Daily View 2×2: 23 April 2020

On this day in 1516, the Reinheitsgebot was enforced across all of Bavaria, stating that beer must be brewed from three ingredients only – water, malt and hops. And yes, Wilhelm IV, Duke of Bavaria was a bit of a stickler for purity, but that wasn’t a bad hill to die upon, was it?

2 big stories

Whilst the Job Retention Scheme appears to be operating smoothly thus far – noting that payments aren’t due to reach employers until next week – for the self-employed, there’s no news as to when their scheme will start. And the decision to have a ceiling for the employed but a cliff edge for the self-employed is becoming a problem for Rishi Sunak and his colleagues.

At present, the Self-employed Income Support Scheme is broadly based on an average of your last three years of profits. However, if that figure is above £50,000, you get nothing. One example of a profession who might expect to miss out is dentists, and we’re short enough of them as it is. Will the Government be forced to adapt the scheme? And at what cost?

Why are the likes of Tim Montgomerie so keen to see the lockdown ended? Suggestions that the number of deaths is nowhere near as serious as has been suggested so far, agitation to protect the economy, it begins to feel like a campaign to change the Government’s current, rather cautious, approach towards removing some of the restrictions currently in place. Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, is suggesting that social distancing will be necessary until at least the end of the year.

Given that it was the public and businesses that moved towards social distancing well before the Government, and polling shows wide support for the continuing restrictions, you might expect that the public will ultimately determine the rate of return to normality.

2 social media posts

The House of Lords has a new Deputy Chairman, so arise John Alderdice, one of the most genuinely nice people you’ll ever meet.

The new glasses suit you, John, by the way…

Meanwhile, concerns about a retreat from democracy in parts of Central and Eastern Europe are rising. Here’s what one of Slovenia’s finest liberals, former Defence Minister Roman Jakič, had to say on Twitter;

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3 Comments

  • I’m not sure you can let the day go by without noting Vince’s slightly (!) surprising praise for Lenin.

    “You don’t need to be a Communist or even a Socialist to recognise the positives as well as the evils in Lenin’s rule. Not least, his New Economic Policy established pragmatic market socialism which eventually succeeded in Deng’s #China”
    https://twitter.com/vincecable/status/1253020673573871617

  • >Why are the likes of Tim Montgomerie so keen to see the lockdown ended?
    I suspect they are in denial, in part because they lack the capacity to comprehend how you control the spread of highly infectious diseases.

    In some respects, the current situation is like the build-up to the millennium and the “Y2K” computer issue. Many outside the confines of the Y2K projects had little appreciation of the potential largely unknown consequences of not doing the Y2K projects, and naturally with these projects being successful, and the millennium (apart from the fireworks and parties) being a little boring, these people mock the fact that Y2K was a non-event.

    We can be sure that if there wasn’t a lockdown and so enabling CoViD19 to run like wildfire through our society, the likes of Tim Montgomerie would be up in arms demanding that something should be done.

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