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Ivan Yates says the idea we are “all in this together” in lockdown is “absolute nonsense”

The idea that we are “all in this together” through the covid-19 pandemic is “absolute nonsense” according to broadcaster Ivan Yates, who says he “hates lockdown with a passion.”

Speaking on Lunchtime Live, Yates expressed his frustrations with the covid lockdown.

“I was watching the Players Championship in golf on Sky Sports from Florida, and there were huge crowds watching,” he said.

“I mean, I don’t know how docile the Irish people have become, but the reality is that, when this is over there is going to be a massive economic reckoning insofar as people have lost their jobs permanently and they don’t know it yet.

“What I keep coming back to is that there are three types of people affected by the lockdown. There are a third of the population that is actually doing better in lockdown – people in grocery, people in pharma, in health and in tech, who are absolutely going gangbusters. There is one third not really affected – the public sector. And then there is one third that has lost 90% of its income. So, this notion that we are “all in this together” is absolutely nonsense, and it always has been.”

He went on to say that the government have focused too much on coronavirus, and forgotten about the damage that is being caused by the covid-19 restrictions.

“In the UK, they had the UK budget and said the cost of this is going to be £355 billion pounds. Have you heard one conversation in Ireland about how much this is all going to cost and who is going to pay for it? We have just absolutely, in a myopic way, focused on the public health issue to the exclusion of all else. It won’t last.”

He went on to say he was “very critical of the media,” saying they have “not really gone beyond the daily death count” and failed to hold the government to account.

“The fact of the matter is the agenda of life after lockdown has to start,” he said, adding that “if the most vulnerable are vaccinated…we have to actually have some sense of when we can get back to normal.

“You know, it is no surprise that everyone has made a hames of the vaccine in Ireland. It is an absolute shambles and it is back of the queue for Ireland in every respect. It is a disaster.”

“You can say to me April 5th, June 10th, or September 1st, but a lot of businesses can’t switch on or off their businesses like a tap. I chaired a big webinar for engineers last week. We are the only country in Europe where every construction site is stopped. In every other European country, construction is continuing as normal. Go figure!”

He concluded by describing the hospitality sector as “sacrificial lambs” through the entire lockdown, and said that the Department of Health had an “anti-alcohol agenda.”

“I have to say, it is no surprise to me, over debates over the last thirty years, that there is an anti-alcohol agenda in the Department of Health – and by God they didn’t waste a good crisis when it came to the drinks industry. The fact of the matter is, if you don’t want to drink, that’s fine. If you don’t want to socialise in the pub and never do, that’s fine. But please don’t tell me, or anyone else who might want to have a quiet pint, sipping in the corner on your own, how to live our lives.”

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