Parliament needs more control over lock downs

I supported the Brady amendment by co sponsoring it on the Order paper. I apologise to readers for a rare mistake of a bad forecast in thinking the Speaker would accept it for debate and decision as a majority of the House clearly supported it.

The important thing is that nonetheless the amendment served its purpose. It did result in the Speaker warning the government they needed to change and to allow debates and votes in government time on the controls, just as we had argued. He had legal advice against taking the amendment which I do not question. The government agreed to come to Parliament over these powers. As an early demonstration of good faith, there will be a proper debate on 2 Statutory Instruments imposing controls, with a vote on each next week.

Many of the Statutory Instruments which have imposed the restrictions on our freedom of movement were not debated or voted on in the past but will now need to be to comply with the Speaker’s ruling. Many of them were not put into effect by the government under powers in the Coronavirus Act but under other emergency powers  legislation, so trying to vote down the Coronavirus Act would not have dealt with the issues many people are raising. The Coronavirus Act is the source of authority to assist public bodies manage the crisis, which I and others did not wish to stop all the time the restrictions are in place. We want to get at the freedom removing SIs which are mainly issued under the 1984 Public Health (Control of Disease) Act. That will become clearer next week.

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  1. Sir Patrick Vaccine
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    False positives and the never-ending epidemic
    Diana Kimpton October 2, 2020

    “TESTING is at the heart of the government’s response to Covid-19, but the current test for the virus is not 100 per cent reliable.”

    Conservative Woman Website

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      My local general hospital had only one COVID death over the past three months. It had three on Monday. It’s still here – and probably getting worse.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        Not enough data there to draw any conclusions.

        Can you see somewhere the number of deaths per hospital? Could you post a link please.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        Sea Warrior,

        I think you are correct. There is a definite uptick in with Covid deaths in several Health Trusts. Each one of these should have been profiled, from pre-infection through to death. This should be giving local information on interventions, and adding to (inter)national learning. It is also a test of the underlying spread; is this a local drop in performance or a local increase in virus?

        At the other end SirPVaccine is also correct. The contextual background which leads to larger scale interventions is very muddy and perhaps even at a level where the effectiveness of an intervention is not really clear after the fact. There are many problems with the false positive and asymptomatic issue e.g.

        (i) a change in P(+/ui) leading to change in P(+) is indistinguishable from a change in P(i), and there are reasons a drift in P(+/ui) can occur

        (ii) asymptomatics may actually be genuine false positives (cross-contamination or recovered case shedding unviable viral RNA), an infected but not infectious case or, a genuine infectious asymptomatic.

        The Govt is giving no indication of ongoing quality assessment of P(+/ui). The public data is not reporting whether cases were (a)symptomatic at diagnosis. There is no public indication of attempts at viral culturing from asymptotmatics to give an indication of the percentage of these that are infectious.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

          Hopefully the chance will be taken to look carefully at least at the reported large number of asymptomatics at the reported Northumbria University outbreak.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        With or of??

        • Hope
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink


          With or from the virus.

          The govt has allowed a gross distortion of figures. This a fact we can all agree upon. Why? Only those who died from it should be counted.

          Otherwise it is pointless guess work and no strategy could be based on it. Hancock was a complete dick again this week with his false scare mongering on predictive deaths. Absolute fantastical rubbish. He is the govt lead FFS!

          I have never known doctors certify cause of death in such a hap hazard, unreliable and disgraceful way. Again, why?

          • Hope
            Posted October 2, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

            I suppose based on Hancock anyone who had flu in their lifetime must have died from it!

            Anyone who had measles in their lifetime must have died from it! Etc etc.

            The govt. under Handcock has spent millions on disease controlled hospitals called Nightingale and not used the for the purpose of isolating a highly contagious pathogen but continues to use hospitals where everyone attends some in the most vulnerable conditions!

            A bit like his stupidity of releasing old people from hospital to care homes where 40% of all Covid deaths occurred! Any other industry this would be corporate manslaughter!

            40% of all those tested positive are asymptomatic. Lock up the healthy is govt policy! Health Act was designed to lock up the sick!

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        Look, if we close everything down again after October and don’t work out a way through this, isolating the vulnerable or even just looking after the most at risk and asking them to lockdown and support them we will be stuffed. If grandparents can’t see their grandchildren because they’re living their lives then that is their choice, their risk if they carry on.

        The government hands out are virtually over for employees now, we cannot expect the government to keep giving money out hand over fist for our children to repay down the line.

      • Barbara
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        1700 people die every day in Britain.

        • Fred H
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

          if true that is worrying – it has been approx 1400 for several years.

        • Not Bob
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

          1700 people die every day in Britain.


      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        Bodies all over the place. Crosses on doors.

        So bad the Government needs to issue fines to keep people indoors.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      John complains about Statutory Instruments – the UK equivalent of European Union Directives.

      They are a convention in most legislatures. It would be impossible to schedule debates every time that a legal limit to a newly-discovered food contaminant were proposed, say.

      The UK Parliament is sovereign. That means that it can afford any scope that it wants to Ministers to Make Rules – however, the European Union’s can never go beyond the strict limits imposed by the Lisbon Treaty on the other hand.

      The UK has no Constitution where such equivalent limits are imposed on its Parliament.

      We therefore have an elected dictatorship, and there is no reason in principle why that might not be a tyranny.

      With a Tory majority of eighty, and their having expelled all with the principle and insight to dissent, the UK probably has the Rubber-Stampingest Parliament in the democratic world.

      Oh, the irony.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        It isn’t tryany nor is it a dictatorship, don’t be silly.
        We have regular elections.
        Just wait for the next one.
        Where you for 3 terms when Blair and Brown were in power?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      There are many criticism of Johnson’s ‘moonshot’ but false positives should not be one of them. If everyone could be tested daily with saliva test for a viral protein with say 1% false positive, 50% false negative (!) then one does not ask contacts to isolate, people only isolate on the days they have a positive test, this stops the accumulation problem. At the ongoing cost to the economy of say 600,000 false positives each day the number of infectious is halved, hence dramatically reducing R.

      One large criticism is that this should be part of a designed periodic and stratified testing strategy. Where false negatives have much more importance (e.g. hospitals, care homes and visitors to these) then gold-standard tests should be concentrated. Where the aim is to keep the lid on the virus then quick and cheap tests with lower sensitivity and specificity can be used. This has been known for months, maybe even at the beginning of the epidemic, but the only evidence we see is the U.K. rejecting such lower grade tests (delaying to have the best in the world). This is what would be expected of a ‘science’ view (how good can the measurement be) compared with an economic/business/operational/engineering view. Ideally this would have been done alongside relatively constant behaviour patterns and the constant messaging of hygiene and spacing, the cheap tests then add to the pattern of behaviour.

  2. Sir Patrick Vaccine
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: In a free country dinner parties are for the many, not the few

    “Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin. You may like to pour yourself a stiff drink. This is going to come as a shock.

    For the first time in my life, I have some sympathy for Jeremy Corbyn.”

    Daily Mail

    • Fred H
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      how many different households did the dinner party come from?
      An ideal meeting to spread the virus.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Oh yes!
      I forgot Mr Corbyn.
      He obviously knows the true risk like Boris’ Dad, Cummings, Ferguson.
      So he too carries on as normal…as did his guests.
      AND a couple of SNPs inc. Senior Health Adviser!!
      Either all uber brave/reckless ( we are now told murderous) or just IN THE KNOW!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      You do realise, that the Act, under which these arbitrary edicts are issued – exactly as that Act intended and foresaw – was drafted by your and Littlejohn’s beloved Margaret Thatcher’s government in 1984, I take it?

      More reasonable countries devolve such powers to regional assemblies, to councils etc., and they have generally been more effective at tackling this virus than the centralised government has in England.

      But no, the Tories abolished the GLC and such bodies around the country, and hobbled such local democracy as was left by their crushing laws on rates, tendering, etc.

      And, of course, as ever with bullies, they shrieked the loudest about the trivial loss of their power – “centralisation!!!” – stemming from progress in European matters.

      Irony is truly lost on such types.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        It isn’t ironic.
        There is more power devolved to the other parts of the UK than any other similar set of nations.
        Subsidised hugely by the power and wealth of England who have no such seperate Parliament for themselves.

        The GLC was a disaster of loony left politics.
        Even the current mess is better.

      • Sir Patrick Vaccine
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        The 1984 act was updated in 2009.

        All these acts had strict check and balances.

        For example, somebody could only be quarantined if they we actually and it had to be signed off by a magistrate.

        All of the check and balances been stripped away by the current Government.

  3. Sea Warrior
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    There’s a broader point needing consideration by the government: communication with stakeholders. It seems that every day brings news of another comms screw-up. There is a management tool known as a ‘RACI analysis’; this shows who is ‘responsible’, who is ‘accountable’, who needs to be ‘consulted’ and who just needs to be ‘informed’. The government should start using it. And backbench Conservative MPs, like yourself, need to ask themselves who is to blame for it not being used already. I won’t offer an opinion. I’m sure other posters will offer their thoughts.

    • hefner
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      I would have thought MPs claiming to be ‘business people by background’ would have encountered ‘RACI analysis’ on their way to Westminster.

    • Mark
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Yup . RACI is an excellent tool to get to the heart of an issue’s ownership. Not simply the chart that is produced, but the conversations that get you there. We used to use it a lot in my business .

    • Mark B
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      I love the RACI System and use it a lot in my work and thinking. I am sure State workers use it but, their first priority is to cover their real end first. From my experience of them, they seek to either offload or mitigate both responsibility and accountability. It is yet another reason why I hate Supranational bodies. QUANGO’s and NGO’s. They are just firewalls put in place solely to protect MP’s and Civil Serpents.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Yes, for sure.

        1. Cover backside
        2. Build empire

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        +1 and their objective is the inverse of RACI.

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        I agree MarkB passing the buck is the order of the day. It is caused because when an error is made people call for them to be sacked immediately so covering your own ass is a priority.

        This SNP MP everyone saying she should resign, what other jobs would someone resign for breaching covid isolation rules and putting other people at risk? If a Doctor does it should they be struck off? By all means she should be disciplined, she has a fine to pay, she has put other people at risk of catching COVID that she was on a train with – which is unacceptable as they may not be on full sick pay like she will be during isolation, does the punishment fit the rule break. It is incredible that she did this what was so important to go to London for when she thought she had the virus and she must have felt ill to get a test? BUT!! Is it acceptable now for bosses to ask workers you’ve been told were seen partying on their Social Media page to resign? If we discover someone has had a covid19 test + and not revealed is it acceptable to dismiss them gross misconduct.

        • Mark B
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 3:08 am | Permalink

          Well she is lucky to have a job, not because of her indiscretion but, because an SNP MP in parliament should not exist.

    • Bill B.
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Here are my thoughts, Agricola. In HMG, no-one is responsible and no-one is accountable. The public don’t need to be consulted, but news editors need to be informed (of what the plan is). OK?

  4. Sir Patrick Vaccine
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Conservative MP Philip Davies has criticised the government’s “nanny state socialist” coronavirus response, after the House of Commons had voted to extend the emergency powers which gives the prime minister autonomy to pass legislation without requiring parliamentary scrutiny

    Breitbart Europe

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Kathy Gyngell [Editor of The Conservative Woman] was not impressed either:
      ‘.YESTERDAY MPs flunked their opportunity to ditch the dictatorial Coronavirus Act…This is what the cowardly bunch of jobsworth MPs in Parliament have allowed.
      Sir Graham Brady achieved little. No amendment even. A sort of a promise of a vote or a scrutiny opportunity for MPs before any future national measures are brought in. Are not MPs bothered that what should be their fundamental parliamentary right needed to be written in, in this limited way or that they need to extract such a promise?
      Are they not worried too, apart from the little matter of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, that they will have no say over the many local lockdowns which have affected many millions of people that trigger-happy Hancock keeps imposing and no doubt will continue to? …’

  5. Mick
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Parliament needs more control over lock downs
    I’m sick to death of reading stories like this nearly every week, when is your government going to take the bull by the horns and say stuff the illegals rights and concentrate on our rights to be protected and get rid of the illegals straight away , not doing something constructive is going to be a deal breaker at the next General Election

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      Anyone here illegally should be removed – A DNA test will show where they came from and can be repatriated there. or we can fund a camp with minimal living conditions in Africa to where they are all sent. As an illegal they should have no rights to be processed or considered there should be no reward for law breaking (we have to abide by these over reacting Covid rules)

      This simple change to “refugee and asylum” international law will stop all trafficking unless the traffickers can provide papers as it won’t be worth the investment.

      • Andy
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        People here illegally are removed. Seeking asylum is not illegal.

        A far better solution would be to charter a plane to Ascension Island and fill it with all the right wing nutters who are obsessed with dinghies.

        Problem solved.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          Asylum should be the first safe country to your own.
          These are economic migrants gaming the immigration rules.
          Exploited by ruthless criminals who create modern slavery for these people.

        • M Brandreth- Jones
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          Your bigotry and arrogance is far more right wing than many here.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

          Nobody can legally seek asylum in the U.K. they have passed through a safe country. Ergo all asylum seekers In the U.K. are Illegal law-breakers and must be summarily removed no matter how long they have managed to remain here.

        • beresford
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

          The sad thing is Andy that you cannot see that the joke is on you. As you keep reminding us, most of us won’t be here for long and you will be left paying for these migrants and their families. On the bright side you will never become one of the pensioners you despise as you will work till you drop.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 3:11 am | Permalink

        As I keep saying – An illegal immigrants first act upon entering my country is to break the law.

    • Mike Fountain
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink


    • beresford
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      A Conservative MP says globalist moles in the Foreign Office are coming up with outlandish schemes to deal with the migrants and leaking them to the Press in an attempt to discredit any attempt to deal with the problem. Why are these people not being rooted out and summarily dismissed? Upper class solidarity? Perhaps we should provide asylum application centres in France. The characters in dinghies and lorry trailers can then be instantly turned round as they had an opportunity to exercise their ‘right’ to apply for asylum without illegal entry.

      • Andy
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        A minister who suggests flying asylum seekers to Ascension Island or keeping them on oil rigs in the North Sea does really not need discrediting. There is thinking outside the box and there is being a complete and utter lunatic – and, in this case, the line between the two is obvious.

        If you want to build detention centres in France you need the agreement of the French. And you have all spent the last five years being rude to the French so I suspect they will say no.

        And there is no such thing as illegal entry for asylum seekers. The law recognises that they can arrive however they like.

        • Fred H
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          unless they rowed round the Med from Syria (or whatever) they cannot possibly be asylum seeekers – they crossed several borders.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

            Surely they walked over the Med. these are special people, more worthy than any of us!

        • Edward2
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          Worked for Australia.
          The evil criminals who exploit these poor people gave up.

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

          France don’t bother with detention centres.

          They just provide muddy fields.

          Why are the migrants trying to escape your beloved EU ?

        • beresford
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

          ‘The law’ wasn’t too happy about the measures the Australians took, and they just ignored it. And the disapproval of the chattering classes evaporated along with the problem.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Lodge the ‘asylum seekers in lorries’ telling them they are being moved to somewhere more appropriate – drive into deepest France – open the back and when emptied – drive off.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

          UK lorries will not be allowed on French roads with a No Deal.

          • Fred H
            Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

            is that built, owned, driven or registered?

            – just asking?

          • beresford
            Posted October 2, 2020 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

            Who says that ‘UK lorries’ have to be used..

    • Iago
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      The government has no intention of protecting the population of this country.

  6. DOM
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    It isn’t a crisis but both parties and all the agencies of the State have made sure they’ve extracted the maximum benefit from it by deliberating creating the perception that it is an existential crisis, which it isn’t

    We are being lied to. We are being fed bullshit. We are being played. We are being deceived.

    This PM is an absolute charlatan and a brigand. His personality before and after his GE victory is telling. An actor of the most vile intent

    The British people will pay a heavy price for continually endorsing the Tory-Labour Statist orthodoxy adopted since 1990, which accelerated in 1997 and then exploded in 2010 when the New Socialist Tory party doubled down on their march leftwards borne from pure fear, cowardice and a total capitulation to Marxist influence from Labour’s client State allies

    You (the British political and State managerial class) have betrayed, taken and destroyed our freedoms, our values, our culture and our nation

    This is not about CV19 restrictions any more but about a nation’s total rebuilding along socialist lines in which racial and gender identity has replaced social class as the new political weapon of social control

    I read this blog and then I read Conservative Woman and it becomes clear just how far even libertarians like Mr Redwood have been driven towards the dangerous progressive orthodoxy.

    Every Tory MP has self-subjugated to a politics that they despise and why? Personal convenience and political protection. It is a betrayal of this nation and what we are

    I hope you are happy and content with being a Marxist lackey

    • Lester Cynic Beedell
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      Well said!

      • Sir Patrick Vaccine
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

        The Prime Minister’s solution to every problem is to spray non existent money at it. The Prime Minister’s solution to every non existent problem is to spray non existent money at it.

      • Sharon
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

        +1 Dom

        Well said.

    • Sir Patrick Vaccine
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      I wouldn’t hold back next time.

      This is in line with what Max Hastings said in the Guardian last year:

      “I was Boris Johnson’s boss: he is utterly unfit to be prime minister
      Max Hastings

      The Tory party is about to foist a tasteless joke upon the British people. He cares for nothing but his own fame and gratification.”

    • Fred H
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      The Commons will get used to rising and clapping every word from Boris, just like in China, Russia, N.Korea.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      But can they really believe the protection will carry on?
      “Useful idiots” it is said, are the first to be culled post revolution.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      And would two men at the absolute cutting edge of the terror REALLY risk their lives and those of their family/lover etc etc by travelling, fornicating etc?
      And would the father ( who nearly lost his son to the lurgi) of the PM REALLY go into a shop without a mask?
      Unless of course, being close to the throne gives them certain knowledge.
      Of total BS!

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Everhopeful – I thought that too. Jeremy Corbyn casually at his age breaching indoor lockdown rules that are set up to mainly protect his age group! Just bizarre unless he knows something we don’t know. Dom Cummings just travelling with his entire family after his boss got ‘diagnosed covid19’, Stephen Kinnock driving from England into Wales during lockdown to visit with his father for his birthday, Boris comes straight out of Hospital and straight into a car with a driver and his pregnant girlfriend. It seems they aren’t too bothered about the virus risks, plus the guy Ferguson doing all the modelling on covid telling us we’re all going to die carrying on with his lover, the SNP jumping on planes and trains hundreds of miles including Blackford from one of the most infectious workplaces having been in close proximity to the PM and others infected in the house and then travelling to the Islands of Skye for goodness sake (immediately going into ‘lockdown’) and Angela Rayner goes home from the house of commons the day before Cummings (who had to close up the bosses office first) straight into lockdown in Ashton – they are ALL a bunch of hypocrites all of them.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink


    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink


    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      + 1

      Saved me the trouble of writing what I wanted to say.

      The BBC’s America correspondent this morning was unashamedly gleeful when reporting the Trumps’ CV-19 infections. Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty had clearly been told to stiffen up and put on sombre faces to cover the mistake – the producers no doubt realising that this had been totally inappropriate for a neutral broadcaster.

      We need a Trump.

      This is going to be a very different country once furlough stops, mass unemployment hits and the tax rises come in.

      No shops, no pubs, no cinemas, no gyms. no theatres, no comedy clubs, no live music, no restaurants, no cafes… and on and on…

      You’re not allowed to blame the CCP.

      Labour were Labour.

      The Tories pretended to be Tories. All of the blame lies with them, therefore.

    • Iago
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Yes, well said.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      The telling fact is no Conservative MP has had enough of this multiple nonsense and declined the Whip. Julian Lewis is probably the exception as he must have realised his likely exit for acting like a real MP and patriot.

    • Oh Danny Boy
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      You’ve put it far better than I could. I agree with everything you’ve said.

      Look at how fast and how much things have changed in just twenty years. Would anyone care to predict what the next ten years, never mind twenty, will look like? I’m dreading our future.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      We are NOT being deceived.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      As Solzhenitsyn warned decades ago,the only thing the West “really”disliked about so-called communism (enforced globalism would be a better term)was the fact that it was the Russians and not the Western elite which had implemented it.The disappearance of the USSR after 1991 allowed them to take over the project.

      (Not that the Soviet Union was ever really communist or that the West after the 1930s was properly capitalist).

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        It’s a nice sound bite but probably not much more.

        However, the fact that Putin’s Russia is still viewed as The Enemy by many in the West – despite it’s now being a libertarian, rentier capitalist country, as advocated by the likes of Farage, flat tax and all – does support strongly some aspects of that claim.

        • Mitchel
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

          Not quite a flat tax anymore they are increasing the tax rate on the higher earners this year to fund covid-related expenses.

          The Russians know that if you want to spend you have to tax.The Pink Pravda-The FT-is predicting a Russian collapse because it’s debt to GDPmight rise to-wait for it!-20% this year.Mind you it’s been predicting Russia’ s demise since it was first published in the mid 19th century.

  7. Mark B
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Firstly. I would like to thank our kind host for this important update, and others in Parliament who have worked on this. I would also like to thank Speaker Hoyle. It is good to see we have a Speaker that knows what he is doing and seems to be a decent man. He may not have allowed the amendment but, the advice to the government, which it was wise to take, has been taken on board.

    I know it to be early doors but, I think we have turned a corner and the government sees that those in parliament, and especially our kind host are, as the title of his last missive suggested, are trying to find a way out of the mess it has got both it, and ourselves, in.

    Parliament now needs to recognise this and start to reassert its authority. It needs to question both the government and, more importantly, those who are giving it advice. The advice I argue is of very poor and dubious quality. The MSM are not doing their job of scrutinising them and seeking alternative views. They are dealing in propaganda and are manufacturing a crisis all in order to sell copy. They are clearly having a good pandemic 😉 Only Parliament can save us now. They need to turn the spotlight on the advisors and start to question their advice and hold them to account. Only then we will see a change.

    • BOF
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      Yes, I have been asking for months, ‘where are our MP’s’?

      • JoolsB
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        ‘Working from home’ on their 100% salaries playing with their new iPads and iPhones they bought with their £10,000 Covid bonuses. No income reductions or worries about losing their jobs for them.

        • glen cullen
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

          Agree with your comments – people are hurting out there

    • Sir Patrick Vaccine
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      dinner party song I’d like to dedicate this song to Jeremy Corbyn

      Jimi Hendrix – If 6 Was 9

      • Fred H
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        while Boris’ should be ‘Purple Haze’.

        • steve
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

          Fred H

          Dazed and confused, surely ?

          • hefner
            Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

            ‘You Kent always get what you went’

            (thanks to The3Witches).

      • Fred H
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        you hum it, I’ll sing it.

    • Christine
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Totally agree. The facts are all out there, use them. Far more people are dying from other causes and it is set to get much worse. This pandemic has divided the nation where on one side you have the people enjoying the lockdown because they can work from home and the other side where people are losing their businesses and jobs. It’s becoming like Germany in the 1930s where the Government is asking people to snitch on their neighbours. What a terrible country we are becoming.

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Sir Desmond Swayne speaking on Talk Radio:
      ‘… the real villain is the 1984 Public Healt Act … but now and again politics is about gestures … we’ve had enough…’

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink


  8. Adam
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    The Prime Minister’s record sounds like he’s trying to turn a bent plastic vase back into All Shook Up at 78.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Great analogy.
      He talks scribble.

  9. Sharon
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Thank you for clearing up the confusion of the different bills etc.

    I notice the Major of Middlesborough has refused to comply with the rules. Good! The government really needs to be held to account in their over-the-top ‘guidelines ‘ and punishments.

  10. Javelin
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    I think it’s too late for MPs to convince the public they were doing their job. MPs have simply rolled over when Boris implemented his authoritarianism.

    What I have learnt from Covid is that MPs are all pretty much useless at doing their job of holding the executive to account.. MPs of all parties have given up moral authority. The only thing keeping their jobs as the next election is the lack of an alternative.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      Lack of an alternative is how things have been for as long as I can remember.
      Competent people who have led successful businesses will be very reluctant to leave their successful business to go into politics, even though that experience would be good credentials. Instead, we get PPE types with no evidence of managerial competence.

      • Sir Patrick Vaccine
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

        In his mid twenties Matt Hancock was political advisor to George Osborne.

        • Fred H
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

          that explains almost everything!

        • a-tracy
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          Well, SirPV that explains a lot, he was also a remainer.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink


    • Gordon Nottingham
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Javelin, Perhaps the ONLY alternative is going to be Nigel ?

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        I’m starting to feel the same way

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        😂😂 oh hell! No alternative then! I’ve known him decades. You will all be devastated When you know the truth. Paper tiger who learned the lines…

        • Fred H
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          but a paper tiger who growls pretty convincingly.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

            My budgie can growl pretty convincingly!

      • JoolsB
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        The ONLY alternative is definitely Nigel but FPTP, the system the two main parties, Red Labour and Blue Labour have stitched up between them prevents it happening.

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      +1 and +1 and more.

  11. agricola
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Yes our liberties need to be guarded, but our freedoms should not impinge on others freedom. In this case we must accept that we do not have a carte blanche freedom to infect others,some more vulnerable than ourselves. It is a delicate balancing act.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      Seconded. Scratch the skin of someone banging on about ‘freedom at all costs’, in the midst of a pandemic, and you’ll find a sociopath.

      • DennisA
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        But we are no longer in the midst of a pandemic, that was April and May.

    • Philip P.
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      That’s right, Agricola, and so we stay home as we have always done, if we have an infection. That’s how you and I have been able to lives our lives and earn our livelihoods. Now let’s other people do that too.

    • James bertram
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      NO. Let it rip. It’s Nature’s way. Canute and the sea. Just take sensible precautions just as our forebears have taught us; and do the best to protect the old and vulnerable (just as you would with many other diseases that are equally, or more, life-threatening). Carry on as normal. Stiff upper lip. No cowering behind the sofa.

  12. Peter
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Same old, same old. Deja vu.

    Nothing new on the two main topics – the covid issue and Brexit. Repetition and predictability in many of the comments now.

    Open discussion on covid is clamped down on. The authorities foolishly believe a standard, authorised version of what is happening can be rammed down people’s throats.

    At least the moment of truth on Brexit is not far off now.

  13. Andy
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Nobody I know listens to any of the clowns in government anyway.

    Rules of this, rules of that. Even the prime minister doesn’t know what the rules are – and I think most of us are long past the point of caring. Politicians are talking at us – and we are not listening.

    I set the rules for my life. Not some out of touch toff in the Westminster talking shop who the majority of us didn’t vote for anyway.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      I think the people you know would steer clear of talking politics, or even common sense with you! They’d all deny any knowledge so as not to get drawn into your idiotic views.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      You may think you set the rules for your life. Of course, you don’t. You can’t have a meal out and stay later than 10 pm. You can’t go into a shop without a mask. You will pay whatever taxes are raised to pay for this nonsense. You do as you are told, the same as the rest of us tossers.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Not for the first time a +1 from me, Andy.

      Now you’ve got me worried !

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        Something is out of sync

        I’m also getting worried

    • Edward2
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Is that you Jeremy?

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Well, Andy, everyone I know listens to the government lockdown advice and follows the rules. That is why they want care taking over blanket decisions to lockdown vast areas rather than focusing in on the problems. It’s not just central government though, the Manchester mayor is putting in his two penneth, the Liverpool mayor was crying out for a lockdown a couple of days ago, last night on the news he was moaning about the lockdown he asked for – these political shenanigans are irresponsible.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        Nobody I know listens to the Govt Covid advice. But we all have to say we do to avoid being fined.

      • Philip P.
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        He wasn’t moaning. He was saying that the government have not yet said what financial support they will provide to offset the economic damage caused by the lockdown. He and other mayors in the metropolitan area wrote to the government saying: “These new restrictions mean that we will also need an immediate substantial additional package of economic support from the Government urgently and, so far, it is not clear that this is being provided.” (The Guide, Liverpool)
        They are trying to protect people’s livelihoods in their city. I wouldn’t call that political shenanigans.

        • a-tracy
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

          Why ask for the lockdown then Phillip before knowing. Where is all the money going to come from, will it result in higher Council tax in Liverpool are the Mayors in agreement with that or do they just want future generations to pick up the tab. I’ve seen Liverpool Street parties and big groups meeting up, these Mayors aren’t controlling their own Cities or the people they’re supposed to represent and care for.

          At the end of the day they are allowing the infections to increase then shouted foul. They could have stopped these big gatherings and parties and reminded the people of Liverpool the consequences of their actions, they even have their own tv channel to do this on.

          Blackpool recently, Lancashire and Manchester on lockdown but the BBC local news were saying Blackpool didn’t have a curfew, then they cried foul because everyone went to Blackpool.

          Birmingham Mail reported 1 Oct. over 200 people caught coming out of one indoor shisha bar following a tip off about an illegal rave.

          Why is Central Government meant to sort all this out and just keep paying up for Cities that are out of control and breaking rules? These Mayors have to take some of the responsibility of their positions, along with all the Police Commissioners etc.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Worse even than Theresa May’s administration, both heralded by the similarly useless Cameron and his claque.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Andy. What a rebel you sound. I bet you even take your mask off even when you haven’t quite left Waitrose.

      • steve
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        Waitrose is too upmarket for him.

        • Fred H
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

          I like it – you come across a different sort of obesity there.

    • agricola
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      As has been pointed out to you, the majority, within our electoral system, did vote for the current government. It did not include those under 18, convicted criminals, or those who could not be bothered to vote. Among those who could vote and made the effort ,a majority elected this conservative government. By all means disagree with what they are doing, but please offer viable alternative action that is factually accurate.

      • Bill B.
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink


        • agricola
          Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

          Having spent time there I would point out that it is a very different place to the UK. Different in terms of overall population and very different in terms of population density and mix. You are not comparing like with like. You could just as easily have said Guernsey and be equally irrelevant.

    • steve
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink


      “…..who the majority of us didn’t vote for anyway.”

      Which explains why they won an election.

  14. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    The government still want to bring in a 2 week full lockdown to coincide with the half term, they have been preparing for weeks.
    They need to pump up a second spike to justify all this nonsense.
    Perhaps it’s time we took responsibility for ourselves and ignored the science.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      And the numbers of dissatisfied are mounting. Critical mass is easily reached by left wing protesters, maybe the unconvinced of the ‘sensible centre’ will soon become too great to ignore by the Gauleiters, apparatchiks, and snitchers before Johnson and Hancock can be pushed aside.

    • DennisA
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Computer models such as those of Professor Ferguson, are not science. Epidemiology and the mathematical modellers have taken over from real science.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        his are rubbish excel written by a novice, rubbish data in, rubbish results out.

  15. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Hancock only promised you’d get a vote in advance if there was going to be a “national lockdown” which of course he’s in no position to impose on Scotland anyway. So that promise is meaningless. He also said you’d get a vote on measures a few days after they’d already been imposed, and that he reserved the right to impose “emergency” measures without a vote. Plenty of room there for him to do anything he wants. I shouldn’t think he could care less about what the Speaker thinks, what’s the sanction if he ignores him ? Nothing. In summary, a big loss for Brady and his supporters.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 3:29 am | Permalink


      If so then there is a total disconnect between parliament and the executive. In the long run I expect parliament to win.

  16. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    No amendment, yet the legislation to extend was passed without the fall back of a Clause 38. Your spin above is well written but the government has no need to take heed of the Speaker’s words.

    This Act should have failed forcing the executive back to the drawing board.

    Back bench rebellions are impactful, precisely as the executive exists at the pleasure of the back benchers.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 3:31 am | Permalink

      Your last sentence is correct. Once Johnson realises he could have a full scale rebellion on his hands he will U-Turn. The man is for turning.

  17. Sharon
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Trouble is Ian, if everything is closed again for a ‘circuit break’ aka national lockdown…you can’t ignore and carry on as normal- nothing would be open!!!

  18. Leslie Singleton
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John–MP’s at best are going to relay what their consituents want but that is a far cry from what is best to be done and as quickly as possible. I think the Government has enough to grapple with without having to waste time bringing MP’s along. I would wager that most MP’s could not have spelled Epidemiology till they recently decided they had views on the matter.

  19. Everhopeful
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Did the speaker get worried about the legal case someone is trying to bring against the govt.
    Undermining the govt. might have given grist to the anti govt. mill maybe?
    So no amendment vote.
    And MPs believe that the govt. will respect the new agreement?
    Same mistake electorate made.

  20. Bryan Harris
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    It appears to be an uphill struggle – Government do not yet fear a defeat, so parliament must press harder.

    The whole point here is to get some sense into what is being imposed — More debate should illuminate bad ideas — Government needs to be aware that they are walking a fine line between confusion and anarchy.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Dear Bryan–But there is no line, certainly not a fine one, between confusion and anarchy. Would have thought plenty of room for overlapping confusion AND anarchy. Try and give the Government credit for the close to impossibilty of what they are tasked to do, with often ignorant opinions all over the place. I cannot work out why they don’t just do what Oxford says and stop poncing about. Yes I read Science at Oxford with ‘Arts’ friends writing an essay of mere opinions once a week on the Romantic Poets and other baloney and spending the rest of the time on the river. Wouldn’t have thought the Romantic Poets change much over the years. With a ‘ university’ behind every lamppost nowadays, thanks to Major, differences of opinion bound to abound.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        I’m most concerned about the anarchy side of this line

        Already we are hearing about the ‘need’ to impose health passports to control exactly what we can do and where we can go…. Now that would be anarchy

    • Mark B
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 3:32 am | Permalink

      Great post. Fully agree !

  21. Ian @Barkham
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    The UK is a Free Sovereign Democracy – pull the other one.

    Any Laws, rules and regulations that do not have consent of the People are those provided by Despot Dictators. Did we vote to live in North Korea?

    In a Democracy it is simples, ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth’ sic Gettysburg. Any deviation from that simple idea and you don’t have Democracy.

    The HoC persistently demonstrates it is an irrelevance, so why are we the people paying their wages?

  22. Nigl
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    We keep seeing pictures of well known people and others not complying yet never end up being fined. Maybe you could tell us why and presumably that applies to all of us so what’s the purpose of these penalties.

    HMG crying wolf yet again?

    • Mark B
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 3:35 am | Permalink

      These people are all doing us a favour. As more and more people realise that this is a farce they will all start to push against the machine. When MP’s get wind that the people are not pleased with them they will pressure the government to change. If it does not, expect a rebellion and possibly threats to a change of leadership.

  23. Andy
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    I see lots of people around riding e-scooters. These are brilliant devices which have revolutionised city centre transportation in some European cities.

    Here they are banned. The old grey suited people in Westminster – who still think it is the 1950s – won’t legislate to legalise them.

    So people using this wonderful new mode of transport are breaking the law. Because the law is an ass.

    Yes there are risks from e-scooting – but there are risks with everything in life – and people riding them should be able to take that risk for themselves.

    They should I also be legalised to ride SAFELY on pavements. As should bicycles. It is silly that a young teenager riding slowly and sensibly on a pavement next to a busy road is technically breaking the law while a geriatric hurtling along on an out of control mobility scooter isn’t. Pavements are for all of us to use sensibly.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      They can silently travel at a speed of 15mph through pedestrian areas.
      I’ve seen in the city by me these scooters hitting pedestrians and riding off.
      Ordinary bikes aren’t allowed on pavements.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        ‘Ordinary bikes aren’t allowed on pavements.’

        really? Its an every day occurence around Wokingham district.

    • beresford
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      No problems with your ‘slow and sensible’ teenager. A lot cycle recklessly however, and have no bell or lights, apparently expecting pedestrians to jump into the road. Setting aside your usual hatred of the elderly, it is true that some mobility scooters have an excessive top speed. Another menace is motorists who park to block most or all of the footpath.

  24. Duyfken
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I am puzzled how laws are effected by way of Statutory Instruments and why so many laws come into force without debate by the use of the SI. This has been particularly evident with EU laws (regulations, directives) which have been imposed on the UK over the years. Undemocratic.

  25. AndyC
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    That’s all very nice, if we assume for the sake of argument the government has any intention of allowing meaningful votes.

    But it doesn’t deal with the fundamental problem, which is the government’s stated policy of ever greater East-German style authoritarianism until the (highly unlikely) development of a presumably compulsory vaccine.

    There is no clinically significant second wave. Full stop. We need a prime minister who is able to read a graph, and a secretary of state for health who has not gone stark raving mad. Until then, any number of rubber stamp votes won’t save us from the economic and societal catastrophe they are creating.

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Fully agree.

    Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Sadly, you are all collectively delusional, you have destroyed our ancient liberties based mainly on a total hoax and will all be unemployed and unemployable within 18 months.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 3:39 am | Permalink

      The vanity and hubris of the PM, plus a craven Left Wing media have brought us to this place. They are desperate for a face saving way out that will not destroy their party and their jobs. A vaccine is their only hope. Not to save us, but them !

  27. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I have a feeling there are too many woke MPs who will vote for anything that takes away freedom. The last thing any of them want is for people to be free to act and speak as they wish. This is all an extension of the political correctness which has been growing exponentially for some decades. How long before it becomes illegal to query ‘man made’ climate change or ‘lockdowns’ or refer to the British Empire etc.

    I often wonder quite how we got to where we are and why we are all so acquiescent.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      the bulldog spirit has transformed into baby lamb bleating.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 3:42 am | Permalink

      My new MP belongs to the Conservative Party. I checked his record and the man has never once worked in the Private Sector. Worked for the NHS, Local Council and as a SpAd. Never owned a business. Never been made redundant. Does not have a family. A complete Tory Drone.

    Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Politics is finished world wide. I think the Germans will be the first to regain control.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      …in the ‘traditional‘ way?

      • Mark B
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 3:44 am | Permalink

        Not this time. There is no Rommel, and even if there were, even he could not lead the German Army to victory armed with nothing but broomsticks.


    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink


      Prof Whitty didn’t only omit to provide the deaths caused by CV-19 lockdown and measures (two friends and colleagues of mine so far – I know no-one who has died of CV-19)

      He didn’t provide the graph which shows the destruction of Western democracy and the handing of power to China and Russia.

      Totalitarian states can force curfew at gunpoint – the downside is that their populations live in poverty and under strict control and misery the rest of the time.

      In the West we have (had) freedoms and luxuries but had to be prepared to risk our lives once in a while to have them. This was one of those occasions and we failed.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      It always has and will always be the first that counts – the first to ack that the virus is just a virus and get the country back to work

  29. Caterpillar
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    This seems to be a feel good operation amongst M.P.s. The belief that there can be a serious and fruit bearing debate with Hancock, Sunak and some of the P.M.’s advisers remaining in position is misplaced. One can already write chapters critiquing the selective evidence used, the lack of transparency, the options not taken, the lack of any serious policy balance (and any serious calculus thereof). One can effortlessly find errors and holes in what has been said/unsaid and done/not done. To think that a little show of debate now without dumping these people can make more than a change at the margins, I am honestly sorry and sad to say, is delusional.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Several contributors here could go through some technical areas, but two minor examples of the past few days exemplify the problem.
      (i) Mr Hancock’s infantile response, “It’s perfectly reasonable to make the argument that we should just let the virus rip, I just think that the hundreds of thousands of deaths that would follow is not a price that anyone should pay.”

      There is zero indication here of serious thought or even the ability to think. When people talk about a Sweden style policy with stable forms of behaviour and vulnerable protection, they do not talk about letting the virus rip. Hancock’s continuing use of scary numbers of deaths evidences no progress in analysis and understanding, no development or grasp of the balance of costs, whether quantitative or qualitative. Everything about such performance is pathetic dictatorial religion. You cannot usefully debate with this.

      (ii) In the recent press conference Professor Vallance commented “look at other countries you see that cases go up, followed by spread to older people, followed by hospitalizations … ICU and deaths”. This was presented in way that this is just accepted. This far in, I would have expected an indication of a detailed understanding of each of the Covid September deaths, not such an acceptance of an inevitable pathway. This appalling lack of analysis just looks like a big science view of epidemics, rather than looking at the pragmatic detail of interventions on the tragic pathway from not infected to death. The lessons of averages do matter, but so do the lessons of cases. After so much time, all Professor Vallance can say amounts to – things spread, people die – one can only have zero confidence in the advice the Govt. is receiving, a bit of HoC chit-chat cannot fix this.

      • James Bertram
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Yes. Agree.
        Hancock, the ‘gimlet-eyed fanatic’ (Lord Sumption quote) must go – and NOW.
        Too, Whitty and Vallance given the Order of the Boot.
        Heneghan, Gupta, Lee, Levitt, in.
        Swedish model.
        Johnson apologise, change course, deliver Brexit, and will just about survive the Corona Enquiry.
        Sir John to cabinet (Chancellor).

  30. wab
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Thanks god we’ve left the EU so we can take back control. Little did the Brexiters warn us that they meant that Dominic Cummings (a man who literally holds Parliament in contempt) would have all the control.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      He doesn’t.
      Parliament has the power.

      • hefner
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven’, Matthew 5:3.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

          Should get a prize for the strangest post ever seen on here.

          • Fred H
            Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

            Oh, I don’t know! there have been a few dozen that I’ve noticed.

        • hefner
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          Ohhh I could not have thought you would not get it. ‘Poor in spirit’ is an expression synonym of ‘Blessed are the meek, enduring with patience and without resentment’. Like Edward2 all satisfied with the way Parliament conducts itself.
          I’m soooo sorry to have to dot the i’s and cross the t’s for you.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 3, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            That’s OK hef.
            Glad to keep you busy and all excited.
            I didn’t say I was “all happy with the way Parliament conducts itself”
            You made that up.
            I responded to wab who claimed Mr Cummings had control, by saying he didn’t and that Parliament has the (real) power.
            So for someone like you who is obviously very keen on facts and accuracy I think you have been rather poor.

          • hefner
            Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

            I am so happy for you Edward2 that you think you have finally scored a point, or do you not?

  31. Iain Gill
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Listening to some funeral directors, they are expecting a massive increase in male suicides. They were discussing the best ways of handling it, both for the families and themselves.
    This is the reality of the situation we find ourselves in.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      +1 already at 18 a day.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Sadly it has been expected for a few months. For a growing number life has become not worth living. Epitaphs should read ‘Covid didn’t kill – Government did’.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      This government has hollowed out our lives.
      It is cruel, disgusting and without parallel.
      It would not surprise me if suicide had been factored in.
      Not to mention the purposeful withdrawal of healthcare, face masks WHICH ARE DANGEROUS, and the extreme fear instilled in many. All guaranteed to kill.
      Which is probably why Boris wants to import 4 million cheap workers to be butchers, bakers and candlestick makers.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      White males in particular.

      Being told that they are stupid and not wanted.

  32. margaret howard
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Now that the pound has dropped to a new low of 1.08 against the euro I should like to ask JR for any comment seeing he posted the following recently under the heading:

    Sterling rises again
    By johnredwood | Published: August 30, 2020

    All those who think sterling will fall every time there is no progress on a Brexit deal need to think again.

    Over the last month of reports of no progress in talks sterling has risen by 3% against the dollar and 2% against the Euro. Over the last year of talks going nowhere sterling is now 10% higher against the dollar and 2% higher against the Euro.

    So why no rush by the pro Remain forces to express pleasure, when they are so ready to rush out misleading releases wrongly blaming Brexit every time sterling dips?

    Any explanation?

    • Edward2
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      It isn’t a new low.
      93.26p against the Euro was the lowest.

  33. Lifelogic
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    It does indeed. But once again we are remined of just how idiotic and self entitled so many MPs are. This with SNP MP Margaret Ferrier. If she had her Covid App on then perhaps 100 people or so on the train may be told to isolate or be fined. Or worse still actually infected.

    At best 100 sensible MPs and most of those idiotically voted for the Climate Change Act so that is rather optimistic.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      That’s a thought does this track and trace app tell people the tracers know are covid + “what are you doing out of your home” and send the cops around?

  34. Norman
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    To me, this is all so reminiscent of the Foot & Mouth Disease controls in 2001. I was then at the sharp end, in the field. Extensive powers were mobilized to get control of that most infectious of animal viruses, and farming families and other land-users came to know all about lockdowns!
    With that disease, historically, the ‘stamping-out’ policy had always worked, and we knew what we were doing to achieve our former ‘free-from’ status, so essential for international trade and normal healthy food production at home. However, there were nasty features peculiar to that epizootic that tested the old strategy to the limit, occasioning the intervention of statisticians (which in my view, we could have done without!)
    Vaccination, as practiced by many less secure parts of the world, had never been the answer, though there was much ‘hue and cry’ for it in 2001, from many who were worried about the cost, and erosion of liberty. Also, there were many conspiracy theories re previous contingency exercises – we too were fatuously accused of a ‘Plandemic’!
    Boris’s ‘Defeat the Virus’ instincts are understandable. However, in the case of CV-19, and looking at things as they now stand, the ‘stamping out’ approach is misguided, though an initial ‘Damping Down’ strategy was justifiable. It’s probably counter-intuitive to the Public Health advisers to say ‘just let it run its course, with a few containment measures here and there’, and they, too, have to bear in mind the international implications.
    Sadly, it appears the world is going to learn this lesson the hard way, with the most appalling collateral damage. Not that I know anything about it all…

  35. Jess
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Parliament needs to end this farce. The political establishment has already destroyed what little confidence a large part of the population had in it. If the lockdowns continue whilst everyone can see nobody is dying even brainwashed BBC viewers are going to catch on at some point.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink


    • James Bertram
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      Me also.

  36. Ginty
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink
    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      I reckon we’ve arrived.
      Passed every exam in obedience.
      Globalism….Boris takes it intravenously.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      101 global dictatorships – get the whole population focused on a single issue; working together for a global solution

    • Sharon
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink


      I copied and pasted that Frederick Forsyth article describing the five steps to authoritarianism, to my MP – Paul Scully. Looking around us, Forsyth is correct, we have been guided through the steps with the use of fear…and quite probably Boris too. For months we’ve seen adverts, radio etc talking about the new normal, and in the spring time, the changes about to happen to the country…the mis-represented figures, dodgy data and huge exaggerations of deaths which had evolved into ‘cases’ .

      MPs really do need to wake up and stop this tyranny in its tracks! Lockdown Sceptics et al have been questioning the science etc for months and months, but along with industry and labs offering help, have been ignored. You have to ask yourself why?

  37. ukretired123
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    “We are flying in fog – Tapping the instruments as they are inaccurate or misleading”.
    This was how many organisations operated before the digital age. And it seems the Civil Service and many other Public Services still operate this way from all the recent evidence.
    Time for an overdue streamlining of Government Systems with more emphasis on the technical training, fail-saving, timely and future-proofing and less on PPE, woke, green etc before it is too late. We have world class technology and engineers but their contributions are overlooked for short term expediency. History repeated again and again. Until a crisis occurs it seems nothing is learned despite good intentions as it doesn’t get votes.

  38. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Why is dictatorship and ruling by decree wrong?
    It is terribly inefficient. How can you know what is going on in, say Macclesfield, if you are bunkered in the office in London? Unless you are in real touch with the MP, you cannot be. And that goes for the backbenchers too. Mr Macmillan used to spend time in the tea rooms listening. Does any cabinet minister who has the ear of the PM?
    Who has the ear of the PM anyway? Is it Carrie? Is it his hairdresser? Is it the scientists who, quite rightly, restrict themselves to covid matters (not, say, education or money). These people are all experts at their job. But,like the scientists, they are very narrow in their speciality.
    When things (inevitably) go wrong, force is employed far too quickly. That leads to anger and hurt. It is no way to get re elected – so elections (eventually) and parliament as well – get bypassed. The EU has been doing this for years. But Brexit has happened.
    We did not vote for this did we.

  39. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Why did all the “rebels” not vote against the Renewal?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      They appear to believe that the govt. will stick to the “bargain!!
      “Don’t rock the boat,
      And you’ll get a vote.”
      I have read that the govt. didn’t want the “boat rocked” because some are making court room legal noises regarding the fascist power grab.
      And a successful “rebellion”😂😂( as if) might undermine the all important Tory Party!
      The “Big Cats“ turned out to be kittens.

      • Barbara
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Simon Dolan (not an MP) is mounting a legal challenge.

  40. a-tracy
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I know a woman who has the track and trace app because her husband was diagnosed with covid 19 (no symptoms). However, this is worrying I got this message this morning ‘if anyone you know has the track & trace app be very careful for scammers, X has been called 7 times each day for the last 3 days claiming to be from track & trace asking to confirm her personal details but after investigating why she’s being hounded it looks like dodgy numbers calling.’

    • hefner
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Yes … that’s the same level of ‘insight‘ from the Government as shown when introducing the ‘Bounce Back Loan Scheme’. It has already cost £38bn, of which an unknown amount has been going to companies registering with Companies House AFTER the official BBLS announcement on 27 April 2020, and for which banks delivering the money (loans up to £50k, repayable over six years, first year interest-free) do not have to carry extra checks apart from reading a two-page application form.

      Given the circumstances it might not be used for a round-the-world cruise, but what about a nice Porsche (obviously, instead of a second-rate LR vehicle)?

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        « It has already cost £38bn, of which an unknown amount has been going to companies registering with Companies House AFTER the official BBLS announcement on 27 April 2020, »

        Who is it unknown amount if someone has investigated it and found it to be true? Surely there is evidence of this accusation?

        • hefner
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

          £38bn that’s roughly 700,000 such loans already distributed, most of them worth £50k.
          The unknown amount is unknown obviously, but I (quickly) found the 21/05/2020 DT item by Ben Gartside & Tony Diver, and the 01/10/2020 BBC ‘Ministers were warned of Covid loans fraud risk’.

        • hefner
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          Fr 02/2020 12:36 Guardian ‘Organised crime in UK exploiting Coronavirus loan scheme’

          • a-tracy
            Posted October 3, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

            So where is the proof? We all know scammers can operate now surely if this has been investigated by three newspapers they’ll know exactly how many companies registered after that date as this public record, and where did they discover whether loans had been issued to any of these newly formed companies. It’s not a difficult thing to differentiate between evidence based facts and supposition and opinion? What you have given is supposition and opinion – now the government should be speaking to the banks to check if any loans were provided to Companies registered after the date you provided and ask why and make the banks cover the losses because there were stipulations to the banks for these loans.

          • hefner
            Posted October 5, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

            My level of proof is ‘inexistent’ inasmuch as I point out to items in newspapers, not something I would have researched myself.
            Is your level of proof about the woman in your original post any better? How can I be sure you are not simply gaslighting.
            If you want to play stupid, I can do that too and possibly better than you.

          • a-tracy
            Posted October 6, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

            hefner, if Sir John wants to know who my contact is that has received seven fake track and trace calls I’m willing to ask her to e-mail him although he is not her MP. I did recommend that she contacted her MP to let them know.

            Stupid is as stupid does.

            These newspapers should be asked to provide the government their evidence so they can track and trace the criminals.

  41. Philip P.
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    The text of the Coronavirus Act 2020 explicitly gives the government the power:-

    to close premises
    to detain a person thought to be infectious
    to detain a child without the express consent of the person responsible for the child
    to prohibit or otherwise restrict events or gatherings
    to order a person to quarantine
    to order a person to wear ‘protective clothing’
    to close educational institutions and childcare premises
    etc etc etc

    If it had been stopped, this would surely have been an important step back to democracy.

    • 322
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      o close premises
      to detain a person thought to be infectious
      to detain a child without the express consent of the person responsible for the child
      to prohibit or otherwise restrict events or gatherings
      to order a person to quarantine
      to order a person to wear ‘protective clothing’
      to close educational institutions and childcare premises
      etc etc etc

      and to burn your property

  42. forthurst
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    When is the government going to review its catastrophically stupid decision to hand the sole responsibility for contact tracing to a private company with no expertise, no relevant infrastructure at local level and no competence and that is predictably failing badly and will be responsible for many unnecesary deaths over the winter months unless immediate action is taken? Will the government point to another country which has gone down this root with any success?

    Why is the government still flailing around making it up as it goes along more than six months after Covid became very obviously a serious public health issue? The only way of containing this disease and thus enabling a consistent degree of normality without the epidemic growing exponentially is to be able to control new clusters as they are formed, not after they have been left to clone new clusters of disease.

  43. Everhopeful
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I wonder if the speaker realised that in not allowing the amendment he was supporting anti democratic forces …just like Bercow did by allowing amendments!

  44. rose
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    You are quite right to explain that the 1984 Public Health Act is the source of the Health Secretary’s unique powers and not the Coronavirus Act.

    • rose
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      PS did the Lord Speaker know what he was doing? Has he mentioned it?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Of course he knew. He is taking advice from the constitutional experts.
        Pity Mrs T was PM in 1984. That is the Act that must be repealed, obviously.

    • Butties
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      But it is not the 1984 PHA that should be being used in any event. see below

  45. acorn
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    As I said recently, the HoC is very good at giving away its sovereignty to Downing Street with too many “Enabling Acts”. Allowing Ministers to rule by Statutory Instruments and other types of delegated legislation such as the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 and several more like it. All designed to keep the HoC from interfering; all voted into existence by the HoC. So they only have themselves to blame.

    Mind you, the greatest enabling act of all was voted in on the 23rd of March 1933, when the Enabling Act was passed by the Reichstag 441 votes to 94.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      I reckon that if I were playing any part in of all this …and obviouslyI am just a no account victim…I would really, really want to distance myself from it.

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Agree, Acorn – very worrying overtones.
      The likes of Tobias Ellwood MP (77th Brigade connections) are already calling for enforced Covid vaccinations using the army. It is becoming clear that for Government policy, vaccination of the entire population is the goal – despite being a completely pointless objective even if you can find a vaccine that works (it is 95% the old with co-morbidities that die from Covid; and vaccines are not much use for respiratory illnesses)

  46. ian
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    162 new diagnostic NHS centres to open over the next five years, a rare piece of good news for people, maybe John could do a blog on this sometime, it sounds better than 40 new hospitals with no staff.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Is anyone in the NHS capable of diagnosing anything? I doubt it!

    • Fred H
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Well I hope they will be MRI CT Blood testing etc and not glorified ENT centres with zillions of overpaid novices.

  47. Bill B.
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    The former Labour cabinet minister Ben Bradshaw said your ‘agreement’ is a “meaningless concession, which excludes the draconian ‘non national’ measures imposed without local consultation with local communities, and gives the executive a get-out clause on the national measures.”

    Not my habit to agree with the likes of Ben Bradshaw, but is he wrong? I don’t think so.

  48. Freeborn John
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Why is the U.K. agreeing that the EU can have access to data on British citizens. We should be able to opt out of GDPR arrangements if we don’t want EU spooks reading our personal data.

  49. David L
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had casual conversations with quite a few friends and neighbours while out and about in Wokingham these last few days. I was more than surprised to hear how many of them expressed anger and disappointment with the Government’s stream of instructions, as they are normally so mild mannered and polite. A frequent topic was precisely how or when can we be told it’s ok to resume normal life when the coronavirus is now a permanent feature of the world?
    Could this be an indicator of a developing national mood? If so, I fear that without relaxation of restrictions we could see unrest on our streets. Maybe the gig of Boris & The Sage needs ending!

    • Fred H
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      anybody remember the dire videos of the Siren going off to warn of imminent nuclear attack? Boris, Whitty and Hancock would be perfect in a new version.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Yes I confirm that is the vibe on the street in Northumberland too.
      We have had enough!

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        Even where it isn’t the mood it will be when tax rises come, unemployment rockets and furlough stops.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 4:05 am | Permalink

        No ! As others have pointed out, we will have had enough once furlough has ended and mass unemployment begins.

  50. glen cullen
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I think we need more control over the UK/EU trade negotiations – I can feel a fudge being arranged behind the scenes

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Worried sick that Boris is getting involved. Surely he needs to self-isolate?

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        Well if anybody can fudge it Boris can

  51. Butties
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    MPs must ensure that Parliament acts with firm resolution and controls this government (small g) using the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 Act controlled each 7 days by Parliament. The authority that this is the correct mechanism for Parliamentary Control is that of Lord Sumption.

    A new Act to grant the power of RECALL of any MP is also required, given that some 300 didn’t even bother to turn up on a matter of great importance to civil liberties and freedoms.

  52. APL
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    JR: “The government agreed to come to Parliament over these powers”

    No it didn’t! Mr Hancock said ‘where possible’, next time he passes another totalitarian measure, he’ll just go to Parliament and say, ‘Oppps!, Sorry it wasn’t possible’.

    How is it there were only 354 votes cast in the division: “Coronavirus Act 2020 (Review of Temporary Provisions)”?

    Isn’t there supposed to be 650 MPs in the Commons?

    • Fred H
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      how many were travelling on public transport dashing home?

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Maybe we need a referendum like Italy to reduce the number of MPs to 300

  53. George Brooks.
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Off topic

    I have just learnt that PM is going to have a ”zoom” conference with EU president which is just about the worst Brexit news this year. I just hope to God that he will be sitting between Foster and Cumnmings and one of them has their hand on the OFF switch.

    He should not go near a meeting until the very end and then only to ‘glad-hand’ those snakes in Brussels. He is putting the whole of Brexit at risk

    • steve
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      George Brooks

      We can only wait and see. Jan 1st is the important day.

      Of course it’s possible there may be a sneaky sell out with delayed announcement, but even Boris knows pulling that stunt would be the end of the conservative party.

      Sit tight my friend

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      +1 he is the most incompetent individual and ill. He can’t sort out the CV19 regulations passed yesterday. He MUST not be allowed to mess up Brexit.

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:11 pm | Permalink


      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        “Mess up brexit???”

        That’s like “Endanger the Titanic”, Lynn.

    • hefner
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      GB, how interesting that you do not trust the PM chosen by the electorate but think that some unelected advisors should ‘prevail’. Are you getting close to full ripeness for some autocratic government?

  54. Fred H
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Trump has shown Covid symptoms – forming the letter O with his mouth every few minutes, turning left and right to nobody there posturing, constantly contradicting himself, using cans of hairspray in the wind, using karate chop hand gestures. He didn’t need a test to confirm it.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      God Bless and keep POTUS safe!

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink


  55. martine
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Parliament does not truly represent the people either- we need to change our voting system to proportional representation. The HoL consisting of 800 odd needs to be’s an old boys club that nobody votes for and represents an outdated medieval time- We need an upper House yes! but the people should have a say. Lastly we need a written constitution that everyone can buy into- am afraid that unless you politicians get real and make the changes necessary to bring us into the modern world then you are wasting your sweetness in the desert air.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      100% wrong on every point.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        Lynn I’m staggered you respond like that! Are you really replying to martine? I think it was clear, accurate and the opinion of possibly 80% of the population.

      • Barbara
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely. We had a referendum on propotional representation, because Nick Clegg insisted. We rejected it.

        The HoL needs reform, since Blair trashed its ancient structure and stuffed it with cronies. No need to throw the baby out with the bathwater, however.

        We do have a written constitution. It is not all written in one document. It astonishes me how ignorant people are on this point.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Proportional representation, were it is practiced encourages corruption. Back room deals are done at every stage and are based on ego.

      We the people don’t get represented as it is a gang leader that chooses who they want from their loyal followers to represent you. ‘Daniel Hannan’ former MEP explained why he wasn’t campaigning to be elected at the European Election. – basically he didn’t have to he was number one on the Conservative list. To get rid of a rotten egg(not Daniel, one of the good guys) with the proportional system means removing a whole party.

      Democracy isn’t perfect, first past the post isn’t perfect, but we the people are slightly more in control than other methods. The real problem is the ‘party’ system, it creates gangs and gang leaders and not people to go forward to represent a constituency. One step to move forward would be for the candidates to be selected by the constituency they wish to represent before the constituents get to vote on them. The next step would be that all campaign funding should only be permitted from those on the electoral roll in that constituency.

      Always be wary when it is those in Parliament that choose the system, its human instinct to protect what you have.

      We have far to many MP’s, the US five times the population and only half the ego. The upper house is a farce it has no legitimacy what so ever, the best they can say they know someone that knows someone and if you scratch my back. How do you vote out a pointless waste of space in the HoL, you don’t, you cant, you have no say. Government by the People for the People(the only form of Democracy) someone is pulling your leg

  56. Everhopeful
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Since as of 19th March 2020 Covid has NO LONGER been a High Consequence Infectious Disease come it requires ANY legislation at all??

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Is it true that 300 or so MPs failed to turn up for the vote?
      Surely not?

    • hefner
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      A quick look at ‘High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID)’ is likely to give you the answer, see last paragraph in the grey box:

      « Cases of Covid-19 are no longer managed by HCID treatment centres only. All healthcare workers managing possible and confirmed cases should follow the ‘updated national infection and prevention (IPC) guidance for Covid-19’, which supersedes all previous IPC guidance for Covid-19 ».

      And if you enjoy reading these things, you can have a go at this Updated national IPC (several pdf documents).
      That might prevent you from repeating once again your ‘no longer HCID’ comment, which simply shows you have not been particularly attentive over these last six months …

  57. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink


    I meet yet another pharma supplier who is retiring on lottery amounts out of the NHS crisis today.

    Poor old Capt Sir Tom Moore, poor junior doctors who are having to buy extra scrubs because they can’t afford flats with driers in them.

  58. Wokinghamite
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Government needs to respond urgently to new data about the pandemic. Therefore, I don’t seeing Parliament having more say over lockdown restrictions as a good thing.

  59. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    People are being so thoughtless. I f you go into a supermarket most obey the 2 metre rule but once they are in they stand and talk in groups where you need to go between them to get the products , they block isles , if you leave space they push through touching everyone as they go , when queuing at the checkout they push up behind you and you cannot distance yourself from them. Why are they all so stupid!

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Hoping not to be insensitive here, Mr B-Jones, but you’d do well not to listen to the BBC or Mainstream Media, and do some research (Lockdown is a good place to start) and ask some hard questions about what you’re being told. Ask yourself why there is the same number of influenza deaths as with any other year; and influenza, as with the common cold, are the same/similar to Coronaviruses. If any of these government interventions worked, then, as they work for flu and Covid19 equally, influenza cases and deaths should be much lower – they are not – ergo: government interventions make no difference either to flu or Covid19. You cannot control Nature. Canute and the sea. You are being had over by government and mainstream media that is setting out to terrorise the population. They want you to be afraid. They want you to obey. They now want you to take a vaccine. But there really is very little to fear (apart from those who would instil fear). 12 times as many people are dying of the flu than are currently dying of Covid19. Please do not be afraid of other people. Mix with other people as you would before. Live life as you would normally. I genuinely hope this is of help. Do not be afraid.

      • Barbara
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink


    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink


      Bodies all over the place.

      Bring out your dead and crosses on doors.

      If this were the real thing (I mean black death) we wouldn’t need fines. Boris’s father would be wearing a mask, Jeremy Corbyn would be obeying the 6 person rule, Neil Fergusson would have left his doxy alone and several MPs and one adviser would not have breached restrictions.

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        Don’t forget Matt Hancock patting his colleague on the back in the House of Commons always standing too close to other members of parliament, if he truly thought this was the equivalent of the ‘black death’ he would not do this for fear of rue-infecting his family!

  60. Donna
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t expect the Government to give any meaningful concession on Parliamentary oversight and they didn’t, but entirely predictably the “rebels” still meekly fell into line and voted through an extension to the Coronavirus Act.

    What was very apparent was the tiny number of MPs who showed any concern whatsoever about the destruction of our Civil Liberties ….. from all sides of the House.

    As Steve Baker said – this is how freedom dies.

    • DOM
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      And yet people continue to vote for these moral degenerates and therefore continue to approve of the authoritarian State apparatus that’s been built up by both scum parties since 1997

      Something will snap and the majority population of this nation will suddenly realise the corner they have been herded into by continuing to blindly back the slime that as now infected our politics and taken control of our democracy that once belonged to us

  61. sayagain
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    In this day of the internet I don’t know why the public cannot have a direct vote on the things that matter to them most. For instance if I can do most of my business and banking without talking to the bank manager or the stockbroker then I don’t know why I cannot do the same from my home when it comes to matters of voting and legislation

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      1) The context effects executive function which in turn effects the decision making.
      2) Turning up is some measure of what “things matter to them most”.

      • hefner
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Next question is: is there always/often/rarely a bijection between the ‘things that matter to them most’ and those that matter to the electorate (‘them’ being the MPs)?

  62. glen cullen
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    A deportation flight took off with only one person on board when 29 asylum seekers were taken off the plane after a succession of legal claims -source the times

    one person

    • Mark B
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 4:11 am | Permalink

      Enter my country illegally and you go to jail. Simple.

  63. Simon Coleman
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    I still read this as – future debates depend on the ‘good faith’ of the government. After all the midnight rushing through of unannounced laws, lockdowns based on no science – can it really be trusted to follow the Speaker’s ruling? The gov’t has one line – emergencies justify anything. And so far they’ve got away with it.

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