James O'Brien takes on caller who says people are trying to "get around" lockdown rules

9 April 2020, 15:18

When a caller claimed people are just trying to find creative ways to "get around" the lockdown rules, James O'Brien reminded her that if they do that, people will die that didn't need to die.

After Greater Manchester police revealed they had closed down almost 600 house parties last week and 166 street parties - including some with DJs, fireworks and bouncy castles, James wanted to know how the message of the coronavirus lockdown still hasn't got through to some people.

Julia called him and claimed police were being heavy-handed in stopping get-togethers, saying: "I know some people that did have a street party with social distancing. No one went into people's houses, people stood on their doorsteps and one house played music."

James said that is obviously fine, but that is a far cry from the kind of street parties that the police had been closing down.

James O'Brien had strong words for this caller about breaking the lockdown
James O'Brien had strong words for this caller about breaking the lockdown. Picture: LBC / PA

Julia then asked: "So what is the definition of a street party then? Who decides that?"

James told her: "The police. The police make that decision."

The caller then claimed: "We're in very tough times and people are finding innovative ways to try and get around it."

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

The phrase "get around it" was one that James didn't like and after an increasingly heated conversation, he told her: "You've used the phrase 'trying to get around it'. That is precisely the attitude that will kill people.

"So please, tell everyone you know to stop trying to get around it. And if you need any help persuading them to stop trying to get around it, then show them some of the footage in Intensive Care Units. Or show them some of the footage of doctors and nurses begging people to maintain social distancing. Not to throw parties or look for ways to get around the regulations.

"If people really are trying to get around the social distancing regulations, then you need to have a word with them.

"Because if they carry on breaking those rules and you carry on saying the police are over-reacting, then people who don't need to die, will die."

Hear the full call at the top of the page.