No, not that one – the is the Libertarian Party’s new function. TEST the government’s Covid fighting strategy in the harsh environment of the real world and try to TRACE signs of common sense in the Westminster bubble that far too many of our elected representatives live in.
Failure of lockdowns is all around us. Shops are closing down, pubs are closed that will never reopen and redundancies are gathering pace, often thousands at a time. Just this week, ABTA warn that if the current regulations remain, upt to 165,000 jobs will go in the travel industry alone, adding to the millions who have already signed up to Universal Credit this year.
Entrepreneurism is at an all time low. Where is the incentive to invest time, money and effort into a small business, when it is clear the regulations favour giant corporations and larger retail chains over independent retail outlets? The likes of Amazon and Tesco are doing very nicely out of the pandemic, thank you very much.
Just this week, homeware chain The Range has been encouraging consumers in England to “Shop Christmas in-store and online”. The firm, selling a limited range of groceries alongside soft furnishings and gifts – says continuing to trade is within the rules. Book seller, Waterstones, has to close, yet WHSmith stays open as they sell magazines too. The madness is never-ending.
The policy of returning elderly Covid patients to care homes is being repeated, with owners being instructed to set aside separate areas for such patients so as to protect the other residents. Massive amounts of money the government does not have is being spent on furlough schemes for all closed businesses, though the self-employed would beg to differ. Yet the Libertarian Party’s argument that far smaller amounts could be used to protect the vulnerable – older workers and those with existing medical conditions – is ignored.
Can we trace signs of common sense? Well yes, there was a small glimmer of hope as the Covid Support Group was born. Such libertarian leaning MP’s as Steve Baker and Sir Graham Brady have joined a fifty-strong alliance and will be chaired by former chief whip Mark Harper. Is it enough? I very much doubt it. Their voices will be swamped by the ministers pushing the Johnson Junta agenda and those of the opposition, who want even more restrictions on freedom than we already have.
Behind it all, the whole operation is being funded by massive quantitative easing. The Bank of England printing press able to work flat out following similar actions with the dollar. Assets will become more valuable, favouring the already rich, and the pound in the average man’s pocket able to afford less. Social mobility becomes harder and harder.
So overall, the conclusion is all too obvious. This “Conservative” government (wrongly named in my humble opinion) has failed the TEST and there is little TRACE of common sense within the corridors of power.
Martin Day – Party Secretary