Dear Constituent

There is some good news to pass on. It looks as if the virus spread has peaked in our area. Hospital admissions are down, and the Royal Berks Hospital  has plenty of capacity in both normal beds and Intensive Care beds should there be any relapse in progress. The first aim of policy to ensure the NHS can cope is so far working.

This also means the NHS has capacity for the other killers and serious conditions that people contract. Patients should not be deterred by the priority to the virus. There are additional hospital facilities in the private sector that the local NHS is using for cancer and other conditions. The NHS wishes to provide a good service to anyone who is seriously ill.

I have continued to pass on contacts who can supply protective clothing to our public services, where there are shortages. West Berkshire and the Royal Berks Hospital report no problems, and Wokingham Social services is managing with help from national and regional stocks. The government is well aware of the need for more and is working with  the national and overseas suppliers on schedules and deliveries.

More testing is becoming available. There are local test centres at Whiteknights in Reading and at the Community Hospital in Thatcham for NHS and care staff. The aim nationally is to extend the range of people eligible for tests as the supply increases.

I am urging a managed return to work for more people. Working practices will need to be adapted, but business shows every willingness to do so. There will be social distancing, more home working,  more use of remote technology, more screens, more protective clothing and more automation. I am  very conscious of the economic damage being done, and keen to promote more safer working as the obvious way to improve things.

I spoke in the debate on the economy yesterday using the video link from home as MPs were encouraged to do. It demonstrates there are ways to adapt and to do our jobs in these difficult times.

 

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237 Comments

  1. Mark B
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Well done Sir John.

    As I look out my window, it is grey, windy and rainy. It will be like this for the rest of the week. So a lot of people who were out and about enjoying the Sun [ 🙂 ] will now be stuck indoors. Suddenly for some, lockdown / house arrest won’t seem as much as it has been. So I think the government better put its skates on and get us out of the mess they got us into.

    Just saying 😉

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      Mark yes I am envious of people living in NZ. Their government got a grip, shut it’s borders and have now eradicated the disease. Life will be pretty much normal there. My neighbour works in an auction house owned by Chinese. They went to China visiting relatives early January and when they returned to the UK were told to self isolate. They didn’t have their temperatures checked and went on to lead a normal life opening up the auction house again. We have not been strict enough.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

        No we have done the best we could. If we’d locked down two weeks earlier (when there were relatively few deaths) then two weeks ago the lockdown would have started to fray – like it is now – right at the peak infection time. Our comparison is not with totally different countries like NZ but with our neighbours – we have managed the infection at least as well as Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands. The actual infection spread we’ve controlled as well as Germany but their death rate is much lower – that is nothing to do with how “strict” their lockdown was (it was the same as ours more or less) but because their health service seems to be better.

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

          Roy “Germany…but because their health service seems to be better.”

          I wonder how they treated early patients? What % did they put on the media-hyped ventilators? What was their success rate with ventilator treatment over other nations treatment? Did they trial other treatments (such as the oxygen supply that Boris was given) that other nations perhaps didn’t try? Did they quarantine patients families and connections muchs sooner than us, how did they do it, how did they contact trace?

          • Original Chris
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

            I understand that Boris was given the hydroxychloroquine treatment plus azithromycin, a treatment that St Thomas’ hospital was using. Not called the Lazarus drug for nothing. The oxygen treatment you refer to would only alleviate symptoms not cure, and thus would not account for his miraculous recovery.

          • hefner
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

            On wikipedia ‘2020 coronavirus pandemic in Germany’

          • Northern Monkey
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

            It will be very interesting to ask these and other related questions of both Germany and Portugal when this pandemic is over.

          • Hope
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

            JR, we read today China threatening Australia not to investigate source of Chinese virus and threaten EU to change its report over any such investigation.

            Is this the reason Raab gave China assurances to keep quiet? Is this why the UK kept open borders to flights from China and particularly the Chinese virus hotspots?

            Why on earth would Johnson keep making deals to allow China to bribe coerce or force U.K. to be a supplicant i.e. Haewei, buying of British steel companies and Hinkley!

            Sniffs of a scandal unless the world stands up to China.

        • Mark
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

          We’ll be waiting a month and more before we can really understand much about how Germany has fared. DeStatis, the German ONS has finally announced it is making some fortnightly data on total deaths available. At the moment, this only goes as far as March 15th, which includes almost no virus deaths with the next data due to be released on 30th April.

          If they hadn’t done that we would have been waiting 4-5 months for some monthly data.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          Yes, we have done the best that any country modelled on the Chicago School Anglo Saxon socio-economic trope could hope to do.

          And it’s useless.

          The model should be consigned to history’s dustbin, therefore.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 29, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

            Your answer is socialism.
            A system that has killed many millions and has never produced anything but poverty and hunger.
            Equality of poverty.
            And dont say Sweden.
            It’s a mixed capitalist democracy.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 29, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

            No capitalism can be fine, if properly regulated and coupled with a balanced mixed economy, as in Germany, Scandinavia etc.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 29, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

            Examples of socialism which you really prefer would be appreciated.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

        “Eradicated” alas not – until the world gets a vaccine and/or rather better treatments they still have a population that is very vulnerable to any new outbreaks. They did also have the huge advantage of a much lower population density with about 20 times the land area per person as England.

        • Ian @Barkham
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

          Not forgetting according to the led by science government, this virus just dies, fades away, vanishes if it cant find a host within a few days – go figure

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

            Indeed it does die, until someone (or some bat) brings it back into the country again that is or people go abroad catch it and then bring it back.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

        Yes, it was fairly clear once the virus reached Italy that lockdown here would happen. The uncertainty here was whether the government was deliberately allowing a level of infection to occur, or whether they were just too late (the usual conspiracy or cock-up question). The jury’s still out on that.

        It remains unclear why, as an island which voted to control our borders in 2016, we can’t seem to. Perhaps that is the main lesson to draw from NZ and Australia. Why on earth can’t we do this more effectively?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

          Absolutely! The Govt is culpable.

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

          Neither New Zealand nor Australia is a global transport hub, they do not have such multi-cultural societies with familial ties over seas nor such a big Chinese population, a reluctance (therefore) to close borders and nor are they as densely populated.

          The UK is doing better than France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.

          CHINA’s CCP is culpable for all of it !

      • matthu
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        Normal? You mean no quarantine for incoming tourists?

      • Andy
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        Life will not be normal in New Zealand. They still have social distancing. They still have quarantine at the border.

        But, fortunately for them, what they have more than anything else is a competent leader and a competent government.

        They are an island nation. So are we. But they listened to the WHO. They locked down early, when there were just a handful of cases. We washed our hands and sang happy birthday.

        They properly tested and traced and then quarantined arrivals. Bingo. They won. We did none of those things and we have, what, about 40,000 dead? The official 20,000 figure doesn’t include care homes after all because, for some reason, we are not counting properly.

        It is not just NZ. Iceland won too. So did Greece. South Korea. Singapore. Germany. Even Australia. None have avoided deaths and/or economic damage but they have significantly limited it.

        Then there is us. Alongside the United States we are just about the world’s biggest loser. We had the advantage of time – which Italy and Spain did not have – and our clowns in government squandered it on Brexit.

        I know you are mostly all sycophants for Johnson and Trump. But there is zero doubt both have epically failed as leaders. We could not have prevented Coronavirus getting here. But preoccupation with Brexit and saving Priti Patel’s career in January and February are to blame for the extent of the Coronavirus damage.

        And, of course, we were woeful unprepared anyway as all of our logistical expertise has spent the last four years not planning for a pandemic but planning for Tory Brexit. I know none of you want to take responsibility for the level of deaths and economic carnage but he in no doubt the blame is entirely the Brexiteers.

        • Original Chris
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

          The USA is well down the list of death rates so you cannot claim that their policy was a failure. Far from it.
          On April 18th Fox News interview:
          DEATHS PER 100,000 population
          BELGIUM 45.2
          ITALY 37.64
          UK 21.97
          USA 11.24

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

            China 0.3-0.6

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

            They are just behind but are doing rather badly, rather like the UK.

          • Anonymous
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

            He’s known as Fact Free Andy for a reason.

        • Cheshire Girl
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

          Andy:

          Well, at least that makes a change from blaming the old – although , on reflection, you probably meant to do that.

        • Northern Monkey
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

          Don’t forget that they’re also responsible for the Black Death and the loss of the American colonies!

          Really is time to change the lens you’re looking through – you might, for instance, choose to blame the media for the fabricated fuss about Priti Patel, and the Remoaners for the fact that in January we were still going through the throes of putting into action a policy decided in 2016.

          There is, indeed, an obsessive in this conversation, you’ll find them when you next glance in a mirror.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

          Andy I don’t blame Brexit. I do think we were slow to lockdown and not very good at enforcing it properly. So many people clearly have not followed the rules but even when reported nothing has been done. Can’t imagine that in some other countries in Europe. Our eventual death toll will be very high. A lot more than the 20,000 predicted. I just think as an island we could have done better and got sorted quicker. We had other nations to learn from. What I cannot understand is while people are tested at airports etc before travel none is done here.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

          US death toll per million seems lower than Eurpoe’s

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

            Yes, it is, but they’re all pretty woeful.

          • Anonymous
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

            The daily brief didn’t mention per million figures. It just showed America has having by far the largest number of deaths.

            Per million the USA is actually less than half of France’s.

            It makes both us and America’s situation look worse than countries that we’re actually doing better than.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          Some chap from FT put it at 45,000 going of excess deaths and adding on the extra days about the same as I make it.

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

          Sigh.

          How many times does Andy have to be told ?

          New Zealand is the size of England with 3 million fewer people than London. Barely multi-cultural and and the end of a transport network – we are a global transport hub.

          We are doing better than France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 29, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

            No, wrong.

            Daily death rates are higher here now, and total figures including care homes etc. apparently worse.

            And the UK had several weeks advance warning from those countries as to what not to do.

            And did it.

      • Hope
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        JR, the R number is a mathematical model for herd infections. To be ale to calculate the R number in any meaningful way it needs to be known how many are infected. The Govt does not because it has failed to test. Mr Whitty failed to explain this at the propaganda meeting yesterday. Why? It makes his remarks totally useless. The graphs they all refer are similarly useless, even Liam Fox MP points out today is Con Home it should be per hundred thousand or per million for any international comparison. As many wrote here before. It puts the US at the bottom end of the international graph chart below the U.K. not the top! like the civil service, following the science rot, bashing of Trump falsely suggests each day. Liam Fox puts Belgium at the top.

        Time for the Tory govt to come clean about Cygnus and how it failed to prepare u dear amayhab and Hunt from the lessons of the exercise.

        When will the U.K get a proper correction and apology for deliberately misleading by false figures each day for five weeks?

        Sunak is till giving away our money at an alarming rate, not his or the govts money, our taxes. First he doubled contributions to IMF to £4.4 billion, doubling public donations to the Big Night last Friday- meaning all those who donated to the Big Night gave twice!, Trevellian bragging how she gave away millions to other countries. The govt is still spending vastly more than it takes in tax after ten years in govt. and against numerous promises, instead building up a whopping £1.8 trillion debt that has to be paid back. Sunak has massively added to this through HS2 and the like during his budget on 11 March and after the Tory govt. house arrest scheme. Which magic money tree is he using?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

          The Government always doubles the money raised by Red Nose Day. It’s a disgrace especially as the Curtis/Freuds are One World Government and global citizen maniacs. It should be illegal for any government to borrow on our account to ‘give money away’.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

            Indeed if people want to give to charities fine, it is their money to give. But who on earth want the government to demand money off you with a threat of jail so they can give it away for you.

            Freedom and individual choice please. No need for the rip off middle man of the government.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

            The government often justify this by saying that people in the uk are very generous. Fine let them be then. The government enforcing ‘generosity’ is absurd.

        • Ian @Barkham
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

          Over on Conservative Woman they remind us the money that was given to the BBC’s ‘Good Night In’ would be doubled by Sunak(using the Royal We). The ‘we’ being the taxpayer that donated pays twice and those that didn’t cough up get to pay in any case.

          It is so good to hear how deep all our pockets are. A Government without money giving someone else’s away

      • Hope
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        Despite promises by Tory Govt. including former HS Sajid Javid for transparency into grooming gang report no matter what ethnicity or sensitivities involved. The Tory Govt under the cover of the Chinese Virus has announced that despite over 120,000 signatories to a petition for the report to be made public as promised by the Tory govt it will be kept secret.

        Cygnus report how to prepare for a pandemic, operation carried out under Mayhab and Hunt, ordered to be kept secret by Johnson’s govt. Johnson claimed transparency about the virus yesterday! Who in their right mind would believe him?

        • Original Chris
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

          The simple answer, Hope, is that many do not trust him at all, and the Cons will never get a large majority in an election simply because they apparently refuse to drop the left of centre policies so beloved by the globalists.

          Those policies give evermore control to the political elite, and this is something the Tories should be fighting against, but do not. They are not being true to their original principles but no matter as the people of this country have just willingly taken part in a great social experiment, enabled by the MSM mounting, in conjunction with the “experts”, a massive fear campaign.

          The people have shown that they are willing to give up very significant number of their rights/amount of their freedom, many of which may not be reinstated, simply in response to government and media pressure for a policy which was apparently based on flawed science.

          • L Jones
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

            They’re NOT ”elite”.
            There is method in their very UN-elite machinations:
            “Hopeful people are more easily controlled, but the volume must be managed. Too much hope leaves a person emboldened and resistant. Too little leaves them disabled and useless. But just the right amount of hope subjugates them. They cradle it like a dying ember, and they’ll do anything to keep the wind from extinguishing it. They’ll serve.”

        • Iago
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

          I am reminded of Chamberlain waving his piece of paper.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      Correct. Teachers working one day a week on full pay. A& E empty at our local hospitals.
      B & Q 2 hour queue.
      The lockdown is becoming a joke now.
      Interesting PvL back in full flow to yesterdays Brexit post.
      Brussels shill.

      • Original Chris
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        With regard to PvL, Ian, he does come over as very smug, I fear. Whatever cause he is batting for, he will not do them much good with that sort of approach.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

        Ian,

        I expect the hours teachers are working is varied. I am not one so can only comment second hand, but some are working more than fulltime, they are teaching/marking/feeding back as much as ever, whilst having to do paperwork to replace the exams that aren’t happening and some are doing training as well…. perhaps there is a reason why some want to go back and want the examinations to happen. I keep saying some as with everything in this lockdown it is bound to not be balanced.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      That is probably not as simple as it sounds. I am in the vulnerable group too. Not allowed to go out except to exercise. Cant see any relatives. Haven’t seen my Son, who is also self isolating. Only now, able to get a food delivery slot.

      However, I am looking at the bigger picture. I will just be grateful if my Son(Who has asthma) and I come through this unscathed.

      I understand how you feel, and I am also very concerned about the effect on the economy and jobs, but as far as Im concerned, the main thing us to get us through this, and then get things moving as soon as it is safe to do so.

      At the moment,I am happy to leave the ‘blame game’ ( something that the Media is delighting in stoking up) for later.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        Well you might be happy Cheshire Girl but my husband and I are working, my staff are working and we’re not bloody happy and we’re not just covering for all of you ‘let’s stay at homers for as long as it takes’ much longer and you won’t keep saying that when your food stops coming. If we don’t get back soon don’t you understand there will be nothing to go back to.

        • Cheshire Girl
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

          How rude of you. I am not a ‘stay at homer’. I am 80 and have been instructed to stay at home. I started work at 15, so I know all about hard work.

          My Son has asthma. Not his fault. He is working from home.

          I sympathise with your situation, but you wont get anywhere by taking your anger out on those, whose circumstances you know nothing about.

          • a-tracy
            Posted April 29, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

            You’re quite right I apologise for swearing it (I don’t usually swear) it was late I’d had a long worrying day and to read someone write that they wished to only get things started when it was safe to do so annoyed me because for a lot of people now working outside their home it isn’t ‘safe’ but what would you do if they stayed in, its just not going to be ‘safe’ for a very long time according to Mr Whitty.

            We are not even being told who is being admitted into hospital currently after five/six weeks lockdown, is it the workers who are leaving home each day unable to work from home. I have two people I know working externally from home that are asthmatic they haven’t had letter telling them they have to stay in.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      As I am writing this there are just two comments published.

      One says the Government’s measures have been far too strict.

      The other comment say the Government measures have been far too moderate.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        Stephen

        And that my friend, is the essence of debate 🙂

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Another Jackanory type of session aimed at primary school children (I assume) yesterday from Matt Hancock. Everyone who needed NHS treatment is getting it he claimed. Well as they all know people were not even get this from the NHS even before this wretched virus. About 20,000 people have died of the virus without even getting to or after being discharged from hospital (in addition to the 20,000+ who have died in one) plus very many or even most standard operations have been cancelled.

    We may have lots of empty beds in Nightingale “Hospitals” but I assume insufficient suitable or sufficient staff so they are empty, PPE or other essential medical equipment. If as you claim the NHS is coping then it is time to ease up a little. I assume because the government know full well the NHS is not really coping. What other reason for not easing lockdown.

    Many revelations on Panorama last night on the appalling Pandemic Planning.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      If we do not have the medical staff and equipment was there any point in putting the beds in these Nightingale Buildings? Were these “hospitals” driven more by PR and the need for photo opportunities and distractions than by medical need & logic?

      • Fred H
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        exactly – – a panic reaction to assure the public of control, when there isn’t any.

        • Hope
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic, Read Guido about those medical Corbyn activists interviewed by Panorama with the BBC failing its duty again to bring that to the publics attention! BBC could not be more ripe for subscription including its former Labour minister in senior position.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Yes lifelogic, because people like you were and remain an a panic about deaths. So to shut you up they showed that our army is as good as the Chinese in putting together hospitals.
        Sod all deaths from this virus. Economic Armageddon on the horizon. The only good thing about that is that the Govt. will be short of money. We need to keep it that way always. They cannot be trusted with money.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

          I wanted to ensure people did not die for a lack of hospital capacity. Alas they have done. About 20,000 people have died without even getting to hospital, clearly not all had opted for no interventions.

          I certainly did not suggest we put beds in new ‘hospitals’ ‘if’ we had no staff to run them – that clearly does nothing for real capacity. Indeed it is surely damaging to it, as a huge distraction from sensible activity. So do not blame me.

          • a-tracy
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

            LL You were continually freaking and applying pressure on creating more bed and ventilator spaces, this treatment may not have been the best but people like you were none stop at one point until PPE became the next drum to bang.

            I said right from the start when Doctors were coming back from ski trips with the virus that they should all be wearing ppe, go back and check.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

          I see that Prof David Spiegelhalter thinks that Covid deaths outside hospital exceed those in hospital currently.

          I agree we have surely had over 40,000 deaths from this appalling virus already.

          • Hope
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

            LL, No that is not accurate at all. At the moment govt figures show died With Chinese virus Not from it. A very important distinction as many have lived and it is not known how many had it or have it.

            It is not known how many of the population had it or got it with no symptoms or very little symptoms. Hence why without extensive testing Mr Whitty has been guessing at best with his very misleading graphs. That is not following science it is calculated guessing or thumbs up in the air. Where did the two metre rule “Science” come from?

            Afterwards expect the govt to keep the facts and reports to be kept secret like grooming gangs, Cygnus etc.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          I am not and was never in a panic over deaths. I merely gave correct and realistic figures. But surely it would be very nice if we could save 20,000 lived by ensuring the NHS capacity allows for proper care, ventilation etc for all who needed it would it not?

          It is after more than 200 times the number that died in the appalling Grenville tragedy.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          @Lynn – @LL has always been critical of government’s spending and organisation but for this virus outbreak he has become a shrill siren of interventionism.

          The transformation has been hugely amusing and I look forward to normality so we can call him out when he doesn’t want to pay tax for any public services.

          • DaveK
            Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

            Also making up doom and gloom figures appears to be another trait. Where did the doubling of death numbers come from?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 29, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

            Government can indeed do a few things better than the private sector. Law and order, defence …… The main problem the UK had was a state monopoly, rationed and very inefficient healthcare system. Germany for example had about six times the ICU capacity by not having such a dire system as the NHS. This kills competition and innovation thus getting less money into healthcare overall. There is no transformation in my position whatsoever, I have been entirely consistent.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      L/L And it would see all our hospitals closed for normal things and a dangerous place due to corona being treated in them. What is going to happen to all the equipment in the Nightingale hospitals? Just asking.

  3. Dave Andrews
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    If people start going back to work, could we at least have a segregation in public transport, so healthcare and care home workers don’t pass the disease on to those restarting work?
    It would be a good idea too to require healthcare and care home workers to wear a mask to reduce the chance of transmission.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      What I would really like to see before we open up again (and I would like to open up quickly) is some kind of analysis of where the 5,000 odd infections a day are coming from. Is it from family members, friends from lockdown breaking or hospital and care home transmission?

      Armed with that information we can protect ourselves going forward.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        Exactly Narrow Shoulders, where are the new patients going into hospital, which hospitals? Where have they been in the last six weeks? Are they workers? What jobs were they doing? Or were they furloughed? Are they in families of healthcare workers?

      • L Jones
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        Narrow Shoulders – we should have been given far more information. If it’s not available, then there should have been far more analysis to establish where the centres of infection are, and detail of the people infected – or is that prevented by ‘patient confidentiality’?
        If hospital staff are permanently swathed from top to toe in NBC gear – why are they themselves still becoming infected? Or so we’re told.

  4. DOMINIC
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    With alarming regularity I continue to read phrases such as ‘the new normal’ or ‘things will never be the same again’ as if the British people MUST accept fewer freedoms and more State intervention and direction in their lives from pea-brained politicians and petty bureaucrats with fat pensions to protect

    We now we’re being played, manipulated and exposed to vile, pernicious propaganda with idiotic phrases like ‘Save Lives, Save the NHS’. Appalling emotional blackmail with the aim of asserting control over behaviour and thought

    I do hope at the next election millions of private sector employees (ex-employees now) take electoral revenge against this government and the abhorrent Labour party for sacrificing them on the altar of protecting Labour’s public sector including the NHS and the BBC.

    Labour’s public sector lethargy and indulgence financed by an abused private sector with nowhere to turn and no one to turn too

    • Original Chris
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      I believe you are absolutely right, Dominic. David Davis is edgy about the rights being surrendered, but as usual the Tory MPs seem unable and unwilling to put up the fight that is necessary.

      They are apparently happy to go along with this huge erosion of our rights and even greater state powers because they realise they are unlikely to be unseated as the people in this country have shown just how susceptible and unquestioning they are of the political class and of all the media hype and panic.

      Our country could do with a great awakening where people questioned infomration, researched for themselves and stopped being spoonfed by the media and politicians. There is a wealth of material available on the internet which is not second hand or filtered through the media, thus enabling one to see original statements/interviews so that one can make up one’s own mind about things.

      The only problem is the encroaching power of governments censoring the internet, and the removal by Twitter and Youtube of anything not in line with their political bias.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Never mind. Nigel will be back with his Reform Party which will abolish the HoL, scrap the foreign aid target and get a proper grip on immigration.
      If the government continues to accrue powers under the guise of protecting the NHS then they deserve obliteration at the next election.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        That’ll be an enormous comfort to the hundreds of thousands of bereaved.

      • Andy
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Are you planning for him to win an election first? In which case, good luck.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      All too true.

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

      Pretty soon key workers are going to be envied for being in employment with steady wages.

      There will be intense competition for their jobs and wage depression as a result.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 29, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Sadly very true

  5. Mike Wroe
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Throughout this crisis I have failed to understand why manufacturers of PPE have been unable to produce more safe to reuse items. If we can wash our hands for 20 seconds and destroy the virus why can’t we wash or disinfect gowns, gloves, visors, face masks? In recent years there has been an outcry over the world’s accumulation of single use plastic bags etc. What are we going to do with the billions of items of discarded PPE?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      The “government is not doing enough to protect us” campaigners can only focus on one topic at once. It was the environment now it is PPE

    • L Jones
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      It seems the Americans are working on this. The President has mentioned it more than once in his briefings (though, of course, the Trump-hating press would never make this widely known.)

  6. Nigl
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Thank you. Good news but I agree with other correspondents, much evidence points to poor planning, too late and weak with our initial response, serious questions about PHE and the police and some of our Ministers etc all contributing negatively to the plight we are in.

    Nothing must be swept under the carpet.

    As of now government messaging has been terrible, fragmented and defensive. I need to know precisely about masks. I do not believe they have zero benefit, therefore should be made mandatory for everyone in a proximity situation. I am also at a loss to understand testing. If people have had it so what? Is there a reliable test, easily administered, quick response time, to check people with no symptoms but still infectious.

    We need a mass testing regime, ongoing for the general public to give them a ‘virus free passport’ that should be their gateway again into proximity situations. That way we will know there are no silent killers.

    I am sure there are more but our politicians have got to stop dancing on a pinHead to the tune of gotcha journalists.

    Finally stop the condescension to the so called elderly. In years maybe but neither in body or mind.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Nig1. Yes I would wear a face mask but what chance do we all have of getting supplies when I can’t even buy hand sanitiser, disinfectant or wipes in my supermarket?

      • L Jones
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        I always understood that the Japanese (who often wore face masks even before all this hooha) wore them for the sake of courtesy – in other words, to protect their neighbours from their own bodily emanations – not to protect themselves. After all – weren’t we told from the very beginning? – they don’t afford protection to the wearer.

  7. Everhopeful
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    I’m not certain that people are so much deterred by the virus having priority but by the terror of catching it in hospital. The government has traumatised people!
    Hospitals have long been places where you come out sicker than when you went in. MRSA for example.
    Not to mention the fact that for at least a year now GPs have scarcely had any appointments to give and since the cv thing have said “ Do not come to the surgery”.
    Even about 5 years back we had a young boy from abroad staying here who fell ill. We could get no help whatsoever for him! It was terrifying.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Remember, doctors bury their mistakes.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      “Hospitals have long been places where you come out sicker than when you went in”.

      Very true.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        go back far enough and hospitals were a dead end – you come out in a box.

  8. Nigl
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Ps. At both a political and operational level, those people whose performance has not been acceptable, have to go to prove the government is serious about public sector reform.

    If nothing happens we will know it was the same old BS.

  9. Annette Bates
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately Sir John, many of your constituents in the vulnerable group will be like my husband. The fear factory & Govt have done such a good job that a visit to the hospital is now viewed as your name being called to join the Carousel in Logan’s Run.
    Boris had his chance to inject some sanity into what is now widely seen as a complete media prompted overreaction by the Govt, & blew it. Leadership? There appear to be many more abled& independent minded people, like yourself, who should be in the Cabinet but are not. It looks very much like the Conservatives are still not running the country. They are doing someone else’s bidding.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      +1

  10. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Yes its good news so far, but let us not get too impatient and thus spoil the gains made so far at such a huge cost in lives and money.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      And what ”gains” would THAT be, then?

  11. Martyn G
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Good news Sir John, a pleasant change in all the noise going on trying to blame the government for, say, lack of PPE and neglect of care homes. The fact is, NHE, NHS and local governments have been exposed for lack of any prompt action. NHE should have had a strategic plan to inform the NHS and government, the NHS are responsible for procuring PPE, many care homes are private businesses and the owners responsible for procuring PPE, as indeed local government responsible for the care homes they run. The government of course was/is responsible for setting the national strategy but, since we are paying hugely for expensive NHE and NHS managers, it seems to me that all those managers have failed miserably on the procurement and distribution issues for which they, and not the government, are responsible.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Do you appreciate that private care homes have to pay VAT on everything including PPE and are unable to reclaim any VAT? So let’s not put the public sector, at a 20% advantage over the private sector, in the same category. Their failure is at least 20% greater!

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Martyn. Agree. Most care homes are private taking in shed loads of money per resident. They should have sorted out their own PPE equipment. Lack of management on a big scale. Over 5000 deaths in care homes to add to the 21000 in hospitals. Hardly a good outcome. I have to wonder if training in care homes for pandemics such as this is up to standard.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        The standards are not up to standard.

        It is the same in this deregulated shambles of a country across the board.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 29, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

          Deregulated?
          Plainly you haven’t ever run any business in the UK
          Especially a care home.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 29, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

          Thats no way to talk about Wales.

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 29, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          what board “shambles of a Country across the board”?

          Are Care Homes really unregulated Martin? They have no social service annual check-up as nurseries have or schools with their check-up regime, the care home association quango doesn’t ever check up on standards? Doctors when they visit regularly or District nurses don’t have anyone to report to if they have concerns? I doubt it.

        • hefner
          Posted April 30, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

          MiC, the care and retirement homes are very much regulated under the auspices of the Care Quality Commission. A lot of things can be said but not that these places are un- or de-regulated.

          What is a fact is that since 2008 (or 2009) there have three reports all called ‘Housing our Ageing Population: Plan for Implementation’, respectively HAPPI-1 (2009), HAPPI-2 (2012) and HAPPI-3 (2016). The problem, to me at least, is that it is not clear which of the recommendations contained in these plans have been implemented and how.
          The so-called ‘dementia tax’ was an attempt by PM T.May to provide more money to the care homes. What is a real disgrace is how the successive Governments (Labour, coalition and Conservative) have kept washing their hands of the question, the Conservatives being, for me, the worst of the lot as they moved most of the responsibility for the supervision of these homes to the local authorities while imposing cuts in the LAs’ budgets.

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 1, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

            Child care nurseries hefner have to pay for the annual check up on the business to make sure that procedures are good and regulations followed. If Care homes have the same checks are you sure they don’t pay themselves for these checkup inspections and therefore wouldn’t come out of the ‘LA social care budgets’?

  12. Steve
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Look forward to some very discontented people when the lockdown eases when the scale of the economic disaster becomes clear to them. Well done politicians, you’ve done more damage to the country than any government in history all in the name of a virus with a lower death rate than flu.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      fully agree with your assessment….now watch the blame game

      • APL
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        One thing for sure, the Tory party must, absolutely must follow the Economy down the drain.

        We need something completely new to replace it.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

          Yes – a ‘new normal’ worth having.

  13. Sea Warrior
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    We need to get manufacturing going again. Home working won’t sort out that problem.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Home working is a huge drain on management time

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        I agree. All of those I know who have Friday afternoons off, to ‘work from home’, routinely short-change their employers.

  14. Iain Moore
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Praise should be heaped on the supermarkets who were hit with panic buying but managed to cope and and within days got the shelves stocked. Hit by a massive change in shopping habits so took on 10s of thousands of staff and accommodated it . They didn’t make a song and dance about it, they didn’t need us to go outside and clap, they just got on with it, a great example of private enterprise at work. Meanwhile we have to consider it heroic for the state to manage to anything right with the grinding slow pace of anything they do holding the country back.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Not here they didn’t!
      And no delivery slots available forever.
      Supermarkets have systematically and successfully wiped out all small competition over the past 40 years.
      Small shops would never have allowed “government-and-media-induced panic buying”.
      Who honestly wants to be entirely at the mercy of a supermarket?

      • Fred H
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        in answer: the buying public has stood back and allowed Tesco and Asda to rule the grocery marketplace, just like Weatherspoons did the competition for pubs.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        My local supermarkets have exhausted their delivery slots but have augmented that with click and collect which works well.

        Queuing outside for an hour is a bit primitive and needs attention

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 29, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          Supermarkets shortening hours, then asking people to stand outside like herd cattle waiting to be milked for an hour! Short-dated stock, walk one-way so stock you were expecting on shelves was missing so you can’t go and get alternatives. I’ve now changed supermarket supplier I did that game once and felt mugged after about thirty years of shopping loyalty.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      On the subject of supermarkets, would they not make a good bellwether as to what might happen if the garden centres and DIY stores opened up again? They have been customer facing all this time, yet we hear nothing from the media about their workers going sick.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        Yep, still asking the question as to where the new infections are coming from. Shops, hospitals, care homes via workers in them, or people just walking the dog?

        Where oh where?

        Knowledge saves lives.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        Yes Dave, I wonder how many of the people going into hospital this week are supermarket staff?

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Yep – I’m very happy with the performance of mine. Choose the time with care and the store is deserted and the shelves full. I’m grateful for the staff staying at their posts.

  15. Iain Moore
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Don’t laugh, the Type 31 Frigates being built .

    “Engineering giant Babcock International Group Plc has awarded the contact to build engines for the Royal Navy’s new £1.25billion frigate fleet to Rolls-Royce – but they will be made in Germany.”

    “It has also been announced that German manufacturer Renk will provide the main reduction gearboxes, and Germany-headquartered MAN Energy Solutions will supply the propellers and propeller shaft lines.”

    ” Thales – a French multinational company that designs and builds electrical systems and provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets – will provide the frigates’ advanced mission systems.”

    “Babcock has also announced that the award of the chilled water plant subcontract is going to Novenco AS, a Scandinavian firm, to provide critical system capability for the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) system.”

    “Denmark’s Blunox is contracted to supply the exhaust environmental equipment that significantly reduces emissions from the main engines and diesel generators.”

    • Fred H
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      but which bits will be made in China, Russia, or N.Korea?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Iain. Doesn’t it make you want to throw up?!! Whatever happened to supporting your own country?

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      So only UK companies can tender for Royal Navy vessels but that successful company can than subcontract all the build to non UK companies…pure madness

      For a few seconds I actually believed that a Tory government had won the last election

      • dixie
        Posted April 30, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        Not madness, it is quite intentional.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      ”…..The immediate occasion for alarm is the government’s announcement that British contractors for supplying armaments to our armed forces must in future share the work with what are called ‘European firms’, meaning factories situated on the mainland of the European continent. …….. What would have been the fate of Britain in 1940 if production of the Hurricane and the Spitfire had been dependent upon the output of factories in France? That a question so glaringly obvious does not get asked in public or in government illuminates the danger created for this nation…….”

      And so history repeats itself.

  16. Fred H
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I’m sure I can speak for all the readers here in saying we are pleased you are staying at home and can still contribute using video.

  17. Fred H
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    OFF TOPIC.
    from BBC website.
    India has cancelled orders for about half a million coronavirus rapid testing kits from China after they were found to be “faulty”. Delhi has also withdrawn the kits that were already in use in several states. The kits take around 30 minutes to deliver a result and are supposed to detect antibodies in the blood of people who may have had the infection.
    They help officials quickly understand the scale of infection in a particular area. China disputes India’s claims.
    “The quality of medical products exported from China is prioritised. It is unfair and irresponsible for certain individuals to label Chinese products as ‘faulty’ and look at issues with pre-emptive prejudice,” Chinese embassy spokesperson Ji Rong said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

    The rapid testing kits cannot test for coronavirus itself and several scientists have raised concerns over their use for diagnosis.

  18. BJC
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    It would appear that many businesses are taking it upon themselves to decide that lockdown should be relaxed. They will, no doubt, be permitted to do so, but should they not also hold the sole responsibility for the safety of the staff and public in their “care”, i.e. they should be required to adhere to minimum obligatory standards that achieve the government’s objectives……….no matter the cost to the business. They want to open and trade and they should be held fully responsible for the true costs of trading, not transfer it to the consumer (incl. NHS, à la Cheltenham Festival) whilst trousering the profits.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      How can they trade if there are no customers allowed out ‘without a valid excuse’? They are taking on cost with only hope of income.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        You’ve hit the nail on the head

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      What Profits?

      I know Lets shut down until Christmas and start back in the New Year.
      Then let’s see who will still have a job then.

  19. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    It is not some self-limiting property of the virus that has caused the downturn in daily cases, which creates that apparent “peak” in the graph.

    It is the change of public behaviour brought about by lockdown which has reduced the ability of infected people to pass on the contagion. R0 is reduced.

    If the measures are lifted without alternatives such as the general wearing of masks, test, track, and quarantine, then R0 will rise again and there will be exponential growth in case numbers and in deaths once more.

    These are not the falsely imputed intentions of European politicians John, and about which you can say what you like, and not easily be proven wrong. These are hard facts, and just saying what you think people want to hear will no longer wash.

    If the wrong actions are taken, the consequences will very quickly become impossible to hide.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      There are no easy choices.

      Further lock down will see the collapse of our economy. With it the NHS.

      No-one left to pay for it.

      What a disaster the CPC has wrought upon us.

  20. Javelin
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    A major priority needs to be to stop the potential leak if more viruses from labs. On balance it looks like researchers zeal to find a treatment for previous bat viruses have caused a pandemic by leaking another bat virus.

    There needs an international system to monitor virus laboratories around the world just like there is for nuclear material. To start with simply cut and paste the treaties and replace “bat” with “uranium” and “fissionable material” with “bat viruses”.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      A global system of monitoring you mean, overseen by a global authority, then?

      I get the impression that you would prefer that authority to be the self-imposed US, rather than all the nations of the world coming together by consent, however.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        ‘the world coming together by consent’ – – good luck with that.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        Martin

        I am now more US than I ever have been, having seen what the CPC is up to.

        God knows what they will do next.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      I believe this has been going on since at least 2011.
      Researchers trying to work out what a virus is capable of..ie is it airborne between ferrets in separate cages. I think that this involves mutating various strains of viruses.
      Deemed in contravention of EU’s “Dual Technology” ruling it was stopped plus stopped by US but apparently experiments restarted quietly.
      I guess that actually attempting to make a virus airborne is extremely risky?

      • hefner
        Posted April 30, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Have you ever heard about biological weapons? There was a Biological Weapons Convention in 1972 to ‘abolish their use’. And if anthrax was used during WW1, it is thought to have been used much earlier: small-pox by the English/Brits against the Native Americans in 1763 and in New South Wales against the Aboriginal population in 1789.
        The biological warfare program at Porton Down was started with WW2 by Mr Churchill. By that time obviously most countries had similar facilities.
        Nowadays we are told that any research of this type of weapons is for prevention. Make your mind whether you want to believe it.

  21. John E
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Is there any progress in opening an Urgent Dental Care centre for Wokingham?

    Reply Still on the case. There are urgent treatment centres in our area, which you access via your own dentist.

  22. matthu
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I have just seen on the website of Cycle Republic (which includes a large store next to Reading Station) that they have decided to close every store for the last time – just when you thought the demand for bicycles might really take off.

    This can’t be what the government anticipated or intended.

    So sad.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      You’re joking – seriously ?!?!?!

      I went to book my bike into CR but had to cancel due to the lockdown / house arrest. They were really busy and the number of cyclists nowadays (I have been cycling into London off and on for 25 years) has boomed. This is a serious loss.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      I don’t wish to appear pessimistic but this is just the tip of the iceberg

      Mark my works a lot of SMEs are going bust the end of April

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        glen, I think the problem for SMEs will be greater at the end of May and June when the lockdown ends but the majority of people don’t go out (they’re terrified now that the NHS will never cope with this and the minute people go back out there will be a second peak) and they’re on full costs, full payroll and not enough business to pay back loans and ongoing costs. The restrictions on distance of seats in small cafe’s and restaurants mean it is just not cost-effective to re-open.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      most would have been flashy, loaded with gimmicks, a status purchase – just like many new cars. Right now people are waking up to the need for belt tightening.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        Not in the public sector.

      • L Jones
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        What an unnecessarily negative comment.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

          Jones – – what? – my comment? These posh bikes are a status symbol- – end of.

  23. ukretired123
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Well done too SJR for getting the message through on Bounce Back Loans interest free 12 months for SMEs as vital to the economy and survival of self-employed. They will still need something to work on when recovery begins slowly….

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      I wonder if these loans are going to be provided over three months to ensure sensible spending?

  24. Peter Wood
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Off Topic, sorry. Government ups its guarantee to 100% for Covid19 loans. Sounds like a life saver, but my prediction is that it means the plan will terminate sooner. A bad plan now looking foolish.

    We HAVE a safety net for PEOPLE, use it..

  25. MeSET
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I would suggest you JR or Mr Rees- Mogg or Mr Raab and others you may know well be top of the political tree with Mr Gove placed in the House of Lord as top dog then quickly abolish the House of Lords and make sure this Green Agenda man, the Destroyer is not placed on any election list again. He would make a good Lib Dem failure MP and be remarkable and very intelligently equipped to promote their fascist agenda and simultaneously stab all of these scum in the back, leaving him a lone voice in the wilderness of despair and deceit.
    A perfect outcome from the ashes of our land beaten into the dust with the Trauma Generation of children never quite recovering from their ordeal of house arrest in too close a proximity of their parents going off their heads.
    As Trump said last night “People do not realise that making people stay in their homes kills people, yes kills people. “No doubt he is aware that stuck in a tiny flat which seems to get smaller and smaller with every passing day crushes people to death, yes crushes them to death! Smalls them!

    • L Jones
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Some of us watch these President’s briefings each day. I daresay, like me, many can see that the way the American people are spoken to by their ‘leaders’ is vastly different from the way our lot speak to us (when they deign to speak directly): ”You’re not doing it right – you must try harder, or you will be punished even more severely….”

      Mr T says a lot of things that make sense. What a pity it is that our press deliberately misquotes him and indulges in petty spitefulness and ignorantly discourteous untruths. (See especially the scientifically illiterate Telegraph’s ”Science Editor”.)
      Our dear leaders would do well to take a few leaves out of his book.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        Oh, yes, like suggesting that people ingest bleach.

        Right.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 29, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          Fake news
          Look up lung lavage.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 29, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

            Millions saw it on live TV.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 29, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

            It’s about interpretation as funnelled through the bias of your brain.

            Look up lung lavage

          • a-tracy
            Posted April 30, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

            Martin, the BBC cut and paste what Trump said and the Doctors reaction, it appears to be ‘Fake News’ as Trump calls it, or certainly distorted news following a briefing the President was receiving from a Doctor about disinfectants and light treatments. I would like that Fact Checking but Fact Check would never do something like that.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 29, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

          If it’s from China or the BBC – must be right.

      • M Davis
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        Agree! Mr T says a lot of things that make sense. What a pity it is that the BBC deliberately misquotes him. Stop the TV Licencing !

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        It is very unfair the way Trump is misrepresented a chap tonight on C4 news said Trump was “A man who said we should be injecting bleach”
        I’ve seen a YouTube that needs fact checking that said the BBC cut and paste Trumps news conference to specifically put him in a bad light and put a clip of the Dr to show her response and face when that was from 25 mins in the future.

        This is his actual quote after he’d been watching a scientist explaining about disinfectant and light treatment:
        “So I asked Bill a question some of you are thinking of if you’re into that world, which I find to be pretty interesting. So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether its ultraviolet or just very powerful light, and I think you said, that hasn’t been checked but you’re gonna test it. And then I said, supposing it brought the light inside the body, which you can either do either through the skin or some other way, and I think you said you’re gonna test that too, sounds interesting. And I then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute, and is there a way you can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it’d be interesting to check that. So you’re going to have to use medical doctors, but it sounds interesting to me, so we’ll see. But the whole concept of the light, the way it goes in one minute, that’s pretty powerful.”

        I’m guessing this YouTube video correction will never be fact checked.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 29, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          You are correct.
          But the lefty blob want three things.
          Trump out
          Boris out
          An end to Brexit.
          Everything they do is towards this end.

        • anon
          Posted April 30, 2020 at 1:40 am | Permalink

          Indeed asking questions is always smart.

          India using Hydroxychloriquine as a preventative for frontline and vulnerable if possible & for infections at various stages , earlier the better.
          More studies coming out of US, Texas & others showing its efficacy. This time 2000 person study.

          Its also cheap $20, if you can make it as a country? Hello reporters ask a question?

          BBC seems only to report through an anti trump prism rather than just report. Anything Trump mentions has to be weaponised, no matter what he says.

          Remdesivir ok , but i have heard its$900 a dose.

          Strange how it gets pushed when only anecdotal evidence is there on a study of a few hundred people.

          UVC light will kill the virus , but humans need to get out of the way. Good for buses trains shops. Say 10 mins every hour and overnight.

          Plus more ventilation extraction via ceilings in buildings public are using etc.

          How about outdoor shops in the car parks?
          Where standard food boxes of stuff are sold not ideal but quick for those less fussy.

          Perhaps if it was micro focused and delivered via some mechanical or calibrated way.

          The scientists on Sage need to have all of the output in the public domain, voice and text so its searchable. Most scientist strive to write papers and be heard? Why the lack of transparency?

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

          a-tracy, it was checked by Robrrt Farley & Eugene Kiely, factcheck.org, 24/04/2020.

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 1, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

            That’s not the video I wanted fact checking hefner, it is Youtube by Frank “BBC lies and fakery: editing and manipulating Trump”.

            Even on the fact check you helpfully provided me reporters put new words into Trumps mouth i.e. “ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl, April 23: The president mentioned the idea of a cleaner, bleach and isopropyl alcohol emerging. There’s no scenario where that could be injected into a person, is there?” Trumps text didn’t mention “the idea of a cleaner, bleach, isopropyl alcohol emerging”

            Trump said “a disinfectant” he goes on to say to reply to the ABC news chief: It wouldn’t be through injection. We’re talking about through almost a cleaning, sterilization of an area. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t work. But it certainly has a big effect if it’s on a stationary object.”

            Trump never mentioned “ingesting disinfectant” but news reports and so called ‘experts’ added ‘ingestion’ DID:
            “The following morning, after numerous press reports cited experts calling the injection or ingestion of disinfectants dangerous,”

            Then this: “U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams also issued this warning via Twitter, “A reminder to all Americans- PLEASE always talk to your health provider first before administering any treatment/ medication to yourself or a loved one. ”

            Trump said this “So that you’re going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me.” it was the MEDIA that distorted the question Trump asked!

            I think Trump made a mistake saying he was “being sarcastic” after a day of pounding on all media outlets – he should have just stuck with his questioning and enquiring there are plenty of people on this blog, other social media and tv that pontificate about potential drugs and treatments why shouldn’t the President ask questions about things he has heard or read? This could have been quickly clarified instead of the Media whipping up a circus routine.

  26. Stred
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    There have been cases where patients attended hospital for normal treatment and were put into wards where they caught the covid virus. Any member of staff moving between covid treatment and other areas could be a source of infection, including cleaners. We know of a colleague who had a serious and successful heart operation and then is likely to have this reversed after being put into a recovery ward and being infected.
    Sky showed a report on the hospital in Naples where cross infection had been eliminated by strict separation of covid treatment and other staff, with areas marked by ribbons.
    The staff treating the patients had full suits with helmets and virus filters. Equipment was handed through isolating rooms with mo two staff inside at the same time. Even removal of the safely suits and gloves was done from outside using rubber gloves fixed to the window.
    The NHS has only primitive equipment and procedures in comparison. It would be better to transfer the covid patients to the largely unused Nightingale hospitals and deep clean the normal hospitals, keeping staff separate, otherwise more disasters are likely. We already have one of the highest rates of deaths per head in the world.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Stred it makes you wonder why all the private hospitals attached to general hospitals that were requisitioned by the NHS and all private patients operations cancelled weren’t used to treat someone like your colleague? Different set of cooks, cleaners and carers and all consultants, surgeons etc. in full ppe.

  27. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    You spoke in the debate using the video link? OK – if MPs jobs can be done from home then surely we don’t need a VERY expensive new Parliament building ( which will inevitably cost way WAY more than the original quote, No fancy Parliament building – therefore no centralised target for a terrorist attack. No need for MPs to claim travel expenses. Should be a lot cheaper for the taxpayer – -but that won’t happen will it? Or is it only SOME people have to adapt?

    Reply I am pleased the Speaker and staff worked out a way for Parliament to meet whilst observing the social distancing requirements. I helped them by speaking from home, as there have to be very tight control on numbers in the chamber. It is not however as good as a Parliament with everyone allowed to participate from the Chamber. We have lost all interventions and the cut and thrust of debate as a result of the social distancing rules. There is no advantage in going in person as you still cannot make a spontaneous contribution or an intervention.

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Agree, what the tax-payer and the electorate want is for the MPs to be able to sit and work in an office and debating chamber….they don’t care if its new building or located in the centre of the UK but that its fit for purpose and cheap

      The contempt is when MPs spend millions on an old building for no other reason than its in London and historic

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        Looks like the ‘new Nightingale Hospital’ fits the bill. Carols for offices and plenty of space for a chamber. Abolish the Lords so the weight of accountability lies on the shoulders of those responsible for making decisions.

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

          You know thats actually not a bad idea

      • ChrisS
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        If Westminster was abandoned, we would end up with a wildly expensive, sterile and ugly building like the Scottish Assembly.

        At least their building reflects its members………………………..

        • Fred H
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

          but go inside – luxury by any measure. We saw where the money went.

      • L Jones
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Well said, Mr Cullen. I’m sure we all want the Palace of Westminster to survive as an historic treasure, but you’re right about people not actually caring where or how MPs work, so long as they do. Cheap and functional should be the bywords.

        • glen cullen
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

          As 90% of the house business is completed in office or committee rooms, you’re correct L.Jones, lets build new and build functional

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

    And still the little boats are rolling into Dover virtually every day so let’s hope there is plenty of testing and controls going on down there. At least yesterday’s arrivals seem to have been shared between our Border Force and the French who intercepted 4 of the 8 boats carrying reportedly 90 plus persons.

    • Bob
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Are “social distancing” rules being enforced in the refugee staging points in France?
      And if so, what precautions are in place for the journey in the small inflatable boats?

  29. Man of Kent
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Off topic- just .
    I was so disappointed with Professor Chris Whitty’s presentation at yesterday’s Covid conference. He showed his Global Comparison Chart , acknowledged that it did not include a deaths per million rate but then said ‘ nonetheless the curves show broadly what is happening ‘

    There was a curve showing the USA cases as steadily increasing , which is nonsense ,
    They have flattened .
    Why is this allowed to happen ?
    Who allows it ?
    It lowers my opinion of our scientists and raises doubts over the rest of their figures.

    You indicated that this practice would be stopped .
    Time for another go I think !

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      The UK media is becoming a total Media Circus!

      • Hope
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Man of Kent, what Mr Whitty said was absolute rubbish. His claim about the R factor equally unscientific and a load of Rubbish! Pointed out by articles, including Con Woman today. Liam Fox MP produces his own charts today in Con Home and makes it clear if population number per million is not added it discredits the people themselves! I take him to mean the alleged experts like Mr Whitty and the govt ministers “who follow the advice. ” Not listen to the advice and take into account for decisions but “follow” the advice.

        • zorro
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          I have been troubled by the simplistic graphs for a while and it is clear that there is an agenda behind the numbers graph and it is totally bizarre that they do not adhere to conventions with regards to the infection/death rate in per millions…. Follow the money, he who pays the piper calls the tune and the solution.

          zorro

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

            Per million, vitally important and showing a totally different picture. Particularly the USA.

            How many people have injected disinfectant since Trump’s comment ?

            Yet the MsM is still banging on a week later.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        . . . is becoming . . .

        Oh I think that ship sailed long, long ago 😉

        • APL
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

          Mark B: “Oh I think that ship sailed long, long ago ”

          Yes.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        if you go to the circus expect clowns.

    • Bob
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      The old adage applies,

      There are lies, damned lies, and statistics

      With so many data sources, no consistent approach to data collection and no analysis of other factors such as underlying health conditions etc. the reliability of the stats is at best, questionable.

    • hefner
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      You should check the numbers by yourself and make your own mind. They are available on the John Hopkins CSSE, worldometers and other websites.
      Worldometers has numbers by country, infections, deaths, as total and rate per million.
      On 28/04 11:00
      World 3,076,185 infected 211,941 deaths
      USA 1,010,507 inf., 56,803 d, 172 d/m
      UK 157,149 inf., 21,092 d, 311 d/m
      And if you look at the curves as function of time, clicking on them on a particular day will give you the number on that day. So you may be able to draw your own conclusions on how policies are effective.
      John Hopkins CSSE website also has the figures by individual US states.

      Try to be your own data scientist!

      • zorro
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        It is a shame that the government chooses to use such duff graphs and always bizarrely salivates over the transport graph first of all!

        zorro

      • L Jones
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        A few days ago I watched a Youtube video with a Californian doctor giving some stats from his own clinic and research. Presented in a measured and informative way, a-political, thought-provoking and courteous. With hardly anything in the way of statistics that we couldn’t have worked out ourselves from Worldometers, etc, except it was interesting to hear it from someone in the business.
        And – Youtube has now removed it.

      • Man of Kent
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Hefner.
        I do study the worldometer figures , as must our our own scientists .
        I cannot believe what they are presenting as facts .
        The lack of confidence that is now growing daily in me and others on this site will come back to bite the Government.

        What if this attitude spills over into Brexit, the global warming scare and other issues ?

        Well I suspect it already has and will increase to force us into policies very few want.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

          To those wrongly crowing about how CV has wrecked the Schengen Agreement – it has not – you might like to know that the Scottish First Minister has raised the possibility of Scotland shutting its border with England, if they are not satisfied that its handling of this menace is duly responsible.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 29, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

            Hilarious fantasy.
            She gas no mandate and no practical ability to do that.

          • Fred H
            Posted April 29, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

            At last something worthwhile from Sturgeon. Do it, go on, DO IT!

      • M Davis
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        Thanx for that, Hefner!

  30. Oh my country!
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    A glowing report from Sweden on CNBC video interview with Gothenburg entrepreneur Ports Official. Sweden is not just hitting the ground running near post virus but has never stopped running. Booming. The only handicap “America and European nations” “Are you doing more business with China now?” “Oh yes, increasingly, we never stopped.”
    The Swede put on a glum expression so as not to totally annoy, I could tell, could see, though he was keeping back a joyous smile very well, diplomatically, not seeming triumphalist
    Oh you lockdown fools!What have you done to us??????Sweden The lousiest, most bizarre government, a laughing stock for most of their policies and attitudes. and you have made them Mr and Mrs Sensible. A triumph. Only you could have done it.The impossible and you have done it!

    • Mark B
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      To be fair, we started out doing the same as they did. Unfortunately as I and others here pointed out, President Macron threatened to close the ports. The government took fright and complied. Now I hear that PM Alexander Johnson wants to take over negotiations with the EU. This after Mr. Barnier had a bit of a moan. Shades of Theresa May MP methinks 😉

      • Fred H
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        Oh no. Boris please don’t start giving away points in order to say ‘ I said we would get a deal and I have got one’
        However the ‘deal’ might be a cave-in.

      • zorro
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Johnson must not be near the negotiations, Frost is doing perfectly well.

        zorro

      • L Jones
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        I sincerely hope that BJ stays out of it. Mr Frost seems to be doing quite well on his own. But – perhaps that’s not what’s supposed to be happening… ?
        (facts4eu.org yesterday and today.)

      • acorn
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Punters sur la continente are offering me a bet on the UK going for at least a one year extension for Brexit before the 1st July deadline. But, the bet is conditional on the UK accepting the EU post Brexit fishing deal before that date. The EU post Brexit fishing deal offer, is basically exactly the same as the current CFP agreement, which is based totally on current UN policy.

        So, if Boris turns down the fish deal, you can assume that he is going for a “no-deal” Brexit. The EU is saying no fish deal is the show stopper; we all sit and watch the clock run-down to 31/12/20.

        Worth having a read of the EU documentation because we get nothing from this UK government except a decades worth of secrets and lies.
        https://ec.europa.eu/commission/brexit-negotiations/negotiating-documents-article-50-negotiations-united-kingdom_en

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

          What odds are they giving?

    • hefner
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      OMC, ‘Sweden, the lousiest, most bizarre government, a laughing stock for most of their policies and attitudes’. Well, that’s a statement I am afraid I cannot share.
      By the way, ever been to Sweden?

      Long years ago (in the 80s), coming back from a long summer trip by car to Finland, my wife became ill suddenly and we had to stop in a small Swedish town and go to the local hospital. It was a miscarriage at the very beginning of a pregnancy. My wife was cared for absolutely beautifully by a doctor and nurses who all made efforts to speak English during the twenty hours or so the ordeal went on.
      I have always wondered whether our ‘wonderful NHS’ would have treated equally brilliantly a Swedish woman on holidays in Britain and made the effort of addressing her in her native language.

      Anyway everybody is free to speak out loud their own prejudices, isn’t it?

      • Edward2
        Posted April 29, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        I think you would have been treated similarly in every European nation.
        And I think a non UK citizen would have been treated in a decent manner in the UK.
        And that includes the UK.
        I’m very glad your outcome was good, really I am.
        But Sweden has it’s own problems not dissimilar to our own.

  31. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I do not believe the NHS has ‘good intentions’ and ‘wishes to provide a good service.’ I believe the ‘scientists’ and the Government are colluding and lying about ‘the greatest challenge since the War’.
    My tenants are now declaring bankruptcy – as Glen Cullen predicted. Burger King and others. Yet the Chancellor drunkenly throws £27 million of taxpayers money at the ‘big night in’ so that the Curtises can fund their preferred One World Govt preferences. He throws a further £2.2 Billion at the IMF ie down the drain! And any hour they will tell British people to tighten their belts. Do without. Die rather than strain the God Forsaken NHS.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      This ‘protect the NHS’ is wearing very thin now Lynn.

      Message to our Government:

      ‘HANCOCK YOU PROTECT THE NHS’ it is not our job just to sacrifice our livelihoods because our NHS isn’t prepared.

      ‘IF YOUR DEPARTMENT AUTHORISED THE PPE STOCK HOLDING THEN DEAL WITH THE COMPANY THAT DIDN’T HOLD SUFFICIENT QUANTITIES AND EXPLAIN TO US WHAT HAPPENED’

      ‘YOUR DEPARTMENT SHOULD HAVE AUTHORISED ORDERING TEST KITS IN SUFFICIENT QUANTITIES TO GET ON TOP OF THIS EARLY LIKE GERMANY AND NEW ZEALAND DID’ if you did tell us what happened why didn’t NHS England deliver and test properly?

      ‘YOU SHOULD HAVE STOPPED FERRIES AND FLIGHTS JUST COMING IN WITHOUT MASKS AND QUARANTINE ARRANGEMENTS’ why didn’t you?

      The German health system has been reported to have coped phenomenally well, just how many patients did they put on ventilators that the media were demanding Hancock acted on day after day? “BERLIN, March 4 (Reuters) – Germany has banned the export of medical protection gear to avoid supply shortages of masks, gloves and suits as doctors and authorities are racing to contain the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus, officials said on Wednesday.” Just how many test kits did they have ready to use? Who makes them? Who tested them? What was in our plan to test and who was expected to test in what quantities.

  32. a-tracy
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    This ‘protect the NHS’ is wearing very thin now Lynn.

    Message to our Government:

    ‘HANCOCK YOU PROTECT THE NHS’ it is not our job just to sacrifice our livelihoods because our NHS isn’t prepared.

    ‘IF YOUR DEPARTMENT AUTHORISED THE PPE STOCK HOLDING THEN DEAL WITH THE COMPANY THAT DIDN’T HOLD SUFFICIENT QUANTITIES AND EXPLAIN TO US WHAT HAPPENED’

    ‘YOUR DEPARTMENT SHOULD HAVE AUTHORISED ORDERING TEST KITS IN SUFFICIENT QUANTITIES TO GET ON TOP OF THIS EARLY LIKE GERMANY AND NEW ZEALAND DID’ if you did tell us what happened why didn’t NHS England deliver and test properly?

    ‘YOU SHOULD HAVE STOPPED FERRIES AND FLIGHTS JUST COMING IN WITHOUT MASKS AND QUARANTINE ARRANGEMENTS’ why didn’t you?

    The German health system has been reported to have coped phenomenally well, just how many patients did they put on ventilators that the media were demanding Hancock acted on day after day? “BERLIN, March 4 (Reuters) – Germany has banned the export of medical protection gear to avoid supply shortages of masks, gloves and suits as doctors and authorities are racing to contain the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus, officials said on Wednesday.” Just how many test kits did they have ready to use? Who makes them? Who tested them? What was in our plan to test and who was expected to test in what quantities.

  33. Sybil
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    A genuine question I’ve been trying to find an answer to for about a week with no success:

    How (ie by what mechanism) are 4500+ still turning up at hospitals each day requiring treatment, when the incubation period from infection to symptoms is a matter of days and we’ve been isolated for over 4 weeks?

    Are our hospitals and similar infection hotspots exporting the virus on an industrial scale each day when staff leave?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      They say the R number is now around 0.6. This means it is still being passed on in the community and will be for some time. 4500 is not many compared to the population of the country.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Being ‘Led by Science’ is the flaky mantra.

      The Government science advisors stated that its 5-7 days for the virus to show, 5-7 days to be overcome, 5-7 days just in case. So after 21 days the virus couldn’t find a home so would die, would no longer exist and would vanish. So either we didn’t isolate or the ‘led by science’ was just a crock.

      This Government has found a new form of science, where you don’t know the answers, your data input is rubbish – but it is something for the political imperative to hide behind.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree, can’t find this key information does not seem to be shared with the public.

    • rose
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      People can become infected but not actually seriously ill to the point of needing hospital treatment for up to several weeks.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Exactly – it’s the obvious question which never gets asked at the press briefings.
      Is it people who contracted the virus many weeks ago, or more recently? And if so, where did they contract it? If we can avoid those places, the country is our oyster, so to speak. Knowing that alone could save lives.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      But ‘staff’ are swathed from top to toe in what amounts to NBC coverings. How come they’re still being infected? (As we are being told they are.)

      • Fred H
        Posted April 29, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        negatives reported when they should be positive. Simple.

    • Mark
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      I think that people only go to hospital if and when their symptoms turn severe. That implies on average a much longer lag than just between infection and first symptoms. There will be cases where a household has isolated because someone has some (perhaps only mild) symptoms, and they manage to do quite well at keeping apart within the household for a long while, but eventually another member of the household catches it from someone who is still infectious, and then ends up with a more severe case. There could be a couple of intervening mild cases in some larger households before the more serious one.

      We have relatively little information at the moment about the extent of infections within hospitals and care homes. There are certainly stories about elderly patients still with the virus being discharged to care homes. Both of these provide routes for extended delay in passing on the virus.

      Finally, we should remember that as testing is being ramped up, we are finding more mild and asymptomatic cases – not necessarily people going to hospital, where the numbers have been falling.

      • Sybil
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for all the suggested answers to my question – I was starting to think I was the only one wondering.

        The suggestion that households isolating together could be a mechanism had occured to me, but why aren’t we reading news reports indicating this is happening? And should it still be a significant factor given the complete lifecycle is something like 21 days?

        It’s my observation (in London) that people are by and large taking social distancing very seriously. It’s hard to see how someone who is asymptomatic could infect large numbers of people. Walking past an infected person in the street is not a risk. If someone does have any symptoms it would be almost criminally stupid not to isolate, and I doubt whether many people are in that category.

        I raised the question of the virus being re-exported from hospitals etc because I read about a chinese medical paper from a few weeks ago reporting on their testing of ICU facilities at the height of the virus. They were finding that essentially EVERY swab they had taken from walls, floors, lights, objects on shelves, shoes etc etc tested positive. It occurred to me that preventing exportin the virus in these circumstances would take extreme measures (of which PPE would be one small part). We don’t seem to hear about those extreme measures

        It’s my understanding that the daily reporting of NHS new cases is being done on a consistent basis of people presenting who require medical intervention, so I don’t think the expansion of testing should be a factor (the govt need to have a consistent day to day measure to know whether the lockdown is working). It would also be of interest to know how may people are presenting to the medical system with the virus, and how many are contracting it IN the system.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        True -local case of 17 year old visiting grandparents mid Feb, cv caught by 17 yo before visit, 17 yo recovers in a week, grandparent 76 yo still has cough 6-7 weeks on.

  34. Newmania
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Well lucky you that your broadband works well enough .It does not for many of is which is yet another failure
    I begin to think it would quite literally have been better to have elected Jeremy Corbyn ..its certainly hard see who anything could be worse
    Get the broad band sorted out are are all relying on it and it is useless like everything else in this useless country .

    • Edward2
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      You think Boris has spoiled your broadband?
      Hilarious

    • ukretired123
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      You would have enjoyed living in the post war years without phones for most folks and wait until the millennium for smartphones. We live in the Age of Unreason whereby folks demand instant solutions with high expectations of everything.

      Unfortunately your choice of the proven indecisive Jeremy Corbyn – Sorry, I don’t have a clue specialist would be like a leap in the dark…….

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      Too many arts grads in the top jobs. That the problem.

      Germany venerates scientists and engineers, not talking heads.

      You should have studied technology instead. Something useful.

  35. Ian @Barkham
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    “The only thing we have to Fear Is Fear itself:” FDR

  36. John E
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I was just reading a Bloomberg article bemoaning the fact that the Italian government is keeping their citizens in the dark as to what the actual plan is. You could substitute UK for Italian in most of the article. This sentence summed it up for me.

    “The communication of clear goals is critical to maintaining the public’s trust.”

    Please stop treating us like children.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      The Govt will dribble out announcements and lockdown changes as a means of managing people’s behaviour. Why would it bother with trust, it is about power? Nowhere has the objective and strategy been shown to maximise life years.

  37. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    So here is a question: a company who owns several hundred Burger King Restaurants has waited to get £25k grants ‘for ongoing business expenses’ and now declared bankrupt, pocketing the money. The tenants had a year of no business rates, but usually I as the landlord don’t enjoy business rate advantages that my tenants do. So when a shop is empty, even if it is below the business rate level, I have to pay rates on it. I don’t know if the Covid scheme will run along the same lines. Is this all legal or can the Govt reclaim it grant if no ‘ongoing business expenses’ are incurred?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      Business rates are only any sense in terms of being a penalty for keeping premises empty and unlet or a penalty for needing to take on space before people i.e. not crowd people in as you expand. It will now become a penalty on social distancing, the reverse of what is wanted in a pandemic. It’s a penalty on any business needing space for machines making things, not so much for an estate agent with a desk and a phone.

      It’s a discussion for another day but business rates are perhaps the most senseless tax I have come cross both privately and running a business.

  38. Iain Moore
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    From NHS England

    “From Tuesday 28 April, NHS England and NHS Improvement started to report the number of patient deaths where there has been no COVID-19 positive test result, but where COVID-19 is documented as a direct or underlying cause of death on part 1 or part 2 of the death certification process. This change has been introduced for deaths that occurred on 24th April and subsequently and is shown separately in the region data table only.”

    So not only are the figures they give us rubbish, they are moving the goalposts to make any comparison impossible.

  39. DOMINIC
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Australia standing up and being counted over China’s involvement in the CV-19 pandemic. While the UK invites the CCP into our living rooms and into our communications infrastructure

    Australia, a proud nation. The UK, a lefty cesspit that’s sold its soul to the devil

    Well done Johnson, NOT

  40. clive
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Sir John there must be times of late you must hold your head in your hands and say out loud “What are you doing “. I think the Government is starting to be led down the garden path by the NHS and by many of the so called advisers .
    Stats are at best misleading , many should be so straight forward, yet are complicated to the point of ridiculous .I actually felt sorry for poor Mr Hancock, as tonight’s debacle made him look even more out of his depth and very unprepared .
    The absolute obvious is ignored ,and the ridiculous embraced .
    As always the British will follow the detailed plan laid out by the advisers to the letter , wait and delay, until the real economic bonfire burn before you. Then to the Governments shame it will state the obvious , “We were following the advice to the letter”. followed by “Lessons will be learned “. Its not my fault sir , they made me . Tick tock .

  41. DOMINIC
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    China is a direct threat to all western democracies included Australia and all democratic nations across the globe

    if this idiotic PM of the UK insists on allowing the Chinese Communist Party it will reveal what he truly is. Unprincipled and without concern for the safety of this nation’s people

    The Aussies won’t buckle under disgusting threats from communist bullies in Beijing. It is time for the UK government to pull back from any involvement at all with this pariah Marxist State

  42. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    With deaths in hospitals down to 596 a day, we are clearly past the worst and can steadily get back to work. e.g.:

    – Soccer matches and other professional sports behind close doors
    – Restaurants to run booking systems to maintain 2m spacing
    – Ditto churches and mosques (that will be fun)
    – Shop queues to have 2m spacing
    – Bridge and chess can be played on line

    etc. etc. It’s all do-able.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 29, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      any chance we could make things, or sell things?

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted April 30, 2020 at 1:26 am | Permalink

        Yes, that too. Any limits from social distancing?

  43. Irene
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    “The first aim of policy to ensure the NHS can cope is so far working.” Such a pity that the caring arms didn’t reach out to residential care homes and to nursing care homes. Such a shame that the death toll in care homes is only just becoming clear. I wept today for all those who died before they should have. Those who may have been older, but who were otherwise fit and healthy. We should be ashamed of allowing that to happen.

  44. Stred
    Posted April 29, 2020 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    The ONS chart showing the deaths in care homes from 3rd April to 17th starts with the proportion of deaths due to Covid at about 20&, rising to 45%. The proportion increased as testing increased and the unique sudden rise above the normal rate became obvious. Taking the overall figure for the three weeks, the actual number of covid deaths would have been about 7500. Applying these to the chart for daily deaths also on the BBC news website, the total daily deaths for 27th April would be 700- 800 higher, roughly doubling the total for the UK, including Scotland and Northern Ireland and house deaths. This makes the UK the worst managed epidemic in Europe except possibly for Belgium.

    • a-tracya
      Posted April 30, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Or just the most honest about home deaths and care home deaths.

      Also compared to main Cities in the UK (London specifically) Italy’s outbreak was in a holiday destination area not in Rome. We weren’t advised by the Italians before the half-term holiday when lots of people and their families from the UK and school trips trooped over to Lombardy to bring back this plague.

  45. Irene
    Posted April 29, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    You guys all took your eye off the ball. Almost as though Matt Hancock and his team of expert advice-givers and everyone else involved were unaware of the way care homes and care in the community works. Failed to take on board that care workers come and go into and from care homes, then into another care home, or into the local community delivering very personal care via whichever domiciliary care agency they work for. Another kind of BANK that you all should have known about. Then they go home to wherever they live – and many care workers do not live in mansions, with a large garden. I’m still crying, at the realisation that so many people have been failed. Failed by a government that has squeezed the care system beyond imagination, sucking the life blood not only from the care system, but also from the very people who deserve care. Suddenly you have a cunning plan to recruit staff in the kind of numbers that should have been recruited long ago. Don’t forget to train them, please. Don’t forget to ensure they all receive a decent salary. Don’t forget to care about them.

    • Stred
      Posted April 30, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      The retired chief civil servant commented last week that the government would have to analyse the cost to the economy against the cost in quality and length of days of life lost. Perhaps in the planning, the few years left living with dementia, cancer and other debilitating conditions didn’t produce enough QALIS to qualify for ppe and testing.

  • 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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