I agree. Anyone running their own company but taking their income in dividends rather than through PAYE has had nothing from HMG whilst the other schemes were running. I understand the cost and the potential for fraud if the scheme were extended (God knows, they'll be enough of it in the existing schemes) but there's plenty of scope for tapering and leaving hard working entrepreneurs with absolutely no support since lockdown has not exactly been great, particularly if they have the misfortune to work in sectors like hospitality or fashion retail, which are in danger of being wiped out. Sure, you can get a loan but you have to repay that and how are you supposed to do that when you aren't allowed to trade but your overheads (rent in particular) just keep accumulating and you don't know if, when or for how long you might be allowed to trade again?
"Lock her up" sound familiar to you at all?
Are you seriously suggesting that the Good Friday Agreement was just down to US pressure?
I don't think we can be entirely sure yet of either sets of figures - whether from Covid or otherwise. The excess deaths figure (i.e. more than would be expected in an average year) is I believe around 99,000 since March 2020 according to the BBC but how many of those are from Covid or from not being able to access care they otherwise would have received because of Covid is unclear.
Either way it is a tragedy but I honestly think it is far too soon to judge. The truth will out in a few years but for the meantime I think that HMG are doing their best, and certainly with the best of all possible intentions. I don't think that you should have a guilty conscience any more than I do and I would have differed with you, on balance, over lockdowns. Hindsight it is a wonderful thing but I'm sure you are genuine and sincere in your opinion just as much as I am in mine and neither of us can be sure that we are right at the moment. Neither of us would have been complacent or wicked or evil or if we turn out to be wrong, either.
I am not against free speech but I am against a free for all, where lies and incitement are allowed to fester and grow. There has to be a balance between the right to freedom of expression and those who use that right to incite violence and terrorism. For example, until pro-Al Qaeda and pro-ISIS accounts were blocked, they were used to propagate hatred, incite violence and organise terrorism. Yes, they’re still out there doing that through the dark web and other formats but they have a much smaller audience to poison with their lies and our country (and the World) is a little more secure because of it. That doesn’t mean that I believe that someone should be banned just because they believe that we are ruled by a race of alien lizards who have disguised themselves in human form.
I sometimes post in the middle of the night because, in addition to my day job, I also care for my father who unfortunately often needs help during the night and I can’t always get straight back to sleep afterwards.
No, fair enough, go for it. I don’t actually agree with the immigration directives. I haven’t read the one on women’s sport but if it’s about gender reassigned people then competing under their new gender then I wouldn’t agree with that either. What is it about the Administration’s stance on racial equity that you object to?
I agree with your first paragraph although not much of your second. I am a fellow traveller on free speech but I get off before the train hits the buffers. Free speech has to have some limits, particularly when it comes to incitement and lies. I am deeply uncomfortable with the power that Facebook, Twitter et al have in the world but I also accept that the days when a madman could go and peddle their conspiracy theories in the town square or at Speakers' Corner have long gone and the damage that such people can do these days, thanks to the internet, is so much greater. If Titus Oates could succeed in the 17th Century then the malevolent conspiracy theorists of out times can do so much more harm.
We need, I think, a nuanced debate about this so that our laws to catch up with the real world. We certainly haven't got the right balance at the moment but there has to be some check on someone pushing lies that could incite violence or lead to loss of life just as much as there has to be a check on internet monopolies deciding who can or can't put their views out in the world.
Frankly, Peter, the advent of a truly global market. Jobs are lost overseas, immigrants are perceived as driving wages down and people see no prospect of passing on the same, let alone a better, standard of living to their children.
I'm a capitalist but I accept that an element of protectionism has always been practiced by 'advanced' economies to ameliorate these pressures - for example, we still protect and subsidise our farming and agricultural industries in particular, sometimes through barriers to entry (normally through high standards and restrictions) and sometimes through direct tariffs. I'm not saying that is wrong by the way but I am saying that in a lot of other sectors of the economy we (and the USA) have not done that and to a soya farmer in Iowa or an (ex) car worker in Detroit that cuts little ice.
Please pause for a moment and think about what you have posted.
Yes, it's called Covid and a fear of reckless demagoguery.