Corona karaoke and off-shoring refugees. Just another day in England

Photo by Étienne Godiard on Unsplash

As far as coronavirus goes, here are the rules in England, succinctly delivered by @DoughtyStreet human rights barrister Alex Wagner, @AdamWagner1:

In the south six people are free to sing but in the north only one person is allowed to sing indoors, although six can sing outside.

Here’s Mr Wagner’s beautifully expressed tweet:

Singing banned indoors for groups of 2 or more persons. Basically, it’s solo karaoke only for the North East and North West

To be clear: singing in the south

Singing in the North indoors

Singing in the North outdoors

- Adam Wagner (@AdamWagner1) September 29, 2020

Mr Wagner’s figural representation checks all the boxes that Boris Johnson’s government is unable to do: it offers clarity. It’s still crackers but at least it’s clear.

That’s something Mr Johnson is not. On Tuesday, September 29, for instance, Mr Johnson appeared profoundly confused by his own coronavirus rules.

In response to a question about new restrictions in England’s northeast, the prime minister wrongly said that the rule-of-six restriction on gatherings did not apply when meeting people outdoors. “It is six in a home or in hospitality but not six outside,” he said, directly contradicting his own government’s official guidance, which say “you must not meet in a group of more than six, indoors or outdoors.”

Onwards then to the other magnificent idiocy of the day by senior ministers. The Financial Times has a brilliant piece of reporting on Home Secretary Priti Patel’s attempt to find an Australia-style solution to Britain’s migrants’ problem.

Ms Patel apparently “asked officials to explore the construction of an asylum processing centre on Ascension Island, a British overseas territory more than 4,000 miles from the UK in the south Atlantic.”

The idea has been dropped but in terms of lunacy it probably ranks with Donald Trump’s desire to buy Greenland!

Originally published at on September 30, 2020.

PhD. Journalism by trade & inclination. Sign up for free email updates on email me at

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