Analysis comment

Johnson’s lockdown lacks detail, creates confusion and fails to instil confidence

Johnson’s piece-to-camera avoids scrutiny and is full of gaps
Boris Johnson this evening

Boris Johnson has announced a ‘lock-down’ of the UK because of the coronavirus pandemic, to include:

  • the closure of all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing and electronics retailers
  • a ban on public gatherings of more than two people who are not from the same household
  • closure of libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship
  • limiting individuals to a single form of outdoor exercise per day
  • a ban on travel except for work, shopping or medical reasons (for self or others) – and grocery shopping should be done online if possible
  • a ban on weddings and baptisms – but not funerals
  • police powers to penalise infringements
  • an option to relax the restrictions in three weeks ‘if the evidence allows’

But Johnson’s announcement has raised all kinds of questions with no information to answer them. People are already asking:

  • what about foodbanks and other essential charities – will volunteers be allowed to travel to those as work?
  • how will police enforce when their numbers have been cut so drastically in the past decade of Tory government?
  • how will police enforce what they can’t check, eg. if someone claims to be out for shopping or exercise?
  • if people are allowed to go to the park but not to gather, how far apart must they be to avoid being a ‘gathering’?
  • if weddings are banned, will the inevitable costs of cancellation and of guests’ travel/accommodation be repaid by the government?
  • if clothing shops are not considered essential and the lockdown continues for long, how will people replace worn out clothes, shoes etc?
  • how can people shop for groceries online when many retailers are so overloaded their sites can’t cope and delivery slots are almost impossible to obtain?
  • given the virus has an incubation period of 14 days, causes few or no symptoms in some of those infected and the government is still barely testing suspected sufferers, what evidence will be considered grounds for relaxing them in 3 weeks?
  • what changed between last night and tonight for these measures to become necessary if they weren’t yesterday?
  • why are testing kits only now on order when the government has known for weeks that this was coming?

Johnson has been slow to respond and unable to lead – and even after so much time to prepare for this lockdown, he has announced it in a way that has caused confusion and failed to inspire confidence.

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  1. I’m in a bit of a pickle now. I started a new job today, after a year out of work. Technically, I’m classed as a key worker, but I can’t actually do the job until after 2-3 weeks’ training, so I’m not really essential. I don’t know if I ought to go in tomorrow now or not, or if I’ll piss them off and risk losing the job.

    1. Stark – The odds are that you will be essential, as Maria says. Go in and clarify the situation.

    2. Stark, you should definitely keep attending without a written instruction not to. If they send you home that’s different – and you won’t have disqualified yourself from JSA.
      2-3 weeks is very short training so although you may not be an asset to the organisation today or tomorrow you very soon will be.
      Not being sure whether to go in on your second day suggests maybe someone made you feel like you weren’t succeeding?
      That person might be unusually stressed by CV – I’d choose my words carefully and ask any questions I had during the least stressful times if the training is on the job – and I’d move fast to stay out of everyone’s way while being as useful and observant as possible.
      If the training is classroom-based don’t interrupt – make quick notes and ask questions at a pause if they haven’t already been answered. A good trainer may guess your question from the fact that you’re scribbling notes and she/he may answer it unasked – then you probably win the course prize.
      Someone who’s trying hard doesn’t deserve to lose a job unless they exaggerated their skills at interview.
      Any trainer judging a trainee on the first day of a 2-3 week course is either supernaturally prescient or incompetent.

    3. Stark….you shouldn’t even be asking the Question.Get to work and only stop when someone tells you to and make sure its in written.

      1. Stark YOU will be brilliant !!! 🌹🌹🌹

    4. Dear Stark, do go to your job. Observe precautions eg proper hand-washing hot running water + soap 25-30 secs & and distancing. And according to the job, use aprons, gloves & shoe covers eg. All key workers keep the world running. You keep the world running. Best wishes & success 🌹🌹🌹

  2. Again. Bottom line : the restrictions are essentially only what non-numpties are already actually doing.

    If you’re not already doing it – you’re a numpty – which character deficit has now become dangerous, and is your choice.

    If you’re a dangerous numpty, you shouldn’t be cosseted and hide behind the (indesputable) fact that the Tory government (who you quite possibly voted for) also have shit for brains.

    Other behaviours were always possible and available – then and now.

    Get a grip.

    1. Well I am with you regarding the ” Shit for Brains” Tories observation RH.

      It maybe that some will genuinely be the product of a poor educational standard , no fault of their own just as usual the rigged system against them to start with , and they don’t grasp the seriousness of the situation .These folks need our help as socialists to try and explain and help them understand the dangers ( not numpties )

      Some will be in denial and want things to carry on as normal ,others will be aggressive ( driven by fear ) and will irrationally be screaming in the face of the virus , xxxk COVID19 , these are the numpties as they understand the dangers but as you say RH CHOOSE a dangerous response , what to do regarding them , up for debate perhaps ?

      Then there are the Tories who would rather die than change or admit they have been wrong all along ,, and that’s shit for brains territory .Hopefully the herd immunity experiment being run by their leader will cull as many as possible , as one Tory nut job said ,” all we need is a great big Boris hug ” yep and his hug comes with COVID19 ..

      It must be remembered that Johnsons inactivity and arrogance has lost this Nation vital time in reducing the viruses impact ,, all down to a flawed ideology instilled in his Eaton education of ” survival of the fittest ” and taking it on the chin . It was easy to manipulate his beliefs into this course of deadly action and Cummings used it well to experiment with his own insane ideas .
      Their time of reckoning and accounting must not be buried in the relief and joy , if and when this virus is eradicated and the Nation begins to return to norms , and every one of his failures along the way which results in many deaths of our citizens must be highlighted and not mitigated by blaming the innocent victims.

      1. “It must be remembered that Johnsons inactivity and arrogance has lost this Nation vital time ”

        I don’t disagree with you at all, Rob. The head-under-the-blanket approach should have been used to get the testing and supply system on the road, as well as developing strategy. The only difference is that I weight sheer incompetence and complacency more highly.

        But my anger is about two weeks of farting about by the shit-for-brains cohort who have refused to see the bleedin’ obvious, whatever the sins of the government. For me, there are limits to passing on blame – and that limit was passed when the numpties aided the election of this government – again on the basis of no-think..

        It was particularly stimulated by conversations with highly professional health service staff yesterday, who are trying to get what ducks there are in a row.

      2. Numpty is a Scottish word meaning ‘stupid people’. Instead of the word why don’t you just say ‘stupid people’? Or would it sound condescending and arrogant? What word describes very clever people? You must surely know that?

      3. No disagreement from me re the idiot working class who voted Tory , foot in and shot comes to mind.

        On another matter
        Not sure if its my mobile phone but I am getting text messages direct from the Govt , now I don’t remember ever giving my number to any Govt dept so ….big brother .
        Anyone else had text this morning like this ??

      4. Paul – I’m not sure what you’re quibbling about. I like the word ‘Numpty’. It’s a good addition to the language – albeit if of Scots origin.

        As to ‘arrogance’ – no – it’s just a statement of the bleedin’ obvious about damaging, stupid and selfish behaviour. The same basis as criticising the Tories.

        Rob – It’s not just ” the idiot working class” – although there’s as many idiots in the working class as in any other (which is the reason for all my misunderstood remarks about not imbuing the term ‘working class’ with moral virtue).

        A lot of idiots come from the middle classes as much as any other. Basic nous and decency isn’t rationed by social status, and when I refer to ‘numpties’, I make no such distinction.

        Conversations over the past week, where they’ve been possible, have been with a variety of non-numpties of all classes – and they shared the experience of being fed up to the back teeth with the herd infection of stupidity that we saw so vividly at the weekend.

      5. ‘Numpty’ is a term of abuse. If you mean stupid people then you should say so. (You haven’t said what you call very clever people but I imagine you must be one of them otherwise you wouldn’t be able to tell who is ‘numpty’.

      6. How wonderful that you have been able to speak to non-stupid people! Maybe the Govt should put extra restrictions on the stupid to save you coming across them?

      7. A Scot tells me the word ‘numpty’ emerged in the 1980’s to describe the slum dwellers, alcoholics and violent football fans who were upsetting the middle classes. In that case ‘underclass’ might be a suitable alternative? Or ‘Not One of Us’. It does seem to fit RH’s use of the word; perhaps he’s a Scot – although obviously a nice jolly clever one who can spot a member of the working class at 100 metres? It was apparently seen very much as a term of abuse which resulted in many a Glasgow greeting using the head.

      8. Managed to use Cockwomble and s4brains on BBC forums until they were banned as profanities
        Old Etonians

  3. The Herd Mentality strategy remains intact. The Government’s ONLY concern is that people pace their infestation and therefore the consequential onslaught on the NHS. Batch processing – to “Save the NHS” and this reckless and dangerous Government.

  4. In the eight years I’ve lived at my present location I’ve seen police on the streets no more than three or four times.
    Such vague, wishy washy injunctions, laws, strictures, guidelines – or whatever the hell they’re calling them – having to be enforced by what will presumably be on the spot fines could massively reduce respect for the police.
    I think most cops want clarity on the limits of their powers for their own protection and that of the public – Johnson’s statement could hardly have been less full of holes.

      1. Done – thanks for that Doug.
        Today learned of the Royal Voluntary Service’s GoodSAM app, registered there too, not that I can do much more than deliveries.
        They probably won’t pick the Dad’s Army types until they’ve worn out the young’uns but you never know.
        Having a big van might be a plus.

        The internet can be useful for getting information out to the people but the lack of a single authoritative source is a problem.
        Googling “coronavirus volunteering UK” yields

        “About 150,000,000 results (0.55 seconds)”

        Bound to be something useful somewhere in that lot, right?

    1. Err… more full of holes. Got to remember to stop not forgetting to not notice them double negatives.

  5. The tabloids have missed a Tory boosting trick here; Johnson made sure at least two people not from the same family could meet and walk together, a romantic signal to love. bla bla.. then again maybe not, ‘Boris’ is a punctured balloon and they never back a loser.

  6. Get a backbone Snowflake Boris, and declare a State of Emergency, take over all supplies, food and medical equipment, and get the army to distribute them, where they’re needed. While you’re at it, start investigations immediately, in order to find out who has died in the community at large, from complications of COVID-19 that differ from those of hospitalised patients. This virus is mutating quicker than your porridge brain can move. Your medical xpurt said yesterday that this will take 3 years. This is too long, my Russian friend — get the results within 6 weeks and make the investigation ongoing. This is URGENT!

    1. And stop trying to run every policy yourself and broaden the Govt to include Labour figures as Deputy PM and Chancellor so half ithe cabinet s ‘opposition’. That way you get unity and resolute action rather than all the pussy footing around. After all it’s exactly what Churchill, Johnson’s hero, did. Now, as then, the Labour ministers would do a better job than any of the Tory lads around Johnson. 2024 could be a second 1945.

  7. Mike Ashley keeps Sports Direct stores open regarding staff as key workers

    Bosses at Sports Direct have said all stores will remain open because selling sporting and fitness equipment makes the company a vital asset during a national shutdown.

    This would be laughable if the situation wasn’t so serious.

    1. Yeh… coz you wouldn’t want to die wearing old trainers, would you?

    2. … and don’t forget Mr Brexit Wetherspoons (Tim Martin) also decided that he knew more about Covid-19 than most of us.

  8. The one thing we can retrieve from the latest bojo announcement is testing kits. Let us hold him to it, assuming there is any substance to it… Skwawkie has been right to highlight this Tory divergence from WHO recommendations that Bojo et al are only putting right now.

    If they had emphasised testing earlier maybe Corona could have been confined to a few parts of the country…

    1. Ahhh but Cummings grand euthanasia plan is not to confine but spread far and wide for immunity , just not him and his kin tho

  9. Weddings and baptisms will not be allowed Funerals will be allowed,.Yes I bet they will,and libraries will be closed?…thought the Condem government did that for the nation!.Looks like panic as set in now and the plainly obvious Herd experiment was rumbled early by the left wing press including the squawkbox,canary etc and has now been dumped..I notice we have only a couple of collaborators surviving on here still pushing the establishment line,but when times are desperate we have always had the “Odd” ones who take shelter under the establishment apron strings..Britain missed a chance after the war for a total clearout of the establishment,hopefully this time we will see the light and a good Start would be for Her Majestys Opposition?? dump the establishment Knight of the realm Sir keir Starmer.The Knight of the realm and champion of the establishment will be a exercise in hypocrisy and a road to oblivion when the country will need a Socialist leader and a Labour government.That day is coming soon.

    1. ”The Knight of the realm and champion of the establishment will be a exercise in hypocrisy and a road to oblivion when the country will need a Socialist leader and a Labour government.”

      Aye, Joseph. What we need is a Wat Tyler.

      …What we’ll get is another jack straw.

  10. One thing I’m getting sick of hearing is: “Use cards rather than cash.”


    This is designed for nothing more than the government’s desire to nudge people ever further towards a cashless society, a society where they can have an eye on everyone’s finances at any time.


    Shop assistants are handling the goods you’ve put in your trolley – and how many others handled those goods before you did?

    So what’s the problem about handling a few notes & coins ffs?

    I’ve got a card and I refuse to be made to feel guilty or have the choice taken away from me so that the government can soy in me ever further.

  11. Govt can SPY ON me even further.

    Also it’s just easier for the shops… Like they’re gonna drop prices if you make it easier for them by paying by card?

    Pay by cash if you want, by all means. But don’t feel guilty or that you’re doing the wrong thing by paying in cash AKA LEGAL TENDER

  12. “Pay by CARD if you want”

    …Sorry. I’m not having a good start to this morning

  13. From an email I received last night (Opened just now)

    Iceland (The shop) have dedicated the last hour of opening to NHS staff (Hooray!) They’ll have to show their NHS ID of course. Anyone without won’t be served.

    Fair enuff…

    BUT, they won’t be accepting cash. So any doctor/nurse/porter/cleaner with a few quid in their pocket, but a few pence on their card accounts will be forced into overdraft by Iceland’s wholly selfish decision NOT to accept cash.

    You know it makes sense. Well played, Iceland. 😕


    Oh, and I don’t know if this applies to everyone – I’d imagine so – but if you touch a product, Iceland now expect you to buy it.

    …Will I have to buy the fooking freezer if I slide the door open?

    1. Banks need to be ‘persuaded’ to allow unauthorised overdrafts at the level of essential food purchases, rent, power, fuel etc. to ALL their customers in a national emergency.
      We saved those fuckers last time, now they can return the favour – you know they’ve just been dying for the opportunity to say “Thanks, everybody, now it’s our turn to save you…”

  14. The response doesn’t just “lack detail” – look at the presumably ‘essential workers’ all still crammed together on the Tube.
    SHUT THE TUBE you fucking retards – it’s a petri dish – a virus factory.
    Deliberately infecting essential workers by packing them like sardines – WTF?
    How incompetent can Fat Boris and Cumminge be?

    Cancel the London congestion charge, cancel all parking restrictions for essential workers & their vehicles for the duration. PRISON FOR FAKERS.
    FREE FUEL for essential workers to drive into London, FREE HOTEL ROOMS for those that want them.
    People alone in cars DON’T SPREAD INFECTION. If necessary requisition cars for essential workers from families under lockdown with more than one car.
    “ESSENTIAL WORKER” windscreen stickers, prison for anyone caught faking them.
    Why WOULDN’T essential workers be kept as safe as possible for as long as possible?

  15. Freeze bank charges, honour essential Bill’s, halt any enforcement action, is the least the Banks can do
    Still struggling to count on the fingers of both hands how many folk have died from Covid 19
    Could argue more vulnerable individuals will survive due to massive reduction in pollution
    North East and Scotland could be going about our normal daily lives and business if testing and isolation units still existed under Public Health and Communicable disease management expertise, all lost from cuts to NHS in last 10 years
    Good morning and good health to snowflakes on here

      1. Testing as few as possible, clearly policy, has the same effect as it is all too easy to record the last serious medical problem such as a heart problem when you are found dead in your bed. But as Italy shows it’s the non testing of front line medical staff that is the real killer. Apart from Hancock saying he saw the lorries on their way (last Wednesday but none have yet arrived to far away places like Bedford obviously, we can’t expect miracles) We’ll never know the real number. It’ll enable Pol Pot to claim he kept the death toll low.

  16. Another thing regarding health and supermarkets…

    I believe supermarkets have been panned in the past for having filthy, unwashed, unhygienic delivery trays…On more than one occasion for some supermarkets

    Given the increase in home deliveries that are expected, what measures are gonna be put in place to ensure people’s groceries arrive in a clean, acceptably hygienic receptacle?

    1. I’ve never considered the issue until this minute. Manually steam/pressure washing such trays with a lance would result in contaminants – in this case rotting food – being spread over a wide area.
      Stacked trays wouldn’t work either – they’d need individual attention.

      A disinfectant bath holding, say, 100 stacked trays being vibrated in a rack would probably be the answer, but too large a plant for most supermarkets to find the space for, or to pay a trained operator for an hour’s work.
      Possibly a business opportunity for someone?
      I could imagine a sealed, mess-free mobile unit, working on-site during the supermarket’s night-time restocking hours doing quite good business – if such a thing doesn’t already exist.

  17. Channel 4 documentary telling us about Putin being a ‘bad man’ because of ‘human rights abuses’. Will there be a ‘follow-up’ on Boris Johnson? Channel 4 ‘changing perceptions with Mitsubishi’.

  18. It doesn’t say much of the Cobra meetings that they come up with naff ideas that clearly cannot work – maybe that is deliberate of course to speed the spread and Er, get over it quickly as Johnson still believes is best. Take the Order to do just one exercise a day which would need an army of police to keep surveillance to make sure nobody did a jog and a press up! Or the requirement that groups larger than 2 must be family members. Extended families may end up being cleared by baton wielding Army cadets as the police will be far too busy checking whether old guys who insist they are 69 are in fact well into their 70’s and surveillance on those who are thought to leave their house more than once. What an error for the assembled police, intelligence, army community to forget the UK doesn’t have a paramilitary backup police service, identification cards or any tradition of curfews and police checks , unlike most of Europe who either forced it on each other or suffered it during Occupation or hard line Regimes right up to recent times. It matters because if there is no enforcement then the whole package might unravel within days.

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