By Andrew Allison
When Boris Johnson announced that there would be a new army of Covid Marshals patrolling our streets, I immediately thought of Warden Hodges from Dad’s Army. Hodges was a figure of fun in the well-loved television series, but there is nothing remotely funny about the marshals patrolling our streets waiting to leap on anyone breaking Covid rules.
If you are in the City of Westminster, you may just spot the council’s “City Inspectors”. They are easy to find in their blue fluorescent waistcoats. According to Westminster City Council, the inspectors "perform a variety of roles throughout the City of Westminster, providing a 24/7 service across all wards in the borough. They deal with concerns around anti-social behaviour, irresponsible business practices and licensing issues." Now they are Covid Marshals, too.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.
Following a post of mine on Facebook about Swedish success with its independent 'minimalist' Covid containment policy, I was asked, 'Could you please define the parameters for success?'
I believe that central to the confusion about Covid is that very few - any (?) - governments have set down their answer to this question. I suggested five:Read more
The Freedom Association responds to the Government's announcement on the compulsory wearing of face coverings in shops and supermarkets
Commenting on the Government's announcement on the compulsory wearing of face masks in shops and supermarkets, Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns of The Freedom Association, said:
"The messaging from the Government on the wearing of face coverings has been inconsistent and confusing. On 3rd April, at the height of the pandemic, England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jonathan Van-Tam said that 'there is no evidence that general wearing of the face masks by the public who are well affects the spread of the disease.' What has changed?Read more
From Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns
The number of deaths from COVID-19 in South Korea, at the time of writing, is 246. Compare that with over 21,000 deaths in U.K. hospitals alone. And although it is thought that we have reached the peak of the current outbreak, there are still over 500 people a day dying in our hospitals, with additional deaths in care homes. So how did South Korea do it? This article in The Guardian gives us an explanation:
“By the time the World Health Organization issued its plea in mid-March for countries to “test, test, test”, South Korea had spent weeks doing just that, quickly developing the capability to test an average of 12,000 people – and sometimes as many as 20,000 – a day at hundreds of drive-through and walk-in testing centres. The mobile centres conducted the tests free of charge within 10 minutes, with the results were [sic] sent to people’s phones within 24 hours. By mid-March more than 270,000 people had been tested.”Read more
The following article by Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns, was published on Brexit-Watch.org's website yesterday.
I APPRECIATE that the Police have a difficult job to do. There are plenty of idiots out there who at normal times feel that the law doesn’t apply to them. They don’t change their behaviour just because we are in the grip of a pandemic.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, to give it its full title, is emergency legislation. The Police would have had very little input into the drafting of it, and have been left with the task of enforcing the new powers that they have been given. But although the vast majority of officers have policed using 'The 4 E's’: Engage, Explain, Encourage, Enforce, there have been some examples of the Police being over-zealous to say the least.
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The following is a guest post by Tomaž Slivnik. He grew up in communist Yugoslavia. After his visits to the USA in the 1980s, his dream of living in the free world and working with computers came true when he got to study and complete his MA, MMath and PhD at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was a postdoc and an assistant professor and spent time at universities in the UK, USA, Australia & Singapore before becoming a technology entrepreneur and then an active angel investor. He is an investor in many technology startups and a member of the board of Cambridge Angels.
Quarantine. The idea that those with contagious diseases should be kept away from those who are healthy dates back at least to the Biblical book of Leviticus, written in the seventh century BC. During the bubonic plague outbreak of 1665-1666, the inhabitants of the village of Eyam, infected with the plague, quarantined themselves, in an act of self-sacrifice, in order to stop the spread of the plague to neighbouring towns and villages.Read more
The following is a guest post by David Kurten, a Brexit Alliance London Assembly Member.
The coronavirus lockdown in the United Kingdom began at the end of the third week of March. This was after a series of U-turns by the government, which had previously adopted a light touch approach which it said was guided by science. In the first half of March, the government and their advisors announced that schools should stay open because there was very little chance of the virus being widely transmitted by children. London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan stated that there was no risk of catching the virus on a train or a bus. We were also told that gathering in large numbers outdoors would not spread the virus so the Cheltenham Festival could go ahead. Pubs, restaurants and cafes remained open.Read more