An interesting question here

I’ve not really been paying attention to this stuff:

Police shut down an ultra-Orthodox Jewish wedding after officers were called twice to celebrations flouting the lockdown ban.

Metropolitan Police officers warned the families they were breaking government Covid-19 guidelines after neighbours saw the ceremony being set up in Golders Green, London, at 5.30pm on April 22.

But the wedding went ahead and police were called again at 9pm after a large group were seen gathering outside the property. Officers shut down the event at 11pm and issued one fixed penalty notice, but made no arrests.

Are the guidelines law? Things you can be punished for breaking? Or are they what they say they are, guidelines?

20 thoughts on “An interesting question here”

  1. Surreptitious Evil

    The guidelines are, indeed, just guidelines. But the law (Schedule 22, ss 5 & 6) say that the Secretary of State May restrict events and entry to premises. And they have restricted gatherings of two or more people except from the same household. And if (same Schedule, s9) you disobey police instructions to not gather, then you have committed an offence.

    The law says you can leave for exercise, the guidance says once a day (and the police / CPS have direction, which isn’t law except s9 probably applies, as to how far you can travel etc.)

    Disclaimer: not a lawyer and limited case law so far (the lass who was fined by BTP and her conviction subsequently quashed.)

  2. I find it strange that these guidelines don’t really make any sense. You are allowed outside to exercise but only once a day, why? Would twice a day spread the virus when once a day wouldn’t? Why is there a limit to how far you can travel? People being cooped up indoors seems likely to exacerbate the problem rather than reduce it.

  3. It’s a technique long been used by the military, educational establishments etc. You give people a set of arbitrary rules they are required to comply with. That some of them are illogical & pointless is intentional. It instils a culture of obedience & enables widening the area of restrictions without having to justify them.

  4. The rules don’t make sense… but that is intentional. Firstly the idiots the write them do not know what they are doing at the best of times. Secondly Plan A was not to have a lockdown, but we were forced into by the media making such a fuss that the public began to demand a lockdown. Thirdly a lockdown is very costly and may kill more people in the long run than not having one.
    So by having a set of suggestions that say ⅓ of the people follow, will slow the infection rate. Having these instructions appeases the fascists that want a full lockdown. It allows the ⅓ of people that are essential workers to continue almost normally, and the rest of us can try to continue as best we can.

  5. There are certain groups of people who simply don’t believe that British laws apply to them as they see themselves as superior to the natives. Many such cases!

  6. JuliaM,
    Comments not allowed.
    Police have said they let hundreds of mourners gather at the funeral of a Manchester godfather dubbed ‘Mr Ibiza’ because they believed closing it down would endanger public safety and it was ‘clear that the emotions of those at the gathering were high’


  7. Julia M wins the thread.

    The Jewish folk should have got stuck in with fists and Krav Maga ( in milder form) and then charged the coppers with anti-Semitism.

    They would be left alone next wedding.

  8. It’s a double edged thing though, isn’t it? If the police go after difficult customers not only might they get hurt but the courts wouldn’t back them up anyway. Best stick to the law abiding white folk, easy to nick, easy to convict.

  9. I read my fine governor’s Stay at Home Orders.

    They don’t actually say, “stay at home.” In fact, much of the speechifying I’ve seen had nothing to do with the actual orders. Law by speech.

    Perhaps, as TJ discussed, it was an intentional thirds breakdown.

    Problem is, I just don’t think he’s that clever. As a computer scientist, I spent decades working with people who didn’t comprehend reality, couldn’t communicate, or both. I believe he believes his Executive Orders say stay at home, even though they clearly don’t. And no one wants to tell the big boss he’s got it wrong.

  10. Bloke in North Dorset

    The cruellest stay at home orders are those that allow dogs to be exercised but not humans.

  11. Can we bring an action against the lunatic police officers and Dicks who keep congregating on Westminster Bridge and clapping, in defiance of the guidelines?

  12. Turned up at 9 and wedding shut down at 11, that’s a long time to say ‘come on now, everyone out’ especially as they had been called back
    Seems more like, ok finish up soon and we won’t arrest anyone, but we’ll issue one small fine so the people who turned in can’t complain we did nothing.
    Either that or possibly someone played procedural politics with them using the fact they are guidelines, throw in religious freedom, racial prejudice etc and slowed them down while everyone finished up the party.

  13. Given the orthodoxy.

    Tea is served after dinner because meat and dairy don’t mix. 2 hours after dinner coffee is served – so peeps can have milk in their coffee. Which is the signal for everyone to rush for their coats etc. Quite seriously – here come the coffee cups and there’s a stampede for the door.

    So, 2 hours sounds exactly right. for that gap between tea and coffee is also when all the speeches are done etc.

  14. I have no knowledge of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish. In Christian religions, marriage is a sacrament. If similar for these Jews, the cops should be reprimanded. Freedom of religion trumps your fears.

  15. Being there to just hold the hand of someone as they die so they end up passing away alone
    Being able to attend the funeral of someone close who died
    Being able to sit next to and support your mother at the funeral of her husband/your father
    Being able visit the graves of loved ones

    One of the biggest issues for ICU staff has been that so many people have died alone with no family. It’s a tough job and seeing and helping with that process is an important part of it for the staff as well and has made it harder for them.

    None of the above basic human considerations are considered reasonable excuses and that’s before we get into religious and other freedoms, truly is amazing how screwed up lockdown society has become. Anyone wondering about the funeral one I can assure you that the advice to undertakers was people had to socially distance even with the small numbers allowed at funerals and grieving widows had to sit alone.
    At some point it should be our right to take some risk if we feel it is important enough.

  16. “None of the above basic human considerations are considered reasonable excuses and that’s before we get into religious and other freedoms, truly is amazing how screwed up lockdown society has become.”

    Amen. And yet, when I went to the marina this afternoon, I had to fvcking ask some people to move off the walkway so I could pass by at reasonable distance. Yankees! (Shorthand for inconsiderate people.)

  17. I think the rule is now you cannot be outside your home with reasonable excuse

    Yep, I think the law was hastily changed to allow Plod to do as it wants. Except when it’s scared. Or when it is indulging in virtue-signalling on busy bridges or outside hospitals. Or when someone’s just got a brew on and it’s a bit nippy out.

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