Playing the Blues 203


I have been working very hard trying to get a government backed “Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan” for the music festival. It has been like banging my head off a brick wall, with a huge batch of documents and accounts to be in your hands before you are permitted to smash your head. Before the pandemic really took hold, I had written about the challenge of making music festival finances work and the need, given infrastructure costs, to reach a certain scale to become viable. At that stage my main worry was how to maintain the non-commercial, community vibe as we expanded; selling the tickets was not proving problematic.

The pandemic has obviously been a huge blow to the entire live music industry and to festivals in particular. Very large amounts of both money and effort had already been sunk into this year’s festival, which is now unable to go ahead. We had, just to give one of scores of examples, built a new entrance to the estate to reduce traffic backing up on the roads.

A music festival is obviously very genuinely affected by the pandemic, so I did not imagine there would be trouble qualifying for the much touted government Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) for small and medium enterprises affected by the virus. We applied, and at the request of the bank produced records and a business plan showing cashflow going forward and how we would recover the financial position and repay the loan.

Last week we received a definitive rejection of our application from RBS/Natwest and I wanted to recount the reasons in detail to you, because they explain very well why the CBILS scheme has been a failure, which is going to cause a great deal of economic damage. I would add that I was dealing throughout with bank staff who really were lovely, and desperate to be helpful. Their computers kept saying no, but they did not relay that with satisfaction or indifference, and indeed went out of their way to alter the input to their computers again and again to try for a different answer. But the answer was ultimately no, and here is why.

The CBILS scheme specifies that is must be applied by the bank using the banks’ normal lending criteria – which were referred to as “policies” by the staff. The government guarantees 80% of the amount and has made available 100% of the funding, but as the bank is still theoretically 20% at risk, individual applications still have to be accepted by the banks’ underwriters as insurable. This was the rock on which our application continually foundered.

One individual phone call lasted over two hours with a “business manager” who was trying very hard to get the application through the underwriters. The application was being blocked by three bank “policies”.

1) There was an absolute bank policy against loaning for refunds to customers. We had explained this was one of the things that we needed the loan to cover.
2) A number of payments (deposits etc) made for this year’s festival were irrecoverable. These were therefore trading losses and it was bank policy not to loan to cover losses.
3) Going forward, we could give no guarantee that the festival would take place in 2021 or 2022 if coronavirus persisted.

To be plain, this was the government’s much vaunted CBILS scheme for which we were applying, which has the stated purpose of helping viable businesses survive coronavirus. Yet it is being applied by the bank in such a way as to rule out providing funds to cover losses directly caused by the coronavirus. To compound this ludicrous situation further, you cannot get a loan if there is a risk your business will be affected in future by coronavirus.

This particular manager had studied our accounts, business plan, sales growth and narrative and said that he accepted we had a good viable business plan going forward. He went to discuss the matter with his director. His director reinforced the refusal on all three counts, and added a fourth. The company, which was set up to finance the necessary expansion of Doune the Rabbit Hole, has been trading for less than two years and, like most startups, was yet to show any profit. We therefore would not be eligible on

4) Lack of profit history

The CBILS scheme has been supplemented by a special scheme for startups, “the Future Fund”, but this only applies to the Tech industry.

The friendly business manager told me that he had found the CBILS scheme particularly frustrating as it was not doing what it claimed to do. His sector was the hospitality and leisure industry, and the bank’s policies actively precluded him from giving loans where they were most needed. He said that the vast majority of CBILS loans he had seen granted were to larger established enterprises and were related entirely to covering their fixed costs – eg rents, mortgages, utilities, insurances etc. Large landlords have readily received loans from the CBILS scheme.

So I can tell you definitively that the government’s much vaunted Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to “save” the country’s small and medium enterprises cannot be used to borrow money to cover in the short term any loss you are making due to coronavirus. You can only get the loan if you are a wealthy company that is not making a loss from coronavirus, does not actually need the loan, and could have got a loan under the bank’s own commercial lending criteria anyway. It is in short, like every Tory measure, a way of funneling government resources to the benefit of the wealthy.

The bank have referred us to the new “Bounce-Back” loan scheme, which is designed to address some of these issues with the CBILS scheme. In particular, it can help non-tech startups, with no need to show a profit for companies in their first three years of trading, and there is no exclusion for companies making a loss due to coronavirus. The problem is, that the loan limit of £50,000 barely scratches the surface of our immediate requirements. But the festival has always been a confection of community spirit and sweat; we will find a way to make it work. I shall let you know how the Bounce-Back application goes in due course.

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203 thoughts on “Playing the Blues

1 2
  • Ken Garoo

    It’sa da Catcha Twenny Two!
    i) The banks can only make loans under the deal to entities eligible for normal bank loans.
    ii) The banks aren’t obliged to lend under the deal to entities eligible for normal bank loans.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Run a virtual Doune the rabit hole. A wise man told me in the 1970’s “If I could get pissed and fucked in the back of the Travel agents I would never have left Glasgow”.

    • GFL

      Thank you, gave me good laugh this morning, as a good Lancashire lad it definitely applied to me 50 years ago.

  • Giyane

    I listened today to Chris Patten, pissing on China like his right wing colleagues in the Tory and Republican Parties.
    How can anybody with so little human understanding become the CEO of a university? Are they paid to deliberately not understand? Is the qualification for academic excellence to be blind , deaf and dumb?

    He was getting worked up about the fact that China, which does not trust the West for very good historical reasons, was not forthcoming about the origins of cov19.

    If I was a leader in China and I strongly suspected that my enemy was trying to conduct nefarious warfare against me, I do not think I would be freely discussing anything with them UNTIL i was ready not to fall into the elephant traps my enemies had laid for me.

    If my entire civilisation had been destroyed for 300 years by a drug mafia famous for its international crimes, I’m not sure I would even be answering the phone to that criminal gang. Sometimes it’s better just to let it ring.

    • zoot

      he sees no reason why they should be wary of the kind of ‘independent’ investigation approved by trump, pompeo, biden and co.

    • Laguerre

      Yeah, I listened to the Chris Patten interview, and I too was struck by how it was all how China lied, no mention of lies by the British government. Britain continues to lie about the real number of deaths in Britain, hasn’t stopped for a moment. The case of care home deaths was a good one: they continued to omit them for several weeks after France included them in the death figures. I.e. they were aware of the problem, but did nothing because it looked bad. Much like China is accused to have done. Yes it does look bad, very bad. The death figures in Britain are appalling, and all they do is hide the truth.

        • OnlyHalfALooney

          The statistics are not very meaningful unless you analyse them more carefully.

          South Africa: -2900 “excess deaths”

          What does this mean? Poor reporting of deaths (for example: relatives in outlying villages unable to travel to a Home Affairs office to report a death?), less traffic accidents, less work accidents, less murders, less alcohol poisoning?

          What about other causes of “excess deaths” in all countries, like suicides due to the crisis and restrictions? For the Netherlands, I can’t find any recently published suicide figures.Perhaps they are not being published for good reason. However, the “suicide prevention” emergency number is overloaded and psychiatrists are warning of a serious psychiatric crisis. And what about deaths due to absence of care (e.g. heart patients not going check-ups, not having operations, etc.)?

          But honestly, what has the Johnson cabinet NOT lied about or obfuscated since it came to power? I have previously compared Boris Johnson to Jacob Zuma (both flagrantly corrupt and both with an unknown number of children), but at least Zuma didn’t lie quite as much.

          Compared to Johnson and Trump, Macron is a beacon of sincerity, whether you agree with his policies or not. Even Berlusconi was honest and efficient compared to the professional poseurs and bullshitters now running the UK and the US.

        • Anthony

          Jack

          The UK saw 627 of its people die from the virus in the 24 hours to yesterday lunchtime. The real total is estimated to be twice that number or higher.

          On the same day, Italy, Spain, China, France, Iran and Turkey lost 625 people. In total.

          • Jack

            Anthony

            I just criticized Lagurerre nationalistic comments that France is way better, in fact France are just right under the UK in the ranking with 414 deceased vs UK 482 deceased and France test far less on top of that.

          • Laguerre

            Jack

            The numbers of dead in France are considerably lower than UK, though you may be able to cherrypick a figure that suits your purposes. It is not that France is good, as you claim I think, but that the British situation is appallingly bad. Johnson and his cabal have made a real mess of things, and Tory MPs should be getting restive. According to Rafael Behr, they already are, though I wouldn’t necessarily believe him.

          • Jack

            Laguerre

            You can criticize the UK but you could not uphold France as something good since they are as I just said right under the UK in the ranking.

          • Jack

            Laguerre

            France, UK stats million pop: UK 482 France 414

            France, UK stats deaths: UK 32700 France 27000

            France, UK stats test: UK 29566 France 21213

        • Laguerre

          Jack

          Only a nationalist himself would think what I said was nationalistic. In any case in your table (dating from 21 April), it’s Britain that has the big problem, not France.

        • nevermind

          Labour man Jack, who, wearing his hobnail boots, said that ‘ Yes suicide is a risk, bankruptcy too that is why it is so important for a state to act strongly and not sitting by doing nothing because that is just prolonging the crisis in my opinion’
          is labeling others as nationalist.
          Thanks for this macabre joke, how depressing

          • Jack

            nevermind

            I am a nationalist for wanting to cut back on the risk of suicide and bankruptcy?
            Which socities are more prone for suicide after this disease do you think? The nations that acted strongly i.e. asia that now have the situation close to zero deaths or the west that still do not see the light in the tunnel and whereas economic estimation is getting grimer?

          • nevermind

            You want to do it by force if necessarry, rather than by persuasion and some comm9n sense logic.
            Keep wrigglin boare, there’ll be a fish along inna minute.

          • Jack

            I think that this effortless attitude to this virus is what have put western states at the top with the most deaths.
            In Asia they don’t have that egoism, you should learn something from them, obviously their model – not yours – is the successful one.

      • Giyane

        Laguerre

        The US is not admitting to the public their own involvement in the Wuhan biolab. Their funding of it and participation in it means that they have equal access to the stock of deadly pathogens.
        Its deeply disturbing that us and uk politicians are lying about that, maybe entirely for security reasons , and they are unable to see their own dishonesty.
        Does the Potus and his right wing entrail think pharma is about farming maybe? The reluctance of Western right wing governments to level with the populace on simple issues makes them sound fatuous and ridiculous. Why has Jeremy Hunt who is up to his eyeballs in all of this, not told us where the NHS PPE went? Did it go in Foreign Aid to Priti Patel’s headchoppers as I strongly suspect?
        Nhs privatiser Hunt, zioniser Patel , and Empire2 Gavin Williamson have all been whitewashed by Boris of their recent lies for which they were rightly sacked. How is that conducive of trust?

        No this is just Perfidious Albion and its clone clown in the US using biowarfare and bluffing to the world muffin to do with us. Who smelt it, dealt it. It takes one to know one. Everything about the pandemic stinks, including the idea that Tories can BUY us with furlough and bank loans.

        The US and UK have released these pathogens to the world in a moment of ” first strike ” insanity against the growing diplomatic authority of China.
        The military of the West have believed their own dementia, that a nuclear war can be won, and decided that it will opt for the lesser evil of bio warfare, trusting their AI algorithms that tell them in cold logic that the larger populations of their Pacific economic rivals will mean that they lose more people than us in the West.

        Our leaders are completely insane and somebody should grab the steering wheel before this war of words escalates into nuclear war. There’s something very wrong when the Chairman of a top University is mentally enslaved to right wing dogma. I went to that university. It taught me to question. Is it now a centre of dictatorial propaganda? YCNMIU.

        • Giyane

          Only half a loony.

          Mscron and Corbyn are about equal in terms of their moderate Leftiness, maybe Macron in his deeds , considerably more Left.

          Starmer is about the same as May in Rightiness, and that is distinctly more right than Thatcher.

          Johnson is just a blonde pin-up to catch Tory females who faint at Oxford accents and cheats.

          The Tory party has decided, for a bit of a Bullingdon prank , and because it can get way with it to self-elect itself and see if anybody finds out. Like putting a wig on a statue outside the Bodleian Library in a haze of Vodka.

          Winchester school boy and Viking without the hat Cummings are running the country while Boris just oafs around confusing us.

          Nobody has the authority to uncover the prank that gave Boris his majority, except British Intelligence, and maybe they were themselves involved in the prank.

          One can only conclude that our intelligence community wants Boris’ brainless Leave the EU to fail so spectacularly that we clamour to be accepted back.

      • Stonky

        In some ways the pandemic is a heaven-sent opportunity.

        Back in 2007, there was no way to blame anyone other than greed-maddened Western bankers for the financial collapse. None of the fundamentals have changed since then – in the UK the economy is still dependent on “finance” (90% of which has nothing to do wtih the productive economy – it’s just shifting money from one hand to the other), asset price inflation (largely London property) and eyewatering levels of public and private debt.

        Another ‘correction’ was due… and guess what! Here’s COVID-19! We can crash the economy again, press the reset button again, refill the banks’ coffers from the taxpayers purse again, hand squillions to the megacorps for all sorts of boondoggles from “testing” to “tracking” to “vaccines” you name it, drive countless businesses to the wall whose assets can then be stripped by the megacorps….

        And best of all – WE CAN BLAME IT ALL ON CHINA!!!

        Trebles all round I say chaps! Dammit, make that double-doubles!

        • Giyane

          Stonky

          By aiming exactly halfway between the two bullseyes you have hit the target.
          You are 100% right.

          • Stonky

            Pity you were the only one sharp enough to spot it… 😉

            I find the congruence of the two very disconcerting. Two very dangerous strategies that could lead us into some very dark places.

          • Stonky

            Is it merely opportunistic… Or planned?

            I’m inclined to go for opportunistic for several reasons.

            1 Too many ‘planners’ required.

            2. The initial response to the epidemic was largely media driven And in what is now their standard response to any molehill, the MSM responded to the virus with screeching hysteria. To the extent that within a week or two, any politician who dared to stand up in public and say “Let’s keep this in perspective”…” would have found themselves fleeing down the road pursued by a media lynch-mob. The result has been the lockdown, and it’s quite obvious that certain people have been very quick to spot the “opportunities” it offers..

            3. The anti-China campaign might be lots of fun on a political level, but it’s an economic minefield. Since 2007 the global economy has basically depended on China’s growth. Crashing China’s economy to make a bit of political capital might have a lot of very unpleasant consequences. But nobody in the money industry ever looks beyond the end of their nose.

            4. Trashing the economy is a very dangerous weapon from a domestic perspective too. You’ve no idea where the public tipping point might be, and nobody could honestly claim that they’re steering the whole thing and they know exactly where we’re headed.

            I think it’s just “Tomorrow’s headline” politicians grabbing at an opportunity without really having any strategy behind it. They’re riding a tiger.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            Stonky;
            A plan can be made and then put on ice until a suitable opportunity.
            It might not be a wise plan but a desperate one if banks are set to collapse.

          • glenn_uk

            @Stonky: Your second point does not tally with recent history. Far from being “media driven”, the government had an entirely laid back approach – it was far to busy getting everyone to wave the flag for the magnificent exit from the EU at the end of January.

            Remember Johnson doing his Bertie Wooster impressions, with “Big Ben Bongs for Brexit” and all that bollocks?

            While other countries were seriously engaged with preventing a disaster, our ministers were still musing about the benefits of herd immunity, acquired through mass infection. Other countries that had a “do nothing” approach like Italy suffered for their inaction. Despite our seeing that, we did nothing almost ourselves.

            If you recall, people were asking why our government was not taking the same approach as other countries.

            If you really don’t remember any of this, look how late our lockdown came compared with our European neighbours.

          • Clark

            Stonky, you’re posting the opposite of the truth again. The UK waited for the second highest number of deaths, the highest number of infections, and the second highest infection density per population of any country in Europe. You have the experience of China, so you know better than most that the UK government left us with no other choice but a long period of stay-at-home. “Let’s keep this in perspective” ?!

            Stonky, I know you like China; are you associated with Chinese public diplomacy to any extent?

        • Little+Bat

          Stonky, thank you for that post. It’s so important that people discuss this. In Sep 2019, the banking system in the US entered into another crisis, with other major players, such as Deuch bank, also about to fold. Short term help was given, but another crisis was looming when … hey presto, the whole economy had to be shut down, and government funding takes over unplayable bank debts by the large financial interests.

          • Stonky

            This is what gives me pause for thought when I say it was opportunistic rather than planned…

          • Nick

            @little bat
            It is this that makes me think planned.
            It happened as it was required
            At the very best action was delayed until the money men could use inside trading knowledge before lockdown was initiated in uk/us.

    • Mary

      Giyane. Are you referring to the Tory place person, the ex Governor General of Hong Kong, ex Chairman of the Tory partei, ex Chair of the BBC Trust and currently Chancellor of Oxford University? He is now Baron Patten of Barnes?

      His current Register of Interests. https://members.parliament.uk/member/1136/registeredinterests

      Have a look at Bridgepoint, one of the many listed. Choose ‘Healthcare’ and see their ‘investments’ within it. Some contracted by OUR NHS.

      .

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      “Are they paid to deliberately not understand?”
      Yes. Its ‘China bad’ day at the Pentagon and the order has come down the line to Chris Patten.

    • J

      There’s a more fundamental question. Why do universities have CEO’s at all?

      • Pyewacket

        J…Universities have CEOs because like all other large, publc sectors employers a certain number of jobs need to be created and maintained to keep a much smaller sector of the public at the generous remuneration levels to which they have become accustomed. Oh…and they’re bringing skills, experience and know how to drive revenue forward in a straightened competitive market, and talk gobbledygook like that and do an half decent power point presentation with graphs and stuff, talk nicely, wear a nice suit and proper shoes…err and lastly…as a reward for services rendered.

  • Wally jumblatt

    You are dealing with the banks and the government apparatus.
    Why on earth do you think it would be set up right.
    It’s not a ‘Tory’ anything, it’s your blessed civil service who are too lazy to get the details right.
    The intentions were actually quite good at least by the initiators, but the banks would find a way to make sure it didn’t go to the deserving.
    At the moment, on a Bounce Back loan application, the bank (same as yours) has determined my digital signature is not the same as my original -which could be from 30 years ago with their record-keeping.

    • AliB

      Or, of course, the civil servants may just be doing what their masters bid them to do. This is not how a Labour Government would have set up the loans. But if you have a Tory mindset then it’s difficult to believe you should be giving a handout to anyone other than the banks and Tory donating friends- who have received several contracts under the banner of Covid even though they have zero experience in what they re being asked to do – SERCO to set up contact tracing – Deloitte to set up covid testing sites – establishing 3 new laboratories by Medicines Discovery Catapult instead of utilising numerous smaller existing ones etc etc.
      All too easy to blame civil servants but it will be the Minsters who set the parameters.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      To what extent will the banks have had a say in writing the rules for these loans?

  • Red Corvair

    It is difficult to struggle against the odds when everything seems to be developing so your head explode against that wall… I don’t want to be involved in conspiracy theory, but … it’s only common sense that tells you there are people who will never let a good crisis go to waste.
    As to go so far as accusing some people having influence on the government of having “planned” the corona crisis (never fall in that conspiracy theory trap!!), … well, it seems the UK Column News have received leaked documents indicating that the British authorities were briefed to create fear and obedience among the British public, and to use the media in order to do so: so it is a conspiracy, indeed, and no longer a theory. And it can even be called a psyop. And it is used by the authorities against every citizen of the state, against the entire population, with some (sometimes creative and happy to encourage snitching) cooperation of the police, in a way used only by totalitarian regimes. The virus may not be Chinese in its origin, however the psyop is used totally in the Chinese way by the Western authorities (with some help of their military intelligence, no doubt) ; and we’re invited to conform to that “new normal”.
    The UK government documents even mention they’re aware of the possible collateral damages of shutting down the economy: they nicely call it “spill-over effect” on the general public. But even considering these, it seems the balance weighs still towards the substantial advantages of pursuing a policy of “re-initializing of the economy” (whatever that means, I don’t think blaming the Tories and bringing back Tony Blair will solve anything: it goes deeper than that and everyone in both “clans” seems to be involved). And so it seems your festival is among those futile things of the past we are now programmed (using NLP, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, yes) to consider as “non-essential” to our survival which is threatened, as you should have learned your lesson by now, by a terrible, now-ever-to-recur enemy: the seasonal, ever-mutating “killer virus”! Even, of course, if every serious scientist now denounces that virus scam and considers there is no threat at all for human life, except of course the vulnerable and immune-depressed, as it is now proven from serious scientific data that the corona, which we closed the economy and locked people up in their houses for, is no more a danger to humanity than seasonal flu. Whatever, you should know by now as well we are, for our survival as a dirty, virus-ridden unwashed race, to be “traced” in our every “contact” until we are no longer a threat for our … fellow citizens (?) … or is it “our” authorities (?) … I still don’t know the answer, my programming not being, “until “the vaccine” comes and saves us all”, really over yet.
    I’m afraid the real threat has always been the people who hold power on our governments and authorities and want to control them (and us, the people) in order to install their authoritarian (the “terror” is pharmaceutical, this time) regime and police state.
    Gates and Big Pharma (both well known -well, … not enough yet it seems- for their catastrophic experiences and plain murders on a large scale in the field of vaccines, as well as for their total impunity for it!) have been announcing on a daily basis and on every media of choice they’re bent on “saving mankind” and “fast-tracking” the development of a “corona” vaccine (a total idiocy on the scientific viewpoint, but who cares about real data and real science when confronted… to a “corona”?) and, cherry on the cake, to testing it … directly on humans. And may I ask you why we should ever bother about Gates and Big Pharma having now, “in order to save our souls” (philanthropists they are!) … the same approach to medical science as Nazi doctor Joseph Mengele? Sorry, but there is no time to pause and think about “human rights” and “civilization” here, … or such other “non-essential” things,… we got a “corona” on our hands!
    UK Column News, May 11th, 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVpCWSx8a6I
    For further general scientifically-based info on “the virus”: https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

    • michael norton

      I think it could well be a classic case of not letting a crisis going to waste.
      The U.K. and Europe and the Middle East and North America were only going one way, downhill.
      With almost everything being manufactured in the Far East.
      The U.K. relied on banking and insurance for its wealth but do we really think the Chinese, Japanese or Indians are not clever enough to run their own scams?
      The U.K. imports half the food it consumes, yet U.K. population increases by 1/3 or 1/2 million per year, hello, where will the food come from? Coal, Oil and Methane are going to be phased out, therefore those industries will be less valuable, eventually becoming worthless.
      For the West there needed to be a re-setting of how things worked, something was going to be a catalyst, be it war or pestilence.

      For now, the re-setting will be pestilence but it may also be war.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      Interesting to see how Bill Gates has replaced George Soros as “world Illuminati puppet master” or “chief reptilian”. Like George Soros, Bill Gates has actually argued for higher taxes on the wealthy, better healthcare for all and greater international cooperation.
      https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/bill-gates-calls-tax-hike-wealthy-new-years-eve-blog-2020-1-1028791394
      https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1997/02/the-capitalist-threat/376773/

      I suppose some powers that be see Gates as some sort of fundamental threat, just like they did George Soros.

    • DoctorK

      ….well, it seems the UK Column News have received leaked documents indicating that the British authorities were briefed to create fear and obedience among the British public, and to use the media in order to do so: so it is a conspiracy, indeed, and no longer a theory.

      Link, please.

      • Clark

        I’ve linked it below. “Leaked” now apparently means “published on the government website”.

      • FranzB

        Anecdotally, I heard a care home manager on the radio say she had refused to accept patients from hospital and no one in that home had died wth the covid 19 virus.

        Rest of the doctrine is:-
        If a resident has the virus, leave in the care home to spread the virus rather than isolating outside the care home and if necessary in hospital for any medical treatment needed.
        Ensure that staff and residents don’t get tested for covid 19
        Ensure staff don’t get sufficient PPE to limit the spread of covid 19
        Ensure care staff are low paid so that they will work long hours (possibly leading to mistakes)
        Ensure care staff don’t get sick pay, so if they get sick they might carry on working
        Ensure GPs don’t visit care homes to make timely interventions as necessary – residents who could benefit from various treatments left to their fate
        Death certificates filled in by care home staff without GP present – if in doubt put Covid 19 on the certificate – lessons of Winterbourne view ignored

    • Clark

      Red Corvair – “it seems the UK Column News have received leaked documents indicating that the British authorities were briefed to create fear and obedience among the British public, and to use the media in order to do so”

      It isn’t leaked. It’s published in the UK government website (link below); KingofWelshNoir linked to it yesterday. It’s dated March 22, so it looks more like the government’s panic response than a plot.

      https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/882722/25-options-for-increasing-adherence-to-social-distancing-measures-22032020.pdf

      “I don’t want to be involved in conspiracy theory, but …”

      Huh. Maybe avoid UK Column then?

      • Red Corvair

        You’re right, of course.
        My mistake, not UK Column’s. Sorry for this.
        It wasn’t even “leaked” but published by the UK government, out there for all to behold and ponder.
        We haven’t seen many (any?) in the media focusing on it though. For obvious reasons it seems now. Too busy applauding at the balcony I guess, or dancing a covid-19 war dance in the (virtual) editorial room.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Red Corvair May 13, 2020 at 16:36
          See my comment below, May 13, 2020 at 19:06:
          The UK Column DID release ‘whistleblower’ evidence, that was not on the government website. Re-watch your link.

      • tony_0pmoc

        Clark,

        Thanks for posting that. When you went AWOL a few years ago, I did ask Craig, if you were OK. He replied yes. He had heard from you. All our festivals that we have paid money for have been cancelled this year, but my wife and I are not going to ask for our money back. It is an especially hard time, both for the people who organise festivals, and the musicians.

        By not asking for our money back, we have a hope, that we can do the same thing again, next year.

        I hope you are OK.

        I suspect, whilst we would probably disagree about a lot of things, we would get on really well.

        Tony

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Clark May 13, 2020 at 11:20
        If you actually watched Red Corvair’s link to the UK Column 11th May reports, you would see that: their claims were:
        ‘..The UK Government’s Secret Plan to Transform Government and the Civil Service and to destroy or takeover bussinesses…’ and ‘…UK Column was alerted by a government whistleblower to top level meetings inside Westminster where it is alleged the following was discussed..’
        This part starts at 9:10 in the video, with the ‘whistleblown’ info. This info does not appear on the government website.

        • Clark

          That’s no secret. It was obvious from the “assistance to businesses” rules from the day they published them.

          What we need to know is why the restrictions are so badly targeted, why there’s no national map of infection density so people can avoid greatest risk, why we and especially healthcare workers have no masks, why there aren’t enough tests, why, despite two months’ warning, the only preparations made were to cope with mass infections and death, why a “four days on ten days off” work cycle hasn’t been imposed. Covid-19 has been permitted to run riot.

          • Pyewacket

            Clark, I’m often wondering whether; the ineptitude, incompetence, muddled policy, based on selective science, reinforced hourly by a bought and paid for by a readily compliant News Media Association members, who actually benefit the longer it goes on…ycnmiu ! Is their, well thought out Plan…no-one to blame if it all goes rat shit. Christ almighty pbuh, their already playing pass the parcel with everything relying on everyone else. Don’t drop the grenade, cos it’ll go off. In short…no overall accountability for what has, or will happen in the near future, and this is planned and strategic in effect.

    • Giyane

      Red Corvair

      Mengele was allowed to die of old age.
      His experimentation on humans underlies all of the torture rendition brainwash indoctrination of Muslims to violence of the War on Terror.
      You are 100% right that it also underlies this social experiment of fear happening now.

      Question is, is a government that has been using psychotic drugs as a tool of creating proxy armies for recapturing its lost Empire in the oil rich Middle East, capable or not capable of using a much less powerful psychological tool, a scary and infectious tious virus, to inculcate in its population the false idea that we neeeeeeeeed our government so much, because they looked after us during the pandemic.

      The answer is Yes, and the proof is Gladio.
      You are being too modest.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      ” I don’t want to be involved in conspiracy theory, but … it’s only common sense that tells you there are people who will never let a good crisis go to waste.”
      If it is common sense why wouldn’t you want be involved?

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      Red Corvair
      Excellent conspiracy theory.
      The purpose of crashing the economy is so that the people who have recieved all the quantative easing money can buy everything up in bankruptcy sales.
      The BBC called the amount of new QE money ‘unprecedented’, i.e. much bigger than the 2008 lot. That was in the brief moment when the BBC mentioned it at all.

    • nevermind

      Germany just saw a car based, day music event with massive speakers pumping out the sound whilst people were in their cars, parked at a safe distance, but I have not heard of how they organised the toilet arrangements and or water needs.

    • Red Corvair

      That’s a good one… They did not take into account a planned pandemic. The idiots!
      Crazy how these insurance companies always foresee it all. But as the small print assures them their margins of course it’s part of the trade, no doubt. Typical of The Guardian though. How callous and lickspittle.

  • Clark

    Biolab “security” is crap everywhere, and always has been:

    https://thebulletin.org/2014/03/threatened-pandemics-and-laboratory-escapes-self-fulfilling-prophecies/

    Why are these labs in major cities rather than in isolated places? Why do the staff work nine to five instead of living on site for three months concluding with a month’s quarantine? Why is there no international regulatory body?

    – “oh, it wasn’t our lab, it was your lab”, like kids in a playground.

    • michael norton

      Porton Down is near Salisbury but there is a bit of country around it but, you are right they could have stuck it on Exmoor or Lundy Island, for extra biosecurity.
      I think it is where it is because of Boscombe Down, so “stuff” can be flown in to a secure airforce base, then only got to run it across a few fields to Porton Down Bio Lab level 4
      plus the whole area is full of spooks.

      • michael norton

        Porton Down
        A test to find out whether people have been infected with coronavirus in the past has been approved by health officials in England.
        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52656808
        Finding antibodies that attack the coronavirus show that person has been infected in the past, but they do not prove they are protected against it in the future.

        Experts at the government’s Porton Down facility evaluated the Roche test last week, Public Health England said.

        Now they should task Porton Down with finding the origin of this new virus.

        They found that if someone had been infected, it gave the correct result 100% of the time.

  • Clark

    Where’s this infamous Chris Patten interview?

    Can’t commenters remember to link?

    • Laguerre

      The “infamous Chris Patten interview” about China was on the Toady programme yesterday 12/5 on R4. You know better than me how to get at the relevant bit.

  • ET

    Sadly, it looks like the whole festival and live music sector is in the same boat as Doune The Rabbit Hole. I read a Guardian piece on it today poosted by MrSoft above:
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/05/playing-the-blues/comment-page-2/#comment-941761
    Seems that none of them are qualifying for any of the bailout loans. As was mentioned in an earlier post maybe you could appeal for funds from your regular attendees to help out. I hope you can get it resolved.
    It must be very stressful for you, Craig. This and the whole legal thing going on. Maybe too many plates spinning?

  • nevermind

    Should anybody see a man with a beard and a birthmark on his forehead come jogging along, he is one of Craigs ex collegues, it could be the missing diplomat Richard Morris who was last seen leaving his home in Bentley Hamps. a week ago today. There is no indication in the i paper as to whether he is carrying his mobile phone.

    The police is asking people to look in outbuildings gardens and sheds, BUT NOT IN THE SURROUNDING COUNTRYSIDE, as this could impede professional police searches…..
    article in the i paper today by Sally Guyoncomt

    I hope that he soon be found well and alive, his family must be desperate for information. But it is not impossible that he could be playing a very lengthy game of three dimensional chess with Sergei Scripal.

  • Lorna Campbell

    Just read in The National that a man who had been thrown off the Alex Salmond trial jury for talking about it outside the court has been spared prosecution. This beggars belief. Could he have been the actual source of the leaks about the identities of the witnesses? Who was he talking to? How much did he impart? Here you are, facing prosecution for not actually identifying anyone!

    • Phil Mitchell

      Juror who talks about the case outside court gets off scot free. Blogger who reports on the case online gets prosecuted. This Murray prosecution is more like a persecution. It is bang out of order!

    • Giyane

      Lorna Campbell

      Unfortunately the exact location of where he was talking about it may have been on his mobile while being listened to, or on his laptop while being monitored by the same people who tried to fit Salmond up.
      We live inside State ears and under state eyes.
      If those same people had checked the witnesses statements before the trial, they would have known that they were lies.
      They make up some things and ignore other things.
      I hope Craig’s lawyers politely point out that.

  • Miss Lost Her Marples

    Never mind Alex Salmond’s accusers, I am still trying to figure out who Harvey Weinstein’s accusers were.

  • Brian c

    Sorry for your current travails. Sadly banksters and neoliberal politicians view arts and culture as eminently dispensable. Worth remembering the banks themselves got bailed out back in 2008 to the tune of £1.162 trillion (along with lord knows how much subsequently in QE.). By contrast just £337 billion is being given to support UK workers and business – ie the real economy – in response to the pandemic. And you can bet your life the banksters and their puppets will already eyeing up another generation of deep austerity beatings.

    • Giyane

      Brian c

      Did anyone check the banks’ business plan or take any collateral? The figures you quote make Mrs May’s magic money tree lies look more like a forest. Are we supposed to believe that the british public have such confidence in Tory lies that they gave them 90 extra seats in parliament?
      I like that. That’s kind of a cheeky lie.
      Let’s vote for that.

  • Tom74

    I suspect, unfortunately, that the festival is only a ‘business’ in the loosest sense and will not be eligible for a loan. On the wider point, I doubt the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme is going to help ordinary small business owners anything beyond the very short-term. It is surely a trap to force and/or encourage their political compliance as their businesses and the wider economy are crushed, leaving the way open for huge asset-stripping corporations, as well as greater political control of an impoverished population. Always beware Tories bearing gifts – you know they are hiding some greater goal of their own and their geopolitical masters.
    I believe that public health has little, if anything, to do with any of this lockdown. There is surely a case now for a general strike and boycotts of stores that do not treat their customers as they should expect to be treated.
    Doune the Rabbit Hole indeed!

      • Spencer Eagle

        So they shout boo and you run and hide, maybe you’ll grow a spine when you find out your pension is worth half it used to be.

  • Cubby

    Bonking Britnat Brexiteer Boris is making such a complete Bollocks of the pandemic that his fellow Britnats, in panic, in Scotland have now taken to throwing out a lot of lies about the Scottish government handling of the pandemic and hoping that with the aid of the Britnat media that some of their mud sticks. Lies, deceit and misrepresentation – the calling card of the Britnats.

    At the next election Tory voters should stay at home and save lives.

    The Tories made a Bollocks of Brexit and now The Pandemic – what a historic double.

    • Brianfujisan

      Indeed Cubby

      Whilst the Independence movement holds a Dignified Silence

      • Cubby

        Brianfujisan

        I, of course, only keep a dignified silence because the moderators tell me to 😇😇😇😇😇😇😇 or else 👹👹👹👹👹👹👹

        • Fredi

          Nonsense, your not moderated in the slightest, you spew out your obsessive hatred toward the ‘English’ every time you’re in front of a keyboard. Of course you couch your bigotry by using the term’ britnat’ as if that somehow legitimises your unrelenting hatred for all things south of hadrians wall.
          If someone here posted as you do but used the term ‘scotnat’ instead then nobody would ever know as most ‘moderated’ it would go..

          • Cubby

            Fredi

            Dear chap, I am sorry that I seem to have been responsible for upsetting you. I do hope you had your breakfast before posting as I wouldn’t like to be responsible for you getting indigestion as well.

            As a point of fact Hadrians wall is in England and actually a considerable distance from the border so your comment is inaccurate in its obvious intent.

            As a point of fact lots of Britnats use the term nats to refer to Scottish independence supporters as somehow they think there is only one type of nationalist in the world. There are of course English nats and Welsh nats and Irish nats and French nats etc etc. I do not believe the moderators on this site would have a problem with someone using the term Scotnat. Can I suggest you try using it to test your hypothesis.

            I can assure you that I am indeed heavily moderated by the sites moderators. No one likes their country to be a colony and of course that can get me a bit annoyed at times. I can also assure you that if I had posted your post it would not have been published as the moderators would have stopped it.

            Toodle oh the noo as that well known Britnat from BBC Scotland says when signing off. Have a nice day.

  • Brianfujisan

    I agree with comments about some sort of crowd funding… maybe some of those with tickets don’t need the refund.. and some can pay a certain amount of the ticket..I would.. It’s a wonderful festival, where I get to meet some Cherished friends from Craig’s Blog

    Already Money has been spent to ease traffic on the narrow B road..I think some of that last year was caused by an accident on Dumbarton road..We moved about one mile in an hour.

    This Isolation is starting grate .. The highlight of my week is these Two sisters – ‘ Live on their Drive at Five..on Saturdays a couple of miles doon the road from me – closest I will get to a festival this year.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u9y-swnQho&t=2242s

  • Laguerre

    There are warnings that even Tory MPs are beginning to be discontented about Johnson’s performance. The un-lockdown is a particularly difficult political operation, beyond Johnson’s capacity.

    I was quite interested by the comparison with France. In France, the epidemic has gone into quite severe decline. Nevertheless Macron has also gone into seclusion, leaving the public work to his PM, Edouard Philippe. Philippe has performed particularly well, steady as a rock. I’m impressed. Seven years as mayor of Le Havre means he has the administrative experience.

    • Jack

      Severe decline? They are about to pass Spain with more deaths, it would put France at #4 in the world with highest death.
      Note also that France test less than UK, US, Italy, Spain which speaks of many unreported deaths in France.

      • Pigeon English

        If you look at https://www.euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps/ site England is the only country with extremely high excess death rate
        (overall deaths compared to expected for a week) New data released today. Sweden and Belgium moderate excess and Scotland low excess. The rest no excess.

  • Giyane

    I wonder if Craig could get some assistance from the estate. I don’t know whether it is part of a farm, or whether it could get financial help for rural diversification. Maybe they could get a loan which you could reimburse over some future tax years?
    Are there tourist organisations that can assist with long term encouragement for cultural events?

    We all need to think laterally to work round the current problem. Back to normal is not as good as connecting to the future. Hood luck.

  • ewan

    You could get a few musicians together and cut a single called ‘ The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Blues’, with lyrics explaining the difficulties that small and medium sized businesses face.

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