Published at last the Exercise Cygnus report Read it here …
CORONA VIRUS ACT IS NOW FULLY IN FORCE> PLEASE BE AWARE THAT SOME OF THE SITE WAS WRITTEN BEFORE THE ACT WAS IN FORCE AND SUGGESTIONS THAT CERTAIN POWERS OF THE P.H.O AND POLICE ARE NOW YET IN FORCE HAS BEEN SUPERCEDED. WE WILL UPDATE THE EXISTING CONTENT BY 3rd APRIL 2020.
We fully appreciate the brave workers in the NHS and we understand and support the requests made by the Government and the steps taken in creating the emergency powers under the Corona Virus Act and the NHS Volunteer Assistant schemes. We support the use of the NHS Nightingale hospital in the O2. We would like to thank everyone in the NHS for working on the front line.
What really are the powers? What really are the safeguards? Is it a proportionate response? Are the threats or sanctions a breach of Human Rights? Are the claimed powers actual?
These powers could have been brought in piecemeal, schedule by schedule, but that would mean scrutiny and open up the Government to criticism of being unprepared in the Commons, which they are desperate to avoid.
This is enormously questionable and we’ve seen just how accurate the Government’s legal advice has been when the Supreme Court has been overturning the Government’s actions in relation to Brexit ….when the Government repeatedly stated that it had received assurances that what it was doing was lawful…..
The powers of the Bill are in many aspects, but not all, lawful because the powers are proportional, but it is possible that some of the powers are not proportional and …
For example, Lockdown without adequate compensation for the self-employed is disproportionate. The Government started by ensuring that all the civil servants (all of whom are employees) didn’t suffer as they guaranteed 80% of their salaries up to a limit, but the action was disproportionate because it left the self-employed without the same payments and this made the entire closure orders disproportionate under Human Rights. This is being addressed on 16th March 2020 by the Chancellor and if the measures are adequate, then self-employed lockdown will become proportionate.
Similarly powers to prevent people walking outside may be disproportionate….and the closure of parks is similarly disproportionate when the Government has created items such as NHS Shopping times (which we fully support) forcing people to queue outside supermarkets (and hence gathering in large numbers) awaiting the shops to open to the public.
You are free to be outside as often as you like – the once a day exercise criteria does not exist in the bill – it is a suggestion, but you could be open to dispersal if you are not maintaining the 2m social distancing (physical distancing) rule.
The science behind the Government decisions has been widely questioned and the disproportionality arguments come into play as different governments use different treatments for stemming this virus. This will be part of the inevitable fall-out after the crisis is over.
If the Governments are telling us the truth, then this is only slightly more dangerous than the annual influenza. Telling people to self-isolate is, in effect, an instruction to await a vaccine ….it is counter to the maths and the science ….people who are vulnerable and people mixing regularly with people who are vulnerable should isolate and the law should support this, but the rest should mix and catch corona….the effect is a bad cold and rapid herd immunity which would kill off the virus in the quickest possible time.
What are the downsides?
The Governments (of both parties labour and Conservatives) have caused continuous underinvestment in the NHS and this is now coming to light. The post-corona era will see a greater focus on preparation for future pandemics and possibly the abandonment of many vanity projects as a result of costs of the COVID19 Pandemic and the recession as well as the need to ensure a robust health service that can cope with pandemic in the future.
The abandonment of nurse loans rather than the former grants and bursaries is a near certainty.
The fact that the spare capacity in the NHS has been stripped out by repeated government NHS cuts and sale of hospitals for housing. The NHS should have significant spare capacity, but the Governments have spent instead on minister’s vanity projects such as HS2.
Remember, these measures will create a recession bigger than the banking crisis and possibly as big as the 1929 crash…. and all for an illness with only slightly higher mortality than influenza. Are you prepared for the price we will have to pay?
(or both part
Watching the Government and the powers it has given itself under Corona
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
The vested interest of Government in protecting itself from criticism in respect of the powers given under Corona should not be underestimated.