Warburton to vote against Government

Somerton & Frome MP David Warburton will vote against the Government tonight. The Prime Minister is asking for support for the new system of tiers to help reduce the spread of COVID 19. Under the rules Somerset would be placed in tier 2 but Cornwall in tier 3. You can read more about this here: https://leveller.live/2020/11/26/somersets-tier-announced/

Mr Warburton outlines a number of reasons why he feels unable to support the new system of tiered restrictions. He notes that “the rules that have been proposed are contradictory and, in many cases, seem almost arbitrary. From last orders at 10pm but 11pm closing (do we all order four rounds at 10pm, or do venues have to pay staff for an hour with no takings?), to the vaguely defined ‘substantial meal

Much worse, the MP feels the economic case is being prepared “on the hoof” “I have been asking (both publicly on social media and in private conversations with Ministers) for the data – a cost benefit analysis – which informed the decisions around the Tier system.  Apparently the Cabinet Office had been putting this together all weekend for us, which sadly suggests that the data was not the basis for the proposed rules.” 

And he is not impressed with the way Somerset has been treated either “The regional basis for the tiering is problematic. The apparent incidence of Covid-19 is inflated in areas (like our own) that are affected by nearby towns or cities. And many, having had lockdown for a month, find themselves moving into stricter restrictions than were imposed before lockdown.  This would seem to imply that lockdown was ineffective.  Which itself would imply that the stricter Tier system will also be ineffective. “

And other arguments are ones that you will have heard before, but are no less pressing given that the points remain largely unanswered:

The NHS pressure argument is dubious. We have seven unused Nightingale hospitals in England (more in the other countries of the union).

The data showing massive increases in infections/deaths has been shown to be dubious at almost every turn.  For the under 60s, there is a 1 in 300,000 chance of death.  For the over 60s, there is a 99% survival rate.  For the over 80s, it’s still 90%.

There is an alternative to hand – based on individual responsibility that we exercise in our own lives anyway. We should allow the vulnerable to isolate and protect themselves, as with any other virus – no-one suffering from ‘flu goes to visit and then embrace elderly relatives.”

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