The Big Poll: a readership divided

THE RUTLAND ARMS, DERBYSHIRE – “I feel like Adam” reads a message from a friend. “I live in the garden of Eden, but I cannot partake of the fruits…”

The fella in question is a university student in Edinburgh – he’s there to get his alcoholism rubber-stamped with a bachelor’s degree in Brewing & Distilling (you can get a degree in anything nowadays). However, having just moved into university halls, excited to waste more of his youth studying (and of course, consuming) booze… he finds himself banned from going to the pub!

(Incidentally, this is the same chap I told you about last month who contracted WuFlu while working at a bar in Aberdeen (Tasteless whisky, flooded streets13 August). He has since recovered and can now taste his whisky again – albeit not at any pubs.)

With every year that passes, I’m gladder that I never went to university; a feeling now compounded with the new lockdown restrictions in place across Scotland…

But enough about me. When I asked you last week what you made of the new lockdown restrictions, I received a near-overwhelming response in my inbox. It’s time for me to share a few with you – and reveal the results from our poll…

The Big Poll

Here you go:

As of close of play on Friday, the Capital & Conflict readership was split almost 60-40 on the new lockdown measures, in favour of “unnecessary”.

Thank you to all who wrote in with their thoughts on the new lockdown restrictions. I can’t print them all as I don’t have the space, but I have read them all and I thank each and every one of you who did. Agree or disagree, what’s important is that we are having the conversation, and I hope you find it as interesting as I do to see what your fellow readers think of the situation.

Of those who wrote in, the majority (though certainly not all) were anti-lockdown. Some very fervently indeed:

Stop Lockdown. Let’s carry on like Corona never happened. In all of history dangerous diseases have killed millions upon millions. Life expectancy 120 years ago was in the 40’s, if you were lucky, assuming you survived child birth. In the 1920/1930’s Diphtheria, TB, consumption and various Flu related viruses killed millions. Although today, reported cases of ‘Positive’ are apparently sky rocketing (People with Colds?) Still only 1 person in 1000 are dying. Most recover in 2 weeks or show no side effects. Most deaths are people who won’t survive this winters ‘Normal’ Flu rush anyway. The Nanny State is a disgrace. This corona virus is NOT a killer any more than crossing the Street. 

“Don’t get out of Bed and only breathe if necessary [and provided] Matt Hancock says it is Ok”. My middle finger doesn’t need viagra to stand erect.

That’s quite the memorable sign-off. I shan’t be forgetting that email anytime soon!

I was fascinated to find a reader who caught the Asian flu back in 1957, an outbreak that I’ve often seen compared to the WuFlu:

I do feel the measures are too restrictive and based on poor science.

Having caught the Asian flu in 1957 and recovered (my wife did not catch it) but 3 days in bed with separate utensils to cut infection and no hospitalisation as the norm, illness was respected. Having made no attempt to prevent covid 19 entering the country all that should have been done was to protect the vunerable and let the virus run its course.

Tell people to lay up properly at home, and attend to their fitness – sadly deaths would occur but that’s just life! World deaths figures today are just under 1 million out of 75 thousand million and no profile on the health of those that have died on those figures! [It’s] fortunately, not a deadly virus.

While they were in the minority, some readers took the opposite approach, arguing that the government is either doing the right thing, or not going far enough:

Trying to balance the health of the Country against the wealth of its economy must be the hardest challenge for the political leaders of virtually every Country around the World during the Covid 19 virus. What a truly thankless task and one that is so easy to criticise politicians for, especially while we are still stuck with the problem and don’t know what the best tactics to employ actually are. 

It really winds me up to see just how selfish so many people actually are. They complain about the smallest of things and lose sight of the bigger picture. Perhaps it’s time to put them under the spotlight for a change and ask them how many people they think it is acceptable to die if all the lock down rules are relaxed? 

Why not make a few of them squirm for a change? Saying the number of deaths won’t increase by much is not an acceptable answer – the point is what if they do!


As much as I regret to say [it,] I do believe at this stage it’s necessary to have targeted lockdown areas but this is mainly because of the successive Government failures and ‘some’ people’s stupidity.

What do I mean by government failures – well firstly a lot of these current ministers seem totally incompetent to me, decisions are being made across all sectors and sections of society that don’t appear as long term solutions but merely as plasters over a deep wound just for effect of ‘look at us and what we’ve done’.

Politics is extremely frustrating and I believe a lot of these short term decisions go on to create greater problems, as the main reasons for making them is just to serve the self serving politicians egos and careers…

The attitude from get go was arrogant and misguided, the initial lockdown was too slow and late, the decision to return vulnerable patients back to care homes without testing them for Covid was scandalous, callous and criminal, the lack of effective PPE for our front line staff, our supply channels were short sighted, our lack of investment into health and these area was inadequate – we don’t have enough testing capacity or should I say we do but it’s not being utilised efficiently and effectively and coordinated properly.

We have very good private companies here in the UK who have testing capacity which returns results almost instantly – the government hasn’t even utilised these and instead these tests are being exported to Europe…you couldn’t make it up!!!

Quite a few readers were enamoured with Sweden’s approach:

I think we should pay close attention to the Swedish system of dealing with the pandemic as well as paying attention to how the human race has dealt with viral and bacteriological pandemics throughout history. The universal solution appears to be the attainment of ‘herd immunity’ and the consequent demise of the pestilence. I don’t know that (pending the production of a vaccine which is simply another method of reaching ‘herd immunity’ via the clever use of science) there is any way other than those people who need to ‘shield themselves’ and can afford to do so, should do so and everyone else needs to get on with their life as best they can. My view is that the economic and social carnage of the current ‘containment’ measures far outweighs the health cost likely to occur as a result of the pandemic.


I am really dismayed by the UK government approach to this virus. The economy is trashed, there are more restrictions that vary from day to day until many of the population are fed up with them, but there is still no end in sight.

Hardly surprising there is no end in sight – this ‘crisis’ will not be over until most of us have had the virus. Current policy is like pulling a sticking plaster off, one hair at a time.

Sweden’s approach, however, was much more pragmatic, sustainable and understood by the population. Protect the vulnerable and trust the population to do the right thing – which is much easier if the government is also doing that!

… while others made some rather different comparisons with Germany instead…

My 94 year old mother tells me that it all is beginning to feel like her childhood days in the early thirties in Germany. More and more fear, regulations and requests attracting more and more severe punishment in a gradual way and the rise of snitching block wardens encouraged by government coupled with threats of potential use of force completing the picture. Wasn’t WW2 was fought to get rid of precisely this type of government?! Our rulers are behaving worse than Putin.


Was it like this in East Germany mother?”

Not all responses took one “side”. Some readers went for the pragmatic approach:

The latest covid19 lock down measures should be more targeted to the local areas where covid19 cases are on the rise. The measures should be much stronger where there is a problem to stamp the disease out, BUT much less in the majority of geographical areas where there is not a big problem. Blanket measures across the whole of the UK will just damage the economy needlessly for little benefit.

In Bristol, where I live, the number of new cases is relatively low and stable and in many areas of the UK they are very low. What could change that and spread the disease across the UK is allowing students and others to move freely from badly infected areas to other parts of the country. If people coming from Spain have to quarantine for 14 days then why on earth are people from Bolton which is far more disease ridden allowed to move freely around the UK without quarantining?!

A PHE/ map of where the new CV19 cases have been found recently in England clearly shows that the problem is in a small number of very specific areas, and that the vast majority of England is relatively unaffected, so why is the government wrecking the economy of the entire country?!


[The new lockdown measures are unnecessary], but I think we should all be wearing masks and should keep out of circulation if we are symptomatic. I also think that theatres should be open if it is alright for planes to be full.  

I also think that oldies and fatties should be self isolating (I speak as an oldie but definitely not a fatty). And there should probably be a ban on thinking, but before there is, just have a read of James Ferguson’s thoughts about our testing regimes – one of the most frightening things I have read in ages.

I thought our politicians demonstrated how stupid they are over the Brexit debates but they are excelling themselves now.

Regards and keep up the good work. Where is Mr Hubble?

Mr Hubble has been working for some time behind closed doors on a very big project which will be going live in the near future. Stay tuned!

The graphs (which, amazingly, even the BBC has displayed) show the “cases” – or are these merely “positive” test results? – sharply up…. The deaths almost flat. If the latter don’t go up in the famous 28 days, any rational analysis has to be that we’ve achieved (at least a degree of) herd immunity.

In face of that, any further lock-downs will be about controlling the humans, not the virus.

In any case, lock-down only keeps the virus and the vulnerable apart; Matt Hancock is very keen to talk about “fighting the virus” and Boris about “coming together” as the 1940s generation did – rather, now he is asking us to cower in our dwellings and hope the RNA stormtroopers will mercifully pass us by.

That’s all for today. Provided I’m not mistaken for a Scottish student at this pub and hauled away to Gitmo, I’ll be right back here tomorrow.

Don’t go away!

Boaz Shoshan
Editor, Capital & Conflict

PS Want to keep your portfolio riding steady through these turbulent times? Then plug this stabiliser into your portfolio…

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