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Lockdown : a dog’s dinner

Tim Considine

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

A dog's dinner is better structured and way more appetising than the current hash of government lockdown measures.

Let’s be clear : the covid virus is real. We are not virus-deniers. And it is entirely right & proper that as a nation we should take action to manage its spread.

But the government measures have been and are increasingly ‘random’ and not thought through. They are damaging our country, our economy, our collective and our individual mental health, and the physical health of more people than are affected by the virus.

The worst lie of all from Boris & Co. : “we are guided by the science”. No. They are not. They are guided by advisers with personal interpretations and opinions, for which there are many counter-opinions. THAT is not science.

And let’s speak the truth : they’re also guided by their own fear that unless they are seen to be doing something (aka anything), they will be judged as incompetent. Sorry, Boris, people are judging you & your team as incompetent anyway.

That’s not a political comment. It’s a comment on the poor disjointed & ineffective strategic approach the Government are displaying.

There are too many examples of poor Government initiatives to cover them all in a single article. But here are a few egregious instances.


The Hospitality sector is vital. Economically, it employs millions and generates billions in money-flow. Money-flow is critical to the nation’s wealth and activity. It is also plays a critical role in our mental health.

But our government is treating it as the principal cause of virus spread.

In doing so, their actions are COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE. Rather than dispersing concentrations of people, the mass exodus of people at 10pm is creating bottle-necks & concentrations of customers. These are more damaging to public health than allowing a gradual and phased dispersal.

See this tweet of what’s happening on the streets.

And see this excellent article from my colleague Martin Murray. There are direct impacts on the health of the sector (JOBS!!), and indirect impacts, such as longer term loss of independent hospitality businesses.

We need to protect and support our Hospitality sector, not constrain it so it becomes almost inoperable, while doing almost nothing to impact virus spread.


Here’s some news for you (because you would not know this from MSM and government propaganda) : CoVid19 is not the only serious disease in the country.

Cancer hasn’t gone away. Many other conditions are going untreated or facing a massive decline in treatment, and possibly worse, are going undiagnosed.

Protect the NHS ? Tick. Job done. Adequate covid treatment capacity, with Nightingale hospitals being closed in places. Now let’s get back to some kind of universal health care.

Why does a CoVid patient receive priority over other serious illnesses ? Many of those will DEFINITELY kill the patient without prompt intervention, as opposed to the statistically low mortality rate of CoVid19.

Yes, yes, yes, I know : every patient is a person, often with a family and loved ones. They are not just a statistic. BUT THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT. Every patient who is suffering from a non-covid condition deserves the best that our NHS can do for them. Do you oppose postcode or treatment rationing? Well, wake up, and recognise that it is happening today …. because of covid prioritisation.

If we had a similar litigious environment in the UK to that in USA, the NHS and the government would be being buried under an avalanche of discrimination cases. I seldom look to the USA as a shining beacon of how to organise society. But with an increasing denial of our basic human rights, I’m starting to wonder if a stronger civil liberties voice backed by constitutional rights, implemented in a British not American way, is a necessary step forwards.


Oh boy. This deserves an article of its own. But I can’t not touch on it here.

Effective ? Don’t make me laugh. Although laughter is supposed to be the best medicine, it won’t save me from covid, nor will the mask. On this topic, I just want to cry.

  • the most common blue/white disposable mask is as effective as a chocolate fireguard. Most people don’t wear them correctly, leaving their nose free for easier breathing or stopping glasses misting up. Others wear them under their chin. Others re-use them over & over again, creating a health hazard for the wearer. At best they are ill-fitting and simply disperse any virus-laden breath sideways. Make sure you don’t stand to the side of someone using one of those.

  • increasingly popular are the DIY or fashion masks. They’re actually better in some ways than the pathetic blue/white disposable version. At least wearers are paying more attention and taking more care over what they’re wearing. But they’re probably not washed or disinfected regularly. And as (usually) a single piece of porous cloth …. another chocolate fireguard.

  • some simple cloth masks have inserts for replaceable filters. OK. Better. But they are rated as effective to PM2.5. It’s nigh-on impossible to get a filter for smaller than that. There is much debate on whether this is adequately effective. The covid virus is reported to be 0.05 to 0.2 microns. Some claim this is irrelevant because the filter does catch larger breath droplets which carry the virus. But they are clearly not effective when worn under the chin or loose fitting, so breath escapes.

A big shout-out therefore to a British company, the Cambridge Mask Company whose masks are not only effective for 99% of viruses and bacteria, they actually fit well, breathe easily, minimise glasses-fogging.

What to do?

There are so many more examples of government incompetence in managing the situation. Listing them would not change the overall picture. It’s more important to focus on what can be done better.

  • STOP THE FEAR CAMPAIGN. An early government internal briefing promoted the principle that public compliance would only be achieved by scaring the proverbial out of everyone. It was never the best strategy, and now it’s passed the USE BY date. A major contributor to the current virus spread is the fear agenda has gone too far. People are tired, not believing in government measures, and not caring.

  • STOP STUDENT LOCK-INS. Arguably a breach of human rights, the draconian imprisonment of students is disgraceful. And probably minimally effective. This is government overreach, pure and simple.

  • STOP BOTTLENECKS. Encourage and facilitate phased opening and phased closing of shops, offices, lecture halls, even schools. Dispersal is the key.

  • FIRE THE ADVISERS. Or at least expand the group of advisers, deliberately including the full range of ‘expert’ opinions, even if those are contrary to some recent advice.

  • PUBLISH THE EVIDENCE. Government data is slow, manipulated and cherry-picked, deliberately avoiding public and expert scrutiny. And leading to nonsense claims, such as this one from Boris.

“What we’ve seen from the evidence is that the spread of the disease does tend to happen later at night after more alcohol has been consumed.”

Really? REALLY?

If the government can pin-point virus spread so specifically as Boris claims, then it just proves that their broad-brush generalisations are false. I have a more honest word for it than ‘false’. The polite version is balderdash.

I’m only surprised that (n.b. sarcasm alert) this major scientific discovery has not led to the banning of alcohol and the banning of night-time. That is the level of government thought competence currently.

Image by Mat Coulton from Pixabay

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