Boris Lays Waste to the North

ER Editor: Ah, the irony of Boris getting voted in by working class people to achieve Brexit. Then giddily promising to help develop cities in these northern regions. Then trashing them on the lockdown pretext. There is a reason the British Conservatives are called The Nasty Party. Tragically, however, Labour doesn’t like the working class any more than the Tories.

We also recommend this piece from the site Proper Manchester of yesterday, October 12, 2020, titled Pubs and restaurants from Greater Manchester begin legal action to stop new local lockdown restrictions. Of note:

Greater Manchester leaders and hospitality businesses are preparing a legal challenge to new lockdown restrictions being announced later today. 

A new three-tiered local lockdown system is set to be announced today when the prime minister addresses the House of Commons at 3:30pm.

According to many reports, it is believed that Manchester will be placed in the Tier 3 category, which is the category that will house the ‘very high risk’ areas.

It will mean pubs, bars and possibly restaurants will close in the area.

Negotiations are being made between local leaders on how the lockdown will look in the areas.

Five Manchester MP’s signed a letter addressed to Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak saying they would oppose any closures as the data ‘would not seem to support a rationale for your proposed measures’.

Night Time Economy Advisor, Sacha Lord, has confirmed he has instructed lawyers to ‘begin a Judicial Review into the legality of the emergency restrictions due to be imposed on the hospitality and entertainment sectors’.

Along with Sacha Lord, The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), The British Beer and Pub Association, Middleton brewery JW Lees, Manchester’s Joseph Holts Brewery, Stockport’s Robinsons Brewery, the New River Pub Company, Hawthorn Leisure, and operators across Greater Manchester including Alberts Schloss, 20 Stories, San Carlo, Wood Restaurant, Gusto, Living Ventures, Evuna, The Alchemist, O’Sheas and Atlas Bar are all supporting the move.

Sacha Lord has asked the government for the scientific basis behind the rules, adding: “There is currently no tangible scientific evidence to merit a full closure of the hospitality and entertainment sectors.

“These new measures will have a catastrophic impact on late night businesses, and are exacerbated further by an insufficient financial support package presented by the Chancellor in an attempt to sustain businesses through this period.

“This next round of restrictions are hugely disproportionate and unjust, with no scientific rationale or correlation to PHE transmission rates, when compared to other key environments. …

And later yesterday, Manchester was placed in Tier 2 lockdown, not 3 (Greater Manchester will be placed in Tier 2 and avoid the toughest restrictions). The same point still applies: where is the evidence for any of this?

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Boris Lays Waste to the North

LOCKDOWN SCEPTICS

As expected, Boris Johnson announced his “three tier” lockdown in the House of Commons this afternoon and then later at a Downing Street press briefing. It wasn’t a fully-fledged second lockdown throughout England – just a fully-fledged second lockdown in parts of Northern England, with Liverpool paying the heaviest price (so far). Ross Clark in the Telegraph sums it up.

Due to a printing error in last year’s Conservative manifesto a rogue word ‘up’ appeared. When Boris and his team wrote that they wanted to ‘level up’ the north’ they really meant that they simply wanted to ‘level’ the north – that is to reduce its economy to a smouldering ruin, in a way that not even the closures of mines and other heavy industry achieved in the 1980s.

It is the only way I can think to explain the bewildering gap between stated government ambition and the reality.

Clark goes on to point out that it’s the double-standards underlying the Northern lockdown that will really stick in voters’ craws.

It is true that infection rates in many northern districts are currently much higher than in London and the south east. But here’s the thing: back in the spring, when the reverse was true, the whole country was made to lock down together. Now, the north is being singled out for punishment.

The infection rates in several suburban London boroughs (Richmond upon Thames at 122 cases per 100,000, Elmbridge at 129 per 100,000) are approaching the level at which Leicester was locked down in early July and are far higher than the levels in Greater Manchester boroughs when localised restrictions were introduced there in late July. Yet there are no localised restrictions being threatened in leafy London and Surrey.

It is hard to escape the conclusion that, for all its blue wall (ER: blue = Conservative) seats, the Government finds it politically easier to lock down parts of the north than it does the south. For several weeks in August, the Prime Minister appeared to base his whole Covid policy on saving Central London’s sandwich bars, and yet now he seems to think nothing of consigning pubs in Newcastle to oblivion. And oblivion it really will be for many – no business can operate in the stop-start, fickle regulatory environment which is currently being imposed.

The Liverpool Echo doesn’t pull its punches either. The newspaper is not impressed by Boris’s decision to place the city on double secret probation. Here’s an extract from the editorial, headlined: “Sending Liverpool back to the 1980s is no way to manage this crisis“:

Our council leaders, from Mayor Anderson to Cllr David Baines in St Helens and Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, have described a frustrating process of communication – or lack of – with central Government.

It appears there has been consultation in name only, with frustratingly little clarity given even to those who must implement the rules – and who will be landed with the responsibility of picking up the pieces if they are ineffective.

Anonymous briefings to national newspapers have taken the place of proper communication with our elected officials – still less with the public.

Sweeping changes which could last months have seemingly been drawn up without meaningful input from those they will affect most – and with too little financial support in place to lessen their impact on jobs and prosperity.

Worst of all, there has been no clarity on what we should expect and no clear explanation as to what each measure is expected to achieve.

This is no way to manage a pandemic.

Worth reading in full, although the editorial concludes by accepting that local hospitals are in danger of being overwhelmed and says more money should have have been forked over to sugar the pill. Apparently, all the city got was £14 million, which won’t go very far given that bars, gyms and casinos have had to close for at least a month.

The orange bars represent deaths in the first six weeks from March 13th; the blue bars represent deaths in the last six weeks

Incredibly, Laura Donnelly and Gordon Rayner in the Telegraph say that Boris “overruled” Witless and Unbalanced (ER: Chris Witty and Matt Hancock), who wanted the entire country placed under a second lockdown.

Boris Johnson overruled Government scientists who pressed for national lockdown measures such as stopping all household mixing and closing all pubs, it emerged on Monday night.

Papers from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) show that the body called for an immediate introduction of national interventions, saying the failure to take such measures could result in “a very large epidemic with catastrophic consequences”.

Meanwhile, the number of new cases (ER: true cases of sick people or a plethora of false positive test results?) yesterday was 13,972 for the whole of the UK, up from 12,872 on Sunday. Still a long way short of the 50,000 new cases Witless and Unbalanced predicted would be announced today.

Given that the number of new cases is only about 25% of the level they predicted it would be, why are they pushing for a second national lockdown?

Isn’t it time these two chumps rolled up their Graph of Doom and retired from British public life?

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Original article

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