Chris Green MP: Unscientific and erratic approach
My last column highlighted my dismay at our being plunged into a Tier 3 lockdown but, before we saw its impact, we have now descended into another national lockdown.
I thought that the Government would want to see what impact Tier 3 would have before taking us to the next level.
Bouncing from the first national lockdown to the Greater Manchester Lockdown, out of that then into Tier 3 and back into another national lockdown gives no stability to see how effective each stage is before the system is flipped up to land with tougher or sometimes weaker lockdown features.
This erratic approach seems to be rather unscientific.
It is confusing for everyone but especially for business owners and managers who do not know from one week to the next whether they should all be in work or not.
The Prime Minister was recently exhorting the whole civil service to get back to work and now he has shut down much of the country again.
Families have already started preparing for Christmas as it is not just about a single day. Buying the food, gifts and all the other preparations have been disrupted and it makes it difficult to plan as we do not know when lockdown will be lifted.
Many people will be forced to shop online when they would rather be making their purchases from our local high streets.
Many shops really start making much of their profit in the run-up to Christmas which keeps them going for the rest of the year.
We do not know when or if restaurants will be able to reopen normally and certainly not to host work Christmas get-togethers.
This will push much of our Christmas preparations into December and that is only if the national lockdown is lifted. The Labour Government in Wales is lifting its “firebreak lockdown” but will still ban people from visiting England. Unsurprisingly, Welsh people popped over the border to visit a pub and now, as we have ours imposed, English people will be making similar excursions to Wales.
There are only four national Governments in the UK so it is a little disappointing that they could not be better co-ordinated.
One of the oddest political aspects of lockdown is that I, as a Conservative, have been challenging the Government on their approach to tackling Covid-19 whilst Labour is always telling
Boris Johnson that they will back it no matter what. I thought that the opposition should do more than be the biggest backers of Boris. I want more focused support for those suffering the most and especially those who have received little if anything over the last eight months.
The Chancellor’s furlough scheme has been extended till March next year which I take to be a strong indication that there will be another national lockdown beginning in mid to late January.
This is going to be really tough on workers who are often vulnerable to job losses in the New Year.
The impact of the Covid-19 lockdown is going to be felt by the youngest for many years to come but they are also being treated in an unfair way when it comes to liberty.
Nichola Sturgeon MSP, the leader of the socialist SNP, wanted to lock all Scottish university students up at Christmas because she believed that they would be spreading disease on release. She has now backed down but I fear that others have been inspired by her.
The University of Manchester, reportedly, erected a huge fence around one of their campuses whilst students slept to keep them separated from other local residents.
Liberty is not often taken away in one fell swoop but piece by piece without anyone realising it. Thankfully, the students reacted robustly and the university has taken away their cage.
On a slightly lighter note, the Presidential race in the USA is nearly at an end.
In the year 2000, George W Bush was only confirmed as President elect after a 30 day court case about “hanging chads”.
Despite the excitement of some politicians we will have to wait a few more days to see if the 46th President is going to be Joe Biden.