Promoting jobs

We now have the opportunity to get rid of regulations, taxes and charges imposed on  us by the EU as we leave fully at the end of December. We need to use these freedoms to promote faster growth and more employment.

The government could begin by repealing the Ports Regulations. These were strongly opposed by our port industry when they were in negotiation, and are not relevant to the UK where our ports are mainly private sector owned competing businesses.

It could go on to make the Data Protection legislation less bureaucratic and more effective. The EU system has set off an avalanche of box ticking exercises, often impeding legitimate communication with groups of people who wish to be on mailing lists. Of course we need high standards of protecting sensitive data, but we do not  need a system which stops legitimate sales promotion or information flows  to people who want to be in touch.

We need to remove VAT from a variety of items often mentioned here.

We need to tear up the fishing regulations and replace them with UK based ones that are kinder to our fish and to our fishing industry.

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  1. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    We also need to look at ‘ interview process’. I can mainly speak for the NHS but am supposing that interviews are similar everywhere.The interview is based on a point system where if you use their words in a certain way then you get a point . If you uses other words which amount to similar then this would be disallowed. The job goes on the day and what is said. The interviews are short listed by particular exams one has taken and not the overall experience which goes with them. As time goes on new exams and qualifications a evolve and the process does not take into account previous results and experience . They say you haven’t this or that when what has been gained are many other exams well thought of previously. For example a 2 day course does not substitute for many years practising originally underlined by strict criteria and updated. What we are left with is inexperience but recently added paper qualifications. Following on from this is that these appointed people are put in charge and will only appoint people who know or have experienced less than them and so the human resource waste goes on.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      M B J

      Your last sentence sums up precisely the situation explained to me years ago by a very senior NHS professional, who said covering your backside and protecting your position was now becoming more important than doing the right thing for the patient.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        Your suggestion about promotion has also been confirmed by many who work in the NHS, instead of sacking those who are incompetent, they are usually moved to one side, and often end up in management where they are equally unsuited.

    • Christine
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      We also need to look at the practise of refusing British students in favour of foreign students for oversubscribed courses because their tuition fees are capped. British students should be given priority if they have the right qualifications.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      The whole PC culture and criminalisation must go!

      • Bob
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    • Fred H
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      I wouldn’t say the NHS way you describe is at all typical.

    • forthurst
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Does this apply to all jobs in the NHS ie at all levels including extramural and include qualified staff like doctors and nurses and technicians who work in hospitals or just to administrative roles?

  2. Corazon
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Almost half our export trade is with the EU, so we will have to keep on following EU data protection rules, but with no say in their making. Same in lots of other areas. What a con Brexit is turning out to be

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Can’t see the logical connection you are trying to make there. OK, under half our trade is with the EU, and when we trade with a nation we need to supply goods that are to their standards. That applies to every nation. One of the reasons leaving the EU will be beneficial is because we don’t need to apply their bureaucracy to goods we trade with non EU nations, and that is rising and will rise higher once we are free to trade on our terms.

    • jerry
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      @Corazon; That old europhiles Rotterdam con again… No, half our trade goes via the EU, it is not with the EU.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Only a small amount goes beyond the European Union through its ports. That myth was long ago exploded.

        And agreement will be required to continue that access anyway.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

          There are other ports.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

            Such as? And how expensive is a sea crossing of days compared with a couple of hours?

          • Edward2
            Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

            You suggested the port of Rotterdam will refuse our trade.
            That is ridiculous. They will not refuse our trade.
            So you have built a strawman argument.

            But to humour you, there are many other ports that would be keen to offer a service, like Hamburg or Le Havre
            In the UK ports like Felixstowe can take the goods being redistributed to non EU countries direct.
            Rotterdam is about a 12 hour crossing not 2.

        • jerry
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

          @MiC; Nonsense, Rotterdam, does not fully (un)load the container ships that pass through their port. In fact why would any company in the UK bother using containerised sea freight to send their goods to/from the EU27 when rail or road haulage via the Channel and North Sea ferry & rail crossings are cheaper, quicker never mind direct?!

          The point you fail to understand is, under EU single market rules any goods for export destinations are regarded as internal market trade (not exports) until the last port of call before leaving EU waters.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      USA and China are two nations who trade with the EU without following EU data protection rules.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

        In the limited agreed areas they do.

        But such a deal would wreck the UK’s existing trade in many areas.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

          Limited areas!
          They sell billions of dollars of goods into Europe every year.
          Quite obvious you know nothing about international trade.
          I only used these two nations as examples.
          There are many more who trade with the EU and do not follow EU GDPR. regulations.
          Unless you can think of any?

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      And we are about to get a free ferry service in the English Channel in the middle of a lockdown with the redistribution of ‘children’ with beards to all regions.

      It didn’t get mentioned once in Priti Patel’s briefing last week with the Border Force chief present.

      It is never reported by the BBC.

      Then there are senior government officials who think lockdown only applies to everyone else.

      I simply don’t trust the Government anymore.

      • Peter
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        You are very sensible not to trust government.

        The ‘free ferry service’ and associated issues is a taboo subject for politicians. You may get a few platitudes or possibly a few empty promises.

        Don’t expect any action though.

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      You have obviously not heard of the “Rotterdam effect”. Do some research and find out how much of the figure you quote is for goods which are actually for shipment from UK to places outside the EU, but have to go through Rotterdam first.

    • Adam
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink


      All sales need to meet the customers’ specifications unless those customers have no choice beyond accepting what is available. We in turn may find better customers elsewhere within the world.

      UK non-exporters will not have to conform to EU rules solely to sell to our own population as previously. Brexit delivers freedom.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      The EU want to trade with us – £bns from us in return for every freeloader/foreign criminal they can ferry halfway across the channel, to be met by Border Force.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Wrong! We don’t have to implement US or Australian laws to export to them. You Remainers either really don’t understand, which explains your fear, or you are mischievous.
      Even Starmer has accepted Brexit. Time you did to – or at least stopped boring the rest of us with you old-fashioned prejudices.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      The old “flat earth” argument.
      Who’d have thought you could sail around the world, until you could?
      Who’d have thought the EU was an outmoded anti-democratic, protectivist institution in a free world, until it was?

    • NickC
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Corazon, You don’t seem to understand (well, you are a Remain!) that – once the UK is independent – only our exports to the EU have to comply with EU rules, not our whole country. UK exports to the EU amount to c12.6% UK GDP, therefore out of the EU, over 87% of our GDP will not be subject to GDPR provided we repeal it. So little knowledge, so Remain.

      • Andy
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        And you do not seem to understand how business works. EU rules and UK rules are currently the same. When the rules are no longer the same businesses have to comply with TWO sets of rules – doubling their workload.

        Ah, you cry. But only businesses which export to the EU. Not so. Because businesses which export to the EU will tend to be large companies and they will insists that all of their suppliers adhere to EU rules too. But we no longer have any say in making those rules because you – really rather weirdly – think dishwasher regulation or rules regarding the safety of toasters or efficiency of fridges is about sovereignty. Odd.

        Take back control of our toaster safety.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

          Again you show your lack if industry knowledge Andy.

          There are three types of manufacturing companies.
          Those that only supply their home market.
          Those that supply their home market and the EU
          Those that supply anyone on the planet.

          If you supply into any market you have to meet their requirements.
          It’s quite straightforward and manufacturing companies have done this for decades.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      I wonder what exports have to do with the idiotic data protection laws.

      • Andy
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        Let me help you. Data is about services. Because exports are not just about goods – they are about services too. Or they were before Brexit.

        The thing to know about trade deals is they they mostly don’t include services – except of course the single market which is, by far, the most advanced trade arrangement for services in the world. So the UK, which is strong in services, has little leverage because most countries won’t put services in trade deals.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

          Services are not part of the single market.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

            They are.

            Some aspects of that remain incomplete however.

          • hefner
            Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

            Yes, but GDPR apply to all services whether they are provided within the EU or the UK, and this till the end of 2020.
            You might want to read on the website ‘Selling services to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein from 1 January 2021’ to see how it will change, and to show you that your above comment to Andy is rather vacuous, as ‘services not being part of the single market’ never prevented any British company from offering its services to customers in the EU27.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

            You are going off on a tangent Hefner.
            If UK services comply with GDPR rules that doesn’t change my statement that services are not part of the single market.

            I realise it will change when we leave.

            Andy was, wrongly as usual, claiming leaving the EU and its fabled single market.will stop that trade.

    • DavidJ
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Bear in mind that much of our export trade is transhipped via ports on the other side of the Channel, but still counted as EU exports when the EU is not their final destination.

  3. Ian Wragg
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    But I bet we won’t. Whitehall is desperate to keep us in the EU orbit and will frustrate every move.

    • Christine
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Yes, I agree. The EU not only wants the UK on an ECJ controlled level playing field, it also wants the UK armed and security forces under EU Commission control and our Government and top civil servants seem to be keeping quiet about this. According to a high-ranking former army commander, the defence autonomy of the UK is under threat from the EU even after the UK leaves the Brexit Implementation Period.

    • Andy
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      The choice is EU orbit, China orbit or do what we are told by the Americans.

      You pick.

      • NickC
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Quite untrue. Those are not the choices at all. We can, and should, be independent. But since you choose to make us a subject people, then being part of the USA is obviously far better than being ruled by the EU empire.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 1:55 am | Permalink


          Being part of the US with their social system, please spare me

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        America anytime.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        “And” do what we are told by the Americans, as now.

        Which is why we have left the European Union in the first place.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Do nations have to choose?
        When did that become compulsory?

      • Fred H
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        The Americans. Happy now? Can we say goodbye?

      • steve
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink


        Ok, if I had to I’d pick the Americans every time.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        Nonsense. We don’t have to be in anyone’s orbit. We need to grow our own food and produce our own energy and make much more of our own goods. Why do we, or any country, have to be obsessed with global trade and, allegedly, be in the orbit of larger countries.

      • Bob
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        USA all day long.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

        They all admit it, Andy.

        They are, almost to a man, US supremacists, who want a global US empire and the destruction of any competing union of nations.

        That makes them the most loathsome form of traitor to civilisation and to democracy in my view.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

          US supremacists?
          Destruction of any others?
          Loathsome traitors to civilisation and democracy?
          Rather jumping to a new conclusion there Martin.

          The question was about who’s orbit.
          Orbit was the key word.
          China EU or America.
          3 out of seven said they preferred just being independent.

          Do try and keep calm.

    • David Brown
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      I want to see all regulations retained and strengthened not removed.
      Its going to be very bad to remove EU regulation and I hope for the day when a new future government reinstates all regulations.
      Ordinary people simply voted to leave the EU on the basis of promised border controls. The majority did not think about trade or regulations.
      We actually need more regulation and not less.
      I will look very carefully for a future government who will reinstate/ keep all EU regulations

  4. Mark B
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Sir John, all good nice and sensible things but ! As we have seen of late, when it comes to nice, and especially sensible things, this government does not do that.

    I am sure you and others are having more than a few words, but I bet it is hard going 😉

    The problem in all this is, we have a Civil Service and an Establishment that is stuck in the past and does not like change. It likes the way things are / were, where their lives are less troubled. Freedom from the EU has caused them, and those in the government, to seek comfort (Wet Nurse) elsewhere. This has come in the form of the UN and its offshoots as well as various international agreements, not to forget the ‘experts’.

    Leaving the EU, well for me at least, was always the start, not the end. We still have Labour’s client state to battle.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

      Addendum and off topic – sorry.

      I watched Nigel Farage’s video yesterday. He mentioned that the illegal immigrants (all men from what I could see) chanted to him; “England, England, England !” Now I doubt that these are football, cricket or rugby fans but people saying what country they would most want to live in. The thing is, they know the name of my country (England) yet, there are many MP’s and people in the media, who would rather drink poison then do the same. At least these illegals have the decency to name the country and its people who will pay for them unlike our own lot who will not. 😉

      • Christine
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        I have never heard such nonsense as Pritti Patel’s defence of the French escorting migrants across the channel. It really is laughable and shows how weak our Government is. The French could easily agree to accept all these migrants return to France. Our Border Force could even deliver them back there. This would immediately stop the problem.

        • Peter
          Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

          The other obvious solution is that our armed services could actually defend our seas by use of force, if and when necessary.

          That would definitely stop the problem.

          However, politicians are not actually very bothered about it in the first place.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 24, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink


          “The French could easily agree to accept all these migrants return to France.”

          Why should they? We’ve left the protection of the EU. It’s up to us now. Isn’t that what you wanted?

          • Bob
            Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

            @margaret howard
            Why are people fleeing from the EU to Brexit Bitain?

          • Christine
            Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

            What was this protection of the EU? They sent us their migrants when we were in the EU and they send them still.

            Your comments really are tiresome.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

            Because the law on asylum says nearest place of safety.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

            Since when did you care about the law, Edward?

            The law said that Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament was unlawful, and you didn’t accept that, did you?

          • Edward2
            Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

            I disagreed with the ruling by the Supreme Court.
            But I accepted it as did the Government.

            I do care about the law.
            That is why I want future laws to be made by my elected UK Government.

      • JoolsB
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        Well said Mark B.

      • forthurst
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        What they refuse to acknowledge is the name of the native population; try finding it on a government form.

    • NickC
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Mark B, You are exactly right that we have a civil service which “is stuck in the past and does not like change”. Though the reason is power rather than nostalgia.

      My senior contact in the civil service simply cannot see anything wrong with his assertion that the job of civil servants is to manage the politicians.

      And the reason they have this attitude is the corruption endemic in the EU Council of Ministers where the civil servants collectively decide the laws and the ministers of the respective sub-states sign on the dotted line.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Well politicians come and go ( why is that I wonder?) but Civil Servants want to stay.

    • Pauline Baxter
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Mark B at 6.17am. His comment is 100% spot on. Sir John, I almost mailed similar, direct to you.

      Oh how it drives me up the wall to have to ‘log on’ to this, ‘accept’ that every time I wish to speak to anyone. Oh but it must be right though The Wonderful Great god EU says so.

      And yes of course we will be able to trade worldwide with less pernickety red tape once we are out. Sooner the better say I.

      One subject you have not talked about (understandably) is the Corvid lock down. Personally I believe we should have stopped visitors coming in from the start. Now there should be no exceptions to quarantine. BUT while we knew less about corvid then and the NHS would have struggled to cope. NOW NHS has capacity. We (Handcock) are choosing the wrong experts and the economy has suffered enough. Time to end the lock down.

  5. Irene
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Make sure you leave safeguards in your plan so as to protect people’s privacy. There are individuals and organisations that abuse their access to personal information — in their own best interests, of course, and with gay abandon. Not everyone’s desire to “want to be in touch” is laudable or even legal. Do you agree that unlawful access to and use of protected information should be seen as abuse of position, JR?

    • jerry
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      @Irene; Indeed, there is a vast difference between giving implicit and explicit approval. Whilst I might “want to be in touch” with a company with regards their product range A, that does not mean I want to be ‘in touch’ about ranges B to Z, even though I have asked them to contact me directly using my personal data to do so.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Even down to the govt giving a supermarket chain a list of thousands of disabled people.

  6. Nigl
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Hardly an inspiring list and looks a bit like scraping the barrel. Following on from yesterday, ask one of your small businesses to keep for three months all the paper and requests for information they get from Public authorities, mainly HMG, the extraordinary cost (time) associated with that plus employment regs H/S etc.

    60/70% of business fixed/variable cost is people, yet you propose to do nothing about it apart from increase it arbitrarily with national wage and time off when kids are born. Have you any idea the effect on a small business of having to keep a job open/offer it back after Maternity leave. I thought not. It is all geared towards big business who can afford specialists and absorb the cost.

    Reduce air flight tax, you are penalising families. Create Freeport’s. What about the 15/20 billion you have made us waste re smart meters and subsidy for renewables? Scrap them.

    Obviously HS2 and overseas aid, plus bloated head count, excessive senior salaries and bloated pensions in the Public Sector, useless and expensive quangos, all need serious cutting to give to us in tax cuts to regenerate economy but of course no comment or ambition in these respects from once Tory politicians.

    Finally the usual guff about Fishing, an emotive subject and of course you need to do something to ‘buy’ their votes but major employment on a national scale,mm?

    The biggest impact and one you have/do support (privately now?) is to reduce corporation tax, quietly dropped in selling out to the EU. Cut this dramatically and watch the large corporations flock here. Now that would make a difference.

    Finally I note the comments re Huweii. Again you are happy to put this country back umpteen years economically by slowing up 5G purely for virtue signalling political purposes. It will make no difference to the Chinese government or generate any change as if they cannot get all the ‘Secrets’ they want by any number of other means.

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      What are the government going to do about the deal just sealed between the Chinese and Imperial college to help fund their new technology complex, including installing 5G? The Chinese have a track record of infiltrating universities for nefarious purposes, and it is instructive to see all the recent prosecutions in the USA of those in academia who have been spying/selling secrets to the Chinese.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        Historically Unis were weak internet positions, lack of secure connections, allowing an access point to multiple organisations.
        A hacker’s dream.

    • Pauline Baxter
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Nigl Do we actually NEED 5G? Why can’t we wait a bit while our own boffins can do it.
      Also scrap HS2. That again was favoured by Civil Servants acting on behalf of their like in EU.
      Certainly abolish foreign aid,most of it goes to corrupt politicians/ organisations anyway.
      I’m sure Sir John wants corporation tax reduced. Some of your points while good, seem to be misdirected actually. Smart meters are not and never have been compulsory. Big business = Bad Small business = Good!!

  7. Mick
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    To do all this the politicians need to be back in Parliament to repeal and introduce new laws, Perspex doesn’t cost a fortune so the Parliament benches could be partitioned off to accommodate MPs or just move somewhere else that could take all MPs, and don’t say it can’t be done after all it only took 9 days to create the London NHS Nightingale hospital

    • jerry
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      @Mick; In hindsight the ExCel venue might have been better converted to a modern parliament, MPs spaced 3m apart, each with their own desk and electronic voting console etc.

      Time to build a new modern parliament, the existing parliament can then become the museum it truly is, it’s restoration can then be carried out like any other historic (listed) building.

      • anon
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

        The national trust could take it over. Another wonderful tourist destination.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Why can’t government use the Nightingale hospital just put a chair and microphone in each booth instead of the bed? We’ve already paid for it!

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Early hours of this morning on the radio -saying that millions going to be spent on ending homelessness. Why not use the Nightingale there to house the ones in London? Or is it just govt policy to keep throwing yet more and more and more cash on things – cash that we haven’t got?

      • ed2
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Early hours of this morning on the radio -saying that millions going to be spent on ending homelessness. Why not use the Nightingale there to house the ones in London?

        What an excellent idea.

  8. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Let’s not wait for November 5th – We need a bonfire not just of quangos, but of so many restrictive EU regulations, as well as socialist inspired PC social regulations that have changed our country for the worse.
    Rather than simply replacing regulations that don’t work – revoke them and then study if any are needed…
    Anything that increases the tax burden should be removed, along with as much red tape as possible.
    Let’s not fiddle around at the edges – We know our tax system is beyond repair – Reduce taxes all round, then pledge to put something a whole lot better and less complex in it’s place.

    • Andy
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      ‘Socialist inspired PC social regulations’ – like?

      • NickC
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Safe spaces for snowflakes?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

          And where is that in the Statute books, genius?

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        Every major piece of legislation for the last 20 years+

        EG Same sex marriage

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

          That is a Tory law, brought in by Cameron’s government.

          It’s hardly a “major” law amongst the thousands of Acts passed in that time either, covering everything from land registration to freedom of information to growth and infrastructure.

          You really don’t know how a country works, do you?

          • Bryan Harris
            Posted May 26, 2020 at 5:42 am | Permalink

            Are you blind – that one act has created so many idiotic reactions and unfair prosecutions – It was major to a lot of people

            Even the Tories have crept to the absurd left … But labour are even worse with their confounded equality laws

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      I fear we will get nothing significant, BH, as we have a civil service/mandarins still absolutely committed to the EU apparently, and running circles round our politicians. It is no coincidence that Dominic Cummings is suffering a well coordinated and aggressive campaign against him.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        I fear you are right Chris – but one has to get these things out in the open – Someone somewhere might listen and do something.

        You are also right in what you say of the civil service – as part of the political establishment they control far too much

        • anon
          Posted May 24, 2020 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

          Maybe the Senior Civil Service at Minister interface & executive level should be subject to a ‘political’ clearout. Particularly any who hold allegiance to the EU & not the UK.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Reduce taxes all round? Love the idea – but it won’t happen. The govt needs evermore money to keep funding the lives of everyone ( and then their families) who Border Force ferry into the UK. That’s why the govt will NEVER release the true figures of the number here and their cost to us. 170 unaccompanied minors this year? – all anchors to bring in whole families.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        I see refugees from Hong Kong are now on the agenda. Still, what’s a few more between friends?

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        The government has the option to ruin us economically by shutting down our will to live by taxing us into an early death …. or creating an economy that has the potential to bloom and boom..

        The way they handle this will show how far left they are….

        The debt will likely be there for decades so no real rush – the vital thing is to get the UK Ltd up and productive…

  9. Bob Dixon
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Have we the new fishing regulations for us all to see?

    • Peter Wood
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      EU (read the French) wants access as at present, but UK offers, Norway style, annual acess deal, IF we do a sensible FTA. With no FTA, ie we are on WTO rules, the French get NIL access.

      Message to Mssr. Macron, better to have half a loaf than none…

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

        I’ve no problem with offering the EU a multi-year deal; it makes sense given the cost and life-span of fishing vessels. But the EU must pay a fair rate for OUR resources, and if the British fishing industry wants to increase its quota then that want must be accommodated, at the expense of foreign fleets. If we do not charge the EU for access then the national governments will just continue to sell licences to their boats.
        Q. Sir John, Do you see evidence that the EU will have to pay to fish here?

      • acorn
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        Peter; your plan gets the UK fish sector NIL access to EU Ports to sell its catch. BTW, Norway pays an associate membership fee to get access to the EU market.

        You appear unaware that the British don’t eat the fish the UK fishing sector catches; its catch is sold mostly unprocessed into the EU 27. The fish products the UK does eat, are imported from mostly the colder waters of the EU-EEA and processed products from the Far East with a lot of food miles on them.

        UK fishing is owned by an oligopoly of fishing families, that have turned the sector into a nice little earner for those families, with the active cooperation of Conservative governments.

        Naturally, Conservatives don’t make their profits by physically going fishing, they make their profits by simply buying and selling the fish in a “free market” Hence UK fishermen are allowed to sell the free quota given to them by the UK government, to EU Super Trawlers for cash and they stay home with their feet up. Hence they are designated as “Slipper Skippers” and UK waters end up with a lot foreign fishing boats in them.

        • Peter Wood
          Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:30 pm | Permalink


          You missed the point of my comment, however, as to your points, I have only three letters: CFP..

      • gregory martin
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        “Message to Mssr. Macron, better to have half a loaf than none…”
        and the equivalent ratio of fishes :
        = 0.1 !

    • agricola
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Good comment. Lets see the chart delineating conservation areas. For each area , who can do what with what, employing what fishing methods and who from the EU might be invited to subscribe to an annual licence to fish by subscribed methods and to what extent. Finally what system of drones, aircraft/helicopters and RN protection vessels will be employed to police it with a final list of fines for violations of the new regulations.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        It’s been a while since I did this sort of stuff, but the RN and SFPA have enough patrol vessels for the task. The RN does not provide routine air support for the patrollers; that’s done by DEFRA. The fines are eye-wateringly high and don’t need amending. I once detained two Dutch boats. They were ‘weighed off’ the following morning and the penalties – fines, confiscation of catch, confiscation of gear – came to just shy of £100K.

      • steve
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        @peter Wood / agricola

        Thing is, those who voted leave, i.e the majority, will not tolerate EU (French) access to UK waters. So if Boris makes concessions here it won’t bode well for him at the next election and could well be the acid test.

        Better to have nothing whatsoever to do with France, we don’t need them, and they certainly don’t respect us.

        In fact I’d go one further and offer some kind of fishing deal but with the exclusion of the French.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

          and the Chinese, Japanese and sea-bottom scraping trawlers.

    • Andy
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Why do you need to see them? Virtually none of you read the withdrawal agreement – so you don’t know what Johnson signed you up to anyway. Sorry, I said Johnson. I meant Cummings.

      • NickC
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        Did you read the Withdrawal Agreement, Andy? Given your persistent claims that we are no longer ruled by the EU, I somewhat doubt it.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Oh yes! ‘Fishing for Leave’ are much relieved.

      • Andy
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        They won’t be when they have nowhere to sell their fish.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

          they could sell to the UK consumers.

        • anon
          Posted May 24, 2020 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

          Letting the fish stocks increase may be a good outcome of no deal.
          I can see UK fish consumption rising as a direct result of recent health scares. The UK fleet could expand into that space and maybe purchase new kit & equipment to do that.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      fishing for information we’d rather like to see?

  10. Adam
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Starting with a UK essential-needs-based system, tempered by what the purchasers of our services find convenient, would reveal what fits. From there we could adapt our existing regulations or re-write them completely.

    Our use of VAT resulted from conforming with what the former EU happened to us for their own purposes. It is a complex and clumsy method involving wastefully charging and re-claiming incremental fragments. Removing VAT would relieve much of the legacy of EU nuisance.

    • Andy
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Here’s a prediction. There is zero chance of VAT being axed.

      Interestingly, when VAT came in when we joined the EC in 1973 it replaced the Purchase Tax. Which was a significantly higher tax.

      • NickC
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Andy, As usual you are mixed up. A tax’s rate has no causal connection to the type of tax it is.

        VAT is an unnecessarily complex and bureaucratic form of sales tax. As you would expect from the dirigiste EU empire. VAT can and should be replaced by a simpler purchase/sales tax.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 1:53 am | Permalink


          Sorry, but what empire has anybody been conquered?

      • Adam
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        Your Zero rating is one way of removing VAT, as are exemptions. If Purchase Tax was high, it helped reduce needless purchases. Our Govt shall decide where it charges to raise income or moderate behaviour according to its own preferences suited to the future.

      • Ed Hirst
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Yes but applied only to luxuries so not as regressive as VAT.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        Purchase tax was largely confined to luxury items.

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        I seem to recall that Purchase Tax was on ‘luxury’ items. VAT is on almost everything.
        A nice little earner, if ever there was one.!

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        Agree – VAT will not be axed because our betters believe it to be an invisible tax

        • graham1946
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          It also produces north of 100 billion a year.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        Purchase tax only applied to luxury goods.

        VAT applies to a much wider range of items.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink


      Back to the good old days?

      “Until 1973 the UK had a consumption tax called Purchase Tax, which was levied at different rates depending on goods’ luxuriousness.
      Purchase Tax was applied to the wholesale price, introduced during World War II, initially at a rate of 33​1⁄3%. This was doubled in April 1942 to 66​2⁄3%, and further increased in April 1943 to a rate of 100%, before reverting in April 1946 to 33​1⁄3% again.

      Unlike VAT, Purchase Tax was applied at the point of manufacture and distribution, not at the point of sale. The rates of Purchase Tax at the start of 1973, when it gave way to VAT, were 13, 22, 36 and 55%.

      When the UK joined the EU Purchase Tax was replaced by Value Added Tax on 1 April 1973. The Conservative Chancellor Lord Barber set a single VAT rate (10%) on most goods and services”

      • Edward2
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        The effect is similar.
        Purchase tax was on luxury goods
        VAT is bigger in scope and at 20% collects far more.
        And on non luxury goods too.

  11. agricola
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Fine , but let a civil service group create a list of all those regulations whose gestation was the EU. Publish them sector by sector for comment by those affected. Let those garnering adverse comment be consigned to a legal dustbin

  12. Steven
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Yes start repealing useless and counter productive regulation. In fact given that this government has done more damage to the UK economy than any British government in history repealing laws is all they should do. Stop all interference, stop all snooping and stop creating fear. Let productive people put right the appalling damage inflicted by the Westminster parasite class.

    • NickC
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Steven, Excellent. We will prosper when government gets off our backs.

  13. Roger Phillips
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    Can you explain to us how your party and government has failed so drastically in preventing illegal migrants from arrive by the thousands?

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      I will: it’s because most of their MPs don’t care.

    • NickC
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Roger P, No the government cannot explain how they have failed to prevent illegal migration, and failed to curtail general migration. The government is helpless in the face of the rotten anti-British civil serpents and has no answers.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      I’d express it more strongly. I’d ask why does this government and all its linked bodies actively encourage illegal migration?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Maybe they failed to implement e-Borders properly, so the UK has no idea how many leave after entering normally?

      That number dwarfs those coming in on small boats.

      And they scuppered Labour’s ID card plan, so people can work unseen in the cash economy?

      • Edward2
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        Why will an ID card stop people working for cash?

        Please sir I’ve lost my card

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

          Ask the French.

          That is why many of these people want to leave France.

          • graham1946
            Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

            Really? ID cards are the cause? Not because they are left to fend for themselves in filthy unsanitary shanty camps, Martin? Still, if they have ID cards, they will have no problem identifying themselves to the UK authorities who can then send them back as a French problem.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

            So now you smear them as tax dodging cash in hand people.
            Oh dear.
            Off for re education on a Momentum diversity trading course.

    • turboterrier
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Great question , hope your not holding your breath for an answer.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Since the Tories have been in power don’t you mean hundreds of thousands

    Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    What a sorry list of reforms. If this is the best your party can come up then the UK’s heading towards an unpleasant place

    We need systemic change not tinkering at the edges and these recommendations are meaningless

    What would Tory Eurosceptics have done without Farage delivering the Brexit vote?

    What does it reveal when an individual and an outsider like Farage can shake the very foundations of the Europhile political establishment. It reveals that true systemic change can only happen when those that they aren’t captured act in manner not constrained by fear and doubt

    A morally bankrupt party clinging onto the coattails of the Left and the unionised State led by a man whose beliefs would not be out of place at a New Labour party conference

    The Tories are utterly bereft of ideas. They enjoy being part of the Punch and Judy environment we’ve had since 1990 but they don’t desire true change.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Yes morally bankrupt and destroying (destroyed) the economy, but not short of ideas. They had two large and effective ideas; declare one group of people heroes and with furlough and grants give another a large paid holiday. The lack of morals, the damage to the economy, the lost quality life years to come, this doesn’t matter to the Tory Govt – they have created both need and appearance to fill it. Whether voting for the Conservative left or the Labour left the aim is not to improve the country for the majority, the not to increase liberty and opportunity, the aim is to maintain power for its own sake and that can be done even when (by) destroying a country and its people.

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

        Another example of the disgusting need creating by the hero Govt and the catostrophically damaging Mr Sunak is the signalling we read that the Treasury will support a firm’s if its failure “would disproportionately harm the UK economy”. More Govt patronage, Govt power, Govt distortion, Govt bias and Govt bailing out. A plan to support existing and create more zombie companies. Either the companies are viable in the new world that the Govt has contributed to creating or they are not, this should not be the Govt’s decision to make – but it is another idea of how to buy support and remain in power (no morals, many ideas).

        There is one thing that has disproportionately harmed the UK economy and it it the Tory Govt’s uncosted, futile and relentless lockdown.

  15. oldwulf
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    What type of jobs should we seek to promote ?

    In the public sector, my perception is that we need more front line staff (health, education, security, transport) which might be paid for by a reduction in bureaucrats (particularly the ones who are overpaid) and by an increase in the tax take. We might need some clever (bureaucratic) economists to get things right and, in particular, to increase the tax take by improving our economy in preference to increasing tax rates.

    In the private sector we need more businesses, particularly profitable businesses (either profitable now, or with a reasonable expectation of profit in the future), to create jobs. A reduction in red tape would help them as would a reduction in the costs of employing someone (in particular I’m thinking of National Insurance). The private sector needs help so that it can help support the public sector.

    For the charity sector (the so called “third sector”) the decisions are a little more nuanced. Some charities probably need more front line staff in order to deliver their primary purpose. To pay for their primary purpose they take money from the public sector and the private sector, in the form of donations and tax advantages. In principle most taxpayers would probably have no problem with that. However, questions sometimes arise as to the efficiency and bureaucracy of charities, and also their (non primary purpose) presence in our high streets where they sometimes unfairly compete against tax-paying businesses which have to pay their workforce.

  16. John E
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    We need to be much less dependant on imports of essential items.
    What’s the plan for making our own medicines?
    Where are the PPE manufacturing facilities opening?
    How do we encourage more efficient horticulture on the Dutch model?

    We can’t pretend to be able to act independently while we are dependant on Chinese factories for all our needs.

  17. Richard1
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I’d suggest taking a hard look at Mifid2, the EU’s 30,000 page set of financial regulations which has done so much to shut down liquidity in the equity markets even for quite sizeable companies.

    Obviously the whole range of green crap also, but I guess there isn’t much chance of that. And I hope it goes without saying that the CAP and the CFP will go.

    On a separate subject it’s amusing to see the left get so worked up over Dominic Cummings having made what seems to me an entirely reasonable trip to make sure his child was cared for. Mr Cummings really terrifies the left and continuity remain! Of course he mustn’t be hounded out for doing something entirely within the guidance.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Hounded is true every single one of those journo and camera 🎥 yesterday breached the rules hypocrites, thrusting that Mike at everyone on a long pole should be checked out too, people are knowing to emit saliva when they talk and there’s a big wool cover on the mike put in front of shouting people then thrust at the person they’re on the hunt for.

      I will not stand aside as rocks are put on Boris chest to crush him on this matter when other people just get a tap on the wrists. Gary Lineker joining in yesterday on twitter so go on Gary all your friends in the football profession who jumped on planes after lockdown and moved around or visiting each other in the U.K. and we’re having parties even just the ones who paid fines and got a warning should we now be asking for their dismissal they are after all role models?

      Ian Blackford hypocrite no2 travelling to Skye after lockdown I presume not solo in a car but put himself either train or plane with others before locking down 600 + miles from London the most infected City to an Island home with limited nhs resources.

  18. Andy
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Slightly cheaper tampons, something about fish and scrapping data protections.

    Your Brexit really is the gift which keeps giving.

    Genuinely – by now you should have detailed lists of all these thousands of pointless regulations you’re going to scrap. This would allow businesses to actually prepare.

    But after four years you’ve not done this. There is no list of regulations there is just old men complaining about tampons.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Let’s see how the EU fares after the virus.

      • Andy
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        The EU will be fine. The recession will be hard but it’ll come through the other side stronger. Unlike Brexit Britain. Global laughing stock.

    • NickC
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Says the man who gloats over elderly Brexit voters dying; who admires authoritarian control by the EU; who has nothing good to say about an independent UK; who thinks the world should be run by bullies like the EU; who thinks preventing diseased migrants from entry into the UK is xenophobia; who would destroy UK democracy because he has had a tantrum about Leave; who has never been able to specify what the EU has done for us that we couldn’t do for ourselves; who . . . etc, etc.

      Genuinely, Andy, you should have had a plan for Remain. But after 4 years you’ve not done this. Just so we could compare your EU dystopia with independence and freedom. And laugh at your pathetic efforts.

      • Andy
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        Diseased migrants! Brilliant. We are literally the worst affected country in Europe thanks to the incompetence of the Tory government.

        And I clearly don’t want elderly Brexit voters dead because I have been protecting them by obeying the lockdown.

        Which is one up on Dominic Cummings.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

          and doing their shopping, calling on them to check well, a model citizen.

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink


        “who has nothing good to say about an independent UK”

        Independent UK? You mean 51st US state.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

          Check the GDP per capita figures for America versus the UK
          Be nice to increase ours to that level.

          Another 20,000 dollars per head.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      Just another very silly post from you Andy.
      You have repeated this post many times and many times people have given dozens of regulations we can remove after we leave including me on several occasions.
      Are you forgetful or just trolling?

      • Fred H
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

        Edward2 – – (Andy) trolling.

    • Pauline Baxter
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Get with it Andy. B.J. is not T. May. John Redwood is not ‘The Tories’

      As a matter of fact I believe info has been made available which rules and regulations will no longer apply end this year. As for the tampax tax Sir John Redwood, to my knowledge, in a previous post recommended scrapping VAT on DOMESTIC FUEL.

    • steve
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink


      “Slightly cheaper tampons”

      Good news for you then.

    • Al
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Actually Andy, I think you will find most of the people complaining about tax on sanitary products are women, and the people that repealing it would make the greatest difference to are those on low incomes.

      Personally I don’t think there should be a tax on healthcare products, particularly not one that hits the poorest hardest, but you may disagree.

  19. Tricycle £50 Bargain
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Grant Shapps is on Sophy Ridge speaking honestly for the government. He did not seem his self. Reading more into it there does seem there are three of him. But at the time they denied that’s true

  20. Stephen Reay
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    The Government could take the interest rates negative therefore encouraging borrowing promoting demand therefore increasing job vacancies . A number of papers are running stories on negative rates and the Bank Of England are not ruling it out. I fear savers will already be looking for safe havens for their money, looking towards Gold and electronic currancies.
    People with money will look to buy larger house or buy homes to rent just to avoid paying to deposit their money in the bank or building society. I sense a run on the banks as soon as charges are imposed. If we have a run on banks the government will look silly just like they did when there was a run on Northern Rock. The government should look to protect savers now from any charges otherwise come the next election voters will not forget.

  21. James Bertram
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Off topic:
    Sir John, yesterday I made a somewhat popular post that social distancing is a complete nonsense.
    I added a further comment that that view was supported by medical evidence (it is still in moderation? – Note: I do appreciate all the work that goes into this – I rarely have time to even read all comments, so you do a fantastic job. Nonetheless: I think my point deserves full debate.) So today I will try again:

    The two Bakersfeld (California) doctors who had their video notoriously removed by Youtube made the point that it was necessary for humans to mingle, to touch, because in that way they built up their immune system (this is basic epidemiology theory) – and they feared that social distancing would, within weeks, lower human immunity, and that, after lockdown, they would now see a vast increase in other diseases due to this loss of immunity.

    There is a recent video by Professor Sunetra Gupta on the Unherd website (the summary article is very helpful) – the highly respected epidemiologist from Oxford – who makes the same point:
    She believes that longer-term lockdown-style social distancing makes us more vulnerable, not less vulnerable, to infectious diseases, because it keeps people unprotected from pathogens:
    “Remaining in a state of lockdown is extremely dangerous from the point of view of the vulnerability of the entire population to new pathogens. Effectively we used to live in a state approximating lockdown 100 years ago, and that was what created the conditions for the Spanish Flu to come in and kill 50m people.”

    Will Jones in Conservative Woman has written an informative article ‘Social Distancing – the case against.’ He argues effectively that social distancing not have any consistent, observable impact on the growth of infections and the shape of the epidemiological curve – basically, it doesn’t achieve what it sets out to do; it doesn’t work. [From the Unherd article: Observing the very similar patterns of the epidemic across countries around the world has convinced Professor Gupta that it is this hidden immunity, more than lockdowns or government interventions, that offers the best explanation of the Covid-19 progression].

    This is plain-speaking from epidemiologist Professor Wittkowski, an interview on Spiked:
    spiked: Should people practice social distancing?
    Wittkowski: No.
    spiked: Why not?
    Wittkowski: Why? What is the justification for that? People need to ask the government for an explanation. The government is restricting freedom. You do not have to ask me for justification. There is no justification. It is the government that has to justify what it is doing. Sorry, but that is how it is.

    I also read somewhere that the evidence was pointing to infection spread occurring mainly through long term exposure indoors to the virus (most were catching it from their partner) – whereas most social distancing rules/ advice are based on preventing brief passing contact, often outdoors.

    I’d be grateful if you would post this comment so that we can have a proper debate about this evidence.

  22. Richard1
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    More and more evidence from around the world that lock-down – as opposed to voluntary social distancing and self-isolation of the vulnerable – has been a mistake. It has achieved little or nothing and certainly cost a lot. Those societies lifting lock-down are not seeing a resurgence. It’s an excusable mistake as it was being done more or less everywhere and was the clear scientific advice. (let’s remember in future that it’s possible for well-intentioned expert scientific advice to be damaging bunkum.)

    But it’s essential to move to end it now, not to follow perceived public opinion. A very revealing survey showed that public sector workers feel better off in lockdown! Of course they do, they are in many cases (all?) on full pay and in many cases have nothing to do. It is delusional to allow this kind of opinion to influence policy. The country needs to get back to work or the economy is stuffed, and with it all the plans the govt might have, including potentially any sensible form of Brexit.

  23. Dave Andrews
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Promoting jobs would be facilitated by removing the barrier of employer’s national insurance costs. It’s a job suppression tax.
    Also, make it easier for employers to remove poor staff. Right now, an employee has to be so bad before an employer could entertain the tortuous process of removing them. The onus needs to be on the employee not the employer to justify their retention.
    If it’s easier to fire staff, a new employer will also more readily hire without worrying they might be lumbered.

    • NickC
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Dave, Never mind about private sector employers being able to to remove poor staff, what about the civil service management being able to weed out poorly performing or unpatriotic civil servants?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

        “Unpatriotic” meaning holding any view that you personally do not.

        And yet you shriek about the “thought police” and “free speech”, when people are rightly held to account for inciting groundless hatred.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Exactly the same applies to landlord and tenants.

  24. John E
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I see Prof. Hill who is leading the Oxford team has reduced the likelihood of their success in rolling out a vaccine from 80% to 50%.

    Bad news? Well not really because the reason is that the outbreak is declining so quickly that he is running out of places in the U.K. to test his vaccine.

    This isn’t the first time by any means this has happened. It’s the most likely outcome in these situations – by the time the vaccine is ready the disease has gone away, even when developed at unprecedented speed as in this case.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Brazil could help.

  25. nhsgp
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Taxes on smoking stop people from smoking
    Taxes on jobs stop people from working
    Taxes on goods stop people from buying goods.
    30% of tax is government profit, the difference between tax and cost of services.
    Strikes me government is the problem not the solution

    Hence MPs demand that extra 50 MPS

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      The inability to fire people easily and without financial risk is a huge deterrent to taking anyone on. It is hugely damaging.

  26. glen cullen
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Sir John, I agree with all your point please initiate without delay….you do have a large mayority

    However please plan for July as the EU talks don’t look like achieving anything

  27. Christine
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Our Government comes across as very weak. Even when they put new legislation in place, like charging immigrants for the NHS, they back down as soon as the media complain. Boris now has less than five years to make some beneficial changes in this country but only seems to dither and U-turn. I’ve been very disappointed by the quality of his cabinet when he has such a good choice of MP’s to pick from. We have some very hard decisions to make in the next few years if we are to navigate fully leaving the EU and surviving this virus. All he seems to be doing is throwing our money away rather than making the reforms this country so badly needs if it is to succeed on the World stage.

  28. David Cooper
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    One further downside to GDPR for small businesses is the “subject access request” – requirement for production of copies of all internal paper and e-documents bearing the subject’s name – often used by malcontent ex-employees on a fishing expedition for material that they think might enable the pursuit of a flimsy tribunal claim, or out of sheer bloody mindedness. The time and effort inflicted by GDPR for compliance purposes is burdensome, but there is no meaningful scope under the legislation to refuse the request altogether. The sooner GDPR is repealed, the better.

  29. Everhopeful
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Yes…well…let’s just make sure that quango etc burning actually happens this time. Much talk always…little action.
    And on the subject of courage and decisiveness….PLEASE tories don’t let this Dominic C stuff run and run. PLEASE be bold and brave and just QUASH it!
    He isn’t even an MP…just an advisor. Shut the Left up!!
    Dominic and his corona- suffering family were just locked down in a house TOTALLY separate from his parents!
    Honestly the non lockdown stuff from day 1 here. And “clappers” every man jack o’ them!!
    We need this imprisonment to end…NOT pursue an endless and ludicrous and spiteful and untruthful campaign so that the Left can “ Get Boris”.

    • Jasper
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

      Everhopeful – Totally agree – Boris needs to stand his ground over this, MSM should be more concerned about the forth coming recession than a witch hunt against a man who was looking after his family! Disappointed with Steven Baker to be honest and other Tory MPs throwing fuel in the fire , in my opinion they should all shut up!

  30. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Yes we do!
    Less tax. Simpler tax. Fewer bureaucrats. More money coming in…

    • NickC
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Mike S, Spot on – Less tax. Simpler tax. Fewer bureaucrats. More money coming in … It’s not too difficult for even the government to understand, is it?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Fewer obstructive regulation that generate endless parasitic jobs in both the state sector and the private sector.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

        “Parasitic jobs”.

        Says………….a landlord.

  31. Anonymous
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Are the Tories going to go down as the Government that needlessly killed our pubs, theatres and cinemas ?

    This is a huge problem for you and is one of the reasons that you must continue to impress the deadliness of CV-19 upon us and thus are in a death grip with the public sector Unions.

    Whether true or not you cannot admit that CV-19 is less deadly for healthy people than first thought because you have killed so much that we love already and so must continue to kill young people’s jobs to save your own faces.

    Promoting jobs ? REALLY ?

    (We’re not allowed to blame anyone else for it so the Conservatives must carry the can here.)

  32. Drachma
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    None of these regulations taxes and charges were imposed on us by the EU. We had a place at the top table for more than forty years and could have called a halt at any time- but we didn’t.

    With regard to ports I presume you want to take them back into public ownership- all very well but without a British Merchant Navy worth talking about is just another piece of rhetoric- as we will still have to continue to use foreign flag and foreign owned ships to maintain trade especially when it comes to these new trade deals with countries far away.

    Then there’s the old chestnut ‘the fishing regulations’ as if tearing up a copy of the rules will make a blind bit of difference to the presently constituted EU EEZ fishing agreement. You still don’t understand that we still have to negotiate our way out of this if we want to proceed with what we want to do in other areas. Tearing up regulations is childish in the extreme and will make no difference to anything.

  33. BJC
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Those pushing for changes will have an entirely different agenda to that of the government, so there will be relentless pressure to amend specific legislation, relax rules, etc, to advantage those with vested interests. It’s important, therefore, that each change works in support of the government’s overall vision for the future of our country.

    We’ve had 40+ years of proscriptive governance and a new ethos will be perplexing for many people, especially the indoctrinated. We should, perhaps, reflect that Mr Johnson’s Brexit message was incredibly strong and withstood sustained attacks by a Remain establishment and the Opposition. I’m hoping the government can find a message of equal strength to hammer home their key overall objectives and unwavering belief in our abilities as a nation It should help to divert the energy-draining pettiness of the puritanical mind and give an inspirational lead to our dynamic go-getters. The level and scope of legislation, etc, required, will soon become evident if we keep our eye on the prize.

    I do hope that, separately, we can take a long, hard look at the role of the education sector as a means of countering the damaging “Long March” strategy favoured by the EU. The influence of memory in respect of the EU will soon diminish and we need to ensure we future-proof our change of direction.

  34. Edwardm
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Small organisations and local clubs and societies should be set free and excluded from the GDPR requirements – there was never a problem in the first place – and free us from having to behave as if we are in a secret society – it puts onerous and undue demands on officers (often volunteers) of small organisations.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Indeed it does.

  35. Your hindsight Late
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Odd how “The Best Health Care System in the World, the NHS, is doing so poorly relative to lesser systems. One wonders whether lockdown, done so very well in the UK was responsible for the virus accelerating. Yes it was and is. Linear thinkers!!!!!They could not get the picture. Thick!

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      All my life I’ve been told that all other medical systems are inferior to the NHS….told by the govt and our NHS

      Think I’ll have to start questioning that assumption

      • Fred H
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

        brought up on ‘nobody does it better’.
        Hmmm……Cars, planes, warships, docks, factories, computers, health, law, Government, business, tolerance…….need I go on?

        A steady downgrade on the lot?

  36. Anonymous
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I know formerly healthy people who used to go to gyms who are getting depressed and fat in lockdown who are now making themselves at risk of CV-19.

    Lord Sumption has the right idea. Make shielding voluntary. Get the rest of us back to normality and to work as soon as.

    It seems that many powerful people don’t believe in their own lockdown advice.

    Let’s not continue to destroy this country to save faces.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      hear hear

  37. Sea Warrior
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Yep – the Ports Regulation was definitely not wanted by the industry. Does the government have plans for a quick review, followed by immediate legislation? If not, why not?

  38. JoolsB
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    All what you mention above John would be a great start but I think we might have to wait until we have a Conservative Government for it to happen.

  39. John Partington
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Reduce red tape ,imposed by the EU on all business. God only knows how many hours are wasted with box ticking and filling in useless forms that hamper business.

  40. Fred H
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    I didn’t see that you said much to promote jobs.
    Reduce the employment burden rules!
    Reduce the NI rates on lower incomes.
    Reduce Corporation Tax.
    Encourage production of the health essentials we keep hearing are in short supply.
    Encourage production of the prescription drugs we rely on from overseas.
    Reduce costs on food production, encourage investment in large greenhouses for supply of more out-of-season produce.
    Deter import of all things Chinese.
    Encourage garden centres to promote ‘grow your own’.
    Increase intake training and grants for NHS nursing staff, reduce need for higher academic level examinations.
    Increase support for English scientific training and centres of research and excellence.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      you don’t like my posts do you Sir John?
      Too accurate, too troublesome?

  41. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Yes, we can get rid of all the regulations which prevented disasters like Aberfan, Flixborough, and a whole litany of industrial accidents and harm to health in the workplace.


    • Anonymous
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      In truth we outsourced much of that risk and it came back to us in the form of a virus which has killed thousands of our people directly and vastly more in the ensuing lockdown indirectly.

      That risk killed plenty of foreign workers on our behalf and I’m no more happy about that and nor should you be, Martin.

      Not marvellous.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

        CV only killed a few hundreds or tens even, in New Zealand, in Greece, in Australia, in S. Korea, in most of Scandinavia except Sweden, and in many other countries. It only killed a few thousand in China, a country of 1.4 billion, reportedly.

        Now why do you think that this should be? I say that it is because the UK and the US are structurally vulnerable, being the tin pot, shambolic Anglo-American models that they are. We couldn’t even get masks for front line medical staff, never mind the entire population, as others have done.

        Yes, the UK exported those risks however. That is absolutely why the European Union, being the primarily moral project that it is, will not strike deals with countries which have poor H&S regs etc.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

          Heath and Safety Act in the UK…1974.

    • agricola
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Yes we need to extend the troll shooting season.

    • NickC
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      I know, Martin, let’s have a regulation against coronaviruses!! More bureaucracy = a better world – in your and the EU’s view. Perhaps fortunately, it doesn’t work like that.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Who has called for those actions?

      More fake news posts from you Martin

      • bill brown
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 1:51 am | Permalink

        Edward 2

        Thank you Constable very informative

        • Edward2
          Posted May 25, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

          Trolling again I see bill.
          I see irony is lost on you.

          Where is your long factual post?

    • mancunius
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      The UK pioneered H&S legislation and monitoring for more than a century before the EEC began to dabble in it. There were already adequate UK industrial H&S laws in place, and enshrined in criminal law, to prevent both those disasters.
      The Wilson (Labour) Government fudged the Inquiry, and chose not to bring criminal prosecutions against those found responsible for the Aberfan disaster, such as the Head of the NCB, Labour’s own Lord Robens, and its local employees.
      Flixborough was swiftly addressed by the UK Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) – an exclusively UK measure. The EEC did not yet have any relevant legislation. It pondered laboriously over Flixborough and Seveso (1976) until finally in 1982 it produced the Seveso Directive.

    • steve
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink


      is that the best you can come up with ?

    • Al
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Regarding the accidents you mention and regulatory results, the Mines and Quarries (Tips) Acts of 1969 and 1971 were passed before we joined the EEC. Similarly the UK Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974 preceeded its EU equivalent by 8 years (the 1982 Seveso Directive). Both originate in Britain so neither of these should be in danger of being repealed due to Brexit.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      Martin – -what about the Titanic too?

  42. William Long
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Let’s hope that Cummings stays in place so there is some hope of all this happening. Of course th cynic might say there is nothing to stop Boris ‘letting him go’ but keeping him on the end of the telephone.

  43. forthurst
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Of course the General Data Protection Regulation was drawn up by no-nothing civil servants (generalists) who were passed some poorly drafted regulations by the EU and instead of trying to understand what they were trying to constrain and limit the reach accordingly, decided to draft in such a way as to capture any organisation with a mailing list including non-profit community organisations such that they had to maintain databases as to by what means members were prepared to be contacted, whether by letter, email, phone and in what specific context, thereby creating massive administrative burdens for organisations run by volunteers with resources which were previously directed towards the aims of the organisations rather than fulfilling regulations concocted by incompetent generalists in a government department.

    JR talks about reducing regulations; what needs to be reduced is the army of generalist civil servants who see it as their job to waste productive people’s time and money with gold-plated legislative turds.

    The whole system by which a senior civil servant can be put in charge of a portfolio such as education and then moved to something like healthcare has proven to not work and needs to end. Rather than hit the ground running, they fall flat on the faces as we have seen. This is what government ministers do, of course, which partly explains the very inferior governance of our country.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink


  44. ChrisS
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    All these suggestions, and may more, will be extremely important in freeing up British industry from EU bureaucracy but, given current circumstances, is it possible and is there time to get measures such as the repeal of the ports legislation through parliament ?

    Furthermore, our civil service has a habit of gold plating legislation – the 2m social distancing measure is a highly topical case. It is very clear that 1m outside is perfectly safe and acceptable and for most countries 1m is also considered enough when indoors.

    The viability of a great many businesses is going to depend on social distancing rules
    so changes need to be made here and quickly.

  45. beresford
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Raise the VAT threshold on small purchases from overseas, as George Osborne wanted to do. The EU ordered him to reduce it instead. Thus if you buy a DVD from America you are at risk of having your item impounded until you pay the VAT AND a ripoff ‘handling charge’ of £10 or so. This tax costs more to collect than the revenue it generates.

    • anon
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 12:22 am | Permalink

      It is also a real impediment to sending & receiving small gifts to from non-eu countries.

      Im sure the post-office & others would like more air freight/sea freight business.

  46. rose
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Never, ever give in to a Fake News Frenzy. It feeds the crocodile and no good can come of it.

    • NickC
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Rose, So true. And the entirely confected frenzy about Cummings’ visit simply shows up the MSM for what it is.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

        Yes, it is amazing that they, the MSM, can work themselves into a frenzy over a UK national traveling in his own country but, cannot raise a single word about those travelling into the UK illegally by boat.

  47. Iain Gill
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    opt out of the EU/India “free trade” agreements (nothing of the sort) and stop agreeing to print uncapped work visas for their nationals in return for supposedly opening up their domestic market to our financial services businesses. this whole approach is a failure as Indian consumers are very patriotic and will continue to buy FS products from domestic businesses, and all we end up from such deals is decimated workforce, loss of intellectual property, and immigration the voters dont want. change the tax rules so that everyone on a work visa pays at least as much tax, including national insurance, as locals do.

  48. Mary Lowrey
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    What an excellent set of short comments precisely capturing what we need to do right now. My next list includes evening up the constituency boundaries, rationalising the effect of the Welsh assembly and Scottish Executive on laws only affecting England, reducing the number of MPs and sorting out the Lords….

  49. Rods
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    CANZUK for FTAs with Australia, Canada & New Zealand & also CPTPP for additional FTAs with Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, & Vietnam.

    I exported all over the world in the 1980’s-90’s to many of these countries along with many others, so about 85% of our turnover was exports. It is a great way to expand a business & your global horizons.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      But we don’t want ‘freedom of movement’ which is included in the CANZUK proposal – it took us 47 years to escape from same re the EU!

  50. NickC
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    JR, Quite simply the government must put the UK first. Every law, every trade deal, every agreement, the question must be asked “does it benefit the UK?” on balance. Quite obviously joining the EEC/EU fails that test because no benefit is worth the loss of independence – nothing can benefit the UK if the UK ceases to exist (other than as a vaguely ethnic province of a foreign empire). It means that if you won’t put the UK first you are putting the UK second – at best.

  51. MeSET
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    They were pretty good at thinking weren’t they

  52. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    And repeal the climate change act. Expensive energy is killing this country and we cannot compete with others.

  53. Freeborn John
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Dominic Cummings has to stay. The government won’t have credibility to deliver a clean brexit and trade deals with the rest of the world without him. There are simply too many rotten remainer MPs like Simon Hoare and Tobias Elwood still in the Commons.

  54. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    There are many opinions of the financial difficulties firms and people are experiencing . Hot headed comments and replies are abundant. All I can say is what do you expect me to do about it? I am subject to all enforcements as everyone else and all people want to protect their nearest and dearest , so negativity does not help. I put into place in the area in my practice strict guidelines before any other’ for the sake of prevention , having many immigrants from Europe register with us , but now it has been closed down until further notice. At the time I didn’t wait for any government advice. I implemented professional standards. As far as I know we have not cases of deaths from Covid-19.

  55. Parallel Universe
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Down South=Up North

  56. Philip B
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Sadly Boris has shown he is not a leader by keeping Cummings. A big mistake to think that the population who have kept to the rules will accept this. Boris has lost his grip and we are now in free for all.

    • rose
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Cummings did keep to the Guidelines. The media who are trying to bring him and the PM down, don’t.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        +1 – the media who admit to ‘some wrong reporting’ need to feel the heat and be sacked!

  57. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    I like your agenda. It’s people like you that the EC, France and Germany are afraid of. Keep up the good work.

  58. mancunius
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    We should certainly abolish the more idiotic bits of GDPR – including the intrusive and timewasting Accept/Reject Cookies message before opening any commercial website – the user has already pre-set those decisions on the server.

    Of course, every step of the way the government will have its hands tied by the usual suspects in the HoL. This will continue until the Lords is abolished – a much overdue reform – and replaced by a more representative second chamber: more direct democracy (referenda on e.g. social and constitutional issues) must now be installed to counterbalance the groupthink of the political elites. It is also essential to reform voting and voter registration procedures: their widespread fraudulent exploitation must be halted.

    • Al
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      The casual visitor won’t have set those settings on the server because they don’t have acess to it: the site owner controls the server-side aspects of the account. If the useless pop-up was replaced with a directive that users can set their browsers to accept or reject cookies from a particular sources – e.g. block tracking ads, analytics, or double-click permanently in the browser and sites and cookies have to obey those settings – that would be more effective.

      Currently certain third party software gets round blockers by using the hosting site’s domain name instead of their own as an identifier, but still sends the data to that third party’s central repository for their own commercial use.

  59. Philip B
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Sadly my comments on here have not been posted. Thought this was a country of free speech, clearly it no longer appears to be. My comment about Boris Johnson failing to to deal with Dominic Cummings has touched a nerve. Boris said it was ok for Cummings to see his family in the north due to instinct. Well my instinct to see my family and other people to see theirs is the same so I guess it’s fine for us all to use instinct as our rational too to see our families. Opportunity totally missed Boris and you missed your chance to show real leadership.

    • Jasper
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

      Philip – totally disagree with you I am afraid – Boris needs to stand firm against this and not be bullied by MSM! I have been adhering to the rules but this week after a strange conversation with my 77 year old mother who lives alone – I went to see her to check she was ok and no one would have stopped me as I was that concerned about her. We socially distanced and used common sense so no harm done and I feel better for seeing her and knowing she is actually ok!

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Philip, I disagree and I believe the media are being unfair here. Here’s a couple of reasons why:
      I know LOTS of people who following their last working or study day in London cleared off out of the City and home to family homes elsewhere, their other homes and to stay with friends/family in large homes with big gardens elsewhere – at the time I commented that if London was locking down because the virus was rampant in London they shouldn’t travel people disagreed with me then. So why should it be different for Dominic C to do this, he was a key worker whose work in London didn’t end until the PM was put in isolation at the end of March and would have been required to stay in London until his work finished as did for example:

      Ian Blackford the SNP leader who was in London on the last day of parliament (after the lockdown) staying in his London home, he then travelled to Skye, over 600 miles, where he put on Twitter he isolated for 14 days – but did he? And he is there criticising DC every tweet but I suspect he flew rather than drive alone for 12 hours potentially putting more people at risk than DC did in his car.

      As for people not going to hospital that was the hospital rules for safety he didn’t go to hospital to visit anyone?

      I heard 6 people could go to a funeral and I know people who did this?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        +1 Cummings did not seem his family. Steven KINNOCK travelled from South Wales to London and back to wish his father a happy birthday! Of course he had already travelled to South Wales from London in the first place!

  60. Drachma
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    John what’s the matter with my comments?- I didn’t use intemperate or bad language- suppose it must be some kind of local ERG cencorship

    Posted May 24, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Crush the BBC before they crush democracy

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:28 pm | Permalink


  62. Blake
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    What do you mean leave fully- we have already left fully in January- now we’re into talks about the future

    On another note what about these new trade deals we were promised with US OZ and NZ havn’t heard a word since Fox was the secretary?? any updates

    • Mark B
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:08 am | Permalink

      To answer both of your questions. You have been deceived on both counts. We are still under the ECJ and still paying in. Plus. As we are still under EU jurisdiction we cannot negotiate trade deals with other countries.

      Hope that helps

  63. Oh well...
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    It’s getting worse on social media by the minute Brexiteers… Tories it now appears even ones who are ladies and for years have kept cool but NEVER declared their Toryism are now using four letter words and ranting about people against the viewpoint of Mr Cummings and Boris. Even fellow Brexiteers and one or two Tories of the libertarian strand. All are now their enemies.
    This travelling has certainly knocked the stuffing out of many Tories…I’m guessing…there are more than one of two possibly believing deep down they are on loser… with Boris.
    A strange event. I am blocking a number who for quite some time have communicated with calmness and satire and fun with myself and others. Now they show ugly sharp teeth. Disappointing. My view is they smell defeat when they thought victory was for sure.
    Boris… he is a big disappointment to me. The Economy had it made, The UK had it made.

  64. Caterpillar
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    1. Publish and publicise how low the risks from coronavirus are for the majority undo the lockdown now and stop with the smoke and mirrors, jam tomorrow childish behaviour.
    2. Do not complicate VAT further with more exemptions and mutiple rates. Increase it to 50%!!!!! but then resdistribute all additional revenue to adults as about £5000 per year each. This means those who consume less than average get more back (so children’s clothes and food can be VATed without being regressive) and those that consume more will be paying more overall. This can be upped by 1 or 2k per year for those of working age (not pensioners) by scrapping some non-state pension benefits. Add in a carbon tax and dividend (+border adjustment) for all adults and a fair few pounds can be taken off the minimum wage.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      Slight aside – I’ve heard several people comment about the superiority of old style job centres over DWP benefit claimant focussed job centre pluses.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      take money off the minimum wage- are you mad?
      It should either rise or basic Income Tax allowances must go up (I’d prefer).
      When benefits are roughly equal to or better with lots of children, why worry about getting a job on mere minimum wage?

      VAT could be zero’d on more items.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 25, 2020 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      Yes that should do for most of the jobs in the country, and as we all consume less the 50% VAT will not stretch to £5k income per year, maybe £500.00 – can you live of that with marginal taxes at 98%?

  65. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Your collective faith that this government will do anything along the lines suggested is very touching.

  66. Gary
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    With Cummings protected in situ- don’t think it’s not exactly taking back control- in fact it only highlights the worry I have of just exactly who will have the control?

  67. Ian Wilson
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    Repeal the Climate Change Act and halt the preposterous zero carbon plans before they kill what’s left of our manufacturing.
    Rupert Darwall stated Boris and his government will be toast if they continue with zero carbon (though he might have added may yet be saved even if the country isn’t by opposition parties following the same infantile policy.)

  • 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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