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Pages tagged "Boris Johnson"

COMMENT: Ministers are blind to the appalling human costs of lockdown

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. 


Good, Bad or Bonkers?

The following is a guest post by the Rev Dr Peter Mullen, Hon. Chaplain of The Freedom Association.

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.

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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. 

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An eight-point plan to get the country moving again

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;

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EU talks should be suspended. Read our joint letter in the Daily Telegraph

The Freedom Association was a co-signatory of a letter published in yesterday's Daily Telegraph. In the letter, which was coordinated by Brexit-Watch.org, we call "for the UK Government to suspend talks until the EU recognises the UK’s sovereignty." Here it is in full:

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The Freedom Association responds to the Government's junk food ad ban

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." 

ENDS

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When you protest you must obey the law. Sadiq Khan must step up to the plate

Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has horrified the world. Derek Chauvin, the police officer who pinned him down with his knee on his neck, despite Floyd clearly telling him that he could not breathe, cannot be justified, and it is correct that Chauvin and his three former colleagues are prosecuted. But that did not justify the scenes we witnessed in central London yesterday. 

I was genuinely shocked when I saw a picture of the protest in Hyde Park yesterday afternoon. We still have a right to protest; of course we do, but during the current restrictions we have to protest in a way that does not spread COVID-19. This begs the question: why were so many people allowed to congregate breaking social distancing guidelines? 

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The Freedom Association's response to the Coronavirus Bill

The Government will today start to rush through emergency measures in the Coronavirus Bill. It is expected to pass all stages in the House of Commons today. The House of Lords will debate the Bill tomorrow and Wednesday.

COVID-19 is a national and international crisis. In these extreme times, extreme measures can be justified. It is clear from reports over the weekend that many people are ignoring medical advice to stay indoors, or, if they leave home, distance themselves from others. Those who are acting selfishly and irresponsibly are making it easy for those who advocate draconian measures to get their way. 

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Boris Johnson is about to make a second major mistake since the general election

Boris Johnson is about to give HS2 the green light. This is despite ballooning costs (over £100 billion and counting); despite evidence from France and Spain that the major city hubs (Paris and Madrid respectively) benefit  far more from high speed rail, which in turn means that London will suck in more investment and regional English cities will not benefit by as much as some would have you believe; despite the fact that most people will not benefit; despite the environmental damage that will be inflicted on those areas which will not benefit. I could go on. 

In a recent article in the Sunday Telegraph, Simon Heffer observed:

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Decriminalising non-payment of the licence fee is good, but the Government must go further

In an article published in the Daily Mail yesterday, Culture Secretary, Nicky Morgan, wrote:

"Twenty years ago Blockbuster, the then heavyweight of video rentals, turned down a £38 million merger offer from Netflix. Today Netflix is worth £50 billion, 1,300 times its offer to Blockbuster – which has gone from 3,000 stores to a museum in Oregon, for people who want to remember what video cassettes look like. Netflix now competes with the likes of Amazon, Google and Apple for dominance of the multi-billion-dollar streaming market. The result is that people now spend three times as much time watching subscription services such as Netflix than they do BBC iPlayer. More children now recognise the names Netflix and YouTube than they do the BBC. I believe, no matter how well-funded these international streaming giants are, UK public service broadcasters are vital".

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