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Lockdown Skeptics

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-07-10 - Original post - cached version

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a £30 billion mini-budget on Wednesday to supposedly kickstart the economic recovery. Perhaps the most eye-catching of his initiatives was a scheme designed to get people eating out again – “eat out to help out”. Participating restaurants will be able to offer...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-07-07 - Original post - cached version

Refusing to wear a mask in public should become as socially unacceptable as drink-driving or not wearing a seatbelt, the President of the Royal Society has said. Venki Ramakrishnan called for everyone to be required to wear a mask in all indoor public settings, rather than only on public...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-07-05 - Original post - cached version

Some people had fun in Soho last night. But crowded streets inevitably led to a lot of alarmist nonesense. The story in the Mail about last night’s revels is headlined: “‘A second wave won’t be long in the making!’ Exhausted police officer predicts fresh Covid spike after ‘long late shift...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-07-04 - Original post - cached version

The re-opening of England’s pubs has rendered me, ahem, unable to do a proper update today but will do one tomorrow. In the meantime, here is a post from regular contributor Guy de la Bédoyère that will, I imagine, strike a chord with many. Sky News this morning featured another of those bizarro...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-07-03 - Original post - cached version

Got a good piece for you today. It’s by a doctor who works for the hospital trust in Leicester. They’ve called themselves “Dr Q” because doctors are under strict instructions not to talk to the media, but Dr Q has provided me with proof that they are who they say they are. Here are the …

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Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-07-02 - Original post - cached version

First the good news. All schools will re-open in full in September, the Government has declared. No, really. They will. Now the bad news. They won’t. At least, not if all schools are expected to comply with the voluminous and entirely pointless guidance the Government has issued today. The BBC...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-30 - Original post - cached version

What on earth does the Government think it’s doing? What possible reason is there for reimposing a full lockdown on Leicester? In an act of sheer lunacy, Matt Hancock announced this morning that non-essential shops have been told to close today and schools asked to shut their doors to the...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-29 - Original post - cached version

Holiday bookings have exploded on the eve of the Government’s “air bridges” announcement, according to the Daily Mail. Over the weekend, Britain’s biggest travel websites saw inquires for some European destinations rise by 350 per cent and bookings were up by as much as 80 per cent on the week...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-27 - Original post - cached version

No update today, but am planning one for tomorrow looking at the rise in infections in those US states that were among the first to ease shutdown restrictions. In light of this rise, should we be worried about a “second wave” in the UK? You can probably guess the answer…

The post Coming...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-25 - Original post - cached version

Lockdown is over as far as the British public is concerned. At least, it is when it’s the hottest day of the year with temperatures peaking at 33.3C, as they did today. Half a million people descended on the Dorset coastline, according to the Times, creating a “major incident”. The council said...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-23 - Original post - cached version

Apologies for not filing an update yesterday. Been incredibly busy with Free Speech Union business for the last couple of days. As regular readers will know, we wrote to Ofcom at the beginning of June informing the broadcast watchdog that if it didn’t withdraw its coronavirus guidance, which...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-21 - Original post - cached version

Teachers Urged to Give Up Part of Six-Week Summer Holiday A cross-party group of former education ministers is urging teachers to give up some of their six-week summer holiday so schools can reopen in September, according to Sian Griffiths in the Sunday Times. Five former education secretaries...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-20 - Original post - cached version

Two-Metre Rule Will be Replaced by One-Metre Rule by July 4th According to the Times, two metres will be replaced by one metre on July 4th so most pubs and restaurants will be able to reopen. Boris Johnson will announce next week that the two-metre rule will be relaxed from July 4th and that...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-20 - Original post - cached version

British Public No Longer on Double Secret Probation; Just Probation Okay, it’s an Animal House joke and those who aren’t of my vintage might not get it. But at one point, when Dean Vernon is trying to think of ways to nobble Delta House, he says, “There is a little known codicil in the Faber …...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-18 - Original post - cached version

Government Abandons NHSX Contact-Tracing App According to the Mail, the Telegraph, the Guardian, etc., Matt Hancock has finally given up trying to roll out the NHSX contact-tracing app. Instead, the Government will rely on the method that’s been developed by Apple and Google and is already in...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-17 - Original post - cached version

Black Lives Matter Protests Haven’t Caused “Second Spike” In my Spectator column last week, I expressed my gratitude for Black Lives Matters protestors for exposing the hypocrisy of politicians and public health panjandrums who enthusiastically embraced the protests in spite of warning us a few...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-16 - Original post - cached version

A new law was waved through Parliament late last night, banning gatherings of more than six people, and empowering the police to impose swingeing fines on anyone breaking this new rule. Officially, this was an amendment to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-15 - Original post - cached version

The Grand Reopening The BBC is reporting that queues formed outside shops across the country and the research firm Springboard says that footfall, up until Noon today, was 42% higher than last week. However, worth remembering that the baseline is very low – non-essential shops weren’t open this...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-14 - Original post - cached version

Quite a short update today I’m afraid. It was my youngest son’s 12th birthday yesterday and being with him and making sure he’s having a nice time have kept me busy. Longer one tomorrow, I hope. Moral Relativism and the Collapse of the Rule of Law This is a blog post I wrote for the …

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Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-13 - Original post - cached version

Thought I’d post this Guardian front page, not because of the disgraceful headline about Boris – standing up for the leader who saved the world from fascism does not constitute “stoking fear and division” – but because of the red line showing the fall in Britain’s output in April. The worst...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-13 - Original post - cached version

Apologies for the lateness of today’s update. I’ve been busy setting up a GoFundMe page for the Free Speech Union’s new litigation fund. In the current climate of Maoist intolerance, the Free Speech Union is being deluged with requests for help from people all over the country. As I’ve been...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-11 - Original post - cached version

Yesterday, Professor Neil Ferguson told the Science and Technology Select Committee in the House of Commons that if the Government had locked down a week earlier, the death toll would be less than half what it is now. The epidemic was doubling every three to four days before lockdown...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-10 - Original post - cached version

I’m not going to say much about this story on the Telegraph‘s front page except to say: You read it here first. I pointed out that children under the age of 15 were more likely to be struck by lightning than die of COVID-19 on May 23rd. Remember folks. If you want tomorrow’s news today. …

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Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-09 - Original post - cached version

I’ve decided to post an update every day, but the updates proper will be on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with shorter ones on the other days. This is in response to numerous requests in the comment from people who find it difficult to keep track of the threads if there are over 1,000...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-08 - Original post - cached version

Cakes and Ale Back on Sale Boris has earmarked June 22nd as the day when pubs and restaurants across the nation will be allowed to reopen, according to the Mail. This is two weeks ahead of schedule (the original date for the grand reopening was July 4th). The accelerated timetable follows a...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-05 - Original post - cached version

As regular readers of Lockdown Sceptics will know, there was no update on Tuesday or Thursday of this week. This led to all sorts of speculation, including that the site had been subject to a denial-of-service attack and that it had been shadow-banned by Google! In fact, I took Tuesday and...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-03 - Original post - cached version

Free Speech Union Asks Ofcom to Withdraw Censorious Coronavirus Guidance or Face Judicial Review In my capacity as the General Secretary of the Free Speech Union, I wrote to the Chief Executive of Ofcom Dame Melanie Dawes on April 24th to complain about its reprimand of Eamonn Holmes. According...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-06-01 - Original post - cached version

Finally, the Lockdown Skeptics shop is here! Yes, click on this link and you will be taken to the all-singing, all-dancing Lockdown Sceptics shop. I’ve also included a link in the top right-hand corner of every page. No need to wear a mask and no social distancing required! In addition to this...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-31 - Original post - cached version

I cannot be alone in noticing the huge gulf between the sympathetic coverage given to the Black Lives Matter protests in the mainstream media and the almost universally hostile coverage of the anti-lockdown protests. Celebrities who were encouraging everyone to remain in their homes until last...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-30 - Original post - cached version

Abandon Ridiculous Two-Metre Rule I’ve written a piece in today’s Telegraph entitled: “For the sake of our economy, we need to scrap the absurd two-metre rule.” I point out that this and other over-cautious social-distancing rules will mean our economy is permanently stuck in second gear. For...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-29 - Original post - cached version

Did Boris’s announcement yesterday that up to six people from different households will be able to gather outside from Monday sound the death knell for the lockdown? It certainly feels that way for those of us who’ve been out and about on this glorious Summer day. Guy de la Bédoyère, who’s...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-28 - Original post - cached version

Financial Times Elides Excess Deaths In UK with Deaths From Coronavirus, Triggers Call For Coup From Ex-SAGE Member Professor Anthony Costello, the former WHO Director and now a member of the “alternative” SAGE, got very over-excited on Twitter earlier today in response to an FT article showing...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-27 - Original post - cached version

YouTube Censors Me A few weeks ago I took part in a discussion about the coronavirus crisis organised by the Institute of Arts and Ideas. The other participants were David Alexander, Professor of Risk and Disaster Reduction at University College London; Anne Johnson, Professor of Infectious...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-26 - Original post - cached version

Did Dominic Cummings’s press conference in the Downing Street rose garden yesterday succeed in taking the heat out of whether or not he should resign following his trip to his parents’ farm in Durham? For a while it seemed to, but this is a dumpster fire that refuses to go out. Today, Douglas...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-25 - Original post - cached version

One story dominates the news and it isn’t “English Tourism Week“, which started today. The Prime Minister’s efforts to draw a line under the Dominic Cummings’ affair yesterday by declaring he had done nothing wrong and he was standing by him were not successful. If anything, they just emboldened...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-24 - Original post - cached version

The Observer drops the second shoe in the Cummings scandal on its front page – the news that he visited his parents in Durham again in the middle of April after staying with them at the end of March. How do they know this? Thanks to an eagle-eyed member of the public: Robin Lees, 70, …

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Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-23 - Original post - cached version

The Guardian has splashed with a humdinger of a story today, revealing that Dominic Cummings drove 264 miles from his home in London to stay with his parents in Durham. The police were tipped-off on March 31st after Cummings was spotted in his parents’ front garden with his three year-old child...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-22 - Original post - cached version

Today’s Telgraph says a majority of the Cabinet want Boris to accelerate the timetable for ending the lockdown. Boris Johnson is under pressure to ease the lockdown restrictions causing “massive damage” to the economy, with the majority of the Cabinet understood to support a major “back to work...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-21 - Original post - cached version

Good story on the Mail‘s front page today. But is it true? According to the paper, Boris has set a 10-day deadline to operationalise the Government’s ‘track-and-trace’, programme. Once it’s in place, he’s promised to dial down the lockdown. On the plus side, the number of people tested yesterday...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-20 - Original post - cached version

The Telegraph‘s Business section leads on Rishi Sunack’s warning to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee yesterday that the country is facing “a severe recession, the likes of which we haven’t seen”. That red line shooting beyond Sunack’s nose is the number of unemployment claims...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-19 - Original post - cached version

The row over school openings rumbles on. The Mail cites ‘‘evidence from 22 countries on the continent” at an EU briefing which suggests that reopening schools has not been harmful to children and teachers. Millions of pupils in Germany, France, Denmark and Norway are now back at their desks;...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-18 - Original post - cached version

The Guardian leads this morning with the latest woes over the NHS’s contact-tracing app. The message about there being a second version of the app may have got lost in the post on its way to the Ethics Advisory Board (see yesterday’s daily update), but it made it to the Kent-based recruiters...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-17 - Original post - cached version

As week eight of the lockdown comes to a close, there are some rumblings of dissent – although it’s coming from people unhappy from the Prime Minister’s easing of the lockdown rather than the fact that we’ve been confined to our homes for two months. Opinium polling for the Observer over the...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-16 - Original post - cached version

The Express leads with the fact that 15 million day-trippers are expected to hit the road this weekend, taking advantage of the easing of restrictions. Unfortunately, they may not be greeted with open arms when they reach their destinations. Council executives, tourism boards and national park...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-15 - Original post - cached version

The Mirror leads with the preprint I flagged up yesterday estimating that by the end of April 29% of the UK population may have already had the virus (29% of 66 million is ~19 million). If we assume that roughly 50,000 people in the UK will have died from COVID-19 by May 21st – allowing …

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Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-14 - Original post - cached version

Today’s Guardian leads on the care home scandal, which Keir Starmer succeeded in moving to the top of the news agenda by grilling Boris about it in yesterday’s Prime Minister’s Questions. It didn’t help that Boris fluffed his response. Starmer picked up on the fact that Public Health England (...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-13 - Original post - cached version

The Times says the teaching unions are advising their members not to return to work if primary schools reopen in June. “The National Education Union (NEU) said it was unconvinced that there was any scientific basis behind government guidance issued yesterday that teachers didn’t need PPE...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-12 - Original post - cached version

The press is having fun today about the apparent “confusion” in Boris’s exit plan, with some papers flagging up new rules which weren’t included in his speech on Sunday. For instance, he originally said we could play sports from tomorrow, but only with members of our own household. That’s now...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-11 - Original post - cached version

Keeping the handbrake on is a polite way of describing Boris’s raft of announcements yesterday about how and when the lockdown is going to be eased. On Twitter, I described it as placing the country on “double secret probation”, so elaborate are the rules about when we’re allowed out of our...

Lockdown Skeptics - 2020-05-10 - Original post - cached version

The Sunday Times reports that the Strategic Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has been told that the British death toll from COVID-19 could climb above 100,000 by the end of the year if Boris Johnson eases the lockdown too much or too fast. These estimates come from researchers at the London...

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