Chips with everything

Under the new tier 2, much of the country will only be able to buy a drink in a pub or cafe if at the same time they order a meal. This policy of chips with everything is causing concerns about how many pubs and other hospitality venues will close down for good as a result. Tiers 2 and 3 with its more severe closures represent additional erosion of the High Street and more heartache for owners and employees of catering based business. A Parliament which has often campaigned to save pubs and Town Centres is edging towards more policies that destroy both.

There is a wider concern that I have set out before. Can we have a better vision than the idea that we suffer one bad lockdown only to have a brief respite before another. This time indeed many places face a tougher continuing lockdown with a different name and different criteria immediately after a national lockdown.

The government is having trouble persuading its MPs to back this latest redrawing of the map and rejigging of detailed controls over our lives. Many Conservative MPs are demanding more information on how the decisions are made over which Tier a place is in, over which controls and rules might have some beneficial impact upon the progress of the virus, over how much collateral damage will be done to other health care issues, how much economic damage will be done, and how a place gets out of the higher tiers.

This may turn out to be first angry responses, to be assuaged by better information later. It may be a more serious challenge to the whole base of the policy. I have heard MPs ask many detailed and searching questions, with no signs so far of compelling answers.

It turns out there is considerable judgement involved in putting a place into Tier 2 or 3, despite the generally expressed wish for it be more data driven. Whilst we are told there are five sets of figures they look at to do with case numbers, rates of change and NHS capacity, they admit they also look at Travel to Work areas and make assumptions about future developments.

There is great concern that many places have just lived through the national lockdown, only to find themselves allocated to a higher tier than before. Doesn’t that mean the national lockdown failed for them? There is little explanation of the true compliance rate with the rules , or of how the scientific modellers expect compliance to develop given the longevity of these measures and the sense of lack of progress their latest proposals have generated. It appears Ministers recommended a long Christmas break with permitted travel in response to polling, which was then used by the advisers to demand more lockdown for longer as offset for the Christmas relaxation.

Many pose the issue as one of seeking a balance between measures which control the virus and measures which allow jobs and activity to flourish. We need to move on to find solutions to both the pandemic and the need for economic recovery based on best policies for each issue, without having so many policies which favour one at cost to the other. I will be pursuing again the options that can help protect us whilst keeping open more hospitality, entertainment and travel, and asking more about the capacity of the NHS and the forecasts of the government advisers.

363 Comments

  1. Peter Wood
    November 29, 2020

    Good Morning,

    As noted previously, attempting to control peoples lives from Westminster is a fools errand, why does the PM keep making it?

    The PM has shot himself in the other foot this last week; by breaking his promise to provide fast broadband throughout the country.

    Dear PM, we DON’T need HS2, but we DO need highspeed broadband.

    Another promise broken; we deserve better.

    1. Everhopeful
      November 29, 2020

      Well..I dare say the next “emergency” will be a total crash of electricity and thus internet. Or some sort of self-inflicted “cyber attack” so it would be silly to waste all that effort on speedy broadband.
      Especially since, after a cyber attack there would be no internet worth having due to all the “necessary restrictions”. ( To keep us all safe you know!).

      1. Paul Cuthbertson
        November 29, 2020

        The failure of the power system is inevitable. Too much reliance on stupid Green crap energy BS. Where are our base load power stations?
        We have closed/shut down so many without a thought. Do we really have an Energy Policy. Does ANYONE in government understand Energy, I very much doubt it. Where is our Lord Marshall of the future. He must be writhing in his grave at this moment in time.

        1. NickC
          November 30, 2020

          Paul, Indeed. Boris has promised another 30GW of Wind. It’s not clear whether he means 30GW installed nameplate capacity, or 30GW average output (ie 90GW nameplate capacity). I don’t think Boris, or Carrie know the difference.

          And he certainly hasn’t promised the near 100% CCGT back-up necessary to make Wind “work” – when the wind doesn’t blow, or blows too hard. That’s CCGT because there is no other 30GW back-up technology that could be installed in merely 10 years.

      2. Hope
        November 29, 2020

        JR, could you explain Raab’s comment on TV today there is not a deadline for agreeing a trade deal in leaving the EU? Is he suffering from complete stupidity that appears to be infecting all govt ministers?

        I think the tipping point for the public has come. Johnson and your party are done if his stupidity and blatant lies are voted through in Tuesday.

    2. Martin in Cardiff
      November 29, 2020

      Well, if the Tories didn’t have a fanatical, doctrinaire desire to centralise power away from local authorities – to destroy any possible manifestation of locally-democratic municipal socialism – then like Germany etc. they would not be in this mess.

      It’s lamely ironic, and entirely predictable, that they shrieked the loudest about the European Union’s “centralisation”, which actually pooled only minimal powers compared with national governments’, as the lockdowns and other measures show graphically.

      1. a-tracy
        November 29, 2020

        Local authorities can’t even keep the pavements safe from slippy leaves that have been there for weeks until someone falls and breaks their hip!

        Let’s not make out local authorities are the answer, half of them can’t balance a book, don’t know how to make money only spend too much. All these extra 1000’s of homes paying on average £1000 pa per house and they still can’t balance and spend on the area where they’re building them all.

        1. turboterrier
          November 29, 2020

          +1

      2. acorn
        November 29, 2020

        Martin, I say that the final solution has to be that we cede Northern Ireland territory to the Republic, to form a re-united Ireland, totally within the EU and using the Euro currency.

        Scotland should be given its independence, on the basis that the EU accepts it as a member state; and, it adopts the Euro currency for the time being.

        That would leave England and Wales to pursue the ERG 62 ambition to become the tax dodging, money laundering capital of the North Atlantic; basically the Singapore of the North Atlantic.

        1. Edward2
          November 29, 2020

          Perhaps ask the people who live in Northern Ireland first.

        2. NickC
          November 30, 2020

          Now that the UK won’t be gifting any more money (beyond the WA bribe) to the EU, someone has to hand the load of dosh to the EU for their slush funds, so it might as well be the Irish and Scots.

    3. bigneil(newercomp)
      November 29, 2020

      Don’t worry about it – the party has been cutting immigration for the last ? elections.

    4. ukretired123
      November 29, 2020

      +1 Japan promised High Speed broadband for their island in 1988 target 2000!

    5. Hope
      November 29, 2020

      The current lockdown was based on fake figures which unraveled within days. Talk Johnson was bounced into it. He lied to say the country would definitely come out on 02/12/2020 he now introduced measures to prevent it! He now claims February!

      Elderly and vulnerable should be helped to isolate if they wish the rest carry on. That was a fact since March before Johnson decided to destroy the economy and leave it for future generations to repair!

      Brexit sell out is in place you will be bumped into accepting his capitulation through lack of time to read. Like his vassalage plan you all voted for i.e. WA and NIP.

      Get out. Your party and govt are destroying our economy and way of life. There is nothing conservative at all about your govt.

      1. NickC
        November 30, 2020

        Hope, You are right. Anyone can see from the covid19 death toll graph for the UK from March that the first lockdown achieved nothing. Nothing other than ruining the health of the majority, and ruining the economy.

    6. Hope
      November 29, 2020

      Johnson now claims the tiered system has a sunset clause! He told his MPs the lockdown would end in December after producing fake figures to justify it! Surely no of them will believe this compulsive inveterate liar?

      1. Mark B
        November 29, 2020

        Hope

        For Sir John to allow you to call the PM and his party leader a liar on his on website speaks volumes.

        Johnson has both a habit and a history of telling untruths to get his way but, if you are going to lie to your own MP’s, then the game is surely up ?

        Reply I disagree with many of the items I post here. I have always allowed more latitude for people wishing to criticise Ministers as Ministers. I delete unpleasant abuse of anyone in the public eye if I think it is personal.

        1. Hope
          November 30, 2020

          Hang on both of you. Why did he get sacked by Michael Howard and from his newspaper role?

          What did he say about a border down the Irish Sea, about no tariffs or extra paperwork? May’s deal was dead? Oven ready deal? What did the DUP accuse him of?

          How many dates has he given to walk away from the EU? In particular a very bold guaranteed do or die promise? He was asked twice to confirm his strength of feeling and he said do or die. Did he honour that national promise?

          Since this time how many other dates has he given i.e. June, July, October, November. It is December tomorrow! How do business plan on what he says? How much cost to us all in jobs lost business, lost tax etc.?

          And somehow he thinks his MPs should believe his latest date or guarantee! Only if you have lost all leave of your senses. A bit like a woman believing him if he said I love you. The vote will be a reflection of the MPs more than Johnson.

    7. Hope
      November 29, 2020

      JR,

      could you explain to all of us why Grouse shooting is an exemption to the rule of six under Johnson’s new plan? Is it to accommodate the Royal family shoot at Christmas? Charles and William caught the disease and out to know better.

      Why are nannies still allowed but not grandparents i.e. Those who wish to look after their own family and instill proper values morals etc to their family, unlike Johnson?

      1. Lifelogic
        November 29, 2020

        Can one not just employ the grandparents? They perhaps they employ you for driving them home or something?

      2. JohnK
        November 30, 2020

        Field sports such as grouse shooting are carried out in the fresh air and are already socially distanced. The Guns do not stand within six feet of each other.

        It would have been easy for you to have found this out for yourself, but I suspect that is not the point.

        1. Hope
          November 30, 2020

          This rule could be applied to most outdoor sports, but they are banned! Keep up.

    8. Caterpillar
      November 29, 2020

      Dear PM,
      It is more important than ever to accelerate the construction of HS2. The need to separate fast running trains from slower running and locally stopping trains to increase the capacity of local networks remains urgent. The development of residential and commercial areas around existing networks sets an initial pattern. The consequential improvement of local networks will increase the human capital on which companies can call and hence remains fundamental to levelling up the country. Please, please, please accelerate the construction of HS2 throughout the country.

      1. Hope
        November 29, 2020

        Hang on this bunch of shysters ridiculed Labour for want g to nationalize the railway andmShapps is doing exactly that! They ridiculed Miliband about his energy policy and implemented with May saying she would build on it!

        They have spent more than Labour planned! Generations will be hindered by their lunacy. Fake Tories now prevent peaceful protest in a democracy unless it is one they agree with. Facists.

      2. No Longer Anonymous
        November 29, 2020

        Then the next virus comes along.

        Nah.

        The future is high speed broadband an ultra virtual reality connections.

      3. NickC
        November 30, 2020

        Caterpillar, Are you mocking the government? If you’re not, then HS2 is a political white elephant – a C19th solution to a C20th problem, already outdated by video conferencing and the change to our economy that will be consequent upon Brexit.

    9. Lifelogic
      November 29, 2020

      Nor do we need the Boris/Carrie misguided, expensive, job destroying and OAP freezing green lunacy. Nor should electric cars (that save no significant CO2 anyway) be rammed down people’s throats.

      1. Paul Cuthbertson
        November 29, 2020

        +1000

        1. Fedupsoutherner
          November 29, 2020

          I second that

    10. Suzette Burtenshaw
      November 29, 2020

      We certainly, do deserve better. It is, for all the world as if a kind of madness has infected the PM and his cabinet. I have tried to think through what might be going on in their noddles to bring about such disproportionate, nay demented responses to this virus but the most logical one (if one is not of the conspiracy theory ilk) is madness.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        November 29, 2020

        We are all reaching that conclusion.

    11. Simeon
      November 29, 2020

      You personally might deserve better. However, it is axiomatic that, in a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.

      The Tory party generally is dishonest. Boris Johnson is a reknowned land proven liar. Broken promises is what the people voted for. I accept that some voters were hoping they’d get what they wanted by voting Tory, but if you jump off a cliff, hoping you’re not going to be smashed on the rocks is useless.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        November 29, 2020

        So you are not a democrat. What do you propose?

        1. Simeon
          November 29, 2020

          Voluntarism. In a world of nation states, certain compromises are necesary, and foreign policy needs to be pragmatic, with the overriding principle being national defence. However, as guiding principles, freedom from coercion and voluntary action ought to be inarguable. Obviously individuals will, in almost all cases, decide to cooperate with other individuals. Voting is one, though not the only method, by which collective action can be determined. But this is within small communities. Sixty would be an unwieldy number, never mind 60 million.

          In practice, something like the original US constitution is a far more palatable option. Rule by federal law – which is very limited in scope – rather than rule by the (often, if not inevitably, manipulated) whim of the electorate. Though of course within that, individual states have huge scope to determine their own policy objectives – agreed upon by their citizens, of course.

          In essence, individuals running their own lives, rather than trying to run other people’s lives as well.

      2. NickC
        November 30, 2020

        Simeon, The only alternative was the Corbyn-Sturgeon double act where BINO would have been the order of the day. And then covid19 socialism.

  2. Stephen Priest
    November 29, 2020

    FROM PETER HITCHENS – Daily Mail

    I beg and urge you to write to your MP, and to get your friends, neighbours, colleagues and family to join you. Numbers are crucial, as you will see.
    On your computer, please find writetothem com . This will direct your letter to your MP in easy steps. Then write, briefly, politely, acidly.

    Say only this: ‘If on Tuesday you vote to destroy the jobs and livelihoods of others, do not expect to keep your own. When the reckoning comes for this, there will be no such thing as a safe seat. Scottish Labour MPs once thought their seats were safe. Look what happened to them.’

    Do not worry about any reply you receive or do not receive. These boobies mostly cannot reason. But they can count. And if enough such emails arrive, they will at last grasp what they have done, and fear for their majorities as they should.

    This is pretty much the only lawful means of resistance we still have. If you do not use it now, to the full, when are you going to do so?

    And if lawful protest is ignored, what do people think is going to happen when the P45s and the bankruptcies spread like a great puce blot across the country through the miserable winter months, and next spring brings no real release?

    1. Everhopeful
      November 29, 2020

      I really do not understand, why, when faced with this totally existential threat these journos do not look at the bigger picture. ( They are bought or scared?).
      Our government gets its orders from the globalists.
      And we squabble and wonder about the DETAILS of the ludicrous knots they are binding us in.
      Don’t expect this to end…because the compliance shown by the sheep means it will not!

    2. Lifelogic
      November 29, 2020

      +1 except it seem they nearly all will do both Labour and the fake Conservatives (but for perhaps 70 or so sound Tories) so who exactly will one vote for to replace them?

      1. Michael Collins
        November 30, 2020

        We vote for you and me, it’s time to stand against them. The Reform party looks like they are going to field in the locals, we only make a difference when we take a stand.

    3. Bryan Harris
      November 29, 2020

      +++

    4. Ian Wragg
      November 29, 2020

      I’ve already emailed mine, a red wall mp.
      Together with a botched half Brexit and his stupid arbon neutral by 2050 routine I tbink Boris should join the limp dumbs.
      I’m not entirely convinced that shutting down half the country isn’t about saving the nationL grid as we are desperately short of power.
      This could become an annual event.

    5. Lynn Atkinson
      November 29, 2020

      This is critical, the MPs are beginning to feel the pressure. Numbers count! Here is my effort:

      Dear Guy Opperman,

      The abdication of the Boris Government to SAGE is a disgrace and has lead to the permanent destruction of millions of business and the breaking of many people.

      The abdication of Parliament to hold this mad Government to account, or better still replace it, is worse.

      The people will replace you because there literally is no worse option. If we are to have Socialism and wanton business destruction, we prefer it done by avowed Socialists – Labour.

      Yours etc.

    6. Longinus
      November 29, 2020

      Done, using own words. Not expecting much action based on previous template replies and non-scientific background of MP.

    7. Hope
      November 29, 2020

      Steve,
      Done. I had no previous reply from my MP. It appears the norm now a days.

      1. Sea_Warrior
        November 29, 2020

        Mine – Penny Mordaunt – is very good. Pretty much every email gets either a considered letter or an email reply.

    8. Lester Cynic Beedell
      November 29, 2020

      I’ve just sent this to my MP, he no longer answers my emails so has effectively disenfranchised me, despite the fact that I voted for him.

      I asked him directly how he had voted in the lockdown debate, I received the standard response but apart from that I’ve heard nothing!

    9. Christine
      November 29, 2020

      Done

    10. Ignoramus
      November 29, 2020

      There is a problem here. Many MPS, including my Conservative MP, ignore, or do not actually read, letters that are not constituency specific. Their correspondence secretary merely replies with a stock letter which tries to be emollient and is irrelevant.

      Sir John is an honourable exception.

      1. Zorro
        November 29, 2020

        True but it is pointless to reason with the boobies. However, they know how to count and if enough constituents write in, they will take notice.

        Zorro

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          November 29, 2020

          +1 my MPs standard response was that they were overwhelmed. So that’s good. Just keep adding to the numbers, nobody knows which letter tips the balance.

        2. steve
          November 29, 2020

          Zorro

          It won’t make any difference how many write to their MP’s because the majority of MP’s are arrogant. Besides it’s all a con trick designed to preserve the two party state, neither is bothered about being in opposition since both sing from the same hymn sheet.

          The only way to break the duopoly is for the entire nation to refuse to vote, that way an election cannot be won, and Her Majesty cannot invite either to form a government.

          –paralyse them, slap their P45’s on their foreheads, and kick them all out on their backsides, the whole rotten lot.

          1. Donna
            November 30, 2020

            People died to get us the vote, so I believe in exercising mine. It isn’t voting that’s the problem, it’s the stitched-up Party System.

            If I don’t have an alternative next time to the Establishment’s Lib Lab Con-trick, where whoever you vote for you get green-lunacy and lefty policies, I’ll be voting None of the Above.

      2. Lifelogic
        November 29, 2020

        That is my experience. Often the letter indicate clearly that the person replyng has not even read the letter you sent properly or at all.

      3. Paul Cuthbertson
        November 29, 2020

        Once an MP you are guaranteed your gold plated index link pension and perks therefore the populace are irrelvant. This has been proven time and time again and the people STILL vote for them. That is what they rely on. Why do we need 650 of them? Why do we need a Deputy PM, a position created by Bliar to facilitate that………… John Prescott.

    11. czerwonadupa
      November 29, 2020

      Steve My MP is Dawn Butler – say no more

    12. Richard
      November 29, 2020

      Done.

    13. Fedupsoutherner
      November 29, 2020

      Sent mine to Daniel (the Polish mp ) sorry can’t ever spell his name and let him know I will not be voting Conservative in localled or general elecroons again.

  3. SM
    November 29, 2020

    As with any system (think of taxation, or public health care for instance) the more complex it becomes – no matter how good the motives – the less likely ordinary people will be likely to adhere to every last dot and comma. Not because they are ‘bad’ or ‘lazy’ or ‘selfish’ but because they/we have families/work/personal health/community duties to attend to.

    1. Sharon
      November 29, 2020

      SM

      But that’s why the Government have “simplified” things this time; and just look at the utter chaos and mess!

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      November 29, 2020

      When Judges can’t understand the law, what chance has John Bull?

      1. hefner
        November 29, 2020

        What had judges to do with SM’s or Sharon’s messages?
        Now tell me, who is the judge who cannot understood the law? Who, when, where, in what circumstances?

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          November 29, 2020

          SM wrote ‘as with any system..’ we are supposed to live under the Rule of Law. Our grievance is that it is not properly applied and is too complicated.
          I can give you hundreds of examples of Judges who don’t understand the law, every time there is a disagreement in a multiple judge ruling one group or other is wrong. Yet the onus is on the man in the street to understand and obey the law because ‘ignorance of the law is no defence’. It’s too complicated.
          The police don’t understand the law – they either had to arrest Antifa and BLM or not arrest anti-lockdown protesters.

          1. NickC
            November 30, 2020

            Lynn, Excellent reply to Hefner.

          2. hefner
            November 30, 2020

            As if ‘disagreeing’ on the interpretation of the law is the same thing as ‘not understanding’ the law.
            As if the ‘law’ that John Bull is supposed to follow in their day-to-day life is of the same order as the ‘law’ on which disagreements between judges usually appear.
            And are police judges?

            So the usual mix-up of half-cooked weak arguments from Lynn, … and the abysmally vacuous cheer from NickC.
            Does any of you think before writing?

          3. Edward2
            December 1, 2020

            Now you have altered your original attack to interpretation of the law from your original argument about understanding of the law.

            PS
            Having had a think about your post hef, better English would have been “Do any of you think..” rather than saying “does any of you…”

          4. hefner
            December 1, 2020

            Edward2, You’re right, it should have been ‘Do any of you’. Thanks.
            As for the first point I maintain that Lynn’s post saying that judges ‘can’t understand the law’ simply shows how benighted she is.

  4. Mark B
    November 29, 2020

    Good morning.

    I have heard MPs ask many detailed and searching questions, with no signs so far of compelling answers.

    This is worrying. Not being able to answer questions on such an important matter opens up many possibilities as to why. And none of them good.

    . . . many places have just lived through the national lockdown, only to find themselves allocated to a higher tier than before. Doesn’t that mean the national lockdown failed for them?

    And this is the killer quote ! I say this because I have noticed very little change from peoples behaviour compared to that of the first lockdown. Many were happy to comply in the beginning as they thought there was real danger. Now people have realised for themselves that the danger is not there and just want to get on with their lives. It is also, I believe, down to the poor weather. People are were only too happy to have a paid holiday and bask in the Sun. Now the realisation that they may not have a job for long and would sooner be working and earning money rather than sitting at home looking out at the dark and grim sky.

    Still, we can always ask the Public Sector workers to stand outside their houses and give the newly unemployed a good clap for saving their jobs.

    /sarc

    1. Everhopeful
      November 29, 2020

      Don’t fret…they KNOW the answers!

    2. Cheshire Girl
      November 29, 2020

      If some of the Public Sector resigned ie: DWP Benefits Office, there would be a great deal more misery than there is now.

      They are working their socks off, with the doubling/ tripling, of applications for Uni ersal Credit, and getting very little thanks.
      Other sectors are doing the same.
      The throwaway lines about the Public Sector are not based on facts, but it gets a good headline!

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        November 29, 2020

        The employees in the DWP benefits office may as well join the queue. The golden goose which paid their wages is slain.

    3. Hope
      November 29, 2020

      Mark,

      The fake figures used to lockdown the country in November quickly unraveled and the discredited Witty and Valance revised them! We were promised by the liar Johnson it would end in December. He now introduced measures worse than the lock down, some areas no cases whatsoever u dermtire 2. A lot of SAGE are behaviour scientists not immunologists, epidemiologists etc. One even admitted last weekend in the papers they used Wikipedia! FFS. These so called expert scientists- behaviour scientists- can only advise how to scare people!

      Over a hundred people arrested yesterday for peacefully opposing Govt policy. Extinction Rebellious n,committed crimes and photographed in national newspapers, no action! The police,are,very much politicallly motivated through govt. Too many incidents to have no doubt.

    4. a-tracy
      November 29, 2020

      Quite correct Mark there is going to be a big ‘clap back’ on our public services soon, do they even realise yet that we’ve had enough of the worst performing health services in the wealthy west performing world and we’re supposed to be grateful when they requisitioned all private healthcare and expected us to keep paying the premiums with not even a tax discount, we only pay it because previous service levels and hospitals stays have been so appalling and we don’t feel safe.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        November 29, 2020

        +1 well said! Apparently there is a shortage of nurses! No money therefore can solve the NHS problem. We need to reclaim the money wasted on them and reduce the number of patients to those who have paid their National Insurance dues.

        1. a-tracy
          November 30, 2020

          If I were running a hospital, I’d want to know specifically which nursing skills were required. I would have been emphasising that on the student nurse training program from March so that new nursing recruits were ready for deployment. The volunteers that offered to come back into the NHS ex nurses, military nurses, I would ask if I could draft them into peak need wards.

          Successful drug treatments from other Countries are we trying those in our NHS?

          Then instead of training thousands and thousands into degrees with no jobs at the end of them at great expense as we’re told without evidence that plan 1 student loans weren’t being repaid, I would make sure we trained UK students into these gaps and into jobs paying a minimum once qualified of £24,000 + overtime, enhanced weekend, night and bank holiday working rates, fantastic pension, sick pay, extra holidays on top the statutory 28 minimum within a couple of years they would be paying their loans back. I would attract more male students who want to work extra hours.

          Just how many people are we treating this week in the NHS who haven’t paid in National Insurance? Have come here for treatment from abroad?

    5. BeebTax
      November 29, 2020

      Very well put. If there are no highly convincing answers to questions on an issue that is destroying our economy, makes life unbearable for millions, is killing people who don’t get treated for non-Covid diseases and has seen the government take away our freedom of movement and association, then the social compact deserves to come to an end.

    6. No Longer Anonymous
      November 29, 2020

      “The Circuit Breaker” Is what we were in last month.

      Remember that ?

      So many slogans I’m forgetting how many we’ve had now.

      1. APL
        November 29, 2020

        No Longer Anonymous: “Remember that ?”

        Remember ‘ two weeks to save the NHS ‘ ?

        That was March.

    7. Old person
      November 29, 2020

      Yes, accurate reporting is slowly becoming non-existent, and the searching questions remain unanswered.
      But, look on the bright side, the Wetherspoons News magazine (of pub chain fame) has published 23 pages against the lockdown with critical articles from many sources – easily found online.
      Loved your comment about clapping for the Public Sector.

  5. Cheshire Girl
    November 29, 2020

    Its an absolute nightmare for anyone who has to make the decisions about which Tier to place areas in. I wouldn’t know where to start.

    Whatever the Government decides, some people are going to be unhappy. I just hope a balance can be struck between keeping people safe, and protecting jobs and livelihoods, and that a vaccine may be ready very soon.

    1. Everhopeful
      November 29, 2020

      Of course you would not know because it is all hocus pocus.
      Except of course…the govt. MIGHT feel it should concentrate on areas where a cash economy is very strong? Where people are more secure because they own their business premises and take little in the way of wages.
      All the things they used to be praised for!
      The cruelty of politicians is beyond redemption.

    2. Mike Wilson
      November 29, 2020

      You start by providing clear guidelines. X cases per 100,000 is Tier 1. Y cases per 100,000 is Tier 2 etc. And then let Local Authorities have the local data and administer the Tiers. If they did that most of the rural areas of the country would be Tier 1 and vast numbers of pubs and shops could survive.

    3. Mike Stallard
      November 29, 2020

      Do you have a business which depends on footfall?

    4. Hope
      November 29, 2020

      Christine,

      It is easy. The same applies now as it did in March, protect the elderly and health vulnerable. The rest carry on.

      The Civil Contingencies Act requires NHS and PHE to prepare, plan and operationally test for pandemics, whatever that pandemic might be. Hence Cygnus in 2016.

      This is the greatest failing in health policy in our country’s history. Same for the economy. No one sacked or held responsible. Hancock has not even resigned after his speech to parliament in January this year explaining why his govt would take no action!

      1. Donna
        November 30, 2020

        Operation Cygnus was suppressed by Prime Minister May and Health Sec Hunt.
        Why have they not been called to account? Hunt is now regularly wheeled out by the media to pontificate about the Government’s actions. Not once have I heard him challenged to explain why the NHS was so woefully unprepared to deal with a pandemic under his watch or why the Operation Cygnus Report was suppressed.

    5. Lester Cynic Beedell
      November 29, 2020

      I wouldn’t be placing any faith in a vaccine that has been hurriedly developed without proper evaluation, there’s no vaccine for SARS from 17 years ago.

      The common cold is a corona virus, I suffered many terrible colds in my youth but haven’t had one for about 10 years….. herd immunity?

    6. Roy Grainger
      November 29, 2020

      In California they have a formula to decide it, albeit complicated. Then people can see how close they are to a downgrade/upgrade. That is fairer than having politicians decide on a subjective basis.

      1. Sea_Warrior
        November 29, 2020

        Good system. One thing we need to have here is local leaders – e.g. mayors or majority leaders – going to local podiums on a weekly basis, with local TV and radio covering the event. They could then tell their communities how they are doing and what the local transmission paths are. I think people would respond well to localized messaging.

  6. Sea_Warrior
    November 29, 2020

    Having destroyed the business of one of my ‘locals’, the government has left me with two – one in Tier 2 Hampshire and the other in Tier 3 Kent. Let’s consider my Sunday morning routine at the Tier 2 cafe/restaurant/bar. My Sunday routine was to buy my broadsheet and go there for a leisurely read. During the morning it might have had 50 patrons, for breakfasts and or coffees. It was fastidious in being COVID-secure. Now, from next week, will I be able to go, sit at a table by myself, and have a coffee? Must I buy a breakfast that I don’t want? Must I have a cake with my coffee, bumping up the price to £4.95? And if I’m still there at 1100, could I ‘warm the turn’ by having a glass of wine? Note, in making these considerations, I haven’t left my table and increased my interactions with people. I’m pretty sure that Hancock bans some of these options – such as the glass of wine – to the detriment of me, the business and Sunak’s VAT-take and FOR NO IMPROVEMENT IN PUBLIC HEALTH. The Tier 2 restrictions on pubs are a nonsense and must be eased before Sea Warrior has no locals left.

    1. Stred
      November 29, 2020

      While the local in Kent is closed down altogether and lose whatever chance it had to break even over the Christmas period. And the whole county is shut down because of an outbreak in the northern district where the figures have been measured wrongly anyway, with many people dying of other diseases recorded as with Covid after unsuitable testing. Unfortunately, the general public still doesn’t understand this.

    2. Everhopeful
      November 29, 2020

      These Ministers, you know, get their anti alcohol advice from very high places!
      We have been totally sold out.

    3. No Longer Anonymous
      November 29, 2020

      Slightly OT from your point

      You’re OK to sit down without a face covering on but dare to stand up without one and you’re going to die.

      Denmark showed us that surgical masks are 16% effective against a virus.

      We wouldn’t be going out in real pandemic in masks that had 84% chance of infecting us. That means on an intuitive level most of us know that this is not a pandemic. It doesn’t stop there. It doesn’t even have to be surgical mask of any specified standard at all.

    4. Northern Monkey
      November 29, 2020

      I’m afraid, my naval friend, that your reasonable questions highlight the fact that fast rules make for hard cases.

      This is why the government would have done better to rely on social pressure rather than the weight of the state to achieve its aims. Let us hope that government loses the taste for such power and that MPs learn to represent the interests of their constituents rather than those of their party.

      1. steve
        November 30, 2020

        Northern Monkey

        “Let us hope that government loses the taste for such power and that MPs learn to represent the interests of their constituents rather than those of their party.”

        ============

        More likely at some point they’ll realise the gig is up, and attempt to do a runner.

  7. Mick
    November 29, 2020

    After watching the demo’s fronted by Corbyns brother and the rest of the unwashed leftists and the easily lead in London I think it’s about time the police used the water cannons filled with dye to identify these idiots who clearly have no brains if they think the virus doesn’t exist so they can be refused treatment at a later date muppets

    1. Everhopeful
      November 29, 2020

      Have you ANY idea what you are saying??

    2. Sea_Warrior
      November 29, 2020

      Good point. Now that Boris is PM surely he could legislate to allow the use of the water-cannons he once wanted to use. I am sick and tired of demonstrators denying use of London to others, while simultaneously breaching public health measures. But I gather that the Met made a good number of arrests yesterday, so big claps to them.

      1. Bill B.
        November 29, 2020

        They were sent for scrap as their use was found to be illegal. The cost ran into hundreds of thousands of £££, I believe. Real good value for London council taxpayers!

        1. Sea_Warrior
          November 29, 2020

          Illegal? So the Met can’t spray people with water but can Taser them. Got that!

    3. hat man
      November 29, 2020

      Freedom deniers like this Mick want us to be locked up. OK – in prison is where they should be, for a very long time, convicted of treason for destroying our country. The reckoning is coming.

    4. Bloke in Wales
      November 29, 2020

      There’s a much easier option. Why don’t you just denounce to the local Stasi officer those you see breaking the rules, or just those you don’t like? After all, the world always needs more Pavel Morozovs.

    5. Fred H
      November 29, 2020

      the London MAYOR sold them for £10k scrap metal.

    6. Lynn Atkinson
      November 29, 2020

      Why did they not do that with the Antifa and BLM criminals? Instead they bowed down before them!
      Don’t expect the police to retain the support of the Britons in Wode – we would be proud to be blue dyed and free, and let none but good swimmers take us on because they will be put to the test in the waves!

      1. Hope
        November 29, 2020

        +10

        They did not wear masks and photographed committing criminal offenses. Including armistice day!

    7. beresford
      November 29, 2020

      Few think that the virus ‘doesn’t exist’, what we are annoyed about is arbitrary random restrictions which have little effect on the disease. We know that the virus spreads in schools, hospitals, workplaces and at home, yet we are prevented from sitting in a socially distanced pub with a pint of beer because this somehow placates the Great Corona God. Earlier this year it was vital that we were prevented from getting a haircut, now it doesn’t matter. Those who are prepared to risk harassment by the police and draconian fines for our liberty deserve some credit, if we cannot protest peacefully then what alternative is there?

      1. Zorro
        November 29, 2020

        Indeed, some people actually think that the government will lift these restrictions. They will try every trick in the book to keep them in place.

        Zorro

    8. Narrow Shoulders
      November 29, 2020

      NHS is paid for out of general taxation. Who are you to decide who gets treated and for what behaviours?

      Who do you think you are? An MP.

    9. Mike Stallard
      November 29, 2020

      Erm. And what is your current employment please? Have you, by any chance got a condition which demands medical/dental attention?

    10. J Bush
      November 29, 2020

      You want to deny others healthcare because they are not convinced a virus with a 99% survival rate is a serious threat?

      When has the country shut down like this for flu? It never has.

      Will the taxes they pay to the NHS be reimbursed?
      If you think not, why not?
      Why should they pay for a service they are being denied, purely because they do not agree with you?

      I am of the opinion if people have been so frightened by this government, which has released only assessments based on computer modelling, but little real evidence to support its claims, then by all means, please be first in the queue for their vaccine. Then you will know you are (apparently) protected from those people who have not been so easily frightened.

      1. Zorro
        November 29, 2020

        I find these people whop would be prepared to withhold medical treatment from people for their beliefs despicable and beyond the pale.

        Zorro

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          November 29, 2020

          I find the Johnson Government which has denied sick people the treatment they require totally beyond the pale.

    11. Horatio
      November 29, 2020

      The virus exists Mick, but it is not ecven in the top 10 causes of death in UK according to ONS figures. This constrainmrnt of civil liberties and government overreach akong wuth the anticipated 500k lockdown related deaths discussed in yesterdays Telegraph make peaceful pritests like this vital.

      I voted for a Tory govt but have got the mist socialist govt since Wilson. Mad magic moneytree economics, a constraint of civil libertirs that a junta would be proud of and dedication to the Green religion that makes a mockery of science.

      1. Zorro
        November 29, 2020

        Hear, hear

        Zorro

    12. Cheshire Girl
      November 29, 2020

      What Water Cannons? It is my understanding that Theresa May sold them.

      1. Fred H
        November 29, 2020

        no – the current London Mayor delighted in selling them for scrap.

    13. Lester Cynic Beedell
      November 29, 2020

      Wow, you seem to be taking a very simplistic approach to the problem, doesn’t the removal of our ancient rights on the whim of a politician worry you?

      I’m in a vulnerable age group (75) but I’m not terrified out of my wits by a virus with a 98.something recovery rate!

      It’s called freedom of choice, the government’s current policy has resulted in the worst recession in 300 years, totally destroyed our economy, £2 trillion of debt, that’s what you should be focusing on?

      1. Otto
        November 29, 2020

        At 75 you wouldn’t have minded if your father or mother expressing freedom of choice did not close the blackout curtains? Still a bomb on your house is a quicker death I suppose.

        1. Narrow Shoulders
          November 30, 2020

          Not a 98% survival rate Otto.

          Try another analogy

    14. a-tracy
      November 29, 2020

      So anyone that disagrees with you Mick has ‘no brains’. I would like to know in one weeks time how many of these arrested protestors or the police attending ended up in hospital being treated for covid 19. The old lady and the old gent mauled by ten police officers. Are you saying the month long lockdown where people haven’t been able to meet up aren’t working. Surely we have snuffed out the lit matches in the chain that we were told were the reason for them. If not what proof is there that the people in hospital caught it from a chain of meetings that they breached the lockdown to hold or were from their workplace.

    15. Hope
      November 29, 2020

      Mike,

      Idiotic comment.

      No, it is a democracy whether you agree or not with their view. It about letting people express their view. Not the corrupt media, not corrupt govt.

      You might want to look at the disgracefulmcomduct of local,authorities, authorized by govt, to spy on your behaviour to assess whether you will comply. Steve BakerMP has already picked up on it. No warrant or safeguards to spy on you. Worse they are contracting it out!

      It all started with May’s Snooper charter to allow public sector bodies to look at your computer activity without any safeguards and it is,currently expanding.

    16. Nannette
      November 29, 2020

      But you have no problem with the BLM and Antifa demos!!!!!!!!

    17. steve
      November 30, 2020

      Mick

      “….idiots who clearly have no brains if they think the virus doesn’t exist”

      ========

      Mick, it isn’t so much that people deny the virus’ existence, more the fact that they know Johnson and his SAGE bosses are lying about it’s potency and fiddling the numbers for sinister motive.

  8. Leslie Singleton
    November 29, 2020

    Dear Sir John–Since you ask, actually it does not mean that “Lockdown failed for them”. Far from it, the Lockdown could have prevented a worse outcome, a possibly much worse outcome.

    1. Zorro
      November 29, 2020

      Show me the proof, because I can show otherwise.

      Zorro

      1. Martin in Cardiff
        November 29, 2020

        Trump wants Biden to prove that every single vote that he received was genuine.

        That’s how the Right try to operate.

        Fortunately the law does not.

        Rightly, it is for the accuser to prove their case, in this instance that lockdown did not save perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives.

        Off you go.

        1. zorro
          November 30, 2020

          You clearly don’t understand the rules of debate. He who asserts that lockdowns work needs to evidence that they do. It has been shown that falls in infection rates on both occasions happened pre ‘lockdown’…. Oh, and no post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies either.

          zorro

        2. NickC
          November 30, 2020

          Martin, So even you don’t think all of Biden’s “votes” were genuine? Interesting.

          As for proving the first lockdown did not work (more deaths and/or more lost life years from the lockdown) that is easy – just look at the ONS graph and note the too early rollover on 10th April, and the non-existent inflexions around 20th April and mid June.

    2. Bill B.
      November 29, 2020

      If the first lockdown worked, why did we lock down again?
      If the first lockdown didn’t work, why did we lock down again?

      1. Martin in Cardiff
        November 30, 2020

        If weeding your garden worked, then why do you need to do it again?

        Are you really that opaque?

        1. Edward2
          December 1, 2020

          That is a silly comparison that leads us to living under permanent lockdown for every infectious disease that has the ability to kill us.

  9. Lynn Atkinson
    November 29, 2020

    What a way to run a country! There is definitely no pandemic. The Government and scientists are culpable for scaring the living daylights out of a trusting nation. The British never think their PM would lie to do them damage, that’s why they took Heath’s word over Enoch’s regarding the ‘abolition of Britain’ and they are making the same mistake again. This PM’s lies will see daylight sooner than Heath’s, even some of the less-than-talented-MP’s are cottoning on to the idiocy of the decision making process. So it is probably only the terrified who still can’t think straight.
    There is going to be real anger at the wilful damage done when reality is revealed. I wish I could read the official papers revealed in 30 years, what a laugh they will be!
    One good thing is that the disastrous NHS is about to fall from Grace, and that is a Very Good Thing! Worth a lot!
    It seems that this was the price to pay for MPs to learn what the job of a Parliament is too.
    The price is probably worth the gain but must be paid proportionately by the nation and not concentrated on the enterprising and high street traders. Time to cull the State to half its size and half its cost, a saving of £100 billion (or HS2) every year!

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      November 29, 2020

      An argument I had last night at a ‘takeaway’ (I’ve been giving all the support I can.)

      Me “These masks don’t work”

      He “Yes they do.”

      Me “OK. What standard is yours made to ?”

      He “???”

      Me “And if this were a real pandemic you wouldn’t be out here getting a takeaway, I can assure you of that. “

  10. Everhopeful
    November 29, 2020

    Why are we playing this game?
    This is all global policy. Surely every MP knows that?
    Not heard of GAPA?
    They held their last conference in S.A.where COVID was used to ban alcohol.
    From their website. There for anyone to read.

    “Following a decision at the World Health Organisation 146th Executive Board WHO will start a two-year process to “accelerate action to reduce the harmful use of alcohol” . This includes a consultation towards an action plan 2022-2030 for the global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol; development of a technical report on the harmful use of alcohol related to cross-border alcohol marketing; a call for more resources to be made available; and a review of the Global strategy in 2030. Civil society has an important role to play in contributing to consultations and communicating with decision makers about what such an accelerated action will entail. GAPA and its global network will participate actively in the two-year process and beyond. Read “GAPA Principles for Advocacy 2020 – 2022” including the summary of “GAPA’s key recommendations”.

    “communicating with decision makers”. Nice!!!

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      November 29, 2020

      SA is going to enforce universal immunisation too. SM – I would swim home!

  11. Everhopeful
    November 29, 2020

    Following a decision at the World Health Organisation 146th Executive Board WHO will start a two-year process to “accelerate action to reduce the harmful use of alcohol” . This includes a consultation towards an action plan 2022-2030 for the global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol; development of a technical report on the harmful use of alcohol related to cross-border alcohol marketing; a call for more resources to be made available; and a review of the Global strategy in 2030. Civil society has an important role to play in contributing to consultations and communicating with decision makers about what such an accelerated action will entail. GAPA and its global network will participate actively in the two-year process and beyond. Read “GAPA Principles for Advocacy 2020 – 2022” including the summary of “GAPA’s key recommendations”.

    1. Everhopeful
      November 29, 2020

      This is on the GAPA site for anyone to read.
      GAPA held their last conference in S.A.
      And they banned alcohol there “due to COVID”.
      We are under globalist instructions.
      And they must all know it.
      Pubs have been gradually run down now for years in the usual frog boiling cruel way.
      And now instructions from on high have said the process ( under the guise of COVID) must be speeded up..2020-2022.
      Cheese!

      1. Everhopeful
        November 29, 2020

        Sorry..posted twice.
        Website was playing up.

      2. SM
        November 29, 2020

        Yes, we had a ban on the sale of alcohol (and cigarettes) here in S Africa during the first Government reaction to Covid – and guess what happened:

        Those in the know (and with the money) found out exactly who could supply them with standard quality products, and purchased them.

        Those in the know (and WITHOUT much money) brewed their own drink in even greater quantities in their shebeens than usual, and boosted the tobacco smugglers’ profits considerably.

  12. Lifelogic
    November 29, 2020

    There is surely no doubt at all that this lockdown is doing far more harm (economic and to health) than good. Yet the government have not even analysed the damage done by the lockdown, so negligent and incompetent are they.

    I see that Kier Starmer has penned an article for the Economist on lessons learned from the pandemic, it is full of the usual meaningless platitudes and magic money tree lunacy. The real lesson is to have sensible pandemic planning in places in advance, have a sense of proportions, look at the affects of both sides of any action you propose, keep infected patients away from the vulnerable, do not dump they untested into care homes and do not run a dire, state monopoly, health care service. Do not use a test with a high and undisclosed false positive rate without understanding this.

    One that seems to be less than 1/3 as good as the one in Germany.

    1. Zorro
      November 29, 2020

      Exactly, they are gaming the figures. The lateral tests should be used on hospital patients to stop the government inflating the died within 28 days of a covid positive test.

      Zorro

      1. Fred H
        November 29, 2020

        LFT will nearly always return negative – if that is what you want to hear!

        1. zorro
          November 30, 2020

          Not true at all

          zorro

  13. George Brooks.
    November 29, 2020

    Part of the problem is that the size of each area is dictated by the authority reporting the latest CV information and Wiltshire is a very good example. The reporting authority is Wiltshire CC which covers Swindon in the north and Salisbury in the south.

    Swindon is having trouble bringing the virus under control whilst Salisbury and a very large proportion of the county is not and yet the whole area is in tier 2. Kent is another county with a similar problem.

    It would make sense if those in charge of mass testing didn’t wait for these ‘hot-spot’ town councils to ask for help but sent a commando force in to set it up the testing stations immediately.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      November 29, 2020

      George same here in Shropshire

  14. JoolsB
    November 29, 2020

    Who’d have thought we would ever see a Tory Government Government deliberately destroy the livelihoods and lives of so many and bankrupt the country in the process?. Utter madness from a Government which is proving it is unfit for office. There is no logic whatsoever to shutting 99% of England down. Down here in south west Cornwall, we have seen literally millions of extra visitors in our county between lockdowns yet apparently we have the lowest infection rates. Surely if their justification for shutting the whole country down in this way was correct, Cornwall should have one of the highest rates.

    Good luck next week John, it will be interesting to see how you vote and all the other Tory MPs who are against this move. Will they have the guts to vote against or merely take the coward’s way out and abstain. Question: if there are enough Tory MPs to vote against but MPs from Scotland, Wales and NI vote in favour enough to carry Johnsons destruction of England plan through, will you or any of your colleagues stick your heads above the parapet and demand an end to this meddling in England’s affairs by unelected and unaccountable MPs? Thought not.

  15. mickc
    November 29, 2020

    Boris is finished as a political force. The Conservative party has, once again, destroyed any idea that it is competent in government.

    1. Mark B
      November 29, 2020

      +1

    2. Martin in Cardiff
      November 30, 2020

      They were not elected to be competent.

      They were elected to prevent Labour from demonstrating irrrefutably how a country could be greatly improved.

      1. Edward2
        December 1, 2020

        You think that.
        But the voters didn’t agree with you.
        As is usual.

  16. Nigl
    November 29, 2020

    Back in April Sweden was being hailed by the anti lockdown pro freedom people including on this blog for its alternative approach.

    Currently their second wave is far worse than the first and there has been a major falling out between the epidemiologist that promoted this herd immunity approach, together with their public health authority and the government that is now imposing sterner measures.

    Thank you to our government that has done it differently and we are seeing rates falling as opposed to Sweden.

    I couldn’t give a fig if sub parts of lockdown areas are unlucky, I prefer the policy to be stronger than necessary than the risk of a weaker one. It is also obvious that politicians that see a potential vote in a dung hill are prepared to risk people’s lives to seek political political capital. Yes Mr Andy Burnham I include you in that list.

    1. David L
      November 29, 2020

      But the graphs of deaths from Covid19 in Sweden is plummeting, 26th November had 3 deaths…they’re almost at zero. Maybe the government there is under pressure from some source to get them up again and scare the living daylights out of the populace?

    2. M P B
      November 29, 2020

      In Sweden as predicted higher testing levels have generated more cases, but hospitalisation levels and deaths are extremely low.
      The deaths per Million are in line with the Swedish Scientific Advisors estimates at the outset back in late March.
      GDP recovery is the highest in Europe as is their level of export recoveries.
      But despite this the EU media and remainers in this country present incomplete biased comment.

    3. No Longer Anonymous
      November 29, 2020

      Infections or deaths in Sweden ?

      Notice how the onus went from ‘deaths’ to ‘infections’ (aka cases)

      And what are you talking about ? According to the Worldometer Coronavirus deaths are 856/m UK vs 660/m Sweden today.

      And you have not even BOTHERED to assess death and suffering caused by lockdown.

      Going by your laxity in analysis I claim all excess deaths that are not directly caused by CV-19 as lockdown deaths.

      And this Boris life-shortening poverty is going to go on for decades !

  17. Iain gill
    November 29, 2020

    I don’t believe that suicides caused by the government measures are being honestly reported. I think it’s fairly obvious they are being covered up and massively underreported at a national level.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      November 29, 2020

      +1 and the Government is culpable.

      1. Iain Gill
        November 29, 2020

        yep the train companies are tweeting almost every time someone kills themselves by walking into a train, even a casual glance at these tweets shows the national story the government spins is nonsense

  18. Simeon
    November 29, 2020

    “… edging towards more policies that destroy both.” Edging?! Wrong word. ‘Barrelling’, perhaps. Or ‘skipping’. Whilst whistling.

    “Can we have a better vision…” The vaccine, which is just around the corner. Do keep up – or is this a subtle hint that you understand the vaccines are not to be trusted, being the product of desparate governments and profit-seeking big businesses collaborating?

    “Continuing lockdown with a different name.” Just as predicted. How did you not see this coming?

    “No signs so far of compelling answers.” After eight months? Utter incompetence, or they’d rather not say. Either way, you don’t need statistics to know the cost of attempting to contain a virus that is largely harmless is ruinous and unjustifiable. Just say as much and stop looking for statistics to hide behind.

    “… there is considerable judgement involved in putting a place in Tier 2 or Tier 3.” Of course there is. Attempting to contain a virus is a tricky business… If you accept that the virus is a threat to be managed by government, as you do, then you also have to accept this involves careful consideration given the means of containing the virus is controlling hunan behaviour. So you either trust your government (why wouldn’t you?), or you refute the fundamental premise that the virus must be controlled.

    “Many places have just lived through the national lockdown, only to find themselves allocated to a higher tier. Doesn’t that mean national lockdown failed for them?” No! Locking down will reverse the virus in some places, but only slow it down in others. And/or some places will have adhered to restrictions more closely than others. The virus cannot be completely mastered, which is why we need the vaccine. This would be the government’s response, and again, if you accept that the virus is a problem for government, as you do, then you should understand and accept this. Of course, the truth is this; if the virus was as serious as government likes to pretend it is, then a much harsher lockdown would be warranted, the irony being that people wouldn’t need to be told to stay at home as they’d do so voluntarily. The current measures will only have a modest impact on viral spread, meaning that after a month, some places will have higher rates than previously – not as high as they would have been, but high enough to warrant continued restrictions. This was already obvious!

    The matter of Christmas has produced an utterly laughable response from government and their scientists. It alone should be sufficient to expose the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the government. But sadly there are many foolish, gullible and/or credulous people about. And in this sense, they are very well represented in Parliament.

    Finally, the government’s approach has always been one of balance. The issue is their assumption of how serious the virus is. So, either you question this assumption, or, as a backbencher you should trust your betters to make the fine judgements and take the hard decisions.

    You should stop muttering at the back and fall in line having recognised whose uniform you are wearing, or you should have the courage of your convictions – if they truly are convictions – and desert. Either has more credibilty than your current approach. Quite remarkable, given that falling into line has zero credibility.

  19. M P B
    November 29, 2020

    The Government, their advisors and big Pharma are now as one, their mantra “Save the NHS”.
    Figures are produced every day to support the epidemic, but yet after 9 months we know only that the over 60’s are most vulnerable and the average age of Covid victims is 82. I am now regularly asked do I know of anyone who has had it or died from it. Shake of head is the usual response. The virus is virulent and kills but this fact will not be in the public mind when it comes to judging the Government response.

    The economy is now secondary by a long way and unlike the NHS will become impossible to save. The Government plans to borrow approximately £10,000 per tax payer in the current tax year to March 2021. The electronic presses will roll again and again and again, until the lights go out.
    Inflation and severe unemployment will follow, then what “Save the Government, Pay Your Taxes (especially all the new ones )
    And BB and his cronies will ride off to cash in.

    Welcome to Socialist Britain where it will indeed be “Chips with Everything, but we’ve run out of Everything”

  20. Julian Flood
    November 29, 2020

    There were calls to start the second national lockdown at least a fortnight before it actually began. Had that happened then the blunderers who provide advice to HMG would now be claiming success for the flattening of the numbers and would feel justified in every over-reaction they have subjected us to.

    We have dodged a very dangerous bullet

    Covid and the economic damage it has inflicted is a fleabite compared with the AGW hysteria, and it is interesting draw parallels: the most obvious being dodgy modelling by inexpert but wildly overconfident braggarts. Time to get some rigorous science involved in both.

    JF

  21. Chris Dark
    November 29, 2020

    My local inn has set up a shop and takeaway foods, he is damned if he is going to allow any politicised virus to shove him out of business. This is a small village, where infections are zero, yet we are lumped into tier 3 thanks to being a few miles from a large city. If I could have been at the London demo yesterday, I would have been, this whole lockdown is a farce and needs to be brought to an end immediately. Just think that our future will be to run away and hide every time a flu bug hits the country. The current chaos is not about a virus, that much has been clear for a very long time to those with the eyes to see and minds to understand.

  22. Sharon
    November 29, 2020

    It is a well known fact from studies looking at data from lockdowns around the world – they don’t work!

    In the town and the park near to where one of our sons lives, yesterday; both town and park were heaving with people. I passed the comment that it was a shame so many shops had to closed as clearly there was custom!

    Finally, queuing in the ladies toilet, I saw the usual posters with the usual patronising messages. Idly reading, “slow the spread” it struck me, slowing the spread means we’ll get it eventually, just not today. In the delay (to save that uselessly run NHS) we’ve nuked the country!

    Any sane person looking on would wonder why! Especially as, for the most part, the hospital patients are no more in number than the five year average!

    Why are we even discussing lockdown??

  23. Enigma
    November 29, 2020

    The piece the PM has written today shows he is quite simply deluded.

  24. agricola
    November 29, 2020

    The problem for those places of very low if zero Covid incidence were they excluded from two and three tier areas adjacent is that tier two and three people would flock there for a more normal relaxed social life. This would have every chance by infection of dragging them into tier two or three. I can therefore understand the problem the government has. Then of course there are those who refuse to comply with any rules, the genetically rebellious in search of any cause.

    Then there are the regulations themselves. What in gods name is a support bubble, a Mae West or a helium balloon. Three very close female friends wish to meet in a pub for a birthday lunch. They have been supporting each other for decades without the need to blow bubbles. Is the whole of Islington a support bubble or is the House of Lords. It is a ridiculous phrase and the civil servants who write such need to revert to plain english.

  25. Pat
    November 29, 2020

    May I suggest we adopt the policies that were applied in previous pandemics, say 2008 or 1969?

    1. Lifelogic
      November 29, 2020

      Indeed.

    2. Martin in Cardiff
      November 29, 2020

      We would if the virulence and mortality of the pathogen were similar.

      They are about an order worse at least.

  26. Sakara Gold
    November 29, 2020

    There can really be no balance between infection with the Chinese plague virus, hospitalisation & death and making sure that fashion moguls can continue stripping dividends out of their (failed) retail brands, or that those running the hospitality industry can continue to do the same.

    We cannot trust the figures published by the government. Hancock/PHE have ensured that they have been manipulated, spun, had their goalposts moved or just plain lied about. Currently the charts appear to show that cases, positive tests etc are rolling over. Can we believe this? Annecdotaly, the local press across the country are reporting that inspite of the current lockdown, cases continue to rise exponentially in South Yorkshire/East Riding/Hull and Swale/Medway/Kent and in Gwent and in central Scotland. It looks that the government is now loosing control of the spread of the virus in these areas and it begs the question, has the virus mutated yet again into an even more infectious form?

    America is also currently experiencing record numbers of cases and their hospitals are now at capacity. Their charts are showing the now familiar exponential rise and by extrapolating, the BBC World Service this morning (07:00 hrs) suggested that 4000 deaths a DAY will be Trump’s legacy to the American people when he is finally kicked out of the White House in January.

    Clearly, for whatever reason, the virus situation here is close to a critical juncture. Inevitably, as people are out and about doing Xmas shopping they will be more exposed – particularly in supermarkets. Those in the party considering voting against the government next week should consider these facts and ignore the spin while making their final decision. Get it wrong and at the end of January/early February our NHS and the crematoria will be overwhelmed.

    1. Zorro
      November 29, 2020

      I thought that we were supposed to have 4,000 deaths a day by now?

      Zorro

    2. Stred
      December 1, 2020

      It looks like Trump was right and the increased number of cases and deaths are due to increased PCR testing giving a large proportion of false positives and when tested in hospital the deaths that peak in the winter are being recorded as with Covid, concealing those unfortunate patients who had insufficient treatment for other conditions.

  27. oldtimer
    November 29, 2020

    Johnson’s promise of a sunset clause for the lockdown was a con. It is being replaced by the bodged tier system that officials cannot, or will not, justify. I read he has now written to MPs promising a sunset clause for the tiered system. Any MP with his or her head screwed on (a big ask I know) will regard this offer as another con to get their vote for this poorly thought through measure. It deserves to be rejected. People need to make their own judgements, Nightingale hospitals need to be opened and the economy set to work again.

  28. RichardM
    November 29, 2020

    This is all because your government ignored the advice from science and failed to lock down a month earlier.
    It will be turnips with nothing after than chips with everything when you get your no deal and the economy shrinkage caused by brexit dwarfs that caused by Covid.

    1. Mike Wilson
      November 29, 2020

      This is all because your government ignored the advice from science and failed to lock down a month earlier.

      Oh, don’t write such utter, nonsensical bolleaux. When this thing first kicked off, the idea of locking down a whole country bordered on the unthinkable. Who would dare to do it. So, understandably, politicians hesitated before throwing our economy down the pan.

      And, if we had locked down a month earlier SO WHAT?????? The virus doesn’t go away during a lockdown. It just waits until we are all together again.

      Let me guess. You work for the public sector.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        November 29, 2020

        Yes – public sector definitely, SPAD?

      2. RichardM
        November 30, 2020

        Mike Wilson stop spouting utter drivel apart from being very ignorant you are a very poor guesser. The country should gave locked down before Cheltenham and before the onset of the second wave.

    2. Philip P.
      November 29, 2020

      The advice was not from science. The advice was from mathematicians doing computer modelling. Maths is not a science: it does not rely on observed facts from the external world. These people got it wrong again and again, with Mad Cow, SARS 1, Swine flu… Why did the government listen to them this time?

  29. Fred H
    November 29, 2020

    Back to Covid.

    How can the fool and liar Boris suggest all will be well after a jab? The public are allowed to think they will be protected from the moment they walk out from the vaccination!
    In reality very poor effect will last for a month, decent protection MIGHT exist after say 6 weeks. No instant reason to celebrate – don’t allow people to think they can carouse into the night with fellow jabbers!
    Yet more feeding the plebs with the nonsense they want to hear.

    1. glen cullen
      November 29, 2020

      Boris also told us that the cure would happen as a result of his policies

      Clean hands – not a cure
      Wear mask – not a cure
      Rule of six – not a cure
      Lockdown – not a cure
      Mass testing – not a cure
      Tier system – not a cure
      Further lockdown – not a cure
      Further tier system – not a cure
      Vaccine – not a cure

      Every policy has been to stop or protect against virus not to cure it

      I would suggest (like the 1918 flu) that heard immunity is reducing the R number as it slowly sweeps across the country

      1. Martin in Cardiff
        November 30, 2020

        Are you completely ignorant of what is happening in less shambolic parts of the world, such as NZ, Aus, and notably China?

  30. Mike Wilson
    November 29, 2020

    Considerable judgment involved!!!

    NO judgement involved. Boris can’t be bothered to use ‘considerable judgement’. Which is why West Dorset, with almost NO cases, is in Tier 2. Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch have got a few cases. They are an hour’s drive from me and I never go there. Bristol and Exeter are nearer but we are not lumped in with them.

    The data is available, but this government is too inept and lazy to use it.

  31. Bryan Harris
    November 29, 2020

    The government badly needs to replace it’s advisors, surely — They will escape any fallout when they are shown to be deadly wrong, as so many experts in the past have been.
    Boris will take the hit unless he can come up with a plan-b.

    It is looking more and more as though the intention always was to get us fully locked down, then find reasons to justify it.

  32. Nigl
    November 29, 2020

    Off topic and frankly two fingers up to your easy to criticise from behind a screen armchair bloggers accusing Priti Patel being inept.

    A new Anglo/French agreement has been signed doubling our people on their beaches etc. To date her much decried efforts have thwarted 5000 attempts and people smugglers are already switching away from boats to using the lorries.

    Well done Priti.

    1. Simeon
      November 29, 2020

      You are Priti Patel and I hereby claim my £5. Though I had expected you to be even more foul-mouthed online than you are in person. Perhaps you should limit your communication with colleagues to email. Better still, you could work from home…

      Disclaimer: I did suggest that PP would have been a good choice for Tory leader eighteen months ago. Well, nobody’s perfect…

  33. Stred
    November 29, 2020

    Drs Craig and Yeadon with their lawyers have sent all MPs their paper explaining in simple language and graphs why the PCR moonshot testing is resulting in the wrong numbers of ‘cases’ being recorded by a factor of probably 10. Could you please ask all MPs to read it before they vote for continued pointless economic and medical folly, with businesses bankrupted and patients with non-covid diseases going untreated.

    1. DaveK
      November 29, 2020

      My prediction is that they will not read it or even mention it during the debate, which will no doubt concentrate on Tiers i.e. Open, Medium or High Security prison.

      I could give a two minute presentation that school children can understand to MPs, but like those believers in the Climate Change policies they would ignore facts and evidence.

      Look at the ONS death figures, anyone using the term exponential is being misleading. It is completely obvious that lockdowns and masks had no effect.
      How do we know the number of cases – the flawed PCR test?
      How many passes are counting as a case?

      Dr Yeadon in an interview mentioned 3 sensible actions:

      1. Check the Operational False Positive Rate for the PCR test.
      2. Check positive tests with a seperate test type such as Antigen testing.
      3. Actually check the validity of PCR, using culture methodology.

      With respect to 3, there is a research paper on Oxford Academia where this was done and this resulted in a graph showing that Ct = 35 could only create a culture in 35 creates zero cultures. Therefore one question I would hope to hear is “What value of Ct is being used as a positive test threshold”?

      For example if the test is the root of the problem, get the ONS to re-evaluate the figures and the UK is over it and can re-build. However if the agenda is intended for another destination…….

      1. DaveK
        November 30, 2020

        correction: Ct = 35 could only create a culture in 3% of cases, >35 creates zero cultures.

  34. Stred
    November 29, 2020

    Drs Craig and Yeadon with their lawyers have sent all MPs their paper explaining in simple language and graphs why the PCR moonshot testing is resulting in the wrong numbers of ‘cases’ being recorded by a factor of probably 10. Could you please ask all MPs to read it before they vote for continued pointless economic and medical folly, with businesses bankrupted and patients with non-covid diseases going untreated .

    1. Stred
      November 29, 2020

      Correction. They have made their paper available. Perhaps some other MPs could read it and forward it to the rest.

  35. beresford
    November 29, 2020

    It has been reported that Gove wanted London in Tier 3 but was overruled by Boris after the projected number of job losses was pointed out. So job losses in Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle are unimportant? As usual we are ‘all in it together’. Now it is said that the Tiers will wind down in February. Pull the other one, they will have declared another national lockdown before then.

  36. Sir Joe Soap
    November 29, 2020

    1 You have echoed here several times the paucity of data about this disease.
    – The means of transmission are so important to being able to halt the disease, yet we are unclear about this. If there are 15’000 new infections yesterday, do we have a clue as to how or where these came about?
    – Homing in on those who died yesterday, how did they catch it? In schools, in pubs, in shops, in care homes?

    2 Armed with accurate data, there should by now be a scientific reasoning of what has to be shut, where and for how long to be effective. There should be definitions as to which genders, ages, ethnicities and co-morbidities are at risk, giving rise to personal risk profiles which show that certain people can do certain things with negligible risk. People would then know where they stood. MPs would have sufficient knowledge to vote on these matters.

    Instead we just have hollow rhetoric. It is so “arts graduate” emotive b-llsh–….

  37. Mike Wilson
    November 29, 2020

    I will be travelling before the 23rd to spend Christmas with my family. There will be traffic chaos on the 23rd. Yet another example of this government having no idea.

  38. Pete
    November 29, 2020

    There are two possibilities. One is that MP’s actually believe the rubbish they spout- that the virus is dangerous and that the economy will recover in which case they obviously never go out to see what is going on. The second is that they are fully on board with the agenda to ruin the economy and end freedom. I really can’t believe that they are stupid and cosseted enough for the first to be possible so that leaves only one possibility doesn’t it.
    Parliament is not edging towards policies that destroy business, it’s waging war on the people of Britain. It has always been a parasite on the back of the productive but now it is poison to it’s host. You and your colleagues are killing us Mr Redwood. When the relisation comes to you, if it hasn’t already, will you sleep well?

  39. Brian Tomkinson
    November 29, 2020

    Sir John, Please explain how the government, under this authoritarian leadership, will deal with the next virus which will surely come. They have no strategy other than the disastrous one employed this year with its devastating consequences, whilst waiting for a miracle vaccine. Logic dictates that they would do the same again and again. There must be a change of leadership before all is lost.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      November 29, 2020

      Tomorrow! Boris must go, feet first if necessary.

      1. hefner
        November 30, 2020

        Sick!

  40. Mike Wilson
    November 29, 2020

    As well as serving a delicious pint of Dorset Gold, my local pub also serves coffee and cake. The cake is served in generously proportioned slices and constitutes a substantial meal, in my opinion. I hope to be allowed to buy a pint or two and a piece of cake. I may take the cake home to be consumed later, with a cup of our local tea.

  41. Mike Wilson
    November 29, 2020

    Mr. Redwood – do you never take a day off from this blog?

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      November 29, 2020

      No, he’s a General in this war and there are no days off. We are grateful for his tireless efforts.

      1. Martin in Cardiff
        November 30, 2020

        He seems to have got into a spot of bother over his recent tweets, doesn’t he?

  42. Rachel Chandler
    November 29, 2020

    Lockdowns and tier restrictions do little to suppress the course of the virus. Some studies show they increase the risk to the vulnerable by slowing down the path to herd immunity.
    PCR testing is error-prone, causing phantom (asymptomatic) “cases” and misallocated deaths (especially when positive test result is acquired while already dying in hospital). False positives also exacerbate the hospital staffing problems. The new Lateral Flow tests (LFT) are better but they should be used in hospitals and care homes to manage spread. Mass testing of the asymptomatic is a complete waste of time and money.
    Look at the all cause mortality statistics. We are in a normal winter season with Covid replacing flu, pneumonia and other causes of death. The collateral damage and economic ruin will continue until this spineless government gets rid of SAGE and faces up to the terrible health, social and economic trade offs of what they are doing.

    1. DaveK
      November 29, 2020

      +1

  43. DOM
    November 29, 2020

    It’s important to save this nation from these malignant and duplicitous parties that people are punished for voting for two parties that support the construction of an all powerful State and the use of perception, identity, culture and history as a weapon of demonisation and to stoke offence. Thatcher warned of this.

    I have given up caring about the consequences of socialist barbarity that both main parties have now embraced. The State is now in complete control of our lives and it will extract what it wants from us and treat the majority with complete contempt.

    Both main parties and the SNP support this client state oppression because they benefit from it and it protects them from external harm

    Johnson’s Marxist advisers appear intent on destroying and then remodelling the UK along very different lines. The fact that the voter weren’t told about this before the last GE is of no significance to this walking lie of a PM.

    Tory MPs are a disgrace. They care not one jot about the direction their party has taken this country in collusion with Labour, their unions, their Marxist allies and their gangster state.

    And I only see Tory MPs complaining now because it’s coming up to Xmas and their constituencies are being affected. So, it’s bollox to the UK then.

    This is about protecting our people from Marxist hate that’s now at the centre British politics and embraced by party leaders and Tory MPs are simply uninterested

  44. William Long
    November 29, 2020

    I think MPs are right to question the new rules very closely indeed. Certainly the recent lockdown had virtually no effect in the local council area where I live: 65/100,000 came down to 63.5/100,000. But it has been hovering around that level for many months, so what is the point in moving us up to Tier 2? Perhaps the NHS locally is in dire straights, but it has now had nearly a year to prepare and seemingly has done nothing. Are there any patients in the Nightingale hospitals?
    The big mistake from what you say, is allowing so much mixing at Christmas. A much more sensible solution would be to keep the rules going as normal if that allowed less draconian rules in the first place. If the Christmas mixing came from positive results from polling, I suspect what has been done to meet this, will result in a much greater negative.
    I thought the Government was supposed to be ‘Following the science’, not following polls, but it seems that that went out of the window some time ago.

    1. Mike Wilson
      November 29, 2020

      The figures in your area, given the inaccuracy in testing as well, are so low as to be statistically meaningless. 63 people in ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PEOPLE! About a thousand people in one hundred thousand die every year – or one per thousand. As opposed to 0.63 of a person per thousand getting the virus in your area.

      This is all hysterical nonsense.

  45. MikeP
    November 29, 2020

    Sir John, the Government’s strategy changed markedly after two seminal events:
    (1) in an early No. 10 COVID briefing, the BBC’s chief political correspondent and others all but accused the PM of risking our lives by there being any suggestion that he might take the economy into consideration as a factor to manage as well as NHS capacity.
    (2) the PM himself being hospitalised with the virus.
    Event (1), seized upon by other MSM “journalists” and Opposition MPs, caused the Government to run scared of any action that even marginally affected our safety from the virus spreading but without commensurate concern for thousands of deaths from countless other causes, including mental health and suicide.
    Event (2) made the PM overly-cautious, having experienced the awful effects of the disease it’s perhaps understandable, but it has allowed SAGE to rule the roost without a Devil’s Advocate watching over their recommendations. The Cabinet isn’t performing this role, nor is it really balancing contrary medical and scientific opinion, and there are insufficient backbench MPs to counter this failing.
    The latest round of tiers are an affront to our liberty and smack of a Nanny State more deserving of a Labour administration. I didn’t vote Conservative to be told how I can live my life in such fine detail.

  46. Mike Stallard
    November 29, 2020

    The left surprised me. There is an open goal here because a lot of people are getting fed up with being bossed around by the government which has confused “doctor’s orders” with government by decree (like the traditional EU Directives). Why didn’t the left go for the government over the unpopular lock-downs?

    The clue is in the Trades Unions and the Labour Party. They now represent the millions of public sector employees, all on a totally secure job, with a pension, who are doing a lot of pretending and very little actual work. Teachers no longer have full classrooms. NHS dentists have more or less stopped. Our local libraries are close to the public, but still have the lights on. It is like a long paid holiday. So the Labour Party and the Trades Unions are fully in support! (See Rod Liddle in the Spectator.)

    We simply have to end this madness and quickly. Our future depends on it.

    1. Mike Wilson
      November 29, 2020

      Because if the left say ‘don’t lockdown, it is too harmful’, they will be painted forever as the party willing to let people die to save the economy. They have no choice but to follow like lambs to the slaughter.

  47. Narrow Shoulders
    November 29, 2020

    Why are the areas so wide?

    There are areas of low transmission in Tier because of other areas in the district. I don’t believe that local mobility is such that we need such large areas save for the cities which have people still commuting to them.

    Put cities in Tier 2 and then go very local for Tier 3. Then you can afford to support those affected.

    1. Mike Wilson
      November 29, 2020

      Oh come on. Don’t talk sense. That is most unwelcome as far as the government is concerned.

  48. Iain Moore
    November 29, 2020

    I am gobsmacked that , 8 months in , we are still trying to wring information out of the Government. Restricting the information can only be because they don’t want people to be sufficiently informed to question their policy.

    We have come out of the recent ‘lockdown’ in a worse more restrictive situation than when we went in, how bonkers is that ? Boris’s bonkers lockdown makes matters worse for us! And it is a bonkers situation where industries/past times that have little or no effect on the spread of Covid get clobbered.

    It seems that the recent lockdown was unnecessary , the Covid infection rates had peaked, and when you look at the Covid infections by age groups it is more striking, where 60+ year olds infections were falling fast. People were taking personal responsibility, moderating their behavior , and putting themselves at less risk. It didn’t need the Government to step in, all it needed was for people to be informed of the situation.

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      November 29, 2020

      +1

      Circuit Breaker was what Bonkers Boris called it.

      We cannot trust a word the man says.

  49. ukretired123
    November 29, 2020

    “The Chinese Experience” 2020 has shown how you can win without a war.
    Everything in the West is locked down.
    Asymmetric power of the digital revolution meets government power who now control us.
    However there will be serious consequences esp especially if this is abused to divert attention from what folks voted for: Freedom!

  50. Horatio
    November 29, 2020

    I saw your tweet today about reopening Nightingales (never needed in first wave- there hasnt actually been s secind deaths are low). Have just had a baby ghis week. Hospital empty. People are too scared of a virus thaf diesnt serioyslh impact 99.95% of people. Stop the project fear. Gwt the country open. Study by govt abd jnivers4of bristol discussed by E Mcvey shows 300-500k excess deaths likely due to unnecessary lockdowns. Get a grip

    1. Mike Wilson
      November 29, 2020

      Indeed. My wife has had occasion to visit Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester a few times in recent months. It is like ghost town. On the other hand, parking is easy.

  51. bigneil(newercomp)
    November 29, 2020

    “Chips with everything”? – – even in the arm with the “vaccine” jab as well?

    And what about the person who received a letter telling them that their test result for covid was negative – -but hadn’t even had one.

    As for PP’s “doubling up of patrols” on French beaches – – just another pile of cash for the French – the illegals will still come, hands out – laughing as they see their slaves working and paying taxes, so our govt can put them where they are nice and warm, looked after, NHS etc – – all the stuff that WE should be getting for our taxes. But WE are only here to be taxed aren’t we? The govt’s hatred for it’s own people is plain to see.

    1. glen cullen
      November 29, 2020

      ”doubling up patrols”
      __________________________

      Isn’t that just more taxi’s

  52. Everhopeful
    November 29, 2020

    We thought that we received laws from the UK Parliament.
    And then we thought that the laws came from Brussels.
    So we participated in the pantomime of leaving the EU.
    Only to find that actually we have been ruled for decades by supranational bodies.
    And there is no escape!

    The agendas our govt has signed up to…like the alcohol agenda WHA63 13…and the migration compact etc etc. are what rule us now.
    Johnson even repeats their mantras…BUILD BACK BETTER!

  53. turboterrier
    November 29, 2020

    Sir John

    Your last two paragraphs seem to confirm that the people orchestrating this control of the situation are confirming what’ most of us believe that right hand does not know what the left is doing.

  54. fedupsoutherner
    November 29, 2020

    Lockdowns don’t seem to be working and many rural areas with low infection rates have been thrown in with the large towns in the same county it seems.. We have high infection rates in Telford probably because many commute to Birminham and the surrounding areas for work and high rates in Bridgenorth but around the north of our county and even on the border with Wales we have low rates but we have all been put into Tier 2 from Tier 1.. My son has found the same in Poole in Dorset. I planned to visit him after lockdown was finished on the 2nd but now find that I cannot go into his house to see him but I could meet him outside and freeze to death or get wet or go to a pub and ask for a table a meter away from him. Same with my daughter who has just moved into her new house. I can have a workman into my house but can’t have my children to visit me. These are ridiculous measures. Is it any wonder people are not abiding by the law? We must decide for ourselves what the risks are and behave accordingly. I have been walking my dog, seeing my close neighbour, eating out and shopping as normal when shops have been open.. I can’t face a future of isolation. I will be writing to my MP as Peter Hitchins suggests. From what I hear from friends most are furious.

  55. Alan Jutson
    November 29, 2020

    The whole problem John is that this a virus which many have, but are unaware of it at the time, because for the majority of people they get no symptoms. for the rest it takes up to 14 days for the virus to mutate into an illness.

    For many months no one had a clue as to how widespread this virus had become, or who had it.
    Given it can take up to 14 days to mutate to an illness the Government get no real significant results to its actions for about a month.
    Unfortunately it has taken a long time for government, scientists, and medical professionals to realise this fact.

    Now we have the capability of mass testing, it is absolutely vital that such is carried out in a properly planned manner to try and find the areas of very high infection and legislate accordingly.
    Let us hope that the vaccine comes on line soon to help put an end to this nightmare.

    Are the university students going to be tested before they go home at Christmas ?
    A huge, huge error if they aren’t.

  56. a-tracy
    November 29, 2020

    I just can’t defend your government any more John.

    I know more people that are losing businesses and unable to get any financial support than I know people sick with covid, let alone in hospital with covid.

    Just how the hell are Manchester after all these lockdowns and extended weeks of advised lockdowns still in tier 3, HOW? Who are the people with it right now? What jobs were they doing for the last six weeks because they wouldn’t have been meeting up with people otherwise. Just show us to shut us up. Show us the investigation, the spread identified by track and trace you don’t need to use names – just the worst cases. Because you know what I don’t believe your government at all.

    1. a-tracy
      November 30, 2020

      Guido Fawkes is reporting today The React Study. “People of Asian ethnicity had increased odds of testing positive compared with white people; People living in the most deprived neighbourhoods had higher odds of testing positive than those living in less deprived neighbourhoods; and There is an increase in prevalence among people living in the largest households.”

      What % of people in the NW are from these three categories? When React drilled into these stats, did these families all have children in the same school? Has that school been looked at in detail to see if they’re not safeguarding sufficiently? Did they have someone in the household coincidentally in the same college? I went to the Trafford Centre twice after the first lockdown eased and stopped going because of the people who were walking around inside the centre without masks, refusing to follow the simple one-way system markers, stood in big groups outside shops or taking over all the benches in large groups. If you want to see why covid is spreading then I suggest Manchester MPs visit the TC next weekend a couple of hours after lunchtime into the late evening.

  57. Andy
    November 29, 2020

    There is an excellent headline in the Sunday Times online today which sums up Tory pensions Brexit.

    No More Year In Provence – It’s 90 days max

    Because they never told you that when they ended free movement, they ended your free movement too. Despite the majority of us not voting for them.

    My dilemma is this. I own a property in France. I can’t now enjoy it as I wish because people elected by the minority took away my right to do so. Should I sue my leave voting local MP? I think I should.

    1. czerwonadupa
      November 29, 2020

      You don’t already have French citizenship? How un-foresightful of you.

    2. hefner
      November 29, 2020

      90 days in any period of six months (there was a good article in TheConnexion on 23 November ’20 about it).
      That’s still a bit more than 25 weeks/year or two weeks a month. Isn’t that enough for you to go there regularly, check the mail, pay the local invoices, possibly organise some work with local contractors, …
      And think about how many miles you will accumulate with your favorite airline and car rental company when going there. You are likely to become a Gold or possibly even a Platinum card holder with those companies.

    3. Sea_Warrior
      November 29, 2020

      When I voted Leave I didn’t give a second thought for the impact on those lucky enough to own a chateau in France. I thought more of the millions on this over-crowded isle who can’t even afford even a garret.

      1. Martin in Cardiff
        November 29, 2020

        And how will wrecking their economy help them one iota?

    4. Mike Wilson
      November 29, 2020

      Well, this will please you Andy. I voted to Leave and have an Irish passport. It won’t affect me, matey.

    5. Mike Wilson
      November 29, 2020

      More hysterical nonsense. 90 days in any 6 months. So, 3 months in 6 months is allowed. If you like it so much there, move there and apply for residency.

    6. Martin in Cardiff
      November 29, 2020

      Brexit drives a coach and horses through the fundamental, centuries-old, English common law – of which brexiters are so proud – doctrine, that only the beneficiary of a right can waive it, unless it had been agreed expressly by him at the time of its creation otherwise with its grantor.

      The grantor of our rights in the European Union was not the British government nor the electorate.

      It’s as preposterous as it is disgraceful on that basis.

      1. Edward2
        November 29, 2020

        You start by quoting Common law and then end by saying the things you want to retain were done by the EU.
        A most odd argument.

      2. Lynn Atkinson
        November 29, 2020

        You have rights from the EU as an EU citizen. We did not want to be EU citizens, we never gave our assent to have our British citizenship removed. But Andy can move to France quite easily and remain permanently, I’ll pay for the one way ticket.

    7. Richard1
      November 29, 2020

      But did you go on actually to read the article? It said that by a tweak of the regs countries could easily just make it 180 days in any 365. Which is really no problem for the vast majority. If you want to move to your house in France or even live there year round you will have no problem. Apply for residency if you want. I’m sure they’ll give it to you. Nigel Lawson lives in France year round – an excellent man with sound views on many subjects.

    8. Fred H
      November 29, 2020

      I’d have a thought a caring person like you would offer accomodation to some of the poor asylum seekers near Calais?

    9. ukretired123
      November 29, 2020

      Moaning about your property in France?
      Too bad.

    10. dixie
      November 29, 2020

      Last time you claimed you owned two chateaux – did you forget one, make the whole thing up then, lying now …

  58. oldwulf
    November 29, 2020

    Tier 3 is about to decimate what is left of the hospitality sector. Conservative MPs whose constituencies will be in tier 3 therefore have a difficult decision. Do they toe the party line and support the Government in the forthcoming Parliamentary vote, or do they support their constituents.

    Those MPs might argue that, in the medium to long term, by supporting the Government they would also be supporting their hospitality sector constituents. This may or may not be true for many of those constituents who are still in work when all this is over. The MPs may make their decision based on the number of voters they will potentially alienate. This is a difficult decision and I wish them luck with it.

    Lockdowns have not worked, probably because not enough people exercise common sense and do not keep to the “rules”. Even in April/May, when the number of covid related deaths was at its highest and the BBC seemed to show us many more hospital scenes , there were people who carried on regardless. We now have fewer covid related deaths and the BBC maybe shows us more graphs and numbers and fewer scenes. As a result, there seems to be more people who disregard the rules.

    My own view is that there should be more facts and less rhetoric, the BBC should be more graphic in its depiction of current covid cases, the NHS management has had enough time to get its act together and should better support its frontline staff and make use of the Nightingale hospitals and us plebs should be permitted to make our own decisions and accept the consequences.

    Labour MPs may claim that they do not have access to enough facts (I avoided using the word “statistics”) and they are more likely to toe their party line. After all, they are not in power and may feel they have little to lose. They may not care too much for the private sector anyway. Their support of the Government will come at a price.

  59. Christine
    November 29, 2020

    If Conservative MPs don’t reel in Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock soon then they will ruin both your party and the country. The opposition voting with the Government tells you how bad all these policies are.

    As a data analyst, I can clearly see how the figures are being manipulated to give the answers the media and Government want.

    – Asymptomatic positive tests being counted as cases
    – Flu deaths counted as Covid.
    – The suspension of the counting of suicide and cancer deaths. Which could have risen alarmingly but we will never know.
    – Suppression by the media of any counter-arguments being put forward by other eminent doctors and scientists.
    – The clampdown on peaceful lockdown protests but the permitting of climate and BLM protests.
    – The building and mothballing of the Nightingale hospitals.

    The whole thing stinks and anyone with any sense should be able to see it. I truly believe this is part of the Great Reset and Build Back Better brigade. We now see Boris has assured the UN of this countries commitment to the Global Compact on Migration. Boris has no mandate to inflict these policies on us. He has become Theresa May on steroids.
    You need to remove Boris before he causes permanent harm to our country. We can’t do this for another four years. It is down to Tory MPs.

    1. Old Salt
      November 29, 2020

      + 1

  60. Fred H
    November 29, 2020

    Policy should have been – – each family bubble is 3. However the bubble of 3 is limited to a choice – Christmas Eve + Day, or the Day + Boxing day.
    Mostly no trains will mean lower risks on public transport.

    Schools should shut early, at least a week and Unis. My grandsons in London break up on 22nd which is madness, no time to deal with any symptoms brought home. Others in Oxfordshire on 18th just a little better but not much.

    I hope for rebellion on Tuesday the victorious party has become a joke.

  61. No Longer Anonymous
    November 29, 2020

    Do you remember ? Last months lock down was meant to be “the Circuit Breaker”

    These endless slogans are becoming tiresome.

    Now the new Tiered system with “Take charge of your destiny to get out of it.”

    So it’s our fault if we don’t now ? My region has one of the lowest infection rates but now our pubs are being killed as our reward.

    And why aren’t masks of a specific kite marked standard ? Well. This isn’t about stopping the spread of a disease. Boris just wants you to shut up and cover your face and obey. Even if it’s with an utterly useless tubular Buff – perfectly legal to wear one, which says all you need to know about the ‘science’ behind this.

    When did it go from “Flatten the Curve” to “Zero infections at ALL Costs” ? And even if this isn’t a windbag slogan yet it should be, because this has become the fantasy policy and if they’re serious about it we should all be in n95 masks with a proper seal around the face and all beards shaved off.

    How many “one last push” until the dangerously distanced horizon of a vaccine gets closer ? I reckon 2022 by the time this is done – 70 million to inject at least twice.

    And has anyone mentioned the biological terrorism that MUST have been going on throughout this crisis ? The lickers, the deliberate spreaders ?

    1. Martin in Cardiff
      November 29, 2020

      What a load of shrieking hysteria.

      We have a serious problem.

      We do what we can to fight it.

      It’s a pity that Tory doctrine has hobbled our capacity to do that over the years, but something is better than nothing.

      1. dixie
        November 30, 2020

        @ mic – Usual gaslighting and bullshit.

        Where is your proof that Tory doctrine is the issue when it was Public Health England’s responsibility to ensure our preparedness.

        And how would that apply anyway to the devolved regions which have your blessed local authority in this area but who also have been caught short.

        Perhaps the issue has been a combination of public servant ineptitude and/or complacency, who can know.

      2. No Longer Anonymous
        November 30, 2020

        The hysteria has been the West’s reaction to this disease.

        The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) by their own measures should have categorised Sars-Cov- as Level 2 (out of a maximum of Level 5 in severity) Necessitating only a few weeks of lockdown and working from home.

        There are terrible secondary consequences to lockdowns including incalculable numbers of dead if taken on a global scale. (Mass unemployment in countries without welfare systems.)

  62. Wokinghamite
    November 29, 2020

    As I see it, this perceived pattern of one lockdown followed by another after a short interval probably won’t go on for much longer because people will be getting vaccinated soon. Until then, the government should be supported in what it is trying to do during this difficult time. On a parochial note, it would be good to see Wokingham climb out of Tier 2.

    1. Simeon
      November 29, 2020

      This is a more credible position than Sir John’s- even if it betrays a frightening faith in the good intentions of government. I suspect the government will be quite happy to relax restrictions as the vaccine is rolled out, which would indicate that administering the ‘vaccine’ was the aim all along. A friendly word of advice; think very carefully about accepting a vaccine that has been produced at unprecedented speed, which serves the interests of government and bug business, and which cannot be proven to be safe without the passing of time. Are you really going to take a vaccine just because the government scientists and pharmaceutical companies say it’s safe when, at best, they are guessing?

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        November 29, 2020

        They have exempted themselves, the manufacturers and the NHS from any harmful effects. Do you think they think it safe?

        1. dixie
          November 30, 2020

          We will see a re-run of the MMR witch hunt for those who refuse.

    2. David L
      November 29, 2020

      As another inhabitant of Wokingham can I echo Simeon’s words? What we know about the vaccines is from Pharmaceutical press releases and newspaper headlines. When the claims have been considered and tested by independent and un-biased (i.e. not in the pay of big Pharma) scientists then we can all take a more measured approach to what may be life-savers or maybe not all that they seem.
      I would also point out that lockdown has it’s own death toll. The impacts of this policy will take years to be fully revealed and there are many qualified medics who can show with data, not emotions, that huge damage is being done by this approach. Please don’t take everything we’re told at face value, ask for evidence.

    3. Lynn Atkinson
      November 29, 2020

      Into tier 3? I’m sure that can be arranged.

  63. Lindsay McDougall
    November 29, 2020

    Concentrate on what matters. By the end of March all of the over 50s should have been vaccinated. At that point we can and should stop all furloughing and remove all restrictions. And Chancellor should produce a budget through to the end of 2022.

    The OBR is forecasting State debt in excess of 100% of GDP for 5 years. Not acceptable. And the Chancellor is talking of raising taxes. Not acceptable. If any tier of Government needs more money it is local government, which is financed by Council tax. All other economic problems should be dealt with by bearing down on the Government’s bloated expenditure and free trade.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      November 29, 2020

      The fact is that by the end of March a substantial proportion of businesses will have ceased trading. There will be few on furlough and plenty of unemployed. The will be hardly any tax take. The Chancellor can levy taxes as he likes, you can’t get blood out of a stone.
      People with assets and no income can hardly pay more council taxes. If you push it there will be mass repossessions, to the point of banks collapsing.
      Mad Boris must be removed forthwith.

  64. Ian Wilson
    November 29, 2020

    The infections statistics are now coming down. Ministers claim this is because their lockdown policies are working, while highly respected medical specialists believe it’s because more people now have immunity, perhaps 50 out of 66 million. Which is correct? If it’s the latter then we are continuing to wreck the economy for nothing. Could a couple of independent statisticians with no vested interests be commissioned to answer the question?

    1. cornishstu
      November 29, 2020

      The numbers show that when we were first locked down the peak had already been passed and numbers of infected were dropping similarly with this second lock down the decline had already started and there are no obvious markers in the numbers to show either lock down made any statistical difference, in addition the NHS has not been under duress, so yes they are wrecking the economy and peoples lives for nothing and the population is probably not far off herd immunity despite what sage say. I see Vallance hasn’t picked up the gauntlet from Yeadon on this to date. The mass testing of mild or symptomless people is IMHO a complete waste of time and money and has just hyped the numbers to facilitate the governments actions.

    2. cornishstu
      November 29, 2020

      I see that Boris is threatening a third lock down if the conservative rebels do not back him, if this is true, he obviously does not have the solid evidence to support his actions. He is obviously pissed with power, along with his fellow travellers, time someone had a word in his shell like.

      1. cornishstu
        November 29, 2020

        Not sure why this has ended up here should have been a new comment

  65. Original Chris
    November 29, 2020

    Johnson must be forced to produce credible cost benefit analyses of his policies, immediately, before he can even put forward these new rules for consideration by MPs. That is your duty as MPs to do, Sir John. Until you have obtained the vital information you all should vote against en masse.

    1. Zorro
      November 29, 2020

      Exactly, he must provide evidence to justify his actions, and not fear porn.

      Zorro

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        November 29, 2020

        +1

  66. Newmania
    November 29, 2020

    Many pose the issue as one of seeking a balance between measures which control the virus and measures which allow jobs and activity to flourish

    Rubbish. Only Brexit Propagandists frame the problem that way . The majority see action to save lives as akin to a war in which economic judgments can only be made within the requirements of a National effort to stop people being killed. Most people feel that those who recommend 500,000 dead British citizens ( aka herd immunity) as a Policy have forfeited any right to be classed as human beings still less sage voices .
    There are not other choices .
    Just ignore him .Help is coming – as we now know Brexit will cause more economic damage the Covid which gives you some idea why some of us have been so enraged to see this harm hurt forced on our friends and neighbours

    1. Bill B.
      November 29, 2020

      I trust the pay and conditions in 77th brigade are to your satisfaction, Newmania. You wouldn’t be writing your misleading propaganda against a health/economy balance, and in favour of a ‘war’, just free and for nothing, surely.

    2. Richard1
      November 29, 2020

      Unfortunately the tone and much of the content of your posts are indicative of advancing Brexit derangement syndrome.

    3. No Longer Anonymous
      November 29, 2020

      Only Newmania’s way of thinking is the right way.

      Only Newmania can stand on the moral high ground.

      Make him our leader. His chariot awaits.

      Hail Newmania !

  67. glen cullen
    November 29, 2020

    The PM has gone down the rabbit hole and is surrounded by mad hatters

    The only way out for him and his ‘yes’ men is to tell bigger lies

    The PM and the cabinet need a reset

  68. Bryan Harris
    November 29, 2020

    This will be another strike against Boris if it goes through:

    Car tax changes: New pay per mile updates could see drivers pay over £5,000 per year More green thinking to force us off the road!

    Someone please tell Boris that we will not stand for these insane measures just to alleviate his personal guilt about alleged climate change – What the hell is he going to come up with next?

    1. Everhopeful
      November 29, 2020

      Have a look at the WHO, WEF and UN websites and you may get some clues!
      Boris obeys and gets rid of alcohol and cars, theatre, cinema, money, books, shops…….probably chocolate.

    2. glen cullen
      November 29, 2020

      that wasn’t in the manifesto

  69. agricola
    November 29, 2020

    Can I make a suggestion and request that you pass it on to Nadhim Zahawi MP the newly appointed minister organising the Covid 19 Vaccination. It reputedly comes in two doses a month apart. When the 2nd. vaccination is administered can we have our passports stamped to the effect that we have had the course of vaccinations. This could free up all those who wish to travel outside the UK. It might be a useful step in getting the whole international travel business back to some state of normality.

    1. Simeon
      November 29, 2020

      Are you serious? Do you not think they’re already planning for this? Still, nice to know who is trusting a desparate government collaborating with profit-seeking pharmaceuticals to act in the interests of the general public…

      1. Sharon
        November 29, 2020

        I believe these health passports are in the pipeline!

        The worry is that they’re not just used for air travel.

        I’ve always been an advocate of people travelling to the UK (or anywhere) to have a vaccination certificate for things such as TB – but now- I don’t trust the motives any more. It all sounds innocent until the reality hits. As with the vaccines- talk of it being mandatory rings alarm bells.

        I really don’t trust this government or their narrow minded advisers.

        ANYTHING that is voiced as a possible- has happened! (Ie national lockdown 2)

        1. Simeon
          November 29, 2020

          The TB, or BCG, vaccine was produced because stopping people getting ill and dying is a good thing. It was developed over time, without government interference, and without it being pushed as the only solution to an economic problem. And, after decades of use, no significant side effects are exhibited. I have children, and I will have no problem with them having this jab. But I will absolutely not have any of these novel vaccines. The reasons why are obvious.

          1. a-tracy
            November 30, 2020

            The government stopped providing the TB or BCG jab in 2005.

    2. Bryan Harris
      November 29, 2020

      @agricola

      A health passport is exactly what the zealots want – to enforce the lockdown and other arbitrary nonsense on everyone…. Without such a passport with appropriate entries our freedoms would be curtailed like never before….. And you can bet that there will be plenty of trusting souls that will get violent against those without the vaccination.

      Just to be clear, you will require 3 vaccinations, that according to reliable sources mean that you will not be protected against catching the virus, but any symptoms will be less deadly… so you will not be immune from either being a carrier or a victim.
      Additionally the authorities will not be lifting restrictions, so even if 100% of people take this jab the mask and everything else will remain in place.

      Makes it all kind of worthless doesn’t it?

    3. Lynn Atkinson
      November 29, 2020

      You will be too sick to travel.

  70. a-tracy
    November 29, 2020

    One more pathetic reminder that having a vaccine certificate to depart the UK whilst not insisting that those who arrive in the UK have the same vaccine free certificate is how we ended up with all the dead back in April. Did our accepting all the cruise ship covid victims without adequate ppe for the nursing staff in the Wirral spread the virus when they went home from the wards?

    If I see all the tv people, MPs and others disappearing off on winter sun or ski vacations meeting up with all their families that will be the final straw!

  71. glen cullen
    November 29, 2020

    I would suggest the only reason that the ‘’Liverpool Mass Testing’’ was successful in reducing infection rate so dramatically was due to indirect Heard Immunity

    Treat it like flu – get business and the economy back to work

    1. Everhopeful
      November 29, 2020

      I think the “cases” fell when they started to use Lateral Flow testing.

      1. Zorro
        November 29, 2020

        They did, and they did not publicise the results.

        Zorro

      2. glen cullen
        November 29, 2020

        Lateral Flow Testing isn’t a cure ?

        1. Everhopeful
          November 29, 2020

          Of course not!
          It is just more ACCURATE!!
          Fewer false positives!!!
          They kept that news VERY quiet.

        2. DaveK
          November 29, 2020

          No, it isn’t as flawed as PCR though.

      3. Fred H
        November 29, 2020

        another pathetic system advertised as effective!

        Enormous numbers of negatives, hiding any number of positives.
        Avoid – more dangerous than merely isolating with symptoms – – LFT tells the infected they are fine!

  72. BJC
    November 29, 2020

    I’ve been toying with the idea that these often outlandish, nonsensical and constantly rebranded lockdowns have more to do with prodding Tory backbenchers to life with a poker of deception, in order to galvanize them into some sort of action. Obviously, Labour support State intervention in all its forms no matter the consequences, so they won’t be doing anything of note to lever the government out of its boggy mess. They, therefore, need many vociferous and disgruntled backbenchers alert and ready to challenge, so they can be empowered to “bow to the will of Parliament”, enabling a way to break their self-inflicted cycle of destruction. The well-reasoned arguments are clearly there to do it, it just needs enough MPs with a backbone to stand up and be counted…….not holding my breath.

  73. glen cullen
    November 29, 2020

    Did Rt Hon Dominic Rabb MP this morning on Sky Sophy Ridge show really say when asked about the new Brexit deadline – ‘’there isn’t really a deadline, goal posts move’’

    That comment from our Foreign Secretary says it all

  74. Keith from Leeds
    November 29, 2020

    The new tier system is simply a disgrace. It is a national lockdown by another name & the PM is mad if he thinks he can con us by saying there will be a chance to change tiers before Christmas & another bote at the end of January. By then we will have had another two months of lockdown. The damage being done to people’s lives, by a conservative government, is unbelievable. The lockdown is killing people with other health problems, killing small business people who are most likely to vote conservative, destroying the lives of people who will end up unemployed & unable to pay their mortgages or rent or other bills. Any MP who votes for this new lockdown is callous, unfeeling & happy to kill people.

  75. Caterpillar
    November 29, 2020

    I find the final paragraph correct and admirable, but perhaps over optimistically misplaced.

    Since at least March the Govt and its advisers have not carried out an reasonable cost-benefit analysis, have ignored (and misrepresented data), have ignored knowledge on the behaviour of existing coronaviruses, and have ignored measurements indicating the (in)effectiveness of lockdowns, have ignored measurements on underlying predictors of mortality, have ignored alternative/complementary strategies. Either the Govt has a very different objective to quality adjusted life years of the population, or the Govt and its advisers are not rational in their actions. Given this it is a pretence to believe the Govt can be reasoned with. There is no route for improving the country whilst this Govt remains in place, any tweaks achieved are merely window dressing. The Govt needs to fall, it is destructive.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      November 29, 2020

      +1

  76. ChrisS
    November 29, 2020

    We are being told we have to incur even further, huge and certain damage to our economy, in particular, hospitality, in order to offset the mere possibility that in some areas the NHS MIGHT be overwhelmed in January.

    The NHS has had billions extra thrown at it and more that nine months to prepare for anything that happens in January.

    If it can’t cope after all that, we need to rethink how our healthcare system is funded and managed.

    1. Bryan Harris
      November 29, 2020

      +++

  77. Philip P.
    November 29, 2020

    To get the ‘better vision’ you call for, Sir John, we only have to open our eyes to what is going on.

    The ‘pandemic’ is over, according to Dr Mike Yeadon, and many other authorities who are professionally qualified, but not on the govt’s payroll.

    There is an epidemic of dodgy PCR test results used to justify the worst restrictions on our lives any of us have ever experienced. Non-Covid deaths in the home are going up. The entertainment industry, sports, the arts, and social life in general are being devastated. The chancellor is delaying the budget needed to start paying for the lockdown, that will hit everyone in the pocket. And the chumocracy is profiting from it all, with their sweetheart government contracts.

    Ministers tinkering with tiers is no solution. You and other senior Conservatives must act now, before Johnson drags you all down.

  78. Caterpillar
    November 29, 2020

    On torture, the human rights lawyer Kenneth Roth wrote,

    “It dehumanizes people by treating them as pawns to be manipulated through their pain”.

    I suggest the ‘torture lens’ is a useful perspective to evaluate the ethical approach that PM Johnson’s Govt has followed this year. Even if a simplified utilitarian argument could be made*, it does not necessarily follow that the action is ethical.

    (*It cannot be made for the Govt’s approach to covid. The failure of a utility argument is recognised by the attempts of adding imagined benefits to the approach by ‘building back better’. Unfortunately unusable cycle paths full of leaves do not compensate for the damage done.)

  79. ian
    November 29, 2020

    Carry on up the Khyber.

  80. Lorna Ainsworth
    November 29, 2020

    It is precisely because Boris has attempted to,appease backbenchers by diluting measures that we are where we are
    Added to,that the constant undermining by the same backbenchers of any attempt to,reduce contact .
    This has been music to the ears of the deniers which is obvious from the vast number who flock to comment at any posting by Lockdown ,Covid19 and vaccination deniers
    Backbenchers have completely undermined any Govt initiative.
    Interestingly the public understand only too well and are calling for even tighter restrictions to lower the death rate which is still at a worryingly high rate Also they understand that more Covid admissions will prevent the NHS from dealing with a backlog of urgent non Covid cases from spring
    Unless you have Sir John a well thought out strategy that will halt the spread of the virus which is now highest among 40 year old and prevent more deaths then I fervently hope you will support the Govt
    Containing the spread of this virus needs no analysis .It is common sense .The only irreversible outcome is death !

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      November 29, 2020

      What are ten ‘death rates’ what is the ‘increase’? The NHS closed its doors to all illnesses apart from ‘Covid’ from last spring.
      Are you an NHS worker? In my experience they know least, but what they do know is that mopping their brow delivers tens of billions.

      1. hefner
        November 30, 2020

        And do you sweat and have to mop your brow from exhaustion, writing day after day your tens of far-right leaning posts from what I guess is the comfort of your home?

    2. dixie
      November 30, 2020

      What is the government strategy?

      Why build the Nightingale hospitals and not use them, nor be prepared to use them.

      Why conflate seasonal flu deaths with covid deaths.

      What are the exit criteria.

      What happens the next time someone scares the journo/lawyer incumbent of no. 10 with some concocted threat.

      PS, everybody dies.

  81. Nannette
    November 29, 2020

    It seems to me that this government are DELIBERATELY overseeing the economic and industrial destruction of the UK!

    There hasn’t been a real Conservative government since Maggie, but this one has veered so far left, they’ve forced us into a totalitarian, tyrannical dictatorial… removing our civil liberties, free speech, and forcing half the country into unemployment. Thriving small businesses are virtually bankrupt, paving the way for huge corporations to take over, most of which MPs and others in Westminster, have generous shares!
    It’s heartbreaking seeing the end to small British businesses, and an end to the high street shops forced to close – by the traitorous “British” government!

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      November 29, 2020

      We will be back. ✌️

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        November 29, 2020

        Not to pay their taxes! We need to strike – pay no taxes legally. Invest in your properties, give tenants rent holidays, I will never pay tax in this country again until we have a conservative government. I will live on savings and £11 k pa (or whatever the tax-free allowance is).

    2. M Davis
      November 29, 2020

      Yes, Nannette, they couldn’t run the proverbial in a brewery! They have been so used to others doing it for them i.e. the EU and look how they behave.

      Our own Politicians have been making a mess of this Country for donkeys years. They take no notice of the people they are supposed to serve and treat it all as their own lucrative club. Why bother to vote except that if we don’t, we get who we deserve. What a shambles!

  82. forthurst
    November 29, 2020

    What is the principle behind “Chips with Everything”? Pubs broadly fall into two categories, those that exist to sell beer and those that sell beer with a substantial meal. They attract two types of patron, one that likes to stand at the bar talking and slurping and the other that likes to sit down with friends eating a meal. The first client type, having drunk his beer in a few minutes is quite likely to decide to sample the beer at another establishment within walking distance; the second is content to sit and enjoy his meal. Pub-crawling and eating a subtantial meal are mutually exclusive activities. My personal preference is for the latter category and I remember with distaste the number of times when in a strange place I have walked into a pub and asked for food and been offered a packet of crisps or at best a cheese or ham roll.

    I do not know the social history of pubs, but I have the impression that they were historically places that served meals and possibly accommodation as well as alcohol; if so then a return to the norm would be desirable.

  83. L Jones
    November 29, 2020

    There seems to be distraction here, about how ”severe” the lockdown should be, who should be in what (ridiculously patronising word) ”tier” and what is ”allowed”, etc.

    It needs to be said – LOUDLY – there should BE no ”lockdowns” whatsoever, and we should stop discussing these diversions and pointless comparisons. We all know that this is not about a fast vanishing and mild virus. Lockdowns MUST end. Now.

    1. Simeon
      November 29, 2020

      Indeed. So has our kind host fallen for this wheeze, or is he intentionally complicit; Sir John?

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        November 29, 2020

        I bet JR votes against the Govt on Thursday.

        1. Simeon
          November 29, 2020

          I’m sure he will. And it won’t make the blindest bit of difference, and nor will it conclusively indicate whether he is the decieved or the deceiver.

          1. dixie
            November 30, 2020

            But ihe will be doing so much more than your UKIP who have precisely zero representation.

            You keep complaining out our political process and about our host in particular but actually do nothing, offer no constructive or viable alternative.

            I speak as someone who donated to UKIP, Leave.EU and The Brexit Party in the past as well as voted for TBP in the last locals.

            This has been a waste of time because UKIP have not been serious about changing things. They have not put in the effort to establish credibility and instead engage in infighting between the prima donnas. There is no viable alternative being offered, no solution.

            So you just sit on the periphery of events and snipe at those who are at least trying and on occasion accomplishing things.

        2. Fred H
          November 30, 2020

          and 100 others if they have a mind of their own and a backbone.

          1. Fred H
            November 30, 2020

            oh dear, stopping my view of the cowardly MPs or is that sheep?
            I think you abandoned the unbiased Blog a while ago and are now in cornered defence mode.
            Your right, of course – – but don’t come here telling us how you set out criticism after this horrendous cabal of control freaks is kicked into the long grass in short time to come.

  84. Henry Neild
    November 29, 2020

    I’m afraid successive governments have been beholden to the health service, the nanny-state, the EU and UN for the past twenty years in their mission to destroy people having a good time in pubs. Most pubs are no longer what can be termed ‘fun’ places any longer. Pubs are now family restaurants. Drinkers and those wanting to socialise ostracised. It is the same in France. Men getting together is an especial no-no. Covid has been a blessing to bureaucratic non-entities wanting life to be a far more boring, restrictive experience than it was.

  85. Roy Grainger
    November 29, 2020

    How about SAGE publish their projections on how cases will develop in Tier 2 and 3 areas over the next month then we can see how good (or otherwise) their models are and whether they under- or over-predict cases & deaths. On that basis Tier decisions can be made based on adjusted models.

    In Wales they did publish such a projection on what their circuit-breaker lockdown was supposed to achieve compared to a base projection with no lockdown – interestingly deaths have been far in excess of even their base projection so the lockdown doesn’t seem to have achieved anything at all in controlling the virus, however it has bankrupted a few businesses. And their reponse to that is to impose another lockdown.

    1. Fred H
      November 29, 2020

      SAGE are now recognised as government ‘ useful idiots’.

      1. glen cullen
        November 30, 2020

        +1

  86. DavidJ
    November 29, 2020

    If government wanted to destroy peoples’ livelihood and impose authoritarian government on them then this shambles is the start. Sadly too many meekly comply without a second thought.

  87. TooleyStu
    November 29, 2020

    SJR and fellow contributors,
    Since now having much more time.. (due to the loss of 90% of my clients since March) I have started to read… a lot. The following list have been digested.

    The Most Dangerous Superstition.. by Larken Rose.
    The Biology of Belief.. by Dr Bruce Lipton.
    The Invisible Rainbow .. by Arthur Firstenberg.
    The Chimp Paradox .. by Dr Steve Peters.

    Once you understand the concepts of the immune system, superstition, EMF and the electric body, FFF (fight, flight, freeze response) and the effect of subliminal programming on society…

    The fact we went from ‘wash your hands’ .. to .. ‘inject this rushed vaccine, or you are not going out again’ .. inside less than a year.. does not surprise me.

    SJR said.. (Many pose the issue as one of seeking a balance between measures which control the virus and measures which allow jobs and activity to flourish.)

    There will NEVER be any logic or balance.
    6 months of PROJECT FEAR has put paid to that.
    As the late great George Carlin stated.. ‘they want people just clever enough to run the machines.. yet just dumb enough the believe the bull without question’

    Best regards, as always,
    Tooley Stu

    1. Simeon
      November 29, 2020

      Of course, it won’t be long before all the machines are running themselves, at which poijt it won’t matter how dumb people are…

      1. Zorro
        November 29, 2020

        Or the people won’t be needed….

        Zorro

    2. glen cullen
      November 29, 2020

      +1

    3. Enigma
      November 29, 2020

      Tooley Stu just received The Invisible Rainbow 👍

    4. Mark B
      November 30, 2020

      Great post. Hope things improve for you.

  88. Martin in Manchester
    November 29, 2020

    All MPs who are vote this week on the arrangements for Lockdown 3, euphemistically named Tiers, should have furnished themselves with the information to make a considered decision at least in part driven by the effects of that decision on their own constituents.
    I would expect all MPs to know the answers to the following questions about the effect of lockdowns on their constituents.
    1. How many excess suicides and incidents of self-harm have there been in 2020 compared with 2019? How many more are projected to occur in Lockdown 3?
    2. What is the increase in unmet demand for Mental Health interventions in 2020 compared with 2019? How is this projected to echange in Lockdown 3?
    3. How many HSC 205 referrals for diagnosis of cancer have been made in 2020 compared with 2019? What is the projected impact on Qalys lost because of this? and how will continuation of Lockdown impact this?
    4. How many businesses have failed in 2020 compared with 2019? What impact projections are there for further failures caused by Lockdown 3?
    5. What is the increase in unemployment in their constituents? What is the projected further increase in unemployment caused by Lockdown 3?

    I would also expect that they have furnished themselves with information on:

    1. What is the evidence, not modelling or guesswork, that Lockdown 3 is needed to prevent excess deaths caused by (not with) Covid 19?
    2. What preparations have the hospitals serving their constituents made to increase capacity to manage the winter pressures in 2020-1?
    3. Has there been enhanced and/or increased staff training in Hospitals?

    If MPs do not know the answers to these questions, or worse still haven’t even bothered asking these questions then shame on them. Remember “They work for you”

  89. Lester Cynic Beedell
    November 29, 2020

    Yet more comments awaiting moderation while comments left after mine have appeared, I wonder why 🤔🤔🤔
    Total waste of time!

    1. Old person
      November 29, 2020

      I have also noticed comments being delayed. This is mainly by going off topic on the main article and/or provoking readers to make too many replies to your post. Parodies and (un)fair criticism of named individuals are never well received. Even ‘Andy’ has calmed down.
      But, most posts are published even after several days when no one will ever read them (apart from the archivists at GCHQ). Is this passive censorship?

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        November 29, 2020

        For goodness sake, Andy needs no encouragement with his anti old person rhetoric.

    2. SM
      November 29, 2020

      Well, perhaps because Sir John wants to think about your contributions, or you are just posting too many comments.

      Funny how it generally seems to be the male posters who think their deathless prose deserves prompt attention!

    3. Paul Cuthbertson
      November 29, 2020

      If you speak the truth or provide information that does not fit the “narrative” then it is not posted. So like the whole of the MSM, “News” is not just what hapens, it is what a fairly small group of people decide is the “news”.

  90. Steve Reay
    November 29, 2020

    Come the next general election the conservatives are toast. Every conservative voter who has lost their job,home, or occupational pension ,and then to have their noses rubbed in it by increased taxs will vote for anyone but the conservatives.

    Those mp,s who vote for more tier lockdowns must
    prepare for your P45’s

    1. RichardP
      November 29, 2020

      +1
      Hopefully the British Public can deliver a ‘Great Reset’ to the Conservative Party at the next local and general elections!

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        November 29, 2020

        The People’s Reset! Let’s get it going!

      2. dixie
        November 30, 2020

        In favour of whom? Labour, Libdems, Greens?

        Demonstrably none of them have defended or promoted our interests in Westminster nor as MEPs, UKIP included, in the European Parliament.

  91. The other Christine
    November 29, 2020

    Good afternoon Sir John
    It is becoming apparent that rather than lose their jobs, as Peter Hitchens urges via the ballot box at the next election, MPs in Westminster are now in effect already redundant. It appears to me that as a whole they have ceased to represent their electorate by repeatedly supporting the Government and thereby effectively enslaving us to a dystopian nightmare where we are told what we can and can’t do, where we can and can’t go, who we can see and can’t see. I read fine speeches in the Chamber and they are totally ignored by Ministers and the Prime Minister. When are you going to wake up and realise what you are allowing to happen? Yesterday’s demonstration where people who dare to express their opinion are arrested for spurious reasons will be the first of many. At least I hope so. I’ll be there at the next one because I cannot stand by and watch our freedoms cast aside with no prospect of their return.

  92. chris hook
    November 29, 2020

    So, would you vote for or against these new measures ?

  93. M Brandreth- Jones
    November 29, 2020

    The only way is up…H0pefully only a few months to go. Apparently the vaccine is 95% effective, If we blow it now , so near to the touch line it will only put us in another lockdown . I am single and have lived on my own for more than 35 years so don’t find it as bad as those who are used to constant companionship. I miss my family but we all have to make sacrifices, Some business are booming with queues for and in chains around the store. We need to buy presents for Christmas and I can never fully visualise goods on line . hopefully we will be allowed to buy these things before the 25th.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      November 29, 2020

      I feel you need to keep up with the current restrictions

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      November 29, 2020

      You, and Englishman, are seriously asking for permission to buy Christmas presents. Holy God! What have we come to.

      1. Fred H
        November 29, 2020

        The best present would be resignation of PM and Cabinet. The Greens and Socialists form a caretaker Government. Why not ?- we virtually have one already.

  94. glen cullen
    November 29, 2020

    Brexit negotiations latest

    As reported – If only fisheries remain as a subject for continued negotiation; does that mean we have capitulated on ‘level playing field’ and involvement of ‘ECJ’

  95. Martin C
    November 29, 2020

    There are numerous trials showing that vitamin D3 strengthens the immune system and mitigates the severity of Covid 19 symptoms, yet the Government is silent on the matter. Increasing Vitamin D3 intake throughout the population could lead to fewer hospitalisations and deaths. Or are we to assume that that is the last thing the Government wants?

    1. Nutrient Dense
      November 29, 2020

      Eating nutrient dense real food strengthens the immune system

    2. Sea_Warrior
      November 29, 2020

      I thought I heard yesterday – can’t remember where – that vitamin D supplements WILL be issued in the next few months. Your criticism of the government might be premature.

      1. Fred H
        November 29, 2020

        Many watchers suggested added Vitamin D months ago on here!

        1. Stred
          November 30, 2020

          They are issuing 10mg Vit D but, as usual it’s the wrong dose. Even multivitamins give 10mg. For covid doctors are advising a higher dose.

      2. dixie
        November 30, 2020

        In a few months it will miss the period that people’s immune systems really needed reinforcement

    3. hefner
      November 29, 2020

      See arms.evidence.nhs.uk ‘Vitamin D supplementation for preventing intensive care admissions in people with Covid-19 associated pneumonia’, published September 2020.

      See previously nice.org.uk ‘Covid-19 rapid evidence summary: Vitamin D for Covid-19’, published 29 June 2020.

    4. Martin C
      November 30, 2020

      Thank you everyone. I was one of the original contributors to the vitamin D debate in these columns all those months ago. In a pandemic such as the one we have now, for many people, vitamins D3 and K2 should be supplemented all year round. They are essential for people who have limited exposure to the sun: people living in northern latitudes, people who work indoors (like politicians) and the elderly.

      Recommended dosages in the UK are based on the treatment of Rickets. In the 19th century the relationship between D3 and K2 was not understood. D3 releases calcium into the blood stream and on it’s own in high doses can lead to hypercalcinaemia (which can be toxic) hence the recommended levels of D3 being so low. K2 directs the calcium into the bones and in conjunction with D3 makes it possible to take D3 at much higher dosages. This is now being found to be an effective treatment for all sorts of conditions, but especially for decalcifying soft tissues in old age, hypertension, and for priming immature T cells.

      In Scandinavia they recognise the importance of vitamin D and supplement their food accordingly. This should be considered by the government.

      For the latest international research on vitamin D3 and K2 go to:

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/?term=Covid+D3

      and

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/?term=Covid+D3+K2

      Reply This site does not offer medical advice.People should take the advice they need before taking products.

      1. Martin C
        November 30, 2020

        Just to add: had the Government responded to the original debate on the importance of vitamin D3 in Sir John’s Diary earlier this year (as I hoped it would) and started supplementation in September, many people might have been spared Covid 19: fewer hospital admissions, fewer deaths, less lockdown, and less damage to the economy. Instead, here we are on the eve of December approaching the height of the flu season and no supplementation has been provided.

  96. Zorro
    November 29, 2020

    I am afraid that Our Dear Leader Kim Jong Son has shot his bolt and no warlike historical allusions will suffice anymore. There is only one ‘dictateur aspirant’ who is going to meet his Waterloo!

    Zorro

  97. Sea_Warrior
    November 29, 2020

    Anyone else looking forward to the next local elections – to give an early verdict on the Boris & Carrie Show?

    1. Everhopeful
      November 29, 2020

      What was the need to cancel the locals last May.
      No need at all.
      How simple to “social bloody distance” and wear a mask at a polling station? Any different to a supermarket? Ooooh and they could’ve had chevrons too!!
      What if they discover another “spike” or “wave” next May…or Lesser Spotted Lurgi Flu and cancel elections again?
      No democracy!

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      November 29, 2020

      Vote for whoever will beat them.

  98. Iain Gill
    November 29, 2020

    Some of the stuff the police got up to yesterday is becoming clear. They are badly led and out of control. This is not acceptable.

    What on earth is going on in our country.

  99. Ian
    November 29, 2020

    Will anyone vote again for any of the parties in Westminster ?
    Be honest change is what is needed, we want honest change, to get rid of this treacherous Parliament we have had for 50 years.
    If you want more of the same well then no change
    Otherwise there is only the man that got us here, he deserves your vote
    What have you got to loose

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      November 29, 2020

      If you think Farage got us here you are deluded.

  100. M Davis
    November 29, 2020

    I believe that most people will do whatever they want to do, over the Christmas period, I know that my family will.

  101. Mike Wilson
    November 29, 2020

    Mr. Redwood, you seem to be getting roasted on Twitter following your tweet about running the NHS at full capacity. It appears there are huge numbers of posts unfilled and loads of staff off because of the virus.

  102. APL
    November 29, 2020

    JR: “This policy of chips with everything is causing concerns about how many pubs and other hospitality venues will close down for good as a result.”

    Understatement of the, …. well, Year.

    What an incompetent useless government this is. We might as well have elected Labour.

    One other thing, SAGE is a liability. It’s been captured by the Left and given this government incorrect, misleading advice all year. It should be disbanded.

  103. Anonymous
    November 29, 2020

    Agenda 21 reduce alcohol consumption.
    Real reason is fear of us gathering and revolt.

  104. Richard
    November 29, 2020

    We now live in a totalitarian police state. People innocently exercising their democratic right to protest are being treated with contempt and violence.

    According to Lord Sumption, the police have been obeying orders devised by our rulers who are using the 1984 Public Health Act beyond the power it confers – they have no legitimate power to control healthy people.

    Hopefully the two Simon Dolan judicial Reviews will therefore succeed in limiting or voiding the regulations.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      November 29, 2020

      Taking power beyond authority is pure Common Purpose.

    2. Lifelogic
      November 30, 2020

      Indeed but I rather doubt it. The judges in general are not remotely as sensible as Lord Sumption.

  105. Iain Gill
    November 29, 2020

    So the mother who killed 6 of her children has been released after 8 years of prison.

    Absolute disgrace of a criminal justice system.

    Madness absolute crazy madness.

  106. Tim S
    November 29, 2020

    I think Tier 2 is about right for Wokingham. I know it is hard, but we have to keep covid under some sort of control for a few more months. The health, economic and educational costs of not doing so are much higher than the cost of a few more months of restrictions.

    We all want the restrictions to be as cost-effective as possible. So visiting other people’s homes needs to be out, well-run retail is in. Indoor hospitality, sadly, may be too risky in winter (when doors and windows are not usually wide open) if we want to have schools open as well.

    My biggest frustration is with Test and Trace. A large number of billions spent, and yet seemingly little or no demonstrable benefit. Same with the App, which I do use, but I also doubt: why ask huge numbers of people to self-isolate without tests and without ANY research as to how likely they are to be infected. I suspect that when this is all over, Test and Trace will be found to have been one of the biggest failures of government. However, until either Test, Trace and Isolate works, or enough people are vaccinated, we need to limit the spread of the virus.

  107. Richard
    November 30, 2020

    “In light of our re-examination of the test protocol to identify SARS-CoV-2 described in the Corman-Drosten paper we have identified concerning errors and inherent fallacies which render the SARS-CoV-2 PCR test useless.”

  108. Donna
    November 30, 2020

    That “genius” Robert Jenrick has proudly announced that, having closed “non-essential shops” for 4 weeks ….. since when have clothes and shoes been non-essential? ……. he’s now going to allow shops to open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    According to SAGE/the Government it’s lethal one day if you step over the threshold of a socially distanced shop selling what they consider to be non-essential goods, but the next day it’s perfectly safe. In fact, it’s so safe that you can do it 24/7. But it’s still lethal in some areas if you step over the threshold of a socially distanced pub at any time of day and in others it’s lethal if you aren’t eating a meal with your drink.

    What a clever virus this is.

    I’d be interested to hear Jenrick’s proposals for allowing small, private shopkeepers – whose livelihoods have been wrecked by this incompetent, authoritarian Government – to open 24/7. Are they supposed to make their staff (if they have any) work 24/7 ….. breaking employment law in the process? Or is Jenrick proposing to change UK/EU Employment Law?

    It’s an idiotic policy from a Government which has absolutely no idea how ordinary people live and work outside a 24/7 city like London.

  109. Chi Zilla
    November 30, 2020

    You can’t control a virus!

    We’ve known for months who’s vulnerable and what to do about it.
    The remedy does not include mockdowns of any description.
    Stop testing and the problem will disappear overnight.

Comments are closed.