Tackling the virus

There are three government models for tackling the pandemic.

The first is to give priority in all policy matters to curbing the spread and reducing the death rate from the virus through strong national action. The UK and most other governments tried this in the spring. The problem with this approach is that as soon as governments relax the virus spreads again, leading to pressures to shut down more of the economy for a second or successive times. The concentration of resources is difficult to sustain for long periods, leads to unwelcome deaths from other conditions that can go untreated or may be exacerbated by the policy, and merely delays the spread of the pandemic itself.

The second is to see the problem of public health as one for local government. Patterns of infection and pressures on health services vary widely within the same country, so why not have a menu of possible actions for local government to adopt as they see fit? This is the US model, where State Governors led the responses to the virus, drawing on Federal resource and law where needed. The UK has also been moving more to this model in recent weeks with a three tier approach to lock down.

The third is to trust people and free institutions within a democracy to make their own decisions about how and whether to protect themselves from possible transmission. Government sets out the dangers and passes on national and international knowledge about the threat and the spread. Government also provides support for those who wish to shield themselves, offering the ability to work from home, to have home deliveries and help with technology to switch more of their lives to on line. Governments can message that people need to keep their distance from possible infection, wash their hands and reduce their risk through their choice of travel and work patterns.

Forming hybrids of these approaches is complex. Devolved and local governments often want a say but do not want to take full responsibility. They may wish to lock down, but see it as an opportunity to demand other policy initiatives and resources from central government. Some wish to play politics with it, to try to shift blame onto national government and cast them in a poor light.

My advice is to keep working away on a wide range of actions that can tame the virus and make living with it less dangerous. The medical teams are now coming up with a wider range of drugs to treat the severe forms of the disease, and the death rate in intensive care is dropping. More can be expected from improved understanding of the disease and from trials of better treatments. More knowledge and communication about how the disease spreads should lead to more people opting to take precautions voluntarily, to reduce the risks to themselves, which should help.

It is difficult to see a Test and Trace scheme which can guarantee success as democratic governments hope. Delays in testing and getting results, imperfect recoding of who was present in an infected location, false results from tests, and reluctance by some to self isolate owing to the difficulties it poses for their lives mean it is not the silver bullet some seek.

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  1. Stephen Priest
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    ‘No sign of a second wave’ as ONS data shows normal level of deaths for the time of year
    People who would normally be expected to die of flu or pneumonia may instead be dying from Covid-19

    There is no sign of a second wave, experts have said, as new Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show deaths are just 1.5 per cent above the five-year average, and tracking on a normal trajectory for this time of year.

    Although coronavirus deaths rose to 438 for the week ending October 9 – an increase of 36 per cent from the previous week when it was 321 – overall deaths rose just 143 above the five-year average.

    There were also 19 fewer overall deaths than the same week last year.

    Experts at Oxford University say it would have to get to 1,200 more deaths above the norm before it would usually be considered ‘excess’ above the expected variation in the data.

    Researchers also found there would usually be around 1,600 weekly deaths from flu and pneumonia for the same week. Deaths from coronavirus, flu and pneumonia are currently running at 1,621, suggesting there is virtually no increase in expected respiratory deaths.

    From Daily Telegraph

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      We could do with a confirmation or denial of this from government scientists. Why are they jumping up and down if this is true?

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

        The problem is one of trust in government statistics and decisions. It’s as simple as that.

        We can’t make informed decisions under option 3. Ideally on most situations we should be able to do that. Whether or not I visit e.g. the barber depends on my assessment of the prevalence of infection. At more than 1 in 500 walking round the town centre I probably wouldn’t, but I can only hazard a guess at that actual ratio.

        Few people trust local politicians in a situation of this complexity with no. 2. They’re used to dealing with roads and rubbish, not pandemics. See above para – they can’t tell me how many people locally likely have the infection.

        Lack of properly reported statistics counts out number 1.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      “Talking Heads, in Hucknall near Nottingham, was shut down after environmental health officers found “significant breaches”.

      This included not wearing face masks or following social distancing rules, and claiming the virus was a conspiracy.” – – – – From the BBC news site. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-54586237

      Speech and thought control MUST be enforced?????

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        If a management demonstrate that they are clearly not of sound mind, then they are not Proper Persons to be in control of a public facility, quite reasonably.

        • NickC
          Posted October 22, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          So that’s NHS management, then?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted October 22, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

          The Germans are refusing to wear Muzzles. Are you asserting they are ‘not of sound mind’?

          • hefner
            Posted October 23, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

            Are they? Proof, please.

            As a non-significant counter-example, I met a German couple at LHR this past Saturday and met them again this Monday after they had walked a bit in the centre of Reading. They remarked that the proportion of people wearing masks here was quite smaller than in Koeln where they live. Obviously ‘a wrong side of the lorgnette‘ comment from me.

            But is yours so much better?

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        If there was a cluster outbreak with customers of Talking Heads why don’t the reports just tell us this. I.e. if they had 50 clients and 10 of them tested + then there will be facts to back this up. They could also prove that salons that are following all the rules religiously don’t have any outbreaks.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Sorry…I didn’t see yr post and posted that further down!
      Still…it is worth repeating….A LOT!!

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Every night the BBC shows the number of new infections which are far higher than they were during the first wave. What I’d like to see is the number of infections (say) per 1000 tests for both periods. If the same number of people had been tested every day in the first wave as are being tested now, I wonder what the number of positive results there would have been.

      We seem to be comparing apples (British grown I hope) with pears (also British of course).

    • L Jones
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Also in Lockdownsceptics.
      “No Sign of a Second Wave” – Prof Carl Heneghan

      So what is there to ”tackle”, exactly?

      Surely at this point in time there are FAR more important things to ”tackle” than a fast vanishing (and not very deadly except to a few) virus.

      Is the pressure being kept up so that people will be more accepting of a vaccine?

      • margaret2
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        We are being blackmailed into “accepting” a vaccine which I would never trust or voluntarily choose to have. . Vaccines generally are never 100% safe; if they were, why has the US and UK Govt shelled out millions in compensation to seriously vaccine damaged people ? Why are the pharma companies indemnifying themselves against lawsuits by people seriously maimed/killed by the vaccine they want to force on us? Allegedly at least 2 guinea pigs have developed the serious condition myelitis in the recent covid vaccine trials; why has the BBC for example not reporting that and why is my local surgery encouraging patients to take part in trials?
        I might add that there is a rumour from Canada that people who refuse the vaccine will for a time continue to be locked down. if they still dont comply. the plan is to cart them off to off to “isolation centres.”

      • margaret2
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink


  2. Stephen Priest
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    Why the figures don’t support Manchester being in Tier 3
    Figures show ICU occupancy at Manchester and Salford NHS trusts are better than they were at this stage last year

    Daily Telegraph

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      The government is being conned by the scientists.
      Deaths overall are running below the 5 year average.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        Tier 3 is being used to implement a national lockdown by stealth

    • Fred H
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Simply due to the hospitals helping people with serious conditions prior to Covid.
      Now most ICU occupation is only Covid!

    • Hope
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Sack Hancock, form a new panel of sage experts and invoke the Great Barrington Declaration.

      One and two tried their best and miserably fell short at huge cost of human life and finance. Hancock still cannot provide accurate figures, cannot provide track and trace and still fails at our borders to allow anyone in.

      A govt. public health policy failure on every level. Failed to prepare for pandemic as required by law, allowed millions in from virus hotspots which is in stark contrast to the tiered lock downs, failed to have stocks of PPE, 40% of deaths caused by moving old people from hospital to care homes! The govt. consigned them to death, the very category of people who should have been protected!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink


  3. Lifelogic
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Indeed test and trace is not really very effective. This for the reasons you give and also as many people can spread it without even knowing they have it. These people would almost certainly not even have been tested.

    The government policy of sending people back to university in order for them to catch it and get a free vaccine is probably sensible. This when nearly all of them could have easily worked from home and instructions to everyone else is to work from home if you can do. Nearly all restrictions from now on should be voluntary. The second rate NHS should be now be perfectly able to cope. Alas it seems it is still not up to speed and many patients covid and other are getting very poor service indeed. Hence we have over four times as many deaths as Germany with a smaller population. Let us hope someone finally has the courage to sort out the NHS structures, funding and management and get so real freedom and choice into the system.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

      Not that they date to admit to this University Student Herd Immunity agenda!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

        Not that they dare ……

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      Nothing is effective if it is not done properly, or if the actions that it would otherwise indicate for possibly infected people are not enforced.

      Nor is enforcement easy, when those affected are not given the support for income, for accommodation, and for care of relatives that they need.

      If you look at the quite numerous countries, which are not in the mess that the Tory UK is, then you will see that they generally get these things right.

      It doesn’t break any Laws Of Nature – only those of right wing “think tank” dogma.

      • SM
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

        You could also look over the Channel, Martin, to see that there is considerable discontent at the handling of the pandemic by very senior French officials, to the extent of police raiding their homes. A doctors’ group have pressed for criminal charges, due to the “incoherence of measures and the absence of application of WHO recommendations”.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

        Oh dear…

        And your post started off so well…give the political rhetoric a break….please…

        As you say “test & Trace” seems to work well in other countries so what is going wrong in the UK? A comment on here a week or so ago might give a clue in that somebody was advised although they had to “self isolate” they shouldn’t be tested until they have symptoms.

        Surely this is wrong…if you have been told to isolate then you need to be tested, probably multiple times.

        • murphy
          Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          The density of population is much too much in England. Scotland Ireland have better size populations to control such things as contact tracing.

          Secondly there are too many free agents roaming about under the radar so to speak, hucksters, sex workers and small time criminals that nobody in their right minds is ever going to own up to having met- so immediately there goes your contact tracing,

      • Edward2
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        Are you trying to claim the SAGE experts are a right wing think tank?

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        Numerous countries including Senegal eh Martin ?

        The Tories don’t control Covid policy or the NHS in Wales, that would be the Labour Party. So I expect if we look Wales will be handling Covid far better than England, much higher testing levels, better survival rates, superb Test and Trace … let’s learn from them shall we ? Oh … wait a minute ….

      • Bill B.
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        Sweden has indeed got this pretty much right. We were doing the same as them to start with, and should have continued. Maybe the government wanted to play safe till we knew more about the virus, but now we do know a lot more. Locking down again is simply insane.

      • NickC
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        Martin, You opposed border lockdowns (as New Zealand and Japan have); you take no account of population age weighting; and you eulogise the totally incompetent NHS management.

        Research shows that the mean between infection and death is nearly four weeks, yet death rate reductions (max, 10 April) set in only two and a half weeks after our lockdown (24 March). So in essence you would (or couldn’t) change anything, yet you moan about the result that would have been identical if you had been in charge.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      LL . . Don’t worry about the number of deaths here from Covid – our govt need as many houses as they can get to put all the new arrival families in for us to pay for.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        Plus they will get a windfall in Inheritance Tax at a huge 40% over just £325K for many.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Agreed, as posted yesterday (but held in moderation all day) test and trace is not working properly.

      My wife received a QR code for a 91 year old Male with the same surname late on Monday evening for a test at 10am on Tuesday morning, unfortunately no means of making contact with the correct person or the NHS test centre, as it was sent from a no reply address.
      This morning my Wife gets his test results, which are negative.

      So it looks like they let the person in who requested the test, without the supposed QR code that you need, but have now sent the test results to the wrong address again.

      My wife has never requested a test so its not a simple mix up, but she did downloaded the NHS APP, as indeed did I a couple of weeks ago.

      Apart from the fact that the real person has not yet got their results , and will now need to chase them up, we also have a DATA breach problem, as we had his full name, his date of birth, the registration number of the car, and the test centre location.
      My wife has also been contacted in error.

      Realising it was important to the person concerned we spent a couple of hours of our time trying to make contact with the correct person, but failed.

      Not good John, not good.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        JR can send you a copy of the e mails received, should you wish to take it up with those responsible.

    • margaret2
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      free vaccine; do they need it. is it safe?

      • margaret2
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        And will they be blackmailed into having it, paving the way for forced vaccination of the whole population without informed consent which is a basic human right.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 21, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          Fifty million British people did not consent to being stripped of their citizenship of the European Union, and of everything which went with that, so you appear to have a rather selective view of the importance of consent.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 22, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

            You cannot be a citizen of the EU.
            The EU is not a nation state.

          • NickC
            Posted October 22, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

            Martin, How do you know that fifty million British people did not consent to being saved from EU serfdom? Have you asked them all?

            All you know is that 16.1 million British people voted to opt out of “ever closer union” (David Cameron’s negotiated offer).

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted October 22, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

            50 million Britons did not consent to being stripped of their British Citizenship, their Monarch, Parliament and Church!

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

          Margaret2 apparently the drugs companies will not be held accountable for any side effects. What have they got to lose? Personally knowing what goes into them I will give it a miss.

  4. Mark B
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    There has been much said both here and elsewhere that there is now very little new to say.

    For some 6 months we have been at this and, can our kind host or anyone else really say that we are any better off or near to reaching the end of this man made tragedy ? If not, then how and when ?

    We need now to start to ask where we are going with this ? To some here, and confess to be amoungst that number, it seems that this virus is being used as cover for something more sinister. What drives me to believe this is how the goal posts have constantly moved when reality no longer fitted in with the narrative.

    The problem was right from the start when the government decided it wanted to go to war with the virus. Governments like wars, it distracts the population away from more important domestic matters. So Blitz spirit was invoked and the PM tried his best Churchillian impression. But this war is like no other. There would indeed be casualties and collateral damage but not like you would see in a real war, no. This war would be waged on the populace and the economy with the fittest, literally, left standing.

    When I look at this country and people wearing their silly muzzles, I view such garments as a portent of our future – Silenced ! This is a dystopian future created out of nothing, and I for one cannot believe that we are going on with it.

    • Sharon
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink


    • BeebTax
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      I agree. Astonished that a majority of people have either been scared witless and/or simply take the government line. And that our MPs should so rapidly espouse totalitarianism.

      • margaret2
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        Totalitarianism and the end of rule of law. The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      What a load of shrieking, hysterical, tunnel vision, insular nonsense.

      Look outwards, at the countries where this has been stamped upon effectively.

      Their publics understand the importance of contagion prevention, by the wearing of masks and by whatever else.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        at least shrieking sounds much more fun, than behaving like wet lettuce.

      • Bill B.
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        You never say where these countries are, do you, Martin? How about these?

        New Zealand, now cut off from the rest of the world? Great.

        Fiji? Looks good.

        North Korea? Terrific success there.

        Belarus? Whoops, no lockdown there, so that’s why you never mention it.

        SARS Cov 2 is increasing in many places because thanks to lockdowns it hasn’t run its course yet, as viruses will always do.

      • miami.mode
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Give it a rest old chap. In Spain it is virtually mandatory to wear a mask indoors and outdoors and yet they are also seeing an increase in cases.

    • Simeon
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      Below, I’m making an important point about the dangers of nationalised health care. But you are striking at the heart of the matter. Sadly, I can believe so many people are willing to be muzzled. It is human nature to abdicate responsibility. It is also human nature to be unthinking or simply dimwitted. And democracy simply enables the worst tendencies of human nature. So, where do we go from here?

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Well said ! Mark B, war and pestilence are natures way of thinning out over population, The government should never have been involved and our vast amounts of money should never have been spent. The virus will be with us for the foreseeable future and life has to learn to cope.

      That is if its natural, if its from a communist laboratory , what are we going to do to retaliate as well we must!

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        Oh, spooky… someone thinks that “nature” has some kind of consciousness and intent.

        • NickC
          Posted October 22, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

          No, Martin, it is simply an observation – the natural world includes diseases and death.

    • margaret2
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      I agree totally

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Mark B Totally agree with what you are saying here. If you can find it read something by Gary Hands called 2020 The Year of Coronavirus Madness. It’s excellent and certainly explains much of what this so called virus is all about. It’s 20 pages long so John won’t put the link up but you might be able to Google it. It has certainly given me something to think about..

      • Mark B
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        Cheers. Will have a look.

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Regrettably, too, I’ve slowly come to this conclusion.
      Continuing global coordination, propaganda and manufacture of a crisis against all sound evidence; authoritarian governments advancing unwelcome policies against their own people.
      Sinister, indeed.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink


    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      “Integrated Operating Concept”

    • Barbara
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Yes, quite.

    • The other Christine
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Wholeheartedly agree.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink


    • NickC
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Mark B said: “I for one cannot believe that we are going on with it”. We’re not. Only people like Martin are, and he is in the irresponsible hysterical minority.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Teaching white privilege as fact ‘is illegal’ the sensible Kemi Badenock tell us.

    TEACHERS who tell pupils that white privilege is a fact are breaking the law, the women and equalities minister said.

    Kemi Badenoch told the Commons there was a “dangerous trend” in race relations that should not be taught in schools, and that pupils should not be learning about “white privilege and their inherited racial guilt”.

    It should similarly also be illegal to scare children with the Imminent Climate Catastrophe, Hell on Earth religion in schools. Surely this is also just child abuse (as are some other “you will go to hell if you ….” religions rammed into, young, vulnerable & immature minds).

    • Richard1
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      Much more needs to be done in this area of leftwing indoctrination and propaganda dissemination throughout the educational system.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      No, to teach or to imply anything as fact to the young, which is unproven, should not be lawful.

      That would also exclude a great deal of right wing “think tank” dogma about the claimed merits of deregulation etc.

      However, it IS a fact that the scientific consensus – as distinct from mob opinion or a party political one – on certain matters is what it is. So it is only logical to inform the young of that fact.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Back on right wing think tanks again Martin.
        OK I expect for left wing think tanks to carry on their dogma.

        Do you think it is a fact that the world will become extinct in 12 years?
        Should that be taught in schools as a fact?

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        No, to teach or to imply anything as fact to the young, which is unproven, should not be lawful.

        If you mean indoctrinating children with unproven religious beliefs, I could not agree more.

      • NickC
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Neither Darwinism (as an explanation of the origin of life), nor CAGW, are proven. Now what are you going to do?

        • hefner
          Posted October 23, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          NickC, what is a proof for you? Please define it in your or anybody’s own terms.

          Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’ (1857) never pretended to give an explanation of the origin of life, but described and tried to explain, as a scientist in the second half of the 19th c, the evolutive processes in plants and animals he had witnessed in various places around the world. If the origin of life has not been proven, natural selection, with e.g. works from palaeontologist Stephen Jay Gould (around 1972) and/or on genes by Richard Dawkins (around 1976) give strong hints that evolution is real. Otherwise what would be the point of gene therapy?

          As for CAGW, not proven, but observed. And science (contrary to ideology and religion) often starts with observations.

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        Martin do you have any evidence at all that ‘right wing think tank dogma about the claimed merits of deregulation etc.’ is taught at all. I have had three children go through school, reguarly checked what they were learning, read their essays, monitored their worksheets and I saw no evidence of this. However, I saw plenty of evidence for left-wing dogma and bias being taught and I could provide evidence.

    • Norman
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic, you live up to your name, but apparently you cannot see that what is being destroyed before our eyes are the foundations of Christendom itself, and it is that which will lead to the scenario you fear, the demise of freedom under the law, a sound and sincere democracy to live sensibly from the hand of Providence (not be ashamed to use natural resources), to love our neighbour as ourselves (white men and women took the Gospel of grace beyond our shores, worked for the abolition of many evils, including slavery, as they do, right up to this day, not that you’ll hear anything about it from the MSM). And yes, a just and holy God will ultimately not let evil go unpunished, which is reflected in traditional defence and law and order policies, right down to school discipline. No wonder this is exactly what the current spirit of Lawlessness is so keen to destroy – a sign of the times indeed!

      • James Bertram
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        I always enjoy reading your posts, Norman.

    • beresford
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Candace Owens, who is also a woman ‘of colour’, said that in America white children at school are being made to apologise for the colour of their skin to their non-white classmates. She said that if a child of hers was made to apologise for being black she would sue the school, and that white folk needed to ‘man up’.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        They sure do! But the Feminist cult has destroyed the white men. That is why Christendom, capitalism etc is undefended.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Though how can you be a minster for both Women and Equality? Which is it?

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

      I’m very concerned about our Countries children. Why are men leaving teaching?

      Are these children especially teenagers becoming more anxious because women twice as likely as men to experience anxiety, research finds – https://www.nhs.uk/news/mental-health/women-are-more-likely-to-suffer-from-anxiety-than-men/#:~:text=%22Women%20twice%20as%20likely%20as,a%20number%20of%20vulnerable%20groups.

      All of this ‘environmental emergency’, ‘health emergency’, ‘white privilege’, teaching is making them concerned and vulnerable we are passing on guilt from a small amount of rich people from centuries about when our own families were virtual slaves and children working in cotton mills and up chimneys. I don’t remember being taught guilt, to be vulnerable and disrespected, to be brainwashed in school by teachers. Then everyone in this profession throws their hands up and say “we don’t know why children are suffering and responding with eating disorders and need councelling.”

      Surely trained councellors (not ill equipt teachers) need to be in schools doing whole class teaching/therapy if this is becoming such a big problem right now, perhaps this is more important than the General Studies classes or critical thinking hour. Group therapy is a recognised good thing now isn’t it? Its group think at these schools that is causing it and we need to find out what they are most anxious about and given techniques to let go of what they can’t control.

    • L Jones
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Well said, LL.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Is it legal for the appalling Mayor of London (Sadiq Khan) to have endless adverts on LBC ending “to the Mayor of London every journey matters” paid for with public money one assumes. This when there is an imminent election for Mayor? Also when the fool is causing chaos on London streets for cars and vans with his road blocking vandalism and muggings.

    If it is legal is surely should not be. A shame he has no serious Conservative or other opposition.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Kahn is not really Mayor of London anymore, he was given an extension to his term in office because of Covid. In light of that you might have thought he would try to do it collegially , but not him, he goes off and sets up a commission to tear down statues and other controversial plans of his, on which he has no mandate, let alone should be doing in this extra time he has been given.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      The same advert played on Jack FM radio station ( near Oxford) endlessly for months.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Well, the High Court ruled that for a Foreign Secretary to lie to the public was not “Misconduct In Office”, so you might just struggle with making a charge of telling the truth stick, me ol’ china.

      But who knows?

      • NickC
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        Well, obviously you don’t know, Martin. The allegation by a Remain fanatic was thrown out of court. The plain fact is the EU (at the time) presented us with an annual bill of over £18bn which works out at £350m gross per week. There was a “Thatcher” discount, but under EU control, so they could take it away at any time. And any discount has to be discounted from the gross cost anyway – so the gross cost cannot be ignored, as Remain tried.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Protecting the vulnerable is not impossible. It’s not a herd immunity strategy, but the way we have dealt with health dangers for centuries

    Jay Bhattacharya in the Telegraph today is surely right.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

      Having just read this article again he is surely exactly right on the way to go. Difficult to see why other think differently. The only possible justification for further lockdowns and delays is the failure of our second rate NHS and it’s lack of capacity even now after over 6 months to prepare.

      • L Jones
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        But they were ”prepared”, with all their Nightingale Hospitals – that are now being dismantled.
        If this much-vaunted ”second wave” is here, why aren’t they being used? And if it’s imminent, why aren’t they being held in reserve, just in case?

      • Everhopeful
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        Judging by the intrusive and inappropriate health e mail I have just got from Asda I would not be at all surprised if the plan is to hand all healthcare over to big companies.
        It would fit in with the “vaccine passport” idea.
        And supermarkets have offered vacs for quite some time.
        Why not all types of screening?
        No screening …no shopping?
        “This is Hell…..”etc

  8. John E
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    In terms of excess deaths from all causes during the pandemic no developed country in the world has done worse than the U.K. We are worst by far. We have totally failed.

    Germany has done best. Perhaps we could try to learn from them. Or is it a ridiculous fantasy to hope for intelligent, rational, scientifically educated leadership here?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      A mix of public and private health care that is not centralised?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      There are countries which have done far better even than Germany, such as New Zealand and Vietnam.

      But the answer to your final question is “yes”, I think, given what we have seen here and in the US for the past few years.

      In order to protect themselves from the only threat to their complete power – from the educated and intelligent, that is – the powerful elite have enlisted the ignorant and the vicious, who are, for themselves, jealous of them.

      It has been repeated throughout history.

      • NickC
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        Martin, We do not have a population as young as Vietnam has – and even you could not change that in 6 months. You opposed border lockdowns from the time PotUS Trump imposed them in early February. You think the NHS – even its management – are wonderful. You oppose the way Sweden has handled covid19. So what – exactly – would you have done differently – and, more to the point, did you say it explicitly at the time? Or are you set on auto-whinge by default?

    • Andy
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Germany has a sensible leader. Mrs Merkel is a scientist. Experienced and thoughtful. She has done well. So has New Zealand. Its prime minister is competent and compassionate. She has down well too.

      We have a useless, blundering, blunderbus. A newspaper columnist and occasional quiz show guest who has non discernible skills for government. Last December the British public faced a dreadful choice for prime minister between two awful candidates. I didn’t vote for either of them. Those who did vote for the oaf now have blood on their hands.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        So not too keen on the leaders of all the other EU countries then Andy.

        • hefner
          Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          It might not have been the leaders themselves. In ‘my’ little part of France the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths have been available at the department-, canton- (district) and commune- (town or village) level since mid-April with statistics updated several times a week (together with the number of beds occupied by Covid-19 patients in the department area updated twice a week) since mid-April.

          So what is it that has prevented the UK from providing these statistics in a similar way? a too centralised system? the incompetence of private sector companies which had been given contracts (up to 12bn) without tendering process even when having no previous experience of such health-related problems? that of La Dido (Head of Jockey Club given her PHE then NIHP positions by the Health Secretary, MP for Newmarket (racecourse) – isn’t the world so small)? (Sorry Edward2, I know you are keen on titles but such an incompetence actually sullies the titles of her father and grandfather).

          It is unfortunately a feature seen by most of people (86% it would seem, the hotheads here only represent 14%) that the UK government has been handling the pandemic and its consequences rather poorly. And it continues to do so.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 22, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

            I fail to see what relationship that essay on France has to do with young Andy’s post.
            But if it gives you something to do I suppose it has some value.

          • a-tracy
            Posted October 22, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

            hefner check out coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases
            What we don’t get easily is local hospital figures. We should be able to go into the mcht website each day to see the number of infections in our local hospital, how many are in icu and how many spare beds there are.

            Test and Trace relies on people being honest and truthful about who they have been in contact with during the previous 48 hours or more, it also needs them to answer their phone. When Brits won’t do this what would you do arrest them?

        • bill brown
          Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink


          not even a very insightful contribution.
          Actually quite weak

          • Edward2
            Posted October 21, 2020 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

            Well thanks for your insightful contribution bill!
            No facts I see.
            Quite weak .

          • NickC
            Posted October 22, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

            Bill Brown, Back on your “quite weak” comments because you cannot think of anything else to say?

      • NickC
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Andy, New Zealand locked its borders – a policy you vociferously opposed. The NHS, which you think is wonderful, has made blunder after blunder from insufficient PPE, to poor patient outcomes, to ignoring too many non-covid19 patients, to sending diseased old people into care homes. You seem to think Sweden got it wrong. So where does that leave you – like Martin, carping irresponsibly from the side-lines but unable to change any policy because you agreed with it all.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink


      I don’t believe we are the ‘worst by far’. We have failed, we still want answers on some of the decisions such as those made by the medical profession who sent politicians off trying to secure sufficient ventilators to then say it was the wrong treatment and the ventilators weren’t used.

      How could Germany test and track quickly to identify super spreaders and shut down outbreaks in small circles rather than the big 10 Counties needing to be closed down in Manchester by Friday.

      People aren’t even asked why they have booked an NHS test, are they actually ill, do we take their temperatures so that we can check if this is a factor or not on the covid + results (people I know weren’t asked their symptoms), are they asked when they book to say who else they have been in close contact with the previous 48 hours? These people should then be offered a test slot if the primary tested subject is +. This should be on the test booking form. They should be instructed to keep their mixing circle as small as absolutely possible until they get their result, they must feel they could have been exposed to it to get a test.

    • DaveK
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Yes, since there is obviously other forces at play. This is another topic where actual science is being ignored for flawed modelling and a political agenda. When a subject will not stand for scrutiny and silences other evidence and explanations including scientific Nobel Prize winners, you can rightly be concerned. I suggest everyone reads an article: What SAGE Has Got Wrong by Mike Yeadon. Maybe he’s incorrect, however if you look at all the worldwide data and graphs at the worldometers site and the use of the gompertz curve/function you cannot avoid questioning the narrative.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Germany has done best. Perhaps we could try to learn from them.

      No NHS in Germany. Are you seriously suggesting we disband the sainted NHS?

      • Fred H
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink


        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted October 22, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink


    • Barbara
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Excess deaths in the UK are very little different from the norm. I wonder where you are getting your figures?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      I see the Germans are refusing to wear masks. Might be a contributory reason! Probably they sat in the sun too, topping up their vitamin D in the summer.

  9. DOM
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Let’s cut to the chase.

    The British political class (government, unions, Labour, public sector and the social justice warrior parasites stoking the victim culture to incite resentment and extract legal and social privileges) couldn’t give a rat’s fig about human welfare or indeed the human impact of this virus. Their concern is political and how they can exploit this issue for maximum political gain.

    Indeed a total societal transformation is underway using the presence of this virus as cover. My TV remote control is now worn out as I flick channels each time I see any racial and gender infused program expressing their contempt and hate for white hetero males and openly denigrating them as though we are detritus

    Every action triggers an equal and opposite reaction. Let’s hope that the deceit, treachery and gutter nature of what we are seeing is eventually exposed and the ‘silent public’ take their revenge against every Tory, Labour, Plaid and SNP MP at the next GE

    Johnson can then disapper off to the US to make his millions making fake Churchillian style speeches to whoever will cough up enough dollars

    Your party to protect itself from the SJWs has deliberately embraced Marxist Labour’s Year Zero politics and exposed us under the cover of CV19 to a never before seen bombardment of propaganda to stoke self-censorship, incite shame, invoke guilt as per our identity and generally force us into silence using any form of strategy from the kit bag of Marxist reprogramming of mind, body and soul

    Pathetic and utterly without precedence

    • Sharon
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink


      • Mike Durrans
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink


      • JoolsB
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink


    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Vote with your feet.

      Do not watch the programmes, do not buy the products that use this advertising strategy.

      If the programmes and products fail those who commission this pretence will have no choice but to amend their presentation in a commercial world. The BBC can then choose to continue and be irrelevant or non-representative or to minister to the majority.

      If the programmes and products do not fail then maybe the commissioners have captured the mood.

      It needs good (wo)men to stand up and be counted, that rainbow train that is running around the country only went ahead as no one was courageous enough to say “hold on, are we sure?”

      We may find we are genuinely in a minority but I doubt it. I suspect most people favour equality for all without engineering.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink


    • margaret2
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Totally agree

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink


    • Christine
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      The propaganda is so bad I can no longer watch terrestrial TV. I’m sure many others feel the same way. I tire of being lectured by people about skin colour. I have no interest in person’s skin colour only their character and values. This insidious reprogramming of our history and culture will not end well.

    • BOF
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink


    • Iago
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      I agree with you, DOM.

      Trafalgar Day today. “England expects every man will do his duty”. As people once knew, ‘confides’ was what was wanted, but the word was not possible with flags. It would be satirical to address such words to the government today, with its gross of ministers, and to the heads of the civil service. In 1805, the Royal Navy pursued the French Navy across the Atlantic and back to Trafalgar, where the French and Spanish fleets had combined, stopped Napoleon in his tracks and preserved Europe’s freedom. Now, faced with a new totalitarian enemy, these traitors refuse to recognise it as an enemy, choose surrender and offer our throats.

      • Letty
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        Well said Iago’ the French and Spanish are waiting there in the long grass and the Germans remember the Treaty of Versailles- truth is we have very few friends left.. maybe Portugal and Malta

    • L Jones
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      You speak for many of us, Dom.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        He certainly does.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink


      The Muzzles are enforced as a way to dehumanize us. The human face is an outward sign of our individuality. Take that away and we become nothing more than an object.

  10. Newmania
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    The States of America cannot be compared to local Government and it is not a local problem. As for the Free for all 3rd option “Every man for himself ” , it does not exist other than to provide rhetorical cover for the removal of National Controls Sir John wishes to recommend.
    The Death rate is now rising fast and there are no good options but if the Brexit Party wishes to return us to herd immunity rather than hope for a vaccine , then I think the case must be made honestly , not hidden in fake options

    • Richard1
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      A silly and hysterical response to a perfectly reasonable discussion of the policy options.

    • David L
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      From the end of the actual pandemic in May/June we have been bombarded with fear and guilt-inducing falsehoods. We are being given the message that the death rate from Covid-19 is rising fast but there is also a lot of evidence to dispute this (for example, Ivor Cummins on YouTube offers succinct explanations and Dr John Lee, Dr Mike Yeadon, Dr Malcolm Kendrick and others are also worth looking up) It may be worth seeking points of view backed by data and not just unsupported sound bites from parties out to make the maximum from some vaccine that they want us clamouring for. And why have postings from medics who dissent from the official line been removed from online media? And, most disturbing, why have non-Covid deaths been ignored? Lockdown also has a death toll, but there doesn’t seem to have been any assessment of its impact by SAGE, or even any acknowledgement that it exists.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      There is no evidence at all, that “herd immunity” – that is, a sufficiently high proportion of the population being immune as to cause the virus to disappear – is possible.

      The most likely outcome would be that the virus would become endemic, like another, the common cold, and wage attrition against us we aged and became more likely to die from it.

      So the term is completely wrongly used. At present the only firm evidence is for the possibility of Temporary Survivor Immunity, and even that would probably cost hundreds of thousands of lives, since only about one-in-fifteen has been infected so far.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        Yet the survival rate is over 99%

        Yhe over 80s have been the vast majority of deaths.
        The under 50’s are almost invulnerable.

        In all Covid viruses about 50% never catch it.
        Your estimate level needed for herd immunity is therefore wrong.

      • NickC
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Well, I suppose that’s an improvement on your absurd claim that there is no such thing as herd immunity. Actually the term “herd immunity” is well understood by scientists, but you just will not accept the scientific consensus.

        • Newmania
          Posted October 22, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

          There is no consensus on the what the long term future of this stain of viral conditions will be. We do know that it will no be eradicated by the large number of deaths some people seem to favour .
          A decent guess is that successive waves would wash around the world but over what time period we do not know there are many different models.

          The whole style of thinking strikes me as peculiar demented are we also going to encourage people to rush out and catch Hepatitis B , why did we not deal with Meningitis this way .
          If those odd bod Libertarians are happy with the Price should we not get it over with and encourage behaviour most likely to cause sickness and death ?

          • Edward2
            Posted October 22, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

            But it doesn’t create the same situation as you describe.
            Survival rate is over 99%

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      No the death rate isn’t rising fast, it is the same as it was this time last year but with some flu deaths replaced by Covid deaths – no excess deaths at all so far this Autumn.

  11. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Any solution which involves my local council having some of the responsibility simply won’t work, they are too incompetent and are run by amateurs who will simply follow whatever Keir Starmer says.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      true local councils are incompetent and corrupt, but then so is the national public sector which is in charge otherwise. we really are stuck now.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        I refer to my local council as Nepotism Central.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        They can be efficient at mugging and inconveniencing motorists and blocking roads though but little else.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        Yes but in my experience the incompetence only increases the lower you get down the political/government food chain, it is Darwinian selection in action, the less incompetent rise to the top.

  12. zorro
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Sensible points JR – option 3 is the only viable long term option unless you either want to hermetically seal the UK from the ROW after some draconian ‘test and trace’ policy based on a dodgy test process, and destroy our economy or do death by a thousand cuts through interminable ‘lockdowns’ which have the same effect. The increase in deaths from other causes is a disgrace, and frankly some people seem to have become unhinged in the way they are approaching this issue.

    I am sick to death of the political posturing from Sturgeon and Drakeford and am beginning to wish that they would float away and look after their own economies and be rid of them, and I am a Unionist.


    • Simeon
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      Model Three as described involves government interference,and so is doomed to failure, as I write below – though letting people get on with their lives is of course the right way.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink


    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Zorro. You can include that deluded idiot Andy Burnham in that list for me.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      zorro – “to hermetically seal the UK from the ROW” worked well for New Zealand and to a similar degree, Australia, as Martin keeps reminding us, are doing so much better with this virus than everybody else.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        New Zealand is NOT hermetically sealed at all.

        It simply quarantines all outside arrivals for a sensible period.

        Vietnam and numerous other countries do alike with similar success.

        Had the UK done this when urged by Italy etc. at the start, then we would not be in this mess.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 22, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

          Would you send back all the dingy people?
          7500 estimated since the start of the pandemic.

        • a-tracy
          Posted October 22, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

          New Zealand wouldn’t let cruise boats dock, or visitors land without total lock down what do you all this if not sealed?
          When Brits suggested that Martin people like you objected in the early days. When Brits suggested we stopped flights especially once the outbreak started to spike in Asia people like you said no we need to bring hundreds of thousands of potentially infected people back to the UK. For you to change your tune of this now is duplicitous, if I need to check back on your posts from March I will.

        • NickC
          Posted October 22, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

          Martin, New Zealand locked down its borders, as have many other countries – a policy you opposed. Locking down involves quarantining for the restricted inflow of visitors or returnees.

  13. Sharon
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Since this virus became infamous in late February, and since the initial never ending three week lockdown in March; the electorate have been treated in the most disgusting and disrespectful way!

    So whichever route the government goes this has to change urgently . We have been treated with utter contempt like infantile criminals!

    I think the alternative thinking from other scientists has finally got enough traction that even the WHO has realised it’s been found out and must change tack…we just need the dopey government and it’s nasty little advisors to wake up to the fact that large swathes of the electorate are more worldly wise and many are more highly educated than them….and do actually know what they’re ‘banging’ on about. ie. The Barrington Declaration and it’s signatories.

    First thing to go must be these dreadful and damaging lockdowns! How dare government tell us how to live our lives!!!!!!

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Top post, Sharon

    • margaret2
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Totally agree

      • margaret2
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        PS Correction Kinds should read kids

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink


    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      It isn’t dopey unfortunately.It know exactly what it’s dark plan is and we can only guess. Remember Ferguson’s track record? They have tried all this out before.

      I imagine that WHO is now trying to blame the West for third world poverty ( never mind ours) in order to make £££ demands.
      That is what “Levelling Up” means! Paying for the poverty of the rest of the world.

      The govt. dares because idiots have voted for them over nearly 200 years.
      And done their bidding…ALWAYS!
      And how smug they are…how certain of themselves.
      Again I see that Bullingdon Club photo…a warning! Ignored!!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink


    • Barbara
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      I agree totally.

    • JoolsB
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink


    • glen cullen
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink


    • Suzette Burtenshaw
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Well said! I agree.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Well argued, Sharon.
      Wholly with you on every point that you make.

  14. MPC
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Most people would surely agree with your option 3. I looked at the main graph yesterday from the government epidemiologists. For 65-75 year olds the death rate had grown from a very low rate indeed to another very low rate indeed – about 12 per 100,000 or 0.012 per cent. The graph’s axes had been populated in a way to dramatise this increase. Is this a conservative government?

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      I most certainly agree with option 3

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        But most of the people do not.

        And whatever the Government might permit, there is no way that people can be compelled to go to cinemas, pubs, restaurants and so on against their better judgement, no matter how reckless others might be, including politicians.

        So the economy cannot recover until this menace is suppressed.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 22, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

          Who says “compelled” ?
          I realise this is a novel concept for a socialist like yourself but what about the government allowing us citizens to make up our own minds.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      that many of us succumb when stepping off the pavement.

  15. Simeon
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Model One is, and was clearly always going to be, A Very Bad Idea. Model Two is in theory a little better, though local governments would need to be truly independent and accountable to achieve slightly better results. In the US, the federal government ends up paying for everything, meaning that some states (California for example) pursue policies for which they are not fiscally responsible. This is then even worse, because there is almost no accountability, though against that, some more enlightened states have got closer to implementing model three. Obviously the local government model is a non-starter in this country, or ought to be.*

    Model Three as described here is obviously not the solution. Far too much government inferference – even if the government could be trusted to supply accurate information, which they can’t. The difficulty is that we have a nationally funded health service, and because of this, a case can be made that any and every health provision, no matter how niche, ought to be funded by the State. Spurious arguments can be made, for example, in favour of cosmetic surgeries being essential for health and wellbeing, and they cannot be refuted, because individuals have ‘paid in’ and medical professionals will support such claims. Concession of the principle of universal health care through taxation is disastrous here, and similarly disastrous in the event of a pandemic – even one as relatively harmless as Covid-19.

    So, make plans to abolish the NHS, replace it with an insurance approach that is free from all government interference, and in the meantime, let people get on with their lives.

    Sir John, nice as it is to see you moving towards a true coming out in favour of the only sensible approach there ever was, the prospect of this government doing the same appears to be virtually nil. Seeking a silver bullet of any kind is obviously madness. Even government scientists and medics are now saying as much. Perhaps they are emboldened to do so now because they reckon, perhaps rightly, that they have achieved what they could not have, had they been honest about there being no silver bullet from the start.

    * Perversely, we saw yesterday the UK government imposing policy on a locality, but not providing the necessary funding. I’m absolutely opposed to fiscal profligacy, but what happened yesterday was as appalling as it was absurd. And this is either a sign of things to come for the rest of the country, or it is unwarranted discrimination. Both are awful.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      * Perversely, we saw yesterday the UK government imposing policy on a locality, but not providing the necessary funding. I’m absolutely opposed to fiscal profligacy, but what happened yesterday was as appalling as it was absurd. And this is either a sign of things to come for the rest of the country, or it is unwarranted discrimination. Both are awful.

      it is deliberate

    • BOF
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink


    • Mark B
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Mayor Khan wanted more funding and got it. Once pocketed he then raised the Congestion Charge and other assorted money grabbing schemes. I guess it is a case of, once bitten twice shy.

      • Simeon
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

        I can’t comment on the London deal. I’m surprised that there wouldn’t have been strict limitations on specific monies provided for a specific purpose. Perhaps the Mayor of London has more autonomy than the Mayor of Greater Manchester?

        We certainly can agree that politicians of all stripes want, and take, far too much money out of the hands of individuals.

  16. BeebTax
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Option 3 please.

    One could argue that back in March we thought this could be as bad as the Black Death, so the authoritarian approach was justified. We now know enough about this virus, and the effects of lockdowns on our health and wealth, to put option 3 into effect without delay.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink


    • SM
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Good point, and I agree with Option 3 as well.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      The transmission was recognised for what it was but how to deal with was stuck in confusion, disagreement between scientists, and quickly identified as an opportunity for control measures! The controllers have never looked back while the people watch aghast.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Indeed 3 please.

      Also the initial lockdown did give time for the NHS to get ready and get better treatments. We did have about 1,600 excess deaths a day at the peak! Not circa 200 covid deaths as now.

    • Original Chris
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      It appears that the government did not think that Covid was “as bad as the Black Death” back in March and on 19th March the government REMOVED Covid from the High Consequence Infectious Diseases category (HCID) on account of the relatively low death rate, among other factors. It was put in the same category as seasonal flu.

      There are no excuses for the government’s draconian policies.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        It appears that the government did not think that Covid was “as bad as the Black Death” back in March and on 19th March the government REMOVED Covid from the High Consequence Infectious Diseases category (HCID) on account of the relatively low death rate, among other factors. It was put in the same category as seasonal flu.

        I reported this at the time, on here.
        At the same time Fauci wrote in the Journal of Medicine he thought death rate was 0.1%, same as flu.

  17. Enigma
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Option number 3 please

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink


  18. Ian @Barkham
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    Option 3 is the only one that should be followed in a free democratic society. National Government is there to advice and coordinate, not rule by decree.

    This Government keeps missing the point, those that don’t… care will always ignore them and keep on spreading. You could say the ‘give-me’ part of society just keeps giving.

    The greater (by a massive majority something over 90% according to the poles) will do what is necessary and follow all available advice.

    No amount of law will containing the ‘objectors’, no income, no fines and not enough prisons. So the Government in its attitude to the people of the UK is going out of the way to alienate the very people that are on their side. That says inept, blind, don’t care people are in the place of power without knowing the meaning of it

  19. Richard1
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Well at least Boris is resisting the worst ‘expert’ shroud waving and Størmer’s stupid call for a national lock-down.

    I have signed the Great Barrington Declaration and recommend others to do so.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      As if that declaration needed discrediting any further.

  20. Caterpillar
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    To move forward on option 3/paragraph3 the Government needs to shift its view of the purpose of communication, currently used for fear and control. To move to transparent, honest, useful data on which individuals and businesses can act will be a great change for teh Govt.

    Some immediate, initial starts might be:-

    (1) Publish implied infected fatality ratios for the U.K. nations by age and comorbidity, how they have been calculated and how they are changing.
    (2) Honest, real time NHS local, regional, national capacity data – the Manchester Evening News has fought an ‘heroic’ battle to try to get a full picture in Greater Manchester and cannot. The Govt seems to treat this data as cards it can play, rather than source of information.
    (3) Make the Coronavirus Data dashboard useful (in its incomplete status it is more propaganda than data).
    (4) Ensure what the ‘experts’ say at press conferences actually tracks the public domain data. At the moment there are examples that have been said by some of them, with respect to historic data not forecasts, that one could challenge

    In terms of useful information about behaviour, the Govt/experts still seem to casually expect transmission between age groups. Where is the analysis of how/where/when those who have died in the past 4-8 weeks caught the virus and progressed to hospital? We never seem to hear about case based learning, only broad brush observations / models. Is this type of learning not interesting to the ‘experts’?

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 22, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      (2) why don’t the hospitals in Greater Manchester just publish the figures on their websites? What are they covering up for? Surely it is in the hospitals benefit if they tell people the truth, what age groups are being admitted, where do they believe they contracted the virus, what treatment is being given, what combination of symptoms results in having to go to the ICU.

      Do the government understand people have had enough of this lack of information now, we need to be able to make our own considered decisions and choices. I don’t have faith in Hancock, never have had and he needs to improve.

  21. Mary M.
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Apologies if I sound like a broken record but, if you believe in democracy, sign the petition ‘Repeal the Coronavirus Act 2020′.
    If you’ve already signed it, draw others’ attention to it. We might yet get a proper debate in Parliament.
    (Just over 8,000 signatures to go before Speak Lindsay Hoyle will consider it for debate.)

  22. Sharon
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    I’ve just opened up Lockdown Sceptics and my jaw dropped! The met police haves told pubs to ask for ID which includes a photo to prove different households are not mixing!

  23. Lifelogic
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    A Cambridge news letter informs me that research led by Professor Paul Linden from Cambridge’s Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics suggests that:-

    Many ventilation systems may increase risk of COVID-19 exposure. Ventilation systems in many modern office buildings, which are designed to keep temperatures comfortable and increase energy efficiency, may increase the risk of exposure to the coronavirus, particularly during the coming winter.

    As I would have expected. I rather worry that the same is probably true with aircraft ventilation systems. I often used to catch a cold or flu a few days into my holiday after a flight.

  24. Nigel
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Those people making the decisions on closing down businesses etc have been and are all still being paid their full salaries and pension contributions. Most have no experience or even idea of running a business and having to find the cash to pay staff at the end of the month etc.
    If everyone currently paid from the public purse, including the BBC of course, were put on furlough terms (2/3 of salary) it would perhaps help them to realise the consequences of their decisions, and save a lot of money!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      With a max of £2,500pm.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Nigel you will find those working in the public sector want another lockdown. What’s not to like? Sitting at home on full pay knowing your job is safe. Private sector workers have borne the brunt of this virus by taking less pay or losing their jobs. It’s a disgrace.

  25. The Prangwizard
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    The whole thing has become farcical. This is not because of the difficulties associated with tackling the virus itself but the lack of management and governance of England.

    No-one speaks for England, not even those who claim to because when opportunities arise they are ignored. The same people in the UK government who claim to do so in the present controveries are also having to deal with attacks from the the devolved administrations and the media. Ludicrous and damaging.

    And it is further made worse by the internal ‘devolution’ within England which has been imposed by those who thought it was ‘fashionable’, and constant talk of regions.

    England should be a unity and action to restore it with a true parliament but it has being conciously broken up and naturally we now see rivalry one part against another.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      We were once a self governing country and did really rather well. That is until the Scots bankrupted themselves and begged us to bail them out.

  26. Anonymous
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    We are a puppet regime of The Great Reset and Rockefeller lock step.

  27. Sharon
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    It’s a tangled web we weave…

    It would seem that lots of people have been digging and have unearthed quite a lot…

    Follow the money….

    It would seem a rather labyrinthine web shows that UK has signed up to all manner of international treaties etc for research, vaccines etc … and so to stop Lockdown now is all but impossible. Even local councils have been bribed to encourage Lockdowns.

    That’s the trouble when you do a deal with the devil…(big, powerful businesses) it all comes back to bite you on the bum!

    • Mark B
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Yep. No one ever thought that the Tories would go all enviroMENTAL and commit us to energy poverty.

  28. Know-Dice
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    The virus ended up in the UK by travellers from elsewhere bring it here, that cannot be denied.

    The UK Government was much too slow to stop or at least put those that came to this country from elsewhere in quarantine. And it still is only applying half measures to those coming in to this country.

    In any-case I would go for option three it’s down to each and everyone to be responsible, the only other option if we can’t is to expand the police state that we are already seeing being created.

  29. Ex-Tory
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    “… as soon as governments relax the virus spreads again …”

    You may be right, Sir John, but we can’t prove this. You have fallen for the post hoc fallacy.

    • hefner
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      And can you prove the opposite? If not, what have you fallen for? Something with straw?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 22, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Inductive reasoning needs repeated or replicated examples to strengthen it.

      This has indeed been replicated, in many countries. John’s induction is therefore very likely correct.

  30. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Why did we have “Save the NHS” ? . . Millions raised in charity – spent on God knows what. . . and now we can’t even get appointments. People have had ops and treatment cancelled – and now told their cancer is inoperable – “Sorry pal – you’re going to die”. Yet the flood to Dover carries on – with ambulances and their taxpayer funded crews waiting for the freeloaders. More boats – more people, more free houses needed, more free school places needed, more financial burden on us, more demands from them for us to change to what they came from – and more chance of being attacked by a fanatic who is willing to behead us as a show of gratitude. Keep giving them our money. The result is inevitable.

    And now we have another slogan about space/face or whatever.

  31. glen cullen
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Without doubt the Sweden model has proved to be the only successful model – which is your option 3

    A vaccine and cure for covid-19 does not exist – source ‘Sage’

    We must start treating this virus like any other flu

    We need less government intervention not more

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      Do you read nothing at all of world news?

      Numerous countries, from Japan to Senegal, from Vietnam to Norway, and from New Zealand to South Korea have practically eradicated the epidemic within their borders.

      Theirs is the state-of-the-art to emulate.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

        I note you now miss off Germany which used to be on your favourites list.
        They have had a revival.

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        The average life expectancy in Vietnam is 75 the average age of death in the UK is 82.

        New Zealand had a severe lockdown as you know, very strict quarantine, no cruise boats docking, they were small enough to control this. They don’t have boats rocking up unchecked on their shore and common travel areas.

        There are only 5 million people in Norway, spread out. The government also decided to quarantine travellers for 14 days who, as of 27 February, had entered the country from outside the Nordic countries, regardless of whether they had symptoms or not. This is where we went wrong, we imported hundreds of thousands of people with the virus then continued during the 16 weeks of lockdown. In an effort to stop the virus from spreading, Norway shut its ports and airports from 16 March, In the north, local authorities even adopted measures to quarantine people travelling domestically, from south to north. The vast majority of our MPs from a highly infected House of Commons, the day before Cummings travelled, spread out the length and breadth of the UK back to their constituency or holiday homes many taking the virus back with them. Yet there is only Cummings pulled up on this – its bizarre – the media made a circus of this event but didn’t pull anyone else up even though many of them admitted they were ill the day after returning home.

      • NickC
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Martin, The countries you cite have not “eradicated” the epidemic. Mainly they have either (or both) isolated themselves from it, or have a very young population. Neither option you would or could enforce – border lockdowns because you opposed them, and population age reduction because it was not possible.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        we don’t get a lot of news from China — funny that?

  32. BJC
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Isn’t it claimed that the job of Mayors is to manage the resources of their fiefdoms, because local governance makes for more effective outcomes? If so, why didn’t the unsophisticated, posturing, Mr Burnham, take the offer of shedloads of our money to implement his own plans to minimise the effects of the virus? I presume he doesn’t have his own strategy where adequate funding could provide a workable alternative to the government’s; ergo, it’s an abject failure of management on his part. In the real world, he wouldn’t have a job.

    Meanwhile, the one-dimensional political creature, Ms Nandy, is on the airwaves this morning claiming the government “isn’t negotiating in good faith”. Her diatribe didn’t disclose a hint of understanding that without an alternative targeted approach there’s little to negotiate, so the government strategy prevails.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Our politicians, especially opposition ones, have forgotten what they are there for. They are there to hold the government to account and not to score cheap political points. If Ms. Nandy really wanted to do some damage she just has to read some of the comments sections.

  33. glen cullen
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I’ve noticed that people have started doing their own thing and are ignoring government covid-19 instruction

    I’m in a designated tier 3 region and peoples behaviour appear no different to a few weeks ago

    People are ignoring government advice, because after 6 months they hearing ‘end-of-world doom and gloom on their TVs, they just don’t believe you

    A very small number of older people are dying, but older people die all the time – the only direct effect of this governments intervention is that they’re not in work, could be made redundant at the end of this month (furlough), and have had reduced ages for 6 months

    The people have followed this governments approach thus far, but enough is enough, it hasn’t worked, the tier system will not work

    It isn’t just that we don’t believe you, it’s that this government is now seen as the target for the covid-19 continuing

  34. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    The government can only govern with the consent of the people. My sense is that the majority of people are fed up with the whole thing and will not comply willingly with lockdowns.

    It’s time to change the message. Social distancing, masks where sensible, the plastic guards around tills etc. – all this is fine. Being unable to attend a funeral – not fine. Closing down businesses or making them uneconomic – not fine. This has to stop.

    • NickC
      Posted October 22, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Mike W, Whilst I agree with you, the polls tend to indicate the opposite. I am not sure what’s going on because random people I meet in the street tend to agree with you, which anecdotally supports the view that lockdowns don’t work, and give bad other outcomes, contrary to the polls.

      • Daniel Boys
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        Polls give the answer they are paid for.

  35. beresford
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Option number4 is to allow freedom of choice where people are able to choose whether or not to do something and have sensible rules actually enforced for those situations where you have no option but to be close together. For example enforce face coverings on public transport but lose the stupid hospitality rules which are as logical as not stepping on the cracks in the pavement. Nobody is forced to go to a given pub or gym. You should be expected to quarantine if you are displaying symptoms but not if Bluetooth says you walked within several feet of someone who was later diagnosed with covid.

  36. Everhopeful
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Maybe it is just that governments are used to the concept of affirmative action.
    But pray tell why ONE very inconsequential virus has been elevated above all other health concerns? ( INCLUDING the usually much-revered children!)
    Not to mention the fact that it has been now blended by govt.with seasonal flu to boost its numbers.
    And that yesterday the Telegraph reported “ No sign of a second wave” as ONS data shows NORMAL LEVEL OF DEATHS FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.”

    • Suzette Burtenshaw
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      I noticed, some weeks ago that government pronouncements had started replacing ‘COVID-19 with‘coronavirus’. My immediate thoughts were ‘ah, just in time to lump them all in together as the flu seasons kicks off’.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        Always an ulterior motive isn’t there! But sadly for them most of us are ahead of them.

  37. Bryan Harris
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    IF this were a rational world that wasn’t ruled by their establishment, how would they approach this problem.
    1. They wouldn’t suppress research that goes against the accepted establishment agenda — They would seek and welcome all lines of enquiry;
    2. People would not be panicked/ wound up by constant NHS adverts / MSM detailing how terrible the virus is;
    3. Ways would be found to allow the economy to survive, without dire restrictive requirements — People would be the judge of their own condition / chances of being affected by the virus;
    4. People would take responsibility for their health, taking those things that helped them to fight any virus attack;
    5. Hospitals would not cut back on normal activities;
    6. They wouldn’t place trust in a vaccination that doesn’t exist yet – They would seek ways to limit the damage to people — They certainly would not use the agenda to impose a nwo

    IMVHO The testing process used here on Earth is useless – proves nothing and can easily be confused. It gives a false sense of security, as in a person gets tested negative, then bumps into someone with the virus who gives it to him…. The whole thing is pointless..!!

  38. fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    What is the point of a lockdown when most people are not going to abide by it anyway? Leicester has been in lockdown for weeks but the infection rate is rising. Is this because of more testing and how many of those so called infected have symptoms so is the testing really accurate? We are taking more people out of work and asking them to self isolate for no good reason half the time. More businesses are going to go bankrupt with more people out of work so I really cant see how these measures will work. Colds, flu and Covid will all be put into one group and anyone dying from any other health problems whether they be brought on by the previous 3 will be put down as Covid. Time for a rethink.

  39. Just say no
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Why is the govt obsessed by 6? Gove is now saying we have a 66% chance of a lockdown, it keeps cropping up is it part of the psyop?

    • Iago
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Boris does not like to count beyond six?

  40. Prophecy
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Globalist world leaders are going to fake an asteroid strike off the south coast of England on Nov 3rd.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      It makes one wonder about the moderation here that twaddle like this is allowed.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        Looks like par for the course, I’d say.

  41. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    It is hard to know why a government would take such destructive actions against its own people and economy to deal with a virus which has such a high survival rate. I have never experienced anything like it and lived through Asian flu and Hong Kong flu epidemics which were more lethal than this but life carried on as normal. The country has been subjected to a campaign of fear mongering and brain washing for 9 months. All the time taking away our personal freedom and liberty and removing the pleasure from almost any social activity. No doubt those orchestrating it are pleased with the result. There have been so many wrong and/or contradictory actions taken during that time that some say it is incompetence. Whilst tempting to accept that conclusion it doesn’t bear scrutiny as there are too many in government, their advisers and media involved to not appreciate the deleterious consequences of their actions . It is, I fear, far more sinister than incompetence. This is deliberate and anti-democratic. Just what the final re-set they want I don’t know but I am sure that it will not be to the benefit of the majority.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      It is hard to know why a government would take such destructive actions against its own people and economy

      the dream of a one world govt

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Do they understand that there will be precious few tax receipts? If they kill off the little movement in the housing market, frustrated for more than 10 years, there will be NO tax Receipts.

      I now believe that the British Government will just have to go bankrupt. Then the State will be cut to the bone. Nothing less will do.

  42. Iain Moore
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    This is October, I dread to think of what it will be like in April , some dystopian nightmare world seems like a good bet.

    And we still can’t trust the data we are being given, its still treated like a state secret where Mayors of regions cited as Covid problem areas don’t have access to it, let alone us plebs. Why ? I just do not understand it. You would have thought it was in the Government’s interest to have people informed of the Covid infections in their area . It means people can manage their risk, and if it gets bad it makes the argument for a lockdown.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 22, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Why can’t Burnham get the information direct from the Health Trust/Hospitals in Manchester, he can, it is just political posturing and most people see through it. The staged shock that he hadn’t been told the offer yet the Minister said he was told two hours before.

  43. Everhopeful
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Everyone KNEW the dangers of Lockdown BEFORE it was perpetrated.

    I can’t begin to imagine the terrible harm to health that all this has done.
    What…. did they want another war really but don’t have the guts for one?
    They’ve got the casualties anyway.

    You MPs are happy to be enclosed together with only an anti social distance to protect you?
    Or do you whip the masks off for the TV cameras?

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Correct – every covid economic and social issue is because of (not a result of) government intervention

      We need government to just stop

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      We’ve now got young children with anxiety issues, panic about their future and catching and infecting people with a deadly disease.

      We’ve got teenagers despairing some with eating disorders, concerned, vulnerable.

      We’ve small business owners who took out loans thinking they’d be in a position to restart their business trade by now still unable to get back to anything like normal because we’re in and out of lockdown.

      Leicester’s lockdown didn’t work, why on earth isn’t this being investigated, are the new cases being checked into thoroughly because someone is breaking all these mask, space, wash hands instructions either that or they just don’t work.

      People are getting laid off now, people in their late 50’s worried they’ll never work again.

      Dodgy figures and stats being used. I’ve lost trust. I’m sure many others feel the same about the medical response and lockdown response of this virus, the people I talk to do.

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink


  44. Christine
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    There are many people making a lot of money from this crisis. Investigate the Track & Trace App. We see vast amounts of money being spent on a substandard product that doesn’t work when an off the shelf App was already available.

    Follow the money.

  45. Everhopeful
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile Scotland, NI and Wales continue to bankrupt us.
    And this bizarre Burnham global city thing. (£££££££££xbillions…OUR money!!)
    All about breaking up the Union I imagine.
    Is that what Boris’ task was?

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      We’ve still got money for HS2

    • murphy
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Look.. things can stay the same for years and even for centuries just like the Roman Empire for instance but then it breaks up and then we have the decline with the various parts going their own way and then sometimes the parts form up again in other guises and by the same reasoning we can expect that the UK will not always remain the same. Change is not always easy but if handled properly can work in our favour. One thing for sure is the peoples of these islands will still be the same living in the same towns and villages and integrating and intermarrying over the years as they have for hundreds of years. People are the one constant in all of this

  46. Everhopeful
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Is there a test that works now then? One that is actually diagnostic?? That can spot a virus which has never been isolated? That’s good!
    And new drugs? Or just the range that has always been available for the treatment of respiratory diseases? ( And which they have apparently refused to use…in case they killed the dying?)
    Let us hope that the powers-that-should-not-be take the same care over testing the unicorn vaccine!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Suddenly realised.
      BUILD BUILD BUILD will happen and leave farmland intact for produce.
      They are planning Le Corbusier-style high rise cities.
      Stack ‘em high like beans in supermarket.
      All comers!
      Park land around bottoms of high rises… full of drug gangs.
      Been there done that.
      But this will be worse!!

  47. Ian Wilson
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    As a man near average male mortality age. on paper I am vulnerable but I do NOT wish to see our childrens’ and grandchildrens’ lives ruined by economic meltdown to protect me. I therefore support the Great Barrington Declaration, in essence saying most people should live as normal while offering support to those at risk if they want it. It was appalling that Matt Hancock dismissed it so contemptuously and Liz Truss stated it offered no alternative when it does precisely that.

    There is an excellent paper by immunologist Mike Yeadon in both Conservative Woman and Lockdown Sceptics outlining two dreadful blunders by SAGE which grossly understate the level of immunity now in the population. He believes it is now around 72% against SAGE’s 7% and that the virus will largely peter out without a few weeks, leaving spasmodic local outbreaks. Government lockdowns wreck the economy, cause collateral deaths but have minimal impact on the virus, but needless to say when numbers do start to drop Messrs Johnson and Hancock will claim the undeserved credit.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Agree – the Great Barrington Declaration is now the only solution and one that our government can ‘save-face’ with

  48. a-tracy
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    We are doing far more tests than most other Countries look at Worldometer. Yesterday it said the UK has tested 440,000 per 1m population. An MP suggested the following countries were doing much better than us Korea 48,580; China 111,163; Australia 325,623; Thailand 13,999; New Zealand 206,834 and Vietnam 12,771 – if you test less you will discover less cases. In the UK we are told that you can only get a test if you have symptoms is that the same in all the other Countries. Something isn’t right here. The whole of the USA is compared instead of the individual States.

    I do want to know how the Germans are doing so much better, they’ve been travelling around on their European holidays in summer the same as us, they restarted Universities and Schools and they have their arts community working. Why can other Countries health systems cope but ours we’re told even with nearly nine months planning are still not able to cope? They’ve had debts written off, money chucked at them, products made they asked to be made, ppe ordered until we have four months stock. Its time they turned a corner now.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Not just Germany, Denmarks figures are very low

  49. Christine
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    We must turn our attention to the growing non-covid deaths. These statistics are being buried. How many cancer deaths have occurred because chemo has been cancelled or patients are unable to get appointments? Even the medical staff are getting annoyed now. A doctor told me his whole operating list was cancelled last week to keep the beds free for the Covid influx. This wasn’t the NHS but the private sector.

    Look at the latest ONS death statistics that now show 591 more non-covid deaths a week than the 5-year average.

    The data shows deaths in hospitals and care homes is well below the 5-year average but deaths in peoples own homes has risen sharply.

    There’s something sinister going on here.

  50. Andy
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    The government has models for tackling it? I thought the incompetent blonde oaf’s strategy was just to talk at us and to hope we are listening. We’re not.

    I haven’t cared less about what the government says since Dominic Cummings went for his eye test – and nor have many others.

    Northern Ireland has done its own thing. Wales too. Scotland. And Northern England has now rebelled. You might still be the government of Eton but, genuinely, nobody else cares.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Millions voted for them.
      An 80 seat majority.
      The worst election results for the opposition parties for decades.
      Ever felt in a tiny minority Andy?

      • margaret howard
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink



        The Cons won 13.9m votes which gave them 364 seats

        Lab won 10.2m which gave them 203 seats

        LibDems won 3.6m votes, nearly a quarter of the Con vote which gave them just 11 seats!

        You may call it what you like but it certainly isn’t democracy, just a distorted, slanted, farcical version of it. How long will the people buy it?
        As Abraham Lincoln said all those years ago:

        ““You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

        Reply Only the Lib Dem’s of the 3 parties wanted to reverse Brexit. How do you explain their tiny vote?

        • margaret howard
          Posted October 22, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

          Reply to reply

          It was NOT an anti Brexit vote – that was over and done with as far as the voters were concerned. It was an anti Jeremy Corbyn vote – a ‘bridge too far’ for most.

          But the point I was making was about a system whereby a minority get to rule the country. Just like Brexit when 17m votes can lead a country of nearly 70m people to disaster.

          It’s a farce.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 22, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

          Yet you were all happy when Blair and Brown won 3 terms with similar figures.

          If the last election was run on PR the Conservatives would still have a majority.

          If people wanted a Lib Dem government they can vote for it.
          Nothing stops them.
          Apart from useless policies.

        • NickC
          Posted October 22, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

          Margaret, And in the 2015 general election UKIP got 12.6% of the vote (nearly 3.9 million votes), but strangely you don’t cite them.

          • a-tracy
            Posted October 23, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

            Not only that Nick but when we used the European voting methods to elect MEPs the Brexit Party waltzed in and took the majority.

      • Bill B.
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        Edward2: It doesn’t matter how many people were fooled. They were still fooled.

        How many are being fooled twice, is the real question now.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 22, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

          We will see at the next election.

          I don’t think voters were fooled.
          Brexit seems to be happening.
          The pandemic is a unique problem which is hitting every government’s popularity.

          • bill brown
            Posted October 22, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink


            in our case due to their fumbled implementation even more

          • Edward2
            Posted October 22, 2020 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

            Our case…I thought you were an EU citizen bill.
            UK figures are similar to many other EU nations.
            But not as good as Sweden.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Considering you don’t care ……you really do go on, and on, and on …..yawn.

    • NickC
      Posted October 22, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Yes, Andy, the authoritarianism you advocate has failed.

  51. Stred
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    There are other models. For example, the Welsh have banned the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer in crematoria and the Irish have decided to close the country down completely until Christmas so that they can have a good one from 24.12 until 1.1.21 and drink all of the Guinness that has been unavailable in the pubs during November and early December.

  52. 'None of the above'.
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I favour Number 3.

  53. Iain Gill
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I see the Met have sent a letter to the hospitality industry telling them to refuse to serve anyone without photo id… to prove they have not come from a locked down area…

    I see that Liverpool police are walking around pubs in large numbers looking for people who are having a drink without food.

    What an absolute lot of nonsense from our ruling classes.

    • Stred
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      The police also are checking the the pub is serving proper dinners and not cheating and serving plates of chips with dips and cheese. Whether a ploughman’s counts as proper food is doubtful. It is probably alright to stay open if enough pickled onions and pates are provided and some continental cheeses.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        I hope the police are asked to sit and consume a meal each….then asked ‘did that count as proper food?’.
        Makes a point, and avoids them being out on the dangerous streets for up to an hour. The other customers are much more likely to obey the rules.

  54. a-tracy
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    So-called ‘leaders’ like Burnham and Drakeford are like children. I was always told,
    “I want doesn’t get”. The Tories aren’t getting any credit for protecting the vast majority of people for so long, we’re letting these people take all the narrative on the news, where is the Conservative come-back.

    People on low incomes are entitled to Universal Credit so if their income drops it gets topped up with UC benefits, doesn’t it?

    I actually do understand Ministers refusing to be interrogated by anti-government news anchors who are so blatent in their own beliefs they reflect that opinion rather than get the facts and response. However, your government do need to get Ministers proper media training and task people with getting over what is being spent and racked up on behalf of future taxpayers.

  55. Fred H
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    BBC website:
    The UK didn’t have the “exact measures” in place to deal with Covid, the ex-head of the civil service has said. Lord Sedwill, who left his job last month, told the BBC there is “a genuine question” about whether the UK could have been “better prepared” for the pandemic. He also said Dominic Cummings’ journey to County Durham during lockdown had been a mistake. And he admitted to feeling “troubled” by attacks on the civil service.
    Lord Sedwill stepped down as the UK’s top civil servant following reports of tensions between him and senior members of Boris Johnson’s team.

    Lord Sedwill avoids mentioning ownership of the Risk Register concerning threats to National Life. Was the very high pandemic risk just ignored, never reviewed, mitigation never checked for capability? You do have to wonder what else gets shuffled under the pile of papers the Civil Service needs to employ thousands of ‘experts’ for!

  56. RichardP
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Option 3 please! Clearly lockdowns don’t work but the Government continues to make the same costly mistake over and over again.

    It’s time to follow the advice given by The Great Barrington Declaration.

  57. ChrisS
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    The disgraceful antics of Burnham, Labour’s mayor of Greater Manchester, is no more than a display of grotesque political posturing. It smacks of a deliberate Labour policy to discredit the support voters gave to the Conservatives in their Red Wall seats.

    Meanwhile Starmer is calling for a nationwide lockdown which means that the economy will be damaged unnecessarily in areas such as mine, Dorset, where the virus is under firm control. Why is it under control here? Because, unlike the areas with the highest rates, we are treating the virus seriously and following the guidance.

  58. Ian @Barkham
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Speaking in the EU Parliament this morning, Barnier injected a small touch of optimism into the negotiations, telling MEPs:

    Despite the difficulties we’ve faced, and agreement is within reach – if both sides are willing to work constructively, if both sides are willing to compromise

    The comprimise from the UK will be, the EU rules on what the UK can subsidies inside its own borders, the EU will control the fisheries inside UK teritorrial Waters as well as the UK’s Exclusive Economic Zone and the EU will administer and enforce all agreements through their imprial court (Mep’s in Brussels wording for the ECJ)

    In return the EU will offer comprimise by having talks and stalling on all arrangements. There has to be punishment and rule of the UK that is the compromise by the EU.

  59. ukretired123
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Less “Nanny knows best” and “Nanny Noses”/State intervention trying to micro-control everything would be helpful. Folks should now be encouraged to be more responsible knowing the unprecedented warnings for nearly a year.
    Taking personal responsibility should be the emphasis and less playing politics as SNP and Labour’s £110,000 pa Andy Burnham ” man of the people” and Sadiq Khan wanting things both ways …..

  60. chaos
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    ”Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said he thinks gyms in Greater Manchester are being asked to close as part of tier three restrictions being introduced.
    But, speaking to BBC Breakfast, he suggested looking at the government website to check the rules when they are published.”

    In other words ,he doesn’t know what he’s talking about-again. He said that Manchester would follow the Lancashire model-guess what?Their gyms remain open.

  61. Nutrient Dense
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Option number three and surely it is time to focus on nutrition? Covid19 has revealed that our nation is in very poor health. If you put the wrong fuel in your engine it very quickly seizes up. Government advises us to base our meals on starchy carbohydrates, aka sugar! A recipe for diabesity and more, as has become glaringly evident. Surely now is the time to change this advice and encourage nutrient dense REAL food, the kind you spoke of yesterday. Encouragement to put the correct fuel in the engine would be a good place to start healing our nation.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Nutrient. Quite right. REAL food is the key to good health.

    • hefner
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

      Starchy carbohydrates are not sugar, but grains, bread, bananas, (sweet) potatoes, pulses, …

      • ND
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

        ….made up of thousands of glucose molecules

        • hefner
          Posted October 22, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

          Your chemistry needs some update. C, H, O molecules, yes, but not as C6H12O2.

          • hefner
            Posted October 22, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

            C6H12O6, sorry. Starch is C12H25NO11.

  62. Sharon
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    I’ve just got back from a minor hospital procedure, and the consultant, who is just as sceptical about the whole scenario, said there’s even talk of ceasing operations again…

    If true, this is scandalous!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Hope you feel better?🌸
      Did they insist on your having the swab test prior to procedure and if so was it ghastly?
      I have read of people being denied treatment if they refuse the test.
      Glad he was sceptical!!

  63. Andy
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    I see pensioners are getting an inflation busting pay rise again. The triple lock means their handouts rise by 2.5%. Happy days for the richest demographic in the country.

    In the meantime your children and grandchildren are being ordered not to work to protect your health – and are only receiving 2/3 of their salaries as a result. Their banks and landlords will still be demanding 100% of their mortgage payments and rents. Supermarkets will still be demanding 100% of their grocery bills. Electricity companies will still demand 100% too.

    To be frank you should all already be hearing the scream of financial pain from younger people. Decent, hard working people ordered to stay at home to protect your health. They aren’t likely to die from Covid but you all might. All of you getting your handouts increased at this time is a very bad look. A very bad look.

    You should all write to your MPs and tell them the money should go to young people instead. We are not all in this together when 10 million or more older people are only in it for themselves.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      and when Covid gets rid of millions of State pensioners it will probably mutate to decimate the 40s to 60s. ‘Well punk, you have to ask yourself, do you feel lucky?’

    • Edward2
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Could you live on £150 per week?
      Have a tiny bit of empathy for poor people.

      Who have earned their pension by over 30 years of paying National Insurance

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      I see pensioners are getting an inflation busting pay rise again. The triple lock means their handouts rise by 2.5%. Happy days for the richest demographic in the country.

      2.5% of feck all is feck, feck all.

      Now, what I think would be a good idea is for people in receipt of public sector pensions to lose 50p of their state pension for every £1 of occupational pension. It seems outrageous to me that, for example, retired coppers (who used to able to pack in after 25 years service) get a whacking great pension and, on top, the state pension. Same for teachers and the rest of them. The anally retentive program ‘Escape to the Country’ is full of young ‘pensioners’ – ‘I was a teacher, Judy was a nurse’ – looking for an £800k house in Cornwall – and they want an income from it!

      The public sector is feeling no pain in this ‘crisis’. Whereas many private sector workers are in deep trouble. Why should it just be the private sector that takes all the pain.

      Still, when all is said and done, the many poor pensioners in the country getting a paltry 2.5% increase is better that being poked in the eye with a sharp stick. It’s not a good look – a 25% uplift in the state pension would be a good look – or helping the WASPI women. That would be a very good look. A very good look indeed.

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        Private sector pension savers with £100,000 pension pots are being offered annuities of just £3,064 pa without spousal transfer at 66 with rpi. Without rpi it is a flat rate of £4,998 no spousal transfer. If want a joint life with rpi it reduces to £2,633. Andy thinks these people are all rich! Who is Andy?

    • Ex-Tory
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Total dividend income from UK shares in 2020 is expected to be half what it was in 2019. It is not expected to be back to its 2019 level for another four years.

      And, interest rates have been cut.

      The main victims of these two things are pensioners.

    • ChrisS
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Andy, you have the Post-war Labour government to thank for the The “National Assistance Act 1948”, which introduced a universal state pension for everyone. Labour made the fatal mistake of making it unfunded so each generation has to pay the benefits received by their parents. That’s just how it is.

      OK, so increases under the triple lock are currently looking over-generous but actually the British state pension is one of the least generous in Europe. Nobody could live on it so it indefinitely needs improving and the triple lock is currently doing this job, albeit very slowly. Everybody pays in for it so it is rightfully not means-tested.

      That’s why I don’t feel the slightest guilt receiving it now I’m retired, despite the fact that I put a lot of my income into private pensions and I don’t really need it.

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        “Everybody pays in for it so it is rightfully not means-tested.” Well not everyone pays in for it, Pensions Credits top up people that don’t pay in or accrue enough years.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      All you are doing Andy is describing the government’s Marxist playbook.
      Right up your street I would have thought?

    • ukretired123
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Andy angry again. You don’t know what you droning on about except like empty vessels you make the most sound on your high horse and fog-horn.

      Everyone has been adversely affected and retired folks have not shared the 80% you get but we are not complaining unlike you. Give it a rest fgs!

    • beresford
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      Do stop trying to create an inter-generational war. Most of us pensioners are opposed to the government policies which are causing youth unemployment. Unlike you we don’t want immigrants brought in to undercut indigenous young people either. And we voted to leave the EU knowing that there would be short-term hardship before young people benefit from a free prosperous Britain that some of us will not live to see,

    • Cliff. Wokingham
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      Not all pensioners are well off.
      All generations have both richer and less well off members.

      Percentage pay rises aren’t always great for those of us on fixed low incomes. Ninety percent of nothing is nothing etc. Even 2/3 of an average salary is far more than a standard state pension.
      Young people have the advantage of being fitter and more able to take on casual work to top up their income, most of us oldies cannot.

      I genuinely feel sad for you and wonder what happened to you in your childhood which sowed the seeds of hate for elderly people. You really should seek help… I recommend CBT.

      Many on here wish to see your views censored but, I enjoy the entertainment value of them. Take care and try to relax because stress can be a killer as you get older.

      • ukretired123
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        Wise advice to Andy from Cliff !

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 22, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Andy, Did you agree with the ‘bedroom tax’ that persuades pensioners with large family homes to downsize to release larger benefit provided homes when they live off housing benefits in addition to their pension?

      Do you agree with pension credits?

      Do you agree that public sector workers can retire and access their occupational pension sometimes from the age of 50 and before State retirement age?

    • hefner
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Andy, As said by previous contributors ‘not all pensioners are well off’.

      According to the Government website ‘Business population estimates for UK and regions: 2019 statistical release’, there are 5.9m private sector businesses. But
      5.8245m (99.3% of the total) have between 0 and 49 employees (small enterprises), 35,600 have between 50 and 249 employees (0.6%, medium-sized entreprises) and 7,700 have more than 250 employees (0.1% of the total).

      Then even these figures are somewhat misleading as 4.4578m (76%) are not employing anyone, just a ‘boss’. And except if particularly clever, this sole person is unlikely to accumulate a huge pension pot.

  64. Wokinghamite
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    We have seen that the first model works, saves the most lives, and takes the pressure off the NHS. Unfortunately, the subsequent relaxing of controls, opening of pubs, etc., has given the epidemic fresh legs, so that we are again in a critical situation. It remains to be seen whether the second model can be managed and made to work without much heavier loss of life and without the NHS being overwhelmed, so we need to be ready to revert to the first. I believe the third model should not be considered at this stage: it would invite the virus to become rampant and get out of control, as it seems some people will not take precautions unless required to do so. It would lead to many thousands of avoidable deaths and cause our health service to be overwhelmed.

  65. Philip P.
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Sir John: ‘More people opting to take precautions voluntarily, to reduce the risks to themselves’. Yes, definitely.

    If you mean that you are actually endorsing your third option, please do so as vocally as you can. So very many ordinary people would agree with you, but we need leadership.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      The comical think is that your minority – oh, let’s say about seventeen million out of sixty-seven million – can all go flocking back to the pubs if you were permitted.

      However, the other fifty million – of largely better sense – will continue to stay away, and there is nothing that you can do to make them return.

      It is not the strictures which are mainly wrecking the economy. It is the facts of the epidemic, and of this government’s failure to act to suppress it.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

        Just give people the freedom to make their own choice.
        I realise this is a shock to your socialist brain.

  66. forthurst
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Test and Trace is not working here despite the government handing out large sums of public money to private companies that specialise in dipping deeply in the public purse rather than offering services that people would voluntarily purchase. Arts graduates handing out contracts to their fellow Arts graduates to perform a scientific function is madness on stilts.

    Test and Trace is the only way to succeed because it is necessary to assume that until such time as there is a vaccine, the virus will spread whatever draconian action the government takes and therefore there must be continuous pressure to contain that spread by acting locally, not nationally, using intelligent scientists not dim-witted Arts graduates to organise the detection and isolation of clusters backed by law not voluntary action in the same way that other antisocial behaviour is contained.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 22, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Have you seen one Test and Trace organisation Chief interviewed on the BBC news or other tv news stations, in our newpapers or elsewhere? I haven’t, why not?

      • forthurst
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        They’re pleading the fifth?

  67. Mark
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I have been looking at the data on the new experimental version of the dashboard. In many ways, it is a considerable improvement on previous incarnations, with the ability to look at case data for local authorities like Manchester :


    which clearly peaked at the end of September, and has been falling since. The map of case incidences has finally more or less caught up with the versions I was producing here back in the spring, and has the advantage that some of the data are available at the detailed MSOA level. However, it only offers the history as a coloured map, with no detail on the area popups other than for the most recent week, and appears to be updated only weekly instead of on a rolling basis.


    The problem with the focus on case data is that the numbers depend heavily on the testing regime. Blitz testing in locations thought to be virus hotspots produces large numbers of asymptomatic cases that are not detected in areas where tests are largely confined to the symptomatic and any contacts actually traced. Back in the spring, when only Pillar 1 was operational, there was a largely consistent basis for testing the symptomatic to confirm the illness, and the link with the need for hospital resources was clear. False positives were not an issue either.

    Case data are no longer a useful guide to managing the epidemic (as we saw with the Leicester lockdown that produced many positive tests, but no change in the very low rate of hospitalisations) , but only for trying to spread virus hysteria. The overall rate of case hospitalisation has fallen to around 5% compared with 60% back in the spring. Yet we are now being denied updates on hospitalisation data, with the next public detailed figures not due until 12th November.

    That is simply unacceptable. The high priests of the lockdown are keeping data from us that allow proper evaluation of decisions being taken. It seems that they will be trying to claim that tier 3 lockdowns were needed to tame outbreaks, when it is likely that they are already in decline, and the added lockdown adds little or nothing to progress while inflicting a lot of economic and social damage, not least in the relationship between people and government.

  68. Andrew Scott
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Excellent analysis John, thank you.
    And plain common sense says option 3.

  69. Annette
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Overall deaths are about normal for this time of year. That is not the message that is being conveyed.
    ICU & hospital utilisation (overall) are about normal for this time of year. That is not the message being conveyed. It is disingenuous for people to claim that hospitals are overwhelmed with covid cases, eg at Blackpool Victoria where the allocated covid beds (7) were full, without the context that the majority of the 767 bed hospital is empty.
    ‘Cases’/infections are being used to drive fear & are the rationale for restrictive actions, but these are merely positive PCR results from a test run at a cycle rate to produce 90+% false positives. Again, the figures are quoted without context, eg total number of tests. Neither is this figure analysed into resulting hospitalisations/ deaths, ie real cases.
    We can see from the insane and non-scientifically evidenced restrictions, coupled with regions ‘agreeing to lock up their constituents in return for money’ that this has nothing to do with health, as all other illnesses & impacts are ignored, or this as yet unisolated virus.
    The only people calling for lockdowns & the destruction of SMEs, jobs & the economy are those being paid by the public purse, on 100% of pay whether they work or not.
    Call out this charade for what it is. Open our country & economy. People will automatically make/take their own precautions if there is a perceived risk, just as the elderly & vulnerable do every year with flu & other illnesses.
    This has become a farce & anyone participating in this fraud can only be assumed to be in on this coup.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. They are killing the productive sector that pays for everything and feather bedding the largely unproductive ones on 100% of pay and pensions many “working” at home. They are largely ignoring the vast majority of deaths that are not due to Covid. Many are being “treated” (or not) appallingly by the dire NHS.

  70. Anonymous
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Now the ONS figures today show that there is no sign of a second wave of CV-19 and death from respiratory conditions including flu and pneumonia are average for this time of year and are on the same trajectory as previous years.

    The ONS figures show there not to be a second wave.

  71. Freeborn John
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I can’t understand why the U.K. government would regard Michel Barnier’s remarks this morning as “significant”. He said a deal is in reach if “they” compromise and “we” work constructively. So basically the same as the EU council in expecting the compromises to come from the U.K. it would be a fatal mistake now for the U.K. to go back to the table without the EU having pre-agreed to no state aid limits, no level playing field, no ECJ jurisdiction or involvement and that all goods flowing from GB->NI are to be tariff free and not deemed at risk of entering the EU27.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink


      Someone isn’t listening.

    • Terry
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Dream on- it’s this kind of deluded mismatch that has UK in the sorry place it is- that after having been told repeatedly by EU- you can’t have your cake and eat it- you guys still persist in this vein has me in awe- this has to be in the realm of pure madness- there will be no deal the EU are only winding down the clock

    • steve
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Freeborn John

      We need to suspect Boris might be crafting a sneaky sell out behind the scenes. Possibly fisheries or ECJ jurisdiction.

      Keep the pressure on. Keep reminding Boris that any compromise whatsoever terminates the conservative party.

      I don’t think this government can be trusted, it they were as truthful as what they claim themselves to be……the door would not be left open for the EU, it would have been slammed firmly shut on Oct 15th as Boris PROMISED !

    • murphy
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      yeah it’s all happening now- wonder where taking back control will be by next monday?

  72. The other Christine
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Model three, please. You know it makes sense.

  73. Fred H
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Media reporting ‘talks back on?’.
    It is about time our side got some balls! Walk for God’s sake!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Yes, a deep winter near-total blockade is just what the country needs, Fred.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        PS, from the BBC:

        The UK is “ready to welcome the EU team” to continue negotiations over a post-Brexit trade deal, says No 10.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

        Nerves getting shredded Martin? Get a grip man, its only wet lettuce Boris saying one thing, but doing another.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        Do you think our friends and colleagues in the EU are going to arrange a blockade Martin?
        Surely not.

    • beresford
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      It seems that this choreographed charade has enabled Boris and his EU mates to skip past the issue of the deadline, which everyone has now forgotten. Barnier has agreed that he is negotiating with an independent sovereign country. So that’s alright then. They have green signals to prevaricate until the end of December when there will ‘obviously’ not be enough time to prepare for WTO and Brexit will ‘obviously’ have to be kicked into the long grass again.

    • Shaun Gray
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Almost like you can’t trust a word Boris says eh? Who knew

    • Fred H
      Posted October 21, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      FUDGE !!
      The UK is “ready to welcome the EU team” to continue negotiations over a post-Brexit trade deal, says No 10. The two sides’ chief negotiators, Lord David Frost and Michel Barnier, spoke on the phone earlier after talks stalled last week.
      Following the conversation, Downing Street said the pair had “jointly agreed a set of principles for handling this intensified phase of talks”.
      Lord Frost said talks would begin again in London on Thursday.
      The full statement from No 10 said it was “clear that significant gaps remain between our positions in the most difficult areas” and it was “entirely possible that negotiations will not succeed”. But, it added: “We are ready, with the EU, to see if it is possible to bridge them in intensive talks.”
      Earlier, Mr Barnier said a deal would possible “if we are both ready to work constructively and in a spirit of compromise over the next days, on the basis of legal texts. Time is short.”

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        smoke and mirrors

        we’re being sold a pup

  74. Fred H
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Just reported by BBC.

    Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner has been rebuked by the deputy Speaker after the word “scum” was heard in the Commons. Dame Eleanor Laing intervened after Tory MP Chris Clarkson asked if Ms Rayner had used the word about him as “that is what I heard”.
    Dame Eleanor said the remark was not to be used in Parliament “no matter how heartfelt it might be”.

    Classy Angela, classy, you do your party great credit.

  75. glen cullen
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Home Office policy for removing migrants unlawful, court rules – BBC website

    Does this government have a plan B

  76. margaret howard
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    So not only is the Boris government unable to keep the union together but is losing the battle for England leaving behind not even a ‘rump England’ but one of the regions.

    What next? Back to the old tribes? Back to Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex and East Anglia and the old Germanic tribes of the Angles, Jutes and Saxons?

    • Edward2
      Posted October 22, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Is that what you want Margaret?
      I thought you Lib Dems were all for local democracy.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 22, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Could do a lot worse! There is no way the Kingdom of Northumbria will bow to southern or Continental upstarts, and I like the way we choose our kings – competition between the aethlings rather than lines of succession. In addition we had honest Money, stamped out in the Mint in Bamburgh Castle.
      Yep, thinking about it, I’m all for the Restitution of the Christian Kingdom of Northumbria.

  77. Barbara
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    “The Govt net cash requirement was almost three times higher than any other April to September period since records began, at £246.4bn.

    In other words,CV response has cost around £250bn thus far or £8500 per taxpayer

    Total UK debt is now over £2tn,or about £75,000 per taxpayer“

    (Simon Dolan).

    Is this a Conservative government?

    • graham1946
      Posted October 22, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      £246.4bn. Yes a lot of money, but only about a quarter of what they spent bailing out the banks 2008-2010. At least this money in the main is helping tax payers, not city spivs.

  78. Terry
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    The virus- as if you care? as if you ever cared?

  79. Everhopeful
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    As far as I am aware the term “pandemic” does not imply severity or a large number of deaths..just a new virus which is widespread.
    The 2009 swine flu was termed a “pandemic” with the suggestion being made that it would kill many millions.
    The disease was in fact mild and any mention that “pandemic” implied severity was quietly dropped in official literature.
    The fear factor however persisted and has been wheeled out again 10/11 years later! And this time panic has ensued. ( Very convenient to some no doubt!)
    Definitions are important!

  80. Anonymous
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    CAPACITY CRISIS? Fewer patients in ICU beds in Manchester now than this time last year, figures show


  81. Freeborn John
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Pathetic behaviour from the U.K. government in agreeing to restart talks with the EU without extracting anything concrete from them. How can business be expected to prepare for trading on WTO terms when the government flip flops like this? How will the U.K. extract anything from the EU at the negotiating table when Brussels seems how low a price they have to pay to get back to the table? Negotiating incompetence is the hallmark of the British state.

  82. steve
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink


    I have to say I’m disgusted that certain local authorities appear to be politicising the crisis, to squeeze as much as cash as possible from government. These very same authorities did naff all to stop mass piss – ups on their streets.

    They caused this problem for themselves now they want the dosh.

    The Mayor of Manchester should think himself lucky Boris is still prepared to give the £60m. Personally I think Mr Burnham should be told he now gets nothing at all since he refused.

  83. Dunedin
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Along with many others here, I like the common sense/personal responsibility approach of option 3. However, the outcome of option 3 will be in the hands of those who exercise the least common sense or personal responsibility.

  84. glen cullen
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Why are EU talks going to resume on Thursday 22nd October a full week after the PMs deadline – where’s the scrutiny

  85. Peter Parsons
    Posted October 21, 2020 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    There are risks throughout life, however we do not allow individuals to decide those risks for themselves in many aspects of life, there are common standards of risk imposed, based on knowledge and understanding and other factors. Those common standards allow life to happen with the ability for all of us to understand what we should expect of others.

    A simple example is speed limits. We don’t allow each individual driver to make their own decision on what an appropriate level of risk is, whether driving on a motorway or driving past a primary school. As a society we provide common standards designed to limit risk to which all are expected to adhere.

    That is why option 3, leaving it all up to individuals and having no common standards to adhere to, simply doesn’t work in practise.

    The second option is the better one, however the current governing party are inherently centralisers and the idea of devolving power down to the regions and local areas and having local decision making is total anathema to many in the Conservative party.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 22, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      But it is only a top limit.
      The driver has to decide what speed to actually travel at.

      Similarly with pandemic policy.
      The government would be better to give advice and let the people decide.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted October 22, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        But it is still a limit. Option 3 means no such limits.

        With speed limits, the government sets boundaries. If no boundaries or limits are set, then some people will act as though none are necessary, and while I’m not bothered about protecting such people from themselves, I do care about protecting others from the consequences of their selfishness. That is why appropriate boundaries or limits are necessary.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 22, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

          Let people decide for themselves.
          Give them information and trust them.
          Survival is a powerful restriction.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted October 22, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

            Speed limits aren’t there to protect the driver, they are there to protect everyone else from drivers.

            Letting people decide for themselves is a bad idea because others will pay the price, possibly the ultimate price of the bad decisions of others. So it is with Covid.

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

            You miss my point.
            There are country lanes with 60 mph limits.
            You drive up to that limit.
            As conditions may allow.
            Trust people to decide.

            Countries with a less dictatorial approach to Covid have not done badly by comparison to us.

  86. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 22, 2020 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    Once the emergency is over – i.e. after tier 2 and tier 3 methods have been effective – we need to get the right specification for revised tier 1 measures for the medium term. I suggest that banning risky activities that have no economic value should be de rigour and that activities that do have economic value can go ahead with 2 metre social spacing.

    Risky activities (high transmission) with no economic value include house to house visits, visits to care homes and religious services.

    In the case of activities with an economic value, we need a short bill to ensure that owners & operators are responsible for ensuring that social spacing of 2 metres is enforced. Auxiliary police would conduct random spot checks (raids if you like) and owners & operators failing in their duty would be fined. Examples of such activities would include meals at restaurants and football fixtures.

    As the Americans say, what gets measured gets done.

    Under this regime, some operations will require subsidy. The limits should be quantified in a budget for a two year period, to be introduced by the Chancellor in January. To retain the confidence of the markets in our economy, we need to specify the maximum State debt at the end of 2022. It’s going to take time to turn round our disastrous fiscal policy.

    • Alpipp
      Posted October 22, 2020 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      Wow! What a bossy type you are! Just like Hancock. I am done with lock down. Last two weeks, I just don’t bother with a mask and this afternoon I am seeing more and more people not bothering at all with masks or social distancing. The old want to have a life. Staying in a cell obeying your bossy rules is not living. Who decides what is or is not economically useful? Boss your own family members about (I suspect they secretly loathe you)

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted October 24, 2020 at 1:39 am | Permalink

        Speaking only for myself, I would be happy just to let disease rip and let everyone – especially old codgers – fend for themselves. But I bet you wouldn’t be.

  87. a-tracy
    Posted October 22, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Why haven’t the UK government insisted on a negative covid 19 test taken within 72 hours of travel? This is being demanded of British citizens going to Cyprus, Spain and Italy.

    All the lockdowns in the world won’t stop the importation and spread of virus every week from abroad from spiking Countries with our lax controls.

    So you lockdown Manchester for two weeks, but keep Manchester Airport open just politely asking people to isolate for a fortnight – it isn’t going to happen is it so get the airlines to do the sameday tests.

    • Alpipp
      Posted October 22, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Because they have spent all their money on the crappy track n trace.

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        £10bn on track and trace, the companies providing this service need interviewing on our news networks, why aren’t they? Our news channels are to busy giving their personal opinion rather than getting journalist investigations and fact-based interviewing done. Then the BBC is paying six-figure salaries to people reading off a cue card from the licence fee tax!

  88. Alpipp
    Posted October 22, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    I am thinking of putting up a cracked rainbow with ” NHS is failing us! Delaying operations is killing more than COVID!” “NHS is broken & corrupt – Abolish it & Save Lives” “Everyday the NHS kills a Granny by delaying Granny’s cancer treatment”. Just need to go out at night with mask & hoody sticking them on every lampost in town….
    Perhaps a full page spread in the Metro?

  89. ntc1
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Why should Chinese people live worse than us, that is not equality nor sustainable, after this, there will be more of a level field.

  90. Ann Howard
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    The Government’s policy of locking down to minimise cases is concerning since, in my opinion, it isn’t the number of cases which is the problem. A large number of cases are inevitable given the huge increase in testing. If flu was tested for routinely this too would expose a big increase in cases which would otherwise never come to light because they are not severe enough. It is whether the outcome is serious which matters, i.e. death or hospitalisation, not cases per se.

    Two articles in The Telegraph on 20 October are illuminating, both by Sarah Knapton, Science Editor. The first states “ONS data shows normal level of deaths for the time of year” and the second that “Figures show ICU occupancy at Manchester and Salford NHS Trusts are better than they were at this stage last year”. Both the ONS and NHS data are available online and show that both deaths and hospitalisation are also very low compared to those at the height of the epidemic in April/May 2020.

    Hospital occupancy rates tend to rise as we go into winter as is happening now and, prior to the onset of Covid, included people with “normal” respiratory illnesses such as influenza and pneumonia which also kill the elderly and vulnerable. Yet we did not lockdown to prevent those deaths. In fact the vulnerable are likely to be better protected now from a deadly respiratory illness than before. The reasons being because many are taking sensible shielding precautions and because there is now a heightened awareness of basic hygiene on the part of others.

    Although there are a large number of Covid cases it is clear from the death and hospitalisation statistics that most are either asymptomatic or mild. The fact that such a small percentage of test and trace contacts actually self-isolate shows that the public is aware of this. If the Goverment does not have the support of the country as it imposes new lockdowns, with many disobeying the rules, then it will end up looking inept as cases continue.

    Given the current data for deaths and hospitalisations there is no need for such draconian measures. Quoting John Maynard Keynes “when the facts change I change my mind” and this is an approach Borish Johnson should be considering right now. Setting the people free before we finally exit the EU would be sensible so the attendant economic upturn would go hand in hand with this important event.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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