Test and trace

In order to get out of lock down the government will want to put in place a system of tracking and testing for the presence of the virus, to ensure those with it self isolate to stop the spread. They will doubtless want to follow WHO advice on these matters.

The WHO proposes that a country combines technology with people driven systems. Technology can help, but not everyone has smartphones and not all smartphone users will want to download the app. Some who do will get flat batteries or forget to switch on from time to time.

In practice any system relies on  people in the country to identify symptoms and self isolate   if there is good reason to think they have the virus. They should now have access to tests so they can find out more quickly than 14 days if they need to continue with their self isolation.

It means a person who does have a test and tests positive for the virus also needs to co-operate over recent contacts. The smartphone app could help. Otherwise they need to  list their contacts to the authorities who can then in turn advise those people. Even with the app there may well need to be interpretation of the contact advised by the phone, as some may not  be serious or lasting contacts, or there may have been some physical separation or barrier which the phone could not see.

As we are dealing with millions of people and possibly thousands of cases, there will be many cases where judgements are made that others may disagree with.  What matters is that overall, the  majority of cases successfully self isolate all those with the disease and those who came into too much contact with them pending their own tests. It also rests on quick reliable and easy tests. I trust the government now has in place these measures which it says it wants, to allow a more general return to work which is vital for livelihoods and the supply of goods and services.

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  1. O’Gorman
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    We know this government is run by people who misused personal data during the referendum campaign. No one in their right mind would download an app offered by this government

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      You are forced by the fact of an emergency to trust those implementing the necessary measures, as happens in wars etc.

      Yes there are risks.

      However, I am pleased to see John at last writing about the correct policies, as applied by those countries which have been exemplary in their successes against this virus.

      However, I still doubt whether there is either the resolve or organisation to implement them fully and properly, that is, to be any more than another Nightingale Hospitals PR operation.

      Because of the wasted time and extent of infection here, this operation will now have to be vastly larger than it needed to have been if it is to work at all, but here is where we are.

      The signs are not that encouraging so far. If the Government were really serious, then they’d be commandeering hotels etc. to use for isolation purposed for those with nowhere else to go, and so on.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        That was done back in February 18th
        Heathrow had two hotel set aside for people flying back into LondonHoliday Inn and the Ariel.
        And another in Milton Keynes.
        Search “quarantine hotels at Heathrow”
        Even the Guardian has an article confirming it.
        Way before you started moaning.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 11, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

          I mean for the many thousands of those tested and tracked.

          As well you know.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

            No switching to another topic is allowed.
            Read what you originally said.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        The fact the Nightingale Hospitals weren’t needed was a brilliant success. The actions of the Labour Welsh government, not so much.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Commandeering hotels for isolation? Would that mean the 100+ a day that has been arriving from France? Seems a terrible punishment – commit a crime – and get put in a hotel and waited on, room cleaned, free electric, hot water, bed changed, free food etc . THAT’LL TEACH EM.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

          Lets all head for the coast, dress in well used clothing, get a bit wet, deny any knowledge of English. Sorted.
          Comfort for the duration. Eventually you can say I have discovered I am English.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        1940 Keep Calm & Carry On

        2020 Keep Safe & Stay at Home.

        After 75 years of nannying & adding ingredients the political class have truly emasculated the British character

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      The only way this business will be resolved is by using personal data.

      Would you rather be left to perish in the road because an ambulance crew couldn’t invade your personal space and take personal data? Get real.

      • steve
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Sir Joe Soap

        I’d rather die than have my country turned into a pseudo commy state.

        • Cheshire Girl
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

          I am a bit fed up with these ‘conspiracy’ theories.

          To be blunt, I don’t care what they know about me. As Tony Hancock said: ‘I’ve led a good, clean, ‘boring’ life!

          • Fred H
            Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

            some of us would prefer to keep our indiscretions to ourselves !!

          • Ed M
            Posted May 10, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

            Good one!

        • Fred H
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          next step the chip inserted at birth. The best tracking for 365/24. Forget your 5G scare stories – the real threat just round the corner. The TV daily (hourly!) broadcasts from Big Brother rotating members of the UK Politburo.
          The mobile or chip will prove your are within reach of a TV.
          (or else).

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink


    • formula57
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      @ O’Gorman – But then no-one in their right mind would use Facebook (“a surveillance company rebranded as social media”) but they do so your point, valid against all recent governments, seems lost.

      • Graham Wheatley
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        Mr. Sugarmountain isn’t smart enough to have invented nor developed Facebook. It’s likely a front for a CIA data gathering op.

        Likewise the Ancestry websites. What better way to build a DNA database than to have people voluntarily send in their samples (AND pay for it to be done!) ? If the security forces haven’t yet thought of sequestering those data, they soon will!

        • hefner
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          Have you ever looked at Mark Z’s profile (for example on Wikipedia), specially his education achievements before writing that he ‘isn’t smart enough to have invented or developed FB’.
          Out of curiosity, Graham, what have YOU invented and developed?

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Agreed, O’Gorman. These two comments I have seen hold warnings for us: this Orwellian nightmare is what the Democrats in the USA are pushing for, and is what the Chinese already have (and much more). The state China has reached is frankly most alarming, and it is what is being attempted by the Left in the USA and also here, under the guise of healthcare. Step by step, so the public doesn’t realise when the point of no return is reached.

      Two comments on tracing:
      ‘“Contact Tracing” is Orwellian doublespeak for “tracking you at all times”. One more way the globalists are using the virus to push their long planned for agenda’

      “Democrats just released HR 6666, also known as “The Trace Act” The bill would provide $100 BILLION to institute contact tracing protocols throughout the country This is the future Democrats want This is a totalitarian power grab from the left….”

      There are some principled Tory MPs who have in the past said they want to stand up for our rights and freedoms but they are not making their voices heard in this left of centre government.

    • Ed M
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      I am happy for the government to invade my persona data. And if they uncover anything interesting, may they please tell me!

      Seriously, government has to do what it can to beat this coronavirus – not just health but also the economy. I don’t want my nephews and nieces having to pay for this for years to come.

      In normal times, of course, our private data is private. But this is not normal times. So the government is welcome to trowel though my private data – couldn’t care less – as long as it helps resolve this crisis.

      • matthu
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        I wonder how you would feel if (say) you were all set to attend your daughter’s wedding (or perhaps embark on the trip of a lifetime that you had been planning for over a year) and you carefully haven’t allowed yourself to venture outside for 21 days, and then you get (erroneously, in your opinion) a demand via your smart phone that you stay indoors for 14 days because you may have come into contact with someone who has reportedly been displaying symptoms similar to Covid-19?

        Or how would you feel if a protest group, perhaps intent on bringing down the economy as we know it, starts making fictitious reports that they have all been displaying Covid-19 symptoms – in a deliberate attempt to inconvenience hundreds or even thousands of other people who may have travelled on the same public transport?

        How would you feel if the government seeks to extend the number of reasons it can use the tracking facility for – initially perhaps to combat terrorism?

        Or to track a parent who has absconded with their child?

        Or to track someone who has been diagnosed with a completely different but highly infectious communicable disease?

        Or someone who has not been paying their child maintenance?

        • matthu
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          (If you feel intensely relaxed about all of the above, perhaps you should consider swapping your smart phone for an ankle tag. ..)

          • Al
            Posted May 10, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

            “perhaps you should consider swapping your smart phone for an ankle tag.” – matthu

            If you’re carrying a cellphone or tablet, you are already effectively carrying an ankle tag. It doesn’t even need to be a smartphone.

            Location can be traced through GPS & location services if they are turned on, your bluetooth via which devices it comes into contact with (as the current tracing app works). Without those, you can be tracked by which cellphone towers your phone pings off or by cell site simulators like Stingrays, and even non-smartphone can offer up IP address, timezone, and network status as well as (obviously) their phone number, as a fingerprint.

            Seriously if you’re that concerned about privacy, don’t have a phone at all. Or leave it at home.

          • matthu
            Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

            A Smartphone should not ordinarily be expected to order me to be confined to my house with no right of redress. As it might do with this buggy blue-tooth tracking technology which also tries to detect whenever you have come too close to anyone else who subsequently claims to be exhibiting CV-19 symptoms.

        • Ed M
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          Let’s get the economy back on track instead of the possibility of returning back to the Flintstones.

          There will be hiccups on the way, of course – and let’s deal with them on the way – but better that than than running around in bearskins and hunting for food with spears.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

          ‘ a protest group, perhaps intent on bringing down the economy as we know it,’

          I think that has already happened.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        Yep. That is what they said when the Germany census first asked for your religion. How innocuous is that?

  2. Nigl
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    What Brandon Lewis called a little local difficulty with testing turns out to be having to fly them to the US. The government totally dissembled in its reply on the tracking app and is now scrambling to sort out basic problems that should have been resolved at the design stage .
    More frankly ‘lies’ that continue to give me the impression the government is more interested in covering its own backside,

    You finish ‘trusting’ the government has measures in place. Don’t you know? If you don’t what chance have we got?

    As for trust for me it has evaporated.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Well, yes Nigl.

      There is nothing in what John says to indicate that test, trace, and isolate will be implemented with anything like the comprehensiveness and the rigour which is needed to defeat the epidemic.

      It looks like box-ticking.

      What did South Korea etc. do?

      Test – tick.

      Track – tick.

      Isolate – tick.

      But largely left to self-assessment and to self-imposition, and with little organisational or technical back-up at all.

      If so, then an utter waste of time for the public, but as you say, a backside-coverer for the Tories yet again.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink


        Reported today in the media that South Korea are having to tighten people movement again, because infection rate has gone up again since it was relaxed.

        The thing in their favour is they have kept it to low numbers with quick intervention and action.

        • Graham Wheatley
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          A “2nd Wave” (or 3rd or 4th) are INEVITABLE because we have not allowed the otherwise healthy population to build the herd-immunity – the Government’s initial tactic which seemed to change almost overnight. Why was that, I wonder?

          Without that immunological ‘fire-break’ there is nothing to stop the flames spreading again once the wind picks up.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

            If you have suppressed every case, as a fair number of countries are approaching, then of course a second wave is not inevitable

            You mean “survivor immunity” anyway.

            There is no evidence that infection confers lasting immunity either, and it would cost hundreds of thousands of lives.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          Yes, but the very importance is in the relative.

          Their numbers are absolutely tiny compared to the UK’s, and even this latest cluster is just a few dozen.

          Most of all, the have acted decisively and rigorously about it too.

          Meanwhile life returns to something like normal there.

          We can only watch with envy.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

            Closed their borders too.
            Unlike the UK

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 11, 2020 at 5:59 am | Permalink

            Whose fault is that, when the Government have a majority of eighty?

          • Edward2
            Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

            Not allowed under EU rules
            Aggressively opposed by you.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Everything is the fault of the government. They should have planned everything. They should design and manufacture the test kits, the PPE, the vaccines, etc etc and now of course they are also designing the App for tracing. Not a single error has ever been made by the beloved NHS – everything that goes wrong is the fault of the government in general and Boris in particular.
        You can’t imagine how relieved I am, M i C, that I don’t live in the world that you crave

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

          What’s so terrible about living in Australia, in New Zealand, or even in Greece or Germany for that matter, Jim?

          No, not everything is the fault of this government.

          It is you, the Tory voters, who for decades have voted for such types, bent on destroying the institutions of a decent, orderly, responsible, modern, reason-based society, who are mainly responsible.

          This latest crew couldn’t change that in time, even if they wanted.

          Well, you have what you elected.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

            The size of the State and the amount of money we spend on the State and the percentage of GDP we take and transfer to the State has risen.
            Your statement is complete nonsense.

          • Fred H
            Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

            Martin – – so who would you, or even did, vote for? Its a given that you sent in a handwritten vote for Xi Jinping.

      • steve
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        “What did South Korea etc. do?”

        N. Korea makes for a good border to keep the virus out.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink


          Nonsense South Korea is an open society

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

          S. Korea started with the most cases in the world after China, but have triumphed nonetheless.

      • miami.mode
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink
        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

          Thirty four.

          One two-thousandth of the daily cases in the US.

          Do keep up.

          • miami.mode
            Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:43 pm | Permalink


    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      First, in order to deal with problems effectively, any business person knows you need to face up to them head on. It seems to be in the nature of politicians and thereby the civil service and NHS management to dissemble. They are not facing problems head-on, else they would be honest with us and themselves.
      The fact that we have practically no scientists or self-made successful business people in government has become screamingly obvious in the virus crisis.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      And now, from those tests, the American govt will have all those people’s DNA as well.

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


        Who’s its President?

      • Graham Wheatley
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        Don’t forget about the Ancestry websites – build a DNA database on the quiet under the premise of tracing family roots, AND get the punters to pay to be on it voluntarily!

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      This is nothing to do with containment and everything to do with control. A population that is scared is much easier to ‘govern’.

      • Richard
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        +1 Agreed. The overthrow of democracy simultaneously throughout the Western world is a long term plan being implemented on the back of a virus that, certainly for healthy U66s is less dangerous than the ‘flu.

        A May 2010 scenario planning report produced by The Rockefeller Foundation and the Global Business Network envisioned the likely creation of a technological police state in response to a deadly worldwide pandemic.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        Yes, you can get them to vote Leave on exactly that basis too, as was done.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but not so easy to tax! They are too afraid to work for more than their own sustenance.

      • Donna
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        That’s why the Government when down the Wuhan Flu Project Fear route rather than a sensible, Public Information Campaign with a “keep calm and carry on” message tagged on.

        Their irresponsibility is now coming back to bite them since those who they terrorised won’t easily be persuaded to go back to work.

  3. oldtimer
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    As with all measures introduced by the NHS to combat the virus, what could possibly go wrong with such a fool proof system?

    Yesterday Mr Shapps urged people to travel to work on foot or by bicycle because he will severely limit use of train and bus capacity. It is unclear to me if he has calculated the effective capacity of his walking and cycling alternatives while preserving social distancing. Furthermore has he identified how everyone will store their bicycles when they arrive at their intended destinations?

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

      @ oldtimer

      Shapps hasn’t even thought about how to actually make the cyclists use the cycle lanes.

      The fanatic element of the cycling world is going to be a problem. I foresee a punch up.

      • majorfrustration
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        Brings back memories of the Goons.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

          The Goons were clever!

          • Everhopeful
            Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

            I think actually one could argue that The Goons” ( like most post war comedy) were subversive. In other words they were probably a foundation stone of each and every madness we see today
            Had “The Goons” not emerged we might yet have a health service and a government.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

            Writing of which, where’s our very own Bluebottle?


            Are you there?

          • Edward2
            Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

            What is it with you lefty types that you have resort to personal abuse?

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink


        Shapps said he would increase the width of the pavements, given he cannot move houses and shops, I guess he means he is going to narrow the roads.

        We will now get e bikes, e scooters, and normal cyclists on the paths, guess we will need to wear shin pads and crash helmets when taking a walk soon.

        • Otto
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          e bikes etc. Has Shapps calculated how many of those who want them live on the ground floor as they are very heavy and cannot really be carried up stairs or able to be put in a lift (which would annoy other passengers) and where will the e bikes be put in peoples flats and when they are wet and muddy.

        • Sea Warrior
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

          He does know that cars have been getting bigger, doesn’t he?
          I am sick and tired of dicing with death because full-grown adults want to cycle on a footpath rather than using a safe cycle-lane. The pendulum has swung too far in favour of the cyclists.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          Looking out my window at the rain and near gale condition at the moment, 10 degrees temp’, beautiful British summer. E-scooter like Barcelona or the protected Toronto PATH? Hmmmm…e-scooter.

    • Nigl
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      Again, has some sense to it but frankly open to ridicule that the fifth biggest economy in the world (once) should go back to bicycles. Again no thought for the elderly/infirm for whom a cycle is an impossibility and how far does he expect us to travel on these wretched things.

      What a message? Effectively ‘house arrest’

      Government should be giving us hope. It is not giving me any.

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink


        “the elderly/infirm for whom a cycle is an impossibility”

        There are always mobility scooters -:)

        My small town in Lincolnshire is swamped with them. Very cheerful people they are too often customising them.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          Oh hell yes, very cheerful. Best to be sick and a victim in the U.K., then you are ‘special’. It’s just everyone else overworked, overtaxed, overtired. I’m thinking it’s over for the layabouts.

      • jerry
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        @Nigl; “how far does he expect us to travel on these wretched [bicycles].”

        Apparently, according to the Minster yesterday, the DfT thinks the majority only travel 3 miles from home, who are these idiots, even when I used to live and work in the same small village it was further than 3 miles from home to work, at least by footpath/road! Also it might be acceptable to expect people to walk or cycle to/from work in central London but what about say Halifax, sales of mountain bikes would increase though…

        I wonder if the DfT have taken some stats of were these ‘typical’ people live and work, then measured a Crows flight path on Google maps to get their ‘typical’ distances?…

        The DfT Minsters body language, during his No.10 briefing speech, gave all the appearances of someone who was reading from a script he does not agree with but had been overruled on.

      • Dave Andrews
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        On my cycle to work, the main infirmity I discern amongst the majority car drivers is being out of condition.
        Fit people cope better with infections generally, not just the coronavirus where being overweight is a dangerous combination.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          You mind what you are breathing in! All those fumes.

      • Graham Wheatley
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        No it doesn’t have any sense. It’s absurd.

        I had the need to drive along part of Southsea seafront last week (shopping trips for some elderly friends, before anyone asks) and that route was the quickest and shortest.

        There is a very wide and very expensive cycle lane (partly funded via MY Council Tax contributions) alongside the promenade, installed several years ago on the say-so of our Glorious Leader (/s) Gerald Vernon-Jackson.

        ALL of the cyclists I passed in that 2 minute transit were NOT using the cycle lane provided for them, but riding slowly (some actually walking) along in the MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. Several were clearly annoyed that I had the temerity to ‘want’ to be driving along their new-found playground.

        If we can fine people substantial amounts of money for walking in a park then there should also be a hefty financial penalty for cyclists not using a cycle lane where it is provided!

        • glen cullen
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          My council has spent tens of millions on cycle lanes that absolutely no-one and I mean no-one uses

    • SM
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      Can’t think what all the fuss is about, surely one can just summon one’s coachman and tell him to prepare one’s barouche or phaeton for a quick jaunt to town for the day? Sadly, because of social distancing, one might have to dump the postillion.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        Will Schapps and the rest of them be giving up their ministerial cars.
        I thought public transport was some sort of nirvana when we reduced emissions by ditching the car.
        Once more personal responsibility is best. The car is king.
        Bitter blow for the followers of Greta the xxxxxx and her puppeteers.

    • Stred
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      The Koreans were using smartphone tracking months ago. They make them. Google and Apple made a download available free. The NHS decided to design its own special app which runs down the batteries and doesn’t keep the information on the phone but in a central computer. How do they manage to screw up IT every time?

      Grant Shapps was going all Green a few weeks ago and telling us that we will not be able to use private cars and that public transport is the answer. Now it’s bikes and walking the usual twelve to sixty miles to work. The private car park is the most secure and isolated form of transport but the Chief Officer and ministers show us the graphs of the rising number of journeys made to get to work or buy food and we are ticked off or fined by the police at road blocks. There seems to be some sort of green lurgy creeping over the government.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink


      Limiting the amount of public transport is in sane. Public transport needs to be expanded to more than it was. In the case of the NHS the Govt was keen to open new capacity (Nightingales), have a national effort (ventillators etc), increase labour (retired doctors and nurses, volunteers etc). Where is the equivalent effort to get people and the economy moving?

      I am afraid (and I mean genuinely afraid) that this Govt will end up creating a peasant UK and costing millions of lives. When people’s horizons are limited to a half hour walk then we will all suffer.

      [If the Govt wishes to move to more walking and cycling with an innovative economy then the means to do this are already known. It is the vertical city not suburban sprawl, high quality rental model in the vertical city (public spaces that people are allowed to use), fast transport between the cities and with international cities. High quality of life and sharing of ideas produces innovation. This is not an overnight transition and does not sit well with an economy dominated by residential ownership]

      • Graham Wheatley
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        Caterpillar, I believe it is wholly in accordance with Agenda-21?

        • Caterpillar
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

          And yet Sweden with a localised agenda21 initiative has not locked down to the extent that UK has.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      The elite want us off the roads – leaving it clear for their ( paid from our taxes ) luxury motors to glide past. Non-doffing of our caps will be punishable by public flogging.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        Ah…Zil lanes??
        Like they had in Soviet Russia ….for the top politicians in Russian-built, Cadillac-emulating limos.
        I believe that Soviet Russia was communist…oh!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        What Taxes? I’m definitely reducing income and increasing business investment and justifiable expenditure to the point where there is no taxes to pay. Just bring forward all plans. If we have to tighten belts (easier when you re housebound) then HM Gov need to feel the pain! ‘Difficult decision’ for me to inflict pain on them, but I managed it with courage, probably in Government not a ‘popular’ action, but then who wants to be popular with Govt and they hate ‘popularises.
        Just remember – you are the real Sovereigns in this country. What we say, collectively, goes!

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        The best doffing of caps in a long time happened on election day.

        And off you all tamely trotted.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

          Labour will not get elected again until they stop abusing potential voters.
          Like you do all the time.

          • bill brown
            Posted May 11, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

            Edward 2
            you are so busy plying constable that you usually get the facts wrong. Spend more time on the facts

          • Edward2
            Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

            Concentrate on typing properly and I might be able to understand what you are trying to communicate.

            Yet again no facts from you blll/hans

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

          Martin have you seen the state of France? Riots, the police investigated if they upset a resident of the 750 no-go areas which are exempt from the lockdown! France, and the EU are about to fall in full view of the whole world. Haute Couture will be all black ensemble literally from head to toe.
          And all you do is carp at us voting to save you from that!

          • margaret howard
            Posted May 10, 2020 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

            How does their number of fatal stabbings compare with ours?

      • Sharon Jagger
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        The leftie fanatics must be rubbing their hands with glee. The planes are looking to be for the elite only, and now bicycles not cars.

        I had a rather hysterical vision of my son setting off to work on a bicycle. In my vision he had the 5 1/2 year old on the handle bars, one of the four year old twins on each shoulder, and him muttering that the 30 minute drive, once he’s dropped the twins at nursery, the 5 year old to school – hmm! probably need to allow an hour ….but as he starts work st seven….that won’t work. Okay, wife, she’s going to have to take the kids. You can’t wear your work suit, or convert to a trouser suit…and now it’s raining.

        Damn it – get the car out!

        Every idea that comes out of government is totally, totally ridiculous!

        I’m sorry but I’ve had ENOUGH of this apparent ineptness, and the lockdown!!!!!

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          +1 ‘apparent ineptness’? It is there for all to see. The Emperor has no clothes!

        • glen cullen
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

          agree +1

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

      What’s more worrying is that Mr Shapps has a whole team of highly paid civil servants and advisors that support his ideas

      • Fred H
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        I think you meant to write ‘Yes men’?

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    I cannot see that this app will contribute very much in practice as most people will remember whom they have been close to anyway if needed. The app, using Bluetooth will give far too many close encounter reading (especially cities) that were not really close enough to be dangerous. Just an app reminding you where you have been for the last few days might be rather better.

    The solutions we should be pushing for are some treatments that actually improve survival rates for those that do get it badly. The government keep telling us that the NHS has spare capacity and is coping well. If this is actually true we need to relax the lock down now. But as we know about 25 million people have died without even getting to hospital and even of those that do make it most get little more than tea, sympathy and an oxygen mask. When are all the normal NHS activities to be resumed?

    How are blood plasma transfusion trials coming on? What other trials and treatments are being done? What can we learn about who is getting it badly and who is not that might lead to better treatments and knowing who it we should certainly isolate from infections and who does not need to be.

    We keep being told the the outcome for old people on full ventilation is not good. This is perhaps true but it is surely often rather better than the outcome if they are denied it as a last resort as many seem to be (even if they what it). Many care home residents seem to have been pushed into signing forms saying that they did not want medical interventions. Who initiated and drove this activity? What incentives did staff have to do this?

    • Nigl
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      25 million. Strewth!

      Seriously, yes, instead of the avalanche of fact/fiction about the efficacy of various treatments, often I guess to fill column inches or puff a particular company/product, an informed ‘progress chart’ published say bi weekly together with a detailed ‘hot to cold’ spot map, to enable me to avoid certain areas, would be far more helpful both to manage my day to day life and plan for the future, rather than this ‘yet another umpteen poor souls have passed away’ mantra we get at present.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

        Sorry “thousand”.

    • SM
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Quoted in today’s SA Sunday Times:

      “Most people with covid19 who go onto ventilators will die. Outcomes internationally have shown mortality rates of 60-95% in many countries, including the US, China and Italy” said Dr Jeremy Nel, Infectious Diseases specialist.

      “Essentially, we try to avoid mechanical ventilation. If multi-organ failure ensues or prolonged ventilation is required, then mortality increases exponentially” said Professor Guy Richards, Director of Critical Care at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

      But obviously you know better, LL – could you remind us of your professional medical qualifications again?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        If (by your figures) up to 40% survive then clearly it should be an option for some cases.

        Rather better odd than all those CPR machines have for heart attack victims and many other treatments for cancer and the likes.

      • MeSET
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        “…remind us of your again?”professional medical qualifications
        If you lived in 1600, would you ask someone’s “professional medical qualifications”?
        If not, why do you ask such now? In 400 hundred years time would a person such as yourself give a jot about “professional medical qualifications” of a “doctor” in 2020?
        What is medieval has a sell by date.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      LL you keep claiming the death count is over 50,000 and rising. You therefore confirm and support an extended lockdown (whatever it takes). You can’t keep betting against yourself like this.
      Do you accept that all deaths by pneumonia and flu should NOT be included in CV19 numbers? Do you accept that desperately ill people, in hospital because of these serious illnesses which are killing them, who contract CV19 (because they are in hospital) and die should NOT be included in CV19 death count?
      If not, tata to the economy; I’m sure the Chinese will increase their ‘inward investment’ into desperate U.K. as they are into Greece and Italy and Africa. Bye bye to those nations.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        I am against the lock down so long as the NHS is actually coping and people are not dying for want of decent hospital care.

        I am not convinced it really is coping yet – but we should slowly lift the lock down as soon as we can.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

          The NHS kills more people every year than the army i.e people die from something they did not suffer from when they were admitted. The NHS pays out an average of £600 million a year in medical negligence claims.

          And you want the lockdown to last until the NHS can cope?😂😂

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      As usual you have no clue what you’re talking about. Let me ask you this – for how long would you have to be close to an infected person for the app to register it as a close contact ? Let me answer for you – you have no idea.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 4:09 am | Permalink

        Clearly that is something the software will be able adjust and vary as they go along. But you could get infected in under a second doing some things and not get infected in over an hour doing other things. How will the app know? The Blue tooth range can be quite large. Everyone on a bus for example could be linked.

        • a-tracy
          Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

          What about if you’re stood on the pavement with glass between you and a bus stops with 1m of you? The app won’t know there was glass between you and you get told to lock yourself inside for 14 days.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

            Countless issues like this one.

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

    Well I won’t be buying a smartphone. I don’t trust the damn things, and I prefer my personal data to remain so.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Like you, I’m too bright to spend £1000 on a smart-phone when I can get a dumb-phone for less than £50.

      • Otto
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        SW – You can buy a smart phone for £50 and a dumb one for £10 – you must be very rich to think of your prices.

        • Sea Warrior
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          I’m intrigued, without being tempted. Care to recommend a £50 smart-phone? For me, the most important feature of a phone is that it doesn’t spoil the line of my suit. 🙂

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

            Second hand from asylum seekers who are upgrading! Cash on the nail….

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink


    • John E
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      I’m surprised to see you on the internet in that case.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      One European country has issued some tracker armbands. Seems that the totalitarian NWO is about to arrive.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        No..that’s when the tracker is injected into you!

        • Graham Wheatley
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          Is that what Elon Musk’s ‘Starlink’ constellation is really for?

  6. Bob Dixon
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    The NHS in our hospitals are heroic. The same goes for our emergency services.However at the top level of the NHS, The Ministry of Health and The Cabinet we are being badly let down. What ever plan they are working too needs to be scrapped and replaced.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Sorry but I don’t see anything heroic about working in half empty hospital wards or shouting at an old couple sitting on a park bench

  7. Mark B
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I watched yesterday a short clip disassembling the governments (Professor Ferguson) model. Basically it is fundamentally flawed and is worse than useless. The way in which it was created means that there is no ability to check the data the government has used to justify its actions. It is now becoming clear to many that the government is simply making it all up as they go along and/or, relying on others (WHO) to tell them what to do. Our government is seems only able to react to events rather than be pro-actionary. Hence why is so behind the curve – eg Quarantining of people flying into the country. Something many here were screaming the government to do weeks ago !

    Events are leaving the government floundering. People, as discussed by others here, are beginning to return to work. We hear of Ministers and their ridiculous pronouncements, like walking to work. I am sure our kind host would love to cycle to work ? Wokingham to London is about 35 miles and will take you Sir John three and a half hours each way 😉

    Please take my advice. Advice I gave at the start. Reduce the briefings to once a week. Calm the situation down and move on to other things. Keep the social distancing for a bit, a return the country to normal. It is getting embarrassing.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      100% social distancing is in-itself a ‘catch-22’

      The working assumption is to maintain a social distance because you might catch the virus from somebody/anybody, the assumption that everybody has the virus to transmit. The catch-22 is that if everybody has the virus you don’t need to keep a social distance

      Pre covid-19 if you started to get flu symptoms you’d take paracetamol and stay in bed (self isolate)

      Agree its all very embarrassing

    • wrong country
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      The social distancing is not supported by any science, please research it.

  8. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    People will automatically isolate themselves if they are feeling the effect of the virus, one would hope, so the real purpose of the app is to locate where a person has been…. This still strikes too many as 1984 methodology – and the fear is that after this has settled down monitoring will continue covertly, somehow.
    How on Earth can the government justify supporting and then following WHO guidelines when it has been found to be ineffectual to say the least. They have no expertise that is worth following, and if you check their website they make no bones about the fact that this emergency is an opportunity to reduce world population and pursue the aims of the UN agenda. Why isn’t anybody talking about this? I suppose it’s easier to delete such comments than confront what is really happening.

  9. BeebTax
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    I’’ve lost confidence in this government through its failure to trust its citizens during this crisis, most recently demonstrated by its reluctance to share its thoughts on lifting the lockdown. They are a disappointment. I hope they improve.

  10. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    We have been in lockdown for 7 weeks now.

    Who is still catching this virus? If we can’t stem the transmission we can’t emerge as everyone is hysterical or enjoying the authoritarianism.

    5 thousand cases per day and all those public sector workers still on full pay – should be easy to find out how the transmission is occurring and take measures to stop it.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Agree its all very strange

      Main effort in hospitals but most deaths at care homes and private residence

    • Donna
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      During our lockdown, they’ve been allowing tens of thousands of people to enter the UK every day, many from infection hotspots.

      And then – completely unchecked – they’ve been allowed to disperse themselves around the UK using the London Underground and other public transport.

      It’s hardly surprising the rate of infection is falling so slowly.

  11. Peter
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    In the UK much of the important testing will be outsourced to the usual suspects,p who hire people with scant medical knowledge, on short term contracts, at close to minimum wage.

    This is no way to run a health system.

    It’s as bad as setting up a new hospital for covid very quickly and then finding it cannot be used as there are insufficient medical staff to man the operation.

    For all those who criticise the NHS, look at the amount of privatisation on the sly.

    • Adam
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      There may be alternative methods of testing. A woman whose husband had Parkinson’s Disease recognised the distinctive smell of her husband when she was near to other affected patients. It emerged that her unusual sensitivity could distinguish between those with & without the disease at an early stage.

      Dogs, whose nasal sensitivity has some 1000 times the power of humans are routinely deployed to detect drugs. Some dogs have been found to be capable of reacting to smelling cancer in humans. In view of the high dog population in the UK, perhaps a means of training enough of them to detect Coriovirus would enable a faster and more efficient testing outcome.

  12. Stephen Reay
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Lock down will be a busted flush once some restrictions are lifted. It will be a signal to get back to normal to some, particular the young , but some old are flouting the rules to. My neighbours daughter has stayed overnight for the last 4 weekends and he’s high risk , so all ages will flout the rules.

    As for the smartphone app, there will be loads of faulty data from idiots who will say they’ve had coronavirus and haven’t. Employers may not put up with employees staying off work because they’ve came close to someone who thinks they may have had coronavirus.

  13. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Like all things this comes down to personal choice, if you have a smart phone and want to download the App you do so, if you do not then you don’t, no one is making any laws to make anyone do it.

    From my little knowledge of technology Smartphones can already track your movements to a very high degree, all calls are logged and listed, and I have no doubt GCHQ can listen in on whoever they want, whenever they want.
    So if downloading the App helps a little in eradicating this Virus, I do not really see a problem.

    My only miss-giving is, will it really will work as well as they think it will.
    Whenever has a Government computer programme gone well.
    The last effort at trying to get the NHS computerised turned out to be a massive failure that cost us £Billions.

  14. Brian Cowling
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Government to urge us to cycle and walk more. On the roads in and around where I live? No way.

    I’d rate my chances better surviving Covid-19 than risk a bike ride.

    Driving a car in this borough is made more difficult too. My local council (highway authority) has used Section 14(2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 to make an Emergency Temporary Prohibition of Use Order to prohibit people from driving on byways (Byways Open All Traffic). Blatant misuse of the legislation or complete ignorance of it given that the Council’s published reason is to“support Government advice of avoiding non-essential travel. Driving on the lanes is not regarded as essential travel.”

    I’m surprised and disappointed that there’s not been more disagreement about our loss of freedoms.

    • Andy
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Cycling is perfectly safe on most roads. It is drivers who cause most of the issues.

      As a cyclist AND a driver I am always cautious around cyclists. Our roads are so pot-holed thanks to Tory austerity that cyclists do sometimes have to swerve at short notice. Give them plenty of space and all is fine.

      I’ve cycled extensively around London and providing you are sensible it is a perfectly good way to get around. Faster and better than the tube for short journeys. Why wouldn’t you?

      I hope Mayor Khan uses this brilliant opportunity to pedestrianise swathes of Central London and to get rid of cars for good. All of Oxford Street, Regent Street, Soho and the West End should be care free. It is Tory controlled Westminster council which has dragged its feet. Enough. We want our city back from cars.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        I hope Mayor Kahn closes London down too, we will have the talented and wealth repatriated to the regions where it and they belong.

        • a-tracy
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

          I agree Lynn.
          I wouldn’t like to own any commercial properties in London right now and if people do stay working from home London employers will start to see they don’t need to pay London weighting and may start to employ outside of the City.

  15. jerry
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Contact trace and track will, along with all the other problems/issues, not help combat the spread of this virus should someone be infected but asymptomatic, they will have no reason to trigger this app. Yet we are told the majority either have little or no symptoms but can still be highly infectious!

    Effective social distancing and good (personal and infrastructure) hygiene is the real key to preventing spread, anything that dilutes from that message is a problem, as this app and the rather risky idea of crowding streets with walkers and cyclists does.

    If public transport capacity is down 90% then the govt needs to seriously consider removing cycle and bus lanes (not increase them!) to allow greater car parking, but once again the govt appears to be shacked up with the unthinking green blob.

    • jerry
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      On the subject of infrastructure hygiene, if they have not already been instructed to do so, can the govt mandate that Banks and Building Societies re-install their old-style glass security screens into their high street branches were they have been removed or sealed up, these old screens were designed to be both contact and fluid safe for the staff – get the banks fully open, not everything can be done online, via the telephone or via a automatic teller machine out in the street.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      You are confusing absolutes with relatives, Jerry.

      It is not necessary to reduce R0 to zero, just to less than unity. The epidemic will then die out.

      This can be done even with some asymptomatic people and with less-than-perfect tests, especially if coupled with the general wearing of masks, etc.

      • jerry
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        @MiC; You have totally miss understood my point, as usual, the govt can not track and trace those who do not trigger the app, if they are asymptomatic they are very unlikely to trigger it!

        Also it is very unlikely that asymptomatic would ever get tested, in fact the guild lines as I’ve understood then for this app is that unless you start physically showing signs of infection you will not be entitled to a CV19 test, you will simply be expected to self-isolate for 14 days.

        As for masks, they do not stop the spread of a virus, unless correctly fitting, hence why doctors and nurses are very particular, especially in high risk areas. The chances of the general public correctly wearing masks, never mind of a suitable type, is very doubtful, in such circumstances masks tend to give a fails scene of security and are thus worse than not wearing any.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        thats what Germany, S.Korea, China thought – – but it started up again.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

          At an absolutely tiny level compared with the UK and US, and that can easily be managed without a blanket lockdown.

          You’ll find out in due course, as more and more of the world leave this country behind in its failure.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        The message is clear avoid anyone wearing a mask as they’ve probably got the virus

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

          Good, win-win.

  16. margaret howard
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    You couldn’t make it up!

    “The UK government has admitted sending about 50,000 coronavirus tests to the US last week for processing after “operational issues” in UK labs.”

    Instead of sending them to a neighbouring EU country with an excellent record in dealing with this pandemic, we prefer to entrust them to a clapped out country, with a clapped out president with the world’s worst contagion and 50m citizens who can’t afford any health insurance.

    In other words – anything but rather than the best for the nation.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      I think its very insulting for you to call the USA a ‘clapped out’ country.

      I lived there for quite a few years, and it is anything but a clapped out country. How long did you live there?

      The same thing could be said about parts of the UK, but surely you wouldn’t want to hear those from other countries accuse us of that.

      I know your preference is for Europe, and the EU, but try and have some respect for other parts of the world.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        Seconded. One piece of investment advice I will always give is to go ‘long’ on the USA.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        Well said Cheshire Girl.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        It is the only developed country with no public healthcare system.

      • Andy
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        I lived in the US too – and although I love it I’m afraid Margaret’s description is right. The era of US hegemony is over. They had a good run at it but, frankly, they are not relevant anymore,

        This is the century of European and Chinese power. Next century will all be about Africa. The US is done as global leader, thanks to Trump.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

          An hilarious prediction of the future.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      a clapped out country?
      Have you ever been anywhere else except the railroad tracks out of Chicago (going north)? MH showing the usual total ignorance of anything geographical.

      The clapped out ones stepped in when UK panicked and couldn’t even get 50,000 tests done after weeks and weeks of supposedly getting major test centres developed.

  17. Lifelogic
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Why do the government have to “outline a road map” on the lifting of the lock down. What is wrong with just a plan or a strategy it is not a road map. Almost as annoying as “set up a computer dashboard”. Not quite as annoying as those irritating people who wave their hands about and pull funny faces next to Nichola Sturgeon. What is wrong with optional subtitles? I need to get a large post it note to stick in front of them. Why use one word when fifteen vague or meaningless ones will do seems to be the politician’s approach. That and endlessly repeating the blindingly obvious.

    I hope I never hear another politician telling me that ‘every one of these deaths is not just a statistic but a a loved one, a parent, a grandparent, blah, blah, blah.

    I think we all knew that already mate.

    • Cosmo Smallpiece
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      You are a cynic. I’m not

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

        The more I see of the world the more I realise I not really cynical enough.

        Do you remember the ‘a good day to bury bad news advice on 9/11’ from a Labour aid for example?

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree, the government and MPs are talking to us like its still the 1950s…do as you’re told we know best etc

      We’re all a bit more politically savvy than they realise

      • miami.mode
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        Agree glen, and what gets me is the left wingers propensity, when talking, to wave their arms around like tic tac men at Kempton Park.

  18. The Prangwizard
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    There’s no way I will go for this. I have no doubt people will find themselves visited by the police who will have decided I should not have been where I was and that I should not have been driving. Where is your bike?

    We live in a police state. They’ve decided they don’t need law to back up their actions. Their intimidation can be justified and authorised by political opi ion.

  19. Richard1
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    The more sensible strategy would be to advise people to download the google and apple app, which doesn’t consume battery life as the NHS one does and will in any case likely be a requirement for anyone wanting to travel.

    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    ‘It means a person who does have a test and tests positive for the virus also *needs to co-operate* over recent contacts’…..Or else?

    This sentence sounds disturbingly like a sinister threat of some form which doesn’t surprise me. What is the law on this? Can the State force a person to download an app onto their smartphone? I don’t own one and I suspect many others don’t own one either.

    Is the politically socialist and now political activist NHS part of this authoritarian attack on our desire to remain private from the State? It wouldn’t surprise me. Cover ups, NDAs and fat compensation payments always help to protect the public reputation of a morally bankrupt public institution and their political promoters such as Labour and this party in government.

    The CV-19 has afforded the British political class a most golden opportunity to re-jig the State to individual relationship in favour of this increasingly authoritarian British State

    The private individual is now viewed as a THREAT. Thatcher worked tirelessly to promote the sanctity of the private. This government and a similar minded one elected in 1997 has reversed all that she tried to encourage and inculcate

    • DavidJ
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      A good opportunity indeed. When one considers that and adds the intent of the UN and its supporters to reduce the world population an obvious question comes to mind. Was it really accidental?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      The law on Notifiable Diseases is not new.

      Read it.

      Inform yourself.

  21. agricola
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I hold my verdict until I hear what Boris has to say on Monday. I sense I hear a violin playing while Covid19 continues it’s grip. I have heard nothing to date that suggests a well considered plan has been devised to return people to work. So long as good weather persists I anticipate increasing numbers of people will let themselves out of jail irrespective of pleas from No10.

    The key is testing to ascertain who has it, who has had it, and who is clear of it. Such testing would need to be continuous at a frequency dictated by medical /scientific advice. Until such is in place any return to normal daily behaviour risks a second spike. While I cannot fly to the UK I find it unbelievable that others can, test free with instructions to isolate; fat chance.

    Yesterdays nonsense about pavement widening and facilitating more cycling is an invitation to anarchy, a comic distraction by Shapps. I would have been more impressed had he taken serious steps to facilitate working from home. We need a serious budgetary assault on government spending plans prior to Covid19. HS2 at unbelievable cost and no profit projection must go. Huawei is a Chinese burden we do not need. Not to mention the myriad of government quangos due for the bonfire years ago.

    We give the impression that we continue to be controlled by events in a daily reactive way. It is long overdue , we/government begin taking control.

    • agricola
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      Happy with the PM’s outline plan/aspiration for progress out of the Covid19 situation. I put the attitude of the other nations in the UK , especially from Sturgeon in Scotland as political posturing and backing away from leadership, in effect saying we will see what happens in England and put ourselves on standby to say I told you so.

      I did not expect Boris to dot every “I” and cross every “T”, he would have been there for hours. More meat can be put on the bone tomorrow, but even then there will be situations that cannot be answered. One being what happens to schoolchildren in single parent families or where both parents normally work, when said parents are encouraged to return to work. No doubt there will be others. On balance a sensible statement.

  22. Lifelogic
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Of the fifty odd thousands who have already died from (or death has been accelerated by) this virus what proportion caught it in hospital, from care workers or in nursing homes? The majority I rather suspect.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      The only person I know who has died from it was an elderly man who went to hospital with a minor stroke, caught the virus in hospital, was discharged (untested) to a care home (where he may have infect many people), then discharged home (living with five other members of an extended family) then rapidly taken back in the hospital and finally tested positive and died shortly after the result came though.

      The NHS surely did far more harm than good in this case.

      Matt Ridley has a good article in the Spectator this weeks, he is as sound on this as he is on Climate Alarmism.

      100,000 dead if UK eases too fast – scientist warn – The Sunday Times headline today. Well it is clearly going to be about 100,000 anyway. We are at over fifty thousand already and with around 1,000 excess deaths each day from it currently. Though this number is slowly reducing. That was my guess at the start (just given the figures from the Cruise ship and adjusting for the different age profile). I still think it will be about right.

      If the NHS is really coping (which I do not believe given so many do not even get to one, many are getting little but a bed and an oxygen mask and normal treatment are cancelled) then we should certainly unlock now.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        Disappointingly I think Matt on Covid is more like Matt on Northern Rock than Matt on Global Warming.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      And the carers are still being denied PPE after all this time, which is more to protect the residents than them.

      It’s looking deliberate.

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps this is the wrong way around Martin and it’s the residents who need to wear a mask and face visor when the care workers enters and have the hand gel after they touch their mugs, utensils etc. If there was a spike of care assistants in hospital being treated for Covid19 we’d know about it.

        They want us all to download an app but the government won’t test the reducing numbers going into hospital each day right now, it’s like having a leak in your roof being told not to use the bathroom above the leak and putting sticking plasters over any holes to stop the water coming through rather than find the leak.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

          For goodness’ sake.

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

            I stand by what I said, we are told that wearing a mask doesn’t stop the wearer of the mask catching it but it does reduce the risk to other people by catching sneezes and coughs, so if both wear a mask when within close contact it doubles the protection for the care worker.

            We have been told that the people in the large category dying of this often without getting to hospital are the elderly in care and nursing homes, it has also been said that they are about 20% of new patients going into hospital, so they need a level of ppe protection when in contact with other people as well, we have been told face visors, masks and hand gel are the protection.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          a bathroom above the roof wouldn’t get through Local Authority Planning – – although on second thoughts?

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink


    • glen cullen
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Worldometer as at 11:00am 10th May – UK deaths 31,587

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

        Actually well over 50,000 excess deaths over normal now. Nothing else much is causing them. They are clearly almost all Covid or Covid accelerated.

        • glen cullen
          Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

          source ?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      They won’t tell you where the newly infected come from or caught it, so I suspect you’re correct.

  23. Chris Dark
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I don’t have a smartphone and have no intention of buying one just for this app. So my phone tells me I’ve come into contact with someone who has the virus….but wouldn’t they be at home, in isolation? Then I come into contact with someone who has had the virus…so what? they’re no longer infectious. If I self-isolate for fourteen days , then come out of home and immediately meet someone else who buzzes my phone, government expects me to go back into isolation again? The stupidity is off the wall. I’m afraid the real agenda behind this app is the start-up of a surveillance society….and I want no part of it.

    • Pragmatist
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      No, the app is to give confidence to the young of mind who see an APP as…something significant in their boring and useless lives

  24. John E
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Apple and Google devised a Covid alert system that guarantees privacy by keeping the user’s data on their phone and not transmitting any of it to a central database. So neither Apple nor Google nor anyone else has our data to pry into or sell. We just get an alert if we have been close to another user who has told their phone they have been infected.
    Their system does use signal strength and time and proximity measurements to define what exposure means, it doesn’t just log every fleeting contact. Give them some credit for intelligence.

    The Government decided that wasn’t good enough so they devised an app that feeds their central database. To be fair that would allow them to link with the traditional epidemiology tracking approach. But it raises a lot of privacy concerns which are not assuaged by the popular impression that it is all being run by cronies of Mr. Cummings.

    And as was entirely predicted by many people from the beginning, trying to defeat the inbuilt privacy measures in the Apple iOS system in particular in this way causes all sorts of performance issues, eating up the battery life being the most obvious. But these cronies of Cummings thought they knew better than Apple how iOS works. So that’s another few million pounds the taxpayer won’t see back and weeks wasted when the Apple/Google system could already be in use.

  25. BOF
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I will certainly not be downloading the app as I would never trust the NHS with anything. When we can travel again this app will not be recognised abroad. Pointless.

    Interesting that tests have had to be sent to the US to be processed. What a shambles OUR NHS is.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      +1 – a humiliating, costly shambles which has at last, bankrupted the nation. Boris in not in a fit mental state to make important decisions. He has not yet recuperated and the men in grey suits are required forthwith. No babies in high office because of positive discrimination, required in 10 Downing Street. We need a proper Tory with gravitas and ability. This is the U.K. on life support.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        And your suggestions to replace Boris are?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink


          • glen cullen
            Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink


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

            Tory MP are so daft they did not even prefer JR to the appalling dope John Major, even after he ERM fiasco.

            So this looks rather an unlikely outcome to me. Boris should follow his advice though.

          • David Brown
            Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

            The 2 best Prime Ministers this country has every had is Tony Blair and David Cameron, both had centralist political policies and in fact it was Tony Blair that saved this country after the disastrous 70s and 80s both decades of extremes.
            Boris is by his own admission a liberal Conservative and still displays his London Mayor credentials. The far right thought they could drag him to their side but he has and is showing more centralist politics so good fo9r him. Although there is hope that Starmer will take us into a customs union with the EU. I don’t think this leaving argument is over by a long shot, especially if the US vote Trump out and then have close ties with EU

      • anon
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        Interesting point Covid-19 can effect brain function. Maybe those infected should stand down.

        It’s been linked to strokes and inflamation. Besides its short term effects we dont know about the long term.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

          Michel Barnier seems to have made a complete recovery.

    • Adam
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      The US is part of our back-up capacity.

  26. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    From day 1 surely anyone testing positive could have been asked who they met and where they might have caught it. Then you would have some data to analyse.

    • Adam
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Testing and tracing comprise a sensible plan for preventing spread, yet such measures respond only after individuals have been infected. It is however, among our best-known means of protection.
      Perhaps scientist could create a Seek & Destroy method, which like a predator attacks only its target prey virus without interfering with humans. In that plant life grows towards light, a photo-negative of the virus might act as a light filter to grow such an opposite for laboratory testing.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Who do you think that this government would be willing to employ, and to pay, to do that asking?

      The answer, as ever, is no-one. Just as there was no one to inspect buildings such as Grenfell Tower properly.

      But that’s for what you voted.

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        How many NHS admin staff are there Martin? How many per hospital? If there is hardly any admissions right now what other work are they doing? The other night they said there are 11,000 patients, we have 1256 hospitals? How many patients do we usually have per hospital? How many day patients all those treatments are cancelled so what are those staff doing on full pay?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

          What has that to do with it?

          What use would some clerical assistant be, for testing and tracing?

          Or a porter, for commandeering hotel accommodation for isolation and quarantine?

          This requires many new posts with job descriptions and pay scales, in a Public Protection Authority, which the UK, almost alone in the world, does not yet have even now.

          • dixie
            Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

            You are mistaken.

            PHE is the “public protection authority” for England and has 5,000 staff.

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

            The government employs thousands and thousands of people with administration capabilities, you asked who I’d employ if I was the government I’d redeploy the most capable of them are their contracts really so inflexible that they couldn’t trace contacts of the latest cv19 patients by speaking on the phone to their next of kin? All those on more than £2500 per month and then I’d furlough the rest like the private sector have had to if they’ve no work for people.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

            PHE has no logistical or other organisational dimension, which is absolutely central, dixie.

            It is an information service.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

            That’s not correct.
            PHE is far more than an information service.
            Have a look at their own website.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          I wouldn’t want to use ANY of the NHS clerical/administrative/purchasing/logistics/planning/budgeting personnel even if they are sat around bending paperclips.

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

            Why FredH? Why can’t NHS administrative staff be redeployed to track and trace and alert neighbours to this dangerous virus that impacts on their colleagues? If they have no work how difficult is it to call people in the family of new patients to determine possible infection routes and stop the virus spreading and tell contacts of the very ill patient to self-isolate for 14 days to protect supermarket workers and others that could walk near to them on narrow patients.

    • gregory martin
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      At the early stages, suspecting sufferers were supposedly contacting NHS 111 to advise symptoms. Surely, this should have been used to follow up in subsequent days the development/recovery. A visit by nurse practitioner/medic/sample taker in Hazmet protection and metaphorical ‘sealing’ of that household. All occupants detailed and grounded. A supply line sorted for supplies. Neighbours would take note and avoid (‘like the plague’). Really, the apparent lack of emergency planning by all levels of Government is the greatest of shambles. Can it all be attributable to Common Purpose. We need to know.

  27. Sakara Gold
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    “I trust the government ” Good grief….

    My faith in the competence of government, the quangocracy and especially the civil service has been irrevocably damaged over their shambolic and disastrous handling of the Chinese plague virus crisis.

    There is no way that I’m going to download an app to my personal mobile phone that operates on any sort of centralised government database. I gather numerous departments, starting with the security service, the police and the Department of Work and Pensions are already demanding location and contacts access as they reorganise their empires to take advantage of the crisis.

    The government absolutely has to get the timing of the end of lockdown right. The nation decisively rejected Jeremy Corbyn at the last election and put its trust in Boris Johnson. They have been rewarded by the loss of tens of thousands of their grandparents in care homes and many brave NHS staff working on the front line – as well as their investments and their livelihoods.

    A major cabinet reshuffle is clearly necessary and a way must be found to dispense with the services of those incompetents in the civil service who have been running the show.

  28. Everhopeful
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Trial on Isle of Wight didn’t go too well. Ping, ping, ping. Needs a phone less than two years old!
    Much better to have a basic, functioning service.
    I bang on again. What’s WRONG with isolation wards in local hospitals?
    What is WRONG with training our own nurses etc?
    WHY was everything changed?
    Fat lot anyone cared about the NHS when it was all sold off and given away.
    And whatever the powers that be are up to the one thing we actually know is that they don’t give a solitary, single fig for our well being!!

  29. Fred H
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    When is the UK Government going to get on top of this crisis?
    Not only have they lied about 122,000 tests carried out in one day, but still canot reach the target of 100,000 and now Boris is saying we will reach 200,000 tests per day by 1st June!

    Last week the UK sent 50,000 swabs to be tested in USA – as if they haven’t a big enough problem them selves!

    Where are the 200,000 tests going to be done? China? Germany? USA?
    Does anyone believe we can do it in UK.?
    UTTER shambles.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      So Sir John, you hold this back because it is too painful for you being a loyal Conservative. That means you are joining the cover-up. The truth is hard to take but essential if you and the Party are to hold your head up and expect to be re-elected.

      How disappointing.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Good post, Fred.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

          Glad we can agree on some things – Yaki Da.

          a shambles is a shambles whatever shade of politics you prefer.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

            Martin argues for an enhanced shambles.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      What is wrong with getting millions of UK tests done wherever there is spare capacity?
      One minute you moan about us needing more testing now you complain when the laboratory is outside the UK
      I don’t understand your logic.

      • anon
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        It would have been better to have done this immediately. Maybe with prior agreed and authorised outline contracts with local & also backup agreements with geographically dispersed proven allies & reliable suppliers.

        This would be a national security issue?

        Big failure.

  30. formula57
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Testing and tracing is the way to control a pandemic, so I learned back in January from comment easily found on the internet.

    In advance of the next pandemic, would it be an idea to set-up a public body with a budget of billions and staffed with knowledgeable, resourceful people to plan for such eventualities in ways that mean we could cope as and when?

  31. Richard1
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    it is reported that the Taiwanese govt have offered their excellent technology to our govt for track and trace. This would serve two excellent purposes – access to proven technology from expert sources, and an opportunity to support Taiwan in the face of relentless bullying by the Chinese communist party.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      we might get the track bit – but who is going to test?

  32. Richard1
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    An opportunity to save some public sector costs has arisen: abolish Blair’s biased ‘electoral commission’ which has carried out a disgraceful and bungled attempt to persecute a couple of Brexit volunteers, one of them barely more than a young student, for the last four years. Let the people responsible be kicked off the public payroll and find themselves something useful to do. Even those who didn’t vote for Brexit (with a few exceptions obviously) are appalled at the bias of the electoral commission.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink


  33. Andy
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Test and trace is easier when there are 5 cases of Coronavirus in your country –
    like there were when Boris Johnson was focussed on Brexit in January – than when there are 216,000 cases in your country, which is where we are now.

    Just like with Trump in America, the complete and utter failure of the British government to act throughout January, February and early March is a national scandal. ‘A chaotic disaster to is how Mr Obama has generously described Mr Trump’s abysmal performance.

    The primary duty of a government is to keep its people safe – and this mob have been so busy working out how to try to keep you safe from their self inflicted Brexit that they missed the Coronavirus threat completely.

    Sick old people were allowed back to their care homes, what’s happened there is a national scandal. Testing has been a fiasco. The self imposed daily target has been hit just once. PPE from Turkey. Never have we had such an incompetent government. What a shambles.

  34. Everhopeful
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    NHS Pandemic Rapid Discharge Protocol.
    What a great idea that turned out to be!
    That’s why so many infected old people were sent back to Care Homes?
    Like the elderly lady who was admitted to hospital with LACK OF OXYGEN readings/symptoms and was then rapidly discharged to make room for Covid patients!!
    Could you make it up? Honestly!

  35. The Venerable Dude
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I’m watching the Sophy Ridge show. It happened to be on TV as I switched on, otherwise I would not have chosen to watch it of course being sound of mind.

    These interviews with notables will be deleted from the public record within months so as not to cause severe embarrassment and pain for their families in the future. This is okay. I am keeping record for future generations without mention of names for my books to come.

  36. Annette Bates
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Oh, you mean fully implement the surveillance state?
    The time for track & trace was back in January as the infection only had one way of reaching this island, importation. The opportunity was ignored. Importation of the virus is still being ignored.
    Let me think…
    The healthy are under house arrest.
    Most independent businesses have been forced to shut against their will.
    The politicised police farce are implementing Minister’s wishes as if the law.
    We must protect the deified NHS at all costs, when its remit is supposed to be to protect OUR health.
    Now they want to surveil us, with a centralised database, on the pretext of a virus that still has not been isolated?
    Are ‘social credits’ next?

    The completely disproportionate and continuing overreaction smacks of opportunism to implement a totally non-related agenda. The initial error of judgement, based on now proved false ‘modelled science’, is not being corrected turning the error into a mistake. Or was it the plan? From the ‘green agenda’ announcements yesterday, another ‘agenda’ being driven by false science ‘modelling’ it would appear to be part of deliberate planning. Meanwhile Bliar boasts that his nwo ‘people’ are embedded in Govts to drive the plan.

    One thing that you may not be aware of is the mysterious ‘new’ health database. I’m not sure if this app data is intended to be part of it. As my husband is in a seriously vulnerable group, as every health professional tells him but he’s never had ‘the’ letter, during one conversation with the doctor it seemed that there was a ‘new’ database. We’ve periodically had to check that we’re still opted out of these ‘health’ databases due to privacy concerns. It seems that a new one has been set up & people automatically added. How many more databases are being set up without our knowledge?

  37. Ian Wilson
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    This could be of value and is well worth a try. Testing and tracing have worked elsewhere.
    Slightly off this thread, I see Matt Ridley is observing that children not only rarely suffer appreciably from the virus but don’t pass it on to others either. If confirmed, schools could be opened PDQ.
    He also cites an overseas study showing those deficient in vitamin D are 19 times more likely to be coronavirus victims. I would like to know more about this (how is deficient defined?) but perhaps banning sunbathing was the worst thing to do. It might have been better to let people enjoy the parks and sunbathe even if spacing wasn’t ideal.

  38. Bob
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile economic migrants from France continue to arrive in the UK in small boats with the English coastguard often meeting them part way across the Channel to show them the way.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Doesn’t Britain pay France to guard its coast around £50 million I think 🤔. Why aren’t the boats just turned around by the Navy/Coastguard? Is it just an agreement from our politicians to take so many anyway, I thought May agreed to this with the UN?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Pretty soon there will be one potato on offer. I don’t like the chances of ‘migrants’ – it’s always safest to be with your own people in times of trouble.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Those illegal economic migrants from France don’t just ‘’arrive’’, with the policies and actions of this UK government they are positively welcomed

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Ive just read that 20 more have arrived on the Coast today. Apparently 280 have arrived in the last 2/3 days.

        We have really taken our eye off the ball here, and unfortunately the people arriving, are very aware of that fact.

        • glen cullen
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

          If that many illegal migrants can come ashore un-noticed I wonder how many drug runners can get through

    • JoolsB
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Pathetic isn’t it Bob? The English coastguard are only following orders from the UK Government. No wonder they keep coming in their droves when they know that nice UK Government will escort them in and put them up in a nice hotel and give them money and food. What a pity we don’t have a Government or Home Secretary with the guts to instruct the coastguard to meet them but instead of bringing them here, order them to turn around and escort them back to where they came from. And STOP paying the French Government for allowing it to happen. Patel has failed miserably.

    • Andy
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      What would you do about it? I ask all of you this and none of you come up with answers. Ever.

      Unless it involves sinking them which really says far more about you than them.

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        Keep the £50 million, hire more coast guards turn the boats around to safe haven France who you believe are superior to the U.K. anyway.

        • glen cullen
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          good answer and one I support

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        Don’t be so silly, Andy. We are perfectly entitled to send them back to France under international law. You saying it’s not true doesn’t make it so, however many times you repeat yourself!

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

          We’re not. If they are picked up in British waters or by a British vessels they are brought to the UK. That is the law. If they are picked up in French waters they are taken to France. It is against international law not to help people in trouble at sea – whether or not it is their fault that they got into trouble. If they are here they are perfectly entitled to claim asylum. If they are from Iran or Syria – as most are – their asylum claim is likely to be successful.

          Good for them for escaping persecution in pursuit of a better life for their families. And shame on those of you who preach hate against them.

          • Bob
            Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

            You mean the French are persecuting them??
            This is a change of tune, you’re normally very complimentary about our continental cousins!

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        I’d have thought you’d be there with a megaphone advising them to stay in the EU for their own good. Why do you think they leave a safe, sensible, prosperous EU country to come here? Come on, what is it are they wrong or are you? You and they can’t both be correct.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps the Border Farce should be charged with a aiding and abetting people-trafficking. When the government is able to stem the flow of cross-Channel dinghyists, I might – just might – start thinking of it as remotely competent. Two things need to happen: (1) most (75% plus) need to get flown straight back to their countries of origin (not to France); (2) those given asylum should get nothing from the state other than an NI number. No social or emergency housing. No money. No access to the Welfare system. Ever! Then the flow will stop.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      I’m beginning to wonder whether these little boats are bringing the modern Huguenots? With 750 no go zones exempt from the Covid19 lockdown, 15,000 churches including Notre-Dame de Paris razed to the ground, maybe we should be offering asylum from Macron’s France!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, correction. 1,500 French churches destroyed, not 15,000.

  39. Dave Andrews
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    It’s rather late in the day to resort to an app to discover whether you’ve been placed at risk. A good idea in the very early stages of an emergent infection when only a few people are infectious. We have had about 2 months with this disease in the country to identify the jobs of those who have gone down with it. How about publishing the occupation breakdown of those infected, then we can all see the activities that might place us at risk?

    The app has been launched in our area. Then I find out that supermarket staff (public facing, high risk perhaps?) aren’t allowed to have their mobile phones with them whilst at work. I expect this to be the case in many other public facing jobs.

  40. Caterpillar
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    This approach does not sound thought through, except to test the roll out of further tracking and control of the population.

    The likely failure will be that limited testing resource is not directed to the points of maximum leverage (in terms of economic return per increase in R), but rather to the infected cases that have been close to many but not in a high probability of transmission environment for a long time. Overall it mostly looks like a smoke and mirrors exercise by Govt to be seen to be acting whilst keeping the fear bigged up. Let’s face it the Govt is suggesting this without even telling us how many of the new cases are related to NHS staff, hospitals or care homes. How many of the new cases are a real mystery?

    That said, there might be relevance to running the app with its guaranteed withdrawal and wiping of the app for perhaps 3 months, if and only if, all public transport is opened up and the tracing is focussed on rush hour close contacts in those environments. This.may be a route to keeping R down in what is a bottle neck to economic recovery, but it is.pointless without opening up the transport. We need modelling / a calculation released on this.

    I think there are two possible cases of State monitoring. The first and most common is by an untrusted Govt that has instilled fear in the population,.which is what the UK has done over the past decades and continues to do. The second, if it exists at all, is where a trusted Govt protects the liberty of the population, monitoring then helping against widely accepted definition of crime such as violence – but the monitoring should not be against political protest, the way people dress, how people teach … it needs to protect and encourage a non-judgemental, non-fearing, liberal society, which is far from.where the UK is.

  41. Everhopeful
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Funny how the rulers took away freedom of speech, association, combination and movement to impose industrialisation. To take us out of an agrarian economy and traditional way of life and into a rich-enriching nightmare.
    And then a fairly handy war…automation did not require huge families to tend the fields.
    Same things being done now in the name of a virus? Control, impound, impoverish, disenfranchise and dispossess.
    What next? Continued isolation and imprisonment ( now it SUITS to have us work at home) and then bring on the A.I. and bizarrely turn the clock back to preindustrial times. “Get on your bike takes on a whole new meaning!”.
    It is only ever about making money ( for some) and (not many) workers are now required!

  42. Caterpillar
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Aside: The Govt needs to start talking down the fear of the virus and not using the rumoured language of ‘dangerous phase’. It needs to talk up the urgency of economic recovery without talking down the economy. It needs to stop the furlough, grant etc. addiction and unfairness; if such schemes are needed UBI is fairer and reduces risk to those choosing to retrain, start new businesses, even self-isolate.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      UBI = money for not working. I hope that a Conservative government has the good sense to make sure that never happens here.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

        Sea Warrior,

        That is a misrepresentation. People are already on money for not working (80%). A UBI would be lower and not break the pricing mechanism for resources. The current furlough system rewards the potential of returning to work in roles that may no longer be relevant to the supply society needs. A UBI gives the Basic support so that people can redirect their resource to fulfil the supply the country needs. Viewing it as National Dividend escapes the misrepresenration – it is a return / dividend payment for being a ‘shareholder’ in the country/society. Practically it means inefficiencies like minimum wage laws, complex benefit systems etc can be dumped. Functionally it can be made from a created part (essentially QE direct to people which can be part of monetary policy – rhis part would be rduced if AD is outstripping AS), a progressive consumption tax (moving to reduce the distorting role of income taxes) and a border adjusted carbon tax with dividend (levelling up the international playing field). As it is not needs based there is not competition based on need (the socialist, its my right way); people who want more work more, people who want to take a risk for a new innovative business still can, knowing they will not be completely destitute. Correctly constructed it is a policy that conservatives ought to fight for.

      • anon
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        UBI – universal basic income
        it would encourage people to work and better themselves, most would, some maybe after a short while.
        it would allow for a large reduction in the welfare admin.
        it likely improves mental health & well being of vulnerable people who fall through the gaps, some who may not claim by themselves.
        likely less crime
        it would bind us all together a little more.
        the money would be spent and local business would benefit.

        Bring in a flat tax, wealth tax, and land tax reform and reform the fractional reserve banking system to multiple full reserve banks, maybe introducing failure and competition for shareholders, bond holders but not small depositors.

        The money would circulate and production would rise to meet the demand providing revenue to business.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      The Govt needs to start talking down the fear of the virus . . .

      I am glad that there is someone else that agrees with me. The government should have been both calm, measured and yet decisive right from the very start.

  43. a-tracy
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    The British are at a very dangerous point at the moment with the scared half of the public willing to give up their freedom and privacy without a thought to goodness knows who, soon our faces will be popping up on advertising boards at the shops to sell us more targeted products. Walk past someone’s living room window on the sidewalk with them inside with the virus and you can’t work for two weeks, for many people that’s just £97 per week to live off – the people making this decision of course will be on full sick pay for half a year if they need it!

    People like Davis and Chakrabarty were worried about an ID card but this is much more intrusive and as always the 25% of the worst offenders of every rule, regulation just don’t carry this app or have one on a phone they hardly use whilst keeping an unchipped phone when they visit their lover, or second home, or visit a relative – you know like a lot of our higher ups have been doing while we’re all being good little citizens sat inside flats overheating.

    What next a chip inserted at birth.

  44. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Self isolation: Problem here.
    Recent research (eureferendum.com for the details) shows that indoors is where the virus loves to live. So hospitals, Care Homes, people’s homes, warm closed off shops, public transport, not so much cold churches, are ideal places to develop the disease.

    Outside it is very hard for the virus to spread. So the officious actions of the police in St James’ Park yesterday were counter productive. And they bring the entire state into disrepute too.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      specifically trains, buses, taxis.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Just following orders. Not common sense.

  45. glen cullen
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    There’s an old saying ‘’you’re only ever 3 paychecks away from being homeless’’

    Well since 2008 SMEs have only ever been 3 months away from closure

    Its difficult for politicians and those receiving a public salary to realise that the lives, careers and confidence of the private sector has been on a knife edge for the past 12 years….and this continued lockdown is the last straw

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Why do you keep voting for a party, for whom insecurity amongst the employed classes is a central pillar of their strategy then?

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        I don’t understand what my voting behaviour has to do with the subject at hand

    Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    The NHS has morphed from a primary provider of medical services to the general public to a sinister political organisation with political intent and a political mission. The Tories and Labour have assisted this most concerning development.

    Some people trust the NHS. This general trust is being abused as a cover to roll out beta testing for a system of State tracking, monitoring and control

    The ‘Clap our carers’ agenda is purely political and must be ignored to prevent conditioning and weaken peoples critical mind.

    The NHS is desperate to put itself beyond all control, all accountability, all criticism and to become politically untouchable and immune from all forms of transparency.

    When I am now exposed to Government, NHS and other forms of celebrity backed and product backed propaganda I simply turn over my tv or radio. This is nothing less than Germany-1929 and the Soviet union all rolled it one. It is an attack on the very culture of this nation and our embrace of freedom of expression, freedom of thought and freedom from State interference

    I cannot believe libertarians from the Tory party are silent about these most disturbing developments. The silence becomes even more deafening this week when the Europhile and Labour controlled Electoral Commission was exposed for its political bias and civil crimes against British citizens

    What is happening to this once most hallowed nation? We have become a hollow nation. It’s utterly tragic and completely unnecessary and all to protect the Tory-Labour Commons status quo and destroy all threats to that

    • Mark B
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      A few voices have been raised, including that of our kind host. But my guess they are waiting for things to settle before they can persuade the government to repeal those bad laws.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink


    • Fred H
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Not the workers….
      The upper management, just like those at the BBC, have been infiltrated over the years to become a leftie politically motivated organisation using the religion perception to promote itself.

  47. Newmania
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    The incompetence with which this key element of a the response ( testing ) has been handled should not surprise us. Parliament and the civil services are a unreformed public sector bureaucracies. Supplying a product, is a low priority.
    Less forgivable, is the daily disinformation coordinated by the propaganda team that gave you the lies 0f Brexit. The irony is that it is ineffective anyway. They think the same level of bored disinterest that was their friend before applies now; but it does not. Having identified a real danger to themselves the public wants the facts. They want experts not tedious entertainers;doers ,not talker .
    Brexit remains unpopular and when its reality comes on top of Covid 19 I doubt the inevitable attempt to”blame the foreigners ” will fly, certainty the same anti immigrant hate-mongering will not.

    The country will want change .l want change

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Brexit was voted for.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      You had a chance to vote in a left-wing govt at the election but you lost

      According to the latest polls 48% now think the Country was right to leave the EU and 40% say it was wrong. That’s because a good many remain voters have changed their mind.

      The daily briefings are tedious I agree. But they are presented by experts. They are tedious mainly because of the inane gotcha style questioning of the MSM journalists who are privileged to attend.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Shame, you are seriously confused. Self delusion beyond repair.

  48. Original Chris
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    You have only to look at 5G in China to see exactly what is planned for us in the name of tracing for healthcare issues. Hugely alarming, but something that fits the globalists/one world government agenda perfectly.

    True Conservatives have got to stop the roll out of 5G. Its purposes are not benign, although it will be portrayed as a benefit in order to make acceptance more likely e.g. helping in the “threat” from coronavirus by installing contact tracing.

    We should be awake to this massive threat to our liberty and freedom. Boris, like Theresa May before him, is, at the moment, on the wrong side of the equation. Conservative MPs should be fighting the rollout of 5G with all they have got. Not at all impressive so far – merely a squeak from David Davis.

  49. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    On testing, the Government has got the overall capacity right, although there is no harm in providing more, but it hasn’t got the logistics right. There is (no doubt temporarily) inadequate laboratory capacity so that some test samples have had to be sent to America.
    People are being directed to testing centres a long way from their homes, indicating inadequate testing capacity in some localities. That can be rectified. And people with no access to a car cannot easily get tested. Either mobile testing vehicles will be needed to deal with that or testing capacity near bus stations and railway stations will be needed – or both. All of the problems should be fixable.

    But have we got the capacity to track and trace every contact of every person infected with Coronavirus? I ask this because there are north of 4,000 new cases every day. Some degree of automation will be needed, either the app being tested in the Isle of Wight or some other method.

    On a related topic, Sajid Javed has the right idea. It is up to the elderly and the vulnerable to self isolate to a greater extent than we require of the healthy population. As long as we keep the dreaded R value below 1 we should be OK.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      ‘there are north of 4,000 new cases every day. ‘
      Maybe. BUT how many are in the major areas of infection – London for example.
      Adjacent to hospitals, care homes?

      Concentration on the large outbreaks will produce better results than scattergun ‘it cannnot be done’ attitude.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Lindsay, On 15 March 2020 Hancock warns that over-70s would be asked to “self-isolate”, by not leaving their homes, for an extended period “within weeks”. Due to the voluntary nature of the restrictions, there is no interference with human rights. That was the last time my Parents saw anyone within their home, food is delivered by the family to their garden wall.

      This was the advice
      1. The UK government is advising that everyone practices social distancing to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (Covid-19). These measures, to reduce the social interaction between people, involve: Avoiding contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough

      2. Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible

      3. Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information

      4. Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs

      5. Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media

      6. Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.
      Source: gov.uk

      16 March 2020 YES the 16 March 2020
      Boris Johnson advises everyone in the UK against “non-essential” travel and contact with others and suggests people should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and work from home if possible. At this stage, these are merely suggestions. He warns that other vulnerable groups, including pregnant women and those with underlying conditions, may be asked to self-isolate. Many business express anger that the PM has not forced them to close – which could have offered them financial protection.

      20 March 2020
      Boris Johnson orders all pubs, cafes, restaurants, bars and gyms to close. The chancellor also announces that the taxpayer will meet 80 percent of the wages of employees temporarily sent home from firms hit by the crisis.

      23 March 2020
      The prime minister announces a nationwide lockdown – a drastic set of measures restrict movement and assembly. The government also asks about 1.5million vulnerable people who will likely need hospital treatment to “shield” themselves. This involves voluntarily staying at home for 12 weeks to avoid getting the virus.

      See eachother website for more well set out timeline information

  50. Rhoddas
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    A question for the Government “Given the significance of the R value, can you share with the people of the country the exact figure to 3 decimal places, how you calculate it and the input data used in its calculation?”

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Unless everybody is mingling an overall R number is meaningless.

      You can have a very high R number in a closed environment such as a nursing home, but for those outside it will be so low that it won’t be relevant to normal life.
      Also cities will have a higher R number than rural areas, so somebody living on the moors has a negligible chance of catching it and shouldn’t even be taking the average R in the UK as having any meaning to them. Conversely for somebody travelling between care homes a low R doesn’t mean they have a small chance of catching.

      Top and bottom is if you can isolate very high R situations the remainder of the population can continue as usual. We seem to have done the reverse.

  51. Roger Phillips
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    How much longer can you justify locking up the whole country and bankrupting thousands of businesses for a virus that has a 99.5% recovery rate. People are now waking up and ignoring these draconian rules in ever increasing numbers. If it’s not stopped soon then you will have a huge problem to deal with.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Because even 0.5% of sixty-five million people is about three hundred and seventy-five thousand.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        And 95% plus will be very elderly with comorbidity.
        Meanwhile we slide into economic melt down.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

          3 million extra people on the NHS waiting lists since February and growing fast.
          Millions more now waiting for tests on possible serious ailments that once eventually investigated could need fast treatment to save them.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Indeed – but not all of the 65 million will get infected. And those most ‘at risk’ are pretty clued-up by now as to how to avoid getting infected.

        • glen cullen
          Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:25 pm | Permalink


      • Caterpillar
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff,

        1. 375,000 lives saved (multiplied by remaining life expectancy of those) has not been shown to be less than the loss of life years due to the economic shock. The GFC took about a year or two off life expectancy gain (it was about a year for people already at 65) – this is multiplied over the whole of the population for ever (or whatever period you think is suitable for catch up). Even if your figure is correct nowhere has the Govt shown this is worth the cost in future years of life lost.

        2. Your number is probably high as you should multiply by 1-1/R0

        3. In the extreme case, one can image reducing this further e.g. by a ramped up intentional infection administered intradermally to reduce the amount of pulmonary infection (get it though the skin rather than through the trachea to reduce the risk). Through the ramp this would allow more plasma to be collected to treat those who did not have sufficient immune response even if caught ID.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        325’000 actually.
        This assumes 100% will succumb, and that isn’t the case.
        More likely people will succumb to ignoring.

      • Martyn G
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        So what? Every living thing on this planet has at some point to die. We are an overcrowded in places densely beyond sensible nation populated and every one of us will die. Why be frightened of that?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

          Why do you even bother looking before crossing the road?

    • Mark B
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink


      The damage is already done. It is just such a shame that we do not have a GE this year, and will not for another 4 years. The Tories deserve a good kicking.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        They have become surprisingly complacent of our support and our vote

  52. George Brooks.
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Faith in this app is going to turn out to be very largely mis-placed and we are in danger of wasting a lot of time, effort and money that could be far better spent in other ways of controlling the spread of this virus. The potential faults such as lack of distribution, not covering the ‘at-risk’ groups, mis-readings etc are endless.

    We could be far more successful by ramping up the 111 call centres throughout the country so a call is answered within 2 minutes and every operator is given a detailed script to ascertain if the caller has the slightest chance of having CV19. If so, they are called back within 30 minutes by a suitably trained person which could then lead to isolation and a home test as envisaged with the app

    The NHS, PHE et al have a shocking record in software development due to lack of quality staff and continual alteration to system design during programming. The government has made a very serious mistake in not recruiting the skill of Google and similar organisations who have the knowledge and very experienced staff for this work.

    The cost of this mistake in both lives and money will be enormous so I hope the I o W test fails and we keep track of the spread via 111.

  53. Irene
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile, back in the real world where I live, groups of children with their parents have already decided not to stay at home as they gather in local parks and open spaces, with absolutely no social distancing whatsoever. Makes the last weeks of house arrest seem so very worthwhile. Please, stop the slogans. They are confusing. The right message is not getting through to the right people at the right time. What a shower!

    • Fred H
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      What does ‘Stay alert, control the virus, save lives ‘ mean?

      Do we keep our eyes open for the virus creeping up on us and shout ‘Gotcha’ when we spot it?

      and another thing –
      The UK public is being fed “number theatre” by the government instead of “genuine information”, a leading statistician from the University of Cambridge told the BBC on Sunday. David Spiegelhalter criticised the government’s daily briefing, saying “seems to be co-ordinated really much more by a Number 10 communications team” rather than led by experts.
      “I just wish the data was being brought together and presented by people who really knew its strengths and limitations and could treat the audience with some respect,” he said.

      amen to that!

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        It was an interview worth listening to. Why on earth can’t people like him present the figures rather than those who do, who seem to be unscientific so-called scientists and doctors. Well meaning, but anyone with a feel for numbers has no trust in the way they’re presented.

      • dixie
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink


      • glen cullen
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        Stay alert – you only have to ‘social distance ‘ if you have symptoms, and if you have symptoms you should be self isolating and in bed

        Hope thats clear

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      It seems the govt haven’t bothered to tell those leaving Calais to “Stay at home”. Always NHS crews for them. FREE for them – paid for by us.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        new policy Stay Alert – for the British border control recue boats

  54. Diane
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Yes Bob, we are all doing the best we can to improve this nightmare & people’s lives and ultimately people’s livings whilst we endure what has been described as Enforcement Paralysis which I can only agree with. So much for the PM’s statement in August that illegal arrivals would be treated as illegal and would be ‘sent back’ We have local south coast MPs, for both Dover and Hastings & Rye also doing their bit in contacting the Home Office on behalf of their local residents & the country in general. The Home Secretary we hear is in touch with France’s Mr Castaner we’re told but it seems all are powerless. People are concerned, very concerned and also frustrated with the lack of information & transparency after these almost daily events. What is happening to these arrivals. Are they detained. Are they questioned & then released. If released, where & how are they placed. If they have relatives here, what’s the situation then. How much is all this costing councils and taxpayers. Are they tested for CV19 and are they tested & monitored thereafter. A quote the other day from the Care4Calais founder – ‘ These people are fleeing terrifying situations in some of the most dangerous parts of the world. They aim for the UK because they want to be safe ‘ ….. Over the last few weeks we have seen arrivals reported in the media as being from Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Kuwait, Libya, Afghanistan & Syria to name but a few. What can be done, very little I suspect.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      ‘ These people are fleeing terrifying situations in some of the most dangerous parts of the world. They aim for the UK because they want to be safe ‘ …

      Well, they judge the other 27 countries in the EU are NOT safe?

    • Bob
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      “These people are fleeing terrifying situations in some of the most dangerous parts of the world”

      France isn’t all that bad.

    Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    The Daily Telegraph calls for the abolition of the sinister and the danger to our democracy, the Electoral Commission. This is an utterly infected State body by extremists and political animals that targets what they perceive as any political threat to their worldview and their political mission

    Their behaviour before, during and after the EU ref was ultra vires. Their response to voting fraud at Peterborough was despicable and designed to keep out the Brexit party and protect Labour

    Abolish it NOW.

    All Leave Tory MPs should act as one to call for the dismantling of this pro-Labour and pro-EU activist body.

    Include the BBC, the CPS and any other body that acts politically when its job is to be independent and impartial

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink


    • Mark B
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Also +1

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Yes, if we’d got UN electoral observers in instead, then we’d probably still be in the European Union.

      The EC is under-resourced and near-toothless in law.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        You live in a different reality.
        How can you say such nonsense.
        The EU has huge powers and spends billions a yearl

    • M Davis
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink


  56. James Bertram
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have a smartphone, I don’t even have a mobile phone. Thoroughly recommended.

    I was brought up with a strong ethic of self-discipline, social responsibility and independent thought.
    I do not need or want any government interference or advice on how I go about my daily life, thank you very much.

    The government’s job should be no more than to provide accurate up-to-date information (not propaganda) on the virus, and thus enable logical widespread debate and understanding of the issues – and no more than that.

    It’s time for the nanny state (and its BBC friend) to get back in its box.

    • L Jones
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Well said, indeed, Mr Bertram.

  57. a-tracy
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    ‘Dr Mark Forrest, an intensive care doctor in the north-west of England, says he is “seriously worried” that ignoring the lockdown will increase the pressure on units like his. He tweeted: “Our ICU already has more Covid cases than 2 weeks ago as more people go out. Ignoring lockdown has us seriously worried for the next few weeks.” This from the Guardian. At last someone gives us some information.

    So now let’s investigate. Who are the new Covid cases on his ICU? Were they working, those that were working what jobs? Did they have ppe? What sort of ppe? Did they do unmasked dancing on Tik Toc? Seems they can do this but a Conga line following the nhs staff 2m rule dance routines and you’re evil and will kill them! If the new covid19 patients were not working did they have medical/care workers visit their home? Do they have multi-age occupancy homes? Is it people on the same street, we have a street near us where they all sit out everyday together socialising kids playing together. Ask their neighbours who comes and goes if they claim they haven’t left their home for the lockdown. Just one ICU to check and it will give us all a better informed picture of where the lockdown needs to continue and where the leak is that needs identifying, isolating and fixing for good. Who needs the highest protection?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      You and I have been on the same page on this for the past few weeks when this information MUST have been available.

      In the absence of statistical evidence, I’ll put forward a couple of actual circumstances locally plus another couple of possible to be disproven if anyone wishes:

      1 Lady in her 80s wants to continue her voluntary role at local hospital. Nobody tried to pursuade her otherwise. Well meaning but she caught the virus and passed away.
      2 Teenager went to stay with granny before lockdown, had a slight flu, recovered, went home. Granny still has CV.
      3 Care home worker travels between hospital/2 care homes/5 elderly patients in community with no PPE then back to boyfriend at home. Boyfriend misses seeing mates and goes round for a swift bevvy with them. One of his mates goes back to granny with whom he lives, who then ends up in ICU.
      4 Nurse’s friend is freed up from regular work and he offers to do a bit of decorating for her while she’s at work. They cross paths as she leaves for work in the morning, she hands him the key, works in the house, then goes back to wife and family. Carries the virus back home. One of the kids goes to see granny a few days later, who is soon in ICU.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      People on my street have been going into each others houses for weeks now. The police turn a blind eye.

  58. Graham Wheatley
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    The W.H.O.’s credibility is laughable. I wouldn’t urge the Government to follow their advice on ANYTHING.

    You may like to alert the Prime Minister and the Health Secretary to the W.H.O.’s Sitrep for 30th April https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200430-sitrep-101-covid-19.pdf – they have the UK with 4419 new fatalities that day; 3.8 times the Government’s quoted maximum of 1152 (from 10th April), and 6.5 times our quoted figure for 30th April. When plotted, that data sticks out like a sore thumb as being false.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/slides-and-datasets-to-accompany-coronavirus-press-conferences for anybody who wishes to cross-check the WHO data with official Government figures given in the daily press briefings.

    In their Sitrep for the 4th May (and for days following) they have a lesser number of cumulative fatalities for the USA than for the 3rd May. The negative figure of -1696 cumulative total fatalities for the 4th should really have alerted them to the fact that their data was erroneous. How can one trust an organisation that doesn’t proof-read important data BEFORE they publish it for all the world to see! ?

    Almost 1700 resurrections – wow. Something of a miracle I would say. Perhaps someone should inform The Pope?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      It worked in Aus, in NZ, in Korea, in Taiwan, in Hong Kong, and is working in most European Union countries that followed it.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        And they were making a serious effort to control their borders when they started it.

        Track and Trace is pretty futile if you don’t quarantine people arriving in your country.

        Are you sure it’s not more to do with controlled borders, Martin ?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

          Yes, maybe that is a significant factor.

          The Government has an indefeasible Commons majority.

          What stopped them from doing that here?

          It can’t have been the Opposition, or the European Union, can it?

    • Mark B
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      The government uses the WHO (UN), the EU and QUANGO’s as shields to protect them and their careers. Classic; “Not me guv'”

  59. Not Bob
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    John, we are all going to get a global ID and global vaccine, probably at the same time and then something else will happen and kaboom, one world government!

    How about we stop it now?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      +1 with whatever it takes!

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      Maybe its time to re-evaluate our membership of the UN, WHO etc etc

  60. forthurst
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    So typical of Arts graduates who don’t understand science: they either ignore it or put undue faith in it. JR is rightly sceptical about the ‘app’ being a solution that will make up for the government’s inability to organise a timely and coherent response to the virus. If the virus is to be contained, then testing, tracing and quarantining must be introduced and enforced.

    The excuse that there’re too many cases to have started tracing already is nonsense; if it had not been stopped on March 13th we would not be in the situation we are now. As it is, just because it could not be used to eliminate the virus because of the plethora of cases which has built up because of wanton negligence, it does not mean that it would not have a positive impact, however small, and far more importantly, it would have enabled the tracers to be recruited, trained and have practice in the field, and for the data they obtained to be collected and used to analyse how the epidemic is being spread as well as for the means of analysis being developed further and refined.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Even from a few 1000s of these we would know how this virus transmits here.

  61. everyone knows
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    The moment they all forget God and the enemy strikes!

  62. Abendrot
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I hope the PM has something elevating to say this afternoon, but judging by the selective leaks I’ve heard there will be little relief in what he has to say. Even the small concessions have created some differences the Scottish nats will exploit for electoral purposes. Given how much they are being gifted by the English taxpayer I wish someone in the Cabinet would put them back in their box. The Swedes have got this right, and it was the path we started on; what a pity that Boris didn’t have the courage of his convictions. In order to save the NHS, we dumped, without testing, a lot of elderly people back into care homes from hospital beds, which are not filled anyway because most folk are terrified of entering hospital; the result of which is that some care homes have become rife with the Chinese flu. This whole exercise has been about the inadequacies of the NHS. As a 70+ person, I’m sure to be fingered for a further bout of house arrest. The only people who seem to be able to move with relative freedom around the UK are illegal immigrants, picked up by the laughably titled ‘Border Force’ and escorted to the safety of a South Coast port before onward transmission to a safe haven in the UK from which they will successfully contest any move to return them from whence they came. To say that I am disappointed in Priti Patel is a great understatement. The way in which our dear country has handled this virus is an embarrassment. I am ashamed by our lack of manufacturing capacity, our lack of expertise, the poor quality of many government ministers, the prevalence of short-termism, and the dreadful communication. May God help us.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Incomers via airports are also allowed to roam around freely. Presumably not here to see the sights or on business, so here to visit their families who have so far been self isolated?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      +1 God helps those who help themselves!

  63. ed2
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Covid 19 is a brand name, it is not the virus. The virus is just another seasonal Coronavirus, the good news is as Fauci complained himself, Coronaviruses “resolve very quickly”. Those selling vaccines prefer them not to resolve so fast.

    I do not believe the govt agency disinfo it came from a Wuhan lab.

  64. ed2
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    The CDC owned the patent for this virus AND the only method of testing for it since 2006. This is why it could never be independently shown to exist.

  65. everyone knows
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Govts just following WHO script this is just a test run for global governance, refuse to play along.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      It’s MPs who should refuse…à toute vitesse.

  66. Chris B
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    The problem with track & trace is it could be used as an excuse for a long lockdown, until the numbers are so small that they can be traced using humans.

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      It is apparently important for tracking devices that you are 2 metres apart.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        closer than that and you will seem to be just 1 person with 2 phones.

  67. Stalin's churches
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    “Coronavirus: Churches may not be back to normal by end of year”
    Good. Well done! We do not wish them to ape Stalin who reopened the closed Soviet churches in WWII. The Despot!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      The churches are absolutely normal now. Totally empty. We are Christians and can’t sit through socialist lectures even on our day off.

  68. Ian Pennell
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood

    Competence seems to be lacking from Government Ministers over recent weeks. Britain’s ability to scale up Testing, Tracking and Tracing of Coronavirus to the scale needed to make possible lifting Lockdown without risking a vicious Second Wave of this virus is very much in doubt. As reported today, 50,000 tests for Coronavirus have been sent to the USA because this country does not have the capacity to test at-scale. If Britain cannot maintain 100,000 tests a day what hope for testing millions a day to enable the authorities to jump on fresh outbreaks whenever/ wherever it occurs and to keep on-top of Coronavirus’ spread in real time?

    Then there is the ongoing crisis of PPE equipment, goggles provided to frontline workers being 20 years out of date, inadequate supplies of gloves, gowns and face-masks. Not before time, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hauled Matt Hancock into his office for a bollocking. He needs to be told to shape up-fast- or else!

    Britain now has the highest Coronavirus death-toll in Europe complete with a decimated Economy arising from the (essential) Lockdown. The disease in still rife in care-homes.

    It is vital that much extra PPE (up to standard) is procured, much more scaling up of testing and tracing is done and the capacity to do this increased greatly. At the same time Lock-down measures should be eased incrementally (with the vital R number calculated in the days following before additional easing is undertaken). Jobs vital for the Economy (undertaken with strict social distancing measures in place) must be the first to be allowed to resume. Yourself, Sir and other Conservative MPs worried about the continued electoral prospects for the Conservative Party must get the Prime Minister to demand the competence and grasp of his Ministers on their departments- the NHS in particular needs someone who knows what they are doing! How about writing to Boris Johnson to ask that Matt Hancock be replaced by a Doctor who has worked for years in the NHS?

    These Conservative MPs were doctors and have several years’ experience in the NHS:
    1)Dr. Ben Spencer- new MP for Runnymede & Weybridge taking Philip Hammond’s Seat.
    2) Virginia Crosbie- Ynys Mon (Wales). Took this Seat off Labour and she is a Microbiologist: Just the sort of person you need in stopping a lethal virus!
    3) Sarah Atherton- new conservative MP for Wrexham. Worked as a nurse.

    To restore the reputation of competence to the Conservative Party you need ministers who really have a grasp of what they are doing and the departments they run.

  69. ChrisS
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    How can there be any plans to bring back full employment while UK politicians insist that 2m social distancing must be rigidly enforced ?

    London Underground passenger numbers are down by 95% and the buses by 85%. It’s been estimated that if Social distancing is to be maintained at 2m, the number of commuters cannot be increased from today’s levels.

    It seems that the only proper scientific research that was done on distancing was on indoor transmission only and it was found that 1 metre was OK. It’s interesting that the Germans have been working to 1.5m separation while we are on a very conservative 2m, inside and in the open air. It would be interesting to know if any group of scientists has carried out proper research on separation in the last three months and what conclusions were arrived at.

    Similarly, why are we not been told the real R rate across the nation, excluding hospitals and care homes ? I suspect it’s much closer to 0.5 than 1.

    With Germany almost fully open, including restaurants and bars, it will be very interesting to see if their reported increase in their R rate to 1.1 is based on very high rates in hospital and care homes or whether it is as a result of the relaxation in the lockdown.

  70. Zorro
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    “The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants” – Albert Camus


  71. Fred H
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    not for this diary.

    Signs gone up to warn of Sherwood Road, Winnersh being closed for 2 weeks to resurface !!

    It doesn’t need resurfacing – better candidates elsewhere.
    And in Winnersh/Hurst dozens/hundreds of potholes remain – I think of how many could be tackled in 2 weeks without the major tarmacing machinery required to do a long stretch.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 10:39 pm | Permalink


      Think of how many potholes could have been fixed in the past 2 months when little traffic has been on the road.

      Posted about this twice over 6 weeks ago.

      Another opportunity lost, now we will have road closures all over the place for road works to be completed, when we have traffic on the road.

      Complete lack of thought and planning, what have the workers been doing for the last 2 months, on furlough ?

    • Fred H
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      oops – – I got the wrong road name.
      It is Danywern Drive to be closed from 19th (Sherwood leads into it).

  72. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    At this point it doesn’t seem like the government, as a whole, wants to end the lockdown.

  73. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile in other news President Von Der Leyen pronounces

    “The recent ruling of the German Constitutional Court put under the spotlight two issues of the European Union: the Euro system and the European legal system.”


    “The European Union is a community of values and of law, which must be upheld and defended at all times. This is what keeps us together. This is what we stand for.”


  74. Donna
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Under no circumstances will I be downloading this app. Firstly, the Government’s track record with personal data is abysmal. Secondly, I doubt it will remain committed to tracing those who may have Wuhan Flu, just some police decided to utilise their drones which weren’t restricted to their original purpose, when it became convenient.
    The Security Services, Police, HMRC and DWP must be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect.

    I don’t support the draconian lockdown – which both Prof Whitty and Matt Hancock admitted was not necessary across large areas of the country which had low rates of infection.

    I’m never going to forget that a s0-called Conservative Government removed our Civil Liberties, with no debate, over a new ‘flu virus. Thank the Lord for the few dissenters in the Party and the media: well done in particular to Toby Young; Peter Hitchens; Brendan O’Neil.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      +1 Boris must go!

    • graham1946
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      I’d like the opportunity. I live out in the remote countryside (actually only 50 miles from Westminster as the crow flies (but not as tv or mobile phone signals fly). I need a satellite dish to get full tv. This is supposed to be the 5th richest country on the planet? Backward doesn’t even begin to describe it at times. I love the countryside and would not live anywhere else, but surely they could turn the wick up a bit, but of course there is not enough profit in it.

  75. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    So Boris says go to work in your car. Fine. Are the low emission charges to get into cities going to be cancelled? Are car parks going to be free? People need hrlp5to afford private transport.

  76. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    So luvvie Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t want to follow Boris’s advice but she will gladly accept money from England to pay the bills for her broke economy. Has she noticed how low oil prices are right now? These devolved nations are an unecessary expense.

    • graham1946
      Posted May 11, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Maybe she hasn’t, but I’ve just had my heating oil tank topped up with 500 litres for under a hundred quid. Never had that before and should be ok now until this time next year.
      Sturgeon complains that she learned of Boris’s proposals in the papers. Who can blame him for not trusting her with anything? All she wants to do is to try to get in before he does to upstage him and try to turn attention away from her own appalling performance in Scotland.

  77. Chris S
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Pleased to see that Boris is going it alone and relaxing things just a little in England, much to Sturgeon’s annoyance. She can rant and rave as much as she likes but 56m beats 5m any day of the week. That’s the reality of the situation.

    England needs to be more assertive, much more often

  78. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Well I have listened to the long promised Statement about moving forward, and I have to say I am very disappointed with not only the content, which I think is confusing, but with the stupidity of thinking some people (construction and manufacturing) can go to work on Monday/tomorrow, if its safe to do so, and if you do not use public transport.

    We all realise that getting back to near normal is going to take many months, will need to be done in stages, and must be conditional on progress of lower infection figures.

    I guess you will be posting something about this tomorrow or even Tuesday after you have read the 50 page promised explanatory document, so I will save my detailed comments for that post.

    Meanwhile a real opportunity to show the Government has a grip and a vision, has been sadly lost.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Alan Jutson,

      Your final statement is spot on.

  79. Writer
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Boris is most confused.

  80. glen cullen
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    A further 2 months lockdown ? its beyond a joke

    I now believe it is our own government thats the problem

    • stopevil
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Listen everyone, flee the country if you can. Go to somewhere remote.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

        You could have gone to twenty-seven other countries, such as Greece, which now has only a handful of C19 cases.

        France is down to seventy casualties a day now too.

        But you voted to throw away all that.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      +1 – Boris must go.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 11, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

        I think that you’ve run out of all possible Tory leaders now.

        Whatever, you want yet another unelected PM.

        Oh, the irony

  81. A young person
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    What’ control'(s) was were made on each of the swab tests?Were the tests with code numbers so names could not be distinguished by the laboratory testers and known persons who could not be suffering with the virus put in the tests?
    They were not were they.

  82. John E
    Posted May 10, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Did you get any clear idea what changes Boris announced, because I didn’t.
    Are garden centres to re-open for example?

    I get the impression the arguments are still underway.

    I was trained to do presentations as follows “Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you just told them”. Boris could really do with some basic training like that.

    • Irene
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      + 1. 🙂

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 10, 2020 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      No time to train Boris. We need a replacement and fast!

  83. Mark
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    Social distancing has worked to contain the spread of the virus among the general public – largely pursued entirely voluntarily, and not under the thumb of the authorities. For now, the main problem is in hospitals and care homes, where fresh infections run riot among people living together at close quarters.

    It seems to me that the government should be planning to harness the goodwill of people, rather than attempting some centralised tracking system. A track and trace system works provided that a good proportion of the contacts of someone who is found to have the virus promptly go into quarantine until tested to be not infected. For most people those contacts will be at home and at work: exceptionally in overcrowded public transport in big cities. I do not see that an app will manage to ensure that people adopt quarantine, and it provides no basis for organising testing of those who should be in quarantine to see if they can be released from it. We have heard nothing about how that is to be managed. To be workable, it really needs to be locally organised.

    Local organisation has provided volunteer services that the NHS volunteer service has failed to provide. Recruit the small platoons! Stop with the nanny big state solutions.

  84. Thom
    Posted May 11, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Ever since Boris came on the scene, and long before he became PM, he has being flying kites and yesterday’s contribution was just another example of his bluster and bluff in the hope to get him through- everything on a wing and a prayer

  85. a-tracy
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Test and Trace

    Just how difficult a job is this with the new numbers now? You’ve got hundreds of highly educated degree level High School teachers who the taxpayer are having to pay full wages to do very little at home, why can’t they be redeployed to this task to save the British public they are hired to educate. If they can’t educate they can help to resolve the problem of how the virus is still leaking, who is spreading it. If I were a key worker I’d want to be useful, I’d be embarrassed to be sat at home on full pay watching nurses, doctors, fire personnel and police staff all doing work outside their homes.

    Are the primary school teachers asked to write out all of their lesson plans right now so that when they do go back in September they don’t have to take a day off each fortnight to plan lessons?

    If these were private businesses TFL, Schools, and many others with their bowls out now wanting billions of pounds of taxpayers money would be laid off or furloughed on lower pay. Redeploy people they work for us we don’t work for them, if their current role is unsafe then give them other essential work don’t sub-contract it out causing even more cost for taxpayers to pay off!

  • 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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