Tiers and national lockdowns

When we held the debate and vote at the beginning of the month on the restrictions placed on business and social contacts, we were told to look forward to a review in mid December when areas might be taken down from Tiers 2 and 3 into Tiers 1 and 2. The government was allowing people to believe that the restrictions would bear early fruit resulting in gradual relaxation.

The rapid approval of the Pfizer vaccine in the UK gave a boost to confidence, with some eventual end in sight to lock downs as people at risk get the protection they need and want. The USA has now also approved this vaccine and I guess the EU will follow, showing that the world professional establishment does not think the UK Regulatory Agency was taking undue risks or coming to a hasty conclusion.

Then we saw a surge in cases of the virus detected by the much more comprehensive testing scheme available compared to last Spring. Official advice hardened in favour of tougher and more prolonged lockdowns. By the time we reached mid December word went out that instead of taking a number of regions or areas down a tier, there would be a substantial net increase in places under the toughest Tier 3 restrictions. Ministers seem to suggest now that restrictions will be with us until next spring, when the arrival of warmer weather and more natural ultra violet light might cause recession in the virus, and when many more people will have opted for the vaccine protection. Then last evening there was a further change with the invention of a new Tier 4 for a quarter of the country and cancellation of most of the Christmas relaxations for the rest of the country. Parliament needs to debate and vote on these measures.

It appears Parliament will have another chance to debate and vote on these controls only later in the new year. I will present a case again to find other methods of protecting the vulnerable and keeping more people safe, whilst allowing the resumption of more business activity. Livelihoods matter as well as lives. The scarring to business life in entertainment, travel, leisure, shop retail, commercial property and some personal services is very pronounced. We run the risk of more bankruptcies, more people deciding to pack up their small businesses, and more people deciding working for themselves is simply too difficult with all the regulations.

I will pursue again the issue of the trials of other drugs that might help treatment, the use of isolation hospitals and the extra Nightingale capacity to ease the situation in District General hospitals, the improvement of ventilation systems in indoor venues to clean the air continuously and other methods to allow more safe business activity to take place. There needs to more strenuous official efforts to find an alternative to these severe controls on economic and personal freedom.

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  1. SM
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    In S Africa, we are seeing lockdowns being re-introduced, but in a very haphazard way: visits to beaches are banned in some areas and Provinces but not others despite their high infection rates, and over differing periods, meaning holiday gatherings will take place indoors in probably crowded circumstances rather than in sunshine and fresh air …???

    You can once again only buy alcohol from licensed premises from Monday to Thursday … so of course those who can afford to plan ahead simply purchase more in one go, and the poorer sectors buy illicitly obtained or brewed booze. Oh, and the curfew between 10pm and 4am has been re-introduced. These discrepancies are being taken so seriously (because of their terrible economic effects) that the Western Cape Provincial Government, the Democratic Alliance Party and our Local Authority will be going to court tomorrow to challenge the President.

    I don’t take Covid19 lightly – a local acquaintance’s husband, aged 60 with serious asthma as a co-morbidity, has just died of the virus – but we are going to have to learn to cope with it,
    just as societies have to deal with waves of influenza, with AIDS, and with the ever-increasing frightening resistance to antibiotics etc.

    • Hope
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      JR, explain why millions still allowed in through London airports without test or trace. Yet London lockeddown! Idiots.

    • oldtimer
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Here in the UK the government has taken fright because a new strain of the virus (labelled “mutant” to make our flesh crawl) spreads more rapidly than the old. It has tightened lockdown restrictions. This is the exact opposite of what it should have done which is to remove them all except for the over 65s. This would accelerate the spread of the infection and bring herd immunity faster.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted December 21, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink


    • Alpipp
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      COVID is endemic. There’s no Pandemic.
      So let’s get on with lives – no restrictions and no furlough. The furlough money can be spent on Hospitals to deal with respiratory illness and replacing all shared wards with private rooms with outside opening windows.


      Please suggest this Mr Redwood.

      Anyhow, the Conservatives are finished. This is their “Nick Clegg Student Loan” moment. Mr Brady head of 1922 committee was too slow to oust May and too slow to get Boris to oust Whitty & Vallance

      • Dee
        Posted December 21, 2020 at 12:42 am | Permalink

        Quite agree.

    • Derek
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      “I don’t take Covid19 lightly – a local acquaintance’s husband, aged 60 with serious asthma as a co-morbidity, has just died of the virus – but we are going to have to learn to cope with it”.
      Sad that he died but I want to point out the vital fact that he died WITH Covid 19 not because of it. With a serious respiratory problem he would have been one of the vulnerable persons who needed FULL protection. Ditto in the case of Influenzas.
      I maintain that ALL vulnerable people must be projected but the invulnerable free to go about their daily business taking any necessary Precaution’s. Just as they might do with a Flu epidemic. It is the only way we can get back to sanity here.

      • Chi Zilla
        Posted December 21, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        Who decides who’s vulnerable? I know several people in their 70s who are much healther than many in their 50s.

        We should be treated like adults and left to choose for ourselves!

        Those who actually want to spend the rest of their lives in quarantined isolation could be helped to do so much more cheaply than the current ridiculously expensive chumocracy setup that our grandchildren will still be paying for decades in the future.

  2. Ian Wilson
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    30 years of scaremongering from successive governments over climate with exaggeration and downright deceit made many of us cynical when we heard words like “following the science” and “computer models”. It led many of us to underestimate the threat. We still have conflicting statistics making it impossible to gauge the real threat and misleading data. An excellent piece in Conservative Woman by Dr Clare Craig and Jonathan Engles illustrates well the poor quality of data we are given and why so many of us question what we are told. Evidence that lockdowns and tiers achieve anything is sparse.

    • Cynic
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      I no longer believe anything that this government say. All their “facts” require checking from independent sources, easily done via the internet. Once authorities are no longer trusted they are finished, Blair and May come to mind.

      • Hope
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        Johnson shut down parliament to prevent debate or vote then bounced the country into another lockdown with 6 hours notice! How do people and businesses plan!

        No one trusts what these scaremongers, Valance, Witty, Johnson, Handcock say. Any doubt look at SAGE minutes which Valance chaired. They deliberately scared people to coerce to comply.

        Time for Fake Tory party to oust Johnson. Start the letters to 1922 committee. I hope Fake Tory govt is ousted and party destroyed.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink


      • Simeon
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        Though it is startling that Boris Johnson’s authority had a beginning. He is as dishonest as any politician we’ve had, and yet many chose to trust him – not least our kind host.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 20, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          There was no option. Mays remain parliamentary party gave us no option.Boris was the best of the options. Remain has much blood in its hands.

          • Simeon
            Posted December 21, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

            And what of those not even considered options? And why were they not considered options? I remember Sir John saying that he had some support to run, but not enough. Why was this?

            Also, the ERG ‘interviewed’ Blowers and Raab, and opted for Blowers. That is to say, they took Blowers at his word. I’m sure this is because, ultimately, they believed Blowers offered them their best chance of being re-elected. And that, in a nutshell, is the Tory party. That Blowers was considered the best option was a very clear indication the game was up.

            Sir John and others have been playing a game of poker. They went ‘all in’ with a ‘2 and 7’, and the bluff has been well and truly called. We’re long past the point where the chips ran dry, and now they’re gambling with house credit.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 21, 2020 at 5:19 am | Permalink

          To be fair, when you look at what was on offer they chose a man who they thought, quite rightly, would get them re-elected.

          • Simeon
            Posted December 21, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

            And of course re-election was the primary motivation 😉

        • dixie
          Posted December 21, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

          Well Farage removed your group as a choice for the electorate at the last GE so why are you whining only now.

      • MickN
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        Rather like a football club manager who has lost the dressing room.
        What happened to the 4,000 deaths a day these grinches were predicting a few weeks ago?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        You see John, what happens, when the electorate – potential Tory voters – are encouraged to believe rubbish?

        You might lose control of exactly which nonsense they choose to believe.

        And then what do you do?

    • Andy
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      So many question they are told because they are idiots. It really is no more complicated than that.

      • dixie
        Posted December 21, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        The Royal Society’s motto – “Nullius in verba'”

        Are you really saying all those distinguished society member past and present are idiots?

        I worry for your offspring.

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      + 1🤔

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      If anyone can, please point me to the link for the formula for the ‘Tier’ system and ‘R’ number ???

      I’d also like to know how this new virus is spreading ”faster” ???

      • Chi Zilla
        Posted December 21, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink


    • Richard
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      And on Lockdownsceptics this morning we learn:
      a) The new variant of Sars-Cov2 has been around since at least September;
      b) It is most likely a weaker ‘asymptotic strain’;
      c) NHS data shows that the NHS in England is markedly less busy than December 2019.

      Add all that to the lack of evidence for asymptotic transmission that the Conservative Woman article refers to and how is the Xmas Lockdown justified?

      • TIMH
        Posted December 21, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        What’s your source for point (c)?

    • DavidJ
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Indeed; An excellent book “The Hockey Stick Illusion” exposes the manipulated climate data behind it and the extraordinary resistance by the establishment to the real facts.

    • James Bertram
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Dr Clare Craig and Dr Jonathan Engler make the point that there is little credible evidence to support the notion of ‘Asymptomatic Spread’ – and asymptomatic spread is the main driver for social distancing, mask-wearing, mass-testing of the healthy, and Lockdowns.

      ‘They have summarised their findings as follows:
      Harmful lockdown policies and mass testing have been justified on the assumption that asymptomatic transmission is a genuine risk. Given the harmful collateral effects of such policies, the precautionary principle should result in a very high evidential bar for asymptomatic transmission being set. However, the only word which can be used to describe the quality of evidence for this is woeful….’

      Yes, the government’s interventions have been based on what largely seems to be a hoax (and I am sure the Government is fully aware that this is so).

    • Wayne Heaton
      Posted December 21, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      John please raise the fact that the WHO has advised that the PCR test used for COVID should not be used without symptoms due high numbers of false positives. This was made on 14th December. Legal proceedings underway across Europe. From what I understand the government still use this method and in fact it underpins their decisions. They should either follow WHO guidance on this or explain why not. It may be coincidence but 14th December was the day that Matt Hancock announced to parliament the presence of the’new’ variant.

  3. Tom Rogers
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Does anybody still actually believe any of this rubbish? It’s like living in a real-life science fiction film in which what passes for public discourse is controlled and imbued with exaggerations and untruths that bear no relationship to reality, or even the underlying facts of the controlled discourse itself.

    The fact is that mortality rates for SARS COV-2 are statistically tiny and comparable to ordinary flu, while morbidity rates are easily manageable within normal resources without the need for any extraordinary public health measures whatsoever, let alone the absurd restrictions legislated for by this silly government and supported by its pernicious helpers and admirers. Most who suffer adverse symptoms soon recover. Those who do not usually have underlying health problems.

    Staying at home, wearing a mask when out, and the other measures, may or may not be helpful or socially-considerate, but mandating that people do these things is a pointed infringement of ordinary civil liberties and an intrusion on human agency in what purports to be a free society.

    The inexorable and insuperable mundane Laws of Nature, customarily understood through aeons, charted in the unmatched works of Darwin and encapsulated in Spencer’s famous coda, cannot be overcome. Each of us – me, you, even Mr Redwood, though he is regarded as a divine deity – will one day die. The medical profession and its supporting sciences have yet to find a solution to this problem, and part of me hopes they don’t as the rigours of natural selection and its adaptative demands are an essential basic feature of societal health.

    Imagine living in a society in which all your needs are catered for, there are no competitive demands, and what is more, you can live for an extra 50 years. It sounds nice, but I would submit that there would be very many more people of inferior intelligence and physicality in such a society and…..Oh, wait…..We’re already there!

    You are going to die. One day so will I. If you’re young, you could still die today or tomorrow. If you’re old, you’re at particular risk of falling ill and dying. Either way, you must die. These are facts. Shutting down an entire society so that you can live a bit longer is not a solution. The solution is simply to accept the facts of life – and live your life.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Rubbish it certainly is. Another swathe of dodgy graphs and professor pants down shut most of the country.
      Project fear 2.
      When will these communist be removed from government.
      Ideal time for Boris to sell out with Brussels under cover of martial law.
      Your toast.

      • Hope
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        +1 utter rubbish. Deaths include anyone with positive test in 28 days of death! That is no way accurate figure of deaths. It is fake scaremongering.

        This govt is destroying our economy and way of life. Ignore them. Live your life as you see fit exercising caution as you deem fit. Do not believe or trust these dishonest fools.
        This is the third lockdown, the orevious two failed. Wales primary example.
        Great Barrington Declaration.

    • BJC
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      I don’t want or need an unworldly government claiming they have a superhuman ability to protect me and would rather stare death in the face having lived the life of my choosing. Their mollycoddling is arrogant, insulting and akin to a living death. It makes me question the sanity of the group-think fools at the helm.

      • Jim Whitehead
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink


    • Mary M.
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Tom Rogers, for expressing so clearly what I suspect a lot of people also feel.

      As for our host being ‘regarded as a divine deity’, it’s true to the degree that many of us rely on John Redwood’s Diary for a daily, measured, non-partisan view. We also know that Sir John reads every one of our comments before posting them for us.

      Mary M.
      P.S. I would like to clarify here that the ‘Mary M’ who sometimes comments in Brexit Facts4EU.org is not me.

      • Truth
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        He even writes some of them too !
        Divine deities only speak truth
        therefore ………..

      • DavidJ
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink


      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        +1 on what you said about Sir John. And he rarely moderates me but I’m usually glad when he has.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      It is the recklessness of people like you who are causing hospitals to be overwhelmed with all that means, and to prolong endlessly the need for drastic, blunt instrument measures such as lockdowns which are wrecking the economy.

      If we all wore masks at all times in public places, kept our distance properly, and diligently observed hygiene measures – as in Taiwan, say – then we’d be out of this mess.

      Government has sent all the wrong signals, and the worst elements of the public have exploited that to justify their useless, do-nothing abandonment of personal responsibility.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        Other countries have been diligent and still have not got out of this mess.

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        Rare – but I agree with your post.
        Public hygiene messaging has not been as strong as it needs to be. I would single out the BBC as an organisation that should be ORDERED to provide most of this, free of charge to the government. Throughout this year, and despite listening to a lot of R4 and R5L, I haven’t heard a single PH advert on the Beeb.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        Martin I have to say I tend to agree with you, but it is easier to do all of the things you suggest if you do not have to work, or work outside with few others.

        We could all do much from home and not go out or see anyone, but that means others have to work to provide and deliver the goods we all need. thus it is absolutely essential that many people have to work.

        This managed chaos will now have gone on for a year in a couple of months time, and so many people/businesses who do not qualify for Furlough or some other support will simply be financially bust by then.
        Time methinks at least for statutory mortgage holidays (the Banks do not lose out, as interests is still charged) for those in desperate need.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Its the lack of GP appointments that are causing hospitals to be overhelmed

      • Philip P.
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        Martin, I know I’ll be told why bother telling you what the facts are, but hospitals in this country are NOT being overwhelmed – they have normal high capacity for this time of year, as they do every year, and are better off than in some previous years. You could have found this out for yourself from official statistics, but that’s apparently far too much trouble for you. So much easier to finger-point and blame other people for not being hygienic, isn’t it, rather than take responsibility for whether or not what you’re saying is true.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink


      • Fred H
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        I agree with you.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        Previously you have told us we must follow the example of Senegal, a country with an average age of 18. So I think we can usefully ignore your views on this topic.

      • DavidJ
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        What a load of rubbish. The virus was downgraded to the same status as flu in March but government still carried on regardless in their quest for absolute control.

        • glen cullen
          Posted December 20, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink


      • margaret howard
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink


        Hear Hear!

        These people shout about their loss of freedom to do as they please forgetting that living in a society like ours means that they have no right to endanger the lives of others with their dangerous, out of touch beliefs.

        Flat earthers most of them.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

          The Govt. Open Borders Policy endangers our lives daily.

        • Zorro
          Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

          What absolute drivel – just unsubstantiated abuse really. Are you going to ban smoking and driving? Are you infectious or do you suffer from Munchausen syndrome??


      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        In my area we did all of that.

        Our infection rate among the lowest. So why haven’t we moved down a tier ???

        You have a fetish for oppressing people. Admit it.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

          Yes we’ve all noticed how Andy, Margaret and Martin never agree with the majority. We almost know what they will say before we see it in print. Common sense flies out of the window. They would be great as members of the SNP or EU Parliament.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Martin, those people in hospital do you think they didn’t wear their masks or wash their hands? I still don’t understand how Lewis Hamilton caught covid, he wears his mask all the time, I’m sure he washes his hands all the time, he is tested and the team tested regularly, who did he allow in to his circle who hadn’t been tested and then allowed into his 2m trust circle? To go abroad you have to have your covid test 48 hours before so if he had this test does this mean that Test isn’t safe and doesn’t work because reports said he caught it from someone before he travelled?

        Or were the new covid victims too complacent meeting up with people they know well within 2m or indoors and got too close to people who showed what no symptoms? Who are these people in hospital how did they catch it? Are they shop workers, barbers and hairdressers, restaurant workers, the family members of hospital workers and care home workers?

        What drug treatments are they being given when they arrive from day 1 in hospital? To even be admitted they must be in a bad state because you’re told just to go home for a week and to tell anyone you came into contact with to self-isolate for a fortnight.

      • Zorro
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Like in Peru eh? I can see behind your smile…. You don’t even have correlation never mind causation!!


      • TIMH
        Posted December 21, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Where’s your mask evidence? From what I can see, masks have made matters worse.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      We are banging our heads against a brick wall.
      The MPs might just as well go home and leave Boris to light the final match.
      They have allowed a government of occupation to take over.
      And they just don’t care.
      A dying friend, marooned in hospital. Diagnosis and possible treatment delayed by first lockdown. HIS BLOODY WIFE CAN’T EVEN VISIT HIM!!
      Heartless. Cruel. Disgusting. An affront to human dignity.An affront to God.
      But that’s the agenda isn’t it??
      The same b*****s who sent young men to die in the mud.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink


        Their duty is to hold the Executive to account. But how can they when, the head of the Executive is their Party Leader and their positions as members, not to mention future career prospects, hang on their loyalty.

        Our kind host and others are on the Backbenches for a reason. 😉

        • Fred H
          Posted December 20, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

          by inference – the front-bench and Cabinet are sycophants.

        • Simeon
          Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

          But they are still on the back benches because, when push comes to shove, they’ll prop up the government.

      • Jim Whitehead
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        +1 !!!!

      • Alpipp
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Well said sir. This tier 4 is the end of the conservative party (like Nick Ckegg’s broken promise about student loans).

        We have four years of lockdowns before next election. In the meantime Whitty & Vallance should get a second home and glee to Switzerland just like Sir Fred the Shred.

        I am looking at joining the Reform Party. Reform of crony filled House of Lord’s is required to.

        Surely Boris must see the vultures circling over his carcass?

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      +1 Letter of the month- precisely right

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      The power use to be with the individual with a handkerchief and 2 weeks in bed

      Now that the power is with the state the politicians and scientists they are going to milk it for control, prestige and money (did anybody know we had so many professors)

      Remember this virus only hits the private sector working & middle classes, the rich elites, public sector workers and those on benefits haven’t really seen any change in their circumstances

      If it wasn’t for the government and the media this would be classed as the flu

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Sir John, ever the epitome of reason, you seem to be as deluded and enmeshed by the web of deliberate but useless detail and obfuscation which the inadequates of the government, its advisors, even the panjandrums of the medical profession.
      It is well past the time to observe more objectively what questions this pandemic asks of us and, like Dr. Johnson, to see through the falsity and pretentiousness with a robust. “I refute it thus!”
      The government’s success rate is equivalent to the posturing performances of the Medicine Man or Rain Maker, or our other modern day mavericks, the Astrologers, who can contrive predictions which always can be argued to fit the outcomes.
      Time to wake up and walk away from your addled leaders, Sir John, or your reputation will be diluted with the deluge of sense that surely follows.
      I am Scottish, can I really be as dopey as that woman . . . ?

      • Jim Whitehead
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        Sorry, I failed to finish that first sentence, but readers will understand what has been omitted.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      You are right to say that it is the mandating of behaviours that is the issue as opposed to the bahaviours themselves. If people want to wear a mask, then that’s fine, though they would do well to understand the health risks involved – especially when masks are worn, and particularly handled, unhygienically, as they invariably are.

      I have some sympathy with Spencer, but he erred in assuming the accuracy and rigour of Darwin’s ideas. Modern evolutionary theory has had to drastically refine Darwin’s ideas. As such, Victorian Social Darwinism is largely anachronistic- even if some of Spencer’s instincts had merit.

      I for one believe that helping one’s fellow man is truly honourable, and that this help should not depend on the merits of the recipient. Charity, willingly offered, and gladly accepted, is a truly beautiful thing. There is no shame in being laid low by the slings and arrows, even if some suffer from a pride that prohibits them accepting help. Nor is there any shame in being less able intellectually, physically or emotionally. We are all human, and though I wouldn’t dream of mandating it, I believe it is best to help one another as much as we are able. Others may think and feel differently, and that is their right. But history has taught us that no person is immune from misfortune and suffering. If nothing else persuades those that would extol ‘natural selection’ this should.

    • Christine
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Is it a coincidence that all these new rules have been brought in the day following Parliament’s break for Christmas? I don’t think so. Back in March we were told the restrictions were to buy us time to build more capacity to protect the NHS. Now we see the Nightingale hospitals empty and abandoned.

      If the Government wants the public to believe them then tell us some real facts:

      1) What is the current NHS bed occupancy compared to previous years?
      2) Is the number of suicides and non-covid deaths increasing due to lack of treatment?
      3) Why are the voices of alternative highly eminent experts being silenced?
      4) Why is it OK for 22 men to run around a football field but I can’t see my family?
      5) Why is trashing the economy worth giving a relatively few elderly people a few extra months of life?
      6) How has a country as populous as China managed to contain this virus?
      7) What are the results of the many trials carried out into the effectiveness of masks and Covid treatments using existing medicines?

      Something stinks with this whole business. Is it a coincidence it’s all happening just as the Brexit talks approach the wire. If Boris even hints at an extension then even I will be out on the streets protesting.

      Thank you, John, for at least questioning your party and not following the rest of the MP sheep.

      • TIMH
        Posted December 21, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        Spot on!

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      The best posting I have read in a very long while.

      Thank you.

    • Zorro
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, it’s not about a virus otherwise they would be protecting the vulnerable instead of proscribing and impoverishing everyone. It’s about societal change which we must resist with every sinew in our body.


  4. GilesB
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    The scientists take a very narrow view of both what is desirable (lives with no concern for livelihoods) and what is possible (draconian lockdown throughout the country).

    In the U.K., policing is by consent. The police would need many multiples of their current resources to enforce these latest restrictions. They are not going to be followed.

    All that these announcements will do is to destroy cooperation and compliance with any future public health measures. And indeed undermine respect for law and order more generally. Anarchy beckons.

    Politicians cannot just ‘follow the science’, as the science is only one part of the picture.

  5. Mark B
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Ministers *seem to suggest now that restrictions will be with us until next spring, when the arrival of warmer weather and more natural ultra violet light *might cause recession in the virus . . .

    *my emphasis

    May I remind our kind host and fellow readers and contributors that this virus has been with us throughout the whole of 2020. Spring, summer, autumn and now winter. If the weather and the numerous lockdowns did not work, what makes Ministers think 2021 will be any different ? To answer my own question, it won’t !!! Hence my emphasis on the above words.

    This has nothing to do with a virus but a government drunk on power and control. We have a puppet parliament and MP’s who simply cannot thing outside party loyalty and their own careers. Screw the country, business (SME’s actually) and the people.

    Finally, the servants have become our masters. And it’s all our fault.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Yes..AND I remember last Summer it was reported that,unusually, this virus does not recede in hot weather!!

    • Simeon
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      You are absolutely right. It is our fault. In a democracy, we are both all held responsible, and all must conform to the democratic dictat. Even you, I, and others that speak out against not just the particular political parties but also the prevailing political paradigm are at fault for failing to offer an actual, as opposed to theoretical, alternative. My own guilt is mitigated by the knowledge that I am simply not in a position to lead on this. I would guess your situation is similar.

      This all said, what is Sir John doing with the cards he’s been dealt? He is in a position to lead some sort of resistance. However, he is not interested in real resistance, as his writings consistently show. This is of course his prerogative, and, in a strange way, may do some good. If even the ‘sensible’ wing of the ‘sensible’ party is now so obviously peddling nonsense, then perhaps there will finally be a decisive shift towards a sensible alternative.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        I would also like to commend Everhopeful’s citing of Solzhenitsyn yesterday, which I’m sure Mark B had in mind. There are real people living in this country that have lived under communist regimes. They recognise only too well what is happening here. Some will no doubt accuse me of unwarranted alarmism. I say to them, Tell that to those that experienced totalitarianism first hand.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 21, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

          Spot on.

    • DavidJ
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Indeed Mark.

  6. Lester Cynic Beedell
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    I’m beginning to think that it’s not about the virus…… a vaccine developed at breakneck speed, usually vaccines require several years testing before they’re classified as “safe” for a disease with a 99% recovery rate, there’s always much made of the fact that cases are increasing but that’s only to be expected and there’s never accompanying information as to how the data is collected or what questions were asked when a poll is released purporting to show the majority in support of tougher lockdowns, I visited the Chew Valley lake recently and a mother and daughter got out of their car a solemnly donned masks to walk around a deserted picnic area, that’s the level of stupidity that we face…. I don’t know if they think that there’s a swirling green miasma just waiting to strike ?

    And a new mutant strain🤔🤔🤔🤔

    Brexit…. Walk away

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      The new mutant strain does appear timely & convenient for some people and projects

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry about this “new mutant strain” – – there will sure as hell be another newer one that will be even ” more dangerous ” that will magically appear.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      It’s actually more like 99.7% recovery rate. The more we test the more we are finding the mortality rate is lower than first thought.

      The BMJ reports a study of 61 international studies which shows a median infection fatality rate of 0.27%. Of course, defining ‘recovery’ is more difficult to do.

      I know not a single person who has been seriously affected by CV-19, thankfully.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        Research is trapped in a circular conundrum.

        Infection rates cannot be established conclusively because the false positive rate for the tests is not known.

        The false positive rate cannot be gauged either, because actual infection rates are not known.

        However, for those with symptoms aged over eighty and who do test positive, the mortality is about fifteen percent, ten times or so worse than ‘flu.

        • a-tracy
          Posted December 21, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

          Where are you getting these stats from Martin? “or those with symptoms aged over eighty and who do test positive, the mortality is about fifteen percent, ten times or so worse than ‘flu.”

          So to clarify are you saying that previously if an over 80 caught flu the mortality rate was 1.5% compared to if an over 80-year-old catches covid there is now a 15% mortality rate?

  7. Javelin
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Not sure how the Conservative Party can say they are the party of small business anymore. Because they are not. The only plus for the Conservatives is Labour is even more dictatorial and in the hands on the globalists.

    Looks like a century of politics is coming to an end.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      We are living in a post democratic age.

      Now who originally said that ? 😉

    • Fred H
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Amazing how quiet the unions have been. Sitting there watching the economy belly-up – -far better than they could ever have hoped to do under a ‘socialist regime’.
      Why campaign for Labour – the Tories have done it better.

  8. Cheshire Girl
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    I agree with all you say, Sir John.

    However, there needs to be a bit more clarification re ‘support’ bubbles. I am in one, as I live on my own. My Son in London also lives on his own. We are struggling to see if we can get together on Xmas Day. The lack of public transport will not make this easy. I am assuming, he will not be able to stay overnight in my apartment. Do you know if this is true?

    I’m sure there are others in my situation. The Government needs to make this situation very clear.

    • Frances Truscott
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      I know I heard opposite instructions too. I am lucky though a while back my daughter had to move home to live because of work contracts so I am no longer alone
      I was through the first lock down and it was awful.
      . My son lives alone though, an hour and a half in a taxi and he was in a bubble with this household . That is what we were going to do but not now.
      Problem is he doesn’t have much food having been expecting Christmas here. He will have to shop is in a high covid area.
      Yes meet your bubble but don’t stay imagines people are local and these days they are not.

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink


        If your Son was already in a ‘support bubble’ with you, I believe that he MAY be able to join you, for at least Christmas Day.

        I will try to find out what the situation is, and will post here again (Sir John, permitting) . Others may wish to say, how they understand the rules. That could be very helpful.

        • Hope
          Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

          Single adult households allowed to have a support bubble of another house. They must stick to that house.

        • Julian Flood
          Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

          It’ll be OK if you all use different kitchens and bathrooms. What, you don’t have several of each?


      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        It does rather suggest that politicians have NO IDEA about the domestic arrangement of us lesser mortals.
        And they care even less!

        • glen cullen
          Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

          They’re Elites – they have people to sort out those arrangements

        • bigneil(newercomp)
          Posted December 20, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          Of course they don’t care. They have power – and absolutely NO respect or concern for us. Our taxes are collected – and wasted – AFTER they have ensured they and their buddies are ok. Only at election time do they pretend they care.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      We are struggling to see if we can get together on Xmas Day.

      If you can, do it ! Don’t let the b******s win and ruin your Christmas.

    • Bill B.
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      The government has already made the situation clear, Cheshire Girl. We are in a dictatorship. The agents of the state will get you if you try to protest or resist. Re your son, ask your neighbours what the position is: after all, they’re the ones who could shop you if you do the ‘wrong’ thing.

      • Bill B.
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        Sorry, Cheshire Girl, I meant it for Frances, about her son.

  9. Stred
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Not a word about the Ivermectin treatment. Only the ruining of the economy by the incompetent medics advising the blinkered politicians. How can any intelligent Conservative politician stay in this socialist totalitarian green lunatic party which is determined to ruin the economy for in order to save the lives of old people like myself, who are isolating anyway?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink


      • James Bertram
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Stred. The evidence for the use of Ivermectin looks most promising.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink


      Indeed most elderly or vulnerable people we know are already self isolating to a large degree and as far as is practical, and have been for the last 9 months, as that seems to be the most practical and safest way to live at the moment, but the inevitable hospital appointments for ongoing medical problems and the occasional trip out for much needed supplies, or maintenance calls to the house (Boiler servicing etc etc) are necessary.

      If you have a protected income then it is far easier to do the above, if you have to work for a living then it is that much more difficult.

      Although I do agree not everyone is playing to the same rules and that is obvious if and when you go out. However the loneliness and mental damage that is being done to many is incalculable.

    • Jones
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Yes – Ivermectin. An excellent theraputic and prophylactic. But it’s effective, proven and, what’s more, cheap. And there are many other theraputics.

  10. Nigl
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Indeed and find out what effect Dido Harding’s fat salary and umpteen billions spent on test and trace has had on transmission rates.

    If not much. Why is she still in post? Apart from having to own up that it was a failure and waste of money.

    • Sakara Gold
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Because the equally incompetent Hancock likes her!

      • Julian Flood
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        No, because the Hancock controller likes her.


    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Ive never seen one person record their presence in a supermarket or shop using track and trace. Loads of other venues too.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Test and Trace relies upon people being honest with their contact feedback, it seems few are, hence the problem.
      Likewise many do not self isolate when told to do so, why, because many are not paid if they take time off of work.

      All these clever schemes rely upon people doing as they are instructed, and I am afraid human nature is not like that, a fact so many politicians forget, or do not understand when creating all of these policies.
      Good grief they still do not understand the mindset of the self employed or owners of very small businesses.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 21, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Even those that are paid whilst off sick broke the rules ‘Margaret Ferrier’ springs to mind, but this is all hushed up because she isn’t Cummings.

        Just when did Hancock and Boris find out this new strain was running rampant in London, if it is? On Saturday at 4pm?

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Also – We give the French £28 million – and still the dinghies come. Anyone heard what Dan Dan the immigration man has done recently – apart from collect his “wages”? Me neither.

  11. Nigl
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Ps and in the meantime your government is killing people through a drop in cancer treatments and now we hear on Smart motorways through the failure of the highways agency to put in the necessary detection systems. Grant Shapps has confirmed they can continue to kill people for another three years, the time he has given them to do it.

    • Nigl
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      I think I may have a fag packet for your government to set out its future strategy on.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        I believe I have a scrap of toilet paper somewhere.
        Can this really be happening?
        Apparently Boris thinks he will be forgiven if he does away with the TV licence.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

          He will put it on our Council Tax and make us pay for the monstrosity whether we watch it or not.

        • bigneil(newercomp)
          Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          You won’t need a licence, the only broadcasts will be the govt telling us what to do.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Don’t worry this government has a GREEN policy to get us out of the mess (they created)

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Having moved people from the safest mode of transport there is (rail) to the most dangerous (roads.)

  12. Al
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    My congratulations on sparking the largest super-spreader event yet, as a sizeable chunk of London’s population rush to anywhere outside Tier 4 over the space of about four hours instead of a safer and more socially-distanced five days.

    While the number of cases is going up, the number of deaths per case has gone down. The scientists have stated repeatedly that the new strain is more transmissible, not more deadly, and the existing strain has a sub-one percent fatality rate allowing for variance (with the average age of death over the national average life expectancy with co-morbidities).

    This mutation path is the normal and expected behaviour for a virus, as a virus with no carriers dies out. With Covid, this was detected in September (Medrxiv paper released 24th Sept 2020). Which raises huge questions over why the government was sending people back to offices and schools at this point, rather than insisting on home-working and home-schooling where possible. It seems they follow the science only when convenient.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink


      I am unsure that the mutation path is normal. Your argument is correct, that often viruses evolve to be more benign. This is the origin of the advice for most illnesses that if you have visible not-good symptoms you stay at home and not go to work. This aids selection of more benign strains, those with lower symptoms are the ones that spread – a small cost for the immunity.

      Several months ago I questioned (in a response to one of Sir John’s diaries) the potential evolutionary effect of identifying and isolating those with no or low symptoms of covid, and their contacts. The concern being that the Govt strategy would be removing the route of evolutionary selection of more benign forms. I hope that the new rapidly spreading strain has evolved by chance alone and has not been selected by the Govt policy. The new strain itself might be no more harmful, but those viruses that spread more rapidly may well have the evolutionary space to become more deadly, they can spread quickly before killing the host.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        Presuming that it is true that the new variant is 70% more transmissable (I haven’t seen the evidence or proof).

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Follow Science – 9 months of testing new theories but the virus has got worse

      Follow Nature – 5,000 years of herd immunity with success of combating virus

    • MickN
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      The scenes are like the ones from 1940 when London was last evacuated. The only difference is that then you were only required to carry a mask and not ordered to wear one.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Did you expect Boris or his Cabinet or the very sage SAGE to spot the travel flaw yesterday?
      Surely nobody could have expected the frantic rush to shop and travel to where you hoped to celebrate Christmas.
      But anyway all you religious people can still congregate, sing and mix inside a building — you might meet your maker rather quicker than you thought.

    • Jones
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      And as has been pointed out many times – you cannot ‘hide’ from a virus. It’s like hiding from the weather – it’ll be there when you come out.
      We MUST go on living normally and treating people as and when they need it. Not trying to hide away. That is madness.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        It’s not waiting for people in China, nor in plenty of other countries.

        How did they do that?

        Well, by not having a load of useless, defeatist fatalists like you amongst their public for a start, I should think.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 21, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          Yet other countries that did similar lockdowns fared much worse.
          Tell us why.

    • Tony Sharp
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Happy Christmas in your miserable dystopia of believing in a non-pandemic.
      I suppose it makes yuo feel all fuzzy and warm that somehow you think this makes you morally superior.

      • Al
        Posted December 21, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        “I suppose it makes yuo feel all fuzzy and warm that somehow you think this makes you morally superior.” – Tony Sharp

        No, it would make me happy if the govenment paid some attention to actual scientists rather than political appointees or the dreadful Fergusson.

        e.g. John Deeks pointing out that 42% of positive Innova test results are false positives, and worse it picked up only 3% of actual positives, making the test worthless. Yet the government seems to be basing its entire policy on this thing.

  13. Sea_Warrior
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Yesterday’s announcement should have prompted a change in the vaccination programme, with an increased bias towards London and the South East. Has it?
    P.S. Today’s job: seing if I can travel, alone in a car, from Tier 4 Portsmouth, through Hampshire, to Tier 4 Kent to check on an empty property, so as to maintain the building’s insurance, without being deemed to breaking the law. Somehow, I suspect that I would.

    • Iain gill
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      The state has ordered that the say nav companies make long journeys take slower routes. If you have a sat nav which picks routes based on information downloaded real time then now is the time to ignore it and go back to paper maps.

  14. Iain gill
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    If you are going to see gran, it makes no difference if you stay for a week or a few days. If gran is old and Ill enough to only have 50 percent chance or less of seeing another Christmas, even without covid, it is pointless promising her another Christmas next year. Leaving grand children and grandparents apart, if they have not seen each other since last Christmas is severe phycological torture. Lots of people live further apart than the official advise assumes. Since when did devolution allow a Scottish government to ban the movement of English, especially when planes are still arriving from virus hotspots around the world.
    The NHS has has 9 months to train up more staff, make more intensive care beds available, swap people around. It has spent billions but appears to have no more capacity.
    Freedom is for the people not some clowns at the centre of government.
    Illegal immigrants arriving in Dover still being bused around the country.
    Incompetent government on a grand scale.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Illegal immigrants would never have the virus they’re responsible engineers and doctors

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      The 95-year-old next door. “This could well be my last year so what’s the point of being alone ? If the disease doesn’t get me then loneliness will.”

  15. Iain gill
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    A very close friend died yesterday from covid, after a prolonged stay in intensive care. I am furious at the rubbish NHS, and furious at our incompetent politicians and senior public sector, and consultancies the have hired.
    The pretence of democracy is now gone.
    I am quietly resisting my own rulers like I would if I lived in North Korea.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink


      Sorry to hear the sad news.

      I have never doubted that this virus was serious but, timely, rational and proportional measures plus a Keep Calm and Carry on message from the government would have alleviated much suffering past and to come. But for some it was a too good a moment to try out their impression of Winston Churchill.

    • APL
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      “I am quietly resisting my own rulers like I would if I lived in North Korea.”

      Good for you. At the rate this government is decimating ( actually decimating, Rushi Sunak 10% fall in GDP this year ) the economy. We’ll all be living hand to mouth just like North Korea soon.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        and N.Korea is singing the virtue of potatoes again. Clearly the food shortage is biting (sorry) so hard that they play videos from the past extoling the honourable potato. The people prefer another long range missile going up to secure their safety from the West! rather than spend on modern farming methods.

  16. Iain gill
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Why are cross infection rates so high in the NHS? Why are so many people catching covid in hospitals? Maybe our shared wards, poor staff hygiene, and so much more should be under scrutiny.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Hygiene in hospitals has been a problem for many years. Yes, lack of hygiene by the staff is often the problem but also too many visitors being able to sit on beds with their feet up(still with shoes one) watching TV. I am one who suffered an infection in a sealed wound which hadn’t been touched at home. The resultant treatment for this in hospital again was sheer hell. Our hospitals are not up to basic standards.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 21, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Re visitors people haven’t been able to have visitors this time but its still running rampant in hospitals.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      It is because in the 1980s many time-honoured hygiene procedures were dropped.
      Possibly under the guise of modernising but in reality to save costs.
      Even the contracting out of hospital cleaning would have made a difference.
      Long-used disinfectants were no longer deemed acceptable.
      Basic hygiene standards were done away with.
      I was once told by a district nurse that hand washing was no longer advised.
      “We wear gloves” she informed me.

    • John E
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      That’s a very good question. Similar questions arise in prisons. So much of the spread is in state run institutions. I expect that’s why we hear nothing about it from ministers.

    • Old Salt
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Iain Gill-
      Case made for isolation hospitals or at least self-contained wings for the promised new hospital buildings unless of course similar infections are never going to happen ever again.
      Such facilities could be utilised for lesser functions and be available when the need arises.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      steady on – – criticism of NHS !!!
      They may deny you treatment if they find where you live from your name.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink


      Diseases are spread via close contact with a medium. Be it hospitals, transport, human contact, air or water. The more people share mediums and are in close proximity, the greater the risk. Hence why large, high density population areas are high risk zones. I am no expert, but even I can work out the basics based on historical facts. The Plague, Typhus, Colora, Polio, TB, Smallpox, the list goes on.

    • SM
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Iain – for exactly the same reasons as hospitals across the world are hotspots of cross-infection, if you think about it:

      Lots of vulnerable people with weakened immune systems necessarily concentrated in single locations, with staff obviously caring for more than one patient, and both viruses and bacteria able to live (and mutate) in all kinds of conditions and clinging on to not just bodies but furniture and equipment and bathrooms.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        individual rooms per patient are routine in the rest of the developed world

        extra capacity to allow wards to be completely emptied regularly so that they can be deep cleaned are also routine in the rest of the developed world

        air con that manages the air pressure to reduce cross contamination are common in the rest of the world

        the NHS has none of this

  17. Chris Dark
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Please “thank” Mr Johnson for totally wrecking my family’s gathering this Christmas, having encouraged the Welsh Dragon to copy his policy and lock up the land of my fathers with virtually no notice.
    The four day visit planned by my son in Wales—whom we have not seen for months— has now been totally eliminated. Although he can come Christmas Day, he has decided that the motorways will be too jammed and would probably never arrive in time to eat. I now have a pile of food that I will have to either freeze or throw away. Christmas in our house will be just another plodding week; it aint gonna happen. I hope your party is thrilled at the thought of the misery it has inflicted on the country, all for a virus that the vast majority of people survive.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Same here.

    • Old Salt
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Chris Dark-
      My concern is for the hospital staff being overwhelmed and patients not being able to be treated and left to die.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Sorry to hear this.

      Amazing this virus. It has mutated so much it even knows not to attack on certain times of the year, this despite being with us since September 2019. Yes, for 364 days of the year you are at risk but, on Christmas Day it too is settling down to enjoy the festivities so is too busy to infect you.

      Sorry for the irony and I know it does not help but, the more you mock them and their new found pet scare story, Global warming is sooooo yesterday, the better you will feel. Try it 😉

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Cheer up Chris – the govt and the Great Reset means they want it to get a LOT worse.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Boris is saying,
      “Get the jab…or this is your lot.”
      Why is he so bothered?

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        Because it is crucial to get that vaccine established on the market. Never mind any caution.
        Then it is a small step to “discover” loads more viruses …and then jab the sheep with more vaccines.
        RNA vacs are sooo cheap and quick to “develop”.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink


      Grow up.

  18. Sakara Gold
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    The Chinese plague virus afflicting us is unbelievably contagious and has now mutated into an even more infectious form. We have just produced, with remarkable speed, a series of vaccines which are apparently effective – to strains that were in circulation earlier this year. As Whitty commented last night during the press conference “we have no reason to believe that the vaccines will not be effective against the new strain” But the truth is, at the moment we just dont know.

    Consequently, can we really expect to continue trying to balance the need to keep people employed and keep them safe? Humans are gregarious by nature and everybody was looking forward to Christmas, however we have finite resources – our hospitals are close to capacity – it will be worse at the end of January/Feb.

    At the moment, until we know whether our new vaccines will work on the new strain, our only realistic option is to break the transmission chains. Which means reducing contact and opportunites for the virus to spread.

    Protecting the public must come first, dying on a ventillator is not a nice way to go (neither is dying on your own because nobody is answering your 999 call) a better option would be to spend more on research and analyse what has gone wrong with our response so far – so we stop making the same mistakes twice and so prevent endless repetitions. We cannot continue doing the same things and expect a different outcome.

    We are living in extraordinary times. For the first time since the Spanish influenza pandemic after the first world war 100 years ago, we have a really dangerous pathogen to deal with. Whilst I respect Sir John’s commitment to the economy and though I do agree with many of his points of view, with respect I think he is wrong on this one.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Stay in your home if you are afraid. Those of us who are not afraid must be free to go to hell in our own handcart if we so choose!

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Why do YOU think he is wrong? I emphasise YOU because I suspect you are not an expert virologist, epidemiologist or immunologist. You are basing your opinion on what the government and media are saying. Have you looked at who is on SAGE? Various experts in the areas of virology, epidemiology and immunology have stated that SAGE is led by people who are NOT experts in this matters. Further, that the advice from SAGE is simply wrong.

      Experts say the advice the government is acting on is wrong. It is amplified by our media who, let’s face it, are bloody useless and only interested in promoting hysteria in the hope of selling more of their rag or getting people to look at the adverts on their stupid web sites.

    • Alpipp
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      COVID is not a really dangerous pathogen. Deaths from pneumonia are grim and pneumonia can be caused by many things … Furthermore, death by cancer, Alzheimer’s, neurological diseases are just as grim or worse.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Sakara Gold

      The problem is human nature, and the variation and personal financial situation of people to cope with what the Government, scientists, and medical staff want us to do.

      If you have no money then you have to work somehow, government directive or not.

      If you are old do not have a support bubble or are not familiar with modern technology, then you have to go out to shop.
      If you are physically disabled, then you need careers to come into your home.

      The problem is all of these clever policies are being made by fit, healthy people, who have no financial worries and a steady income stream, not by those who have huge financial commitments, who rely upon having customers, who employ staff and who are now slowly suffocating under debt because their businesses are failing, or dare I say it, with advice from ordinary people with some common sense.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 21, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Very true Alan.

        Everyone to stay locked up except for all of those of you we want to continue to serve us in food shops, delivery drivers and postal workers, bread makers, dairies, farms, chemists, police, fire, nhs and all the backup workers behind the scenes to keep this all on the road and on and on.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      This is nothing like the Spanish Flu. That was a real killer and you only had to count the bodies to see it. More dies of that than all those poor souls in WW1. CV19 is nasty, but nowhere near as.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      ” however we have finite resources ” – – Apparently not for our replacements coming from Calais. Instant access to NHS as Taxpayer funded Ambulances and staff are waiting to rgreet them. Then put in hotels. The barracks where some were put had tvs delivered just prior to the “guests” arriving. They will of course be handed free lives – ALL on the taxpayer. Houses supplied for their families who will arrive shortly. Even multiple houses for those with multiple wives/kids. ALL on our benefits. Forever.

      The words “finite resources” only apply to us – NOT them.

    • Jones
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Good grief! They’ve really got YOU scared, haven’t they?
      Try reading some good scientific publications and peer-reviewed opinions, rather than swallowing everything the Government, the BBC and the MSM tells you. You may not be so afraid to live free then.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      This is nothing like as serious as Spanish flu.

    • James Bertram
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      SG – wrong, wrong, wrong. This is not the Spanish Flu. It is not even as bad as the flu outbreak back in 2017/18 that hardly got a mention in the press. Do not for one minute believe the propaganda the World Governments are continuously pumping out. It is a scam. See my post below in answer to Brian Tomkinson.

  19. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Why do we have MPs? You are ignored by Lord Protector Johnson. We are moving inexorably further to an authoritarian state but many can’t see it or don’t care, including most MPs, as they have been brain washed by fear. I have nothing but loathing and contempt for this government, its SAGE advisers. and the MSM for the harm they have done to people in this country and the economy. They should face charges for crimes against humanity – Nuremberg 2.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink


    • MikeP
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Yes MSM have a lot to answer for. The mood changed dramatically after an early Press Briefing where ………Kuenssberg asked Boris Johnson if he’d take *personal* responsibility for all the extra deaths that would have been caused by delaying the first lockdown. From that moment on, Government shifted the balance of reason to dodgy science, avoiding MSM gotchas, and locking us down, away from common sense, personal responsibility and tougher penalties for wrong-doers.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      MPs get £80k+ and £200k+ to employ their family in admin – why rock the boat

    • DavidJ
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      “an authoritarian state”

      The plot behind the scamdemic, the great global warming scam and probably the reason for the unjustified delay in leaving the EU.

    • Sharon
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink


    • James Bertram
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, Brian.
      This is not innocent error by those pushing for Lockdowns. They are well aware that they are killing people. The Government’s own estimate (a paper from April 2020 Sir Patrick Vallance revealed in his evidence before a select committee in July) was that 200,000 deaths could occur in the UK because of collateral damage from Lockdowns. This is one reason the Government is keen to vastly overstate Covid deaths (even though the reality is that in the UK less than 2,000 have died of Covid-19 without a comorbidity – from ONS figures). They want to pretend that, on balance, they have saved lives. The evidence is that they have killed far more people by their interventions than they have saved.
      There must be an enquiry – and the guilty must be brought to justice.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink


      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink


  20. Pat
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    The point of lockdown was to slow the spread in order to reduce the peak of cases and consequently prolong the outbreak.
    Why are we still trying to prolong the outbreak given that hospitals have the normal amount of spare capacity?
    Is there any empirical evidence that lockdown work in accordance with theory? Given the number imposed around the world such evidence should be available.

    • cornishstu
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      That’s the irony of the situation, there is none. If you were to give the charts to someone with no prior knowledge of events and ask them to point out when lockdowns were implemented they would not be able to, the same applies to mask wearing. Go take a look at Ivor Cummins who does some good analysis on the data. Yet we still get the repetition by government, are these actions of the insane or malicious.

  21. Richard1
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Where is the evidence that lockdown works? The ‘circuit breaker’ imposed by the ridiculous welsh ‘government’ – and urged by Keir Starmer for the whole Country – has done nothing. Tier 4 has come in because tier 3 was failing to stem the rise in infections. Around the world there are countries – like Peru – which both have imposed harsh lockdowns but have been badly hit and countries which haven’t done so – like Japan – and which haven’t been badly hit. It’s the same in the US, where there seems to be no correlation between lockdown and results. 2 of the hardest hit states are New York and California, both of which have had harder lockdowns than other states.

    I sympathise with Boris Johnson having to make these calls when all the official advice comes from the arse-covering groupthink of SAGE, and independent experts, however eminent, are denigrated and ignored. But when the history of this period is written I do not think it will look kindly on the ignoring of the terrible consequences of lockdown for the health, prosperity and wellbeing of so many millions of people.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Where is the evidence that lockdown works?

      Where indeed?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Dr Claire Craig today on twitter:- Can someone point to the Autumn epidemic we’re in the middle of for me please because I can’t see it?

        Nor can I, just lots of over sensitive testing and statistically perfectly normal death figures (despite the NHS 9 month shutdown of many vital non covid services).

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        Michael Yeadon today on Twitter.

        This isn’t a medical or scientific crisis but a political crisis.
        There was a public health emergency & initial 3 week lockdown I understood. Absolutely everything since has been a net injury to the people of this country & to the nation as a whole.

        This is position too.

        • Richard1
          Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

          Indeed that is unfortunately correct

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Boris Johnson does NOT have to ‘make these calls’ – he has a Parliament that he can put the facts to and they will make the call.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        but he hasn’t and doesn’t.
        THEY must insist and unload him.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      It is right in front of your nose ! The very fact that are still using Lockdowns as the only method months later. And as for your Leader, he can always seek alternative advice. It is not as this has not been lacking but, that would mean he took the wrong advice and kept taking long after many realised it was all BS.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Not only SAGE but Hancock too. Boris should fire him but of course he won’t, he’ll probably promote him.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      The evidence is that infections and deaths fell sharply.


  22. Sharon
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I can’t find the article now, but Patrick OFlynn had a good article in the Telegraph last night. He said this latest debacle would be a good way of bringing down the PM.

    The inconvenience to millions is considerable. Not withstanding the further desecration of the high street – there are millions of families with huge joints of meat and all the trimmings – no longer required. Their expected guests now need to rush out to get food in…. “but don’t panic buy”

    Christmas presents under the tree in London, family in other parts of the country.

    Any last minute Christmas shopping – tough!

    What an almighty cock up! And Boris stood there with a straight face as he announced all this.

    • turboterrier
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink


      I do not think it is only the PM that will need to invest in flak jackets and stab vests some will need full body armour the way it is being perceived to have conducted themselves over the course of the pandemic.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink


      Personally, I was expecting such a trick.
      Psychological…it is how authoritarian rule is imposed. Get us begging on our knees.
      And any lofty MP who thinks that is conspiracy should think again!

    • Hope
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      He knew it Wednesday but did not want to debate or vote on it. He chose the cowards way, close parliament for. Hristmas then declare without question or scrutiny. He did not want to repeat events three weeks ago when a large number voted against him.
      JR and co now need to send letters to 1922 to oust him.

    • Sea_Warrior
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Making this decision on a Saturday, after having waved goodbye to the Commons, was a mistake – or was it deliberate?

      • Fred H
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        you keep telling us you have been, but resigned, Conservative membership n times. Marks out of 10 for leadership?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Indeed it might be his downfall. Doubtless to be replaces by even worse an even more Brino PM.

      O’Flynn is also right with this article:-

      The petrol cars ban has torpedoed Boris’s hopes of a green agenda that can win over the Red Wall. The PM will regret allowing the niche obsessions of out-of-touch southern environmentalists to overshadow the more popular parts of his plan.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        Out of touch and profoundly wrong and totally unscientific. Theatre studies or Classics graduates perhaps?

    • IanT
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      It would be quite inconvenient to die of Covid too Sharon.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      When I hear the words from Johnson ‘… as your Prime Minister …’, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        speaking as Carrie’s consort….

    • Iain gill
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Coventry is in tier 3 but has abolished all car parking charges for the Christmas period to encourage more shoppers, you couldn’t make this stuff up.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      ” Boris stood there with a straight face as he announced all this. ” – -Don’t worry – they all had a damn good laugh when the cameras weren’t there.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Let them eat toilet rolls.


    • steve
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink


      Christmas is just an excuse to sit around a dead tree & pretend to like one’s family. I don’t see the point.

  23. oldtimer
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I no longer believe the official line from ministers and “experts” on the Corona virus and what must be done about it. One thing I do believe. The “cure” is not a cure and is certainly worse than the disease.

  24. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    O/T if allowed please John. Barnes told us we only had hours to agree a trade deal. Shouldn’t that have been days? Is it any wonder we have no faith in what our masters tell us? This latest ridiculous scenario with a so called pandemic is the last straw. We should have been going to Wales on Wednesday until Sunday in a cottage. Just the two of us. Just over an hours journey so no stops along the way. Now suddenly as one of our illustrious scientific advisors told us, our bags are unpacked and it’s stop at home. If the data was accurate and realistic we could all find it easier to manage our lives without government interference. Many people arent taking the vaccine. They would rather take their chances of surviving this virus. Indeed most people recover well. Just like with many illnesses some recover abd some don’t. I’ve not made up my mind yet. At this rate the government won’t be able to fund the NHS to give it anyway.

  25. turboterrier
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    According to two consultant surgeons yesterday on a socially distanced shooting day implied that the reasons for the higher infection rates is that the test is not designed to identify CV 19 and the range of types of CV is wide and far ranging.

    Just because a person has had a CV test and passes away they in all probability had underlying problems, cancer, stroke,dementia or just old age why are they being included in CV19 statistics? When are these highly paid scientist going to address the perception of a lot of the population it is all being addressed on a wing and a prayer.

    In all problem solving exercises you have to identify the real problem and the real problem only. Then you can apply tailor made solutions. With all these mixed messages is it any wonder the government is perceived to be foundering.

  26. davews
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    It seems King Herod has moved into Downing Street this year. These latest changes, with less than 24 hours notice, is totally unacceptable with many more small shopkeepers now unlikely to ever open again, countless turkeys uneaten and lots of unhappy relatives and children who had been looking forward to meeting on the promised five day break. This from Lapland Uk’s facebook page sums it up very nicely:

    We have worked tirelessly all year to keep the magic alive for as many families as we possibly could this Christmas but we have reached a point where we must now say goodbye to the Human Folk.

  27. Lifelogic
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Once again this will surely do more harm than good.

    What analysis of the inevitable lockdown harm have they done? It is quite likely that this “supposed” new and “70% more infectious” strain is far less deadly. Indeed it might well act as a good and free vaccine with delivery mechanism. Perhaps a rather better one that those artificially developed. Where on earth did they get the “70%” figure from so quickly?

    Have they made the vaccine priority list more rational and not so anti-male yet? I assume not.

  28. Pete
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    The government increased the testing, used the greater numbers detected to justify increased lockdowns despite there being zero evidence they work and despite the massive damage they are doing to healt, the economy and freedom.
    Still incredibly gullible people appear to believe this is real even when you can drive past hospitals and see for yourself that they are less busy than last year.
    I see here on your site that people describe the virus as a mutant strain, unbelievably contagious and more. Well it’s so contagious that not a single person is ill on a local military base with 3500 on strength.
    The willingness to believe this rubbish is the most depressing thing I have ever seen in my entire life.

  29. RichardM
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I have no idea where you think the excess nurses are going to come from for the Nightingale hospitals. You have cut funding for training over last 10 years, and driven away more than 20000 European nurses with your Brexit.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 21, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Complete nonsense RichardM
      The numbers of nursing staff has gone up in the last year by 13,502 from 282,506 to 296,008
      The number of doctors has gone up by 7890 from 112,304 to 120,194.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 21, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      nursing times – 3 Oct 2017 — More than 12,000 nursing associates are to begin training through apprenticeships in England by 2019.

      Earlier this month the latest UCAS statistics revealed a 16% rise in applicants for nursing and midwifery courses in England, the second year-on-year increase. … April figures also show that 442 returners were identified, of which there are 82 doctors and 112 nurses and health visitors.23 Jul 2020 gov.uk

      The number of nurses in the NHS in England has increased by 14,199 compared with last year, and the number of doctors has risen by 9,283 . 24/09/2020 Dept of Health and Social Care Alongside this, the latest UCAS figures out today show there are record numbers of people accepting a place to study nursing in England, with a 23% increase on the same time last year, or 5,000 more student nurses.

      Are you saying this didn’t happen RichardM? I’m not saying this is high enough, more people should be trained rather than training in courses that doesn’t result in work, more on the ward training, that we used to have in the UK five year courses with university training on day release, lets flood the market with nursing staff, rename them from ‘nurses’ to attract more men.

  30. BJC
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Come on, admit it Sir John, Mr Johnson is a weapon of mass destruction. He lacks strategic ability and the fundamental capacity to be inquisitive, which translates into a fatally flawed judgment that turns everything he touches to dust. We deserve better than an easily manipulated fantasist at the helm and in the real world, he’d be removed from office for the good of the organisation.

  31. Caterpillar
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    If I recall correctly, the reasons JVT et al were unable to support the GBD route was that it was impossible to protect those in care homes and the very elderly living in multigenerational houses. I do not actually agree with this, but taken at face value there are about 3.5 million over 80 year olds in the UK, forming a large body of those at risk. In terms of vaccination the Govt should immediately release the exact dates that

    (i) Those in care homes will be vaccinated (1st and 2nd jabs, even the first with Pfizer produces some protection)
    (ii) Over 80 year olds in multigenerational houses will be vaccinated
    (iii) All other over 80 year olds will be vaccinated.

    Once this is done, the excuses for not following GBD are much weaker.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      And then rapid testing is focussed at protection.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      Probably also worth asking Mr Hancock;

      (1) What percentage of people have caught SARS-CoV2 from asymptomatic carriers and what percentage from symptomatic carriers? (Presumably contact tracing is giving an indication of this, and much of the economy is being locked up and masked based on asymptomatic transmission. It might be expected that symptomatic transmission is the most likely and ‘we’ have lost concentration on this at great cost).
      (2) Have the specific cases who have died from Covid been investigated in terms of the characteristics of how they contracted it? (Can anything be learned in terms of focussed protection?)

  32. Hank Rearden
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Are you really going to support people being arrested if they stay at their relatives house on December 25th? Is that what it’s come to? I’m sorry but no more of this.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      arrested by who? those serving Police who might also be out of uniform enjoying family hospitality at someone else’s house?

  33. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    So it seems we all need to be vaccinated for something which has changed and the scientists admit they don’t know if it will work!!!!! We may as well just get on with our lives THE WAY WE SEE FIT and ignore all the science because I just don’t think it’s working. The rush in the supermarkets over the next few days will be ridiculous. Thanks Boris, Drakeford and Sturgeon.

  34. Caterpillar
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I totally agree that the Govt needs to be clear on other approaches to reducing effects of Covid;

    (i) Clearly restate best available prophylactic advice (and make available) e.g. vitamin D (+ zinc?, + other?). Also take a risk manager approach to this not a proven science approach.

    (ii) Confirm very clearly and comprehensively the most at risk (e.g. diabetics etc), stating the increase in fatalities case matched to similar age and gender – so we all know who to protect.

    (iii) Clarify work that is being done that might also be more widely applicable in the future, e.g. designed airflow with HEPA and UVC (whilst maintaining ozone control).

    (iv) Clarify international treatment protocols (again risk management point of view is valid prior to scientific testing), changes in fatality, and how to increase availability (Regeneron).

  35. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    A country run by decree is far from democratic even if discussions are allowed.

    Something is seriously wrong with how lockdowns are triggered. I find it impossible to believe that there are so many people loose out there, in every county, spreading the virus. Especially when the constant propaganda from the media scares a good 40% of people out of their wits on a daily basis, while the rest of us stick to guidelines.

    As mentioned, the current lockdown will not be eased until the warmer weather comes along, which is exactly what happened with the first lockdown – MEANING, it was not the lockdown that reduced the statistics, it was the warmer weather….

    Yet the medical establishment insists lockdowns are some sort of cure – That cannot be believed any more.
    The definition of insanity is to keep on doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

    I want to see a new team on this – The current medical establishment ignores things that might help, have no plan-B, and now rely on vaccines that have inherent limitations.

    There is another agenda at play here…!

  36. MickN
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    If Whitty and Valance were in charge of transport, we would all be told that cars have to be banned because some people will get killed on the roads.
    This is like a judicial enquiry where the judge cannot go outside a narrow remit.
    Theirs is obviously to stop anyone dying from covid. It’s little more than an arse covering exercise for the public enquiry that will duly follow.
    Boris whilst in a cleft stick is only where he is because the opposition is even worse.
    All he has left now in his armoury is a clean brexit.
    If he mucks that up I don’t give much for his chances.

  37. villaking
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Indeed, Sir John, you are absolutely correct. The government has behaved disgracefully just as with the first lockdown, pushing through wildly disproportionate new laws without even consulting parliament. Please keep up your fight .

  38. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I can’t believe that Parliament supported the Govt on the basis that they said ‘in the future the tiers could be reduced’.
    You supported the WA because the Govt said ‘all the unacceptable parts will be renegotiated’.
    If Parliament has reached this level of incredible incompetence – to believe this PM (or far that matter any other) then it’s over John.
    No point recalling Parliament. You had your chance to defend the People, the Rule of Law and Democracy. You did not have the stomach.
    The People will now resolve this problem and many others.
    Just stand back.

  39. Dave Andrews
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Until a few years ago, when I got wise to what was happening, I only went down with flu about 3 days into a holiday. I put this down to airports and motorway services, so from then on I avoided touching surfaces with bare hands. Since then, I have enjoyed healthy holidays.
    When I was at school, I also got sick from flu.
    I observe that the rise in Coronavirus coincides with the return of schools at the beginning of September.
    So to kill off the disease, close airports, motorway services and schools. These other measures are pretty ineffective.
    For some months we have all been wearing facemasks, yet the disease carries on. Can we now conclude that facemasks don’t work and the advice should be to avoid all circumstances that currently demand the wearing of facemasks?

    • Alpipp
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      Agree with you … I always wear gloves on tube and buses regardless of weaher and hey presto no flu or bad colds. I wonder why they didn’t suggest gloves – not surgical gloves just a good pair of leather gloves.

      Very strange. So obvious

  40. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Somehow the controls are able to be instigated immediately but Parliament has been waved goodbye for Christmas. Something’s wrong with this version of democracy, isn’t it? It’s democracy by carrier pigeon when the real world is in cyber space.

    Somehow this virus will precipitate changes which bring the system up to date. We do need resources to implement lightning speed changes on decision making and the way we live. Taking 5 years to implement a simple yes/no decision or even a month or so to debate democratic reactions to a virus will be seen as completely nuts in a few years time.

    “The science” has to jump ahead dramatically to being seen as sufficiently genuine and correct to inform and justify these quickfire decisions. A guy in mop bucket hair with a classics degree and a bunch of juveniles behind him with awful data backing him up doesn’t cut it.

  41. John E
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Once again – There are no staff for the Nightingale hospitals!

    So many people are having to self isolate that the existing hospitals are even more badly under staffed than usual. I know a medic who has been trying to get tested under the “priority” system all weekend without getting any response. They won’t be at work on Monday, they’ll be in the queue for the staff testing at the RBH when that reopens on Monday. (Remember the seven day NHS initiative ?)

  42. Edwardm
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Johnson has made a big mistake in cancelling Xmas and effectively imprisoning so many people in tier 4. The annoyance and inconvenience is intense and the government is creating the conditions for quiet mass disobedience by decent people who wish to keep their existing arrangements.
    There are some police forces saying they will take a tough approach – but I note they don’t do that with BLM protestors and rioters.
    The sudden imposition of tier 4 is not thought through – look at crowded trains last night. And supermarkets will be made busier, by those who do cancel travelling away.
    Johnson should have given information and advice but left it to everyone’s own responsibility about what they choose to do.

    • beresford
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      In Wales Christmas decorations are apparently cordoned off in supermarkets as ‘non-essential’.

  43. Alan Hill
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    The less contact that you have with other people the less chance of catching or spreading the disease. Rocket science it ain’t.
    I don’t see what else Boris could have done and thank goodness he had the courage to do it.

    • James Bertram
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Not so, Alan. Humans are social animals. The more we mix with other people, the stronger our immune system. We damage that natural defence if we do not mix sufficiently.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 22, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. So why didn’t we close all the entry points into the country in the first place ?

  44. Caterpillar
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    My more pessimistic (realistic) view:

    In the USA the Supreme Court refused to take the Texas case, in the UK we have seen the treatment of the Dolan cases. The new normal is a tyrannical west, we are moving to a need for new year revolutions, not resolutions. I hope that Conservative (and Labour) MPs will realise that continued support for the Johnson Govt (dictatorship) is far more dangerous than the virus. It is much too late for calm and heroic argument for alternatives, the Govt needs to fall now, before the country and its freedoms fall any further. Even a more serious virus would be irrelevant.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      Texas had NO CAUSE OF ACTION so no court could have taken the case.

      They deal in the LAW, not in bent, bigoted political allegiances, even after everything that has been done to achieve that, miraculously.

    • James Bertram
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      Passport to Pimlico. It is time small areas of the country took charge of their own health affairs and ignored the Government restrictions and diktats.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted December 21, 2020 at 1:50 am | Permalink

      I fear this Government will be forced out by Summer.

  45. Wokinghamite
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I would suggest that we don’t need Parliament to vote on these controls. We have a government which is doing its best, including a P.M. who would not lightly have introduced these measures.

  46. Jack Falstaff
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I’d swear the Prime Minister is allowing the media to dictate policy to him.

    He should have realised by now that this approach makes his job mission impossible because whatever he does they will write horror stories implying that to act otherwise would be a better solution.

    This strikes me as particularly naive given his experience of working on the inside with the press.

    OK, they caught that guy responsible for the leaks the other day but there are still too many news-items appearing that mention “sources close to the government”, which to me amounts to the same thing only dressed up to appear respectable and insightful.

    Please show a bit of resolution Prime Minister and stop being cowed by all and sundry!

    If you stick to your guns and give us proper independence on Brexit I might forgive you.

  47. DOM
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Please drop the ‘NHS on verge of collapse’ narrative. It’s nonsense, it’s tosh and it’s simply untrue.

    The NHS like the cancerous Tory-Labour client state partnership has so much to answer for

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      + lots.

  48. JustcantdothatBoris
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Talking to other family and friends yesterday, the general feeling is that the Government has acted in an appaling manner, with their last minute “swerve” to deny families and friends the promised Christmas reunions.

    Sorry, Sir John, but your Tory leaders just can’t do that and expect to get away with it, lightly.

    My sister-in-law and another relative were in tears upon hearing the news.
    I’ve never known any Government decisions that have done that to people.

    A classic example of the Government “managing up expectations”, then dashing hopes.
    This is probably an “ERM, interest rate panic” from the past, that will stop many Tories voting for their Party ever again.

    Unless the new variant virus is far more dangerous than they are telling us, the U-turn is just not acceptable.
    Parliament must be recalled tomorrow, to at least take a vote on this SNAFU.

    So disappointed in your/our Party Sir John.

  49. SecretPeople
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink


    • Richard
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      +1 Sir John, Why aren’t the government fast-tracking this reportedly very promising treatment with the same enthusiastic marketing shown to vaccines?

      Dr Pierre Kory’s FLCCC team are very highly respected.

      Same for Vitamin D, Zinc, HCQ etc

  50. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    On the radio this morning an “expert” was telling us that it is all our fault – his reason – ” People aren’t being compliant “. Repeated several times. So . . . Altogether . . .BAAAA . . . .BAAAAA . . . .BAAAAAA.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Was it Ferguson of Imperial?

  51. glen cullen
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Sky News reporting today that the new strain is 75% more transmittable than covid-19

    ‘More’ transmittable is a conclusion, we need to know why its characteristics and behaviour make it more transmittable e.g. its shelve life is longer, its can stay in aerosol format longer, there’s more of them, its attracted to skin, its faster etc etc

    • steve
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:01 pm | Permalink


      The word you are looking for is ‘virulent’

      What they claim is that it’s supposed to be a more virulent strain. But they cannot use those words exactly as doing so would invite successful challenge.

  52. Fred H
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Sir John – seriously.
    You need to engage your Party MPs in a move to take Boris out of office.
    The Party, the Country – at risk of breakdown and civil disorder – this cannot go on.

    Dress it up how ever you like – he’s unwell, physically exhausted – never properly recovered from Covid.
    BUT get him out of office.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink


    • Alpipp
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      Well said. I wrote to MPs, 1922, CCHQ etc saying get Boris to sack Hancock, Whitty & Vallance. He failed to do this. Therefore Boris MUST GO or the Conservative party will be unelectable like the liberal party after the student loan broken promise. Boris should resign for family reasons – being a modern Godless liberal he can say he wants to support Carrie’s career as eco-warrior and be a full time daddy to little Wilfred (i. e do a Prince Harry).

  53. Norman
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Every day, we are grateful for your clarity of thought, Sir John. In a measured way, at least, you are able to speak your mind. It’s a marvel how you serve your constituency, make media and Parliamentary contributions, as well as this blog – a much valued means of interaction with the wider world.
    Within the next few days, I believe we are going to see some epochal events:
    1. The American Election outcome is not settled, as we shall see in January. There’s going to be major upheaval, and the increasingly censorious media are going to be in meltdown. (Keep your powder dry!)
    2. Concerning the vaccine, a 43-page paper I have read by Wodarg and Yeadon, submitted to the European Medicines Agency concludes that the Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine should not have been cleared, and that there are major problems with the PCR test upon which trials were based (also as a diagnostic tool).
    3. Policy direction on Brexit, Climate and Social issues continue to be driven – by default, if not by design -by an anti-democratic globalist mind-set.
    The spirit of Herod and his Romish masters looms large. But rest assured, their days are numbered: the Suffering Servant shall reign! (Psalm 2; Isaiah 55:4)

  54. Simon
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Let’s face it, no-one has a clue, they are all trying to find their way out of a paper bag in the dark. The sheer disrespect for parliament is astonishing. A conspiracy theorists dream.

    Perhaps a total reset is necessary and the NHS needs to be examined and redesigned in totality. After all it is the NHS that has failed in providing sufficient resources. Nightingale hospitals without medical staff are symptomatic of the lack of depth of thought in the management of response.

    One of the problems why the public are not buying into the messages about Covid is that they are treated like idiots, not given sufficient information to draw their own conclusions, when data is presented it is confusing, often out of date and not impartial. If the government want people to behave with responsibility then they should stop treating them as though they were children.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      Also few of us know anyone who has been sick much less died of CV19.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 22, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        EXACTLY !!

        I asked this of our kind host and others. He replied but there were only a handful. I have asked loads of people in person this question, some complete strangers. They either do not know anyone or only know someone distant too them.

  55. Original Richard
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Every winter the Brexit supporting Conservative Party are heavily criticised by the BBC/MSM and all pro-EU institutions for an NHS close to overload from cases of the normal flu.

    If during this Covid-19 pandemic scenes were seen, as we have seen in other European countries, of an overloaded and overstretched NHS with patients left to die in corridors then we can be sure that this would be the only news we would hear until the collapse of the government.

    The prevention of this happening is more important than “severe controls on economic and personal freedom.”

  56. William Long
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    The problem with Lockdowns is that they are only effective while they are in force; as soon as they are eased infection rates pick up again. This is obvious to all it seems, except to those in charge. Some other way, which probably requires a change in basic attitude towards the pandemic, needs to be found, and found quickly. All I can think of is to confine the restrictions to the really vulnerable and let the rest risk the disease, and if the NHS management had made proper preparations, including, as you have been saying, proper isolation and usage of the Nightingale capacity, this would be a viable option. Instead of which, those at the top of the NHS appear to have made no preparations except for endlessly repeating their plea to ‘Protect the NHS’. It should surely have been capable of protecting itself and providing the necessary capacity.
    The late Alan Clark wrote an excellent book about the First World War, entitled ‘Lions lead by Donkeys’. This could equally be applied to the NHS: fantastic staff but hopeless management.

  57. TooleyStu
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    SJR, Thank you again for this blog.
    I use it as a litmus paper to judge the mood of Parlmt and public.

    Reading the comments above, a whole swathe of posters have..
    after gunning their loins in summer..
    have fallen for the same Media Trick as in the spring.

    Parlmt et al are not driving the bus.
    It is being remotely steered from waaaay above their pay grade.
    Along with every complicit Gov in other Germany, Spain etc etc.

    I would urge readers to read up on the World Doctors Alliance, where brave medical professionals are risking life and livelihood to try to get the message over a now heavily censored internet.

    (search for www. world doctors alliance . com without the spaces, if you wish)

    Best regards, as always,
    to you Sir and your posters,
    Tooley Stu

    • Mark B
      Posted December 22, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      cheers mate.

  58. Nigl
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I see the blame game is starting, it is our irresponsible behaviour that is causing the problems.

    Nothing to do with zero information to us from day 1, how and where this thing is transmitted so we can avoid it, the total failure and waste of money on both test and trace and the moonshot testing programme, closure of hospitality with no evidence etc

    Politicians craven denials and trying to evade their responsibilities, is even by their usual norms quite breathtaking.

    • steve
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:54 pm | Permalink


      “it is our irresponsible behaviour that is causing the problems.”


      Not the fact that nobody believes a bloody word this government says.

  59. APL
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    JR: “we were told to look forward to a review in mid December when areas might be taken down from Tiers 2 and 3 into Tiers 1 and 2.”

    At the six month mark of this charade, you the gutless rabble in parliament were told that before any further lock-dows, the government would ‘consult’ parliament.

    This time, did they?

    The overpaid rabble in parliament (doesn’t deserve capitalisation) have allowed yourselves to be utterly bypassed. What an utter waste of money and real estate.

    This is an illegitimate government, and we’d get more representation in parliament by a gaggle of geese !

    • APL
      Posted December 21, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      And now that stupid clot, Mat Handcock, has put his foot in his mouth, by trying to scare the ‘bejusus’ out of the hapless British citizen with scare talk of a new variant of COVID-19 that is much more contagious.

      Our trade partners are saying ‘no mas’, they don’t want to import anything from a country that’s got a more infectious disease than they’ve already got.

      Stupid is as Stupid does!

      Please get Hancock sacked before the stupid fool looses us another !0% of GDP!

  60. Barbara
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    If lockdowns work, why are we having another one?

    And if they don’t work, why are we having another one?

    This is not about controlling a virus – it is about controlling people.

    • steve
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink


      “This is not about controlling a virus – it is about controlling people.”

      ….Spot on !

    • Mark B
      Posted December 22, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Welcome aboard.

  61. Jack Falstaff
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    My heart sank watching all those people scuttling and jostling to get on board transport out of London.

    It’s not the Fall of Saigon folks!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      No, it’s the Fall of Britain. We have been living with that for a while. Now we see the ground hurtling towards us.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      The Liberation Of Saigon, I think that it was in retrospect.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 21, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        Gosh Martin,
        You really think that the fall of Vietnam to murderous evil communists was a liberation?
        I am genuinely shocked that a) you hold that opinion and b) you had the nerve to say it in public.

  62. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Odd that the Prime Minister can decree that if I meet a family member at Xmas I am breaking a criminal law with no say at all from Parliament.

    Boris is so weak – every time he decides to indulge in even a tiny bit of libertarianism – for example opposing a national lockdown in November or offering a few days respite over Xmas and telling people to take personal responsibility, SAGE and Hancock conspire together with absurd scaremongering rubbish – leaked to the media in advance – about 4000 deaths per day and some new mutant strain and Boris caves in and U-turns and looks like a fool. Here’s a question for you to ask if in the distant future you are ever allowed to debate this – where’s the evidence this “new” mutant strain is 70% more transmissable that the other endemic strains in UK ?

    I see Hancock today has announced these current restrictions will last unchanged until the spring. We knew that anyway but nice to have it announced.

  63. Derek Henry
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    For me the virus has highlighted 2 problems very clearly. Shows after Brexit we have to get back to what we used to be very good at. The best in the world at it in fact until a failed ideology destroyed our capacity to react to things quickly.

    1. The neo-liberal era has been marked by a major reduction in Departmental capacity to design and implement fiscal policy – given the obsession with monetary policy and the major outsourcing of “fiscal-type” government services to the private sector.

    Many of the major government policy departments in the advanced nations are now just contract managers for outsourced service delivery. So this diminution in the overall capacity of the government machine to implement efficiently and speedily complicated nation-wide infrastructure programs has to be addressed as a matter of urgency by our politicians.

    As a result of what we learned during the GFC and now the virus, we can no longer deny that fiscal policy is required to address serious swings in non-government spending.

    Monetary policy has been proven – categorically – to be ineffective in dealing with aggregate demand failures of the sort we have witnessed in these crisis.

    In that context, governments must develop forward-looking capacity to ensure that it has project implementation skills when they are required.

    2. The virus has shown very clearly we can all retire a lot sooner than the current retirement age.

    We have spent the best part of a year paying a good deal of the country 80% of their wages to remain on standby. The creditors to stave off are nowhere to be seen. There is no shortage of stuff on the shelf. How many more billions of Gilts do we have to sell at near-zero redemption yields? Surely by now, it should be clear that the old mental model is just a laughable anachronism.

    Perhaps the mental blockage is the horrible realisation that an awful lot of private sector activity adds about as much real value to the economy as a government furlough payment.

    The task of the private sector is to invest capital and replace drudgery with advanced machinery. As we can see this year, it’s well on its way, which is something that should be celebrated and encouraged.

    The HUGE amount of skills and real resources sitting idle and with nearly a £ trillion put into the economy with inflation dropping instead of increasing. Is all the proof we need that the retirement age needs looking at and cut. It proves beyond doubt none of us should working for that long. All based on a gold standard, fixed exchange rate mid understanding how the govt pays for itself that no longer applies to our monetary system.

  64. Newmania
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    You will present a case will you? We can only hope after you have serially misjudged and arrogantly prescribed in an area in which I am better informed never real experts are given “due” consideration. None.
    I was interested to discover, this morning ,that several others shared my loss of faith in Chris Whitty after his premature and politically convenient claim that the new strain was 70% more contagious . This is based on basic work in Kent comparing contagion with equivalent distancing regimes . It does not factor in behavioural change which has quite obviously changed dramatically and might easily be the main factor .
    Spikes have occurred elsewhere without any new contagion level and new strains have cropped up regularly . It is self evident that any such figure can be little better than guesswork at this stage and it is frankly, all to convenient, for this government of muddle and incompetence to blame its latest prat – fall on some unprovable new factor using “modelling”. Extracting a headline figure that can easily be dismissed later reeks of political interference
    So now we trust no-one – John Redwood and his typically magical fictions, I need hardly say , are not for grown ups

    • steve
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:50 pm | Permalink


      “So now we trust no-one ”


      “John Redwood and his typically magical fictions, I need hardly say , are not for grown ups ”

      …I think you’re being a little unfair.

    • SM
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, I would be interested to know what your qualifications are (“in an area in which I am better informed”).

      Since you are always so scathing about our host and his writing, I would also be interested to know who is forcing you to read this Diary.

      And finally, since you are consistently awful at clearly expressing your opinions, perhaps some of your time would be better spent learning how write plain English?

  65. Jones
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    They are NOT ”cases” and there’s only a ”surge” (another Newspeak ‘S’word) because of the obsessive testing giving so many false positives.
    ”Cases” are clinical diagnoses of sick people. We know these ”positive test results” are from healthy people with the same obsession with testing. They are NOT ”cases”.

    Sir John – many of us know we’re being manipulated. It’s very depressing that you join in with the coercive narrative.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Incredibly depressing!

  66. Tony Sharp
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,
    You MPs have been ‘jumped’ with a promise to review which Johnson had no intent of honouring and indeed has immediately reneged on!
    The policy is utter and complete INSANITY!
    No disease has ever been defeated by putting the healthy into quarantine and crashing economic activity.
    A whole Spring and Summer passed with NO discernible issues in health of the nation except that refusal to treat Non-Covid conditions led to a catastrophic increase in avoidable deaths.
    Statistically the CV Morbidity rate is negligible with the Age of ‘victims’ being higher than the UK national Life Expectancy age.
    JOHNSON must go along with his idiotic third rate Maths graduate advisers who make up the figures as they get up in the morning – especially that serial failure Ferguson

  67. margaret howard
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink


    “…and more people deciding working for themselves is simply too difficult with all the regulations.”

    Surely that shouldn’t be a problem now after your successful Brexit. You’ve already had plenty of time to FREE businesses from all these restrictive EU regulations with a promise of a veritable paradise once we were free of EU shackles.

    Or is the reality slightly different?

    • Edward2
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      Yes the reality is very different.
      Until we leave on Dec 31st we cannot alter any laws regulations rules or directive made by the EU.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        Nad we may not ever leave and be free of the massive restrictions. The paid public sector are going to have to be taxed to the hilt to support the bankrupted private sector! 😂😂

      • steve
        Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        Edward 2

        That’s interesting, since I never obey EU rules.

        Naughty me.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 21, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

          I would keen to know how you do that.

          Try running a manufacturing company that buys and sell in Europe without being compliant.

          • steve
            Posted December 21, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

            “Try running a manufacturing company”

            I don’t. So have no problem there.


            “I would keen to know how you do that.”

            Not having to obey EU rules is easier than you might think. Start by driving an older car – EU emissions regs exempt, and I don’t buy goods made in the EU or RoI.

            I also own property outright, older property. So am not bound by EU building regs.

            And as a consequence of owning an older house I don’t have a water meter.

            You don’t have to ‘disobey ‘ EU rules, just avoid them.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 21, 2020 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

            Ah avoid them.
            Well thats possible I suppose.

            Had we stayed in the EU I reckon your car (and mine) would have been prematurely scrapped by new stricter emission rules.

    • steve
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      @ JR

      Margaret Howard does have a point.

      Westminster has had over four years to sort this out.

  68. Original Chris
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    My comment on an earlier post by Sir John got moderated, but it basically said that Johnson will have to rethink all his Covid policies/Great Reset approach when President Trump is reelected. You cannot have global government/global communism if the USA remains the sole global superpower. (You can, of course, have the Great Reset if you are willing and actively encouraging the takeover of the global system by the CCP).

  69. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Boris Johnson was allegedly forced to introduce a new tier with tougher restrictions last night as he warned that a new variant of the virus was spreading “significantly more easily” among the population.

    The Prime Minister told the nation: “When the virus changes its method of attack, we must change our methods of defence.”

    ….But hang on, how can he call this a change when the government’s only response to the virus has been to lock us down — Is this all they can come up with?
    A new extended lock down is hardly a Plan-B……!

    When are we going to see a remedy from this government that is not actually worse than the problem they are allegedly trying to solve…?

    • steve
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      Bryan Harris

      “Boris Johnson was allegedly forced to introduce a new tier with tougher restrictions ”


      So what you’re saying is that Boris Johnson is is someone else’s lackey ?

      Who’d have thought it eh.

  70. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Well said.

    My own fear is that the vaccines will prove to be disappointing. That we will go through all of this, bankrupt our country and CV-19 will take those who it was going to take anyway.

    I fear that we may have at least a year of lockdowns and social distancing. And I don’t think these infernal masks will ever go away. We have been changed irrevocably.

  71. John P McDonald
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    I have to ask, why Sir John you make no mention of the Oxford vaccine, a UK product ?
    The government ordered the Pfizer vaccine in such a large quantity before it was approved generally – Why? On whose say so. We are now stuck with it for better or worse.
    Are the Government fast tracking the Oxford vaccine or mentioning it more widely.
    On balance the Oxford vaccine is a less risky option based on a more traditional development compared to the Pfizer modern much less experienced genetic engineering approach.
    The Oxford vaccine can be stored in a domestic fridge/freezer unlike the Pfizer vaccine.
    Will we be forced to have the Pfizer and export the Oxford to the third world ??

  72. Barkham Nick
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    To be honest, I was expecting a more robust response to this absolute farcical debacle.

    I’ll tell you what you should be doing: getting back to the House of Commons tomorrow to scrutinise these decisions and sort this mess out.

    Your colleague, Charles Walker, is quite right: this situation is extremely egregious indeed. You and your parliamentary colleagues are being taken for fools by de Pfeffel Johnson, as are we, the electorate.

  73. Simon Coleman
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it about time to say ‘enough is enough’? There is only one way to get out of this – get rid of Johnson and replace him with someone who will sack the current SAGE and bring in a group of sensible, eminent experts. All the Spi-B people must go as well, as they have driven much of this psycho-warfare against the public. There won’t be a functional society to return to unless you act now to remove Johnson. And that’s in your party’s interests as well.

    • Richardhttps://scont
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

      +1 Well said.

  74. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Guess where the 70% increase in transmission number for the new virus strain came from ? Correct, computer modelling by NERVTAG member Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College.

    Why do the government persist in listening to him ? Well, because he says what they want to hear

    • Fred H
      Posted December 21, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      there is NO EVIDENCE that this ‘new strain’ of Covid actually is more infectious than the main culprit. In order to have scientific ( hilarious) evidence on increasing contagion, some bright spark had the idea of glamourising the incidence to present it as extremely virilent. All guesswork but adds neatly to the theatrics of reversing the nonsense 5 day wonder.

  75. acorn
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Exactly where are you going to get all the Doctors and Nurses to staff these Nightingale Hospitals? My Registrar mate is telling me he is struggling to staff his own bit of his General Hospital.

    He added that if this Covid bug had turned up in 2009, the NHS would have had far greater reserve capacity, including reserve PPE inventory, available to handle it for a month or more.

    A decade of Conservative Austerity stripped out all the reserve capacity and introduced a “just-in-time” health service, as if it were a car assembly plant. The NHS ended up panic buying and paying through the nose for Arthur Daley types to supply fake and/or out of date PPE.

    This virus has proved that Laissez-faire Neoliberalism’s “market knows best” ideology, is incapable of handling such an event. Just as it will be incapable of handling a “no-deal” Brexit economy.

    BTW, The Pfizer vaccine was engineered in Germany, funded by the German government by a Turkish couple who re-located to Germany. Pfizer is the “for-profit” distributer ($20 a shot) for the German vaccine. I hope the German taxpayers manage to get their money back from Pfizer.

    Reply The govt is recruiting extra nurses and there is plenty of money to do so. Staff absence is a big issue owing to cross infection and need to self isolate through contact with CV 19 which is why isolation hospitals specialising in Cv 19 with full PPE for all should cut the absence rate substantially.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      Not only was the Pfizer vaccine developed as you say, it is also being manufactured in Belgium.

      Not that you would know this from reading John Redwood’s most recent few articles which only make reference to the USA. Give credit where credit’s due and don’t allow a personal dislike of all things European to recognise the contributions made.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

      Third and second year university medical students perhaps?

    • Mark B
      Posted December 22, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink


      Remind us how it came to be that the Tories imposed austerity on the Public Sector ? A sector that has not, and is not going to suffer this coming recession.

  76. Richard416
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    If a minister can pull restrictions on our freedoms out of the air like that, then we have nothing short of a dictatorship. This is doing the conservative party no good at all.

  77. Excalibur
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Yes, JR. But I seem to recall months ago that our scientific elders and betters were telling us that covid-19 was not influenced by the outside temperature. Now we are told to expect a decrease in covid cases in the Spring.

    Is a record being kept of those dying of influenza ? It is well know that ‘flu case deaths increase dramatically during the winter months. Are records being kept to differentiate deaths from flu, and deaths from covid ?

  78. Original Chris
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Why are Tory MPs letting Johnson get away with this? It seems they are utterly irrelevant to his style of government and “leadership”. What is more, they are not even trying to stop him. That indicates that they are either cowards or complicit.

  79. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Due to go to our sons near London for Christmas. Had all the presents delivered there. Thanks Boris.

    I won’t forget this. And I am sure lots of Tory voters won’t either.

    The thing that baffles me is Labour. They should be arguing for common sense and pointing out all the nonsense the government is stating as fact.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      If it were going to do any good in saving lives one could understand but not at all it will surely do far more harm than good.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      They want the government to fail.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 22, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink


        As I often remind myself about certain people :

        In order for them to succeed, others must be seen to fail.

  80. Mary M.
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers and Obligations of Undertakings) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020
    Made – – – – at 6.00 a.m on 20th December 2020 Coming into force at 07.00 a.m. on 20th December 2020
    Laid before Parliament 21st December 2020.
    The Secretary of State makes the following Regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 45C(1), (3)(c), (4)(b) and (4)(d), 45F(2) and 45P of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984(a).
    These Regulations are made in response to the serious and imminent threat to public health which is posed by the incidence and spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS- CoV-2) in England.
    The Secretary of State considers that the restrictions and requirements imposed by the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020(b) as amended by these Regulations are proportionate to what they seek to achieve, which is a public health response to that threat.
    In accordance with section 45R of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, the Secretary of State is of the opinion that, by reason of urgency, it is necessary to make this instrument WITHOUT A DRAFT HAVING BEEN LAID BEFORE, AND APPROVED BY A RESOLUTION OF, EACH HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT.”

    (My emphasis in the last sentence.)

    “Laid before Parliament 21st December 2020” (see above.) In the UK Parliament calendar, no business is scheduled for Monday 21st December. This is because coincidentally MPs have been sent home early for the Christmas holiday.

    Once more we are reminded of MPs’ limp-wristed response to the debate in the House of Commons on 4th November regarding the continuation of restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus Act 2020.

    Most MPs voted FOR, or they ABSTAINED. If we constituents detected the thin end of the wedge then, why didn’t THEY?

    • Christine
      Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for this, Mary. It’s totally shocking and undermines our democracy in a way which I could never have contemplated or imagined in my worth nightmares at the beginning of this year.

      It begs the question when MPs are going to start earning their money and challenging this Government.

  81. Stred
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    SJR, Could you please have a look at this evidence for the use of Ivermectin and its efficacy? It has the potential to end this damaging farce and save thousands of lives. Please write to Boris and ask why the NHS is not treating it as s priority. These American doctors are highly qualified and the drug is already being used in other parts of the world.

    Reply I am pressing NHS to research all serious runners for better treatment. I myself do not know which drugs will work and this site does not offer medical advice.

    • Stred
      Posted December 22, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think pressing the NHS will have any effect. Boris still thinks it’s fantastic. He needs to talk to independent doctors and scientists.

  82. Richard
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Noted on Lockdownsceptics today:
    a) Professor David Livermore: “Over 20,000 variants have been reported. What is the hard evidence that this new variant really is so different against this background of great diversity? Apparently variant VUI202012/0 was first found in September. It’s not clear where it came from or how long it had existed previously. The delay before it expanded doesn’t fit with super-infectiousness.”

    b) Professor Anthony Brookes: “This new variant is most likely just an “asymptomatic variant” i.e., a strain that causes no or very mild illness… All viruses naturally evolve towards strains that are more transmissible but which cause mild or no disease.”

    Also from the Daily Mail:
    The NHS has more spare capacity than it did 12 months ago. NHS trusts are quieter than last December – with seven times fewer wards close to being full & 25% spare capacity in ICU units is higher.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 21, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Indeed. This variant might well prove to be an excellent, symptom free and £ free vaccine for most “victims” of it. Let us hope so.

  83. Derek
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    SJ, is there no way to stop the Conservative Party implosion that is occurring over the shambles of Covid 19?
    Why does the PM not seek sound advice and DIRECTION from the International scientists – those experienced and REAL experts in this Covid type 2 (SARS) virus rather than those he has, seemingly, twisting his arm, to send the country into the economic “Twilight Zone”?

  84. Stred
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Looking at the DM report on the sudden rise of apparent infections and the comments, some mums have noted that the schools are now recognised as one of the main sources of infection and the NHS has responded by mass testing the whole school. It has now been confirmed in NHS literature that the PCR test is being amplified using 45 cycles and the WHO has said that anything over 35 is going to be inaccurate, yielding false positives from dead virus RNA and contamination. The schools have stayed open during the lockdown and many parents have been confined to home, which is another prime source of infection. It is hardly surprising that they are finding many more cases and these are going to be asymptomatic in schools. The hospitals are somewhat busier in some areas but this is normal for this time of year. Many of the patients are coming in after lack of treatment over five months and are very ill. After testing two or three times they are picking up covid or a false positive and being re classified as covid victims if they die. This will not reflect well on the government when this comes out, and it already is being reported. Boris needs to be made aware of the situation.

    • Stred
      Posted December 21, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Now it seems that Hancock’s scaremongering about the mutation has caused cross channel and air traffic to cease. Please could we have somebody competent in charge.

  85. Disillusioned
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Dear John

    I take there is going to be a public inquiry into the government’s shambolic handing of how they dealt with the COVID pandemdic? We all know what some of the sorry outcomes of that will be

    1. The data was wrong or misleading and national/local lockdowns could have been avoided and most people could have continued with their business/work.

    2. The government should have consulted with a wider group of scientists and experts in the field rather than relying on Whitty, Vallance and Sage who were fixated on lockdowns.

    3. Mental health and Cancer Deaths – there will be a big spike unfortunately in these and other diseases that were neglected as COVID was deemed the most important.( there needs to be a balance – every persons life is important and they should not have stopped treatment for other diseases)

    4. Public money was wasted on PPE( that couldn’t be used), Nightingale Hospitals(that weren’t used – I don’t understand why they were not?) etc

    5. Public trust in our government and health officials ( thinking of Whitty and Vallance and Hancock) are at an all time low.

    I am not here to trivalise COVID – I know it is a serious disease and people have suffered through having the disease or losing loved ones. I just think there needs to be a balance. As you said in your article – livelihoods matter as well as lives. This will end at some point and we need an economy to go back to when this is over.

    PS ON BREXIT – Please, Please can we just leave – NO DEAL is perfectly acceptable to me. I am happy to take sort term disruption than to be tied in to EU Rules etc – If that happens what was the point of voting to leave if we are not a free, independent sovereign country.

    Thank You for your articles, John. You seem to be one of the few politicians who seems to understand what a lot of people are feeling in the country. Look forward to reading them in 2021 DV.

  86. JayGee
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Fine words and Christmas parsnips spring to mind. The bubble has been well and truly burst.

    I spoke to a neighbour the other day, mature, living alone, 74-ish at a guess, just as two people were driving away. “They’re part of my bubble,” said my neighbour, “I’ve known them for years now.” I’d never seen them before, and discovered that they’d not visited for years – until now. I asked about my neighbour’s son and daughter-in-law who I had understood were my neighbour’s bubble. “That’s another one of my bubbles.”

    Work out the confusion for yourself, then explain to me why the message is not getting through. Is it the fault of the message or the messenger?

  87. beresford
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    It is being reported that a new strain of covid in South Africa is more harmful to the young. No doubt it will be with us for Christmas courtesy of the Border Farce Channel taxi service.
    And our Government will be able to impose the next round of lockdowns.

  88. chris hook
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    The only figure that matters is the number of deaths per million. If this new virus inflicts more or less the same fatalities as the original and in the same age group then we know or should do by now that lock downs in the end do not work, it is just kicking the can along the road. Protect the vulnerable by all means and make use of the Nightingale hospitals and stop bankrupting the country.

  89. Iain Gill
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    So the channel tunnel is shut, port of Dover is shut, flights to/from continent are stopped.

    We will run out of food within days, is this a plan?

    WTF is our ruling class doing?

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted December 21, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Take two aspirin and lie in a dark room Iain. Life will still carry on with out the EU

  90. Everhopeful
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    It is now reported that Boris is toying with the idea of TOTAL INCARCERATION.
    Tier 4 apparently is not enough.
    In high casedemic areas people will not leave their houses.

  91. glen cullen
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    France stops all freight to Calais
    Britain allows all freight into Dover

  92. glen cullen
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Sunday 11pm another deadline missed with the BBC reporting that negotiations will continue

  93. John Devlin
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Whilst Sir John you may press ministers or Departments of State to introduce measures to help businesses and individuals, I fear the powers that be have already decided what they wish to do and it will not be in anyone’s interests for it to happen.

    Which brings me to this conclusion is Parliament or those who sit in it of any use now to those they were elected to represent.

  94. Polly
    Posted December 20, 2020 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    I have long thought you might have double agents in your administration.

    With blockade, it looks like we might find out if this is true.


  95. Dee
    Posted December 21, 2020 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    I see Mr Never right Ferguson is back advising Boris which led to this last flange of defeatist tiers. Does he have something over Boris? Surely Boris has realized by now that he is being advised by a bunch of incompetent fools! And it would appear that Boris in turn is taking the rest of the Conservative MP’s as nonentities seeing as he will not allow a discussion on this issue until after the New Year. Roll on 2024 and let us get Nigel and Laurence into power.
    In all my 80 years I have never ever known a situation where the ordinary working man has been more concerned about the state of the economy than it seems the Gov are.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 21, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Prof. Neil Ferguson OBE FMedSci epidemiologist does seem to have a very long record of getting things totally wrong (always it seems in the alarmist direction & by very large margins). In politics being wrong, on message with current wrong headed group think and always over alarmist seems to be what the politicians and civil servants want (they want something to do however damaging or pointless). Being consistently right seems to get you nowhere.

      If you are consistently right may I suggest business, betting or investing.

      We see this with the absurd climate alarmism agenda and the £ trillions war against harmless (beneficial in fact) CO2, plant food agenda.

      Looking at the cruise ship figures from Japan, early in the year, and adjusting for age profile I came up with the estimate of about 100,000 total deaths in the UK from covid. It took about five mins. Still looks about right to me. Ferguson came up with 500,000 but his estimates for BSE, bird flu, BSE, swine flu, foot and mouth were even more absurdly alarmist and over the top.

    • truth
      Posted December 21, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      You need only look at the faces of Ferguson, Whitty and Hancock to see exactly what sort of men they are.

    • Derek
      Posted December 21, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Dee, It’s only recently that the Treasury seems to have adopted the dangerous ‘Modern Monetary Theory’ (MMT).
      It takes the view that Government can never run out of its own money so it can print to order whenever needed. I do believe Robert Mugabe was a practising disciple in Zimbabwe and we all know how well his ZDollar fared down there.

  96. ChrisS
    Posted December 21, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    In view of the seriously infectious nature of the new strain of Covid 19, the availablilty of the various vaccines becomes increasingly critical. I’m pleased to report that we took our 80 plus neighbour to the local hospital to have his first jab this morning so we are getting on with it.

    The fact that we are already vaccinating our population while the EU still dithers over distribution,is a strong vindication of Boris deciding to go it alone and order supplies ourselves.

    Ironically, while the UK has several million doses of the Pfizer vaccine for early distribution, the EU have only secured 400,000 doses for the whole of Germany. As a result, there has been a great deal of criticism of Brussels and this week, there is an article in Der Spiegel magazine where it is described as a “Planning Disaster”.
    Interestingly, even though we were the first country to approve it for use, we don’t get a single mention in the article !

    You can read the article in English here :


  97. sadinsilence
    Posted December 22, 2020 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    Sir, May I ask why you do not present any skepticism at all in this paragraph? Excess mortality stays within normal range. What is the cycle value of the PCR-tests in use? Where are then numbers that show the positive test results/test administered has changed? Where is the differentiation of positive test results meaning no or mild symptoms vs hospitalisation? ICU admissions peak in December, so imposing restrictions from December to Easter is an easy win for lockdown supporters. Please do not forget after the introduction of the vaccine there was no widespread talk of easing restrictions or abolishing masks altogether.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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