Getting about with social distancing

Today we should learn more about how people can get to work given the advice that public transport cannot be used by great numbers to avoid the virus spreading.

I am pressing for more relaxed conditions over parking near to factories and offices for those who live too far away to walk or cycle. The government could offer to help Councils financially if they will waive some parking fees. They should encourage Councils to make more areas available for commuter parking into towns and cities.

The government should also make money available to Councils to make it easier for vans and cars to get into and out of urban areas through a series of measures to increase capacity across junctions and bridges. I have before identified various proposals to optimise traffic lights, segregate right turning traffic from the rest, put in more roundabouts and add to road capacity near and across junctions where the main delays occur.

The economy is relying more and more on van deliveries of on line orders and will now need to let  more people get to work by vehicle to allow social distancing from other travellers.

There should also be more discussion of safe working practices in  offices and factories where people do need to work outside their homes. This will be based on a combination of greater distancing between people and the provision of protective clothing.

I would be interested in other ideas to make safe working easier for more people, so we can begin to rescue our economy and people’s livelihoods from the damage done by the last few weeks of lock down.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Well you could always stop ALL immigration ? But it seems that no matter who people vote for, and what promises are made, this isn’t going to happen.

    Home working is probably the best solution. Not for all, but the best. When you have a large metropolis like London with people travelling into it to work you cannot expect any social distancing rules to be observed. Your in a bind here.

    Time to massively de-escalate the situation and take control of the narrative. Fewer briefings will force the media to fill the airwaves with other stories and so calm the situation. Then life can go back to normal. Try it ?

    • Peter Wood
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      The ”Common Sense” rule is the right one. Give advice, trust people and get back to normal, ie no more shutdown, open everything. We, the people, will sort it out.

      The hospitals have been saved, capacity is there and should be increasing daily to cope. (Get the police back to real work solving crimes and stopping thugs with blades!)

      • Hope
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        Today we read and see 52 migrants jumping for joy as they are flown from Greek camps to start a new life here- I suspect they do not have jobs or homes. Tory govt shipping them in from English Channel through Dover, now flying them in from Greece! Letting out 700+ from immigration deportation centres!

        We now see prisoners in the US trying to give each other the virus to be regaled early, I am sure this will be copied around the world. Although, Buckland happy to realise 4,000 prisoners early.

        What utter chaotic disgraceful conduct by this useless Tory govt.

      • Fishknife
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        Basic rules to living and working in a contaminated environment:
        1. Believe that everything is contaminated, and will be until we get a vaccine.
        2. Honour the Threat.
        Define it – Enclosed spaces, especially mass transport.
        Those particularly at risk need the highest protection – filtered air – issue masks through GPs.
        Accept that everyone, including yourself, is a potential spreader
        – face coverings for all in enclosed spaces
        3. Take personal responsibility.

        Risk assessment – we have seen the police working in pairs in cars – what is their cross contamination rate?

        Boris has a fine line to walk between maintaining the trust of the sensible, but having a stick for the delinquent, with little help from the MSM.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

          Sound post.

    • Hope
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Toff ministers think it is okay for the rich to have cleaners and nannies in their home but not grandparents for the less well off! You could not make up the the dishonest claims by this govt at the moment about following science rot.

      JR, explain to us how this policy is truthfully following science.

      If the govt wanted to protect the NHS over ten years it could have acted on its immigration policy to drastically cut the numbers. It did not even try.

      We read PHE was given £400,000 to study the drinking habits of football fans! This is our taxes being wasted by the Tory govt by the bucket load.

      Suggest govt is ignored. It has no credibility in telling the truth or saving our lives.

      • Richard1
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        Because grandparents are usually older and therefore more vulnerable.

        • Hope
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

          Not true. I know lots much younger and not just grandparents this applies to other relatives.

          Visiting many other homes and people will not spread Chinese virus! Get real.

      • APL
        Posted May 13, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        “If the govt wanted to protect the NHS over ten years it could have acted on its immigration policy to drastically cut the numbers. It did not even try.”


        But has no one noticed, the state run racket, otherwise known as the NHS, which was set up to look after the citizens of this country.

        Lo and behold, we’re now being sacrificed to the NHS.

        This is the way all Socialist systems go. Get used to it, it’s only going to get worse.

    • Hope
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Johnson claimed the govt adverted the 500,000 deaths in the nation address! He has no shame. There is no scientific evidence to support his wild exaggerated claim. It is science fiction rather than scientific.

      We need a PM who is a capable strategist, intellect to sort wheat from chafe, a decision maker and leader. Not an after dinner speaker/entertainer who dithers delays and whoffles on indecisively for a laugh.

      Crucial decisions this year show he is not up to the job at all. He cannot even follow his own advice even when it place his life in danger!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink


      • Richard1
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        Well it was What prof Ferguson forecast. It is highly likely to have been based on a flawed analysis but it unquestionably was the advice the govt received.

        • Hope
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

          Johnson started the paragraph, it is a fact….. then went on to the ridiculous 500,000 number. It is not a fact. A word smith like Johnson knew he was not telling the truth by citing it as a fact. His speech would have been checked very carefully.

          This was a deliberate con of the nation to for the govt. to avoid blame for wrecking the economy and not saving lives.

          If it was a fact why was his original strategy based on herd immunity? Then U-turned? Why let in 18 million including from virus hotspots?

          There is another expert published an article recommending an investigation whether the code was hid, govt duped or not understood what it was told!

    • Andy
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Well done. You finally figured it. You are not going to stop all immigration. You will never stop all immigration. So start to chill out about it.

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        The UK needs to get smarter, no benefits without work, no free accommodation for months on end, no getting put up in London or Manchester send people where there is work.

      • Leaver
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        I’m feeling strangely nostalgic for the Maybot.

        I think Boris is not a details person, and is woefully ill-suited for dealing with Covid 19.

        And while I have had my differences with May over Brexit (to put it mildly), I think she would have be the perfect leader for dealing with the current situation.

        Seems that we got May when we needed Boris, and got Boris when we need May.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          We never needed either!

          • Fred H
            Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

            +1 (million)

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          You have a curious definition of “need”, I think.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        The Danes have managed to stem the tide – then turned it around. They have done that by being tough.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          The Danes are one nation amongst many, who have done or are doing this,

          • Edward2
            Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

            The whole of Denmark has a population which is 3 million less than just London.

          • Fred H
            Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

            they’ve saved their (our) bacon.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

            China has done it too with 1.4 billion.

            And it has, whatever the lunatic conspiracy theorists claim.

          • dixie
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

            @MiC But China hasn’t done it, according to NBC they have declared martial law and barred all traffic in and out of the northeastern city of Shulan after 15 confirmed cases.

            South Korea has a new outbreak of 100 cases, so it seems they haven’t “done it” either.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

            North Korea has no cases at all.
            I expect you believe that “lunatic conspiracy theory” claim too.

          • Fred H
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

            China has told us they have done so well that they now plan to do 11m – YES ELEVEN MILLION tests for the whole city of WUHAN – similar to the issues faced with London.

          • NickC
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

            Martin, You have no idea what China has done. You only have what the Chinese communist party tells you. That’s not the same thing, as some Chinese people have told us (until they disappeared).

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        It’s never been a case of stopping immigration. It’s been a case of, as an independent, self governing country deciding who comes in & who doesn’t. Those who can make a positive contribution to the country as opposed to those who want to exploit the benefits on offer & come with a begging bowl.
        People won’t be chilling out until the politicians, judges, celebrities & certain sections of the media stop insisting we mustn’t be allowed to deport rapists, murderers, mafia bosses & other undesirables.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        We didn’t want to stop *all* immigration.

        We wanted to be a bit similar to New Zealand – but you wouldn’t let us…

        Now you slap us about for not being enough like New Zealand.

        Make your mind up !!!!

        And shouldn’t you be wrapped up in dealing with your business right now ??? We’d like to be hearing about how you’re getting on, Andy.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Stop all immigration you must be joking. Hundreds ferried over the channel every week, flying children from Greece only to have their extended families demand to come over. Possibly 10 people for every child.
      Until we get a pro British government in power nothing will change.
      Now we have the Brussels Broadcasting Company interviewing as many as possible to rubbish the latest proposals. It’s getting boring.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Regarding immigration rules proposed; I really don’t think Mr. Johnson has recovered all his mental faculties. The Irish and French (who are both trying to screw us over on the new trade deal) get to come and go in the UK at their leisure, but returning Brits get 14 days lockdown without the option! CRAZY!
      Sounds like a May-ism!

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        No mention of the fact that a large proportion of culturally diverse French citizens are not bound by the lockdown. French police are under instructions not to intervene.
        No mention on the BBC of course.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          Ian Wragg

          You don’t have to go to France.

          My neighbour has just told me that our nearest large, in your words “culturally diverse” city has exactly the same problem with the police unable to intervene for fear if being accused of being racist.

          BBC didn’t mention that either!

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

            …and now they have 900 more ‘citizens’ waiting for the call….
            At least now they will only get a trashed Britain.

      • bill brown
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink


        Nobody is trying to screw anybody and Boris two week rule will not last very long because it will not work any longer it is over the top

        • Edward2
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          Have you got any facts to support that claim?

          • bill brown
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 2:27 am | Permalink

            Edward 2
            the rest of Europe has different regimes and we have now had to change it with France already, so let us see what happens in the next few weeks, Constable

          • Edward2
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

            No real facts yet again bill

          • margaret howard
            Posted May 14, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink


            Do you ever produce any ‘real facts’ other than latching on to other peoples’ comments?

          • Edward2
            Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

            Yes I do Margaret
            Often to reply to your factless posts.

        • NickC
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          Bill B, The EU is trying to screw us. As it always has done. Evidence? – stealing our fish, making the entire UK subject to EU rules and the CJEU. All unlike other trade deals the EU empire has accepted.

          • bill brown
            Posted May 14, 2020 at 2:28 am | Permalink


            stick to the debate and leave you Eu prejudices at home

    • rose
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately, whenever HMG boycott the malign media the latter fill the airwaves with fake news. I wish HMG hadn’t caved in and gone back to Today. I wish they hadn’t caved in to media demands for a daily press conference. I wish they just called one when there was something particular to say. But now that the press conferences are happening, I look forward to being able to hear the ministers direct, not being shouted down or misrepresented. I also like to see the Cabinet. It is a joy to have got back Cabinet government at last and to have a PM who trusts his Cabinet Ministers to speak for the Government.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      The Supreme Court ruling is a game changer

      We can’t send back any illegal criminal migrant whose country has a lower health standard than our NHS

      As the NHS is reported to be the best in the world this means we can’t ever send anyone back to their country of origin

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        Our farms have accommodation and work and no workforce.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        In fact the NHS, culpable for all the deaths in care homes, has proven to be the worst healthcare system in the world and ergo – they can all go back! Every cloud and all that…

      • Mark
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        It provides entirely the wrong incentive. Any who want to stay should be encouraged to be law abiding. A penalty for not doing so is to lose the right to use our wonderful NHS. Make it the law that it is part of the punsihment.

      • sam
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        It is ‘reported’ to be but that isn’t the same as really being good. It has pretty much the worst cancer survival rates in Europe.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        However, judges at the European Court of Human Rights later ruled that a deportation could be inhumane if the individual’s life would be significantly shortened by the absence of suitable medical care for their condition.
        In practice that meant someone with a potentially life-threatening medical condition could not be removed from a European country unless there was some assurance about the care they would receive.
        That decision by the Strasbourg judges changed the previous position in human rights law – and AM argued that he could no longer be deported until evidence about Zimbabwe’s health system had been fully considered.

        Ruling unanimously in his favour, five Supreme Court justices said that while they had the power to ignore the Strasbourg judgment because of the UK’s existing law, they agreed with its decision.
        They said the European Court of Human Rights had clearly modified the definition of unlawful and inhumane treatment for cases such as this deportation, and British courts must now take that into account.

        Out and yet not out – This court has already shown itself to be politically in favour of the EU and this ruling continues down the road.

        Oh for the days of “outlaws”

        • Fred H
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

          What about when a nation does nothing to prevent criminals loading/stealing a boat with overloaded fleeced economic migrants, with no sailing knowledge, lifebelts, radios, distress beacons and abandoning them with the instructions ‘paddle that way’ across the busiest shipping 20 miles in the world.

          • glen cullen
            Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

            That country wouldn’t be considered a good neighbour

      • bill brown
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink


        • Edward2
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

          Short on facts again bill.

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        Then get rid of the Supreme Court it was never needed the Law Lords did a better job

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

          The Supreme Court is exactly the same Court, with the same judges, but simply in a purpose-built edifice.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

            Not the same judges
            Maybe we could elect them.

          • NickC
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

            Martin, Unfortunately our “Supreme” Court is not supreme – it is (still) subservient to the EU’s political court (CJEU).

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

            Only in the very limited areas of bland law covered by the Lisbon Treaty, Nick.

            No normal person is in the least bothered about that.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

            The Lisbon Treaty has extensive powers.
            Why be a denier?
            You should be praising it’s content.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Oh fewer briefings – yes please

    • John E
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      You’ll be heading out to the fields to get the harvest in this summer then I take it?

      • Mark B
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        Yes. My strawberry plants I nursed through the winter should yield a good crop. So much so I gave some plants to my elderly neighbours who cannot get out due the manufactured crisis.

        Thanks for asking 🙂

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Indeed but motorist mugging and inconveniencing and delaying motorists is about the only thing local authorities are good at doing. It is a very, very inefficient way of taxing people. At least 50% of revenue generated is surely wasted in the collection costs, plus all the inconvenience this causes to workers, delivery drivers, efficiency, shop customers the public. Then doubtless the LEA waste most of that 50% remaining on some PC or deluded climate lunacy. A parasitic job creation scheme, lowering real UK productivity wonderfully, destroying real jobs and strangling the real tax base.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      LL, a certain Reading Councillor will be rubbing his hands with glee at the thought of making roads cycleways only, congestion charging, in fact anything to stop people using cars to get to work.

      And this will not be temporary it will be a “sea change” that will not be rowed back on…

    • Hope
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Johnson advocated for construction and manufacturing to get back to work. He said this while still ordering the closure of schools, no extended family to look after children but the rich allowed to have cleaners and nannies! Is he really this dense? He always puts popularity before health and wealth that is clear from his policies to date: whether it to please Sir Humphrey and China with Haewei, British steel or allow international from China when it had stopped internal flights from the same areas!

      Accepting his bollocking from Macron and dare not to send boat people back from whence they came. He has already given Junker’s successor an additional £754 million to research a vaccine that might never turn up and with the EU continuing to make threats towards the U.K. and after it excluded UK from Gallileao for not being trusted even though UK taxpayer gave billions towards it! His actions make no sense other than to be popular and not to be disliked. Was it notmJohnson who said to tell the EU to go whistle for the unlimited billions to leave the EU? Now he is giving the EU more for nothing in return, literally nothing!

      Wait for him to cave to the EU in six weeks- he might even use Chinese virus as cover. He already signed up to Mayhab’s deal and lied to the nation to say it was dead and he had a new oven ready deal! He signed up to the Northern Irish protocol, betraying what he told the DUP, and the servitude plan he previously slammed in writing and in speeches!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        Yep! Boris must go. One way or the other.

        • Mark B
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          And replaced with who ?

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink


    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Nearly another 8000 deaths in the week to 1st May reported today it is down form the peak of 11,500 which is encouraging. If we make reasonable assumptions for the 11 extra days since we are now well over 60,000 excess deaths since the first CV death. Nearly half, it seems, did not even make it to hospital.

      Almost all are surely caused or accelerated by Covid19. Perhaps a few due to lack of normal NHS care (or people deterred from going to hospital) but these are, almost certainly far outweighed by the reductions due to fewer road accidents and significantly reduced numbers of medical operations being carried out. What do the government think caused all these extra deaths that are not recognise as Covid? Why does no one seem to be asking them?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        Sorry (8000 excess over normal deaths) I meant to say.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          No there are 37,000 excess deaths and all non-Covid. The NHS is culpable for each one and the Covid deaths in care homes. I hope they are sued from here to kingdom come and back.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

            No they are nearly all Covid accelerated at least.

  3. formula57
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Presuming the Government wants real measures (rather than pretend ones to offer false reassurance, of the like of travellers from abroad self-quarentining (itself typically optional in practise) unless they arrive from France or Eire) then: –

    – given air-conditioned buildings are perhaps as bad as cruise ships or airliners for trapping and circulating viruses, a cleansing filter might be developed to purify the recirculated air;

    – more extensive use of shift work, including where not used previously, to reduce the numbers on site at any one time;

    – advice and encouragement to use masks and perhaps goggles, whilst recognizing the limitations. (Not enough has been done to educate the public and promote usage.)

    Sensible, workable measures are of course urgently needed as confidence ebbs in the Government’s handling.

    • Adam
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      formula 57:

      Release lockdown individuals in FIXED GROUPS to reduce contagion.

      Let out on a single day 1,000 people have 999 opportunites to contact each other: causing approx 1 million contaminations. However if a fixed 20% are let out on their same exclusive day each week, only 200 x 199 can contaminate: approx 40,000. Every person would receive their day out, but containing the mixture would reduce risk of contact by 80%. Fixed groups of commonality can be defined by age, sex, job or whatever combination is most efficient.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      The rules about arriving from France or Eire seem to indicate that anyone – from anywhere – wanting to come here just gets to UK or France – then walks in here. No self isolation. It doesn’t seem to indicate that only French or Irish people can move freely. Yet more unthoughtout fudge by the govt. Or it may be deliberate to enable the world to arrive, while WE are under threat of arrest in our own country.

      Just telling people to go onto shift work – what about all those whose work revolves around getting kids to school and back. I had a manager who didn’t even realise that people who worked nights actually went to sleep during the day !!! He thought we just stayed awake for a whole week !!!!!

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Each business, person and worker needs to think and plan for their own individual circumstances. The top down command economy approach, where government tells everyone what to do, (when they clearly do not even know their circumstances) is idiotic.

    They should just ensure the NHS is treating people well, has capacity and has the right PPE available and to keep infected people out of care homes (rather than sending them there).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      I see George Monbiot is talking his usual deluded, climate alarmist, drivel in the Guardian the other day on the “Planet of the Humans” film. Though even he has worked out burning trees to make electricity is idiotic (so he is ahead of the government here) and he did finally came round to nuclear power.

      Also it seems the deluded, virtue signalling, woke GUARDIAN has now “renounced” (as they put it) taking adverts from fossil fuel companies. I assume all their workers etc. will however still use petrol, diesel, gas, electricity, take flights and use (or advertise) endless products made using fossil fuels (like electric cars and food). Then again who would want to advertise much in the Guardian other than jobs in the state sector, the BBC or lefty charities I suppose.

      Zoologists do so often go rather off the rails they need a bit more physics, maths, reality and engineering.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      You are asking to much. Expecting those that have grabbed power to let those that can get the job done – just do it.

  5. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Suspend disabled and other reserved parking, eg Market traders parking. Suspend loading zones – these are used intermittently in most towns totalling just a small proportion of the day. Allow vans to double park to Load/unload. Allow working colleagues to share a car (with protection as required).

  6. Alec
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Drive to work in your over taxed car on inadequate roads and park in horrifically expensive car parks to do your job (if it still exists), earn less money doing it whilst putting up with stupid social distancing rules thought up on the fly to keep people apart and increase the fear but not really have any effect at all.
    Meantime almost all shops are being replaced by Amazon which, apparently, doesn’t have to stick to any of the rules that smaller business does (I wonder why).
    Whilst you’re all coping with that governments around the world have done their level best to shut down food supply chains so you can look forward to paying a great deal more for your food, if you can get it at all.
    Welcome to Boris Britain. We were promised freedom from the EU and instead got a techno 1984/ Soylent Green dystopia.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Just been to Asda, there seems to be a plentiful supply of food and everything else so I don’t know where you live.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      There is no shortage of food in Shropshire

    • Ed M
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink


      IF the virus doesn’t go awol now in Australia, the Aussies will be ready to get their economy back to as normal as can be as soon as can be. They will be saving billions whilst we lose billions because we don’t do some basic Strategy / Technical Planning that you would do in business but so many in our government don’t come from a business background but from PR / Journalism / Law etc ..

      Keeping the death rate down isn’t just about keeping the death rate down for its sake its also about calming people down. A strong economy is so much about keeping people’s spirits high. You can’t really have a properly functioning economy with the perception – real or otherwise – that are people dropping like flies.

      So we need to a proper Plan – Strategy / Tactics, like in business to minimise the death rate and getting people back to work as safely and effectively as possible.

      We can have the best of both worlds – a bit like Australia is enjoying at moment to a degree. But we just have to Plan properly, using proper Strategy / Tactics to achieve this.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Clue – the Ozzies are not governed by aliens.

        • Ed M
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

          I’ve read far smarter insights about how to deal with this virus on this site than what I’m hearing from the government / civil service.

          (And am I NOT bashing the Tories – things would be far worse under Labour / Liberals / UKIP / Others).

          The really concerning thing is that they just seem kind of scared too. Just get on with it. Ask. Talk. Communicate. Say you don’t have all the answers but are trying to find out.

          To end of the positive note, The Chancellor seems to have come out the best from this.

          • Ed M
            Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

            ‘Just get on with it. Ask. Talk. Communicate. Say you don’t have all the answers but are trying to find out.’ – I meant those governing the country right now.

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

            The Chancellor ho ho ho it’s easy when you’re playing Santa Claus and giving away money for nothing.

            Wait till he has to become the Grinch.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      There most definitely ARE problems with supply.
      Never in my lifetime have I been restricted to buying three of anything and then found that only one is available.
      I imagine that worse is coming if the fear-mongers win the day over the “second wave”they are predicting.
      They will not let us escape from this delicious, perfect storm unless a brave person speaks out.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      No shortage of food in supermarkets in my region however its eerie to see every non food shop and business closed

      • rose
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

        No food shortage here but prices have gone up.

    Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    No one is interested in the formation of rules about how we can go about our daily lives. This is pure Marxist control.

    I see the left are calling for a general strike. Well done Johnson. Well done Tory government. Your appeasement of the McCluskey’s of this world will be seen by them as evidence of your fear and of your lack of will. They will eat Johnson alive

    When this deliberate carnage has passed the Marxist unions will once again be in full control of our nation though I suspect that has happened already

    McCluskey not Johnson is the man now in charge.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      I doubt it they are almost completely irrelevant outside the public sector.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        Even in the public sector when they stop getting paid they will reconsider.
        Ideal time to roll out driverless trains.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          Don’t worry about public sector…apparently there are plans for huge roll out of A.I.and thousands of redundancies.
          No doubt the removal of a virus-vulnerable group from “the front line” of the NHS ( clap,clap) presages eventual robotic hospital care too.
          Maybe that is really what people want..but this divisive jealousy will certainly deliver it.

        • glen cullen
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          I wonder what decisions the MPs would have made if we’d stop their pay back in March…I bet the outcome would’ve been different

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

            No too late – the MPs and Sir Humphries (or is that Mr Appleby?) – backdated, just to show we are all in this together.

          • Al
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 1:53 am | Permalink

            You mean the people who got a £10,000 grant to work from home while the rest of us just had to get on with it…

            If they aren’t paying that back, expecting them to stop their own pay is unrealistic.

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        The private sector, especially in big cities, will find it difficult to operate without schools and mass transport modes.

        Unless the government give the private sector money they would normally give schools to provide for childcare/education and on transport, people will have to provide their own ppe masks, visors. Parents with children they don’t want to send to any education setting will not be able to work and the unemployed claimant count will rise. The government can’t just keep paying one sector in full for no work but expect the private sector to muddle along and reduce their furlough to force them back – it just isn’t going to happen, the whole thing will fall over soon.

    • APL
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      Domonic: “No one is interested in the formation of rules about how we can go about our daily lives. This is pure Marxist control.”


      I hope you are a paid up member of the Conservative party. It would be a consolation to learn there is one Conservative in the operation.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        Well 3 – me and JR as well…
        Posted by Rodney Atkinson | Jun 13, 2018 – google this. Many thought it outrageous at the time.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Yet again. Exactly so! Spot on!!
      We are here because of wish-washy liberal appeasement of the Left.
      And it isn’t as if the govt/ministers have not been warned..often!
      So arrogant. So know-the-lot. ( Remember that pic on the Bullingdon Club steps?)
      The hard left is salivating. Of course they are !!
      Tories still believe you can talk to a commie anarchist.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      For the past few years the media have compared Boris to Churchill in stature, bearing and action

      Sadly I just see another Blair or Cameron

      • hefner
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        No, BJ is Churchillian, the Churchill of Gallipoli in 1915 and the one of April 1925 relinking the pound to the gold standard.

      • Original Chris
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        Agreed, gc.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        and the former got unceremoniously ejected after leading the world to peace, the latter might also but after doing what?

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


      Mr Sunak has confirmed it is too late with the support of the TUC he has extended the furlough patronage scheme encouraging resource not to be used and the provision of income &/ jobs to be mostly down to Govt.

      I would hope that any Conservative MPs with brain and integrity would leave the party and speak up (I don’t know if a leadership challenge is viable),but I think it is all too late. With Number 10 taking over number 11 with the booting out of Javid power is centralised around idiocy. The country is being taken down rapidly, Johnson, Hancock and Sunak need to go. In the timescale he has had Sunak could have implemented a UBI for both safety and motivation,.choice to.leave the job if they have fear, but the motibvation to earn more. I don’t know whether the Govt is bad in ability or bad in intent, but either way it is bad; it does not care about the damage it is doing to the future lives of millions.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      When was the last time we enjoyed a Conservative Government?

      We have control freakery urban Tories, metropolitan Liberals, then the metro Marxist fraternity. All left leaning ideologist that will fight against the freedom for the people to get things done.

      No enterprise, no self-confidence and no ‘we are all in this together’. Just them and us

    • Mark B
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink


      Look on the bright side. After Edward Heath, who was the next leader of the Conservative Party ?

  8. Sea Warrior
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Varying working hours is the easiest thing to do. Rather than an office work 0900-1700, it could work 0730-1830, with the business having some staff arrive early and some later, before doing their contracted hours. That eases transport loading.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      There still won’t be sufficient capacity as TfL have said distancing will reduce operating capacity to 15% that would require six rush hours each way. Gas masks and gloves are the way forward and continue to pack the trains.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      It’s easy to get people to do early start, early finish, not easy to recruit for the later times 10 to 1830 or even 12 to 1830. If you try to swap shifts month about you get problems with childcare arrangements so that doesn’t work. People with children want to do just school hours, then people without children complain the others have the best shifts.

  9. Pat
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Give tax breaks to private companies investing in equipment to reduce personal contact

    For example contact less payment at petrol pumps, without having to enter the shop to pay.

    Encourage working from home by private companies.
    Eg many private companies exist which can provide excellent tutoring over the net

  10. jerry
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Roundabouts do not auto-magically increase capacity,, they can actually impede the flow if the traffic levels are asymmetrical, sure the higher volume road flows freely but other roads snarl up, especially the first exit/entry immediately after the entry with highest flow. Traffic lights have often needed to be placed on or before the roundabout to correct this problem, thus creating an artificial gap in the flow!

    The idea of staggered start times has merit but it will likely need to be implemented between different companies on business parks or even across a geographical area, rather than employees within a workplace starting at different times, this will need a method of arbitration!

    Does there need to be changes to the planning system, and UBR, with social distancing rules meaning greater distances between work stations on production lines I can see there will be the need for larger buildings either by way of alterations, extensions or even new [1] ‘shadow factories’ (all will likely need to be built quickly and at reduced costs).

    [1] or the rapid change of planning class of an existing building

    • jerry
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      A further lockdown rules question, it does seem strange that related but non household family groups can not meet-up, if a asymptomatic persons was to meet up with the permitted one other person at the correct 2m distance outside but still somehow infect that other single person surely the newly infected person will still take the virus back to their own household group anyway.

      Very strange thinking, even more so when in effect, at least in a public area, it appears quite legal for a mother to meet with her adult child whilst just metres away her husband can meet with his son’s spouse, half an hour later and a sort walk, the group can simply reform in opposite pairs!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Anti-car traffic light, bus lanes, bike lanes, large island in the road, environmental areas and some one way systems certainly reduce road capacity hugely. I recent caught a bus in London Primrose Hill to Piccadilly 2.1 miles (I had some spare time). It was middle of the day and it took over an hour and had an average of about 6 people on board. I could have walked it in half an hour but for a large suitcase. Nothing very efficient about large cumbersome buses and deliberate government road blocking & congestion.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Oxford says this is not even an epidemic in the U.K. – number just not there. No need to alter anything apart from the PM.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        Lynn….I agree

  11. Dystopian nightmare
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    I have ordered my family not to watch TV and to ignore politicians. Sorry, it came to this John but we intend to enjoy life. Bye-bye.

    • BOF
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      Your family listened to you? Well done.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      OK. As the ostrich remarked as she buried her head in the sand…

      • Original Chris
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        There are plenty of better quality and more reliable sources of news than the television and some politicians, Mike. I stopped watching television news some years ago, and am better informed for it. Better for your health and wellbeing also!

      • Mark B
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        Well that’s a first. Mike Stallard reads and replies to someone else’s post. Almost worth the price of the shutdown.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      The BBC seem to be on a full force plan to cause mass hysteria on their radio phone-ins. Sensible people are cut off. Others who start by saying they “have mental health problems” are allowed to get into a frenzy very quickly and spout stupidity. Even the presenter last night got from 30’000 deaths to 500’ooo deaths in one sentence. Absolutely ridiculous.

      • agricola
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        The frenzy and stupidity would seem to confirm their mental health problems

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      You can enjoy life without putting all others at risk.

  12. Roger Phillips
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Can I ask you why Welsh Labour have been given the right to make up different laws under the Cornona virus act which they are now using for political gain against central government? The decisions made by Mark Drakeford and Co differ from Government advice and will no add to the confusion. This needs to be reversed immediately or chaos will rule.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      And as per normal Scotland

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Different guidance not different laws

    • Pud
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      An obvious consequence of any area of legislation being devolved is that England may well have different rules to Wales or Scotland. If they want a UK wide policy then the decision needs to be made in Westminster.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      The Scottish spokes(wo)man in parliament today asked if Scotland would be able to keep furloughing workers if they kept their lockdown longer then the rest of the UK.

      The Chancellor did not slap her down either he just didn’t answer.

      There should be no additional funds for the devolved regions who choose to go their own way. A different approach needs to be funded by the administration that takes that different approach not by putting their hand out for more money.

      They should already know that authoritarianism costs.

      • rose
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

        I suppose the health ministers in each devolved region have inherited the tyrannical powers the Health Secretary has from 1984 which we didn’t know he had.

        Everything Blair did was a disaster except Sierra Leone, and the Devolution Mess is among them.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 13, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      No, they’re using it to save lives.

      Only you would think that gaining political advantage would be the main motive.

      We’re. Not. Like. You.

      • NickC
        Posted May 13, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        Martin, But that’s the point – does it save lives? It certainly causes loss of life, loss of lifespan, and immense social, economic and psychological damage.

        Only you would think that slogans = truth and thinking.

        We’re. Not. Like. You.

        Thank God.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          It’s a breeze.


          Enjoy it.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

          Where’s IT support when you need it? Two stuck keyboards to be fixed.

  13. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Where people have been homeworking instead of travelling to an office they / their companies need to be encouraged to continue this… Parliament could set a good example.
    The Government should provide extra funds to BT to speed up internet cabling capacity.

    Social distancing, as a remedy needs to be scientifically reviewed. The current ‘distance’ makes life difficult. People should be encouraged to keep their own face away from others, just by the angle, so as not to breath on people.
    It was said that there would be less trains to encourage people to walk or cycle to work – How irrational is that when so many people commute into London and other cities from 20+ miles away? There should be more carriages certainly.
    I’m still not convinced that masks offer a real partial solution – The virus can seep through the mask’s material due to it’s size, but to make them safe should be washed at high temperatures or replaced at least daily… An impracticality for most people.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      Their companies and the workers should surely make their own decisions about whether this home working works for their situations or not.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        correct – working from home might be fun in the short term but zombie in the long term

        • Fred H
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

          thats not good news for all the MPs glazed over in front of the screen!

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        @LifeLogic – Yes, but more homeworkers means less crowded roads and trains… That is especially pertinent given a minister wants to reduce rail capacity!

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

          Why are they building more railways then?

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Parliament want an expensive showy building. One that starts of costing £xbn – then ends up costing £xxxbn – just like everything else the govt does eg . . HS2?

      As for more carriages – would they be longer than the platforms? If so then inevitably someone would get out of a carriage and fall where there is no platform – leading to massive claims.

      As for replacing the masks at least daily – -I can’t even find ONE in the shops – and am NOT set up for online shopping which puts my whole financial life at risk of hacking. Not just impractical to change many times daily – unaffordable!!!

    • Newmania
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      I think you speak form many many many of us –

      The Government should provide extra funds to BT to speed up internet cabling capacity.

      • hefner
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        Strictly speaking one would want extra funds to OpenReach, the bit of BT (now legally separated) responsible for the telecoms infrastructure. The rest of BT (administration, customer service, prices) is near the bottom of the list in terms of fixed line, mobile phone and internet providers (various Which? reports these last few months).

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        No, it shouldn’t. How much internet capacity goes to meet the needs of business – and how much goes to meet the needs of gamers and those wanting to download films? The government most certainly should not be paying for infrastructure to support the latter.

        • Bryan Harris
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

          Most companies use direct cabling infrastructure for their main operational needs – but in order for employees to link into their systems they would need the internet, and I’m suggesting that while it is a good idea to have the option of working from home, internet connections, speed and reliability leave a lot to be desired – This needs to be greatly improved to make us competitive while allowing us to work smarter.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        ‘The Government’ has already paid Openreach for what they thought was FTTP (fibre to the premises) but got fibre to the cabinet, meaning that your data goes at the speed of an ass on copper cable from your computer to the cabinet. The fact that it then proceeds at the speed of light from the cabinet onwards is irrelevant.
        So yet another government sourcing success story. Let’s pay Openrech for a second time shall we? British taxpayers have money to burn!

        • jerry
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

          @Lynn Atkinson; “Let’s pay Openrech for a second time shall we? British taxpayers have money to burn!”

          As tax payers, who also pay BT anyway (directly or indirectly) via our telecoms bill I think yours is somewhat of a moot point, does it really matter from which hand your money is taken?

        • NickC
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

          That’s not correct, Lynn. Fibre optic cabling has many advantages – principally: bandwith, reduced attenuation, electromagnetic immunity, etc, – but speed is not really the issue. After all, local networks (eg a home or business) and your computer equipment all rely on copper cabling and pcb tracks. Therefore fibre to street cabinet, and copper to an individual home is perfectly satisfactory.

          • jerry
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; “Therefore fibre to street cabinet, and copper to an individual home is perfectly satisfactory.”

            Not if the home is going to become an extension of the work office, the differences between a business and domestic connection was increasingly becoming blurred even before this pandemic but now they have all but merged into one.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

            Do why has the spec changed then? We are now paying again to for FTTP, so we can keep pace with Malta!

          • Bryan Harris
            Posted May 14, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink

            @NickC – I concur

            For most people the copper end into their homes is more than fast enough… and few working people exceed the capacity available….

            Delays come in when all the traffic from home use is merged together and routed to it’s destination – that can become clogged, and the use of more fibre routes will only help

      • hefner
        Posted May 13, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        Just a bit of fluid dynamics. Assume a 100 yards little rivulet flowing into a bigger faster river. The water in the rivulet goes slow, the one in the river fast. If for some reasons the flow in the river gets faster, it will make the discharge from the rivulet just a tiny bit faster than it was before at the confluence. But the overall time for the water originating in the rivulet to reach the sea will be much shorter.

        As Andy Haldane has said today on this National Numeracy Day, it is painful to see that about 50% of the British population has an understanding of maths (and physics, my addition) not better than end-of-primary-school children.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          You ignore the angle of confluence. If the rivulet meets at 90% it will join slower than at 45% where the river will exert a pull along effect and speed up the flow. Joining at angle ‘against’ the river flow will slow down the rivulet flow.

          • hefner
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            Could you give some geographical examples of rivers where the water from the smaller one even if at an angle ‘against’ the bigger river flow will not finally go into the bigger one.
            Then, how do you think that translates for a data flow from a copper cable to a fibre optic cable?

          • Edward2
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

            No point arguing with Hefner Fred.
            He is the most intelligent person on here.

        • hefner
          Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

          Originally, I was just pointing out that Lynn was talking rubbish in that particular instance (12/05 5:11 pm).
          It is funny how biased one can be(come), even ‘defending’ wrong comments. In the name of what?
          Edward2, please tell us.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 14, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

            I thought I was making a nice comment about you hef and saving Fred and Lynn from wasting their time.
            You read too much into it because you dislike anything I say.

    • dixie
      Posted May 13, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      I would not provide taxpayer funds to BT who shafted UK customers, businesses, IT and telecoms vendors, not to mention are at the centre of the Huawei debacle.

  14. geobbals
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Why does Boris address the nation like we are 5 year olds? We reject this attempt to infantile us all.

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      He really does not understand the electorate, nor does he seem capable of addressing us in an adult fashion. He seems to be a prime mover for the nanny state. Must be something to do with those he has surrounded himself with, and of course the civil service mandarins who seem to be running circles round him.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        I thought the ambling, repetitive, tensioned fist clenching was body language for ‘I really don’t want to be here, insisting this load of nonsense has to be accepted by the country, although most of it is clearly after the horse has bolted and will do little to help’.

        • rose
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

          I think it is to pacify the authoritarian left who keep pretending they don’t understand what he says.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

            Or is he pretending to understand what he is saying?

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I see that cleaners and nannies can all go back to paid work. So everyone can now employ any people or family they wish to see, as nannies or cleaners and then perhaps reverse the arrangement for the following week at their house to earn their money back again.

    You can also drive back and forth to your holiday home village each and every day but not actual stay there overnight. But then I suppose if you rent it out sometimes you could count it as work and do so – so long as you clean it a bit, change a light bulb or mow the lawn.

  16. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Think you will find JR that many companies will find that for them, their staff working from home has been an eye opener, in so far as co-operation and productivity has not dropped off at all, the real test will however come when the volume of work returns to “Normal” levels.

    Can such working be maintained long term, is there any affect on team spirit or the lack of social interaction. We wait to see, but not everyone is suited to work from home.

    No idea about the existing technical set up of air conditioning systems, but if anything this latest experience has surely highlighted that good quality washable or recyclable filters need to be incorporated in such systems to try and prevent the spread of all types of virus and dust, which is endlessly recirculated and pumped out to all those who are contained in a sealed box, be it an office block, restaurant, theatre, train, bus, airplane, cruise ship etc.
    Goes without saying that such filters, should they be fitted, should be inspected and changed on a regular basis.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      I have worked from home before but prefer to work in the office / site. It’s doable for me, but not preferable. It varies depending on a range of factors I guess ?

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted May 13, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

        Mark B

        Agree, for many years I worked from home but planned it around site visits, telephone calls and the like, in addition to break up the monotony of the day, I chose to do different types of tasks to give myself a variety of work.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 13, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Alan how do you know productivity hasn’t dropped off at all? Even from those trying to home school their children at the same time? I know businesses that have had to allow their home working parents more paid time off and put their work on their colleagues.

      Who has measured the employees output already?

  17. Mike Wroe
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    The Government message should reflect different risk for different ages. Healthy under 60 go back to work, one metre social distancing will suffice, very low risk. Use public transport if you can. Over 65 with underlying health conditions work from home or stay away from work altogether, or retire! Under 30 should be allowed to socialise with their friends. Don’t restrict our young people. It isn’t necessary. The rest “stay alert”.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Mike, are you talking about forcing over 60s to finish work? Even if they have been working for the past seven weeks? What about healthy over 60’s without known health conditions that can’t work from home, how many doctors, nurses, care workers would no longer be working?

      Some under 30s still live with vulnerable elderly or disabled family members they can catch it and pass it to over 50s they work or travel with because they’re going to the nightclubs like in S Korea?

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


        Many people give consideration to whom they live with. They would not be forced to meet their friends because they are under 30.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      It’s the fatties of all ages most at risk.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      How do you know?

      This is not a churlish remark. There is as yet no proof about anything just theories. A sneeze is shown to travel 4.5 meters or more.

      Those over 60 with health issues have suffered, but those that have remained healthy haven’t. It is shown the healthy 70 year old is at the same risk as a healthy 20 year old.

      The mention of Corvid on a death certificate – just means it is possible Corvid was there. The testing doesn’t cover every death. The list is endless, for now everything is just a hoped for guess

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        Ooops ‘any proof’ – I expect there is more.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink


      Oh Dear, some people no matter how much information is out there, still do not seem to understand do they.

      A sensible and healthy older person can be less at risk than a much younger unfit fool.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      This both our kind host and I have been arguing for right from the start. Others too !

  18. Annette Bates
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Sir John, you need to ask how the people appearing on the tv appear to have perfectly coiffured hair, when hairdressers & barbers have been explicitly closed because (spins wheel) proximity risks. Sturgeon is an excellent example of this. Hers could, of course, be a wig but if so it would not apply to all. I know that broadcasters have their own hairdressers, & the reason will no doubt be cited that ‘adequate precautions have been taken’. The same rationale will no doubt apply to others appearing with perfectly coiffured heads in the public eye.
    If the ‘precautions’ are deemed adequate & acceptable for those in the public eye, why aren’t these ‘adequate precautions’ being notified to those businesses that have been forcibly closed so that they can re-open with the same ‘precautions’ in place? It couldn’t be a case of ‘Do as I say’ not do as I do’, could it? It’s really about controlling the ‘little people’ who pay the public servants wages. Tyrants never want to hand back control once they have seized it for their own political aims, just like the EU.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Good point!

    • Fred H
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      the obvious exception being Boris, although it probably takes some time to ruffle his mop to give the right effect.

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 13, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Indeed, Annette. One rule for them and one for us. I remember reading about a US state governor who recently was brought to task by someone who had evidence that she had had broken the lockdown that she herself had apparently imposed, and went out to have her hair done. She apparently replied that as she was often appearing on television because she was an important person, and had to look good, so she was justified in what she did.

  19. Irene
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Without safe, consistent and reliable childcare available, the plan to get back to work will stumble. ONS statistics show the percentages of the workforce with dependent children.

  20. Javelin
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Most office buildings have been designed to optimise the efficiency for work and to be green which implicitly optimised the efficiency of viral transmission.

    – Shared toilets. Enclosed. Hot and humid. This was where a study found the virus in the air.

    – Fans to dry hands and spray the virus around the toilet.

    – Closely packed bodies at desks.

    – Corridors between desks where people can walk and spread the virus.

    – Air conditioning to blow the virus around the offices and floors.

    – Lifts so that people can squash in together to catch the virus.

    – Fire doors needing to be touched to spread the virus.

    – Central lobby where people must pass or wait to spread the disease

    – Security barriers means security guards are the people most likely to have died from the virus.

    • Javelin
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      My conclusion is that offices should not be used without good reason whilst the virus is circulating. This could be for years. Companies need to review their rental agreements and possibly move to much smaller offices outside of urban areas.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        That’s bad news for a Service Economy.

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 13, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        That would devastate Cities wouldn’t it, all those sandwich shops, pubs, other small shops servicing office workers and their meetings with clients, all those after work clubs, cafes, restaurants, theatre, other shows all closed for a couple of years because they can’t get a big enough audience, you’ve only got to look at out of City to suburban towns to see how little nightlife and evening after work activity there is.

        Then you’ve got the problem of health and safety on all those workers operating out of home bases, employers are supposed to do a risk assessment for lone workers, make sure their electrics are checked, their portable equipment is checked, a fire extinguisher available, no trip hazard from cables, suitable desk and chair, this was ok for an initial couple of weeks, it’s not going to be ok for a couple of years many of these people aren’t self-employed they’re employed a whole different can of worms. Do they have employers liability insurance whilst they’re on the clock, does riddor have to be followed when injured home working even if during their lunch break. Aren’t they supposed to inform their household insurers and up their cover. If the chair provided by the company and tips over and injures a child is that household or business insurance risk. There are lots of very blurred lines here, as it’s now a workplace is the employer liable to clean the workspace? Don’t even get me on to the security of the data, gdpr and the data protection act, how do you know someone’s partner, family member, teenager isn’t sharing confidential information like the young girl did the other day when her Dad delivered goods to the Prime Minister. I could go on and on but I won’t John sorry but you do need to consider this. This is not a fix.

  21. Sakara Gold
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    In your attempt to follow Graham Brady and the 1922 committee’s party line, you miss the point entirely.

    “damage done by the last few weeks of lock down”

    What about the damage done to the families of the deceased? Or those brave NHS nurses, doctors and consultants who fell on active service?

    How about the damage done to the government’s credibility by the weeks of gross incompetence over closing our borders, testing, quarrantine, PPE, the most fatalties in Europe, the constant spinning of the data, etc etc

    If we had got our response right at the beginning instead of being beguiled by Chitty and Vallence’ “herd immunity” strategy we might now, like New Zealand and or Taiwan, be able to plan our lockdown exit strategy with confidence.

    Clearly, the leaders of the devolved nations – who Johnson did not see fit to consult before his disastrous statement on prime-time TV Sunday – are not buying it. They are waiting to see what happens – a very wise move.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Funnily enough women healthcare workers have a lower death rate than the rest of the population. As 75% of the NHS employees are women, the least dangerous occupation is a ‘nurse’ clap clap.

    • NickC
      Posted May 13, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Sakara, It was the failure to lock down our borders that introduced the coronavirus into this country in the first place. Yet many, including some here, were so reactionary that when any of us called for a border lockdown, their knee-jerk response was to shriek “xenophobe”.

      Do not try accusing others of not caring about the damage done to the families of the deceased, when the policies you advocate have been the prime cause of the deaths. Nor should you copy Martin in sneering about “herd immunity”, which is a real epidemiological effect in both humans and animals. Herd immunity is the only hope we have short of a cure or a vaccine.

  22. Pat
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    VAT has been waived on PPE for the NHS, but is still charged to private sector care homes and private individuals, despite being highlighted on national TV in early April

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Which means that the care home residents will be picking up the tab, eventually. The government’s ‘estimate’ for this pandemic seems to have not included much consideration for the Care Homes sector.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 13, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        what about the Care Homes owners? A lot of empty rooms?

  23. M.H.
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    End social distancing

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      It was and still is only a guidance from public health england

      We’ve all become sheep

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Not much of a case there, MH. Social distancing, and hand-washing, are two of our most effective weapons in the fight against CV.

  24. BOF
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    The most obvious change would be to reduce social distancing to one metre. Still a perfectly safe distance and is already in defacto operation in most supermarkets where it is almost impossible to maintain the OTT two metres as you pass each other in the isles.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Its only a guidance from Public Health England (PHE) due to media mass hysteria

    • Michael Jones
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      The recommendation to reduce social distancing to ONE METRE is exactly right. The World Health Organisation states that One Metre is safe, and France is applying this. One Metre would make a huge difference to all of the problems within offices, transport, etc

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        It is if, and only if, everyone is wearing face masks.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      I disagree. Non-commuters will have no difficulty in maintaining 2-metre spacing. Next time you go out for a walk pass 2-metres from a lady. I’ll guarantee that you can still smell her perfume – and that makes me think that 2-metres is the absolute MINIMUM we should be striving for.

      • ChrisS
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Sea Warrior : The fact that you might smell perfume at 1m is irrelevant.
        Most countries are working to 1m. Even Germany is only at 1.5m
        The only validated research done on this subject concluded that 1m is safe and that was indoors.

        The risk outdoors is hugely reduced.

        The Apps being developed, including the UK one, only set of a warning if you have been within a range of 1m of an infected person for 15 minutes. Any shorter exposure time is regarded as extremely low risk.

  25. Pat
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    My apologies

    Pls ignore last comment re VAT on PPE as temporary relief has been applied

  26. RichardM
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    The virus is mainly spread by droplets of saliva that are emitted when we speak. A cloth in front of ones face stops 99% of these droplets. Simple face masks should be compulsory in all environments where people come into close proximity.
    It is mind boggling that this has not happened yet here, as has been commonplace in Eastern countries where the virus is being far better controlled.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Face masks don’t stop you from receiving the virus, face masks only stops you from transmitting the virus…..if you’re transmitting the virus you should be in isolation…..avoid anyone wearing a face mask

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Infantile absolutism again.

        • glen cullen
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

          ….and yet still correct

        • NickC
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

          Infantile comment from you, Martin. Again.

      • Al
        Posted May 13, 2020 at 2:05 am | Permalink

        “..if you’re transmitting the virus you should be in isolation”

        The problem is asymptomatic carriers. If someone doesn’t know they have the virus, how can they know they should be in isolation?

        • glen cullen
          Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

          thats just fear spead by govt and media

          If you have a cold you know
          If you have a flu you know
          If you have a virus you know

          its only fear when someone tells you, you may have something you didnt even know about

          control and fear

      • Fred H
        Posted May 13, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink


  27. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I have not heard proposals for the low emission zone or congestion charging to be relaxed in London. Seems the environmental lobby and the taxation it generates are more important than our health.

    An extra tenner to drive into London – no thanks

  28. Iain Gill
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Allow people to pay for temporary accommodation near their work out of untaxed income, eg abolish IR35 in the public sector, allow PAYE workers to claim the tax back on any such accommodation.

    Would radically reduce numbers of daily journeys needed.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      A very good idea.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted May 14, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink


    Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Beware of politicians who always exclaim ‘Always turn to the State’. State dependency is a cancer and this dependency is deliberately encouraged to assert control over people. It’s a Marxist trick. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol-Pot, Castro. All State tyrants that demand you look away from yourself and to the political State

    Thatcher terrified the left. Her message of self-reliance and personal responsibility threatened the left’s culture of State control through dependency

    So why have successive Tory and Labour governments since 1990 encouraged State dependency and a bigger political State? They intend to assert control over both our public and private lives. The process of control has only just begun

    It is appalling that Tory libertarians remain silent on such sinister developments.

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

      Tory libertarians are silenced, not reported. The corporate state see to that. Don’t blame those on your side, join them in attacking our mutual enemy.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      The Tories have always been for big State, but more in a paternalistic way. Mrs.T was as much a shock to the Tory Old Guard (Wets) as it was to the Left.

  30. Adam
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    During other than busiest periods, work often expands to fill the normal time of a working day.

    Where practicable, reduced physical contact between individuals may be accomplished by half the number working on even-numbered days and the other half working on odd-numbered days. Those with surname initials A to M identify the odd group, and initials N to Z the even.

    Each half would be fully separated from the other, heavily reducing the opportunity for virus transmission. Transport would also be eased.

  31. jerry
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    @Bryan Harris; Your last paragraph makes a good point, something the rather silly “How to make your own mask” instructions fails to remind people, the CV19 virus can live within a damp infected mask, as you say, what then happens if these body fluids soak through to the outward side, or should the mask then be worn in effect inside-out.

    You are wrong that most people do not have the means to sterilise a cotton (DIY t-shirt) style mask, although they may well lack the knowledge to do so, after all most people do have access to either a cooker, or at least kettle!

    Place mask in saucepan, fill with water, bring to the boil, boil for a few minutes, remove mask from water, hang up to dry – for added security add some disinfectant to the boil, but the mask will need to be well rinsed in cold water if you do! Anyone who lived in a household were cotton handkerchief were still used, never mind ‘terrycloth’ nappies, will know all about this…

    • Stred
      Posted May 13, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      I spray my mask with water and put it in the microwave until it steams for a minute.

  32. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink


    Are their lanes usually empty, especially at rush hour in big cities? I do not know.

    It is completely suicidal to ride bikes out here in the countryside. The roads are the same as they were in 1920 and as narrow. Cars are often driven by people in a hurry or (I regret) on their phones. There is a constant toll of people being killed and maimed.

    In Australia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi (I have family in all three) there are cycle tracks specially built (not on the road) beside the roads and people can cycle safely along them.
    Cyclists and road traffic (especially lorries) do not go together. And cycling is a lovely way to get around.

    • ukretired123
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Cycling needs to be given greater priority and has improved since British Cycling gaining top honours in sports in the last decade. However whilst more people are cycling on the public roads more than ever there needs to be more training is required for both cyclists and driver awareness, especially knowledge of “the life-saver” known by motorcyclists and risk scanning 360 by Advanced Motorists.
      Electric versions of motorcycles sounds great to me compared to heavier e-cars.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Good luck doing the school run and shopping on one of these vehicles. Remember that the U.K. is a long way north, we have extended dark mornings and evenings in the cold months, we also have hills! Cycling for fun is fine but peddling about to sustain life is a non-starter!

        • ukretired123
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

          The govt has just brought forward trialling e-scooters in all UK cities next month to get folks Off crowded Public transport and out in the fresh air! Our grandchildren normally scoot to school unaided a mile away – but it’s horses for courses.
          It would be unsafe to carry heavy shopping on these obviously so van delivery esp in bad weather.
          Years ago my wife used to scoot 5miles after school to parents shop in the North…. Survival of the fittest?
          I prefer to ride a bike myself but vehicle drivers need Advanced Driving skills lacking in the basic Driving Test based on evidence of fatalities and accidents / mobile phones used when driving.

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 14, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

            Yesterday I was off work and went for a walk midday. I checked the road and began to cross a speeding cyclist shouted to me to get off the road, I jumped back out of shock but he was speeding past in his lycra, had no right to force me to stop crossing as it was a crossing point in the road and I was three steps into the road and I stood there waiting for him to actually get close to me and I would have crossed half way before he got to me anyway.

            I think cyclists should have to take a test, I did the cycling proficiency certificate and know the rules on pedestrians crossing.

        • rose
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

          I have never had a car and always shopped for the family on my bike. Lots of hills and wind and rain where I live.

          • Fred H
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

            did you ever eat spuds, canned food, or drink bottled liquid? Reminds me of a quote from an ex long-standing shop-owner near market Place Wokingham. Referring to the proposed new courtyard and specifically the planned row of bike stands. He asked why were they needed? Answer – well, shoppers can come in by bike to do the week’s shopping.

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

            rose, I’m impressed do you not have a car at all in your family? Do you do every item of shopping on your bike even large heavy items? Do you work full time as well?

          • rose
            Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

            Yes, very fond of potatoes, and buy bottles of liquid but not all at once. Can’t manage the Christmas tree any more now the traffic is so bad. No car at all in the family. Sometimes I use a basket on wheels. With two good panniers I have been able to transport great weights on the bike over the decades, but the back tyres do need pumping up more often than the front. When I get to a really steep hill I get off and walk. If I buy a fridge it gets delivered.

          • rose
            Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

            Not working now but when I was, it was the quickest way to get to work as our city is gridlocked in normal times – no underground, no trams, and an indifferent bus service. Perhaps having no underground, and buses most people shun, has spared us the infection of other cities. Our rate has been very low for a multicultural English city. More like a Pembrokeshire town. I suppose it could start to go up now, being the sleepy left behind West Country.

    • RichardM
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Mike It is not just the country where it is suicidal to cycle. I have lived in and around the Reading/Wokingham area, working in Reading centre for around 20 years, and have attempted to cycle to work on occasions.
      Provision for cyclists is beyond pathetic, with cycle lanes shared with either traffic or pedestrians, neither of which work well. None of the major trunk roads in a reasonable cyclable distance (12 miles ?) from the centre have adequate dedicated cycle lanes.

  33. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I’m still alarmed at the fact that literally nothing is done to enhance people’s ability to shrug off the virus by having their immune system in top shape.

    Shouldn’t the government be investigating this at least…….?

    Rather than relying on drugs / vaccines to cure CV – with their side effects?

    There is plenty of data on the WEB to investigate if the government could just persuade the Health ‘EXPERTS’ to take an unprejudiced look

    • Fred H
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      what like enforced Calisthenics, Tai chi, martial arts, running and dieting for all over 40?

      • rose
        Posted May 13, 2020 at 12:01 am | Permalink

        Vitamin D and zinc, plus other supplements to boost immunity. Sea and sun were obviously the best way to do this naturally. How could the left wing authoritarians have been allowed to ban them, all over Europe? At least they are allowed now in England.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted May 13, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

        @Fred H
        That doesn’t hurt – but there are a whole variety of supplements that can enhance the way the body functions and strengthens the immune system to cope with any virus…

        Vaccines are not desired – they have become very political because the trust has broken down over what they contain and their effectiveness. Many see vaccines, hyped out of proportion, as a way for drug companies to make huge profit at our expense, where little need exists.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

          sounds like a load of quack remedies to me. Snake Oil?

          • Bryan Harris
            Posted May 14, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

            You mean like drugs that have dangerous side effects – There are plenty of people that died from using drugs or were badly hurt

            …nobody ever died or became seriously ill from taking ‘natural’ supplements – but many have found them much more beneficial than what big pharma provides

  34. Ed M
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Don’t want to say ‘told you so’ but I was saying 6 weeks to 2 months ago that we need to focus on getting people back to work safely using specifically developed cheap tech and apps and special social-distancing techniques based on testing / tracing. There has been a lot of focus (albeit late) on testing but not on the tools and techniques for social distancing and tying this in with tracing and testing.

    PPE etc is only a short-term answer (key as that is) and Vaccination is only a long-term answer (key as that is) but effective social distancing based on special tech, techniques and testing / tracing is key to the medium term (short/medium to to long/medium term) that could save our countries BILLIONS of pounds.

    And as I was also arguing back then we need a senior cabinet minister in charge of this (like we should have had for PPE etc and for a vaccination etc). This is far more important than having say, a minister for Culture right now or a minister for International Trade, or even a minister of Education (essential as these all are in normal times and now). But such a need requires millions of pounds and some fast thinking and hard, focused work in order to develop the social-distancing tools and techniques based on tracing and testing to get people back to work quickly. But I don’t see any evidence of time and money being really invested in this yet (yes on testing – but not on the others). This is already costing our country BILLIONS and could cost our country BILLIONS more – so serious that it could effect our country for years to come.

    • Ed M
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      I would much rather have had the Tories in charge over this than Labour, Libs and UKIP or the Scottish Nationalists, but nevertheless this government has been relatively woeful on Strategy / Tactics and an overall Plan to deal with this crisis.

  35. Christine
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    In Spain it is mandatory to wear a mask on public transport. Free masks are distributed at transport hubs. These masks do not have to be hospital grade. We can even encourage people to make masks at home.

    It is important to boost the immune system of the population so that they don’t develop complications if they catch the virus. Start a program of free vitamins including D3, C, zinc, Quercetin, Melatonin.

    I’m most worried about food security. We need to increase home-grown production now as this takes time to do. We need to enable our spare working capacity to help with the harvest. This means allowing people to drive to farms rather than residing there.

    Increase the amount of public transport to spread the capacity out.

    Temporarily suspend old age bus passes. These people shouldn’t be out and certainly shouldn’t be on public transport.

    Encourage flexible working hours to spread the commuters.

    Allow those shops that can open to extend their working hours. Scrape the Sunday trading laws.

    Requisition carparks to allow commuters cheap parking near their offices. This can include parking at offices that remain closed or underutilised.

    Stop most immigration. We will have enough of our own unemployment to cope with plus there will be an increase in expats returning to the country as their work opportunities abroad dry up.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      You know what a seedling looks like when it is deprived of light, air and sunlight?
      And how VERY susceptible to disease they are …damping off etc.
      Well that is what will happen to humanity. That is what politicians will have done to us.
      A healthy immune system will be a thing of the past when we are finally allowed a normal life again….and we will be poor…very, very poor!

  36. Norman
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    A couple of thoughts:
    1. Although the ‘fliterable viruses’, by definition, can pass through the finest of porcelain filters, I would have thought that it’s the water or mucus droplets that they travel on are the issue: so a mask should be useful to catch these, e.g. whilst using public transport.
    2. The Covid-19 virus has already spread far and wide ,and many people are likely to be immune. Even some people deemed at high risk (one known to me) have had mild symptoms, and are now recovered, although there may be an aftermath of mild congestion, as with colds and flew, for a few weeks or even months.
    3. WHO-based strategies to exclude the virus are designed to exclude or slow down spread and shield the most vulnerable. As a long-term panacea, their application is unrealistic.
    4. As this is a novel virus, its effects are likely to be more acute initially, but sooner or later, the majority of the population will attain a large degree of immunity, whilst the elderly or infirm will remain at risk from this and seasonal viruses like ‘flu – the mainstay for them will be isolation until a vaccine arrives – hopefully soon – but not with Bill Gates name on it!
    5. The average sensible man-in-the street (there are still a few left) has already sussed that there is a huge element of media-driven ‘Climate Change’-type mass hysteria at work, and the best strategy is to keep going as far as possible, with due common sense, as one soon learns to do in any crisis.
    One hopes that governments will realize this, before too much further damage is done.

  37. ukretired123
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Lots of folks wishing to work at home would benefit from provision of low-cost computers like Britain’s very own humble yet powerful Raspberry Pi computer and consider a scheme to allow this productivity enhancer to grow further.

    It was developed in Cambridge inspired by the one pc per child world initiative and is a most versatile item both for all education, learning new skills esp STEM and general purpose computer and web browser inc wifi. It’s as powerful as many older PCs costing thousands of pounds. It uses Free Software and can power 4k TV’s and monitors. It is overlooked by many but is the spiritual successor to the BBC micro in both its aims and mission. Also it manufactures ahead of sales so supply is not problematic unlike PPE.

  38. Know-Dice
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    From Ryan Air –

    “The company says it uses air filters in its planes similar to those used in critical hospital wards and that all interior surfaces in planes are disinfected every night.”


    Disinfecting interior surfaces every night…not good enough, must be done between every flight….

  39. davews
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    We have come fixated with the mantra we must avoid people by 2m under all circumstances whereas the WHO guidelines are for 1m and 15 minutes. There is also growing evidence that the chance of catching the virus outside and with casual contact inside is virtually zero. As soon as we realise that it is perfectly safe to pass someone on the pavement and increase numbers allowed in stores to a more sensible level we will no longer need all these silly yellow queuing lines outside the shops and return to some sense of normality.

    Traffic lights, roundabouts etc are OK in principal but are long term things. We need to get back to normality (and I mean normality, not some sort of new style way of (not) living) within a couple of months, not years. It is not the black plague.

  40. Ed M
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I also think Boris could be blamed big time in the future for not stepping down as PM when he became seriously ill at such a critical time and when fast thinking and work was so desperately needed. And he will also be compared to the Australian PM who has got so much right (it turns out that Australia is hit much worse in the long-term by this virus then Boris could well survive, if not, then Boris will be in serious trouble in the future, as our country could be hit for billions compared to Australia’s economy – although Australia will also take a hit from the world economy).

    I don’t know how the UK Constitution is set up so that another leader can properly take over and quickly (real, proper leadership is required in these times – government by cabinet is simply not effective enough). But we need to think about this for the future, i think.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      The Tory Party Constitution provides for replacing the Leader, i.e when in office – the PM. Perhaps Boris became too sick too quickly to step down. He should do so now. We need the Tory members to freely select and elect the replacement leader. With all my heart I hope Sir John will put his hat in the ring we need him in nr 10!

      • Fred H
        Posted May 13, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        he’d need to look no further than this diary for willing Advisors.

        • hefner
          Posted May 14, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

          FredH, Yours is the best joke in a long while.

  41. Caterpillar
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    1) An honest and quantified report at today’s briefing by age group and condition/pre-existing condition to remind people how low the level of risk from the virus is for the majority.
    2) Replace all HEPA filters (the right way around) in air conditioning and arrange room furniture so people’s faces are not in dirty flow direction. If air conditioning can be refitted with vertical flow as in planes then consider subsidising this (even if it is not green).
    3)Ensure schools are setting up classrooms as single desks facing forward without group work or shared resources.
    4) More public transport than there was before the epidemic started.
    4b) Disinfect the public transport (is it true that Shanghai is UVCing some buses – obviously empty).
    5) Big push on reminding people how to wash hands; this didn’t happen at the beginning and memory/effort fades.
    6) Opening and expansion of public washrooms with sufficient basins and soap.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Ignore virus and offset lives e.g.

      Outlaw smoking and enforce it, this to save (unshorten) 100,000 to 150,000 per year.

  42. Caterpillar
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    If the virus remains around and we refuse to just live with it then I’ll return to suggestion of a few days ago – a ramped up program on intentionally intradermally infecting (to reduce the chance of pulmomary infection and so reduce risk compared with tracheal infection*) the healthy with live virus. Collect blood plasma through ramp to treat the few who may still have bad response from intradermal infection.

    (*Scientific opinion and animal model test needed)

  43. glen cullen
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Social distancing can’t be enforced as its not LAW, its just a GUIDANCE from PHE (like don’t smoke while pregnant)

    Spread this message far and wide

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      No, unlike in countries which have actually saved scores of thousands of lives by enforcing the correct measures.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        If the 2m rule is so important why wasn’t it included in the regulations

      • Fred H
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        the correct measures are a patchwork quilt of guesses from out-of-touch scientists of non-applicable disciplines.
        In other words – well meaning bullshit.

        • glen cullen
          Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

          you have a good point – but as always, just keep a good distance away from anyone with a cold, flu or covid-19

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

          Worked a treat in that long list of countries including New Zealand, Fred.

          • Fred H
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

            Martin for the massive majority of NZ it is rare to get within 2m of another person. (ha ha).
            And now countries are waking up to the view that 2m is not the answer, and reducing it to 1m to enable life to begin again.
            Maybe the droplets dispersal scenario is b/s and the contact with infected surfaces is more important? In your opinion what are the ‘correct measures’?

          • NickC
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

            Odd that it didn’t work quite so well throughout your EU empire, though, Martin.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

            France has reduced deaths to a few tens per day, and Italy to about a quarter of the UK’s.

            They’re doing it properly.

            They’re winning.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Your message will spread CV far and wide – so, basically, it’s irresponsible.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        If the 2m rule is so important why wasn’t it included in the regulations

        • Fred H
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

          because it was a random, plausible distance to reinforce the idea of control of the people. It could only hold any merit in totally still air. If either party is moving, or the air is moving – then it becomes nonsense.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

            32m will not replace an immunity system. Make sure you have one! pascal said ‘the germ is nothing, the soil is everything’.

          • hefner
            Posted May 14, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

            Anyway, there is no such thing as totally still air. Brownian motion of particles of a few microns in size will be happening in any enclosed volume.

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

      Anyway..the initial advice from WHO was 3 feet …someone thought they knew better!

    • Mark B
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink


      A lot of people are seriously frightened. I am not bothered if someone comes closer to me than 2m, but they may be bothered if it was the other way round. People have become sensitised and that will put a strain on society. Which is sad. 🙁

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        It is indeed sad, I’ve had the experience of an elderly person looking at me petrified for being to close…..even just saying ‘good morning’ appears petrifying to some people

  44. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    I am slightly concerned over the way the 2 metres distancing is being applied in stores . The trail of vapour which carries with it the virus is left behind the person which means that even in queues which are 2 meters apart covid-19 travels backwards.

    Early on in february I am told China carried out an experiment . A person entering a bus with covid and without protection went down along the bus and sat next to anther person . The person sitting next to the known infected person did not test positive for the virus yet the people where the expiratory pathogenic vapour left its trail acquired covid. Is there another way?

  45. glen cullen
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    If you repeal the The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 and instruct all people to go back to work we might just save the economy

    We need to remember the by-gone days before covid-19 and treat the work conditions like that of flu i.e if you start to feel or show symptons go home, go to bed, self isolate and take paracetamol

    I’ve said this in the past, there aren’t any half measures we are either fully in or fully out of lockdown

    • Andy
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Will you be going back to work too then?

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        My work and employment schedule has nothing to be with the subject…..this isn’t a facebook exchange

    • L Jones
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Well said, Mr Cullen.
      The ”exit strategy” should be just that – EXIT.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink


  46. Prigger
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    “I am pressing for more relaxed conditions over parking near to factories and offices for those who live too far away to walk or cycle. The government could offer to help Councils financially if they will waive some parking fees. They should encourage Councils to make more areas available for commuter parking into towns and cities”

    Pity it wasn’t done decades ago but that would have been sane.

  47. Iago
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Trace, test and isolate, using face to face interviews, not an app plus a call centre.
    Please read Richard North’s eureferendum blog today, a difficult personality but he’s right on how to stop the epidemic – however stopping the epidemic is not on the government’s agenda, that is the problem.

    • Mark
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      I agree that it seems unlikely that an app and a remote call centre will ensure that contacts adopt quarantine until tested as negative for the virus. It seems obvious to me that people you know are far more likely to help ensure you can (by helping with shopping etc.) and will (by shunning you if you don’t) quarantine. Workplaces are the obvious coordinators, and they will have an interest in ensuring employees do not continue working when infected, and that potential spreaders are identified before they do the spreading.

  48. Pragmatist
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    “There should also be more discussion of safe working practices in offices and factories where people do need to work outside their homes.”

    Has the Cabinet ever been inside a factory or office? First they must see one

    • Andy
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Not unless Daddy owned a factory to pay for Eton.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        Have you really got experience of working in a factory andy?
        I very much doubt it.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 2:23 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          How much is your doubt worth , Constable.
          Singapore and South Korea
          Trump is a good President
          The British Empire gave up territory voluntarily as the only power
          The 1000 migrants brought covid in from France
          and so on

          • Edward2
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

            It is a thin line between sensible rational political debate and being seen by everyone on here as a troll.
            Your post is a mess of nonsense.

            Time to decide bill.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        more likely to be an owner of a chunk of shares in that factory, or possibly a ‘celebrity’ offspring.

        • dixie
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          the sense of entitlement is strong in this one – definitely a celebrity brat.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Oh yes they are always popping to factories and the likes to do photo ops (pref. done in high vis jackets or some other exciting protective gear in front of a suitable back drop (and preferably talking to a female black engineer or similar). This especially during election time. I do not suppose they hang around for very long after thought (in case someone asks something uncomfortable for them). Like why on earth do you make doing business in the UK so expensive, energy so expensive and everything so damn inconvenient and tied up in red tape, licences and the likes? Or why is employing someone and such a complete nightmare to administer and control the litigation/tribunal risks? Why do we need planning even for the most trivial changes to the factory.

      Or why, when they finally made squatting a criminal offence (about the only sensible thing the Tories have done recently) did they not include commercial properties thus pushing many into those?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      What are you on about ? Every single one of them has been inside an office – how do you think government works ? I bet every single one of them has also done factory visits in pursuit of votes. Also, do you think the cabinet themselves sit down and write the rules rather than having experts do it ? Your whole post is a puzzle.

  49. Fred H
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    We should have warned that NO air/sea/tunnel passengers incoming to the UK would be allowed from say 2 weeks ago- but we can still impose it with only days notice.
    The only way to eventually stop the spread is to do that. In the meantime focus on the hotspots, more NHS/Care worker testing and continued work on a vaccine must give us hope.
    British manufacture of ALL items of protection must be accelerated, no reliance on imported parts must be achieved ASAP.
    Recovery isolation must be 14 days minimum – 7 days is certainly not long enough.
    Test Centres can be arranged locally – an example could be a Portacabin in the NHS Bracknell car park with appointments for those eligible. This could be done all over the country asking private labs to help with experienced swabbing staffing.
    The Centralised large Test facilities are not a sensible solution. The Germans utilised their large network of private Labs to be brilliant effect.
    Step forward Logistics people- the NHS / Government doesn’t seem to have any!

  50. rose
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    The conundrum which needs to be cracked is how to get people on their bikes safely if that is what they would like. All my grownup life it has been dangerous bicycling, and since Blair opened the flood gates it has been extremely dangerous. Now it will become even more so as yet more people go by car. The government has tried to tackle this but got a bucketful of ridicule poured over it. Can you think, Sir John, of the answer?

    If fit people could bicycle instead of driving or going on public transport, think how things could improve for all of us.

    • Robbing Hud
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear. We are not to be biked! Boris has developed a Will Scarlet head but unbecoming.

  51. James Bertram
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Social distancing is mostly a nonsense.
    There was a good balanced article by Will Jones yesterday on Conservative Woman website who asks is there any point to social distancing?
    Extract: ‘…numerous research studies which suggest you can catch the Wuhan coronavirus only via a prolonged exposure to an infected person (my italics) making a nonsense of social distancing rules that aim to prevent passing contacts….’
    The two Bakersfeld (California) doctors, who had their research censored by Youtube, not only made the point that death rates were little different to a flu epidemic, but that social contact was very important to maintaining a healthy immune system. By social distancing we weaken that immune system, and so they expected a big rise in disease from other causes once people began to intermingle again.
    Despite this, here are some practical applications in the mad world of social distancing. Primarily, the government accepts that you are more likely to catch the virus indoors than outdoors – so we need to move our work and schools to OUTDOORS – it is summer after all. No reason why some tourism can’t start up – holiday homes, caravan sites, camping sites,; too, beach activities, boat and deckchair hire, etcetera. Too, walking tours, open-air museums, historic gardens, etcetera. Then waitress service for open-air cafes and bars, and of course pub gardens. This is also a big opportunity, though longer-term, to move away from mechanisation, and hire more workers on farms, and at sea, with smaller farms/boats, and working with Nature, not against Nature. Outdoor sports should be encouraged, including team games (wrestling perhaps being the only one where social distancing is insufficient?). Schools can take many of their lessons outside (if there playing fields have not been sold off). And many an adult education class can be run outside, such as art or music classes.
    Treat the people with respect. Allow them to use their common sense. It is our bodies, our choice.
    No more interfering from this nanny state. No more of this tyrannical lockdown. No more killing of millions of people through poverty, mostly in the Third World, by trashing the world economy.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Look at the pictures of hospital patients in their beds OUTSIDE – if it snowed, they put a tarpaulin over yer blankets. It was healthier!

      • rose
        Posted May 14, 2020 at 12:03 am | Permalink

        In the Spanish ‘flu epidemic the patients kept out side survived and the ones inside didn’t. Vitamin D.

    • rose
      Posted May 14, 2020 at 12:01 am | Permalink

      The Danes are teaching outside whenever they can. Can’t be any warmer there than here.

  52. agricola
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    The bitchers , wingers and moaners are out in force today led by the oracle of all knowledge on ITV. They have no concept of the extent of the problems in engineering a return to work and some form of normality without causing a spike in the virus which would bring them to the surface again to continue their subversion.

    What it is, is an outline of a battle plan that allows people to apply common sense, which I would add that they have been , on the whole, very good at to date. Even a 50 page document cannot cover every nuance of an individual situation. The object is to kill the enemy without getting killed yourself while nudging the economy back to normality. What it is not is the end of an enforced holiday with your job waiting ready for you on Monday morning. In many cases it will take a little longer, something that most people realise without the comment of motor mouths in the media.

    Put yourself in the place of an acquaintance of mine. 120 miles off the African coast ,on a rig with around 100 of the local population on the verge of riot. No boats or choppers coming to evacuate, and even if he gets to the mainland, no prospect of a flight to the UK or thereafter to Madrid and onward to where he lives. They have two or three weeks rations left. The only plus side is that the local pirates have ceased their activities.

    As you might have guessed, I am not greatly impress with our media. Once this emergency is over is the time for an in depth enquiry, with the benefit of hindsight, to highlight all the omissions and mistakes to produce a better battle plan for the next one.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      We had a ‘mock battle’. It was codenamed Cygnus. The results of which were classified so no one could see them and, by extension, learn from them. We are governed and administered by moron’s.

      • rose
        Posted May 13, 2020 at 12:09 am | Permalink

        Cygnus was for a ‘flu pandemic, not the Wuhan virus. How do you know nothing was done?

    • I See V
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      ITV suck out Shakespeare quoting journalists. A blitz on them!

  53. Stred
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    It looks like my wife, who is in a medium vulnerable group is going to be told to return to her work at a university in London. Although she has been working more productively at home because of the saving of two hours travel and lack of interruption, the management is following the letter of the vague guide and because she can return she will have to.
    Because the council has made travel by car and parking impossible she has no alternative but to travel twelve miles each way by crowded tube, which the government is advising us not to use because of infection. She has a facemask which cannot stop airborne viruses and only has specs for eye protection. The changes have put her at risk and she will be less productive.
    The university is grappling with the loss of student fee income and thinks that opening the lecture theatre and labs will attract them to return. Some living locally and unable to fly home may benefit. The older staff are at risk- not the students.
    Just to make things even more difficult, we are prevented from making a journey of 75 minutes between our London house and the one where she can work safely and I can’t visit or stay to take care of each other because I am in an extra vulnerable group.
    This government is clueless about the real risks and problems that people face. Why on earth have they suggested that people should commute to work when it is impossible by car and will be even more difficult when their pop up cycle lanes and road closures are eagerly put in place by stupid green councils that we have to endure?


    • Fred H
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      She can tell her employer she doesn’t feel safe, what with travel, and inside office (?) H&S. She can also point out her ability to function perfectly efficiently at home. Until the obviously public concerns can be removed she should be allowed to continue home working.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      Tell her to ask to be furloughed on 80% pay up to a max of £2500 per month.

  54. glen cullen
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Before everyone starts to make suggestions/ideas about how best to improve social distancing measures…..maybe we should ask ourselves one vital question i.e IS THERE ACTUALLY A PROBLEM ?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink


      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:54 pm | Permalink


    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted May 13, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Start by calling it Unsocial Distancing.
      It has become a superstition, and as baseless as any superstition.

  55. oldtimer
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    There is a useful article published at ConservativeHome today. It is written by an epidemiologist researcher at Oxford University NHS Trust who answered the call for volunteers to help on the NHS front line. He says:
    “Based on the evidence so far, it appears that more than 99.5 per cent of people will survive infection, more than half won’t even know they’ve had it and even those that do will have a mild illness.”
    He also says:
    “Covid -19 is not flu, but neither is it Ebola and we need to ensure that the public understand that the vast majority of them are at very low risk of dying from it.”

    I suspect that many of the public remain extremely fearful of C-19. This is fertile ground for those that wish to exploit such fears. As I write there is a discussion, on the BBC, about the rights of employees to refuse to go to work. If such views prevail, expect an early descent of the UK into third world status.

  56. Ed M
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Also, by introducing as much effective social distancing as possible, then this means we can allow mingling where social distancing is clearly a devastating restriction. For example, allowing airlines to allow to fill their planes to full capacity and for allowing travellers to visit the UK without quarantine.

    But we can’t allow this unless we practise effective social distancing in general, including having effective screening and testing at airports – but screening and testing that is really quick to use so that it doesn’t slow travel down too much.

    All this technology will cost millions but will save billions in the long-term. And we’re the UK, we should be leaders in creating this new technology for coronaivrus and then getting back our money by selling it to governments abroad.

    • Ed M
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Also, I worked for a large international tech company where we had lots of daft meetings and where lots more people could have worked more from home just as effectively than in the office.

      Social distancing doesn’t really have to interfere with the crux of a lot of businesses at all. And where social mingling is necessary, then at least at any increase in infection rates because of this will be decreased, overall, where we are practising social distancing elsewhere where it doesn’t really have a negative effect on our economy.

      We can win this. We just have to think properly, plan properly, using proper strategy and tactics like in business / the army / scientific innovation projects.

    • Ed M
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Travellers in planes just have to wear masks (and gloves for short flights). Seats can be quickly sprayed with disinfectant. Things like that. And quick, effective thermal screening at airports.

      We need to listen to the likes of Michael O’ Leary of Ryanair. He’s right. But at same time we need to listen to scientists to think of all the excellent solutions they can come up with to help resolve so many of the challenges posed by the virus in travel, business and so on in the medium term until we get the vaccination. And invest in new technologies, spending millions and saving billions. We just have to be more proactive and plan more, think more.

  57. James Bertram
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Some more ideas to add to my post an hour ago on working OUTSIDE:
    Gardeners and window cleaners clearly should be allowed to work; ‘inside’ tradesmen should be allowed to work if their clients keep all the house windows open .
    Garden centres at last are opening, but let’s extend this. Allow shops to sell their wares outside on their frontage, perhaps the councils easing their restrictions to use some of the pavement too. Open up the markets and farm shops (far more pleasant than any enclosed fetid supermarket). Allow car boot sales.
    Taxis, buses, trains (if any of the old stock exists?) – open the bl…..y windows when travelling.
    Barbers, nail businesses too, could set up outside – just like any good African business. Car washes.
    In fact, anyone who can demonstrate that they can work outside effectively, should be allowed to do so. And anyone who can provide a ‘collect from outside and return’ service – eg shoe repair.
    Some imagination needed. Just trust the people on this – if the consumer doesn’t think the service is safe for him, he will not use it. Let’s see some free enterprise, and no more of this dull civil servant thinking.

  58. a-tracy
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Public transport, full face mask respirators or you can’t travel?

    Are we going backwards is that what the left and some left-on Conservatives want, why are they never asked how their solutions would be funded, why should people pay for public services they’re not getting? Why should private sector work so they don’t have to but let them all draw full pay?

    Homeschooling perhaps, one parent having to not work if their youngest child is under 12?

    Lower the retirement age to give more opportunities to work to younger people with mortgages as jobs start to go.

    Only one car per family, reduced car production required, less fuel. No meat-eating because meat processing plants can’t carry on, more automation, less people required.

    No entertainment in groups at all, for how long I think we should know? Six months – a year? No weddings, funerals with more than ten people who are all temperature checked and covid19 checked before they can attend?

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      The society, community and economy you describe is one I don’t wish to live in

      • Fred H
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        and an awful lot will not accept it.

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        That’s my point. I’m not advocating it. I’m feeling suffocated. Like we have no voice. Why do we have to pay taxes for services we’re not getting, dental insurance we’re not getting, medical insurance we’re not getting, schools we’re not getting, libraries we’re not getting. Private sector furlough you can have crumbs £2500 per month max. Public sector and ex public sector you carry on as normal full pay whether you work or not.

  59. Cavewell Man
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    This social distancing for Covid 19 with a death rate of less than 0.5 of one percentage point is ridiculous. We should go back to completely normal now.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      +1 Boris must go!

      • dixie
        Posted May 13, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        replaced by whom?

      • NickC
        Posted May 13, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        Lynn A, At the rate that Starmer is decimating Boris, he will be gone quite shortly!

        • Fred H
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

          I’m not so sure. Labour will be thinking ‘steady on Keir, you might get us thrust into power while all this chaos is going on!’ Let the Tories destroy themselves for a few more months.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

          Yep. I’m thinking of the post-Boris era.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      I believe you are correct, we must stop the lockdown now

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted May 13, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Wholly agree with your comment.
      Unsocial Distancing is an unnecessary and unproven abomination.
      This brainwashing horror must be undermined and consigned to the bin of embarrassing superstitions.

  60. Now please!
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Make Boris sack his expert virus team and plead with Trump and Brett P. Giroir to take full control .
    40.011 dead should not be the statistic of a Non Battle of the Somme.
    Please JR only you can write a one page letter without going round the streets and houses and Cabinet Rs to those two so Mr Giroir can spare 15 seconds to scan read it and give immediate instructions. We have run out of time.

  61. Mike Wroe
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Rishi Sunak has now extended financial support for furloughed workers. Reckless. Many will be de incentivised and not bother going to work. The economy is going to crumble.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      There is no work for them to go to! Sunak knows that. we are now talking hundreds of billions.
      No support for landlords – we need to put properties into Furlough. These conditions caused by Government decisions and the Govt must pay the price. I still cannot ascertain whether landlords of empty commercial properties benefit from the year long business rate holiday. In general landlords and tenants relating to the same property are treated differently. My income has dropped 96% and my tax (I fear) increased by 46%.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      More and more smaller businesses will think they cannot continue picking up their share of the tab for the employees wages up to 1st November, and consider redundancy or plain going bust!
      Was 4 months added too generous but spelling out unemployment for hundreds of thousands?

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        Its truly a sad state of affair

    • Born and red
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      No. It’s working! Ask the experts( British only just. That’s what it says on their birth certificates)

  62. Ian
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Well done everyone who sees this Big Brother , we will indeed be very lucky if the Politicians do not use this for more diction from here, all this control, will stick.
    Only if we are weak though.
    Try never to listen to Brussels Broadcasts ever again, look elsewhere for your news, you are being bullied and Brain washed listening to The State news.
    Use good old Common sence.

    These letters today are great, people are sick of this dictation.
    Sadly Boris for all his charms , he is little more than May in trousers. Sadly there are too few Politicians like our host he has business sence and a bucketload of Common sence.

    Well done to you from nine tenths of us

    • Mark B
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink


  63. ChrisS
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    The requirements for social distancing need to be carefully reviewed and allowed to vary in workplaces across the country. For a start, the 2 metre distance can be reduced in the workplace to 1.5m or even 1m where appropriate. That reflects the only research that has been done and is more in line with the distance observed in other similar countries.

    Furthermore, the guidance handed down should reflect the local transmission factor, itself a function of the number of cases in a unit of population.

    For example, in my area of Dorset, there are only 92 cases per 100,000 of the population, that is the third lowest in the country. Only North East Lincolnshire (88) and Rutland (65) are lower. By contrast there are nine councils, almost all in the NE, where the rate is over 400. In Gateshead it is 489 ! The figures are today’s from

    The risk of encountering someone with the virus in Dorset is therefore a factor of at least four times less than in the NE and a person living and working in the average English Council area is 2.5 times more likely to encounter someone with the virus than in Dorset.

    The average across England is 247 and in our host’s constituency, Wokingham, it is 248.

    Throw in factors such as density of population and the factors would change again. There is therefore no justification for having the same lockdown conditions across England.

  64. John Bowman
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    ‘ to avoid the virus spreading.’

    It really is pitiful watching/listening to the political class.

    It has already spread! That is what ‘pandemic’ means: ‘prevalent throughout an entire country’.

    The time to stop the spread is at epidemic stages. If you fail or that isn’t possible = pandemic.

    What we actually have is a global pandemic of incompetence, which is going to claim many, many more lives than Wu Flu.

    • APL
      Posted May 13, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      John Bowman: “What we actually have is a global pandemic of incompetence,”

      Agree. But it’s worse.

      Incompetence mixed with hysteria whipped up by the demagogues in the State media.

  65. Ian @Barkham
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    My only real observation based on living in Wokingham. Pedestrian foot paths are basically to narrow to permit the correct measure of Social Distancing. The Greater majority of pedestrians recognize that and where possible cross the road or stand back. So all good, common sense works.

    The however, is that Wokingham Borough gives priority to cyclists on all routes designed for pedestrians. Even common sense and curtesy does not play to well with the Wokingham cyclists. Certainly no social distance for them. Even when a road is quiet it is the pedestrian that has to get in the road as the cyclist has been instructed by the Council they have priority everywhere. Just review the signage the council has in place and note the attitude.

    Here in Wokingham because they haven’t bothered with creating an infrastructure to match the population growth the council became anti the car. Then to kick those that use the greenest of all versions of transport ‘the pedestrian’ the routes that are just about big enough for pedestrians are turned into cycle lanes.

    In the round for us all to pick ourselves up and find a new way of carrying it means taking Social Distancing serious. Yet we have Local Councils that are committed to work against this common sense and good practice. What hope have we?

    • Oscillated
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      The odd thing is that on social media, in detail the Left supports Boris’measures whole heartedly except they wish him even more extreme left -wing. The Right has many doubts, Strange times.

  66. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    The government’s handling of this has been a shambles. Successive governments have been a shambles. What are they for? Things seem to go from bad to worse. How tricky would it be to locate and contact any and every firm capable of producing PPE – and creating a web-based ordering system so anyone who needs it can order it – and then using a nationwide delivery firm to do the logistics of collecting the goods and distributing them. I could write a bit of software to do all that, on my own, in a fortnight. Host it on AWS and it would stand up no matter how much traffic it received. Why can’t the government appoint someone to do this SIMPLE task?

    Why aren’t masks in public compulsory. They may or may not be effective – I can’t help thinking that countries that jumped on this in the first place have done much better than us – but they would make sure everyone stayed ‘alert’. Keeping your distance and plenty of hand washing seems to be the main thing we all need to do. Let’s wear masks, put anti-viral handwash in every shop and at every station and keep up a barrage of messages to shame people (who need shaming) into behaving properly.

    What have we all done to deserve a choice between Corbett and Johnson. How and why, during the course of their lives, did they ever get the idea they have what it takes to be PM? I do wish the Labour and Tory Parties would just disband and leave the floor clear for someone competent.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Oops. Corbett. Freudian slip there.

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

      What we did to deserve that choice was to be unwary.
      People allowed the elite to narrow the political spectrum. There is effectively no right wing at all now. The tories are barely slightly right of Corbyn.
      And the worst of it is that they have been brainwashed into thinking that some political views are per se wicked.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        concur with your comments

  67. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Time to rethink everything. Why on earth, in this day and age, do we still have millions of people commuting large distances to work. Can’t anyone get a grip of things?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Exactly what they are doing.
      “Repurposing society” or some such cold, cruel plan.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      I am against all forms of social engineering and governments trying to shape communities and behaviour

      Its got nothing to do with government where I live, work or commute (or the form of transport I choose), its called freedom

    • Fred H
      Posted May 13, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      back in the day a couple of firms I worked for located according to where the CEO (or similar) wanted to live. Foreign companies often wanted to be within ‘easy’ travel to London from say Heathrow. Then jobs might relocate with the business imposing commuting. Other jobs/pay attracted staff from quite some distance.

  68. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Why are we obsessed with making nothing and importing everything? Why hasn’t the government got a strategy for the country to be self sufficient in food? At least, as a start. Surely that is a sensible target for any country and government. Why put yourself at risk of what happens in other countries? It is madness.

  69. kzb
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic piece Sir John -your ideas have got an incredulous reception from Jeremy Vine on Channel 5 this morning. Unfortunately I think this incredulity will be universal across the TV media. How do we get some sense into them, it’s beyond me.

  70. Iago
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    The only thing I can think of is ‘keep open all the windows and doors’ especially on buses.

    Even the front entrances of large shops with no windows should be kept open. But there are no windows on trains or the tube.
    Take Vitamin D.

  71. L Jones
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I daresay there’d be money for all this, and more, once we stop pouring money into the EU’s ever-gaping maw – and if we stopped sending OUR money elsewhere in the form of foreign aid then that would help too.

    (Perhaps where foreign aid is concerned, much of it should go to the NHS to cover irrecoverable costs for treating ”visitors” to this country (permanent and temporary, legal and illegal – especially those arriving by boat – and with or without the Big V). Surely it could do with a little extra help at the moment, couldn’t it?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      L. Jones,

      There will not be ‘money for all this’. The Government has stopped resources producing, there is not an economy to back the currency. The intention to destroy the pound was then backed up by Broadbent strongly signalling further QE.

      To have any future and to avoid untold misery and loss of life expectancy/life, UK resources need to produce. The Govt and unions do not want to produce, they are doing all they can to stop production and prevent adjustment of the economy. The Chancellor wishes to keep labour in businesses with business models that cannot work in Johnson and Hancock’s defined environment. Johnson and Hancock won’t stop their stupidity and Sunak and the unions will prevent companies and individuals innovating new supply. No supply = no economy = breakdown. The BoE’s intention to speed the path to an unrecognised currency confirms the move of the UK out of the developed nations quicker. The EU, foreign aid etc are all irrelevant given what the Govt is doing, there won’t be time for these little coronovirus worries once we are fighting each other to survive. What the Govt, BoE and unions are doing is out of all proportion and is an existential threat.

  72. L Jones
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t I read somewhere that in Germany all shops could open if they only allowed a certain number of people in, dependent upon the size of the shop?
    Surely that makes sense? People have got the idea of queuing and ‘soshul disstunsin’ now, and, as a sop to the paranoid, masks could be mandatory.
    Our city is like a ghost town – we need to get ALL shops open as soon as possible. People MUST be allowed to make their own decisions – no-one HAS to shop in towns if they don’t want to ”risk” it, after all.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      It’s not financially viable, you take on all the costs and can’t get the required turnover. So all those shops will open in normal circumstances and remain closed forever in the nightmare world of Boris. Mass unemployment – mass bankruptcy – mass default of payments to Banks (remember that little problem). Nothing can stop the spiral into economic devastation. The private sector is too big to catch and if it falls the State sector will be half a pace behind.
      If that does not paralyse you in fear, you have no concept of the problem. I think Boris is consciously not facing up to this – by far the biggest problem since the War. It will take generations to recover some semblance of civilisation.

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 13, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        When I heard October Lynn I had another sleepless night.
        People don’t want to understand, who cares about sme’s, private pension investors they’re expendable let’s just worry about big business, airlines, public services and public pensions, these employees who don’t have even take an 20% pay reduction if they’re not working. They’re having a laugh!
        Is this how the Government wants to become the nations Landlord and just own everything, they seem to be able to spend make believe faraway tree money right now.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted May 13, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

          Fortunately the madness is so obvious that everybody can see it. We need calculation of how much the State Sector needs to shrink, because their employer has gone bust!
          That will concentrate a few minds.
          We are on the cusp. This could be a great return to real Capitalism.
          We need a cool headed, experiences, battle hardened champion. I want Redwood in nr 10 ASAP!

  73. Stephen G Speakman
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Dear John Redwood,
    I cannot for the life of me understand why government considering as they do the importance of social distancing have not made declarations in Imperial as well as metric measure?Most Britons’ young and old know their height/length in feet and inches and not metric! People 45 years old and beyond are lost with metric—one elderly lady asked me ‘if a metre meant a line?’ one chap thought it ‘about ten foot’ and another said he thought a’ metre was a foot’.
    Imperial measure is deeply woven into who we are and is part of our culture.
    That HM government keeps parroting in metric and ignoring our language of number leaves me thinking they do not care if everyone gets it or not!

    • Mark
      Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      “Six feet apart or six feet under” was the slogan that occurred to me.

    • Stred
      Posted May 13, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      We have been using metric in most jobs for the last fifty years. Anyone who has missed out could be told that two metres is a six foot man lying down with four fingers saluting on the top of his head. When I go out, I take a long walking stick with a sharp point and bear head handle. It was bought in the Spanish mountains and can defend against wild animals. It is ideal for cyclists and joggers who frequently ignore distancing

      • Fred H
        Posted May 13, 2020 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        Make and sell them on Ebay – a millionaire overnight.

  74. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    A couple of responses.
    A pandemic does mean that the virus has travelled far and wide but the infection rate here is a separate issue.
    People are testing positive as the virus has colonised on their upper airways, but they are not infected.
    If a person develops the symptoms of fever etc; it is highly likely they are infected.
    Telling people that masks do not help the wearer is fatuous. Perhaps they are willing to tell ITU staff to take off their masks as they won’t be protected against those who are infected!

    • Fred H
      Posted May 13, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      so are you suggesting that colonisation of upper airways will allow droplets by coughing, exhaling, sneezing – BUT they are not infectious by touch?

      • M Brandreth- Jones
        Posted May 16, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        dont be silly ! There are many ways of transmission !

  75. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    It’s possible to enforce 2 metre spacing of people sitting at their desks but not in corridors or at the coffee machine.

    We need to think in terms of maximising the number of public transport trips in order partially to offset the sparse occupancy. Possibly operating journeys over a 16 hour day to assist shift working.

    Besides Sir John’s excellent suggestions, we will need to reduce the % paid to furloughed workers (at least the proportion paid by the State) so that we afford the subsidies to public transport. If the number of cases and deaths continues to fall, we could risk upping the occupancy rate to 20%.

    Another idea; relax planning restrictions so that out of town locations can be cheaply converted to office use. I’m thinking that it may prove impossible to get everyone who works in London to travel there.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 13, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Or the government could just give everyone one of these. Full Face Respirators with Compatible replacement filters. People that choose not to wear one fine, but it protects those that do.

  76. Everhopeful
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Left wing encouraging people not to go back to work.
    Quoting various Health and Safety rules …not working in a dangerous workplace etc.
    They want this to run and run.

  77. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Did you get your answers to your questions for the PM?

  78. Iain Gill
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Government still not helping Freelancers

    Not going to be pretty when this blows up

  79. Fred H
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    There was a text sent in to 5 Live this morning as the show ended.

    ‘I’m 65 and a teacher, I don’t get the state pension until next year. The Government expects me to hold a class of 14 children under 6, knowing nothing about their home circumstances.
    But I am not allowed to see my own grandchildren!

  80. Half a loaf is bet..
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Hancock Half-Story says “Many British people are unlikely to be able to take foreign holidays this summer because of coronavirus, ”
    In 2018, 37.9 million tourists visited the UK, but this reached an all-time high in 2017 with 39.2 million! In July 2019 alone, £2.9 billion was spent here by overseas residents, demonstrating how substantial tourism is to the economy.
    “It’s working!”

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 13, 2020 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      The U.K. has a tourism deficit. ie. We spend more abroad than they spend here.

  81. Rhoddas
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Understanding the R number would be very helpful imho.

    If the German Institute for public health can estimate the “R” rate was at 1.07 on Monday and 1.13 on Sunday (quote from Daily Express 12/5) re new tougher lockdown rules due to business re-openings in 3 Regions.

    Now if the Germans can release R values to 2dp why can’t we, instead of waffley something between 0.something and 0.something else but always below 1 (even though number of infections day to day suggest otherwise).

    Be very good if the more erudite amongst the MPs and Press asked searching questions to elicit what is maths behind the UK ‘R’ calculation and the input data sources, quality & statistical sampling?

  82. Anonymous
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Looks like the Left are getting the general strike that they’ve always dreamed about.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 13, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      Boris and advisors are dishing it up on a plate.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 13, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      Let’s see if the result is what they dreamed about, I’m thinking Andy and MiC have already earmarked their shop doorway and have a few grain sacks to hand, that’s why they are so confident!

  83. Mark
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    We need to be thinking about creating virus free environments, not acting as though everyone must be assumed to be infected. That is most obvious for care homes, where there is a need to ensure that staff and residents remain properly isolated from potential infection, or if infected, are isolated from the rest in dedicated sanatoriums, implying testing for anyone who goes into the virus free environment wither to work or as a new resident or hospital returnee.

    We could get dentists working again if their patients are tested to be virus free just before their appointment, and the dental practice itself will need appropriate testing. Special provision perhaps for those patients who need urgent treatment but are infected, with a dental practice where the staff are antibody positive.

    A further point is that if we get back to a level of infection where trace and quarantine works to suppress any fresh outbreaks, then the general level of risk of contracting the virus will be extremely low anyway, and that will be the mechanism for ensuring adequate protection for all but the most vulnerable. Then we can dispense with most of the short term restrictions while the virus remains largely suppressed.

  84. Mark
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Lots of economic data coming out – March GDP, trade statistics, various fast track indicators. I wonder if that will finally begin to change the press narrative. I did note that APD receipts fell to just £78m in March, down from £268m a year previously. HMRC receipts paid over were down £5.2bn year on year for March.

    There are also some big swings in EU Target 2 imbalances starting to appear.

  85. Anonymous
    Posted May 13, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad to social distance from Andy. Long may it continue !

    • Fred H
      Posted May 13, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      I agree – – it really is about time Sir John issued his own lockdown on him.

  86. v
    Posted May 14, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I have now read 3 scientific papers saying social distancing needs to be 30 feet to work. So what is this really all about?

  • 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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