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WE NEED BETTER DICTATORS THAN THIS

By Pete Moore On October 23rd, 2020

This Wuhan Flu malarky has really flushed out the clipboard-waving Hitler wannabes. The latest merchant to get a hard-on over bossing people around is Mark Drakeford. It turns out he’s the First Minister of Wales. I bet there are people around his kitchen trable who didn’t knew that. Not only has Wales gone back into remedial communism tonight, Drakeford has decided that shops can only sell “essential goods”. I doubt it’s a lawful directive, but it exposes him as not only a Hitler wannabe but also a moron of the first order. So this is Wales now, where if you want a duvet as the nights get chilly you’re bang out of luck (that’s what I assume must be shielded from veiw here) –

I bought a duvet last weekend. I was beginning to feel the chill so like a proper bloke I got a 15-tog monster and it’s great. It was “essential” too. I know that because I decided it was essential to me. What is “essential” is subjective. Even economists know that. But what is essential to me might not be essential to you. And what is essential to you might not be essential to Mrs Miggins at no. 22 Acacia Avenue.

So advanced societies have “markets” where we get to decide for ourselves what we need, not small-dicked tossers like Mark Drakeford, previously a professor of social sciences (so a professor of nothing) who decide for everyone what is essential and what is verboten. Look at that photo above. Just look at it! People have risked their lives to escape regimes run by merchants like Drakeford.

16 Responses to “WE NEED BETTER DICTATORS THAN THIS”

  1. During the first lockdown the UK supermarkets were supposedly limited to selling “essential items” and PC Plod threatened to enforce it by inspecting the contents of shopping bags. This threat was not carried out because of a huge public backlash.

    So Drakeford decides to save the Welsh police the trouble this time by ordering what the supemarkets can and cannot sell. My prediction is that this will be the last lockdown in Wales. When the two weeks are up there will be a consensus that this cannot be allowed again:

    “Want to buy some socks at Tesco? Sorry, not allowed. Aftershave at Boots? Forget it. Or pick up a book, perhaps, while filling up the car with petrol? That isn’t going to be permitted. Apparently, according to Drakeford, he has to create a ‘level-playing field’ so that some shops don’t have any ‘unfair advantage’ during lockdown. ‘We will be making it clear to supermarkets that they are only able to open those parts of their business that provide essential goods to people,’ Drakeford told the Welsh Parliament in Cardiff. What exactly counts as essential and non-essential hasn’t been decided yet – even though Welsh retailers have already reacted with alarm – but no doubt the First Minister will decide in due course…

    Where will this end? Is Drakeford planning to ban Amazon deliveries (because, er, surely that is ‘unfair’ on bookshops that have had to close their doors) or Netflix streams (seems sort of unfair on the local Odeon) or Zoom (hardly fair on local office landlords)? Indeed, it might well be safer to close down the internet, and then perhaps the postal service as well (those sneaky mail order catalogues might come back). And then when he does get around to listing ‘essential’ items, it would probably be safer to ration them as well, since otherwise some shops might run out of permitted items while others didn’t, and that too would hardly be ‘fair’…”

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/mark-drakeford-has-declared-war-on-the-economy

  2. Its a ridiculous rule and supermarkets should have done more to challenge it rather than meekly comply.

  3. But as soon as Mark Drakeford announced a ban on “non-essential” retail this was always going to be the case. The idea that you could buy a book from a huge corporation like Tesco or Asda but couldn’t buy one from a small independent book shop is insane.

    SAGE’s advice (shared with all three devolved administrations) made it clear that the closure of “non-essential” retail would have almost no impact on the spread of the virus.

    So the decision by the Welsh Government to extend the firebreak lockdown to “non-essential” retail (independent or within larger shops) is the Welsh Government breaking with scientific advice.

  4. There will probably be a u-turn next week:

    “Pressure is mounting on the Welsh Government to reverse a ban on supermarkets selling “non-essential” items such as clothing in Wales. A petition on the issue has more than 30,000 signatures – those that attract over 5,000 are debated in the Senedd.”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-54676457

  5. At which point there will be outrage that you can buy “non-essential” items in Tesco but not in your local family-run small businesses.

  6. Blocking off supermarket aisles reduces space to move in. The same number of people will still go there for food, but they have less space to move in.

    I heard a Welsh woman (presumably a Labour AM) defend why people can’t buy a kettle, on the radio this morning. “We have to remove the temptation to buy kettles” she actually said. It’s the loopiest thing I’ve ever heard.

    She then said that if someone’s kettle goes on the blink they can boil water in a pan. Fine, until 86 year old Mrs Miggins scalds herself pouring it into a tea cup.

  7. I heard a Welsh woman (presumably a Labour AM) defend why people can’t buy a kettle, on the radio this morning.

    The authoritarian impulse is always lurking. It just needs the right circumstances to come out in the open. Many politicians are saturated in the cult of safetyism and never wanted the first lockdown to end and they are revelling in the second one. The power to order the minutest details of people’s lives “for their own good” goes to their heads.

    But don’t underestimate the degree of support for lockdown among a significant section of the sheeple, if opinion polls are to be believed.

  8. To be fair I don’t think it is authoritarianism. I think it a stupid policy that got out of hand. They banned “non-essential” retail from opening. And small businesses rightly pointed out that there is no greater risk of getting the virus in a bookshop than in a supermarket. So why should you be able to buy a book in a supermarket but not a bookshop. So instead of taking the rational decision of allowing “non-essential” retail to open they went the other, dumber way and stoped supermarkets from selling “non-essential” items.

  9. there’s a sensible idea behind it , and its to do with touching things
    the more you can limit that , and in this circuit-breaker lockdown in Wales
    the more pressure you are putting on the virus to get off our people
    Its a war . A deadly pandemic, everyone can catch covid inc cry-babies.

  10. “there’s a sensible idea behind it , and its to do with touching things
    the more you can limit that , and in this circuit-breaker lockdown in Wales
    the more pressure you are putting on the virus to get off our people
    Its a war . A deadly pandemic, everyone can catch covid inc cry-babies.”

    There isn’t a sensisble idea behind it. The government’s own scientific advice says that there is little link between “non-essential” retail and the spread of the virus. So they are doing it despite their scientific advice. The scientists, the experts, say you do not need to close “non-essential” retail to limit the virus, and that doing so will have little effect on the virus. The Welsh Government should listen to the scientists.

  11. The scientists, the experts, say you do not need to close “non-essential” retail to limit the virus, and that doing so will have little effect on the virus.

    Someone also said that on the radio this morning. It was the Matt Frei programme on LBC. He (whoever that guest was) referenced the SAGE minutes where that advice was given.

  12. ok seamus, you know more than me, got a link , ofc agreed listen to scientists and follow that advice ..

  13. Seamus

    There isn’t a sensisble idea behind it. The government’s own scientific advice says that there is little link between “non-essential” retail and the spread of the virus. So they are doing it despite their scientific advice. The scientists, the experts, say you do not need to close “non-essential” retail to limit the virus, and that doing so will have little effect on the virus. The Welsh Government should listen to the scientists.

    Absolutely spot-on. and some of these items the government deciding on essential are f****** essential.
    I still haven’t worked out how the coronavirus doesn’t affect you if you have a meal in a pub, but will if you just have a pint.

  14. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/925856/S0770_NPIs_table__pivot_.pdf

    Here is the SAGE advice. Page 10:

    Impact on COVID transmission

    Low impact (low-moderate confidence)

    SPI-M commission from 30 March 2020 included opening non-essential retail. Very minimal impact on R values. Some limited evidence of transmission from China. Short duration and ability to distance in most settings + face coverings are likely to mitigate well.

    Low impact, very minimual impact on R values, and that very minimal impact can be well mitigated by face coverings.

  15. “I still haven’t worked out how the coronavirus doesn’t affect you if you have a meal in a pub, but will if you just have a pint.”

    Indeed. Though the Northern Ireland Executive have banned all hospitality. What annoyed me in Northern Ireland was the decision to close close-contact personal services, like barbers and hairdresses, despite little impact on the virus. Or certainly despite other services being allowed to remain open despite having a bigger chance of spreading the virus that close-contact personal services.

    A similar point about the differences between a pint with a meal vs a pint without a meal was made when hospitality was reopening a few months ago. Sadly the argument was let down in Ireland because it was championed by the Healy-Rae brothers.

  16. We’re doing equally stupid things in Texas.

    If a bar serves food they can be open, if they don’t, they’re closed. Food can be a food trailer in the parking lot or an order of french fries at the bar. As a result, nearly all of the bars on Austin’s Sixth Street are fully open and packed to over capacity until 2 AM.

    Restaurants are still operating under limited capacity seating and suffering greatly unless they have the capacity for outdoor seating and/or adapted to curbside pick-up.

    Most retail businesses are fully open, but people aren’t visiting of their own accord.

    They just don’t feel safe because many won’t wear masks.

    Which says a lot, since my city has a generally high compliant mask wear.

    I was in a busy stone yard last week with a good hundred other folks and everyone was masked up. It wasn’t worrisome at all.