Conditions to relax the lock down

I do not think it a good idea to   say only those who can prove they have had the virus can go to work. The government clearly thinks a majority of the population have not had the virus, otherwise they would be relaxing anyway. Limiting going to work to the minority would be unfair and leave the country struggling to pay the bills. The right to work should not depend on  a macabre disease based  lottery.

Nor do I think it a good idea to have outright bans on  people based on  age. Of course all those whose age and other medical conditions puts them  at more risk from the disease should be protected if they wish. Many will want to be helped to stay at home and avoid potentially dangerous contact. The others should not be placed under house arrest against their will.

The country needs to get back to work, accepting that work patterns will be different. Employees will rightly want safer working methods, including protective clothing where needed, new shift patterns, more homeworking and freedom from congested public transport where the disease might circulate more freely.

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  1. Mick
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    I see that they are thinking of testing professional footballers to see if they have the virus so they can resume the football, no no no these are not special people just over rated bag of wind kickers, if they get “special “ treatment then everyone should be allowed to have the test no matter who they are

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

      Well you can get a test if you pay for it. I assume they would be.

      • Hope
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        JR, explain to us why the govt let in 18 million people into the county while placing indeigenous people under house arrest. New Zealand plans to keep border controls for a very long time.

        Tests, 3,4 and 5 of current govt principles not worth the paper written on, and deliberately open-ended based on what lies, spin the govt gives, because all tests overwhelmingly been shown to fail because of govt incompetence/negligence. R factor rate is a guess at best by our alleged experts. Fake Graphs with Angela McClean stating today died from virus when we know he truth is with Chinese virus.

        Boris Johnson still giving away borrowed money like a drunk. Yesterday he gave EU £754 million for vaccine research! This is taxpayers money, not his!

        The govt reckless policy decisions caused the Chinese virus to flourish and get a grip on the population. If govt wanted to slow or prevent the disease border controls would have been implemented. How do the idiots think it can stop a second spike with open borders and wide spread health tourism!

        Testing and tracing pointless with wide open borders! I agree with Con Woman time to ignore reckless govt, it has deliberately cost lives and suffering and now destroy the economy which it failed to repair with repeated promises over ten years.

        Any idiot taking up the app. Needs their head examined. Tory Govt introduced Snooper charter for public sectors to look st your computers, alleged hate crime to control what you say and think, keep reports secret like grooming gangs, Pandemic planning, discipline of MPs, Conor Burn being the latest minister abusing his positioncontinuing after being warned not to do so, Jenrick, Johnson and summonses immune from house arrest imposed on the test of us. Trust Tory govt do it at your peril.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      If their clubs pay for and buy the tests privately what’s the problem ?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Tested and then isolated for two months together to complete a season which their clubs need the money from.

      Special treatment that I do not want thank you (although at their rate of pay I would consider it).

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      The normally weasel-like Starmer was actually spot-on this morning. Get proper rules so that everyone knows where they stand (sic). If it’s just left to employers’ and shop owners’ judgements, this will end up like a can of worms. For once, the H and S people can earn their crust rather than worrying about hot taps and trailing leads. You can see hot taps and trailing leads, but this virus is invisible.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        you might be calling our next PM weasel-like!

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        Proper two metre rules will mean no public transport at all, no buses because people would pass people sitting at about 1m or less, the tubes etc would be out of bounds, the distance people have to walk past sit down colleagues is difficult to maintain when they say pass each other a drink.

        It is never going to be safe again until they can treat it or vaccinate against it. Boris Johnson isn’t going to be making this decision alone, the furlough, full paid public sector not working can’t keep going for much longer.

        Too many rules placed fully on the shoulders of business people and they won’t reopen full stop.

    • Andy
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      I think this is a good idea. I don’t like football but the absence of live sport to watch is a big loss in many people’s lives. We should bring it back – even in empty stadia.

      • NickC
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        Andy, Shouldn’t you ask the EU whether we can have football back?

        • bill brown
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink


          a typical example of your not worthy provocations as this is a national and not and EU matter. GROW UP

          • NickC
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

            Bill, Andy wants the EU empire to decide everything for us, not me. Who governs us, and whether we control them, is a very serious matter indeed. So it’s time you grew up.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink


          Still obsessing about the EU? Why when you got what you wanted? Very strange.

          • Fred H
            Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

            ah but we didn’t….don’t you ever read or listen.

            We wanted immediate OUT.
            And here we are now years down the line STILL pretending we can negotiate with the EU.
            And still paying a £bn a month to try and stay ‘friends’ with the noisy, irritating neighbours.
            We need to issue an ASBO or something to them.

          • NickC
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

            Margaret H, We are still governed by your EU empire. Just as you want.

    • Brigham
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      My wife and I went on a cruise which took in Xmas and the New Year. We got back home on 8th January. A few days later we both had quite severe “flu” symptoms, which lasted two to three weeks. As we are both retired, we did not have to go to work so we have been locked down. We wonder if we had the conovid19, but we don’t seen to be eligible for the test. If a vaccine becomes available we may never know.

  2. Mark B
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I have been critical of you in the past, Sir John on a range of issues but, when it comes to core values, you really are my kind of Conservative and MP. Pity there are so few of it like you in government and your party.

    • Nigl
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      Well said. With teachers now looking to fine parents who do not send their kids back to school, the police setting up road blocks, dieing lakes, a snoopers phone line, what a narrow, petty minded vicious society this government has created. I know of a one person business selling celebration ballon shapes, ordered via Social media, picked up from her garden gate, plenty of distance. Guess what? Closed down by the local ‘stasi’ too many people revelling in their power and using it disproportionately.

      Sir JR retains my admiration. Many others I view with contempt..

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

        I hope that the police are as strident with the next Extinction Rebellion protest.
        Another 59 professionals shipped over the channel on Sunday.
        Any comment John.

      • sok
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:10 pm | Permalink


    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      Indeed JR has the virus of being right on almost every issue. It is a great shame that so many in the Conservative party are essentially big government Libdims at best (in the Major, Cameron, Osborne, Hammond, May, Clarke x2 mode) they are wrong on almost every single issue. Real Conservatives should want lower taxes, cheap reliable energy, far less government and no EU, for real freedom and choice, fair competition and no climate alarmist lunacy.

      I assume these Career Politician types just join the Conservatives as they have more chance of winning and can live in nicer Conservative constituencies. Like Cameron they usually pretend to be Cast Iron, low tax at heart, red tape cutting, EUsceptic Conservatives before elections then always kick their voters in the teeth post election.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

        Sorry has the virtue not virus!

      • percy openshaw
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        An excellent post. One can only agree. And in a way, Sir John’s habitual rectitude might as well BE a virus, given the way it is treated by his party leaders. You mention the sorry litany of big state, unconservative “Tories” from Major on who have misled the public as to their real views. Isn’t it now time to include the current leader? I am repulsed by his willingness to plunge this country into the red once more, in spite of years of effort aimed at pruning the deficit. And he has the gall to speak of “not wasting sacrifice”! Hasn’t he just wasted the years of fiscal restraint? As for his handling of this crisis, I despair. From a lazy, unrefined attempt at “herd immunity” he has lurched, under the lightest pressure, into a ruinous lockdown from which it seems doubtful we shall ever recover. We really are at the nadir of democracy, when our choices lie between fanatics and fools.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

          Well Boris did rescue us from May and Corbyn/SNP. I will give him the benefit of the doubt for a little bit longer. But he has not even cancelled HS2 or May’s moronic net carbon neutral agenda.

        • czerwonadupa
          Posted May 8, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

          Percy you & the rest of us are witnessing the Decline & Fall of Europe brought about by the actions of feckless politicians for the past 75 years.

  3. bill brown
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    It is time for the country and the people gradually to go back to work

    thank you

  4. oldwulf
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Modest PPE for the masses. Continued social distancing in confined spaces. An effective contact tracing app to facilitate mass testing. Continued personal care (washing hands and singjng happy birthday). A large dose of common sense. A medical solution wiukc also be good.

    I am looking forward to supporting my favourite coffee shop when it is permitted to open, with all the inconveniences.

  5. Nigl
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Totally agree. We now know the Sage committee has 50 members. 50! Does anyone think that a group that size can operate efficiently? And apparently no economists. All I guess risk averse, brains the size of planets and I guess many not grounded in our real world.

    And PHE is an organisation that 70 separate entities were rolled into only a few years back. You can bet there is still duplication, the protection of personal fiefdoms and still many cultures.

    No wonder the private sector has run rings round them all and as a reflection of how government ‘works’ overall, it is clearly why it there is so much inefficiency.

    Michael Gove said HMG will reflect on any mistakes made. Code for no change, no responsibility.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      No economists though and all receiving taxpayer funded salaries.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      Well fewer economists, politicians or lawyers is invariably a good plan. The trouble is academic scientists can so often suffer from deluded group think too. We see this hugely with climate alarmism.

      What is needed is one or two sensible and independent people preferably physicists or applied maths people. In the Richard Feynman, Freeman Dyson mode with access to some medical, virus or other specialists where some advice might be needed needed.

      • Leaver
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        Yes, Lifelogic, I agree let’s get in a nuclear physicist running the country.

        That will solve all our problems, like Jimmy Carter did.

        Also, Merkel has a PhD in physics and I don’t hear you speaking well of her.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

          Chemistry I think, rather like Thatcher. Both of whom were rather successful though both made many avoidable errors.

          Thatcher even appointed John Major (without even a maths GCSE) to be chancellor! Plus she closed loads of good grammar schools which was hugely damaging.

          • hefner
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            Merkel got a PhD in quantum chemistry in 1986, applying quantum mechanics to chemical problems. That is usually under the heading of Physical Chemistry.
            ‘Investigation of the mechanism of decay reactions with single bond breaking and calculation of the velocity constants on the basis of quantum chemichal and statistical methods’. I will spare you the German title.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      I’m relaxed about the absence of dismal scientists on the SAGE committee – but I hope that it has some experts on human behaviour.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      ” HMG will reflect on any mistakes made” – or the other one – “Lessons have been learned” – Both mean the same – “WE the govt – are ignoring you the public – you are only here to work and be taxed”.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      review, reflect, must never happen again, consider, plan, take on board – – – all mean ooops, oh dear we ballsed up. Never mind sweep under the carpet.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Having no economists on SAGE is not really a problem for me (it’s not a science anyway), the government have economics experts. However, the bigger problem is there is not one person from the private sector on it either – just as an example I’m sure the big UK pharma companies have experts who at least match the academics on SAGE but who have real-world experience too.

      • jerry
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        @Roy Grainger; The “private sector” is not a science either!

        How about these advisory groups stick to their fields of expertise. Should there be an NEDC type group so that govt can hear from the private sector, and the trade unions for that matter, certainly, but they should not make scientific nor medical recommendation any more than SAGE should be making economic recommendation.

        The average person doesn’t ask a car mechanic for advice on decorating their house and conversely they don’t ask a decorator about getting the car fixed, but for some reason far to many commentators to this site think people should ask a business leader how to stay healthy -rather than a doctor!

  6. jerry
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Only allowing those who have had the virus back to work would likely fail anyway as a policy if the suspicion that someone can catch CV19 more than ponce is confirmed – the economy either needs to remain in lockdown or we need to find alternate ways of working (and socialising) until a vaccine is found or the virus dies out due to a very low R number.

    As for those who need greater protection (fiscal security), they are not just the old and/or vulnerable, there is a section of the workforce who will have real concerns because they either live within a household group that has someone that’s vulnerable or they are the nominated first (civilian) responder to a non household vulnerable relative. Then there are those who have children.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      It might also give an incentive for younger people to go out to catch it and get it over.

      Better treatments can surely be found to lower mortality fairly soon before any vaccine. It is unlikely that many will catch it more than once I suspect. Plus if they recovered the first time they will probably do so again.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      People will catch the virus on purpose to get their lives back. Easily done, just go to a hospital under any pretext.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        what are all the staff doing/not doing that organised clinics, recovery wards, pre-ops, administration, reception, even A&E right down ….ought to be an awful lot of available NHS staff.

        • NickC
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

          Fred H, It seems so. I hear of doctors saying they’ve never known the NHS be so quiet.

          • jerry
            Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

            Well yes NickC, I suspect appointments for things like ingrowing toe nails have been cancelled, not sure a podiatrist would be much use in an ICU though…

          • NickC
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

            Jerry, Quite serious illnesses such as cancer and aneurysms are not being treated, or even discovered, as they were before covid19. You should not trivialise this out of ignorance.

          • jerry
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; I agree about people trying to trivialise (not that an ingrowing toenail is trivial), so best you take your own advice, stop trying to trivialise CV19…

            But to the more substantive point you missed, many cancers and other (then preventable) illnesses almost certainly went undiagnosed and/or treated during WW2, it is what happens when other needs outweigh.

          • Fred H
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

            some excellent side-stepping of the point being idle NHS workers follows:

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        Good point Lynn. I wonder how many of the teachers who stayed on working with high risk potentially asymptomatic covid19 carrying children of front line healthcare workers have caught this in the last five weeks they’ve been on front line duty?

        This surely helps to determine the risk to teachers of working with the children of people not on front line medical care with covid19 patients every day.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Or a nursing home.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    What is the government estimate of the numbers who have had it?

    In New York it seems only about 20% have antibodies. So circa 1.7 million infected has produced 25,000 deaths. If the rest caught it we might expect another 100,000 deaths just in New York. This 20% figure is (I hope) rather low perhaps because some % of the people are simply not susceptible to catching it at all and perhaps some false negatives in the anti-body test or perhaps some sampling errors.

    We know we have had over 50,000 deaths from it in the UK already from the virus so on the same ratio it would suggest that only 3.4 million people have had it yet. So if everyone eventually caught it (and hospital treatment for it did not improve) we might expect about 1 million deaths in the UK. Though clearly it might die away without some people ever catching it before a vaccine comes available. It really is a rather a big problem if 1 in 70 who catch is are dying from it. The Diamond Princess had about one death per 50 infected (but in a fairly elderly population)

    Better hospital treatments to improve survival rates and then a vaccine are what is needed and as soon as possible. Also some accurate figures on the numbers who have already had it. We have the 5.00pm press meeting and lots of childish waffle every day but no mention of the government estimates of those who have had it or the fatality rate per infection. Yet these are surely the most important figures to know?

    • matthu
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      The report that re-testing of old blood samples has shown that someone in France who died in December was already carrying CV-19 shows that the virus was already more widely present in the population than experts assumed.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        I have friends that had very very heavy flu symptoms in November last year, so I’m sure that CV-19 has been around longer than has been suggested.

        I would also be surprised if we didn’t find that a large percentage of the population have already had mild versions of it…

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

          That would be very good news if true.

        • Helen Smith
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

          Half the people on Twitter reckon they have had it, everyone saying they had a really nasty bout of something. We will ignore the fact that ONS figures show less died than normal Jan to March, let’s look at the other end of the spectrum.

          The virus ranges from fatal to asymptomatic, so many people who felt quite well would also have had it, and worked in or visited Care Homes. Yet in the complete absence any social distancing or extra precautions not a single care home suffered extra deaths, despite this virus being merciless when it gets in a care home.

          etc ed

      • Fred H
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        and will a major effort be made to identify how the person came to be infected that early?
        Personal travel returning from where, close contact with others doing travel? Links to China? – -how?

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        Then why didn’t the virus peak in France sooner than it did after China closed down? We were told one person was infecting more than 2 at that time.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          well if they had the symptoms -they wouldn’t be out clubbing every night would they?

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

            Then it wouldn’t have peaked in April either would it because they wouldn’t be out clubbing then. Everyone meeting up at Christmas hugging and kissing each other over the festivities and New Year it would have taken off big time come January but it didn’t!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      But your hysterical argument supports an indefinite lockdown and sod the cost – ‘whatever it takes’. What it takes is the sacrificing of the western world.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        Not at all hysterical (I do not even possess a uterous).

        Clearly a balance has to be struck I am just giving the numbers. We really need to know how many have antibodies. Plus we need to get some treatments that work.

        Plasma infusion treatments from people with these antibodies perhaps?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

          Also it is very clear that the NHS is (despite what is claimed by ministers) not really coping. Many people are dying and only a small percentage seem to be being given full ventilation as a last resort about half are dying without even making it to a hospital or after being pushed out of one into a care home.

          The NHS are also not coping with normal routine demands.

          • NickC
            Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

            Lifelogic, Hospitals have become better at ensuring survival on traditional ventilators (yes, they’ve had to learn!), but they usually opt for CPAP (mask and oxygen) rather than traditional assisted breathing ventilators, because they’ve found it’s better.

            Some, usually elderly, people with co-morbidities do not want to die in a hospital. In consultation with their GP, they opt to take their chances at home, or in a care-home.

            It’s less the NHS as whole which is not coping, more the NHS management who have spectacularly failed. The very fact that ministers are having to front failure shows the NHS management is not fit for purpose.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

            Allowing (or insisting) on infected (or likely infected) patients going back to nursing homes to infect many other was totally idiotic. Surely criminally idiotic?

        • dixie
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

          But what numbers are you giving? The government website has 288 additional deaths on Monday with a cumulative count of 28,734. Nowhere near the 50k you claim.

          What is the source for your inflated number.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

            All the excess deaths are clearly nearly all due to Covid or accelerated by Covid what else? Indeed perhaps even more as other death will have declined due to cancelled other operations.

          • dixie
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

            You said “we have had over 50,000 deaths from it in the UK already from the virus” you did not say attributable to lack of care or whatever.

            So where is the data backing up your assertion which is nearly double the official number.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

            The death figure each weak compared to normal ones for this time of year. Add them up plus two more weeks in the system gives over 50k.

          • dixie
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

            Your assertion does not match the data from ONS which shows an excess of 33.5k over the 5 year average at week 17 (2 weeks ago). That is not 50k.

            The same data puts Covid-19 deaths at 27,330

            ONS data at “Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional: week ending 24 April 2020”

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      No, we don’t know we’ve had over 50,000 deaths – you’ve just made that up, the comprehensive ONS data of all deaths does not support that guess at all.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        Well, even the Daily Mail is writing of 45,000, so LL is in the right zone.

        It tallies with what other European countries feared about the UK’s early lack of resolve, and why some countries were considering closing their borders against it.

        This country has to galvanise itself to make up for lost ground. Unfortunately the fatalism and defeatism spread at the start will seriously hamper that, now that it has taken root widely.

        • NickC
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Rubbish, The UK government imposed lockdown on the same day as Germany, 6 days behind France, and only 14 days behind Italy, despite their being well ahead of us on the infection curve.

          The only government with any “lack of resolve” was the EU government. Not only did the EU continue trying to enforce the Schengen open borders policy when everyone could see it was wrong, it even failed when it came to the timely distribution of medical kit, and is still bickering over economic aid to the south of the EU.

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

            Sturgeon said the full lockdown was coming on Wednesday 18th March and schools closed in England on 20th March but the London exodus had already happened for thousands from the 19th, the lockdown on restaurants, social gatherings etc. Started on Friday 20th March at midnight but places were already closing, my parents haven’t been out since the 16th March.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

            Lockdown is the easy bit. That just requires a one-page law to be passed.

            The hard, effective part is mass testing, tracing, and isolation, as Germany did from the start but the UK gave up when the Government found it to be too much bother.

          • NickC
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

            Martin, I was advocating sample testing (because of the shortages of tests; and using the polling companies for advice) weeks ago on here as an alternative to the lockdown you demanded as the sole strategy.

            Whilst you were insisting on lockdown only (I even noted the strangeness of you supporting the government lockdown position!) I pointed out that lockdown was not an end in itself. You are changing your tune now, but without giving any coherent reasons for it, and without acknowledging you were wrong in the past.

          • bill brown
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:59 am | Permalink


            this is not an EU decision and therefore you are again factually wrong as border policies are a domestic matter when special circumstances arise

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          Nick, just stop inventing rubbish about what people say or believe, there’s a good chap eh?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        It certainly does – rather more infact now. What else do you think caused all these excess deaths?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        11,500 excess death in just the week to 24th April reported today (about 1,643 a day). It is now 5th May so another 11 days have passed then add in those for the earlier weeks. Plus other deaths will not have increased, they will have almost certainly declined. This as cancellations of most normal surgery would have lowered other deaths in general in the short term so actually even worse than the above figure suggests.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        Added it up do you mean?

    • zorro
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Only when we have a suitable antibody test although this is taking longer than it should, and the government doesn’t seem in too much of a hurry as it uses this crisis to try and re-engineer society. If we get an antibody test, I think that it will show that a very large number of us have antibodies as this disease has clearly been operation since last year and had spread outside of China long before January, if, of course, you believe that it started in China as claimed. If that was the case, the government could no longer justify phase 2 lockdown ‘new normal’, so don’t hold your breath…


    Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Let’s be honest about what we are seeing here. This is creeping authoritarianism. The CV-19 is manna from heaven for the British politicised State and those who support the two party status quo.

    The UK has been deliberately infected by a political creed that abhors individualism, freedom and liberty and both parties have encouraged this and participated in its implementation

    The British voter is NAIVE. They neither understand the damage they have done nor that they have been deceived by two parties that masquerade as something they’re not

    We are being asked to finance our own subjugation through the payment of taxes to a political state whose intent has become decidedly intolerant

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      +1 again

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Agreed Dominic – especially ” finance our own subjugation ” ( but it should be”made to” not “asked to” ). We are now being told to download an app to the phones WE have to pay for – so the govt can trace us.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      The trouble is this authoritarianism has been creeping slowly into our society for decades. It became more apparent in the last two decades which is why so many were keen to leave the EU from where a lot of this authoritarianism eminated.

      But sadly some of this risk averse, look to the state for guidance has taken a stronghold on the media, the civil service and they together have massive influence on the general populate.

      Are these polls showing people are too scared to return to work even accurate? From what I’m seeing, the reverse might be nearer the truth.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Read Ayn Rand. I’m going to demolish my big shops on high streets that only Corporations can afford. There is nothing in it for me to transform them into housing and smaller start-up shops. So I’m not going to work and risk money to bale the Govt. out of its own stupidity. Stand back and let the Socialists eat each other.

    • Christine
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      I agree that our electoral system is rigged. From the two-party voting system to the way electoral candidates are selected. This allows Governments from all parties to carry out their own agenda rather than the will of the people. Anyone who speaks out is vilified by the media and Government. Just look at how Nigel Farage is currently being hounded for highlighting the numbers of illegal immigrants crossing the channel. We are told the French have to complete a form giving the reason for leaving their place of abode. Is there a box for crossing the English Channel? Why hasn’t the child grooming gang report been published? Why is our Home Secretary silent on these issues after she promised to clamp down on this abuse? Has someone got to her or is she just part of the problem?

      • Fred H
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        and you only mention SOME of the issues. Alarming, isn’t it?

    • NickC
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Dominic, Because nothing is perfect in society, it is always possible to criticise the government for failing in its duties. Modern cultural-marxism depends on that to spread its pernicious propaganda. Its aim is a monolithic authoritarian state (with them in charge, of course), and a docile, controlled population.

      You can see it with the Remain hysteria about “cliff edges” etc, or the climate alarmists’ belief in CAGW. Always the answer is more EU, more state control. Yet a refusal to see the appalling results of historical precedence leads us blindly to dictatorship. And it is less to do with British voter naivety, rather more to the unchallenged “success” of left wing propaganda.

      • bill brown
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink


        Can we have some concrete examples of this so-called propaganda?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Well, there’s nothing “creeping” about it.

      It is abrupt and precipitous, but emergencies arise in that manner, and so the necessary measures will be alike in character.

      People must however, not let the extraordinariness of the position fade from their minds, and require a full reinstatement of all rights and freedoms at the earliest reasonably safe time.

      • NickC
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Martin, UK-US Free Trade Agreement negotiations officially started today 5th May, with 100 negotiators on each side in talks spread over the next fortnight. So the full reinstatement of all our rights and freedoms to negotiate as a sovereign nation is restored (even if we cannot sign until we leave on 31 Dec). Doesn’t that make you feel really glad?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

          What has that to do with my comment?

          The UK will have neither the weight nor the punch to resist onerous US demands as did the European Union’s parliament over TTIP.

          Just look at the extradition treaty!

          What a woolly scarf!

          • NickC
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

            Martin, A “full reinstatement of all our rights and freedoms” is precisely why I voted to leave your EU empire.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 3:32 am | Permalink

          we will not be signing fir another two or three years anyway

          • NickC
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

            You hope, Bill.

  9. oldtimer
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    I am well over 70 and get our food supplies once a week. There seem plenty of others like me doing the same in what I call “the old fogey’s hour”. They are all compos mentis, look fit and well, respect the social distancing precautions. The idea that such a group remains in lock down is anathema to all I have spoken to, would be very strongly resented and, in all likelihood , ignored by many of them.

    • Nigl
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      And vast numbers of businesses like Garden centres are being ruined unnecessarily by a risk averse totalitarian regime frightened of it’s own shadow. As this rolls forward we are seeing the folly of their actions.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink


  10. Stred
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Could someone suggest to the Prime Minister that having Matt Hancock chair the PR presentation where he avoids answering interesting questions and tells us what we know already followed by his mantra of ‘stay at home and save the NHS’ twice.. Is deeply annoying. Especially when we all know that Hancock and his team have made mistake after mistake and it was the Lighthouse group of independent labs which dug the NHS testers out of their hole. That the NHS has been sending infected old people into care homes and denying them tests until the epidemic was rife. And that they got the army to build a 4,000 bed hospital and couldn’t find the staff or any use for it, then carried on building more. Hancock may think that he sounds like a font of wisdom but he comes across as pontificating salesman, interrupting anything interesting said by the scientists.

    • Nigl
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      Yes. He is not up to a ‘big job’ if he was, he wouldn’t be in politics but making a real difference in the private sector.

      • NickC
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Nig1, The fact that Hancock is being held to account for PPE shortages demonstrates that NHS management (who are the ones really responsible for PPE) are not up to the job. If NHS management actually worked government ministers would not have to front all the failures.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly. Such are most PPE graduates I find, he is a bit like Cameron but without the gift of the gab. They almost never have any real understanding of numbers, science, engineering, business, logic, human nature or sound economics. A bit like many CofE Vicars.

      The Gresham College lecture by Chris Whitty the other day was quite informative I thought.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      It is good that some MP’s are being thrust into the light. Moving forward on from this we now have a better idea of the scale of our administrative problems. For too long they have been sheltered behind the EU and various QUANGO’s. Now they are using ‘experts’ and, in this case, ‘the science’, as cover for their ineptness. But most people, much like yourself, can now see past the Potemkin Village that has become our government, parliament and Civil Service. Nothing cleanses more than the light of day.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      He just seems a bit wet behind the ears.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Those 4000 bed empty hospitals will come in handy for keeping a roof over the heads of the Border Farce’s latest new additions to the population and Benefits bill. With the standstill on construction the planned million+ houses needed won’t be ready for them in time.
      I see well over 100 attempted to get here yesterday – now even setting off from Boulogne as well as Calais. That means SERIOUS trouble = because our boat can’t be in two places at once.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Totally agree. I think he needs to go but left in place for too long so now difficult. He truly scared me a couple of weeks back when he justified the lockdown on the basis of the 500,000 figure. He seems to comprehend very little.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Why weren’t elderly patients sent to the Nightingale hospitals instead of care homes? Or into hotels in separate rooms with their own en-suite and meals served to the door with nurses allocated to those facilities?

      Hancock is being set up for a big fall with these patronising slogan statements. We’ve had enough now! We want facts specifically: those workers working outside of their home bases that have worked for the past seven weeks how many of them are now infected and in a hospital, how many of them a) work on the NHS front line b) work in the close care sector c) have been teaching the children of these key workers especially those that have tested positive d) how many other occupations have created some of the new patients? If during the peak of the virus they have been working outside of their home bases how have they protected themselves?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      That they couldn’t find use for the Nightingale Hospital is a good thing. Why are you moaning about it ?

      • NickC
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        Roy, It’s not about the Nightingale hospitals being unused, more about the lousy “science” that predicted the need based on worship of gigo computer models.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink


        Assuming they do not want to use it for Covid cases at the moment.

        Why not use it for simple day cases which have been delayed in the original hospital system.
        Many day cases only need simple surgery with a local anaesthetic.

        Install some simple operating equipment inside another enclosure to maintain a clean environment, and you could treat Cataracts, glue ear, trigger finger, Dupytons Contracture, Skin Cancer moles, in growing toe nails, and a host of other debilitating problems.

        Involves no overnight stays, would get the waiting list down and give some people, especially those who are going blind, their lives back.

        given no overnight stays hospital beds could be used for Covid in 24 hours if it returns in a second wave.

      • DennisA
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        They should have used them for Covid-19, instead of making district hospitals unfit for purpose.

  11. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    The generalised wearing of masks appears very effective, according to data from the places where this has been applied.

    Also, there is no hard evidence to support the two metre rule, but common sense says that it’s better than nothing. It might need five, or fifty metres to be truly effective though, but this seems not to matter so much where masks are used.

    Yes, I think that far more normal life could be possible with some imagination and application.

    However, a properly organised state, with the necessary institutions will be needed to facilitate these things.

    These slaves to the US socio-economic model should put aside their ideology for the present at least.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      It always seemed to me that some face covering was surely better than non in many situations, finally it seems the government have nearly caught up. But even if you get into an empty lift, at work or a block of flats, you are often breathing air that others (who just vacated) have just breathed.

      The “two” metres is also nonsense. I know of a girl with an allergy to horses who had to go be hospitalised when some horses ran past her well over ten yards away with the wind blowing their breath in her direction.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        Fortunately it appears that it requires virus-laden droplets or micro-droplets to spread the infection, and that the virus itself does not become airborne, although that is not conclusively proven.

        If so then masks would be very effective, and the evidence so far supports this.

        Yes, even non-professional grade and improvised ones would give a worthwhile reduction in the probability of spreading infection.

        The perfect should not be the enemy of the good.

      • John E
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        I suspect it’s a matter of the amount of the virus we get exposed to. I have a good sense of smell and I can certainly tell which fragrances the lady joggers that I encounter on my daily walks are wearing at a distance of more than two metres – more like ten meters depending on the wind direction as per your example.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Oh yes!
      And therein lies the root cause of this fiasco.
      Boris will perhaps (?) rue the day of his 180 degree turn.
      Throw the dice …Imperial College or Oxford. Oh..Imperial C it is!
      Let’s appease the Left which actually WANTS to see the economy wrecked (QED above).
      Why would that be …because he shares their views or because he fears them?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      But Martin we are exclusively in the hands of your dream State Institutions and have been for 7 weeks. Shall we carry on like this as you suggest? Many are enjoying the lockdown, we get to live the life of an unemployed person in the U.K. Not bad! If I get rid of my businesses which are a worry, I will be in heaven!

      • Fred H
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        do you mean dead, or very happily rich?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        There is not the systemic infrastructure, staffing, nor organisation of expertise and capacity required by any means.

        Yes, the legal powers are there, but far, far more is required.

        Depriving people of their freedoms by law is a cinch by comparison.

        Government now needs to do the real work.

        Yes, “work” – hear that, Alexander?

        • NickC
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

          What, you’re want systems, institutions, infrastructure, to be staffed for a 100 years waiting for the next pandemic? What we really need is resilience and flexibility. That means agile businesses both small and large, in-nation manufacturing, with excellence and honesty in academic work. Not your big state, centrally planned, 1950s Soviet style monstrosity, ready to fight the last pandemic.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        What sort of businesses?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      WHO says wearing of masks is ineffective. Still, I’m sure you know best.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but they are using professional standards as to effectiveness as needed for clinical staff.

        I.e. – stops 100% of transmission – effective. Stops 90% of transmission – ineffective.

        That would still have a decisive effect on R0 however.

      • outsider
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        The medical opinion seems to be that masks are probably ineffective but if they are effective they should be reserved for medical and like staff.
        Other places emerging from lockdown have commonly made mask-wearing on public transport compulsory for a reason. Whether that reason is strictly medical or to allay people’s aroused fear and stress is a secondary concern. It is necessary to aid a general return to work and chimes with people’s common sense.

      • forthurst
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        The WHO need to produce some evidence for what it claims to be true about coronavirus otherwise we might as well note that its Director General was appointed on the basis of Affirmative Action and look no further.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Generally agree with you today Martin 🙂

      Two metre rule is nonsense, if you are out on a windy day it could be 20 metre and you still get a face full of what the person in front of you is exhaling…

      Masks in shops and public transport seems sensible plus hand sanitizers on entry and exit of shops, only pick up an item if you intend to buy it…

      Correctly worn masks more than likely protect those around you rather than yourself…

      • DennisA
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        In Germany, the “social distance”, (it is rather unsocial), is 1.5 metres, in Austria, it is one metre. Wales have put into law that employers should ensure 2 metres between employees, a nonsense task.

        In any enclosed area a micro-climate ensues, because of human respiration and emitted heat. Within an hour everyone will be breathing the same homogenised air. There is no safe 2 metre bubble in which employees can be “safe” from any infection introduced by someone else.

    • NickC
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Martin, Your previous enthusiasm for lockdown was always politically motivated, giving you a ready excuse to attack the government. But now your new advocacy of lifting lockdown means either that lockdown was a hysterical over-reaction, or that herd immunity is real. Otherwise, by lifting lockdown, we’d still be in as much danger as before.

      In either case centralised state control is the problem not the answer. After all, you’ve spent weeks attacking state control – the very thing you’re advocating.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        I have no enthusiasm for it, but it is worlds better than doing nothing effective at all, which was the previous position.

        It’s time to get down to the real work now though, like less deluded countries did in eastern Europe right from the start, and who are deservedly not suffering anything like the problems of the UK and the US.

        If the UK still does not do that, then lifting the strictures is, I think, criminal madness.

        • NickC
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

          Martin, I am glad that you now agree with what I have been saying on here consistently from as early as 14 March. For example, on 25 March I stated: “Therefore testing – both for symptoms, and for antibodies – is vital. Short of a vaccine, testing is the key. … Testing is the only tool we have. Decisions must be taken with facts.”

          But your view, since you don’t accept the concept of herd immunity, is that nothing has changed. So you have no logical position to base any lifting of your praised lockdown strategy.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

            I want the UK – for practical purposes – to eliminate the virus. That is, to reduce daily cases to the odd one.

            As have done

            S Korea
            Hong Kong
            And other countries.

            And as most countries in Europe intend to do, and are making real progress in doing.


  12. Everhopeful
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Absolutely NONE of this is a “good idea”.
    It is a catastrophe of Biblical proportion…or maybe worse.
    What will the newly-released feel like when they realise that nothing is left?
    And that only the rich will be flying!

    • Mark B
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Things will be back to the 1950’s. Some say that that is no bad thing.

      • APL
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        “Things will be back to the 1950’s. Some say that that is no bad thing.”

        The things we had in the ’50 that we don’t have now.
        Population 49 million.
        Ability to produce 228m tonnes of coal 1952
        producing 70 – 85% of our electricity.
        A police force that was respectful and disinclined to exceed it’s lawful authority.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

          A population well educated enough to know that the pronoun ‘it’ does not have an apostrophe when it is used as a possessive pronoun.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

            Equally that it’s 1950s and not “1950’s”.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Agreed…some aspects but in the 1950s jobs were not a problem and nor, for most, was personal debt.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      The rich will only be flying on one way tickets out.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        ah well – a silver lining.

      • hefner
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        And only in private jets.

  13. Jeff12
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    The single most depressing survey I have ever heard was the one that said that 76% of people were in favour of the lockdown. The majority of people are so easily scared by a virus that has a mortality rate of the same as flu have believed all the scare mongering and fake death rate numbers to the extent that they want to be locked up and their livelihoods destroyed. Incredible. I give up. I’m not even going to point out all the flaws in the narrative anymore but just concentrate on making money from the disaster everyone apparently wants. When people don’t have enough to eat and the country looks like communist Romania after a hurricane I shall take pleasure in saying “Told you so”.

    • Chris Dark
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      There are many who feel like you, including me….unbelievable that so many people are so daft. I am in despair also; I’m just about retirement age and I see the rest of my life being gobbled up by having to dodge round other folk, watch where I stand in shops, and face restrictions on where I go and who I visit. My little family has been painfully separated, physically, by all this rot. We just want to live, see our relatives and if we get ill, then we do. Instead we now face tracking apps (I won’t be downloading it on my non-existent mobile phone) and heaven knows where that will lead. The Brits have welcomed slavery. Utter utter fools.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      ‘virus that has a mortality rate of the same as flu’ – alas it does not.

    • Andy
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      It doesn’t have a mortality rate the same as flu. If you are over 70 and get it the mortality rate can be as high as 1 in 5. Flu doesn’t do that.

      • matthu
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        You don’t know how many over 70-year olds have contracted CV-19.

        You don’t even know how many of the population at large have contracted CV-19.

        You don’t even know whether CV-19 was prevalent in the population last year or not, with deaths being attributed to pneumonia.

      • APL
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        Andy: “If you are over 70 and get it the mortality rate can be as high as 1 in 5.”

        Your sudden conversion to caring about the elderly doesn’t have any credibility.

        Besides, life has a 100% mortality rate.

      • NickC
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Not entirely true. A study (Journal of Infection, April 2014) showed death rates from flu (2000- 2007) in the 65+ at risk group to be 15% (or 1 in 6) annual average. So not that much different to your 1 in 5 figure. Flu (actually a range of mutating viruses) is much underrated.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink


      The culture of fear has been written about for three decades in the UK. One of the consequences is that many under the age of mid-50s have formed opinions within this background and therefore act as though an exaggerated worst case has probability 1. The Govt can use this to control people, or some ministers may suffer from it themselves.

      It may take a generation of educational change to get out of it, and there is no one driving this, the numbers who can get fewer and fewer.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      An old fable:
      Death is walking towards a town. He meets an old man.
      “Why are you going to town?” Asks the old man.
      “To collect 100 souls dead of the plague ( nb. not “with”)” replied Death.
      The two meet again as Death leaves the town with his harvest of souls.
      “But why do you have 1000 souls?” asks the old man, counting the souls Death is carrying.
      “Oh” replies Death “ 100 died of ( nb. not “with”) the plague….the rest died of ( nb. not “with”) FEAR!”.
      As those in control know….FEAR…will achieve many ends.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        Very good.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        You seem to be terrified of not being able to go to a football match, on the other hand.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          I never thought I would say it but having weaned myself of watching football over the last season or two, except for maybe a dozen matches with ‘my’ team playing, I feel cured.
          The cost to support, the appalling behaviour on the pitch and off, the outrageous contracts to players and managers, the fees paid to commentators etc – what a n awful ‘sport’ well business.
          Other sports are mostly more acceptable, have better skills, watched by better audiences, commanding less airtime.

  14. BeebTax
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    It would be harsh to ban those who haven’t had the virus from working, when millions of people have continued to work pretty much as normal throughout the crisis so far, whether or not they’ve had the virus. I’ve been working throughout, due to the industry I’m in.

    Let’s get the country moving, albeit with PPE where needed and some social distancing.

  15. Sharon Jagger
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    A conversation with my daughter in law last evening .

    She was telling me of some of the measures being considered by her American owned health insurance company for staff to return to work. Because of the rules on health and safety the measures being considered sounded very much like paranoia on steroids! Should staff take a shower on arrival at the office? Should staff have a one way route for walking around the office marked out? And so on…

    These health and safety rules I’ve thought for a long time to be unrealistic and impractical to live with. Yesterday, a Sky engineer came to install a new Sat dish. She had to wear a crash hat, ear muffs and to tie her ladder to the house….

    These absurd rules of H & S are going to severely hamper getting back to work in any sensible way.

    Coupled with this kind of mentality and the fear mongering from media and the government slogan, it’s no wonder 80% (or whatever the figure is) are too fearful to return to work.

    God help us should there ever be a war to be fought…

    • MG
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      One lesson to take out of this is that if you wish to live in a bankrupt, authoritarian state then let healthcare officials run the country.

      • NickC
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        MG, Just so.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      so you’d happily go up an unsecured ladder with no helmet, use pressure to drill fixings to wall, wobble about struggling to secure the oval dish, hope no gust of wind caught it etc…..or be liable when installer falls off, breaks limbs and off work for months?

      • MG
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        Fred, I would wager that you regard your financial situation as fairly secure? Unlike a large amount of the population.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          MG – and your point is?
          -well whats secure these days? My SIPP has taken a hammering if that makes you feel better. I’m not on bread and water – who is? We have 1 old car – out of principle. No mortgage. But I brought the TIMES article on the plight of people in Blackpool ( and elsewhere) to this diary Christmas time – and made my own humble donation.

          I’ve 3 children with 3 partners all were working, mortgages, cars, their children in state education. I worry myself sick about their future – do you?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        No, she’d be happy for someone else to do that.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink


        Only those who have worked or fell from a ladder know how dangerous they are if not secured properly or footed by someone else.

        Seen rather too many people over the years limping about who thought nothing about their own Health and Safety at the time.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

          And a few years ago I painted the rendered outside of my largish house, and the one next door, but anchored the extended ladder all the time, and lodged weighted garden tables etc at the foot. Bloody nervous the whole time, took days and days but got there. Saved me some £ thousands – but didn’t want to pay for the so called pro.
          I can’t stand and watch people shinning up ladders unsafely I have to go away.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      God help us should there ever be a war to be fought…

      Health and Safety rules of engagement would mean that any fighting would be deemed too dangerous. Every cloud has a silver lining. No more war! Yippee!

  16. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    “I do not think it a good idea to say only those who can prove they have had the virus can go to work. The government clearly thinks a majority of the population have not had the virus, otherwise they would be relaxing anyway. Limiting going to work to the minority would be unfair”

    The problem John seems to be that you are in the minority in thinking the solution to this “unfair” situation is to allow everyone to go to work – polls show a majority seem to think that the solution is that no-one should go back to work. And, for swathes of the public sector, why should they ? Their salaries and pensions are protected either way.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      We should do what gives the best balance between health outcomes, not overloading the NHS too much and the economy. This might well be ‘unfair’ but life is unfair so we must get over it.

      What is fair about nearly twice as many men dying from Covid as women for a start?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        Or some people getting a mild flu while others are dying from it.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Well if the government stopped borrowing and printing then the only alternatives would be to raise taxes and cut public spending. Neither of which the public sector likes as equally affects them as well as those in the private sector who, are the ones carrying the greatest burden in all respects.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Those who chose to work in the public sector are not your enemies!
      Do you think that they ever got bonuses? Hampers at Christmas?
      Of course not! And those jobs were and are open to ALL.
      Or maybe those who failed to be accepted into such jobs are the ones spreading divisive nonsense?
      Nobody’s pension is protected.
      Nobody’s salary is protected.

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink


        Quite correct! Many people are under a misapprehension when it comes to the Public Sector.
        The pension was tinkered with several years ago. It is not ‘gold plated’ any more. There was also pay freeze for at least two years,
        Much of the work is stressful, and involves insults and threats by the ‘clients’ one is trying to help. One needs to have very strong mental health to handle some of the abuse.
        There are no hampers and bonuses at Christmas , and very little thanks for the job you are doing.
        I know all this because I have a close family member who is a Civil Servant. They appreciate having a job, but don’t understand all the snide remarks that the public sector gets.

      • NickC
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Everhopeful, Actually Roy Grainger is correct: during the lockdown swathes of the public sector have their salaries and pensions protected. And someone closely related to me left a job in NHS management (at a fairly low level) due to disgust at the sheer wastefulness and incompetence.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        explain to me because I missed it, when public sector workers did NOT have their pension protected. When did they have salary reduced, what percentage of all public sector workers had a cut in salary or made redundant?

      • Everhopeful
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        I think that you will find, when we are finally released and the economy is “recalibrated”, that what I am saying will prove to be perfectly correct.

        NOBODY is protected. Nobody will be protected except the very rich …who will absolutely clean up.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Roy – are the public sector really protected fully?
      Just one e.g. If we can do without libraries for over three months and they cost £1.5m per annum per Council and poor people who had no computer have been given laptops now like Michael Gove said at the weekend they can download books now, why should rate-payers pay for a service they’ve not had access to for months? Could we just not look at who uses the libraries and see how connected they are, could we eventually download books onto smart tv screens? Where I live people have started putting books out in trays saying help yourself as they’re having clear outs.

      These people working from home in London now, do they really even need to live in expensive London bases if they don’t need to go to the office at all? If public transport is cut down they will stop enjoying City life, services would be cut further people laid off in this transport sector. Councils can’t just keep expecting ratepayers to pay in millions to top up their falling pension investments when ours have collapsed, they cut other services but not their pensions put them on nest like the rest of us then the government might not be so keen to cut into shareholders returns.

      Could the wealth of the City be shared out more with distance working? Cloth will have to be cut and furloughed workers (outside of the closed down completely businesses because of crowds) just don’t even realise they’re first in line for the cut.

  17. Leslie Singleton
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John–Both of your “should nots” need an “ideally” placed in front of them, but unfortunately we are very far indeed from an ideal world and there may simply be no choice.

  18. Sakara Gold
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    In spite of now clear evidence from other island nations (Taiwan, N Zealand, HK, Isle of Man etc) that it is possible to eradicate the Chinese plague virus without excessive disruption to their economies, we, like the lemmings running over the cliff, persist with the globally discredited “herd immunity” strategy. Sweden is the only other country following it and their death rate is now mounting quite quickly.

    Employers want assurances that if they end the lockdown and restart their businesses, they will not be open to legal action should one of their employees – or customers – catch the virus.

    The bottom line is that as the number of “offficial” fatalities approaches 30,000, in spite of speculation in the press about vaccines and cures, the government will have to decide how many deaths would be acceptable to end the lockdown and restore our shattered economy. That will be Whitty and Vallance’s legacy.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      You don’t seem to understand. We are a ‘global, trading nation’. We can’t cut ourselves off! Where would we be then? Even now we are not testing and quarantining people entering the country. WHY WE AREN’T is a mystery to me. And why the media aren’t shouting the odds on this is a mystery too. Perhaps they are all addicted to their endless travelling.

      • NickC
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        Mike Wilson, Indeed it is crazy to lockdown the nation and not lockdown our borders.

    • Richard
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Re Sweden: I’m afraid your information is out-of-date, Ms Gold. Sweden’s death rate has been declining since a peak on 24th April (Worldometer). Good point about employers, though.

    • NickC
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Sakara Gold, Don’t be silly – “herd immunity” is not discredited, it is standard epidemiology. The UK is in lockdown and is not following the herd immunity strategy – or haven’t you noticed? You’re only 7 weeks behind the times. In contrast, Sweden, Japan, Taiwan, etc, have all followed sensible precautions with testing and tracing, rather than the hysterical lockdown agitated for by the MSM and the likes of you.

      • bill brown
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink


        stop these personal attacks you should know better

        • NickC
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          Bill B, Stop your personal attacks bereft of even any factual response.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

        It is morally discredited where there is any significant mortality with an infection for obvious reasons.

        That’s not a consideration for you though is it?

  19. James Bertram
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    ‘The government clearly thinks a majority of the population have not had the virus.’

    I expect the government has been badly advised yet again, and too willing to be led by such advice, without sufficient critical thought – just follow the media-led demands. A new report from Germany suggests that 10 times the number of people were infected rather than reported. On the Unherd website the Ferguson report is rubbished by a nobel-scientist on the idea of exponential growth. Too, the Bakersfeld (California) doctors demonstrated, from practical results rather than academic theory, that actual death rates were little different to flu death rates in a community – for their troubles, their report was censored and taken off youtube. Today, Sweden with limited lockdown, has had a large fall in active cases. We are only getting information that the BBC and the Government wish us to hear – to control us. This UK lockdown policy has been a disaster – all panic, shambles, and chasing their tail – the trashing of the economy an avoidable failure.

  20. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    I am with you Sir John but no one to date has come up with a solution for public transport.?

    If we all pile on then we are back under each other’s armpits and breathing in everyone’s germs (and viruses). If we ration use then the capacity to move large volumes of commuters is not there. Even with staggered work times (am I expected to commute and hour and a half from 10.30 to 12 and then returns from 8 to 9.30?) there will still be more commuters than 2 meter areas on public transport.

    Without a solution for public transport we are back to herd immunity (or gas masks)

  21. George Brooks.
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    These next set of steps to be taken by the government to navigate us out of this pandemic are going to be the most difficult encountered by any government since WW2. They will not get it all right at the outset and changes will have to be made to rectify mistakes and make adjustments to cater for population reaction as we move back to work.

    The degree of difficulty was illustrated yesterday after the unions and employers had been invited in for consultation. Several union leaders immediately took to the airwaves indicating that they would not agree to anything and what was going to be decided was going to be wrong.

    This attitude aided and encouraged by a biased BBC and a hostile C4 News needs to get a strong, sharp dose of Thatcherism and be put back in their boxes

    They have no idea what the ‘road map’ is going to look like and neither do the media so let’s wait until Sunday when we might see a few tiny green shoots.

  22. The Prangwizard
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I’m 75. I think I come into the autoritarian/totalititarian Tory state’s definition of vulnerable and must stay at home. (Which I reject and resent)

    I went to the supermarket again yesterday in my small market town. It has screens around the tills which are useless and a waste of money because they only separate customers from the cashier where neither face each other ie. where the customer moves from depositing goods on the belt to the loading area. there’s no screen where I fill my bags and where the cashier and customers are very close. It can’t be any other way.

    I read today that Hancock plans to punish employers who don’t follow draconian rules on separation. Will these also apply in the situation described. Just how much does your government want to order every aspect of life. I suspect here isn’t enough paper to list them. Hancock has got a taste of power and he loves it.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      and still in the big Government job by standing there in front of the nation and LYING about the 122,000 tested….NO THEY WERE NOT and still haven’t been.

  23. Pat
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    The coronavirus outbreak is a disaster, but adapting our behavior to it may bring better ways of working, many of which are yet to be discovered.

    Take education for example. Massive advances in online human teaching and also IT assisted teaching have already been made.

    The world’s largest language school is Duolingo, available online. No human teacher is involved and it is far more effective than traditional methods. This is just one of many free programmes. Lectures in STEM subjects from the world’s leading universities are available to all.

    However barriers to qualification remain and some state-run online institutions are excessively beurocratic and expensive; here I have in mind the Open University.

    Unless the pathways to qualification are freed up, ordinary people cannot reap the full benefit of online education to obtain employment. We must grasp the opportunity of new ways of working in education and many other sectors.

    Thank you for your efforts.

  24. Richard1
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    The govt should take credit for having clearly avoided the crisis in the NHS which was loudly and confidently predicted (& I fear hoped for by a small minority of the shouty left). It’s clear people understand what social distancing means and hygiene standards should be much improved as a result. We need to get back to work – the costs of the lockdown now vastly exceed the benefits and surely also include much worse healthcare outcomes for every condition other than Wuhan virus. It is also abundantly clear that the study by the academic prof Ferguson upon which assumptions have been based is seriously flawed.

    Get the economy moving again starting with the coming bank holiday weekend.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink


      I have some worries about your first sentence. There are large numbers of excess deaths outside the NHS, this looks like the NHS has been protected by simply not treating people (telling them to stay at home / scaring them away). Yes this can look a political success when there are no news videos of overwhelmed hospitals but it does not mean it is a life-saving success. There is nothing to say that an overwhelmed hospital is not saving more lives than a stay-away model.

  25. Caterpillar
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    The first stage must be to stop the furlough payments, extending this Government patronage scheme until the end of June remains a mistake which should be corrected immediately. A UBI* should be introduced (for all over 18s). This will then allow the price mechanism for resources to work whilst providing a fair safety net to all; if labour resources are too unused then the Govt could still become an employer of last resort (as some MMTers like) so that there is at least some kind of economy backing up people’s income. The UBI model gives individuals some support in walking away from a job if they do not feel sufficiently safe; it gives them choice. The current patronage model favours middle income people, who have had more opportunity to save for a rainy day than the lower income who have not, this is absurd, vindictive and spiteful. (If the Govt feels a need and ability to act on AD by additional gifting it could be given to those who have not received such freebies through the epidemic, savers who have been punished for over a decade, WASPIs, or the ex-civil servants whose pensions were CPIed by Osborne i.e. the historical ones not the current high pay ones … there are probably manynother groups.)

    If the Govt continues to run high expenditure with nothing behind it then a Venezuelan like collapse will happen. This will be a sudden event without early signals (think earthquake), the UK needs to get out of its stupidity urgently. The Govt’s further antiliberty move towards apps and tracking people is a very dangerous precedent; as mentioned several times before design of the testing regime (not the self booking randomness of the current scheme) and appropriate types of tests based on risk and economic value can have a huge effect, where is this planning?

    *My UBI bias as mentioned way before the epidemic is that it could be made of 3 parts – an unfunded money creation part (Clifford Douglas national dividend / Corbyn people’s QE), a progressive consumer tax (increase VAT and redistribute the increased collection evenly, the redistribution is then based on consumption not income) and a carbon tax with dividend and border adjustment.

  26. Iain Moore
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Hear a lot about imprisoning 70 year olds when the lockdown is released, but nothing about areas. As I have pointed out here the SW of England has little or no disease, as confirmed by the ONS map the Mail published the other day. It seems yet again we are being ruled by what is good for London, not what is good for other areas of the country. Just because London elected an incompetent Mayor who laid on over crowded disease spreading tube trains, so that means the rest of us should be held hostage. As there are only a few routes into the SW I see no reason for the area to be kept in the lockdown.

  27. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    I make is a strict rule with myself – especially on this blog where you have asked us to refrain from putting up links to other websites – never to be a “whatabout this site then?” bore.

    I am now going to break my rule with a website which I know you dislike and from which I have been permanently excluded (for praising the current Prime Minister!)
    Please have a look at this, just once, because the man is a specialist in public health and knows what he is on about:

    • NickC
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Mike S, Lots of “experts” have very different opinions. That’s the point. It’s no good citing one expert above another. In a novel situation like this political judgements have to be made.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately the people making political judgements are rarely experts in anything much at all. I pondered yesterday (give that MPs are nearly all art graduates or not graduates at all) how many have even got any maths or physics beyond GCSE level? It is hardly any wonder we are so badly governed. We have even had a chancellors and PM who failed them.

  28. Richard1
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    It is reported that the NHS have insisted that the govt develop a U.K. only NHS app as opposed to using the international one being developed by Google and Apple. Apart from the high likelihood of Google and Apple being better placed to develop an app than the NHS, even it it uses private experts and suppliers (Q: presumably leftists would be against that?), UK citizens will obviously have to download both in order to travel.

    It would be good to understand how this decision was made. It’s incredible these over-rated mainstream media journalists don’t ask questions like this – nor indeed how it is that Sweden has managed so well with no lock-down at all.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      fearing misuse of the data provided to Google & Apple. Pretty reasonable grounds I would have thought.

      • dixie
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        You can’t trust anyone with your data. I seem to recall Labour misusing cancer patient data a few GE’s ago when they sent targeted scare mails to patients to stave off a Conservative victory.

    • anon
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      Google and Apple have a much better provisions to protect privacy. This has been reported on in the tech press. Unless the code is open source i would not trust it.

  29. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Interesting comments this morning,

    Should all really come down to education about the virus, and common sense.

    Problem is we all have different ideas and levels of common sense, hence the reason why Government have had to put in place some rules.

    Like most nationalities, the people and businesses in the UK will find a resolve and a way forward, which politicians and the experts would never contemplate.

    Let us hope common sense prevails with regards to work, health, and financial security for all involved.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      I hope people realise and remember that we are one of the most densely populated Countries in the World, and an easily transmitted and spread virus from person to person, will be far more difficult to control in such conditions, than in areas where distancing is rather more easy.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        We are number 32 on the list. Russia is 181. They’ve had quite a lot of cases. Despite the population drinking a bottle of neat vodka each day. Australia is 192 on the list – despite everyone drinking 8 pints of Fosters each day. In Dorset we have 328 confirmed cases out of a population of 376,484. Which means 1 person in 150 is a confirmed case. Why on earth are we locked down?

        The problem – obviously – occurs in large cities. The major cities in this country should have been locked down and the rest of us left in peace to grow your food.

        • rose
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

          Bristol, not so far from you, has about 500 cases.

          • rose
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

            Up to date figures after more tests are:

            162 deaths
            626 cases

      • hefner
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        How tiring!
        Singapore 8109 /km^2 , Hong Kong 6677, Taiwan 658, South Korea 512,
        Netherlands 409, Belgium 380, UK 279 /km2.
        Singapore, HK, Taiwan, SK have had a much better response to Covid-19 than the UK.
        Number of deaths per million:
        Singapore 3, HK 0.5, Taiwan 0.3, South Korea 5, NL 302, UK 423.
        Belgium 692, Spain 544, Italy 481.

        All figures available from worldometers.
        AJ, so your argument is rather weak: in London, parts of the South East, and around UK big towns, the population density is high, but I guess not worse than in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan or South Korea.

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink


          You have just proved my point to a degree, in London where the density is higher they have had many more cases.

          Commuters also travel to and from London and other major Cities, hence the reason for more widespread cases near to those centres.

          Governments in Asia are rather different to those in Europe.

          Our lockdown has also been less severe.

        • dixie
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          England is 430/km2

          • hefner
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

            You’re absolutely right. And I had forgotten I was on a ‘Speaking for England’ blog.

        • NickC
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          Hefner, How tiring!! You make the same automatic, unthinking, assumption that the BBC did. When someone talks about “my country” being the most densely populated in Europe they may be meaning England, not the UK. Ask, don’t lecture. As Dixie says – England 430/km2.

          • hefner
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

            It is a fact that Singapore, HK, Taiwan and South Korea with higher population densities than the UK have been more successful at dealing with this infection than we have.
            And AJ’s argument that governments in Asia are rather different from those in Europe is rather a superficial one. It is also a question of how quickly these governments were on the ball and how much trust the populations having had SARS in previous years showed their governments. Maybe Britain will do better next time.

  30. Ex-Tory
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I totally agree, Sir John.

    Any discrimination, be it on the grounds of age, where people live, what they do for a living or how infectious they are perceived to be would not only be wrong, but would create lasting resentment.

    We need a complete end to this lockdown soon, but if that is to happen gradually then any modified rules while it lasts must have the merit of simplicity so as to be fair and enforceable.

  31. glen cullen
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Its naive to think a partial relaxing of the current lockdown is going to work

    If you only open primary schools people will shout why not secondary
    If you only open the north east people will shout why not the south west
    If you only open for the young people will shout why not the elderly
    If you only open for construction people will shout why not retail

    Its all or nothing

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      So when people ask why not, the Govt needs transparent reasonable answers. Admittedly it has had none of these so far.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Doesn’t seem to be in some countries.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        Mainly those who can secure their own borders, have sparse and mono-cultural populations and better if they manufacture their own PPE and test kits.

        I prefer to live in multi-cultural Britain than Australia which is why I chose to stay here.

        • Anonymous
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          Andy envies New Zealand but does he really want us to become New Zealand? I certainly don’t.

          • Fred H
            Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            it helps if you really like sheep.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

            OK, how about Germany, Norway, or Greece, then?

  32. glen cullen
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    We where placed in this lockdown by politicians, by a cabinet political decision

    Only a political decision can reverse the lockdown decision

    The governments 5 measures and/or taking into account the science is purely smoke & mirrors


    The news media will tell the Prime Minister the schedule to changing the lockdown

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink


      Sorry, I think it’s you who have got it wrong.

      Just my opinion.

      Seems to me all many people want to do is blame the Government for everything, no matter what they do, or do not do.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink


        Thats okay….thats what debate is about

  33. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    The scare stories we get day in and day out have had their desired result.

    It seems that everyone is prepared to take extreme precautions just to stay alive – Is life that precious? If so, why don’t we hear more about the injustices to white people around the globe, or get excited about how many die every day for many different reasons … ah but that’s natural, a cycle of life…./

    CV is infectious we keep being told, but only to some people – We are in the dark about so much and panic rules heads. We have to wonder how far this will go if unreliable statistics don’t improve… Once we start down the path of paramilitary lockdowns then we might as well all give up and surrender ourselves to the virus, because life will have lost it’s meaning if authoritarian methods take over.

    The only answer is to normalise life as quickly as possible and prepare to fight the virus rather than the establishment.

  34. Bib Dixon
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I am growing a beard until I can drink a pint of beer in my local pub.

    I look ridiculous!

    Will my pub survive Boris’s shutdown?

    Will my mental health survive?

  35. Mr Ian Kaye
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Turkey cannot export food products free of tariffs into the EU therefore the customs Union is only partial

  36. DrPeterVC
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Good morning,

    The only precedent that we have for this situation is the Spanish Flu and it came in 3 waves. The first wave in the early summer of 2018 was the smallest – the second wave starting in Autumn was the real killer and the third, not as high as the second still higher than the first. Understandably the government is going to be very cautious. I have just seen the UK now has the worst death toll in Europe.

    All the things we talk about now were tried 100 years ago – compulsory mask wearing, staggered hours, deep cleaning etc. Amazing when they did not even know it was a virus – but they did know how it spread.

    Just reading about what is going on in the US now and looking back at history – definitely history repeating itself.

    We have to hold on and not be impatient – and accept we are not going to return to the world of 2019 any time soon.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      I’d be careful about those figures. There is a big difference between dying with, and dying of an illness.

      It also suggests that the measures were not as effective and may prove to be more harmful than the virus. But we will see.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      They didn’t have contact tracing apps.

      Oh, sorry, this country’s not doing that in any meaningful way.

      • NickC
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        Martin, You spent weeks on here praising the government’s lockdown strategy.

        • dixie
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          A troll’s purpose is not to engage in meaningful debate but to disrupt it.

    • SM
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      It is important to note that the ONS has stated that their figures are drawn from deaths certificates that INCLUDE the presence of covid19; this does not mean that all the deaths are attributable TO the virus.

      Perhaps, thinking ahead to a possible second wave, it should also be noted that thoracic and cardiac specialists are now seeing different presentations of the infection that include bronchial thrombosis. Given the huge advance in medical science in the last 100 years, this could mean that some hospitalised patients might be treated in a different way, giving better survival rates.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      some date typos in there.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      I don’t wish to sound heartless but the Spanish flu attacked mainly the young.

      At least this one targets mainly men over 65 and those with known comorbidities. A lot easier to selectively lock-down people who are less economically active while the rest of us try our best to salvage the economy.

      In 1918 they started with a tough people, a war ravaged economy and ended up with a booming one – we started with a soft people, a booming economy… I don’t want to even think about where we’re going.

  37. Fred H
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    ‘stay at home and save the NHS’ .
    becoming the most irritating, oft repeated inaccurate slogan for years.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      100% correct

  38. RichardP
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Set the people free!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      I think that took God sending ten plagues.
      We’ve just got the one!

  39. glen cullen
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    As a direct result of this continued lockdown, and reported by the BBC yesterday as a passing sub-note, the number of new claimants this period for Universal Credit has increased by almost 2 million…..2 MILLION !!!

    And the government didn’t even blink

  40. Shakelton
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    The government creates chaos rather quickly and finds undoing its negative work a problem.
    It’s a question of mental outlook. Think “If people do not go to work as soon as possible, they will be struck down by an evil virus!”
    That should clear government minds to stop swinging the lead.
    Are they afraid of a physical roll call of bums on seats when perhaps they are seated on some distant beach abroad and just don’t wish to return to work? Sounds like it. Sounds like teenagers with MP cowboy hats writ large,making excuses to their mother for not going to work and so staying in bed.
    Send the RAF to bring them home. A Shakelton would be poetic.

  41. A.Sedgwick
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Continued social distancing means the end of life as we know it. It will or even has bankrupted the country. Democracy is at risk. It will end the conventions, traditions and glue of society. Thankfully our natural gregarious instincts are beginning to question the extent of this draconian lockdown.

    It has been very disappointing to hear Mr.Johnson leading the mantra of “following the science”. We are now hearing well argued opposing views to our multi headed health bureaucracy.

    The introduction of the tracking app is months late and should be the focal point of managing this disease.

  42. a-tracy
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    How do we prove we’ve had the virus?
    How do we prove we’ve got natural antibodies against this virus that have caused people to be carriers but not affected?

    • Fred H
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      a ducking stool of being exposed to the virus once again?

  43. Cavewell Man
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    The lockdown should end completely now. It was imposed to make sure that the NHS would not be overwhelmed. This has been achieved comprehensively. The Imperial College forecasts have been so far out both here and in Sweden to be laughable. Professor Isaac bin Israel predicted the virus would run its course irrespective of any kind of lockdown and, so far, he has been proved right. The virus is awful but the death toll is no worse than that suffered with flu outbreaks in the 60s and 70s and not so different even from recent flu epidemics. Let’s get back to normal now.

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      The lockdown should have been in place earlier. I wonder why ever the NHS needed saving. Was it to plant the seed of creating an alternative.Was it to create public fear and even more insidiously demonstrate that we needed the private sector. At the beginning of the problems the secretary of health said that we would be lucky to get away with 20,000 deaths , so they knew what the capacity was likely to be.
      The NHS will survive but unfortunately up to now 30.000 people haven’t.

      • rose
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        How would you have managed to impose a curfew earlier? And how would you have kept it up?

        • M Brandreth- Jones
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          managed and specific areas of lock down rather than generalised tar brushing.

  44. John E
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    The trouble is that the Government keeps lying to us or treating us like children who can’t handle the truth. I know they justify this all as being for our own good, but in the end we don’t believe a word they say, and that comes at a heavy cost.

    So they need to step back from trying to micro-manage us, and treat us as adults who are capable of making our own decisions as to the risks we are prepared to take in our own individual circumstances.

    I envy the Germans in this crisis. They have a Champions League government, we have a bunch of football Conference hackers.

  45. anon
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    How about allowing under 50 out to work. Pass laws to protect the over 50’s.
    Enable HCQ with Zinc to be taken as a preventative, at a low dose or at the earliest sign of infection, like paracetamol OTC.

    Masks and more cleaning , filters etc please on Public transport.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      I’m over 50 and have been working full time for seven weeks outside home during the peak of this virus with four other over 50’s are you suggesting we now get imprisoned in our own homes? For how long? Who are you expecting to do the work we’ve been doing?

      People that have been off on furlough and full pay are just unreal! All this because our health system can’t cope for seven weeks.

      • NickC
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        A-tracy, “People [who] have been off on furlough and full pay are just unreal! All this because our health system can’t cope for seven weeks”. Indeed so. Though the supposed lack of capacity in the NHS was only a guess. And as it turns out, probably very wrong.

      • anon
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

        Ultimately i am free choice.

        Over 50’s can make there own decisions and be given all the facts. The good, bad and ugly. No compulsion,unless people are proved contagious.

        Particularly where the UK establishment management seem so inept and potentially criminally negligent in its policy and practical response. Its not joined up or logical between transport hubs and lockdowns. It’s about numbers.

        If we were SK , i would side with the government in the short run!

  46. ukretired123
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Damned if you do and damned if you don’t go back to work…..
    Unlike cars where we know by their registration, model and condition their status we as people are an amorphous mix of visual traits that can give false indicators of our health and CV19 status.
    If we were robots this could be indicated by some colour coding like red, amber and green.
    However since most of us are not robotic (unlike many in the BBC /MSM) and abhor being labelled or stereotyped I think that if future pandemics are the new reality we may end up being micro-chipped similar to our furry friends ! How Orwellian that would be …..?

  47. Christine
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    In Spain free masks are being given out to people and it is now mandatory to wear one on public transport. Meanwhile in our country we are still assessing whether they are of benefit. Surely it doesn’t take over three months to assess the benefit of wearing a mask? The country needs to get back to work with social distancing and masks in place until we get this pandemic under control. Those in the vulnerable category can remain in lockdown if they wish to. Looking at the worldwide numbers the virus seems to be dying out but we need to prepare for a future wave.

  48. Ian @Barkham
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    The Government says it is ‘guided by science’ then ignores the principles of good science.

    For most of us we were not concerned about the make up of SAGE, and understood the premise that not identifying the individuals meant they couldn’t suffer outside influence. However science is only science when the workings, theories and conclusions are exposed for a ‘peer review’. When this doesn’t happen it is not science it is a political stand point, a political decision – nothing else.

    The Government should be honest, own their decisions and not hide behind some new interpretation of science. They keep falling into the trap of appearing incompetent.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink


      It is the half-way house position of the Govt that shows it clearly cannot be trusted. Every so often the SAGE page [] is updated. There is a list of papers presented (Excel file currently only showing presented papers upt0 16th April, the completeness of which we don’t know). More bizarrely only a subset of those papers are then put on the SAGE page, and some of those have blacked out sections.

      As you say anonymising the authors is one thing but delaying and hiding the papers is not science and not transparent government, made even worse by intentionally acting in this suspicious way.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      Ian – – possibly also falling into the trap of actually being incompetent.

  49. Andy
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Sunderland is a bit of an iconic city for Brexiteers. It heralded the start of their dream.

    It will probably be sometime until Sunderland AFC play a football match in a full stadium in the city.

    But when they do marvel at the 49,000 capacity crowd at the Stadium of Light and remember this.

    That full stadium still contains fewer people than we need to fill all the new Brexit bureaucrat jobs we are creating for you.

    We need 50,000 state funded pen pushers – at a cost to the taxpayer of £1.5bn – to apparently cut red tape.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Well, the Leave voters now know what real restriction on freedom is as opposed to the imaginary kind.

      And it was ALL imposed by national governments.

      The European Union has absolutely zero power to restrict people’s freedoms in this way, and so it is clear where the real power is and has always been – with national governments.

      So all that stuff claimed by the Leave campaigns to the contrary turns out to be untrue after all.

      Doesn’t it?

      • Edward2
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        No one voted to leave the EU because they thought it had too much power to restrict our freedoms during a pandemic.
        I’ve looked through the reasons for leaving the EU as set out by the various Leave campaign literature and it wasn’t mentioned.
        Bit of a strawman argument from you Martin.

      • NickC
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        Is that the “real restriction on freedom” supposedly to be caused by Brexit, Martin?

      • Fred H
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Odd that EU countries were first to restrict freedom.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          No, I think that China got there first, Fred.

          • NickC
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

            No, in Europe, Martin.

          • Fred H
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

            They don’t just restrict freedom they incarcerate anybody who dares express a different view to the Party. Even when a potential virus that might wipe out Wuhan is discussed they cart the medical witnesses off to die of the same virus. Having the early warning the Party could then begin shutdown having allowed thousands of spreaders to fly all over the globe. Maybe THAT freedom should have been restricted?

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink


        It was imposed by a virus that came out of Communist ruled China which we now know they declared to the WHO 4 days after the first victim appeared in France.

        This is why everyone has had their freedoms curtailed, whether in the EU or not.

      • acorn
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        Just as I have said on this site before; alas, leavers never read and learn.

        WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. business lobby on Monday urged Britain to conclude a bilateral trade deal with the European Union as quickly as possible to remove uncertainty that is limiting investment flows and could pose risks to its trade talks with the United States.

        The Chamber of Commerce, in a series of recommendations issued ahead of the start of U.S.-UK trade talks on Tuesday, said U.S. firms had invested more than $750 billion in Britain, in large part to secure access to the larger EU single market before Britain voted to leave the bloc.

        The group said London should redefine its ties to Brussels before working out trade deals with other countries, and said there were opportunities for Britain and the United States to advance global standards in the digital economy, financial services, and emerging technologies.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

          They are just like our CBI
          They are not in favour of a deal.
          They want us to remain
          They like mono blocs and find it easier to make their big multi national profits in that way.
          Fortunately the White House isn’t interested in their partisan views.

          • bill brown
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:54 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            You are drawing conclusions based on lack of facts again (including on Nick C)

          • Edward2
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

            Wrong bill.
            What I said was based on facts and the experiences of my business dealings with America over several decades.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          Yes, why should the US see things much differently from Japan, whose government clearly thought that the UK had lost the plot completely?

        • NickC
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

          Acorn, Just as I have said on this site before: alas, Remains never read and never learn.

          The USA foreign policy for a long time has been that they prefer to deal with one European government. That’s to suit the USA, not us.

          You should get out of the habit of always advocating, and with such relish, what other states or empires want us to do.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      only if the EU decide to start a trade war

    • NickC
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Andy, £1.5bn for UK bureaucrats is only 10% of the money it cost us (is still costing us!) to be run by your EU empire. So it’s a snip. And actually we will be saving on all the bureaucrats that we once used to implement all the crazy EU rules that you drool over, but which we won’t need when we leave.

      • Andy
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        £1.5bn is just the cost of your customs Brexit bureaucrats. It will be many years until we know the true cost of all of your extra Brexit bureaucracy.

        • NickC
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

          Andy, There is no reason to suppose there will be any “extra Brexit bureaucracy”. Most countries in the world do not have any, so why should we? And you persistently “forget” that c88% UK GDP will no longer have to perform to your EU bureaucracy. That will save a fortune.

          • bill brown
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:53 am | Permalink


            that assumens you know which standards we will apply and ewe still do not know

          • Edward2
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

            We do bill.
            We trade now with nearly every nation and the standards are known.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      4x that number of stadia was coming to live in a country that did not have enough PPE to cover the true cost of outsourcing manufacturing work.

  50. M Hopkins
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Well there we have it. We are being held under house arrest because our Health Secretary is frit. According to the Daily Telegraph today he has admitted he is not comfortable with the idea of going into a crowded room even though he has already had coronavirus.

    I am not a doctor, but I understand that I have 2 immune systems, my cell-mediated immune system which is responsible for eliminating intra-cellular (meaning inside the cell) organisms that have been infected with a virus or bacteria. It mainly works through the production of white blood cells that digest and then excrete these cells. This process makes me sick – I get a fever, rash, cough, mucus and so forth, but these are not caused by the virus, but by my body’s response to the virus.

    In contrast, my humoral immune system targets extracellular (i.e. outside the cell) infecting agents (such as worms) and produces antibodies that call for a killing response, before the offending agent gets into my cells and makes me sick.

    With every naturally occurring infection both my immune systems respond, first the cell-mediated to clear the virus, then the antibody or humoral system to make antibodies to remember what happened, so my cells don’t get infected with the same pathogen more than once.

    The cell-mediated response usually lasts a week to ten days and then the virus is cleared, I make antibodies and am immune for life. The saying “give me a fever (that is, the cell-mediated response) and I can cure any disease” speaks to the power and efficiency of my cell-mediated immune system.

    With all this in mind, Mr Hancock should have some faith in his amazing immune system and go boldly forth, and allow us to do the same.

    Is it too much to expect that our Health Secretary and the Scientists advising him actually know something about how our bodies work?

  51. ian
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Fear rules.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Yes. And very easily and effectively. That is why Remainers used it in their campaign.

    • APL
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      ian: “Fear rules.”

      Yea, thanks to the BBC.

      It really needs to be shutdown after this. We won’t be able to afford it anyway.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Fear and never dispute your peers

      Yeah you’re correct fear does indeed rule

  52. NickC
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    JR, You are quite right to call for an immediate relaxation of lockdown.

    Covid19 is a serious disease for those vulnerable people with co-morbidities, but is no worse than seasonal flu for the majority of the population. We do not shut down society or the economy for flu, even though it can be a killer.

    The experiences of Japan, Taiwan, and Sweden, show that sensible measures have helped to reduce infection rates whilst encouraging herd immunity. This was the government’s strategy until it was bounced into total lockdown mode by the hysterical MSM and the usual coterie of Remain and CAGW doom-obsessed extremists.

    With no cure, yet plenty of spare NHS capacity and mothballed Nightingale hospitals, it is time to accept that the hystericals were wrong. And pack Prof Fergusson off to the Falklands where he can do less damage.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink


      You mean “survivor immunity”.

      And there is not yet any evidence that Covid 19 infection confers lasting immunity on its survivors either.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        get. your. fullstop. key. sorted. – it. looks. stupid.

      • NickC
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink



        “Herd immunity can only be reached by widespread vaccination … or by individuals falling ill and recovering thereby developing natural immunity against the virus“. (Science Media Centre). Get over it.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

          OK, please name a disease, to which a society has achieved “herd immunity” without a vaccine?

          You can name anything that you like, from smallpox and polio, through measles, to the common cold, and they never have.

          Have they?

          • Edward2
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

            Chickenpox is one of many.

          • NickC
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

            Martin, Everyone else knows what herd immunity means; and they know it can be acquired either naturally (by recovery from the disease), or by vaccination, or by a combination. I even helped you out with the definition from the Science Media Centre.

            Until the advent of modern vaccines, every society was protected by natural herd immunity. Or it ceased to exist at all. Natural herd immunity is all we have with covid19, once it has spread, because we don’t have a vaccine for it yet. Herd immunity also occurs in animals where it is mostly natural.

            You’ve been so keen to score a political point against the government’s original herd immunity strategy, you’ve tripped yourself up.

          • hefner
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

            Edward2, do your homework, only people who had it (usually at a young age) or were vaccinated are immune. So ‘herd immunity’ to chickenpox is, as NickC quotes, is only reached by widespread vaccination or by individuals getting the disease and recovering from it. Even so so-called chicken pox immune people can get shingles from the same virus later on.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

            So you are agreeing her.
            You get chickenpox at an early age, which was the most common time to get it, and you become immune from getting it again.
            I recall parents deliberately taking their children, when pre school, round to parties in order to become infected before they got older and the illness was more impactful.
            This is before they did their homework.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        Waiting for a vaccine which may be sometime never, according to Imperial.

        And your “…without a vaccine” at least admits that countries that have this disease under control can’t come out of lock-down until there is a vaccine either.

        I have a horrid feeling we are going to end up having to live (or die) with this one.

        In the meantime (if we aren’t allowed to say this was a Lab cock up) the wet markets are up and running again.

        What’s the next one going to be like ?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

          Of course they can come out of lockdown, just like China has, now that it has reduced infection rates to the occasional few every day or two, and which can be controlled by thorough contact tracing and isolation.

          Others are following on too.

          The whole world is not like this shambles of a country and Trump’s US, you know?

          • NickC
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

            So, if China is so commendable compared with the UK, why did it spread in China in the first place, Martin? You don’t want to lockdown our borders, so without herd immunity we are open to re-infection at any time from abroad, too. Oh, I remember, you want the whole world run on centralised authoritarian lines.

        • Anonymous
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

          And here’s the ****head whose economy wrecking advice we have been taking.

          It appears some animals are more equal than others in this not-so-Brave New World.

          This is utterly UTTERLY outrageous.

        • a-tracy
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

          Well exactly, why haven’t the Chinese killed the bats that are carrying sars/covid19 and closed down the wet markets? Why haven’t the WHO asked them to?

          • Fred H
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

            Chileans eat guinea pigs, Thais eat dogs, French delight in snails and dismembered frogs. In the Arabian peninsula sheep’s eyes are given to the guest of honour. Each to his own.

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

            None of these other animals have been repeatedly accused of infecting humans with a deadly untreatable disease that closes down world economies?

      • Richard1
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        you have no idea what you are talking about. it is not good to be so strident when speaking on something on which you have no knowledge or expertise. the state epidemiologist in Sweden has stated that he expects Stockholm county to achieve herd immunity by mid-May (without a vaccine).


    • bill brown
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink


      all your talk about extremism one way or another is really funny, considering coming from you with your extreme points of you

      • Edward2
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        There is nothing extreme about the facts the Nick gave us.
        You keep calling things you disagree with as extremist.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

          I have never mentioned extremism it is usually not a word I use, except when dealing with NIck C

          • NickC
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

            Bill B, You “never mention extremism” except when you do, is that it?

          • Edward2
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

            Which is a strange way of saying you actually do call people you disagree with extremists.

  53. Ian @Barkham
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I wonder how much of this is Government hype to appear in control. How much of it is MsM hysteria. Create fear and you are in the driving seat, or so they believe.

    As yet no vaccine as proved more the 58% effective against this type of virus. With the worst performers being around 10% effective.

    That is not to say we shouldn’t try and it is not to say that any percentage is better than none. The best defense is as it has always been – the humans own immune system.

    The Spanish Flu(H1N1 ) of 1918 knocked out some 228K of the UK population. Russian Flu(H1N1 )1977 saw its re-emergence(just a new name) a lot of illness, but for most our immune system inherited the protection from our forbearers so no massive death toll.

    Similar with Asian Flu 1957/58 not so aggressive but still causing 33K deaths, it re-emerged more aggressively as Hong Kong flu(still the same strain family) causing 80K deaths. That was considered to be a low outcome as we had an immune system able to cope. Yet in all situations with similar knowledge as we have today, there were no lock-downs, no infringements on freedoms. People got on with life.

    Viruses are known to morph. It is part of their own survival, if they keep killing their host they kill themselves, so they adapt to survive. Todays vaccine will not save tomorrows victim

    That is why the only real honest protection against a virus other than surviving its onslaught is to avoid its transmission (distance from its carriers). If it cant find a host it just dies, a vaccine cannot do that with any certainty.

    The Government and its messengers in the MsM have created an hysteria that is promising a perfect out-come. Its working for and against its self. Government will be blamed for creating Corvid. The Government will be blamed for punishing’s its survivors with as yet untold debts, that in themselves could exasperate the death rate. They took to much on, on the basis no one could solve the situation but ‘them’ and promised so much while trying to hide from the fall-out. It isn’t Government or Guidance it is de facto rule when you don’t engage.

    We are not all in this together – we are expected to be the puppets in a game of politics. Just an experiment based on control

  54. Martin
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    The only comment I would say about age is that some pensioners forget it is the younger folk going out to work and pay taxes that funds the NHS and state pensions that OAPs rely on, even in normal times.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      and the only comment I would make is that current taxpayers forget who paid for benefits, education, pregnancies, childbirth, roads, rails, armed forces etc etc. before becoming pensioners drawing on the money paid in for perhaps 50 years.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        OK. We all stay in lockdown then.

        • Frances Truscott
          Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

          Men ,fat people, and ethnic minorities are particularly at risk.
          Sensible pensioners are far less likely to spread the virus. They/ we don’t go out into crowds as much.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

          Even if covid doesn’t get us oldies, we don’t have that many more years left. But you? quite a few? Then I suggest you should want to get back to work for your future.

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        That’s the subtle difference, those that financed the system, never get their equal payout. Those that have never payed get basically a free ride.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      And some forget that old people receiving state pensions have paid taxes all their life that paid for the pension of those before them.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink


      Absolutely true, the working generation have always paid for those in retirement, as that was how the scheme was set up.

      Us older ones paid for our parents and grandparents, when we were working, so the point you are trying to make is ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      OAPs pay tax on their investments, savings, private pensions investments, stamp duty (if they move home), fuel & alcohol duty, VAT and still get 40% robbed off them on death. I pay many times the tax (in the UK) that an average worker pays in the UK. But as I live abroad I do not even get free NHS treatment (or much else) back.

      Not that I am an OAP or retired. Very many OAPs still work too or look after grandchildren free of charge.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

        I’m lucky. I don’t pay tax on my ‘investments’. At least, not any that have ever been made in the stock market. I recently relied on Neil Woodford’s reputation to invest some money in my SIPP into his Income Focus Fund. Like other investments (Friends Provident endowment, Equitable Life pension) – it lost money. Plenty of money.

        One little investment I had – with the CoOp – a bit of life insurance with some sort of endowment attached did a bit better. I paid in £4 a month from the age of 22 until I was 65 – and paid in a total of about £2k. It paid out £17k when I was 65. Was that any good? We had high inflation in the 70s and 80s. I wonder how much I would have earned if had paid £4 a month into a building society savings account for 43 years.

    • SM
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      On the other hand, most pensioners will remember their own working lives when they did precisely the same for their parents’ generation.

      And most of my fellow-pensioner friends believe their children’s and grandchildren’s future is very much more important than prolonging their own lives at great expense (in all senses).

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      I doubt, however, that OAPs forget the 40 odd years they have spent working and paying into the system. Forced to pay into what they thought was an insurance scheme against old age but was actually a ponzi scheme ( or possibly downright theft on a huge scale).

    • Irene
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      The only comment I would make about age is that some younger folk forget that it is today’s older folk who went out to work and paid taxes throughout their working life to fund not only the NHS, but to provide for all the other systems that rely on taxation to fund them, past generations included, while also contributing to their own state pension that they hoped they would live long enough to enjoy.

      A state pension is not a benefit; it is an entitlement by contribution. Many people die long before then get to receive their pension, but contributed to it regardless.

      Most people in receipt of a pension still pay taxes today, on their savings and investments, if they’re lucky enough to have had enough to save (money not squandered on frivolities, but saved for that rainy day) and all the other stuff that LL mentioned above.

      Many members of the older generation are now providing care for their parents, free of charge, saving the economy £132 billion a year or more by now. About 2 million carers are over the age of 65. Carer’s allowance is a measly £67.25 a week but you only get it if you provide care for more than 35 hours a week. Carer’s allowance is taxable too. That’s why many carers are struggling to survive. They’re not living a life of luxury. Just about managing.

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      We now work on and on and pay higher taxes as we also draw a pension . Many are working until 80 yrs

  55. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I read that of the 18.1 MILLION people that entered the UK in the 3 months before the lockdown, only between 2 and 3 hundred were quarantined. Most of that enormous number had no checks and were just allowed in.

    Are we being governed by idiots? Why was this allowed. Surely at the first whiff of a global pandemic you should SHUT your borders – only allow UK citizens to return – and test them all when they land – and quarantine any that need it.

    • NickC
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Mike Wilson, Indeed we should have shut our borders at the first whiff of a global pandemic. It was only the doom and panic mongers shrieking about “xenophobia” (like Andy on here) who helped to block it.

      • bill brown
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:51 am | Permalink


        you are again making assumptions based on no real facts

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      and I saw many of them!

    • Mark B
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Are we being governed by idiots?

      Where as before BREXIT we would have just blamed the EU. 😉

      I’d call that progress 🙂

    • Rose
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      273 were quarantined and even with that low number other people had to be evicted to accommodate them. Where on earth would you have put the rest? We are talking about one and half million Britons who came back and about three million who might have wanted to. Most of the one and a half million will have gone home and kept to the rules like everyone else. The media are painting a picture of them all swanning around while the rest of us are at home. I know there are some groups who aren’t keeping to the guidelines but they wouldn’t be anyway, not just because they have just flown back.

      The advice was that the Wuhan virus had already taken hold in the country and that screening this one and a half million wouldn’t have made much difference. As the rate of infection comes down, screening might have to be introduced.

  56. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    And why isn’t this new tracking app on GitHub? So that any and every developer in the world could have a look and make improvements? And make sure there is nothing sinister going on. Is the next thing that we’ll be fined if we go out without a smart phone. I often forget mine.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      They don’t want you to understand how much of your personnel and your contacts data is collected and collated.

      There can be no other reason.

  57. Original Chris
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    The links to the two highly significant statistics and papers that I commented on above are below. The information within these documents is critical to an understanding of COVID-19 disease control and they should be required reading for all politicians involved with control policy:
    CDC statistics:

    HCQ research papers summary and conclusion:

  58. a-tracy
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Honest to goodness supermarkets put all our health at risk with their nhs and carer early priority opening hours. So 3-4 mornings per week the potentially most infected, infectious of us go into the nice overnight cleaned stores, handle all the goods whilst everyone else queues up outside waiting to hold on to their shopping trolley handles and pick up food they may have touched after treating covid19 patients all night!

    Why weren’t front line medical people who we’ve been told have been tested and are by far the most infected/infectious asymptotic carriers given the home deliveries?

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      It is probably the same reason that NHS etc. don’t practice social distancing when seeking media attention. Until you all have it are we bothered.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        Or doing the Haka.

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      This is a problem during this crisis and prior to this period, I have written to the Royal College of Nursing re the thoughtless and unprofessional pathogen carrying wearing of indoor uniforms inside supermarkets and public places. Many staff go straight out of work into food stores and take their days contamination with them. Dr’s in general practice are worse as they don’t wear uniforms which can be changed on site and their clothes are worn day after day.
      Of course we must realise that many other workers now wear similar uniforms and like to display their tight badly laundered, scruffy mimicry of a uniform in these places also.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink



        Have said this for years, incomprehensible in todays situation.

  59. Lifelogic
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I think you mean I just added it up!

  60. Everhopeful
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I wonder how a totally non scientific leader chooses which scientific advice to follow…especially as now such advice has become very politicised.
    I personally would look back over past performance…you know…to see how much a particular scientific body had got right in the past….or not!

    • Mark B
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      I am given to understand from other sources that those on the SAGE are all on the government payroll. It is my view that this is a mistake as these individuals are incapable of looking at the bigger picture.

  61. Doug Powell
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I noticed the Remoaner 5th Column, aka ‘The Dinosaur Brigade’, was out in force in the House yesterday. Dutifully stepping up, each making the same pointless demand that the transition period be extended beyond 31st December. HMG has been resolute in saying “NO!” I sense it says “NO” with a degree of ‘pay back’ for the insolence it received from the 5th Column stalking behind the ‘Benn’ Act!

    Why can’t these people move on, or move out? Given the current majority it is likely that, barring doing something crass, this government and its successors should still be incumbent after certainly 2 more GEs. That, with the almost 5 years of this parliament still to run could mean 15 years of uninterrupted office!

    The Remoaners argue that the present demographic is that the young, are more kindly disposed to the EU than the older generation, who will die off in fairly short order – then we will return to the land of dictatorship by the unelected! No democracy – No accountability – Surrender of sovereignty!

    What the Remoaners seem blind to, is that after 15 years – 15 years of new voters, who will have only known of life outside the EU, that this ‘young’ demographic will change! Also, when the impact of the effects of the considerable disquiet welling up within the EU at this moment is manifest, many erstwhile EU supporters will be of the opinion that: “We are glad we are not part of it! In 15 years The EU may not exist!

    Remoaners, there is much more to life than being a cynic for at least 15 years! Get a life!

  62. Yossarion
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Everyday the BBC covers what is no More than a daily SNP Party Political Broadcast at 12 30 hrs,Give the BEEB a call John and ask why the English Have this Broadcast in their Country, its like having to listen to Lord Haw Haw.

  63. The End
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Boris was scripted, destined to be a disaster for the greatest globalist good. No amount of common sense will change his mind.

  64. bill brown
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    UK now has Europe’s highest date rate we still have to be very careful

    • Andy
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      The UK also has the most incompetent government in Europe. I wonder if there’s a link?

      • Fred H
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

        ah. something sensible to discuss.

      • NickC
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Andy, No, the high death rate comes from two main factors: the high population density in England; and the centralised, top-down, 1950s Soviet-style, incompetent NHS management. And you want more of both.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      UK has 2nd highest obesity rate in EU, third in Europe (Turkey, Malta, UK) but hasn’t been careful about it.

    • Frances Truscott
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      You assume other countries count as we do and they do not. You also have to factor in
      population and population density.
      All those who pushed for free movement leading to massive population rise have deaths on their hands.
      And as to testing capacity Germany protected their capacities yet our “region” wasn’t supposed to need it.

      • bill brown
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        Frances Truscott,

        Please, kindly explain to me , what impact free movement over the past 20 years has had of implications for Covid , if this is the case at all?

        • NickC
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

          18 million people arrived in the UK in the 3 months before lockdown. Are you sure they were all disease free, Bill? Not much point locking down the country when the borders aren’t locked down.

          • bill brown
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:50 am | Permalink


            Blame the government and how many of the arrivals live in the UK the vast majority

          • Edward2
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

            Open borders is an EU policy.

          • hefner
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

            How many of these 18 million people are British or residents in Britain? That they were not tested (I was not tested returning from France on 19 March) is the real problem showing the lack of preparation of the Government and of its agencies. On 31 January we were (almost) all out celebrating another step in our exit from the EU and the politicians who should have been at least aware of what was happening in China and of the cases appearing in Italy, Spain and France clearly could not care less about that.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Check deaths per million population bill.
      More realistic a measurement.

  65. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I was just beginning to see the death rate down on two consecutive days and thinking about a little normality and then blast ! up again today.Talk about false endings of this life story.I am not sure about staggered return to work. I think we need to put a little fairness aside and concentrate on practicalities and re infection rate which also could bring businesses crashing,

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      Taking a 7 day moving average of Covid19 deaths in NHS England hospitals seem be decreasing by about 20 per day

    • Helen Smith
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      It goes up every Tuesday due to the lag in reporting over the weekend, compare each day with the previous week, we are down nearly 33% on last Tuesday.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      How many of those admitted into hospital in critical care this last week have been working outside their home?

      Doing what occupations?

  66. Ian Wilson
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    I am at a loss how the government can make sensible decisions on the poor quality of statistics published. Yesterday 288 deaths were reported, today 693, a statistically impossible swing. Boris told us a few days ago we were at the point of maximum risk when other figures showed the peak on April 8th. We have an Office for National Statistics – are they incapable of producing proper data?
    Is there any good reason why garden centres, which are largely outdoors, cannot open immediately, otherwise an entire industry will be destroyed? Why can we buy plants in B&Q but not in a garden centre?

  67. Frances Truscott
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    I need to be able to hug my adult children and my chap. We all live in separate homes and have obeyed every rule.
    I am under 70 but over 65.
    Someone asked me to do a task today using the computer and I cannot. I have not been in the company of another human for 8 weeks.
    Just talking on the phone or computer just isn’t good enough.

  68. ian
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    As usual, John is right in all that he has written and that is to keep him and us on this blog in financial good health whatever and no slacking, max effort from all workers and no excuses and people over sixty if retired can do whatever they like without question.

  69. Everhopeful
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Neil Ferguson has had to resign!
    Personally I am too scared of the virus to do that…but then what do I know? I’m not a government scientific adviser.

  70. glen cullen
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Update from yesterdays aviation discussion -Job cuts

    British Airays 12,000
    Virgin Atlantic 3,000
    Ryan Air 3,000
    Rolls Royce upto 8,000
    GE Aviation Wales consulting on job cuts
    Suppy Chain jobs unknown

    • Fred H
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      they may be headline numbers but what about the single person jobs, the 2 to 10 businesses folding with no sign of possible recovery. They amount to massive unemployment, debts, economic meltdown for months if not years ahead.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Yeah Fred H you’re correct

        I understand that during the past recording period there has been an additional 1.8 million universal credit cliamants

        Say goodbye to the skills and expertise within the tier 2&3 supply chain

  71. rose
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    “The others should not be placed under house arrest against their will.”

    Was this ever on the cards? Lady Altmann has been very naughty in working people up into a state of anxiety and threatening civil unrest, suggesting old people might go to prison. She is just another remainiac, using old people as cannon fodder in her vendetta against the Government. She should be ashamed of herself but she won’t be as they never are.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      of course ‘old people’ are prepared to go to prison. Lives are becoming meaningless and miserable for far too many OAPs.
      Empty lives, almost no social contact, not seeing family, missing important days in the family lives etc.
      Fear raised to the point of sleep-walking their existence while awaiting a miserable death constantly harrangued at them on television and radio.

  72. Helen Smith
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    I am completely with you on this.

    Firstly, it would punish those who have taken care not to get infected and cause the NHS problems.

    The idea that a system where someone would remain locked down in their home, and have to watch a neighbour going off to work or down the pub, or have his family round would work is for the birds.

    The temptation for fraud would be enormous, either getting someone else to take the test, or forging a certificate, on top of that we would be providing a perverse incentive to catch the damn thing.

    Again, you can’t discriminate on age grounds. We are all in this together or we are not.

  73. Fred H
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Prof Neil Ferguson has quit as a government adviser on coronavirus after admitting an “error of judgement”.

    Prof Neil Ferguson is one of the world’s most influential disease modellers.
    He is director of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis.
    The centre’s mathematical predictions advise governments and the World Health Organization on outbreaks from Ebola in West Africa to the current pandemic.
    It was that group’s work, in early January, that alerted the world to the threat of coronavirus. It showed hundreds if not thousands of people were likely to have been infected in Wuhan, at a time when Chinese officials said there were only a few dozen cases.
    But he shot to public attention as “Professor Lockdown”.
    In mid-March, the maths showed the UK needed to change course or a quarter of a million people would die in a “catastrophic epidemic”.
    Those calculations helped transform government policy and all lives.

  74. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Is the whole thing a cunning stunt to cull us baby boomers? What better way to get the bill for state pensions and care down than to get the numbers right down.

    • L Jones
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      And to attempt to scupper Brexit, perhaps?

  75. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Provided that social spacing of 2 metres is maintained, people should be allowed to go back to work. Restaurants will need a booking system. Soccer matches must be played behind closed doors or very sparsely attended. Pubs may not open as pubs but pub space could be converted to restaurant use. Hotel rooms must not be shared by people from different households (adultery is out but incest is OK). Queues outside shops must have 2 metre spacing, as Tesco and Sainsbury do already.

    Use of public transport could be relaxed only slightly; it is difficult to enforce social spacing in buses and trains (platform occupancy would not to be controlled) and virtually impossible in aeroplanes. Driving solo in a motor car does not spread the virus if you wash hands before and after your journey. The lockdown on international travel must be maintained pro tem.

    We need to get our export industries and construction back to work, even if it is difficult to enforce social spacing. I am thinking of car plants.

    The main difficulty is a severe shortage of PPE. We need to wind down furloughing and instead allow businesses, institutions and individuals to purchase PPE from any UK source and bill the Treasury. It would be expensive but cheaper than furloughing and it would boost supply dramatically.

    And we need the children back in school.

    I like Mr Gove’s idea of localised lockdowns where the virus flares up again.

    Finally, why is the NHS mothballing the Nightingale hospitals? I thought that the idea was to separate out Coronavirus patients from other patients so that other hospital treatments could restart. If it’s a question of staff retention, we will probably have to pay a bit more for doctors and especially nurses.

  76. John Probert
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Good interview John on Newsnight well done sending the right message

  77. APL
    Posted May 5, 2020 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Mike Wilson: “A population well educated enough to know that the pronoun ‘it’ does not have an apostrophe when it is used as a possessive pronoun.”

    A fair point Mike. My English teacher Mrs Walters ( bless her ), tried her best.

    But given that Boris went to Eaton, and Neil Ferguson, professor of mathematical biology two highly educated men, have between them managed to lose 20% of the British economy overnight throwing a million people out of work. A little bit of stupid might have leavened the mix a little.

  78. rose
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Interesting that the girlfriend turns out to be an anti Brexit campaigner, because I have thought all along that the curfew is the biggest anti Brexit campaign yet.

  79. a-tracy
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been getting quite anxious all week that I’m perhaps worrying too much about the future for my children as everyone seems so calm and unconcerned about putting the U.K. on hold for three months. Inside I’m freaking out because I’ve always believed money trees don’t exist and no-one, no government, sponsor, has ever given me or my family anything, we’ve had to make it not just for ourselves but quite a number of other people.

    Then I read everyone just expecting free handouts, and another couple of months wanted with more ‘free’ money to be printed for them – like school unions who are demanding not to go back to September – what would they say if we said ok but you all won’t get paid, because that’s what lots of businesses are experiencing. You can’t be paid without offering the service?

    I’d have thought this last few months would have been the best of times for libraries to serve the public with so many people with time on their hands, they could have had a queue system like a supermarket but it isn’t obviously seen as essential for poor people or children to read, yet these institutions expect millions per year. They could have ordered their selection on line and just get a pick up time. It obscene that everyone is just expecting money for nothing with no consequences.

    Garden waste collections why was that stopped? Why didn’t schools ask for laptop donations instead of having to buy new and giving them away? Universities expecting handouts for nothing, they want to be considered private businesses and set their own agendas and courses but then they just want taxpayers to bail them out – what are they going to do in return take a pay cut? How’s it all going to be paid for fairly? Are the people struggling on and trying to keep working now going to get all the bills? Because you know if we are I’m not sure …..why should we carry on whilst everyone else bails?

    You know when universities charge £3000 per term then don’t be surprised if the people taking on loans for that don’t want to pay for something they’re not getting because that’s what happens in the REAL world not the magic faraway money tree world the Unions and Professors think we live in. Is someone suggesting we pay all the garden centres for lost stock sales, what about pay for all the meals we don’t eat, what about future taxpayers buy all the tickets for cinemas and entertainments that aren’t going on if we’re all going to be getting made up money! If we can get free money for buses and trains and aircraft that aren’t flying then does everyone get free money if we just close down?

    Seriously John, who is going to be paying for this?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 9, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Certainly right on University degrees. Even without the covid disruption most degrees are not remotely worth the circa £50K of debt that it incurred (plus three years loss of earnings and £3,000 interest PA on the debt too. Over half the student going have 3 Ds or lower so will not really benefit anyway and many of the subjects being taught are rather a joke anyway.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 9, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Clearly the tax payers will be paying for it. No one else can or will do (other than perhaps the lenders should the government defaults on the debt).

  • 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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