhatsApp and Skype to contact family as they live too far away to visit. I’ve ordered a new router with extenders so that I can get internet and phone in the garden as I live in a signal blackspot. I will continue to buy items Made In Britain wherever possible and hope for better labelling to assist my choice. Having started to declutter the house, I realise how little I actually need, so will be purchasing less clothes in future.

    On the question of finances, I’ve been hit hard. Dividends are drying up, share values have dropped, interest rates are paltry, rents aren’t being paid, capital is being eroded. I can live off my savings as I’ve been careful all my life and put money aside. My worry is future inflation. The amount of money being printed and pumped into the economy must have a detrimental effect. When I read about the appalling use of this money in the USA where they are bailing out rich bankers at the expense of the poor, I despair. I’m using my money to support my kids through these difficult times. There’s nothing I want to buy. My outgoings have reduced greatly and I expect them to remain low.

  57. formula57
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Having increasingly over the last few years operated on-line (rarely visiting retail outlets except to fuel my car and using Skype and email), there have been no discernible changes for me saving the cessation of much face to face contact and necessarily eschewing hospitality and entertainment venues.

    Until there is a vaccine and/or effective and sure treatment allowing early recovery before onset of non-trivial symptoms, I shall do my best to shun crowds and confined populated spaces even after restrictions are relaxed.

    I have not seen material damage to my income (money at call now earns much less interest) nor wealth as yet. I was in any case planning a frugal forthcoming year (not to avoid spending, more in the expectation of not needing to source any major items). I will not travel overseas on holiday and perhaps not within the UK either.

    The Chancellor may take cheer from my boosting spending by c.£1,200, on accelerated food provision (done in late January so not part of the hording frenzy) and medicinal items that may help (done in early February). This has been offset by not spending c.£400 on entertainment/hospitality.

    (My household has also agreed to spend c.€590 billion to help overcome the economic effects of the virus but, like the matching Evil Empire programme, we have not yet decided how that will be funded so alas it is unlikely to have any macro-economic effect.)

  58. Caterpillar
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink


    I would like to see, as soon as possible, a transparent investigation (cost benefit appraisal) into the consequences of the lockdown decision in terms of life years saved and life years lost. If the life years lost through the action (present and future) is clearly greater than saved then those responsible for the decision need to be held accountable, whether Govt minister or adviser. Given that we are not getting transparent information like this now, it is not unreasonable to think that there is a failing of a duty of care.

    (Sir John, apologies for my negative comments, both unpublished and published, they come from real concerns that the damage done to future lives and precedents set by the current actions are significant).

  59. Al
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    My start-up is on furlough, and probably going to close, and I certainly wouldn’t start another business in this country after the government’s lies about loans to SMEs. The vast majority of those ‘SME loans’ are being kept by the banks, as any small business owner unfortunate enough to have applied will tell you. Latest figures: of £330billion, only £8.7bn has reached firms. Unless the government finally takes the banking sector in hand after this, I’d say Britain is closed for small business.

    As for changing way of life, most people are simply waiting for business as usual to resume since things like shoes can’t be replaced by buying online, online ordering for groceries has proved so slow as to be useless (if you can even get a slot), supplies for homeworking are slowly running out, and damage or repairs to houses and property are mounting up. Healthcare is a joke.

    There may be more homeworking once this lockdown finally lifts, but I suspect you will find those who live in flats or bedsits instead of houses have no intention of being stuck inside any longer than they have to be – and quite understandably.

  60. RichardP
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I’m afraid that what we have now will be the new norm. The Government seems to think that businesses can be mothballed ready to spring back to life when they finally work out how to get out of lockdown. High Streets have been struggling for years and this could be the last straw. Town centres may well take on the look of the old American gold rush towns after the gold ran out.
    We are being pushed towards a cashless, online society. Banks have grabbed the opportunity to provide an even worse High Street service and blackmail us into using their “Apps”, safe in the knowledge that any losses will be ours.
    So far I haven’t purchased anything online because most of my “tech” is well beyond its sell by date and probably presents a security risk. Doubtless as the Orwellian experience kicks in I will need to take stock.

  61. Hope
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    JR, Suggest you and other Conservative MPs read Con Woman Timothy Bradshaw article on the EU-China Strategic 2020. It explains how China is being put ahead of US for strategic infrastructure and why Sir Humphrey is advocating Haewei and all other disasterous China infrastructure projects. Stop them now or regret forever.

    • Iago
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Seconded. Who runs this country, Sedwill? It looks as if there is not the slightest chance we will really leave the EU.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      Well, unlike Trump, no one speaking for China has ever said that the European Union was its enemy.

      Have they?

      Look like they know their proverbs in China.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        Oh no! The EU is China’s patsy!

        • Margaret Howard
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink


          EU China’s patsy?

          Not even close to our own blind love for the US which saw us joining them in illegal wars like Iraq and all that followed turning the Middle East into a charnel house.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 18, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

            Fast forward to today Margaret.
            We are talking about current affairs.

      • NickC
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

        And you still trust them, Martin? You do love authoritarianism don’t you?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

          No, I weigh each thing that they do and say.

          • Fred H
            Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

            get some better scales.

  62. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    If you want a good prospect for video conferencing, how about cancelling the Glasgow climate change conference and replacing it by video conferences? Think of the savings:

    – First class and business air fares for the self important delegates, their security guards and their flunkeys
    – Four and five start hotels for the above
    – Gourmet food for the above
    – Endless trees chopped down in order to produce position papers to be distributed 100 fold to every Tom, Dick and Harriet

    Just think of the effect on their carbon footprint.

    While we are on the subject, how about Members of Parliament taking a 20% pay cut just to show that we really are “all in this together”? Even with a virtual parliament and interacting diligently with their constituents, they can’t possibly be as effective at controlling the Executive as if parliament was sitting.

  63. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    With 633 confirmed Coronavirus deaths in the U.K. up to an including 13th week, I am seriously considering ignoring an extended lockdown.
    I think the onus is on the State to prove that I’m infectious.
    Even Ferguson of Imperial is sniffing the wind and talking of lifting the lockdown. imperial must be abolished such a disgrace to learning is it! It has cost us hundreds of billions and much the cannot be tallied in terms.

    • NickC
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Lynn A, You make a good case. There must be some lifting of the lockdown soon.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        not soon…the lockdown should’ve been lifted today

    • Stred
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      The number of corona deaths in the UK to date is over 13,000 with additional care home and house deaths to be added. In Italy, three weeks ahead of the UK the number is over 20,000. The Imperial estimate for UK if we had the lockdown was 20,000. It looks like they were right. They also just thrashed Trinity College Cambridge on Unversity Challenge.

  64. Know-Dice
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    And on today’s topic…

    We really need to understand how Germany has dealt with this pandemic.

    We know that they did a lot of testing from the start, but how did they deal with those tests?

    Is also seems that Germany & France stooped the exports of masks – not really in the sprit of the EU…

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      And New Zealand, a country that, looked at a map, concluded that it could hold the virus at bay – and seems to have done so.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      The Germans didn’t get stopped by their Government and used hundreds of Private Labs and then did massive tracking down of positives…..We however still let anybody in, do almost no tracking and refuse to allow specific reagents to be used by Labs because Milton Keynes has been allowed to commandeer the lot!!
      In other words you WILL do it our way, which is not the state of the art, or not at all…

      Excuses can always be found for incompetence.

    • Andy
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      You left the EU in January.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        And how much help to date has your EU given its remaining members?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

        It’s December 31st Andy.

      • NickC
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        Andy, No, the UK didn’t. The EU still controls the UK in the same way it did before, just via a different treaty. Until 31 Dec. Look it up.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

          If it controls the UK, then why didn’t it compel it to take effective action against CV as did Germany, Austria, Greece, etc.?

          And how come the lifting or otherwise of the most oppressive measures ever taken are in the hands of the UK government?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

            First you repeatedly say the EU has no powers over member nations on this area and now you come on and say why didn’t they take action…
            Make your mind up Martin

      • Edward2
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:50 pm | Permalink


    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Well the Swiss as always have a plan.

      Why do we always have to put a finger in the wind?
      This needs organising. There are now 5 weeks of figures to act on. Any decent prediction program should know what happens nextg.

    • Margaret Howard
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 11:57 pm | Permalink


      “Is also seems that Germany & France stooped the exports of masks – not really in the sprit of the EU…”

      It seems my posting that the German army has just flown in 60 ventilators has disappeared. I wonder why?

      “09/04/2020 · Germany’s army is donating 60 mobile ventilators to the UK following a call for help as the NHS races to get hold of enough life-saving equipment in the runup to the expected peak of the UK’s ..”

      • Know-Dice
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

        MH note – from Germany not the EU.

        In the mean time Formula 1 teams have managed to manufacture this equipment in the UK.

        Yes it was Mercedes (and others) but their F1 team is UK based.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        We’re not using all the ventilators we already owned? The Germans are only releasing them now because they think they no longer need them, too little too late from one of the biggest specialist equipment manufacturers in the EU.

        • Margaret Howard
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          How much or what have we given them?

      • NickC
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        Margaret H, My sources in the NHS state that there are plenty of beds and equipment, including ventilators (sources are outside London). What they’re concerned about is the incompetence of NHS management.

  65. DOMINIC1
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    One change I have already made. When North Korean style state propaganda is pumped out to me through my television I immediately switched to Classic FM.

    We are exposed to social conditioning for party political ends. All areas of the political State are involved and we will see this process accelerate. It is the tragic consequence of Labour’s politicisation and institutional capture of our public institutions and the Tories refusal to dismantle. Indeed the Tories have embraced it themselves

    The private sector is being abused for party political convenience

    Do political parties concern themselves with protecting people from harm? Are they genuinely compassionate in their intent? Of course they aren’t . Party political advantage at all costs is now the only things that matters.

    We are mere guinea pigs and sheep to be herded and directed

    Individualism. Morality. Self-reliance. Independence. All deliberately trashed to inculcate State dependency allowing far greater State control over our lives

    Clap like Pavlov’s Dog? I won’t become political capital in a political game.

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

      Dominic1, Well said.

  66. John
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I mainly work from home on the laptop and so largely unaffected in that way. No new technical equipment needed or purchased.

    I have a home renovation project ongoing and so when things start to re open I will be ordering more building and decorating type supplies and some more tools. These will be ordered for delivery in the main but not all.

    I have a garden and in a rural area so am fortunate. I would normally go into London now and then which I’m not keen on. If colleagues start to periodically go in then I may feel the need to show support, don’t like the idea. I can’t imagine the work socials will continue this year. Not good news for the bars and coffee shops in the City. Unless there is a real decline in the virus.

    The Tesco near me is not busy normally and they were quick to have sanitisers next to the trollys and other touch points so feel safe going there, its the only place I go to.

    May employ some trades later in the year for some work here.

    • John
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Only changes to my spend this year may be the holiday that is within England. That we are hoping will just be re scheduled. Lack of spend in London on occasion and the occasional visits to museums etc.

  67. Lifelogic
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 3 April 2020 (Week 14) was 16,387 which is 6,082 more than the five-year average.

    Much speculation that other deaths are increasing due people not attending GP and A & E for other urgent conditions. Personally I would expect that actually there would be a net decrease in non covid deaths (due to the cancellation of many normal operations). I mentioned before that when doctors go on strike there is usually a decrease in deaths and an increase when they resume their good works.

    I estimate that the Covid deaths (or deaths brought forward by covid) are actually in excess of this 6082 figure just in this one week. It will be interesting to see the figures for the weeks to 10th and 17th.

  68. Stred
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    There is a vaccine for flu every year. This year it was ordered in time and it was working well so far, with reduced flu deaths. Corona viruses vaccines have not been available as far as I know but, as this one is nasty, most countries with biosciences are racing to make one. They will be tested and some say ready in six months but approval takes ages no matter how urgent the need

  69. Keith H from Leeds
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Like many, I have found myself using Zoom & Skype to stay in contact with the family. As of now it is a valuable tool but no substitute for face to face contact. As & when the lockdown ends we will go back to visiting our family & friends. We have not chosen to do grocery shopping on line in the past & we will not in the future. We have bought no new equipment at present but will upgrade our phones post lockdown. We are listening to sermons on line as we can’t go to church, & using netflix much more than we used to. We have started reading books again daily, the garden looks much nicer & we have also sorted out our wardrobes so local charity shops will benefit when open again. We have stopped watching the news, other than the headlines because it is so negative. The government should stop daily briefings now as they are simply an opportunity for the media to attack the ministers & experts present.
    I do not think garden centres & builders merchants should have been closed down as being forced to stay home is an ideal time to do things. The government needs to do much more analysis of the ages of people dying with Covid 19 so the lockdown could be ended as soon as possible. People need to get back to work, maybe by age group, because other wise many will face financial disaster for years ahead. Post lockdown the banks need to be sorted out as does PHE for their failures to support business, especially small ones, & PHEs failure to procure sufficent supplies of PPE.

  70. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    If all these people can suddenly work from home – then why can’t they carry on doing so? No travel cost. No struggle through the rush hour. You can work wearing your sloppiest clothes. Council offices can turn off lights and heating, saving the Council tax payer money.
    Every vehicle off the roads allows others to travel more freely. Every vehicle off the road cuts pollution – but also cuts the taxes paid to govt. All this vehicle shutdown has also cut the parking fines which councils rely on. Also hospitals with no visitors lose revenue from their car parking costs. The massive drop in petrol sales must have cost the govt a fortune in lost tax. You’ll punish us by increasing taxes – while STILL handing out billions to other countries.

    P.S. Not heard anything from St Greta recently. Has she realised the wondrous travel restricted world she wanted isn’t as wonderful in real life?

  71. ukretired123
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I use a digital, tablet for news, weather and information and keep several desktop computers as a retired systems developer. But I have several UK designed and manufactured raspberry pi credit card sized computers that are great for surfing the web with a keyboard ideal for working from home.

    For keeping for I am fortunate to cycle around our village and have some 3 and 5kg weights for simple toning up as used in gym circuit training. Years ago I would improvise with household items of similar weights.

    When I lived “out of a suitcase” earlier in my career I did yoga in the restricted confines of hotels. I would recommend folks to try meditation to calm the mind and reduce blood pressure and anxiety especially useful if you are unlucky as I was to have a stroke a decade ago.

    This is an ideal time for folks to realise there is more to life than materialism and plan what their real role in life should be. I always find that helping others however humble your contribution is very rewarding both ways, a win-win.

    • ukretired123
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      I forgot to add my wife encourages me to vacuum the house as it is aerobic exercise too!

  72. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Can I use your page to say the 99 yr old is incredible going round his garden to raise millions for the NHS. Wonder how many new cars, carpets, laptops, chairs etc will be bought for the many managers?

    • Ian terry
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      well said mate

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Big neil

      I really do hope your comment is wrong, but somehow past history suggests it is possible.

      Neverless let us just think positively, that his efforts will be worthwhile, it certainly is positive news in these days where everyone in the media seems to be constantly broadcasting bleating about all of the problems that surround us, and asking politicians and medical experts stupid questions about when is it going to end.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Let us hope a lot of the money is used to buy all care home workers decent re-useable ppe.

      I was quite fearful for the magnificent man last night when I saw soldiers (I hope they’d been tested) stood within a metre of this man doing his final laps, then the tv crew kept putting a mike boom with fabric spittle catcher right near him and his family!

  73. BOF
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I would like to go back to buying as much as I can in local shops, but I fear there will be even fewer left in an already decimated high street. I do buy online where I have to.

    One of my fears is that Govt. will look for an excuse to replace cash with digital currency so I would ask all to go back to using cash wherever possible and oppose any digital replacement.

  74. Bob
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Health Secretary @MattHancock told told Piers Morgan that 15,000 people a day are flying into UK, many from coronavirus-ravaged places, but get ZERO checks at our airports unless showing obvious symptoms.

    Why is this being allowed?

    • Bob
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      The public are accosted by the police for walking their dog in the remote unpopulated areas of the Peak District and yet people are arriving by plane from CV infected areas without checking or quarantine.
      What the Hell is this govt playing at?

      In Hong Kong new arrivals are tagged and quarantined for 14 days.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Been saying this for weeks. It’s outrageous. Why should anyone obey this lockdown if randoms can just walk in?

      • Original Chris
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        The government’s policy in this area has been a disgrace, in my view, Bob. Totally unjustifiable.

      • forthurst
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        Similarly in South Korea with legal penalties for violators.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        If this country is not as successful as Hong Kong and much of the world in eradicating this virus, then so will you be tagged and quarantined when you try to travel.

    • Ian terry
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      A friend in Ballantrae on the west coastof Scotland has just informed us that daily coaches full from Ireland are passing through daily as if nothing is happening. All piling out and going mob handed into the village shop. Their aredesperate for every penny they can make.

      You cannot make this up. Thank goodness it is on the SNP parliament remit not ours.
      At last something we are not guilty of.

    • NickC
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Bob, You are absolutely right that those flying into the UK should be tested. Personally I would have closed the borders, but I guess the government is frightened that Andy, Martin, and all the other open border fanatics will shriek: “xenophobe!”

      • rose
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

        Look how Trump was berated by the WHO and everyone else when he took measures to curb the Chinese flights in January.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Bob, its not just those flying in, people are flying into Dublin and getting on ferries, multiple families all sitting together overnight in the lounge area who didn’t bother paying extra for the cabins and the kids running around and playing together. If Liverpool or the Wirral has a spike you’ll know why!

  75. Loss to UK
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    ..” tell me how you have changed your lives to live with the stay at home guidance.
    Almost zero.

    QUESTION FOR GOVERNMENT As the EU nations and the USA have started opening up , more follows, how is the government coping with the loss of trade with UK small businesses from those foreign businesses who are now choosing everywhere to buy and sell their own products? Contracts signing as I write.

    • Mark
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Getting our export businesses working and exporting has to be an urgent priority.

  76. Good Advice
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    “I would also be interested in how you think people will react when we do start to see the relaxation of the lock down.”
    Relaxation has already started despite government and police. It started on Day Two of lockdown. This is ongoing. This will continue and expand massively and much more of it will be open to view by authorities. It up to the authorities to stay off the streets , out of the parks, away from people’s homes for safety reasons. MPs should avoid travel to the absolute maximum.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      That was what the Mafia was born for – to keep bureaucrats in their offices instead of out bullying the public.
      British politicians should appreciate that we are law-abiding, co-operate population, easy to govern…

  77. Lifelogic
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I will certainly avoid public transport where ever I can until either I have had the virus and recovered or have have had a vaccine and would a voice have hair cuts, restaurants, pubs, dentists and the like similarly.

    The BBC “experts” discussing the 2:1 male to female gender mix of the deaths – we do not know if it is due to different behaviours of the genders things like smoking. Well it might be a little, but no you silly dopes it is surely almost certain that the genetic differences between the genders means makes man significantly more risk.

    Interestingly if we knew the gender split of the total deaths each week we could estimate how many are Covid related by the change in gender mix compared to the normal gender mix – has anyone done this yet?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      avoid haircuts, restaurants …..

      Unless, that is, treatments that improve outcomes significantly become available. Some woman on world at one was, it seems, expected to die and her family told this but survived due to being turned on to her front. It seems she was not put on full ventilation. So how many victims are dying before getting to ICU units and full ventilation as a last resort. Can we have some honest figures please?

      • peter soakel
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        Don’t hold your breath Logic)

    • rose
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      “Interestingly if we knew the gender split of the total deaths each week we could estimate how many are Covid related by the change in gender mix compared to the normal gender mix – has anyone done this yet?”

      This had occurred to me too but the MSM are only interested in their hyped up BAME observations. As Professor Whitty said, age, sex, and co-morbidities are already established as factors, but not yet the BAME one which they are of course keeping an eye on..

  78. Jiminyjim
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Sir John, we should view the current lockdown as a dress rehearsal for when (not if) a genuinely deadly disease comes along. Against this background, many areas have failed. In my case, my broadband speed in this rural area, which averaged 8-10 mbps in recent months has fallen to an average below 5 – insufficient for proper working from home, videoconferencing etc. Secondly, many sites that purport to provide online goods have huge waiting times – several hours in some cases. Finally, and perhaps most importantly of all, the IT industry has failed to cope with the demand of people working from home. Helplines have delays of 24 hours and in some cases don’t work at all. All of this needs fixing if we are to move to a truly digital economy.
    The only genuine change that I would expect to endure is that people have got used to dealing without cash. This could be a real advantage in suppressing the black economy.
    The economic impact has the potential, I fear, to be far worse than the disease and it is clear that only a very small number of people are dying who had no previously life-threatening diseases, albeit in some cases they were unaware. Therefore the biggest lesson must be for world leaders to accept that shutting countries down more or less completely because people are frightened by the MSM into panicking, is absolutely NOT the way we should react to future pandemics until the threat level is far more clear

  79. boffin
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Reports are starting to emerge indicating that people are adapting to working from home more readily – and productively – than anticipated. Two points:

    – the conspicuous success of electronics in enabling business to continue without traditional physical meetings makes the ridiculous HS2 project even more absurd. The news that our government has this week approved the start of the construction phase is thus both deeply distressing, and alarming; it is surely utter madness to proceed with this useless and immensely wasteful project at this of all times when our finances have suddenly become so severely stretched.

    – not all smaller firms may be aware of the ease with which Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) may be set up to permit home working by staff obliged to self-isolate, enabling them to connect their home devices very securely to the office server and continue just as if they were at their usual work desk. I’m very grateful to a colleague in virus-wracked Italy for making known how swiftly and easily he was able to do this for the benefit of his co-workers in their small business.

    (In his case he selected well-developed enabling software published by a Japanese academic institution, cross-platform and available for immediate download cost free, in the public interest. I’ll be happy to post a link to the appropriate site, which is in excellent English, should our good host see fit to signal his consent).

    • ukretired123
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Excellent thinking given the lockdown Boffin!
      With China on its doorstep Japan is light years ahead of the UK and planned to have the whole country linked by fibre optic way back by year 2000!
      If you mentioned this in Britain years ago you would have been ridiculed…

  80. Shirley M
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    When are the government going to do something about these back door immigration scams? Farmers chartering planes to bring in foreign workers, who are exploited with the lure of qualifying for permanent residency in the UK … and access to benefits. They do not stay in these jobs as they understandably look for better paid work once they have residency, and that is why more and more immigrants are ‘needed’ each year to fill the gap.

    We need temporary work permits which are restricted to these temporary jobs, or, farmers could pay decent wages to UK workers instead of spending their money on charter flights.

  81. alastair harris
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    One thing I have noticed is that when we do go out there are two differnt sorts of issue to face – both mind games. One is social distancing and being wary of our fellow humans. The other is a wariness of the police, who seem to have found a new lease of life when it comes to interacting with the public, although little evidence they have any new found enthusiasm to chase burglary and car theft. When I was a bit younger it was the refrain of “keep of the” grass. Never thought it would get to “keep out of the parks”!

  82. Original Chris
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully you will let me post this as it is very significant (and what many of us have suspected from the beginning):
    Economists not included in group shaping coronavirus lockdown
    The Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage) meets in secret and is not hearing about the financial costs of lockdown measures

    “Sir Patrick Vallance, the Chief Scientific Adviser, chairs the secretive panel which is advising the Government. The Government’s scientific advisory panel is NOT HEARING ANY EVIDENCE FROM ECONOMISTS, it has emerged as one adviser says that the strategy appears to be too focused on the immediate health impacts of the virus….”

  83. Lear's Fool
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Amazon for delivering goods! It’s share price has jumped, increasing Bezoz’s wealth by 50 billion. It’s an amazing company and will likely clean out all retailers.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Use Ebay and your local shops else all that will be left is Amazon and Supermarkets.

      • outsider
        Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        Agreed Fred, many good small family businesses market through ebay.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Given past history Government revenue will also drop if most spending goes to Amazon, as well as many local jobs, so not good news at all.

  84. Ian @Barkham
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Once again at 2:00 pm Nicola Sturgeon takes to the Nationwide UK air waves, to tell the whole of the UK what the UK Government is going to say in their ministerial briefing to the Nation later today.

    Who runs the UK Parliament? It looks like it is someone that has never stood in an election to it – but acts as its voice.

    • Robert mcdonald
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Silly comment. Every one can see clearly that sturgeon is playing the opportunity game, trying to appear to be in control by being the first to speak.

    • formula57
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      It is a curious and unexpected outcome of this crisis that Nicola Sturgeon joins Sir John Redwood in speaking for England.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      if it was me leaking the news – I’d be arrested.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Indeed what do the usually sensible Scots see in this dire leader of the National Socialist Party of Scotland? She seems to have no redeeming features at all to me. Scotland must get about 20 times the coverage on BBC national coverage as the North of England gets with less than 1/3 of the population.

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Sounds about the norm. We already have Scots politicians in the Uk Parliament sometimes allowed to determine the outcome of what happens in England. Sturgeon is just doing the same. They get away with it because our craven politicians squatting in English seats allow it.

    • hefner
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      There are four health systems in the UK. The FM reports on the Scottish one, the Health Minister (Hancock) reports on the English one. So what is the problem apart from you not knowing how the UK functions.
      Incredible how some people here are uninformed, but that never prevents them from barking one or another £#@&%ties. Can’t you see how ridiculous you look?

  85. Ian terry
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink


    Today the airways and TV has been taken up with the private care sector buck passing as regards the way that the Government has been slow or just let them down. Their Association and affiliated organisation leaders and spokesmen are all blaming the Government and certain channels are revelling in it.

    There are a private industry and as such they should have procedures in place with staff trained for the worst case scenairios based upon “What If” Not sit back and wait for it to happen. What are they charging over £1000 per week per patient for? It begs the question on why are the staff so lowly paid. These are the very people that will be relied on to help to turn this country around.

    I would trust that in the aftermath of the crisis the Government just don’t lay, there say nothing and take another kicking. Like lambs to the slaughter we will carry on paying into the WHO who do not come out of this whole mess with much credit. If a corporate company was getting such advice from a organisation which has badly affected the very stability of the organisation they would be shown the door. It would be interesting to say the least as to what comments you would get should you decide to use this as a potential diary entry.

    It is we the taxpayers that are going to have to get the country out of this disaster and I think it is owed to us to stop the waste of money in all areas and situations that will help facilitate a quicker recovery.That is the one thing above all else to get the country fully behind you.

  86. outsider
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John, We are all dfferent, as any lockdown exit plan will need to realise.

    As a pensioner who has not consulted a doctor for many years but self-diagnoses as vulnerable, the virus acts as powerful unseen memento mori and has induced extreme caution. This will continue until the virus dies out, an early stage treatment is available or a vaccine is developed and available – none of which can be counted on for the foreseeable future. So I shall:

    Wear a face mask in any well-populated public place (including shops) and hope for better supplies.
    Avoid public transport like the plague, having known it as a disease incubator since commuting to school as a child. Therefore use car a little more.
    Avoid gatherings of unknown people such as theatres, concerts, cinema or public meetings.
    Only go to a restaurant or cafe when socially unavoidable.

    I already buy some regular suppplies online, mostly for availability or choice, and do not anticipate much change . I did buy my first midrange smartphone online but it is currently a white elephant as the local phone shops closed while it was still in the post and my old-generation sim cards will not fit.

    Being, relative to the average, property poor and financial asset rich, my capital has shrunk like boiled wool. So no new car and plans to develop cottage axed – repairs only.
    Perhaps more DIY than I now want.

    Dare I deal with that crumbling asbestos garage roof, which is at least a known risk? I fancy many people will be evaluating different risks in a more conscious and rational way.

    Benefits: More telephone contact with friends and family – no purpose needed now. Voluntary food rationing has brought a much-needed 1 stone weight loss in spite of sudden dearth of physical work and exercise. So not quite all gloom.

  87. a-tracy
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    I find weekly shopping in a supermarket now on my day off work too tedious, one hour queues, following obediently behind each other up and down every isle to the speed of the slowest ditherer, so instead of weekly shopping I purchased sufficient for three/four weeks and filled up my freezer and I have challenged myself to live out of the freezer and larder without going into a main supermarket for a month, I will get a top-up of salad, veg. bread and milk by walking to a local store during my daily walk exercise if they can’t accommodate my needs after work (as has proven too often in the last couple of weeks I found another shop near work to get them on the way home).

    I miss my visiting my parents every week, luckily my mother got into modern technology a couple of years ago and I miss visiting with my children, facetime fills the void but it’s not the same and we even have a family quiz night on multi-facetime.

    I miss a good long walk around the shops and stopping for a tea, a bit of brunch or lunch out but we’re spending less and not really missing much in the way of purchases. I feel sorry for these stores because my husband has always preferred online ordering anyway and introducing so many people to this will hurt the shops further.

  88. Iain Gill
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    So the Chancellor has given 2.5 billion to Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust of the IMF while leaving freelancers in his own country starving.

    Couldnt make it up.

    Absolute Disgrace.

    Lefty PC nonsense pretending to be a Conservative government.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink



      • Iain Gill
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink


  89. Iago
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    There is another change we may have to deal with, the susceptibility of our animals. Cats can get the virus, so can ferrets. Dogs do not get it, nor do sheep and cattle. I do not know about pigs and horses. Civil Service mandarins are most likely immune.

  90. Iain Gill
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Changing patterns of Life, what about changing patterns of politics?

    Some of the Facebook & whatsapp groups for my local area have been hotbeds of insurrection. It transpires, although I had not realised before the lockdown, that they are mostly administered by political activists of one kind or another. Who during the lockdown have taken to the most extreme partisan nonsense imaginable. Anyways the locals have rebelled after complaining and getting nowhere, and setup alternate free from politicians facebook and whatsapp groups. Its quite funny to watch citizen power in action.

    The local MP has been notable by his disappearance. His twitter account does nothing but retweet whatever the party leadership have been tweeting. His website is bland and not up to date. No news about the lockdown. Nothing on facebook. What little interaction he had with the community has now disappeared altogether.

    The local councillors even worse. Apart from some of their number trying to nanny state us on facebook as above, the rest have disappeared.

    If this keeps up much longer the people will realise that the political representatives are a waste of time and just take over themselves.

  91. ChrisS
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    At the ages of 69 and 67, my wife and I have taken to self isolation as seriously as we are able. Having seen Boris in serious trouble after catching the virus, we have no intention of putting ourselves in harm’s way.

    We have always used internet banking and shopping for non-food items and continue to do so. We still go out shopping for food but only where necessary and singly, and we also shop for elderly neighbours. When shopping we take several pairs of work gloves, ( we bought a batch of 20 pairs on Amazon at the start of the Pandemic). We change the gloves as necessary and wash them in a mild bleach solution kept topped up in one of the two kitchen sinks. If masks were available we would be using them while shopping.

    We also accept deliveries and the post wearing the gloves and leave non-urgent items for three days before opening them. We wash these gloves immediately after a delivery by dipping our hands in the bleach solution, removing the gloves, then rinsing them afterwards. We are fortunate to have an Aga which dries them quickly.

    We are not stupid and realise that we will have to take these precautions until a vaccination is available that is guaranteed to be effective. We accept that this could take up to a year but as long as the guidance is relaxed so that we are able to drive to a beauty spot, visit our second home for a change of scene, my wife can go back to her regular early morning swim and I can go back to riding my motorcycle with friends, we can put up with it. Until there is a vaccine, we will be avoiding pubs and restaurants and will be taking no holidays.

    I firmly believe that anyone over the age of 60 cannot take a chance on catching this virus and should do everything they can to protect themselves. I also appreciate that we are fortunate in living in a small town in rural Dorset and have a decent-sized house and garden. It is therefore far easier for us to accept these restrictions than someone living alone in a small flat in a city centre.

  92. steve
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink


    “Who runs the UK Parliament?”

    Well I find myself reasonably informed by the daily briefing from the British government, inversely I ignore the obnoxious bigotry from north of the border.

  93. Stock Shark
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    No mention of numbers who are reaching pensionable age each day and comparing it to the number of pensioners dying. It looks like we as a nation are making a healthy profit by not having to pay pensions but reality could be a sobering thought.

  94. ed2
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Everyone boycot big business (if this ever ends). I can tell you now big business, the supermarkets, the big online monopolies are all in on this FAKE DRAMA with our very own crony politicians.

    Oh and the ONS stats for week 14 are rigged. They are creating fake spikes by registering deaths at the wrong time.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, both counts. Small shops and farm shops. Holiday at home. Steer clear of the NHS at all costs and let’s demand the right to Opt-out of the NHS and BBC.

  95. glen cullen
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Mark my words this 3 week lockdown extension will result in 300,000 SME companying going bust

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      They think a ‘small business’ is a corner shop. They really do believe that the Corporations provide the employment. So they don’t care about SMEs. They will soon!

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        And the SMEs that haven’t gone bust during this lockdown event will upon return to business….after 2-3 mths the only thing waiting for SMEs are ”bills”….a second wave of companies going bust

  96. steve
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink


    Taking my example, it has cost me a lot more in fuel going around trying to source food, but cost a whole lot less with the big supermarkets. I don’t intend to resume supermarket shopping.

    I’ve done very well buying from the Polish shops in my area, and will consider doing so when the crisis is over.

    My food spend has gone right down. In fact I have not spent one single penny in a major supermarket since all this kicked off.

    I’m sure a lot of people have learned lessons from this.

  97. Ian@Barkham
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Guido reports we are to have a virtual Parliment courtesy of the Chinese government’s information bureau. Virtually all of the rest of the World has banned Zoom because of their snooping for the Chinese State.

    We have a Government living in an unreal World of keeping us safe.

  98. John Hatfield
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    I invest for income so I have sold those stocks that have stopped their dividend and bought others that are maintaining theirs. I am not sure if it is the best thing to have done. The alternative would have been to to have hung on until dividend payments restarted. Dunno.

  99. Chris
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    30-40 minutes of hard cycling every day

    Consider the quicksand metaphor, floating serenely on top as opposed to being stuck in it up to your chest

    It’s the endorphins

    At first you struggle to start then you struggle to stop

  100. Chris
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Make sure it’s a proper racing bike, from Halfords for £200
    And make sure the tyres are at 80-100 psi

  101. Original Chris
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    President Trump: Major Announcement on Opening U.S. Economy – 6:00pm EST Tonight

    President Trump has set up a special team including economic advisers on exactly how to open up the economy and to save industry and jobs. Apparently our government has no economic advisers in its special advisory team on policy. You couldn’t make it up.

    One can always hope that our government might learn something from President Trump (they apparently did about hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin) and use it to kick start our economy and try to save those businesses which have not already gone under. Our government seems totally oblivious to the catastrophic hit that small and medium sized business have taken already, despite the efforts of Sir John, and maybe a few others, to enlighten them.

    • Original Chris
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      Re my comment above, it should have read 6.00 ET (11 pm here).

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 16, 2020 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      I’m afraid POTUS has been treated very badly from the start. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is dangerous, and Trump has both eyes wide open – hell May could not even follow the advice he gave her about negotiating with the EU. She laughed at him. Maybe he got just reward for casting pearls before swine.

  102. NickC
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    JR, Off topic – well partly.

    Why is the government allowing flights into UK airports without testing and without quarantining the passengers? It makes a mockery of the sacrifices we are making in the lockdown.

  103. rose
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    It has been an extraordinary time: terror all along at the economic and cultural consequences of the curfew and yet not much change at home. We don’t buy on line and still don’t. I can’t sing with my two choirs on line because my computer is too old and now is no time to get a new one set up. The worst thing has been not seeing our family in London and not looking after our grandson whom we always have staying with us at half term and in the holidays. The best thing has been the tranquillity and purity of the atmosphere.

  104. Commies everywhere
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    So now we know their is no party that represents small to medium size business, what do we do? That is putting it mildly.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      totally 100% agree

  105. peter soakel
    Posted April 16, 2020 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Went out today on my bike. More people out and about, shops and small operators opening up. The Gov. might get away with this clusterfluke if they get out of the way. I get the feeling everyone has had enough of the ‘Health advice and scary AIDS like tv radio ads’. Ignore at your peril, politicians. Not a warning or threat, just an observation from a little bloke in the corner of Bournemouth)

  106. Dane and poodle
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    Deaths in Sweden for flu and others last 5 years and what they say now for deaths by virus this year( not included) compared to Sweden’s which does not have a lockdown. What are UK figures for these ailments?

    • Dane and poodle
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 4:25 am | Permalink

      Oh I mean Denmark. They all look alike

  107. Frances Truscott
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    I’m in my 60s and my chap is in his 70s. We live in different parts of the county and are self isolating alone. This is frankly torture. We could face being without human touch companionship ,and affection for the rest of our lives.
    Surely at some point it must be possible for individuals who are completely self isolating in one low risk area
    to travel by car to another. Not everyone is living with family.
    Or are we not being told that there are several types of covid?

  108. Stred
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Modern technology is amazing. My Mrs was on zoom to a colleague in Australia when I peeped round the door and he wasn’t upside down.

  109. margaret
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    There has been a few changes , but mainly it is a game of waiting. I am reading a short novel which I have had and not read since 1966. Nigel Balchin,’ In the Absence of Mrs Peterson’.It is concerned with a return to communist Yugoslavia post war and pre war. This reminds me of my trips to the beautiful country and the general peace around at this time.

    I am doing a lot of heavy work in the garden , but cannot chop and get rid of the waste due to the closing of recycling centres.

    I tried re treating the deck , but now have decking 2 different colours as I cannot get the correct colour and the local stores do not deliver other than essentials.

    My garden only has the plants in that Aldi sell , so I have many prepared patches. I want to replace hedging but cannot get a sight on different types.. It isn’t the same on line.

    The weather has been pleasant, but my 2 children and 4 grand children cannot share time.

    At first I tried a lot of walking but developed blisters which I am finding it difficult to heal, so not as active.

    I have started growing potatoes , salad leaves , leaks , spinach , corn, peas and beans as an experiment for future. I did this many years ago but without the threat of bought produce running out . Ah well .. it seems as though my technology is used less.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 18, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Cycling is better for fewer blisters.

  110. a-tracy
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    John, a week or so ago milk producers were talking about having to throw away thousands of litres of unpasteurised milk, did the government intervene on this and perhaps redirect the milk to producers in the UK of yoghurt and cheese?

  • About John Redwood

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

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