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The Telegraph warns that people using the NHS’s new coronavirus-tracing app may not be able to travel to other countries. Failing to use the system developed by Apple and Google, which is being used by Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Estonia, among other countries, could mean Britons have to remain in quarantine for 14 days on arrival in another country. The paper posts out that this could result in the Covid equivalent of a hard border between Northern Ireland the Republic of Ireland because the latter is using the Apple-Google app. The system developed by Apple and Google relies on a decentralised system with users’ phones independently notifying them if they’ve been in contact with others who’ve tested positive, whereas the NHS app transmits users’ information to a centralised, Government-owned database that other countries won’t have access to – at least, not without signing an agreement with the UK authorities that enables them to get around EU-wide GDPR rules. But the Telegraph doesn’t explain why anyone wanting to travel abroad couldn’t simply download the Apple-Google app.

Kieren McCarthy has written a scathing article in the Register today saying the NHS app won’t work on iPhones unless the phones are awake and the app is open. He also flags up that the app may be a “battery hog”, which means people aren’t likely to keep it open. A similar home-grown app in Australia has run up against exactly those problems, as you can see in this YouTube video. McCarthy thinks it’s only a matter of time before the Government is forced to do an embarrassing u-turn.

The Times reports that Conservative MPs accused trade unions of “political sabotage” yesterday after they rejected the Government’s yet-to-be-announced plans for getting people back to work. Frances O’Grady, leader of the TUC, said there were “huge gaps” over protective equipment and testing. She called for “robust direction and enforcement” so employers can “do the right thing”. Ed Miliband, the former Labour leader and shadow business secretary, supported the unions. Current leader Keir Starmer, writing in the Times, was more muted, calling for a “national consensus” about when and how to end the lockdown. Disappointingly, he criticises the Government for being “too slow to enter lockdown” and says he would support another extension on Thursday. Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland should be prepared for a further three weeks of virtual house arrest. She’s expected to unveil an exit plan on Thursday. The total number of deaths in Scotland, as of yesterday, was 1,576.

The ONS released its latest weekly data on registered deaths in England and Wales at 9.30am this morning, as it does every Tuesday. For the week ending April 24th (Week 17), 21,997 deaths “involving COVID-19” were registered, a decrease of 354 compared to the previous week. That’s the first decrease in the number of deaths since the week ending March 20th (Week 12) and 11,539 more than the five-year average for Week 17. Of the 21,997 deaths in Week 17, 8,237 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, which is 37.4% of all deaths. That’s a decrease of 521 deaths compared with Week 16, when Covid deaths were 39.2% of the total.

The total number of deaths “involving COVID-19” in England and Wales for the year to date up (December 28th 2019 to April 24th 2020) is 27,365 – and it climbs to 28,272 if you add those deaths that occurred on or before April 24th but were registered between then and May 2nd. According to Reuters, the year-to-date total climbs above 32,000 if you add deaths in Scotland and Northern Ireland up to May 2nd, meaning the UK now has the highest Covid death toll in Europe – and no doubt that figure will dominate tomorrow’s front pages. But we should caveat this by noting that the ONS’s definition of deaths “involving COVID-19” is broader than the definition of deaths from COVID-19 that’s used by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and released by the Government each day. The DHSC data for England and Wales now includes deaths in the community, nut just in hospitals, but the DHSC only includes those deaths where the person in question tested positive for the virus.

A freelance journalist called Ronan Maher has written a fascinating thread on Twitter about changes to the rules for recording deaths and certifying cremations that were made by the Coronavirus Act at the end of March. It’s a detailed analysis, but the gist of it is that the safeguarding rules put in place after the prosecution of Dr Harold Shipman, Britain’s most prolific serial killer who covered up his tracks by signing the death certificates of his victims, have now been suspended. Maher concludes: “These changes create the potential opportunity for medical malpractice; indeed, people might attempt to get away with things that they would not have otherwise. Remember, the safeguards were not there for nothing.”

The ONS says that 33,593 more people than average died of all causes in the year to April 24th in England and Wales, only 27,365 of which involved COVID-19. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the true figure for Covid deaths is higher. That’s not only because the 27,365 figure is likely to include people who didn’t actually die of COVID-19, even though it’s mentioned on the death certificate. It’s also because the all-cause mortality excess death figure includes people who died as a result of measures put in place by the Government, such as those who’ve died because they haven’t been admitted to hospital with other diseases. As I flagged up a few days ago, Hector Drummond has a good piece in the Critic in which he analyses the ONS’s excess death data and concludes that not all of the non-Covid excess deaths that have occurred this year can be due to COVID-19 because if they were you’d expect the ratio of men to women among those deaths to be 60:40 when in fact it’s 50:50.

Tom Chivers looks at excess deaths, among other things, to try and work out if the lockdown is killing more people than it’s saving in a Radio 4 documentary that was broadcast today at 11.30am. He summarises the contents of the programme in UnHerd, concluding that it’s impossible to answer the question he’s posed with any degree of certainty but precisely because of that “the lockdown is probably worth it”. That’s an argument I’ve heard a lot, but I’m not persuaded. After all, the uncertainty applies to both sides of the ledger – the number of people that would have died of COVID-19 if we hadn’t gone into lockdown but had stuck with mitigation, and the number of non-Covid deaths there have been as a result of the lockdown, as well as those in the future. In a paper for the Macro Strategy Partnership, a company that does research on global markets, one of the partners has crunched the numbers and concluded that “the costs of lockdown, in terms of human lives, may be not one but two orders of magnitude higher than the ‘cost’ of the disease”. And a couple of Fellows of the Actuarial Society of South Africa have done a similar calculation and concluded that the lockdown will lead to 29 times more lives lost than the deaths it seeks to prevent. So why does Chivers think the number of lives the UK lockdown has saved is probably greater than the number it has killed and will kill? To be fair to him, perhaps he explains that in the documentary which I haven’t listened to yet.

As I noted yesterday, the ONS is collaborating with various government departments, including the Actuary’s Department, to try and calculate the number of deaths indirectly caused by the virus, which will include those who’ve died as a result of the lockdown. I discuss some of these issue in my forthcoming Spectator column.

I’ve written an op ed for today’s Sun arguing that the Government should reopen primary schools ASAP. The arguments will be very familiar to readers of this site, but here’s an extract:

Some will worry that if we send our children back to school too soon, they will risk catching coronavirus. In fact, it poses almost no threat to children. As of April 30, only seven people under 20 had died of Covid-19 in hospitals in England and three of them had underlying health conditions. Only one child under the age of ten has succumbed to the virus.

Nor is there a risk that they will infect others, such as their teachers, parents and grandparents. Research published last week by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health found that children under the age of ten do not transmit the virus. And that isn’t just true of the UK. A joint commission by China and the World Health Organisation hasn’t found a single case of a child under ten infecting an adult anywhere in the world.

The Government has published a cache of documents produced by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), although they’ve been heavily redacted. I haven’t had time to go through them all yet, and I’d be grateful if any readers want to do that and alert me to anything of interest. But just a cursory glance reveals some interesting things. In a paper dated March 17th-18th, SAGE discussed whether to lockdown London, something that was considered and rejected by the Government. Perhaps not surprising Boris rejected this option, given that the paper says the social distancing measures announced on March 16th appear to have been effective. It notes that use of public transport in London has fallen by 40% and refers to a YouGov survey showing that 45% of Londoners have stopped visiting leisure venues, 30% have stopped seeing friends, 27% have stopped seeing family, 16% have stopped sending school age children to school and 13% have stopped going to work.

What happened after this to change the Government’s mind, given that this advice was published after Imperial College published its notorious March 16th paper? Perhaps it was the advice contained in a SAGE paper dated March 20th in which the advisory group says: “It is very likely that we will see ICU capacity in London breached by the end of the month, even if additional measures are put in place today.” As we know, additional measures were put in place two days later, but ICU capacity was not breached, either in London or elsewhere. To underline this point, it’s just been announced that the flagship Nightingale Hospital built in the ExCeL centre has now been mothballed. The Telegraph has more.

One thing that jumped out at me when reading these advisory papers is how political much of the advice is, containing judgments about how public announcements are likely to be received, what the Government should avoid doing if public confidence is to be maintained, etc. For instance, in a paper dated April 13th, SAGE highlights the risks associated with antibody testing, one of which is that employers might discriminate against people who are antibody negative. Another is that “commercial organisations” might start doing antibody tests. (God forbid!) This is very far from being merely scientific advice and some of the more overtly political stuff has clearly been relayed via a subgroup called the Scientific Pandemic Influenza group on Behaviour and Communications, or “SPI-B” to use its code name. The members of this group, who were revealed yesterday, aren’t all scientists, at least not in the commonly understood sense of the term, so their advice can’t really be called “scientific”. In a paper dated March 14th, the members are described as “academic specialists in Health Psychology, Social Psychology, Anthropology and History.” Given that left-of-centre academics in the social sciences and the humanities outnumber right-of-centre academics by a ratio of at least 10:1, what’s the betting that several members of this group turn out to be hard left supporters of Jeremy Corbyn? (If any reader wants to go through the list of SPI-B members and see what their political affiliations are, I’d be grateful.) Some of the reports produced by SPI-B are heavily redacted (see below), but on the plus side the anti-Tory activists on the subgroup can probably be relied upon to leak anything they think is likely to embarrass the Government.

There a good letter in today’s Telegraph about the Government’s over-reliance on the Imperial College model:

SIR – The Government is basing policy on Professor Neil Ferguson’s modelling, which assumes exponential growth if a disease is left unchecked. Though cases have increased, exponential growth has not occurred.

The Nobel laureate Professor Michael Levitt and Professor John PA Ioannidis, both of Stanford University, argue that Professor Ferguson’s calculations may be out by a factor of 10, and other experts have said that an increase in numbers slowed before lockdown could have had an effect.

Minutes of the meetings of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) should be released so that the conversation can be more open. Currently, we are all told to accept lockdown and there is no debate. One group’s opinions should not be blindly accepted. If Professor Ioannidis and Professor Levitt are wrong, we need to be told why.

Paul Sanderson, FRCS, Hexham, Northumberland

An American reader has flagged up some interesting data from the Transport Security Administration (TSA). The TSA, which is responsible for US airport security, employs slightly more than 54,000 people, about 25,000 of whom are customer facing. Of these, 516 have tested positive for COVID-19 and of those five have died. That suggests airports, and air travel, aren’t transmission hot spots, something Jonathan Kay also concluded in his Quillette article about Covid super spreaders. Incidentally, Quillette published an excellent account of what it’s like to work for the TSA by a long-standing employee last year.

Amusing anecdote about prison offers sent by one reader:

Next door neighbour’s son is a prison officer in the East Midlands. Turns out the screws there have been reprimanded because some of them have been getting haircuts from the lags, presumably in return for certain other considerations. Apparently, it’s screamingly obvious who the customers are since after several weeks of lockdown it was starting to look like a hippy convention.

Nigel Farage received a visit from the police yesterday after traveling to Dover to make a video about illegal immigrants. He complained about it last night, tweeting: “Lockdown lunacy. Two police officers just knocked on my door to advise me on essential travel. They had received a complaint that I had been to Dover to report on the illegal migrant scandal taking place. What a total waste of time and money.” Hard to disagree. The Standard has more.

Christopher Snowdon did a bang up job of making the case for ending the lockdown on Sky News yesterday that you can watch here. He looks a bit bored in his house on Shoreham-on-Sea, where he’s been holed up for six weeks, but I know something that will cheer him up – beer-delivery dogs. Six Habors Brewery of Huntingdon New York has enlisted the help of two golden retrievers called Buddy and Barley to help deliver beer to their customers. Will Oddbins in Shoreham-on-Sea follow suit? The Telegraph has more.

Buddy and Barley turn up in the nick of time

A quick round-up of interesting articles I’ve spotted, or which readers have flagged up, in the last 24 hours:

More suggestions for potential theme tunes for this site have been sent in by readers: ‘Twenty Yards Behind‘ by Dr Feelgood, ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It‘ by REM, ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It‘ by Twisted Sister, ‘In the Land of the Pig, the Butcher is King‘ by Meatloaf, ‘Please Release Me‘ by Englebert Humperdink, ‘I Want to Break Free‘ by Queen and ‘Something Better Change‘ by The Stranglers. As several of you have pointed out, David Greenfield, the Stranglers’ keyboard player, died yesterday – although he died of COVID-19, so he may not have approved of that song being included here!

Thanks as always to those who made a donation to pay for the upkeep of this site yesterday. If you feel like donating, you can do so by clicking here. (Every little helps!) And if you want to flag up any stories or links I should include in tomorrow’s update, you can email me here. I’ve added a new page, detailing the legal challenges against lockdowns around the world, here. No doubt I’ll be adding to that list.

Apologies that the daily update was late today. Will try to do better tomorrow.

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kvnmoore561
kvnmoore561
30 days ago

Thanks again Toby. I’ve just come across this website, it was linked in the change.org petition:

https://evidencenotfear.com

Steve Austin
Steve Austin
30 days ago
Reply to  kvnmoore561

Excellent site. A one stop shop for all things lockdownsceptic. Thanks for posting.

Andy
Andy
30 days ago
Reply to  kvnmoore561

Amazing site share with everyone we must fight for our freedom against the move to a totalitarian state.

giblets
giblets
30 days ago

Seems the government and media have done such a good job of hyping up the ignorant members of the population into the dangers of the virus they are going to have a hard job getting anyone back to work.

Tim
Tim
30 days ago
Reply to  giblets

Go to work. Protect the economy. Save lives. 🙂

RDawg
RDawg
30 days ago
Reply to  Tim

Go to work. Stop watching Netflix. This Isn’t a Holiday.

old fred
old fred
30 days ago
Reply to  giblets

Perhaps that it why there a few reports around today that the 80% furlough may be reduced to 60%!

andrew
andrew
30 days ago
Reply to  old fred

Stop furlough now you don’t work you don’t earn shock the public into action

John
John
30 days ago
Reply to  andrew

Need to shock the bloody bosses into action first, a lot of them have closed the workplaces on deluded health and safety grounds due to the (almost non-existent) risk that the virus poses.

GetaGrip
GetaGrip
30 days ago
Reply to  giblets

Stay at home. Hide under duvet. Collect P45.

Barney McGrew
Barney McGrew
30 days ago

“David Greenfield, the Stranglers’ keyboard player, died yesterday – although he died of COVID-19”.

Keeping us on our toes, Toby? You should always check the details: he was in hospital for a long running heart condition.

Steve Austin
Steve Austin
30 days ago
Reply to  Barney McGrew

Something better change.

Ethelred the Unready
Ethelred the Unready
30 days ago
Reply to  Steve Austin

I’m like a peasant in the big shitty

Ethelred the Unready
Ethelred the Unready
30 days ago

Just giving my original vinyl copy of Rattus Norvegicus a loud spin, cheered me right up!

Morris_Day
Morris_Day
30 days ago
Reply to  Barney McGrew

This news did bring one thing to the front of my mind… is there a breakdown of new case suspected transmission? My assumption is there is a vey high percentage caught in hospitals or in care homes, rather than in the Big Bad World we are all too scared to go out into…

chris c
chris c
30 days ago
Reply to  Morris_Day

I would suspect that was inevitable but I’d like to see numbers

speedy
speedy
30 days ago
Reply to  Morris_Day

Yes I’ve seen a few things about this.

Oaks79
Oaks79
30 days ago
Gko
Gko
30 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

“240 deaths have so far been reported”

Barney McGrew
Barney McGrew
30 days ago
Reply to  Gko

The total number of deaths isn’t worked out until much later. I give you two articles from the UK 2018 flu season.

From February 2018:
“The flu death toll in the UK has now reached 231, latest statistics shows as officials claim the killer outbreak is now ‘stabilising’.”
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5340211/Flu-death-toll-hits-231-UK-new-figures-show.html
(an article that also shows pictures of some of the people who have died, including children)

Then later that year:
“There were 50,100 excess deaths in England and Wales last winter, when there was a prolonged spell of extreme cold, making it the highest number since 1976, figures have shown.

The Office for National Statistics said flu and the ineffectiveness of the flu vaccine were key reasons for the rise of excess winter deaths in 2017-18.”
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/nov/30/excess-winter-deaths-in-england-and-wales-highest-since-1976

Notice the discrepancy between 231 recorded mid-season and the 50,100 deaths later attributed mainly to flu.

By the way, do you remember being told to stay in your house, and the economy grinding to a halt that year?

chris c
chris c
30 days ago
Reply to  Barney McGrew

Next flu season you will

eastberks44
eastberks44
30 days ago

Is there anything to stop British residents for downloading and using the Apple / Google app and just ignoring the UK government’s version?

Farinances
Farinances
30 days ago
Reply to  eastberks44

Good question. Surely they would have to work together to be effective – one app informing the other.

IanE
IanE
30 days ago
Reply to  eastberks44

Since neither will get much support, why bother (even if you don’t care about privacy and government mission creep)?

chris c
chris c
30 days ago
Reply to  IanE

Mission creep from government creeps

Paul Seale
Paul Seale
30 days ago

A little late today Mr Young, has Caroline finally got you doing some house work or have you actually succumbed to the dreaded Covid?

I’ll add you the list for my 8pm clap Thursday if the former…

Will Jones
30 days ago
Reply to  Paul Seale

He’s already had it.

Paul Seale
Paul Seale
30 days ago
Reply to  Will Jones

So he says!

Farinances
Farinances
30 days ago

I’ve just been chatting to one of my bezzies. Sadly I note he is a zealot. He threw out all the common platitudes whilst as usual showing no evidence of having seen any of the actual….Evidence to the contrary.

So I threw the evidence at him, rather relentlessly. Every time I landed a blow he simply kept saying “Who says?” Like I was just plucking this shit out of the air. *sigh*

When I said “Google says. Google it. The top seach results will tell you ‘who says'”
To which his response was “But nothing on the internet is reliable is it. I believe the medical experts”.
Because Google doesn’t have a (fairly infamous by now) algorithm that filters out all ‘unreliable’ sources from the top results. Because there isn’t scientific research being conducted right now, the results of which are being published almost constantly on the free web. Because there are no other medical experts in the world other than the ones advising HM Gvt. (The most notable of whom isn’t even a doctor and has been proven to be full of shit multiple times already).

Telling you what this ‘crisis’ is clearly showing me who has the power of independent thought. And more disappointingly, who hasn’t.

IanE
IanE
30 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

Lots of that sort about – including my in-laws!

Morris_Day
Morris_Day
30 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

Critical thinking has long been a thing of the past, but I thought we had common sense as a nation. I was wrong.

Andy
Andy
30 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

What you need to remember is people are basically stupid and sheep, your friend would have cheered the Nazis to power and handed over his Jewish friends then after the war said he wasn’t aware of what was going on. Celebrities are the gods to these morons so where are they standing up for freedom and liberty there were plenty of them marching and mouthing off over brexit but the move to digital slavery and they just do their stay at home TV shows and take another bag of 30 pieces of silver

chris c
chris c
30 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

Seen this?

Coronavirus: Prof Neil Ferguson quits government role after ‘undermining’ lockdown

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-52553229

you just couldn’t make it up

APB
APB
30 days ago
Reply to  chris c

Thank goodness! Maybe this is a way of parking him without too much loss of face?

speedy
speedy
30 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

I’m finding it so hard that friends I usually respect have gone crackers, no critical thinking or research and those who don’t agree with lockdown are keeping quiet.

ShropshireLass
ShropshireLass
29 days ago
Reply to  speedy

Agree, Speedy – finding the same thing. Equally alarming is the appalling codswallop on local Facebook groups of which I am a member. So much ‘end of the world is nigh’, ‘ring the police if you spot a neighbour in their garden talking to another neighbour over the fence’ and ‘the virus is deadly and is all around us in the environment and could kill us all if we go out’ that I have made myself very unpopular (and banned from one group whose admin is a lockdown zealot) by politely and calmly refuting the rubbish with quoted facts and opinions of professionals – giving their names and qualifications and quoting links to reputable sources. Stop the Planet – I want to get off!

Mark
Mark
30 days ago

Great stuff, again, thanks.

Re the Chivers program, this was my comment about it on Peter Hitchens’ blog after I listened to it the other day. Fairly typical stuff for both the BBC and Chivers, I think:

I found that program quite annoying, with repeated assertions that were not sufficiently challenged, that it is somehow “morally repugnant” to weigh lives against money. The reality is that it should be the job of policymakers precisely to weigh lives against costs, as we recognise in reality every time NICE makes a decision – but note that Chivers describes this as “cold hearted”, whereas a better description would be “grown up”. It’s literally childish to try to pretend “life is everything”, and if you have a society that encourages people not to grow out of that delusion you end up with the kind of social and political elite that panics in the face of even quite small mortality, as we are seeing over this covid disease right now.

The valid criticism of the costs of the lockdown was defused early on by a rather silly false equating of the disruption unavoidably created by the disease itself and the obviously hugely increased disruption (we know that, even if we don’t know exactly by how much) created by the lockdown response itself.

This was yet another BBC programme made by someone who fundamentally supports the lockdown and the essentially immature ethics behind it. As he explicitly said: “better to lock down when you don’t need to, than to not lock down when you do need to” – directly contradicted by many of the points established earlier in the program. In fact, of course, given the information available at the time of the decision to lock down in this country, it was perfectly clear that the downside risks of locking down were huge but unknown and broadly open ended – nobody has ever tried to coercively lock down an entire open society in this way, and it’s a basic criticism of the whole idea of locking down that it leaves you with no exit route because you have no herd immunity and you are in virtually the same position at the end as you were when you went in as far as the risk of epidemic spread is concerned. And serious economic damage can easily become non-linear, if there are systemic collapses at any point. Whereas we knew by the middle of March that the disease was one that has a very low death rate, mostly confined to those who are already close to death anyway, so the risks of the disease are inherently limited to at worst a few hundred thousand deaths, mostly of people already ill or very old.
Chivers’ conclusion was pretty much “we don’t know what would have happened either way, so it’s better we did more than that we did less”, which flat out contradicts the principle for good healthcare intervention he’d earlier quoted from Gordon Smith.

The program came across as having the superficial appearance of balance, but actually it was largely predicated on accepting exactly the misplaced and false assumptions that underlie the lockdown gamble, with the result that it seemed incoherent.

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Send that to the BBC, complain online, you’re right I listened to it too and thought the same thing.

GLT
GLT
30 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Thank you for this…I read the summary in ‘Unherd’ and felt temporarily quite depressed. I am sure many out there agree with his ‘logic’, the fallacy of which you point out very well. How do you reason with people for whom a flippant ‘better lock down when you don’t need to’ is enough to justify this complete and unprecedented assault on human rights and freedom? The readers of this website and comments such as yours are the only ‘green shoots’ so, thank you!

wendyk
wendyk
30 days ago

2 anecdotes on lockdown consequences: the very nice lady operating the till at our local supermarket told me today that her disabled son- who has his own flat with regular support from care assistants- is finding the lack of physical contact with his mother very difficult.
She phones every day, but finds this to be a poor substitute since he is unable to comprehend fully the reasons for the house arrest.

The young woman who runs our independent greengrocer told me that her 84 year old mother is desperate for the isolation to finish. Her mother enjoys regular visits to the family shop and is a sociable soul.

Now it seems that Scotland must face another 3 weeks of this. My little town faces an uncertain future.

Mimi
Mimi
30 days ago

Thank you again, Toby! I do so look forward to these updates!

Here’s the full published paper from France about the patient who had COVID in December: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924857920301643

“Two recent studies suggested that around 18 to 23% infected with SARS-COV-2 were asymptomatic16 and that around 55% of infected were caused by unidentified infected persons.17 Our results strongly support these two assumptions, suggesting that many asymptomatic patients were not diagnosed during January 2020 and contributed to the spread of this epidemic.

Furthermore, since these results change our understanding of the dynamic of the epidemic, it also means that several models used to predict the evolution and outcomes of the SARS-COV-2 propagation might be based on biased data and would need to be adjusted to the actual profile of the epidemic.”

Ya think?

Pebbles
Pebbles
30 days ago
Reply to  Mimi

“Based on biased data”. Haha… what a laugh. But hurray, finally we have it in a main scientific paper, coz if I said this in a supermarket today that this virus has been going around London for most of the winter, I’d be stoned to death. Once this comes to light properly, it’ll be the biggest smack in the face for the lockdown zealots.

On a more practical note – so if I want to travel to Switzerland or Germany now… I MUST download the app and….? What then? Leave my phone on 24/7…? Report what…? My symptoms…? Someone else’s possible symptoms? Self-isolate because someone 500 meters down the road has reported as a potential Covid-19 patient? Hack in all my personal health data so Google and Apple can go on a major data mining adventure, which they will assure me they aren’t and it will all be deleted later? What a joke.
What if I download it, delete it for the visit, then download again when approaching border? Or will they actually arrest me now for not having my phone with me for 24/7…? Any insights?

swedenborg
swedenborg
30 days ago

Some interesting links
https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/lockdown-stockholm-syndrome
An explanation that 80 % of UK population likes the lockdown and wants more of it
https://www.zerohedge.com/health/dubious-covid-models-tests-now-consequences
Rather detailed information about the covid-19 models and who is backing them
https://www.zerohedge.com/health/pseudo-science-behind-mysterious-assault-hydroxychloroquine
interesting piece about a drug Big Pharma has downplayed in Western countries, too cheap. But look at the striking low death rates in Turkey, India and other non European countries using them.

APB
APB
30 days ago

I try to give every side of the argument a fair hearing and to research alternative viewpoints but I am getting stuck on one issue. Does anyone have any evidence of a single example of where Prof Ferguson’s model HAS proved even remotely accurate – even ball-park, country mile etc. I cannot find any. There must be something somewhere, surely?

Farinances
Farinances
30 days ago
Reply to  APB

In short, no.
Maybe his undergrad thesis was passable

Paul Seale
Paul Seale
30 days ago
Reply to  APB

The one where he said if I can get one of my models to be accepted as proof this is how much power you will yield Mr Gates.

Ethelred the Unready
Ethelred the Unready
30 days ago
Reply to  APB

What is remarkable is that a simple guess would be right at least some of the time? Ferguson appears to break even that rule

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
30 days ago
Reply to  APB

According to Twitter Ferguson has just resigned – for breaking Lockdown rules – ha!

AntisepticSkeptic
AntisepticSkeptic
30 days ago

It is remarkable how anybody possessing a developed frontal lobe could consider it surprising the virus was not in Europe before Christmas.

IanE
IanE
30 days ago

It is even more surprising to me that anyone with the relevant bit of brain could regard the lockdown as even slightly sensible.

ShropshireLass
ShropshireLass
29 days ago

I’m 99% sure I went down with it on 23rd December, after working closely with a large group of Chinese who had just flown into Britain – several of whom were evidently feeling poorly and quite a few had a repetitive cough. We were all in a warm, enclosed building with air conditioning for 3 days. 10 days later I suddenly developed a dry throat based cough which got worse. Developed a headache the next day (very rare for me) and within 24 hours a temperature. Cough by this time was persistent. Treated temperature and headache with paracetamol. Thought to myself – well this is a new virus – have never had anything like this before. Improved after 5 days but the cough lasted 2 weeks. When the symptoms of Covid-19 were broadcast mid January I did some detailed internet searches. Discovered 2 Chinese doctors had reported to authorities evidence of a new coronavirus on 1st December and 10th December respectively (first case in Wuhan, but other in a different province. Previous to this other doctors throughout China had been reporting unusually large numbers of viral pneumonia patients, some of whom had died, from “an unknown cause” throughout the autumn. Both doctors who spoke to journalists from the USA were arrested. So, bearing in mind the long incubation period and the period before some people were admitted to hospital it seemed logical to me that because people were travelling in and out of China throughout the autumn and winter they would have already spread the virus throughout many countries. So many people on FB have reported they had a strange flu type bug mid – to late December I’m betting that like the French have discovered Covid-19 had quietly been doing the rounds. There weren’t mass deaths so found the PM’s sudden lockdown announcement startling and illogical.

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
28 days ago
Reply to  ShropshireLass

One of my brothers and his family were very ill at Christmas (in Cheltenham) and it was the first time the rest of us didn’t visit.

Tim
Tim
30 days ago

A couple of days ago I emailed a friend of mine … Flo … who lives with her family in Le Mans. I included a mini rant about lockdown and being treated like children. Here is part of her reply:

“I’m glad you expressed your opinion. We feel exactly the same over here.

It’s not so much a lockdown over here. Confinement is the term we use. We are allowed to go out for a list of reasons, and we have to check a box on a form each time we decide to go out. Being French, everybody cheats and goes out either various times, or for longer periods of time. I can actually ride my bike to JM’s through back streets without being noticed…

Like you we are fed up with the way we are governed, treated, lied to. We hear exactly the same arguments as you are. I’ve said that many times to Jean-Michel. Hearing French news/policians, then listening to the BBC and reading the Guardian etc. they say exactly the same things. It’s frightening.

Jean-michel says it’s because Johnson and Macron are both neoliberals and they are totally on the same tracks. Money makers working for money makers, stakeholders, shareholders. We are sick of it.

Many people will lose their jobs. Many small to medium sized companies will not survive. But our governments are still giving lots of money to help the big big companies. And these big companies still pay lots of money to their shareholders, when they could use some of the capital to secure jobs, and activity.

Our French government has blatantly lied about the amount of stocks of masks we had when it all started. Lied about the precautions that were supposedly not essential, only because there were not enough masks for the crowds. They let carers contaminate old people in care homes by having them work without proper equipment. They let doctors, nurses, nurse assitants, GP’s and so on catch the disease and die for lack of proper protection.

It is shameful.

They talk to us as if we were idiots. They repeat and repeat the same bullshit on TV and radio and papers. So much so that we have turned away from them and get our news from social networks. There are big numbers of private people, groups, independent journalists and plaforms working in the shadows and broadcasting on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and more. Proper news gets spread that way really through sharing pages, articles, comments, videos. I encourage you to do that if you haven’t already, to find likeminded people. I read some of the stuff you have written on FB and I realized you couldn’t keep quiet any longer for being so fed up with them.

What is scary though is that there are still great numbers of people who believe in them…”

So there it is. We are not alone.

Paul Seale
Paul Seale
30 days ago
Reply to  Tim

In some sense this gives me great hope. Perhaps we could turn Britain from brexit Island into liberty Island, I’ll take a free living European over a bedwetting remainer.

speedy
speedy
30 days ago
Reply to  Tim

We are not alone. But it can feel like it. Keep sharing.

Mark
Mark
30 days ago

The British response to disease – then (1918) and now.

I believe excessive fear has been one of the main roots of our problems with the current covid virus, and in particular the active encouragement of grossly disproportionate fear of this disease, more or less intentionally, by the deeds and words of our government and medical authorities and of our opinion forming media. In many cases, it’s likely they were motivated to do so by an idea that they were doing something responsible, because fear would encourage support for and cooperation with the measures those authorities believed necessary (and that in itself doubtless came back to their own inordinate fear, or in some cases fear of being blamed).

It’s interesting then to consider the following description, from Influenza: The Quest to Cure the Deadliest Disease in History, by Jeremy Brown, of a time when Britain faced a disease far, far more deadly than this one, and with none of the tools and knowledge available to fight it that we have today. I don’t know how accurate the account is, or how much this approach managed in practice to defuse the fear effects of what was, objectively, a disease actually worthy of fear, unlike the current covid illness, but I think it raises an interesting contrast with the modern approach:

**************************************************************************
In Britain, it was [in 1918] very much a “keep calm and carry on” approach. I was born and grew up in London, and even though I have now lived outside of Britain for most of my life, I recognise this reaction. Composure in the face of adversity and keeping a stiff upper lip were hallmarks of my childhood. I had seen such composure on the face of my grandmother as she recalled being evacuated from London during the Blitz, and I recognized it in the reaction to the Spanish Flu a generation before. “Keep calm and carry on” were not just instructions for public behaviour. They were part of the cultural DNA of the British themselves.

At first the newspapers barely mentioned the epidemic; when they did it was buried on the inside pages. The British government and a sympathetic press tacitly agreed to limit any discussion of the flu, lest it demoralize a public already weary of a world war entering its fourth year. The tension between reporting the facts and maintaining morale was embodied in a letter written by a Dr. J. McOscar that was tucked away in the back of the British Medical Journal.

“Are we not now going through enough dark days, with every man, woman or child mourning over some relation?” he wrote. “Would it not be better if a little more prudence were shown in publishing such reports instead of banking up as many dark clouds as possible to upset our breakfasts? Some editors and correspondents seem to be badly needing a holiday, and the sooner they take it the better for the public moral [sic].”

Ironically, there was a detailed five-page report on influenza on the front page of the same issue in which this letter appeared. It underscored just how devastating the pandemic was. There had been a catastrophic outbreak among British and French troops, it noted, that had swept through entire brigades and left them unable to function.

Britain’s chief medical officer also seemed reluctant to upset anyone’s breakfast. His advice was limited: wear small face masks, eat well, and drink a half bottle of light wine. The Royal College of Physicians took a similar approach and announced that the virus was no more deadly than usual. The British seemed relatively unmoved throughout the saga. In December 1918, as the pandemic was ending, the Times of London commented that “never since the Black Death has such a plague swept over the face of the world; never, perhaps, has a plague been more stoically accepted.”

Earlier that year, the medical correspondent for the Times, with what must have been a huge exaggeration, described a people who were “cheerfully anticipating” the arrival of the epidemic. The historian Mark Honigsbaum believes that this British stoicism was deliberately encouraged by the government, which had already worked to cultivate a disdain of the German military enemy. The same disdain was then directed at the influenza outbreak.

But whatever the attitude of the British towards the pandemic, influenza’s toll was enormous. By the time it had subsided, more than a quarter of their population had been infected. Over 225,000 died.

**************************************************************************

Our government and members of the political and media establishments have always sought to manage popular opinion and attitudes “for the greater good”. This basic paternalism can be annoying, but at least when it is directed by grownups with a real understanding of the best interests of a nation, it can be useful. The tragedy of our modern society is that those paternalists have far more persuasive power at their disposal, but are themselves basically infantile in their grasp of the world, dominated by sentimentality and fear. This can be seen in their failure to disdain absurd assertions that “saving lives must be the only consideration”, and their refusal to insist on hard decisions being taken unsentimentally by the leaders responsible for the guidance of the nation. And it can be seen in their cowardly undue fear of a disease that involves objectively very small risks. The generation that led us to war in Europe can be criticised for sure, but they would not have made the disastrous error made by this generation, of turning a minor medical issue into a medical emergency combined with an economic collapse and a social disaster.

The impact of the 1918-19 flu pandemic was very significant. both economically and in long term health effects, but note that in 1918-19 Britain did not suffer notably worse than many of the other countries affected by this disease, one that was far, far more dangerous than covid19. A study looking at excess deaths by country during the 1918-19 pandemic found the following:

“Excess mortality was found to be strongly country dependent. The highest cumulative excess/predicted mortality ratio was observed in Italy (+172%) during the pandemic period (peaked in October 1918), following by Bulgaria and Portugal (+102% each), Spain (+87%), the Netherlands (+84%), Sweden (+74%), Germany (+73%), Switzerland (+69%), France (+66%), Norway (+65%), Denmark (+58%), Scotland (+57%) and England and Wales (+55%), with the lowest ratio being seen in Finland (+33%)(Table 1). The highest excess‐mortality rate (per 10 000 inhabitants) cumulated throughout the entire excess‐mortality period was observed in Portugal (233/10 000 inhabitants), followed by Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, England and Wales, Scotland and Denmark (Figure 2).”
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4634693/

Mark Hunter
Mark Hunter
30 days ago

Sturgeon said today she’s basing her opinion that it’s too early to ease the lockdown in Scotland due to “26,000 people testing positive”. Yet on her own government’s CV19 webpage, it lists the positive cases at 12,437.

Asides from her comment about the 26,000 positive cases being a lie, what does she seek to gain by blatantly misleading the Scottish public?

Biker
Biker
30 days ago
Reply to  Mark Hunter

i’m Scottish and i’m ashamed to say that the type of person who supports Sturgeon just doesn’t have the intellectual capacity to understand much more than shouting freedom and drinking excessively without any style.

wendyk
wendyk
30 days ago
Reply to  Biker

Agreed! She’ll do whatever it takes to whip up support for another neverendum.

Farinances
Farinances
30 days ago
Reply to  Mark Hunter

Wasn’t she already caught lying when she made the fake news assertion that England was being prioritised over Scotland for PPE? In one of her press conferences. Luckily it was roundly rebuffed by Handjob in the Westminster press conference minutes after 😂
Also I’m pretty sure she was peddling that nonsense about an NHS trust manager begging Burberry for PPE – but the entire MSM was also on that train

swedenborg
swedenborg
30 days ago

Another rope delivered for the Italian suicide by Fergusson

London researchers mathematically modelled how virus would spread and kill in Italy in three scenarios
If population went back to just 20 per cent of their normal routines, there could be 5,000 additional fatalities
If there was 40 per cent increase in mobility, there could be more than 23,000 extra deaths in just eight weeks
https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/mrc-gida/2020-05-04-COVID19-Report-20.pdf

RDawg
RDawg
30 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

The only people who need to be locked down are Neil Ferguson and his team at Imperial College. They are basically de facto mass murderers. There I said it.

Chris
Chris
30 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Just read he’s been sacked for breaking lock down you really couldn’t make it up

Jim
Jim
30 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Turns out he can’t even keep to his own lockdown plan, he’s been caught visiting a partner. If he comes up with the lockdown and doesn’t think it worth sticking to then that’s a pretty good indication of the validity of such a policy. Time to set ourselves free.

Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson
30 days ago

Tuesdays are my visit to do the weekly shopping. Anything more than one visit a week is too difficult to contemplate. It is now a Hampton court maze to get in with diversions for those queing through the clothes department to tempt you. I did see a lady grabbing her silk scarf to hold around her mouth but curiously not her nose . It reminded me of the madness yesterday whilst running along a wide country lane a couple at least 20 feet away from me turned to face the hedge. People have gone insane with fear and the government have been gaslighting them.

Anyway as someone on the ” front line ” I thought i would enlighten you as to why non covid deaths among the elderly have sky rocketed. Many elderly especially in residential homes are revolving door patients to the local Hospital . The staff of residential homes often from overseas are keen to get your 85 year old with a nasty water infection not responding to antibiotics or your 90 year old who has signs of a stroke etc into hospital where they emerge a week or two later after IV antibiotics or thrmonbolysys for their stroke .

These cases are now staying in ” Bide a Wee ” residential home and dying. There are no awkward relatives saying “something needs to be done doctor for aunty Betty “

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  Peter Thompson

Yep, and hospitals are refusing to take them as well, it’s a travesty what we are doing to our old.

Mark
Mark
30 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

Malcolm Kendrick write a good piece a couple of weeks ago on the disgraceful treatment of the elderly – the very people we actually should be specially protecting from this virus:

https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2020/04/21/the-anti-lockdown-strategy/

RDawg
RDawg
30 days ago

Hi All,

Both InProportion2 and EvidenceNotFear have agreed to host my MP Letter Template on their websites. You can access them here:

http://inproportion2.talkigy.com/pages/letter_to_mp.html
https://evidencenotfear.com/fearless/#action

You can find details of your local MP here: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/

In addition to your local MP, I strongly suggest writing directly to the following highly influential MPs who can potentially bring this lockdown to a close:

– Sir Graham Brody (Chair of the 1922 Committee)
– Sir Charles Walker (Joint Vice-Chair)
– Steve Baker
– Robert Courts

Also the below members of the 1922 Committee:

Dame Cheryl Gillan (Joint Vice-Chair)
Bob Blackman (Executive Secretary)
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Treasurer)
Kemi Badenoch
Sir Bernard Jenkin
John Lamont
Pauline Latham
Jeremy Lefroy
Sheryll Murray
Mark Pawsey
Alec Shelbrooke
John Stevenson
Bill Wiggin
William Wragg

It is only through collective action, lobbying and continued pressure, we can encourage the Government to come to their senses. You can also contact them via their relevant social media platforms (e.g. Twitter).

This is currently our best chance at getting our elected representatives to sit up and take notice.

Good luck!
RDawg.

Farinances
Farinances
30 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

I’m currently sending my MP (a rather weird looking Tory bloke) the same email every day at 9am. Maybe I should try writing too.

RDawg
RDawg
30 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

Good stuff! Keep up the pressure.

IanE
IanE
30 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Yes – if only we had MPs who would listen!

Oaks79
Oaks79
30 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Sent mine just now. Wish I had done it a couple days ago now though as my MP was asking questions at the select committee this morning

ShropshireLass
ShropshireLass
29 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Thanks RDawg – will get on the case.

swedenborg
swedenborg
30 days ago

One of the strangest things I have heard of is the existence of something called the Military World Games. I found it even more flabbergasting that the 2019 Military World Games were held in Wuhan in October 2019. It was reported earlier that Chinese counterintelligence had claimed that the USA was in fact behind the COVID-19 outbreak. The US military team performed very badly in the Games as they were mostly ill with a flu-like illness which they had allegedly contracted at the Fort Detrick biolab in Maryland. That was vehemently denied by the US authorities, leading predictably to a spat between the two countries.
But now with multiple reports of COVID-19 cases occurring in Europe already in December, those allegations become even more interesting:
https://www.thelocal.se/20200505/the-coronavirus-may-have-arrived-in-sweden-in-november
The Swedish State epidemiologist reported that there were probably COVID-19 cases in Sweden already in November, but he had no evidence in the form of PCR or antibody tests. He could not envisage launching a scientific study under the pressing conditions of the pandemic. A bit offhand, I must say, but he obviously had some background information. https://nsd.se/nyheter/lulea/regementslakaren-atta-norrbottningar-har-provtagits-nm5340524.aspx
An army doctor in Luleå, Sweden, reported in mid-April that she had seen several participants in the Military World Games presenting with a flu-like illness in October and November 2019.
These were all extremely fit young people. Some of them had fallen ill already in Wuhan, while the others fell ill upon returning to Sweden. They all had typical flu-like symptoms (rather severe), but all eventually recovered. Interestingly, family members also became infected. I think that they had PCR tests swabs in April, which were probably negative (this would not be surprising, since it was six months after they were infected).
https://nsd.se/nyheter/lulea/anders-nystedt-nara-men-ingen-cigarr-nm5341281.aspx
Five of them were tested by an antibody test for COVID-19 (developed in Sweden) and only one of them was positive. The local public health doctor said that a firm conclusion that this was from Wuhan could not be drawn. He could have had the infection much closer in time getting it locally and you would expect the other four to have antibodies . The caveat is that the antibody test might not be totally reliable and in Gothenburg, where it was tested in PCR swab positive cases of COVID- 19, still only 90 % of the patients developed antibodies after a confirmed infection.
Interesting development.

bturner20
bturner20
30 days ago

Have I missed it, or has no one suggested “Down With The Sickness” as the title track? I’d say Lounge Against the Machine’s cover, which I believe makes it into Dawn of the Dead in 2004, would be the most apropos.
Benjamin Turner MD, FRCSC

Andy
Andy
30 days ago

Lockdown needs to start being lifted this weekend there is no justification for it the forcing people to use a phone app to track where they have been and who with is massive over kill and a breach of civil liberties. As for all tuc members that refuse to work stop paying them let us see if they are still happy to protest when their houses are repossessed and no food. This is the end of a free society we are all now prisoners of the state and why ?

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago

Good grief, just done daily YouGov chat, and over 80% want lockdown to go on for more than six weeks! Thanks to the person who shared this George Carlin clip (don’t listen if you are offended by swearing) as this now sums up my views on this entire situation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSbT7JVNEU4&app=desktop

Mark
Mark
30 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

Hilarious, thanks!

Farinances
Farinances
30 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

As soon as lockdown is lifted and they rediscover liberty, they’ll go back to berating welfare claimants daily despite the fact that they’ve just had a few months basically doing the same themselves

Paul Ballard
Paul Ballard
30 days ago

The worrying thing is that we have arguably the worst bunch of MPs in our lifetimes, who were useless, completely incompetent and unable to agree on anything for three years when delaying Brexit and a media who can generally only write the most basic articles to panic the public as easier than thinking outside of the box or asking any questions.
Put that together and there’s little chance of any sensible and timely decisions to end this nightmare.

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
30 days ago

Coronavirus UK lockdown rebellion: Boris Johnson warned by Tories, “Lockdown has collapsed demand!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw_bWvDHRJk

Boris Johnson criticised for spelling out lockdown exit strategy via TV speech, Commons First!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xI8Ct2EBYq0

Winston Smith
Winston Smith
30 days ago

Here a thought, it is estimated that there 300,000 yearly deaths due to obesity.

Is it ethical to force overweight or obese people to follow strict dietary restrictions to save lives and protect the NHS?

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  Winston Smith

And smoking, and drinking (that’d go down well).

Mark
Mark
30 days ago
Reply to  ThomasPelham

Damn! The man who should have been dismissed long ago for being at best a menace to good governance instead ends up resigning over a stupid trivial breach of a stupid trivial regulation imposed thanks to his own misguidance.

Well, still a kind of poetic justice I suppose.

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
30 days ago
Reply to  Mark

What a headline for the tabloids:

LOCKDOWN, BUT HE COULDN’T KEEP HIS COCKDOWN!

Reckon this is a cover story. Most of the sheeple haven’t heard of Ferguson; that may change as this pantomime plays out, and then a lot of awkward questions may come his way and throw up the dodgy Imperial College / Gates Foundation connection. Getting rid of him now might reduce this publicity.

I imagine a couple of grey-suited types may have turned up on his doorstep and said “Now, Dr. Ferguson, you’re going to get caught having rumpy-pumpy with your lover during lockdown – capice? And then you’ll resign, pack your bags and – as soon as this lockdown you caused is over – you’re going to bugger off to Outer Mongolia where you will be out of reach of the questioning British public forever. Sign here.”

Sorry, I’m a natural-born cynic!

Mark
Mark
30 days ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

I hope the Sun editor sees your suggestion… 🙂

I don’t know the details, but I suspect he will still have his Imperial position. It’s probably just the government advisory position he’s had to resign from.

Scots lass
Scots lass
30 days ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

Thanks for a much needed good laugh 😂😂😂😂😂

Oaks79
Oaks79
30 days ago
Reply to  ThomasPelham

Wow

Farinances
Farinances
30 days ago
Reply to  ThomasPelham

What a dickhead

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  ThomasPelham

Simon Dolan running a poll on twitter, ‘Should we sue Neil Ferguson?’ 95% say yes. I have hope, the man is a rampant hypocrite. Also see here https://twitter.com/simondolan/status/1257629942646521857/photo/1

Mimi
Mimi
30 days ago
Reply to  ThomasPelham

NFW!!!! Ugh, couldn’t he have done this two months ago! Is he running scared now? It must be disconcerting to see the anger building against him.

Jim
Jim
30 days ago
Reply to  ThomasPelham

Let us hope that this revelation has been made public to discredit him. If we are really lucky then there might be rational forces somewhere in govrnment who want to make one of the best known proponents of lockdown look incompetent, as a step towards encouraging public distrust of lockdown and being able to end this disasterous policy once the public have been brought round to seeing lockdown as a bad thing. If we aren’t lucky then we’d better get ready to end the lockdown for ourselves.

Nick M
Nick M
30 days ago
Reply to  ThomasPelham

His Covid must have been fairly mild then if he was up to a good shag with a blond 15 years his junior the moment his isolation ended the dirty bugger.

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago

I’m two generous G&Ts in, so if this is a terrible idea, then tell me, but why don’t we just refuse to cooperate? If enough people did it, what they gonna do, water cannon us all? Particularly if we did really normal, sensible, not generally law breaking things like go to the bottle bank, or go to work, or have a barbecue, or a game of cricket and some scones and jam or something? I am starting to think the only way out is through, our version of a student sit in, we just ignore them?

Farinances
Farinances
30 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

I think you’re right. I’m doing it in my own way but as I’m actually allowed out it’s not making much difference. I think we need another sunny weekend to break everyone out of their chains and get them in the parks.

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

Just suggested to my mum and dad that we have a sunday lunch, get my brother and his kids over, they’ve all been in, we’ve all been in, we can sit outside, fire up the barbie, where’s the harm? Our neighbours might disapprove but they wouldn’t snitch. I did a little drive round the other day, paper shop, Aldi, co-op and the hardware shop, nobody told me my purchases weren’t essential, I think I’m just going to suit myself.

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
30 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

Two things. I live on the south coast and I go out every day in the forlorn hope that I might see a bit of disobedience, someone walking on the beach. Not a chance, though a woman was sitting by a windbreaker as the tide went out today. It was bloody cold too with an easterly wind. I also live at the foot of the South Downs and on sunny days have focussed my binoculars up there hoping to see at least a dozen walkers traipsing around in defiance. I always return home disappointed that anarchy seems to have hibernated. I’m half hoping someone will offer to do some NVDA with me but hardly see anyone. Secondly, isn’t ‘essential items’ a myth put out by the police? I’m sure some government minister said in some briefing that if the shop is selling it you can buy it. Even ghastly Priti Patel doesn’t want police snooping in shoppers bags.

Biker
Biker
30 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Baldwin

In my area the wee cafe opened up on Monday and is still going. I’m in Scotland and i’ve got to say most people are not behind this lockdown. We’re not the richest place in the world and everyone needs to get out working. Sure there are those corona cows mooing away but the roads are busy again and everyone is visiting their friends. All my neighbours have people round like normal. I have heard that the police in England have been terrible but up here you never see them

Harry
Harry
30 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Baldwin

Saw more people on a footpath just outside a town today than have ever seen on a week of walking it before. So some people are getting their sanity back, shame my boss won’t get that sanity back too so I can get back to the job I enjoy.

Priti Patel on the other hand, definitely wants cops going through shopping bags, no-one else does and many frontline cops themselevs wouldn’t want to but that smirking beacon of evil definitely does.

ianp
ianp
30 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Baldwin

People don’t want to drone cammed on somewhere like a beach, that’s a hotspot for ‘name and shame’ hit piece headlines. Around here on the edge of Berkshire there are loads of people out walking, on their bikes etc. Loads of cyclists! I never paid any attention to any fucking rule, been out every day on the bike for a few miles, to the shops when I feel like it. It’s going on I assure you

JohnB
JohnB
29 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Baldwin

Loads of people on Seaford prom, Nigel. My wife even made me walk down to the sea too.

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
29 days ago
Reply to  JohnB

Well I’m glad to hear it John B. Not so much in Eastbourne

DressageRider
DressageRider
29 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Baldwin

I am in Eastbourne area and about two weeks ago I went to the beach where there were in fact a few people sunning themselves in more out of the way spots. Good for them! It looked idyllic. Lots of tanned seniors sitting on benches as well. Double good for them. Also there are loads of peeps walking on the Downs here, some of the less well known parking places are available. Traffic is getting more back to normal as well. (but don’t all rush over at once, or the authorities might notice).

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
29 days ago
Reply to  DressageRider

I live in the same place DressageRider, up in The Meads. I’ve not seen anyone on the beach except an occasional lone dog walker and a couple of kids (at separate times). Maybe I’m going out at the wrong time of day

ianp
ianp
30 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

Just won’t work until the masses are de-brainwashed. This is what has upset me the most in all this, the general fucking public. I mean ffs, remember all those riots we had by about a decade ago for God knows what? So we probably have a bunch of council estate kids, stuck in their high rise for weeks on end, and none of them have wanted to get out on the street to smash stuff up…? It’s incredible. Right now I would support any protest of any kind, better the devil you know….

ShropshireLass
ShropshireLass
29 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

Made an attempt at being a minor, low key rebel yesterday by going out to buy a take-away scone and jam, after police prioritised intention to act on a possible minor lockdown over a drug deal. See my post of this morning at top of page!

Bob
Bob
30 days ago

When are UK Gov going to allow critical petitions onto their website, the lift the lockdown one has been under consideration for weeks!

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  Bob

They are really tricky to get the wording right, I might have missed the preamble to all this, but might be worth revising the wording? And trying again? I only know this as I was involved in one a while ago, and took several attempts to get it approved.

Adele Bull
Adele Bull
30 days ago
Bob
Bob
30 days ago
Reply to  Adele Bull

Link doesn’t work?

Adele Bull
Adele Bull
30 days ago
Reply to  Bob

Oh, weird. It’s about Neil Ferguson resigning!

RDawg
RDawg
30 days ago

Finally some good news!

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/05/exclusive-government-scientist-neil-ferguson-resigns-breaking/

Dr Death no longer works on the SAGE panel. Hallelujah!

Pebbles
Pebbles
30 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

OMG! Best news of the day. What a spineless coward…here we are, socially distancing from grandparents etc. and there he is sneaking around with still married blondie. You couldn’t make this up. I bet he has a safe seat at Gates Inc waiting for him too.

RDawg
RDawg
30 days ago
Reply to  Pebbles

He is a disgrace to humanity. His ridiculously inaccurate “models” have caused relentless and unnecessary suffering, multiple suicides, ruined our economy and forced millions into unemployment…all so he could ignore his own advice.

The man should be in prison for corruption and manslaughter. I’m even tempted to go one further and suggest genocide, but Toby will probably ban me from this site.

Anyway hopefully no more Ferguson = no more lockdown!

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

I think and hope it means that the public (and the tabloids if they have half a brain and want to save their sales) will just turn against and flout lockdown.

Stephen McMurray
Stephen McMurray
30 days ago
Reply to  Pebbles

Ferguson should definitely be prosecuted. Either he really believes his ludicrous model, in which case he has deliberately endangered lives by breaking the lockdown or, he knows it is a load of nonsense in which he has deliberately endangered lives by ordering a lockdown. Either way he needs to be in prison.

I wouldn’t get too carried away however. He will be news for a day and then the mainstream media will probably hype up the death rate or lie about new ways in which you can spread covid to distract us from the issue. The government line will probably be that he was only part of team and that all the other scientists agreed that we needed lockdown as well so go away back to your hovels peasants and let the experts get on with telling you what to do, for your own good of course.

Farinances
Farinances
30 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Least we won’t need that Fire Ferguson petition now eeehehehe 😂😂

guy153
guy153
30 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

It doesn’t say how he got caught. Is this him being thrown under the bus I wonder?

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Get yourself over to Simon Dolan’s twitter, he’s going through the sage papers.

guy153
guy153
30 days ago

That French study is rather interesting. Mimi asked before about what if the epidemic had started much earlier and I answered that it couldn’t have because there would have been more deaths (for reasonable lower estimates of the IFR around 0.1%) sooner and we would have noticed. But it looks like it did, there almost certainly were deaths, and we indeed didn’t notice them.

In France they tested medical samples from patients in late December 2019 and found one positive for SARS-COV2 RNA out of 14 tested.

This means they didn’t just have cases, but at least one rather severe case. The guy was coughing up blood (he recovered and was released on December 29). He hadn’t been to China recently, or anywhere outside France since August when he went to Algeria.

This means he caught it in France. For each severe case there are likely to be several hundred less severe ones. They probably had deaths at that time too.

Why didn’t they notice them? They were having rather a bad flu winter. As did Italy this year (though not the UK).

Mimi
Mimi
30 days ago
Reply to  guy153

That’s the curve I’ve been hoping someone modeled. A much earlier start to the epidemic, with a big ole peak in February and March. So that our graphs now are just carving a chunk off the right tail. Someone could certainly do it now.

Because maybe there WERE deaths, but just not noticed because no one had heard of Coronavirus and they just coded them as flu or pneumonia. And they didn’t put the patients on ventilators, either, so maybe the ICUs didn’t get overwhelmed and not so many people died (of ventilation.)

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
30 days ago
Reply to  tides

It would appear that some pigs believed that they were more equal than others ….

Mark
Mark
30 days ago

Re the news that Ferguson has resigned over breaking the rules he was instrumental in getting imposed on the nation, should there not be, as standard, exemplary punishments, far higher than the ordinary ones and totally out of proportion to the offence itself, for people caught breaching rules they themselves are involved in imposing or enforcing?

I’d support a law for that – we could call it the Hypocrisy Act.

Farinances
Farinances
30 days ago
Reply to  Mark

😂😂😂

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
30 days ago
Reply to  Mark

If the old bill caught me meeting licitly with my married lover I’d at least get a fine.

ianp
ianp
30 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Castration….?

JohnB
JohnB
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Malfeasance in public office ?

IanE
IanE
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Yes – but you’d never get the hypocrites-in-chief (aka MPs) to vote it through!

coalencanth12
coalencanth12
30 days ago

The Ferguson news has buoyed my spirits better than several Gin and Tonics! What a disgusting hypocrite. This particularly raises my mood after another joyous briefing/ hectoring from Raab about his sinister ‘new normal’…..

This revelation does not surprise me at all and I imagine most of the other academics on here feel the same. I was wondering which one of these talking heads would fall first.

Broken by the Torygraph it seems. Boris’ old haunt is getting grumpy with the lockdown so I imagine they are pleased they nailed Neil-O. There could be few interesting things going on here, the DT is popular with the Tory rank and file, and a certain Mrs Gove works there. Could also be a ruse to wheel out a new set of ‘experts’.

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  coalencanth12

I suspect many people are missing a shag, so I think the key is people will just ignore the advice – well I hope they do. Then it doesn’t matter what the experts say. Also see here, they knew lockdown wouldn’t work before they did it, the Sage papers are the beginning of the end I think https://twitter.com/simondolan/status/1257629942646521857/photo/1

coalencanth12
coalencanth12
30 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

Interesting the SAGE papers were released today, good find!

Oh dear, the Daily Mail have picked the story up and left that bastion of love and understanding, their below the line comments, Open….. Oh dear!

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  coalencanth12

Oh dear in a good or bad way? It’s a sewer down there, but will look if it’s worth it.

coalencanth12
coalencanth12
30 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

Yes it’s never great, but my he was getting a pasting…

coalencanth12
coalencanth12
30 days ago
Reply to  coalencanth12

Should I open a bottle of wine? Hmm…

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  coalencanth12

Yes!

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

Christ, I’m opening one too, apart from the sexist drivel that in the second picture she isn’t in fact ‘hot’ (she isn’t, it’s true) and the funny ones about ‘didn’t her husband think it odd she was going out?’ they are a rage fest of ‘end this lockdown now’ – hurrah!

old fred
old fred
30 days ago
Reply to  coalencanth12

Some funny comments on there!

guy153
guy153
30 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

It looks like that was the basis for their initial policy of not closing schools and basically doing a Sweden.

When that proved unpopular they fished Fergie’s report (which was actually earlier) back out of the bin so as to have some “science” to follow to justify the lockdown.

Let’s hope they get to explain this to Lady Hale or someone.

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  guy153

Yes to lady Hale, wonder what brooch she’ll wear for this one, a bat?

Oaks79
Oaks79
30 days ago

Neil Ferguson bit on the side a left wing activist who apparently used to send emails for Avaaz who are a global civic movement, I don’t normally do conspiracy theories but….. maybe this whole lockdown goes deeper.
https://twitter.com/andrewtipler/status/1257746349799477248?s=19

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

It gets even better, it was an ‘open’ relationship, and her husband had symptoms whilst she was popping over. If you can bear it the Mail comments are a hoot.

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
30 days ago

Just made my 2nd contribution to Simon Dolan’s fund with the comment ‘Take them to the cleaners Simon. This is my 2nd contribution for the special Prof Neil fund.’

Here’s the link again in case anyone else would like to do similar –
https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/lockdownlegalchallenge/

ShropshireLass
ShropshireLass
29 days ago

Cheers – lost my job as the result of the lockdown, but still so furious about this lockdown business I’m willing to raid the savings I am currently living on to contribute to Dolan’s efforts – have already made a small donation to this site too – think Toby is doing a sterling job.

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
30 days ago

Prof Neil’s special friend apparently works for something called Avaaz who’s lead article on their site is

‘How Facebook can Flatten the Curve of the Coronavirus Infodemic
Study indicates Facebook is rife with bogus cures and conspiracy theories that remain on the platform long enough to put millions of people at risk’

https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/facebook_coronavirus_misinformation/?slideshow

Lets hope that this is Al Johnson’s Sir David Kelly, Profumo etc moment.

A quick google search shows that the news of Prof Neil’s resignation is already very global.

Oaks79
Oaks79
30 days ago

Ferguson’s lover, Antonia Staats, is a Senior Campaigner at Avaaz

Avaaz, a leftist political pressure group. During their startup period, part of its seed money came from one of George Soros Foundations with the intent to push the Climate Change agenda

https://t.co/v1lDngme1D

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
30 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

My my …… George Soros …… Bill Gates …… the Billionaire Boys’ Club ……. well now, doesn’t this link this whole extravaganza into the last few minutes of ANOTHER George Carlin video?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KLODGhEyLvk
(watch from 7.45-10.58)

“It’s a big club – and you and I ain’t in it!”

(Nor are our politicians. The Big Boys’ Club owns them too!)

Ethelred the Unready
Ethelred the Unready
29 days ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

I’m wondering if Fergie could become the fall guy in this, along the lines of..”Our Government based its lockdown strategy on the modelling carried out by Prof Fergie and Imperial College. This modelling suggested 500k deaths leading to the difficult decision to lockdown. We now believe that the modelling carried out may have contained a significant element of political motivation, therefore we are now discarding that modelling and reviewing our lockdown strategy accordingly”….

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
30 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

House of cards … all being well. 🙂

Ianric
Ianric
30 days ago

Business not being able to operate is having disastrous consequences and I feel business should be allowed to reopen straight away as business not being able to operate is creating massive problems. In our house we had a water pipe burst and until the pipe was repaired we had no running water and or electricity as the water had hit the electrics. We had to stay in hotels and eat out until the problem was sorted. If this happened now we would not be able to stay in hotels or eat out. This made me think what are people whose houses become temporarily uninhabitable due to flood etc supposed to do if they can’t stay in hotels and have no family or friends to stay with and can’t use restaurants.

I am a member of a gym where I pay annual membership. As the gym is closed I have paid for membership I can’t use. How many other people are in a similar situation.

I have read reports that suppliers are having to throw away food because they no longer have orders from restaurants.

I find it grossly unfair that supermarkets can sell non food items because they sell food but shops only selling non food items can’t. For instance supermarkets can sell clothes because they sell food but a shop only selling clothes can’t.

If business restrictions are lifted many businesses will have gone bankrupt which will have disastrous consequences. Business disappearing will have a knock on effect eg suppliers losing orders, unemployed workers with no money to spend. Businesses going bust will mean loss of tax revenue and an increased benefits bill.

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  Ianric

Exactly and why is it a risk to life and limb to buy compost and bedding plants from my local independent garden centre, but not to go with thousands of others and get them from Aldi? That is NOT scientific.

Mimi
Mimi
30 days ago
Reply to  Ianric

One of our local steakhouses emailed all its customers offering to sell us its freezer stock. We’ve been having some particularly succulent cuts of meat at our kitchen table every evening. Our club has also been selling its paper products.

BecJT, obviously everyone knows you can only catch COVID from small businesses….

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  Mimi

Exactly, and you’ve got to stay away from everyone, not touch things, apart from when you all go to the same place and touch the same things.

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
30 days ago
Reply to  Ianric

This is because this government can’t do joined up writing

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago

David Davis looks like he’s warming up to chuck ferguson and his model under the bus, do you think this is a coup, and they leaked it to the Telegraph? https://twitter.com/DavidDavisMP/status/1257761432906731520

guy153
guy153
30 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

Yes, just came to the same conclusion. It wouldn’t be Johnson– he was loving the “I saved 500k lives” schtick. Probably David got frustrated trying to get Johnson to see sense and resorted to dirty tricks.

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  guy153

The twitter rumours are it was another or other scientists, he’s famed for his vanity, and they all must be detecting the change in mood, I wonder if he was stabbed in the back as they jostle to come out of this unscathed (not that I care, right result, and all I care about is that this is never, ever, ever allowed to happen again).

Farinances
Farinances
30 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

Maybe it was his Oxford ex……… 😙

Paul Cuddon
Paul Cuddon
30 days ago

Okay, so with one of the attention seeking anarchists out of the way, can we find any juicy gossip on the other attention seeker who will be “announcing the weekly ONS data on BBC [with solemn glee] just after 9.30 next Tuesday”. Together they are a disgrace. “Professor” Neil had already decided his answer a month before he’d published the infamous report.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8005931/British-scientist-leading-coronavirus-fight-says-forecasts-400-000-UK-deaths.html

We’ve being misled by the “science” from the very start and we can only hope SAGE will now look beyond his apocalyptic predictions.

Please start with reviewing the 2m antisocial distancing that has wrecked the economy.

Steve Austin
Steve Austin
30 days ago

“So, I am here to tell the country to Self Isolate. All except me as I need a shag” – Prof Neil Ferguson. How we laughed. Carry On Covid indeed. You couldn’t make this 5hit up 😂

Farinances
Farinances
30 days ago

Top comment on the latest Spiked podcast

” Food for thought…
You install the tracking app on your phone then happen to be sitting within bluetooth range of some stranger who also has the app.

Scenario 1
Half an hour later his murdered body is discovered. Guess who’s going to be top of the suspect list? Good luck if you don’t have a watertight alibi.

OR

Scenario 2
Shortly afterward the stranger is picked up with a trafficable quantity of drugs on him. Guess whose house is going to be searched under warrant? There’s nothing you’ll be able to do to stop this search and you’ll be done for anything the search produces.

If you think for a second that these sorts of things won’t happen, you’re a bloody fool. The police can access the data from the victim’s or suspect’s phone with or without a warrant. In the two scenarios above, a warrant would definitely be issued to obtain your identity from the database.”

P.S. I love Lionel Shriver.

Jack
Jack
30 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

If I am to carry an immunity passport it will be a printed copy of the UN’s declaration of human rights, I might also staple a modernised translation of magna-carta to the back of it.

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
30 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

Well, given that the chief architect of the lockdown didn’t take his own predictions at all seriously, perhaps we (currently) free citizens of the UK should cease taking it so seriously (while protecting the vulnerable) and should take even LESS seriously the need for the Big Brother® Surveillance App!!

We have the 75 year anniversary of VE day coming up, when my parents’ generation suffered the Blitz and fought a tyrannical regime which would have LOVED the Orwellian crap that our OWN Government (or maybe more likely, their multibillionaire handlers, now the truth is coming out) are trying to foist on us. And we have allowed ourselves to get within a hairsbreadth of rolling over and letting them get away with it.

Perhaps we should fight for VL Day (Victory over Lockdown) and celebrate by telling our “Overlords” where to stick their Brave New World.

Dear me, I’m getting uncommonly angry. This house arrest is taking its toll.

Mimi
Mimi
30 days ago

But why isn’t anyone reporting on the dangers of water buffalo attacks? https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-52552766

Oaks79
Oaks79
29 days ago
Reply to  Mimi

Will covid be on the death certificate

Tim Bidie
Tim Bidie
29 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

Bovid 19

wendyk
wendyk
29 days ago
Reply to  Tim Bidie

Brilliant! Love it!

ianp
ianp
30 days ago

Don’t give up the fight. This is the most important battle of our lives. Spent the entire afternoon not doing any work whatsoever and bombarding a BBC (the ultimate fear mongering wankers) comments board with a tonne of information, facts, many of which I have obtained from this very site. Thanks to all of you on here guys.

Its tough to retain your composure in between ridiculous party political and the utter fear addled brainwashed on there and had to reign in my utter rage at this all but if you remain calm (not fucking easy), try not to call out sanctimonious trolling pricks, dial down my usual sarcasm, you can get through to people. One bloke thanked me for the link to the worldometer site ffs! Despite the UK massaged positive test deaths it’s as close to official you can get, but the guy obviously thought this pathetic virus was ebola or whatever. That’s one person hopefully on his way to recovery. Then explained maths of a numerator and denominator to some pompous wanker.

It is possible, the population has been injected with the fear disease, and you have transfuse that shit out of them using the same techniques in which it was applied.

Oh yeah, to whoever posted that Goebbels quote the day..- that went down an absolute treat 🙂

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  ianp

I just got absolutely savaged on my own facebook wall by someone I really like, really, really upset me, just a vomit, but so enraging, I’m closed minded and obnoxious apparently (she knows me, I’m neither, but granted I am angry), total dressing down. I said my bit, but it’s so exhausting, keep trying to tell myself, history will be kind to us, someone’s got to do it. Won’t be able to live with myself if I don’t. FEAR is a fascinating thing. And I know in the grand scheme of suffering that’s going on this is a small thing but my local dogs home are putting all the dogs down, why out of all the misery that’s going on that’s sent me over the edge, but it has. Confess I’ve cried like a child. It’s such a mess.

Farinances
Farinances
30 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

GTHO social media. All it is is a cacophony of people shouting at one another without listening to each other.
Not worth your time or energy.

ianp
ianp
30 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

Fuck Facebook, an echo chamber of preening fools and quite honestly you don’t want to bring that upon yourself. Stay anonymous and make logical irrefutable factual points. Simple maths is the best, it cannot be denied although the fear trolls will try their best to rile you, but you know that someone will read it, understand it, and hopefully then cure themselves. Most people are thick as pigshit though so stick to sums like 1 + 1 =….??

BecJT
BecJT
29 days ago
Reply to  ianp

I know, it’s the lurkers who matter (have had a few messages from people who are too scared to speak up) and the people I know aren’t thick, I think what it is is guilt, they know I’m right, and they have so aggressively policed dissent, and it’s unravelling in front of them, so what does that make them? Cowards. I had had FB deactivated, but had to reactivate for a local project I’m involved in (local councils are using this opportunity to wangle some deeply unpopular stuff through under the radar), but will just turn it off. Thanks both. And I know vulnerable kids aren’t being checked (social workers are checking 5% of vulnerable kids, they make them stand on the door step in front of the neighbours and ask if they are OK! If you were 11 and being raped by your stepdad would you say ‘no’ whilst he lurks in the hall?), or fed, and women are being battered, and people are sitting in the dark waiting for their £94 for five weeks, but something about the mutts at the pound, utterly blameless, utterly powerless, just really got to me. Anyway thanks, onwards and upwards, looking forward to the Ferguson jokes writing themselves today, my favourite so far: So, is it a cockup or a cockdown?

Mark
Mark
29 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

It has always taken real courage to be a dissenter from the majority view. It’s a central irony of our times that those (mostly on the left, broadly) who would see themselves as the heirs of past such dissenters (liberationists of various kinds, advocates of working class causes, conscientious objectors, etc) are nowadays often the most vicious in policing dissent from their own ideas, that are now dominant.

Quite early on in this Peter Hitchens drew attention to the poisonous role that first tv and especially now social media, has played in imposing conformity on our society. and the way this works on platforms like Facebook and, especially, Twitter. The poisonous impact of social media is especially harmful in the way it enables those who see themselves as policing decency, as well as the simply genuinely afraid, to use vitriolic attacks and general social harassment to silence dissenters. And that’s even before they get the social media authorities in to actively censor those views, which is increasingly standard practice.

It is a real, serious and profound problem in our society, and you have experienced the sharp end of it here. On the one hand, it makes sense to advise avoiding those platforms, but that of course cedes them to the bully boys and girls of the mob.

wendyk
wendyk
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Very well said. When I openly acknowledged my vote for Leave, several friends and family members reacted with a shocked silence-which did eventually dissipate, but even so.

My niece,who works in the City-not at the moment-had great trials with her colleagues when she ‘came out’ as a Leave voter.

Equally, now when one points out that sick frail very old people die in nursing homes from whatever cause and that this is nature’s way,shock horror and claims of callous inhumanity ensue.

And look at the rigorous moderation done by disqus and the like: my tin hat says the algorithms are set to reflect the prevailing lib/left directives on’ correct’ thinking.

Truly it is difficult to be a dissenter, but worth it,as there are more and more of us.

Mark
Mark
29 days ago
Reply to  wendyk

The “vibe” on being a lockdown dissenter is very similar to what it was for being a leaver, as you say, and also quite similar to being an early opponent of the Iraq war, and opposing the wars in Libya and Syria. Having done all those things, I’m quite well qualified to make the comparison….

wendyk
wendyk
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Me too; guilty as charged.

BecJT
BecJT
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Me too, and I was a passionate remainer and I was so disgusted with where remain ended up, calling people like my mum ‘gammon’, shameful. Ditto the last election, help the poor! one minute, and ‘Sun addled serfs’ the next. And it’s exactly like the weapons of mass destruction fandango, it’s quite shocking. And I hope I don’t offend anyone, it’s exactly like the ‘transwomen are women’ thing that’s ripped through the left, to the point where you get cancelled if you even say ‘aren’t there implications for sex specific data collection in things like the census?’ I don’t mind being a lone voice, but we’re only human, the mean girls in the playground stuff I find really hard to handle.

Mark
Mark
29 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

“it’s exactly like the ‘transwomen are women’ thing that’s ripped through the left”

Yes, though coming from the right I mostly view that kind of thing with a heavy layer of schadenfreude. With the trans stuff, I see feminist zealots who made their fortunes and careers bullying and shouting down political opponents as “sexists” (Germaine Greer, take a bow) getting a little taste of what they’ve spent their lives dishing out (even though I mostly agree with what they are now getting attacked for, which seems pretty much common sense).

Same with all the other examples of the cultural revolutionary zealots of the left getting their comeuppances. People who’ve made their careers based on calling others “racists” or other kinds of “-ists” and “-ites” and “-phobes”, and hounding them out of jobs and platforms, basically because they disapproved of their opinions, now getting smeared and “cancelled” as “antisemites” by people who disapprove of their opinions on Israel (Livingstone and Corbyn, you’re up), or as “islamophobes” (over to you, Trevor Phillipps) for being insufficiently approving of Islam, are two more great sets of examples.

Turns out, what goes around does actually sometimes come around, after all. Or perhaps more aptly in this context: the revolution devours its children….

wendyk
wendyk
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Try stating that 46XX cannot be altered and neither can 46XY, and you’ll be vilified ,insulted and condemned.
So the outward appearance may be adjusted, surgically and pharmacologically altered but the genetic code which directs every cell in the body will still be as it was at birth.

wendyk
wendyk
29 days ago
Reply to  wendyk

And meant to add: questionnaires on various topics from the local authority now contain many different gender categories,which I find extremely annoying and frankly, a cost which we could do without.

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
28 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Indeed, our views appear to match all those counts!

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
29 days ago
Reply to  wendyk

WendyK, I’m a dissenter and up until this fiasco I considered myself pretty left wing. I’m astonished at the herd mentality of the left in respect of this lockdown and I must feel like Orwell felt when he was writing Animal Farm. I always leaned to the left because I thought (eons ago probably) that it championed liberty for all not just the better off. Not so much now. I’m beginning to have contempt for some who I would have once called natural allies. BTW in the EU ref I was torn about casting my vote, wasn’t a left/right thing for me.

wendyk
wendyk
29 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Baldwin

Having read a couple of Orwell’s works in the past year, I think he would have been appalled at what is going on today.

Sally
Sally
30 days ago

Toby is no doubt correct in assuming that many members of SPI-B are lefties. It doesn’t seem that long ago that lefties would, as a matter of principle, have sought out societal solutions that were the least restrictive/most voluntary possible, that emphasised co-operation rather than coercion. Now the left is dangerously authoritarian. I still don’t understand what has happened to the left, but it frightens me on a daily basis.

Also, from the front page of The Telegraph: “What we are going to see is more self-selection and personal responsibility. The over-70s are a very sensible group. By and large they know if they should be staying indoors or not.” Why was this eminently sane and dare I say sage approach not taken from day 1?

BecJT
BecJT
30 days ago
Reply to  Sally

Plus they’ve lost their grip on material analysis, it’s a plank of the left that health and wealth are connected, where’s that gone? Personally I think the over 70s should suit themselves, quality of life matters as much as being simply alive.

wendyk
wendyk
30 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

Many on the left have the health and the wealth: they are increasingly a smug, hypocritical coterie with far too much influence.

BecJT
BecJT
29 days ago
Reply to  wendyk

I’ve never voted Tory in my life, but totally agree with you, it’s become rather gross to watch.

wendyk
wendyk
29 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

Your broad church is working BecJT, since I’m a Leave supporter but we’ve agreed on many topics on this site.

BecJT
BecJT
29 days ago
Reply to  wendyk

Thanks, ditto.

dlb
dlb
30 days ago

Google and Apple are exposing means of running tracking / tracing apps in the manner their own versions do currently. But any additional service that’s always running, and especially one scanning wireless peers, will tax the battery of course.

I wonder if T&T proponents have considered that the presence of these apps may encourage people to become infected? Because if they don’t have antibodies ( assuming those confer immunity ) and are found to have been near an ‘infected’ , they’re likely to be forced into quarantine. And that could happen repeatedly, resulting from any exposure to the public. So catching COVID preemptively makes sense, especially for someone outside of the risk profile.

But that could be good, if it builds up the immune base – otherwise these apps are unlikely to provide any benefit and will only demoralize and frighten the public.

wendyk
wendyk
30 days ago

Lockdown Fergie caught in the act,
He predicted our doom
As a matter of fact
Now we’ll resist and we’ll dispel the gloom
The expert has resigned before he was sacked.

Good riddance.
Aux armes citoyens and citoyennes

wendyk
wendyk
30 days ago

Perhaps the government should take advice from Mystic Meg from now on.
Might achieve a less damaging outcome.

wendyk
wendyk
30 days ago

Will the Special Branch be paying a visit to the High Priest of Hypocrisy? He’s broken his own rules and has access to sensitive stuff, like how to wreck the economy and thousands of lives.

Ethelred the Unready
Ethelred the Unready
29 days ago
Reply to  wendyk

No, they are busy bullying Farage

wendyk
wendyk
29 days ago

A sign of the times

Peter Forsythe
29 days ago

How about this for the costs of lockdown vs costs of the virus? For the US. Uses the Value of Statistical Life (VSL) concept. https://thebattleoftours.blogspot.com/2020/04/pandemic-costs-costs-of-lockdowns-vs.html

giblets
giblets
29 days ago
Reply to  Peter Forsythe

NICE do this already, we use QALY (quality-adjusted life-year , basically how many years extra life and what is the quality of that life)), and by all accounts, if this was a drug we would not be funding it (never mind the fact that it is killing patients…..surely the top medics must have this in their Hippocratic Oath!?)

wendyk
wendyk
29 days ago

2003 : dodgy dossier; disastrous invasion of Iraq

2020: erroneous epidemiology; disastrous lockdown

Margaret
Margaret
29 days ago
Reply to  wendyk

Yes. Will Covid 19 turn out to be Boris’s “Weapons of mass destruction”?

wendyk
wendyk
29 days ago
Reply to  Margaret

You could be right Margaret

Mark
Mark
29 days ago
Reply to  Margaret

Probably. The trouble is that the main similarity is that the opposition, then as now, was largely complicit, along with the majority of the political, media and social elites of the country. That means there are an awful lot of people with a very strong interest in muddying the waters and evading actually pointing fingers where they should be pointed.

Despite being widely seen as having lied the country into involvement in what is widely recognised as one of the greatest foreign policy disasters in recent history, Blair was reelected in 2005.

As someone who broadly prefers the Conservatives over the available alternatives and strongly prioritises protecting the result of the Brexit referendum, I won’t mind too much if that is the political result this time. The problem is that just as the failure to punish Iraq enabled further costly errors in Libya and Syria, the failure to properly punish this coercive lockdown will likely result in repetition of this disastrous error in the future.

I suppose I’m in the position of a Labour supporter in 2004, which is perhaps a little ironic. Though I would say that Johnson’s failure here was weakness, whereas Blair’s in 2003 was flat out mendacious evil.

Farinances
Farinances
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Yeah, thud basically. Although I’d day I’ve been in that position since I first voted (2002) cause I’ve always felt like a traditional Labour voter without a traditional Labour party to vote for

JohnB
JohnB
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Imho, Johnson was portrayed as being weak, over-influenced by experts, pressured by the media and public opinion. Cuddly buffoon, etc.
Whereas the ‘lockdown’ of 140 countries was clearly planned in detail well in advance. Probably to cover the economic meltdown, that we have yet to face.

ianp
ianp
29 days ago
Reply to  JohnB

This is what is most worrying. I usually hate things that can be labelled ‘conspiracy theory’ but it’s so suspicious. I think I would prefer it if they were all as fucking incompetent as each other and fell like dominoes. The only heroes would then be Belarus, Nicaragua, then to lesser extent Sweden. Semi honourable mentions to God forbid : trump ( he has at least been fighting it at the start but always has his own agenda), bolsonaro in Brazil – not sure what’s happening there now…

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
28 days ago
Reply to  Mark

I voted “Conservative” last time to protect the referendum result but that was the last time. Next time it will be back to UKIP or another proper conservative party.

Pebbles
Pebbles
29 days ago
Reply to  wendyk

Totally agree. Also, for those who don’t remember or never knew just how dodgy and manipulated the 45min claim was in that said dossier back in 2003, head out and get yourself a copy of “The Strange Death of Dr David Kelly” by Norman Baker. It has excellent information about various lethal bioweapons too, where they are manufactured, how much is happening with government’s knowing, shady individuals traveling with bioweapons on airplanes… mind-bending information, extremely well researched. A must read, as timely as ever.
So yes:
2003: dodgy dossier, disastrous invasion of Iraq
2020: dodgy model, disastrous lockdown

JohnB
JohnB
29 days ago
Reply to  Pebbles

Yes Pebbles, brilliant book !

The last chapter excepted, which to me is obvious bollocks.
Possibly ‘suggested’ by the secret squirrels, as the book took Norman into dangerous territory and would greatly have annoyed the ‘usual suspects’.

Tim Bidie
Tim Bidie
29 days ago

It seems incredible that the cracks are only now beginning to show in the ‘Carry on Covid!’ carapace.

The Neil Ferguson ‘pants down’ (weeping helplessly…..the ribs…..was the strangely thin tufty barnet a clue to what lay within…..?) oooh la la french farce should at least bring the calibre of these ‘thought leaders’ to the attention of a much wider cross section of the public.

Meanwhile the science that really discredits these numpties moves on apace.

Contributors to this site have been saying for months now that the virus quite plainly must have spread a great deal earlier than the hopeless data fed into the ‘maths whizz’ adolescent computer gaming models had guesstimated

The Cambridge University study looking into the origins of the virus indicated that the earliest it could have spread to humans would have been in early September (in China but not in Wuhan) and commented that the earliest European victim was identified in Germany in January. Research in France now shows the virus present in December. Chinese students returned to European universities in late September……the science not there yet but you know the rest……

https://www.pnas.org/content/117/17/9241

Now would the person taking over the ‘pants down’ ‘Pi Top Raspberry Pi’ laptop please rework the ‘maths whizz’ with the virus spreading in Britain from October……and tell the government to the end this grotesquely silly, nationally demeaning joke of a lockdown. Their own reputation will not recover but the rest of us would like to get out there and tell the world that Britain is not really quite that hopeless………

ianp
ianp
29 days ago
Reply to  Tim Bidie

This is the problem, no politician will admit they were wrong, when has it ever happened this quickly?

My fear is that it will get brushed under the carpet and followed up by more diversionary bullshit.

It beggars belief that most of the world is in lockdown. Think about that… The fucking.whole.world – what are people saying and doing in those countries? We have heard about the French.

Even though I don’t like the man at all, I can only see the USA and Trump being able to turn this around. He was the one who said it was a hoax, he was the one who said the cure was worse than the disease… The latter is oh so true, and in some respects the former. He has been constantly haranguing states to open up right?

Or has he now changed tack to this fucking stupid blame game on the Chinese? How does that matter right now…?

coalencanth12
coalencanth12
29 days ago
Reply to  Tim Bidie

I’ve also been thinking this might turn out to be a WMD style fiasco. I remember them days well, at first the media were largely behind the strategy (well it was largely opposite to today – the Guardian were opposed I seem to remember unlike their current antics) but then the cracks started to appear as it all went belly up a year or so down the line. The consequences now will be far more severe.

Ethelred the Unready
Ethelred the Unready
29 days ago

To me, the ‘story’ here isn’t so much the flouting of the lockdown ‘rules’, but more the potential politically motivated interference in Fergie’s modelling, given his tart’s political predilections

Oaks79
Oaks79
29 days ago

Gave

Oaks79
Oaks79
29 days ago

Have we had any serological studies results from anyone here yet, no university or private lab etc do any ?

wendyk
wendyk
29 days ago

Dr Strangelove returns, complete with shaggy dog story: you couldn’t make it up!

ianp
ianp
29 days ago

Here is something else I noticed when herding the sheep on a BBC message board yesterday.

People are now equating Cases = fatalities as almost the same thing.

Yup! I detect it in the comments… We have got the most cases! Then the personal bollocks like because they personally got it, were a bit ill, then recovered means that they are a victim who needs the Samaritans help line or something.

Then the insidious notion that an asymptomatic person is somehow ‘unhealthy’ and must be rooted out.

It goes with what I noted from the BBC propaganda machine : the aim is to have ‘no cases’. It’s just mind-blowing

A lot of people are not prepared to the unplugged from their fantasy world ye

giblets
giblets
29 days ago
Reply to  ianp

Yep, have you noticed when the NHS deaths started dropping, they started including the care home cases, as they have started dropping, they have now gone on to cases. Which is great, because we have upped the testing, there are a lot more cases!
Once that finished, they will look at Serological testing, as that number will be huge. Then they will tell us that it was a waste of time and the death rate was too low, how stupid were the politicians were.

ianp
ianp
29 days ago
Reply to  giblets

Yes. And take zero responsibility themselves. I truly hope this day of retribution comes soon

BecJT
BecJT
29 days ago
Reply to  ianp

It’s mad isn’t it, a bit like ‘number of red heads have quadrupled in a week, says person who has just quadrupled their counting of red heads’.

Bob
Bob
29 days ago

Where in the PNAS/Cambridge paper does it say September for being on China? (Apologies if it’s obvious!)

Tim Bidie
Tim Bidie
29 days ago
Reply to  Bob

The Prof. says it here, expanding regarding the paper (which contains the map supporting his conclusions):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQQf2yoymu0

Mark Burkes
Mark Burkes
29 days ago

Just arrived here after Lionel Shriver mention on Brendan O’Neill’s podcast. Keep up the good work. I don’t engage with mainstream media, TV, newspaper or radio, so it takes me some time to discover new sources of information worth considering.

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
29 days ago

Tucker Carlson last night opened with the Professor Pantsdown carry on story

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFNvcw12d08

Mark
Mark
29 days ago

That’s a great riff by Tucker Carlson on coronavirus hypocrisy in politicians and journalists. I would challenge anyone to resist the urge to vomit when they see Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau sanctimoniously telling people that staying home is “what Jesus would do”, followed by promptly jetting off to see his own family, or CNN anchor Chris Cuomo condemning people sitting in the sun as “fools” and berating them for not considering other people, after himself having gotten caught roaming around outside WHILE INFECTED without mask or gloves when he claimed to be quarantining himself.

kvnmoore561
kvnmoore561
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Shocking hypocrisy! To be fair, I didn’t hear Trudeau say it’s what Jesus would do, maybe I missed it, but as a Christian I find it hard not to get frustrated by people like that selectively using Jesus, especially to manipulate people and especially since he clearly doesn’t know what Jesus did, namely healing lepers by touching them, not by isolating Himself from them!

Mark
Mark
29 days ago
Reply to  kvnmoore561

No, you are right he didn’t explicitly say that and I shouldn’t have put it in quotes as though it was a direct quote. That was Tucker Carlson’s hyperbole based on Trudeau’s overall message.

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark

TC’s book ‘Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution’ is a great read https://tinyurl.com/y7z2fw5h

KH1485
KH1485
29 days ago

So now the government adviser who forced us into lockdown has been found to have flouted his own advice. Three points:

1. I *believe* that I have had this disease. So according to the scientist’s justification for his flouting of the rules, I may also have developed immunity (does his assertion of such mean that he and the government know something he /they are not telling the rest of us).

2. Wouldn’t this mean that those who also believe they have had the disease could return to work and why aren’t they rolling out antibody tests so that this could happen quickly? (I don’t want a vaccine that has been rushed out so quickly …).

3. This scientist should not only relinquish his SAGE appointment (which, obviously he had done), but he should be sacked from Imperial College and his advice never sought again. Perhaps then he may understand what it is like to have had many years of hard work essentially destroyed. But, in his case he would know that it was down to his own actions rather than the actions of others.

wendyk
wendyk
29 days ago
Reply to  KH1485

Agreed ;the Imperial Emperor has no clothes.

Think of the damage suffered by farmers when his BSE predictions were avidly acted upon: millions of animals slaughtered, farmers losing their livelihoods,horrible scenes of mass pyres for animal carcases.

I recall watching experienced vets in tears, having had to take young calves away to be shot.

Yet since then he has enjoyed the same influence. Why?

The trouble is that as others have said, monumental cock ups like this are usually brushed aside and the perpetrators quietly moved sideways or overseas, rarely losing the income and prospects suffered by the public at large.

An investigation is called for, but whom could we trust as an impartial adjudicator?

KH1485
KH1485
29 days ago
Reply to  wendyk

I’m afraid that is the depressing reality of all this: I do not trust those who have our future in their hands (they close ranks and walk away unscathed from the carnage they create). I’m afraid, from bitter personal experience of trying to hold government agencies to account, any faith I had (and it was minimal to start with) has now gone. My freedom/liberty soon to go the same way as my business probably. The only positive, as I sit at home alone wondering how the hell to get my business back up and running, is that there are many others with the same opinion.

Roger Tame
Roger Tame
29 days ago
Reply to  wendyk

Justice Sumption, Toby Young, Dr John Lee?

BecJT
BecJT
29 days ago
Reply to  KH1485

They are not rolling out antibody tests because desperate people would attempt to catch it to stave off imminent starvation (and also it’d show it’s a lie and most of us have already had it)