Pages tagged "Boris Johnson"
The pandemic is over and the virus is now categorised as endemic. It is amongst us and we have to manage risk
By Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns
The vaccination programme has been a huge success. A total of 33,666,638 people have received the first dose, and a total of 12,587,116 people have received the second dose. Because of the vaccination programme, Covid cases have fallen by up to 90 per cent.
New research (based on throat swabbing over 370,000 UK citizens between December and April) has found that one dose of either the Oxford/AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine sees a fall of 74 per cent in symptomatic infections, and a fall of 57 per cent in asymptomatic infections. After two doses of the vaccine, those figures rise to 90 per cent and 70 per cent respectively. Wonderful news!
Results announced last month from the U.S. and South American study of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine have found that it was 79% efficacious in protecting against symptoms of Covid-19. In the trial, the two-dose shot was also 100% efficacious in protecting people from severe symptoms and hospitalisation from the disease. We should all be rejoicing at this news.
With all of this great news and with deaths with or of Covid at very low levels, why are we not opening the rest of the economy sooner? I appreciate that the Government doesn't want to take unnecessary risks, but the Prime Minister has said that he will be guided by data, not dates. The data could hardly be better. We should be getting on with it now.
What we also need to decide as a country are what levels of restrictions are acceptable in the future. It appears that the Government is receiving advice that when Covid infections rise again from the autumn, social distancing and mask wearing will once again be necessary. Most of the restrictions, we are told, will not be necessary through the summer, but not beyond it. Is it acceptable for mask wearing to become the norm? Are we prepared to tell children that they should wear face masks for over six hours a day whilst they are at school? Will social distancing in pubs and restaurants be with us for years to come? Some businesses may not be viable if that is so. Are we as a country prepared to allow some businesses to go to the wall in order to limit the transmission of Covid, even though because of vaccines the most vulnerable will be protected?
The pandemic is over and the virus is now categorised as endemic. It is amongst us and we have to manage risk. Over recent decades we have become more risk averse. Is the reaction to Covid a symptom of how just risk averse we have become? How frightened as a country are we that we feel we need to lock ourselves away? I appreciate that the law of the land has been changed to make sure we comply with many rules and regulations, but the vast majority of citizens have been happy to give up many freedoms. How long are they going to be prepared to continue to do that?
I know where I stand and will do everything that I can to present alternatives to the status quo; alternatives which manage risk and protect basic freedoms. For those who say that life is going to go back to normal from 21st June; to stop bleating on about restrictions because we are nearly there, I have this message: you are wrong. If the Government wants, it can continue to restrict freedom until September. It has those powers thanks to the extension of the Coronavirus Act. And I wager that those powers will be extended for another six months in September.
Wake up, wake up, it's later than you think.
By Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns
Data, not dates, is the new Government mantra. But the question I have is: when the data improves, why are the earliest dates for reopening the economy fixed in stone? The vaccination programme has been highly successful. More than 21.3 million people - 40% of the adult population - have been vaccinated so far. If you are 56 years-old or above, and live in England, you can now book a vaccination appointment here. I turned 50 last week, so I expect to receive my vaccine by the end of the month.
The Health Secretary has said, "What this all shows is that the link from cases to hospitalisations then to deaths that had been unbreakable before the vaccine, that link is now breaking." Yet the Government still won't budge.
Many businesses in the hospitality industry will not have traded for over six months by the time the Government allows them to trade again. This must be reviewed because if the Government is telling the truth and it is guided by data, the dates have to be flexible, too.
Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns at The Freedom Association, talked to Mike Graham on talkRADIO on 5th January, and criticised the latest lockdown. "We left Tier 1 into Tier 2 just before the November lockdown. And after the lockdown we were in Tier 3. It obviously didn't work very well, did it?"
Never before has individual freedom been so much at risk. Please join us and become a member of The Freedom Association.
Commenting on the Government's announcement that an additional £16.5 billion will be spent on defence, Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns of The Freedom Association, said:
"Defence of the realm must be any Government's number one priority, and this £16.5 billion boost to military spending is very welcome news.
"One of our 'Eight Principles of a Free Society' is strong national defences, and it is pleasing that the Prime Minister realises that as we live in a hostile world it is imperative that we defend our country properly.
"This announcement will be seen across the world that the UK is still a major player and a reliable NATO ally."
Writing for the Conservatives Global website, Andrew Allison commented that ministers are blind to the human cost of its lockdown measures.
"There were many great speeches opposing the new lockdown in the House of Commons on 4th November, but there were three which collectively summed up my reasons for opposing the Government’s latest restrictions. They were from Philip Davies, Huw Merriman, and Bob Neill – all Conservative MPs.
"But before I start, I want to tell you a story. When MPs started to debate the new lockdown, I was having lunch with my wife at a lovely French restaurant in Beverley. Our wonderful and attentive waiter gave us an insight on what it is like to run a restaurant when the Government is constantly changing the rules."
Click HERE to read the article in full.
Is the government doing a good job in its efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus? Or is it doing a bad job? Of one thing there is no doubt: the government is in an almost impossible predicament. If it prescribes lockdown, it will be damned by half the community. If it refuses to introduce lockdown, it will be damned by the other half. So in fact the government can’t win. And personally, I have some sympathy for ministers. “Good” we can praise and “bad” we can excoriate. The one thing that is intolerable is incoherence.
Unfortunately, this government is wildly incoherent.
The assaults on our basic freedoms have to stop. We didn’t take back control from Brussels to hand it over ministers who can arbitrarily dictate how we lead our lives
By Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns
To a certain extent the Government has had no option but to make it up as it goes along. None of us have experience of a virus like Covid-19. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. But the Government’s latest assaults on our liberties and freedoms must be challenged.
We are no longer a Parliamentary Democracy. That stopped months ago. But we were told that it wouldn’t be for long. All we had to do was stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We did that in the tens of millions. Roads were deserted. All but essential shops were closed. Pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, and bowling alleys were closed. We could only leave our homes to buy essential goods. We could exercise for an hour a day, but at least the weather was getting better, although for those of us with gardens, lockdown was far more tolerable than for those who live in blocks of flats.Read more
The following is a guest post by Tony Brown. Tony was a Political Advisor to the former Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy and its predecessor, Europe of Freedom and Democracy.
I have been a trenchant critic of Government about Covid in recent weeks, provoking a number of my friends to ask 'ok, what would you do?' This 8 point plan is my answer to that important, valid question:
1. Publicly sack discredited advisors who have exaggerated the threat and provided massively inaccurate forecasts of deaths and serious illness; for example, forecasters at Imperial College. Instead start listening only to those whose more optimistic forecasts are borne out by the data;
2. State unequivocally that it is deaths and serious illness which matter and not incidence when so many cases are asymptomatic and cause no problems to those catching Covid;
Commenting on the Government's proposals to ban junk food advertising, Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns of The Freedom Association, said:
"It is disappointing that Boris Johnson, who has always been regarded as a libertarian on these issues, is proposing banning adverts for what the Government regards as unhealthy food.
"These measures will not work. Government interventions like this never do, but they will have unintended consequences. Those who work in the advertising industry and work for commercial broadcasters could lose their jobs as a result of reduced revenue.
"The Government should ditch these proposals before it's too late."