James O'Brien dissects government's 'rule of six' policy

14 September 2020, 11:44

By Seán Hickey

James O'Brien broke down the social and scientific impacts of the government's new 'rule of six' coronavirus strategy, branding it an 'irritation' at best.

"If this isn't the best available policy what is?" James O'Brien argued, on the morning the UK's new "rule of six" strategy comes into place - limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings to a maximum of six in an effort to quell rising Covid-19 infection rates.

"The logic of it is clear, the science of it, as ever, will be contentious," James noted, but, in his own view "it doesn't seem to me to be a massive infringement."

James told listeners on the first day of the new "rule of six" policy that it "feels like an inconvenience or an irritation," but nothing worse than that.

He went on, stating that the rule is "designed to diminish deaths and infections" and he himself could understand the government's strategy.

On one hand, James understood the plight of people who were planning to see family over the holiday season.

He wondered: "How many families of four are going to have to make a decision over which grandparents they spend Christmas with?"

James O'Brien could understand how the rule of six could help reduce the UK's infection rate
James O'Brien could understand how the rule of six could help reduce the UK's infection rate. Picture: PA

On the other hand, he could acknowledge people who are hardline opposed to the new measures, telling listeners he hasn't "quite yet got myself inside the heads yet of people who really feel affronted by this, but it's a widespread feeling."

James could see however, how "if the police start rounding us up," he could see a "fairly serious problem on the horizon" where neighbours would start reporting the neighbour near them they like the least in spite.

For reasons such as this, James couldn't imagine the police would enforce the rule as strongly as the government would hope.

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