So, in order to lambast Twitter for denying your right to free speech, you exercise your right to free speech on Twitter?  Ok, got it.  But don’t even think that anyone believes you are going to close it down.  Because, like, what would you do all day if you did?

New? Clear? Calms trace fears?

In a move that is in absolutely no way designed to try and detract media attention from the astonishingly dull Dominic Cummings non-story, the government has launched the new track and trace procedures today.  This is despite the fact that the much vaunted NHS app that was supposed to be key to this working clearly does not work.  Nor does the main system you are supposed to log into which crashed this morning.

But regardless of this I felt we needed a reliable, clear explanation of how it is supposed to work.  So I went straight to the Newsround website.  It starts off pretty straightforward( if we gloss over the fact that there is going to be a significant proportion of the population who may not wish to admit where they have been going when taking their “daily form of exercise” for fear that their husband/wife will find out).  But to my mind it starts to fall apart around step 4.

“4. If someone who’s been in contact with an infected person is believed to be at risk of catching the virus, they’ll be told to self-isolate for a 14-day period. They’ll be told by via email or text message and it doesn’t matter if they feel ill or not. (not particularly sympathetic attitude, but whatever)

  1. If a person who has been told to self-isolate does develop symptoms, they’ll have to get tested for the virus and the people they live with will have to also go into isolation (from each other? What about pets?). However, if a person doesn’t become ill, the rest of their household won’t have to isolate (but don’t symptoms take two weeks to materialise?  What if the person that has been told to isolate doesn’t develop symptoms until after the rest of the house has been out?).
  2. If a person with symptoms has a test that comes back positive, they’ll need to remain at home for an additional seven days. However, if it’s negative, they’ll just need to complete the remainder of the 14-day isolation period” (so you know you haven’t got it but you are still not allowed out?  What if you have got a four year old son and fancy a drive?).

It sort of has the air of something not quite properly thought through but rushed out because someone wanted to try and dom-inate a news agenda.  But that can’t possibly be true.

Frosty reception

Michel Barnier has suggested that EU would be open to extending the current transitional arrangements for up to two years should UK seek such an extension.  But, consistent with every other time this has been raised, the government – this time in the shape of chief negotiator David Frost – immediately shot the idea down.

Are you low slung tonight?

Data abounds about how much household spending has fallen during lockdown despite efforts to mop up the wine lake.  So I have been looking for the ideal opportunity for you to splurge you newfound savings.  And this must be it.  Elvis’s rhinestone jockstrap – available for the more than reasonable sum of thirty large from a shady sounding outfit in Bristol – but I shan’t be cruel.  So if you have got the money honey, it’s now or never.

Alternatively, on a more practical bent and for only a slightly larger lay out, can I suggest the following?  Neil Armstrong’s haircutting scissor and comb combo to self-shear your lockdown locks for £25k.  And pair them with Pope Pius XII’s skull cap to cover up the inevitable disastrous results?  I can dream…


An interesting summary of the various initiatives in play to develop an insurance response to future pandemics in FT today.  And who knows, by the time you click on the link they may have learnt to spell John Neal’s name properly.  Not sure I would be betting my newly acquired jockstrap on any of these coming to fruition however.

Blag of the century

If you are of a nervous disposition, it might be best to skip over this.

But it felt only right to pay due tribute to Terence Leroy of Sydney for the quite astonishing alibi he came up with to avoid conviction for breaking and entering.  No real words to add – save to question who has noodles for breakfast?.  Although I do feel a strange compulsion to do some sweeping up…

A cry for help

As I may have mentioned in this pages before, I have a regular column in Insurance Business magazine.  I would like this month to concentrate on the unsung work you have all been doing to help clients cope with the crisis over and above just getting their claims paid.  But I need examples.  So if you could send in stories that you think need to be heard by my vast following that would be much appreciated.  Deadline is tomorrow so I have given you plenty of notice…

And it is back.  17th June.  Real proper footy just twenty sleeps away…