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No prizes for guessing what story dominated this morning’s papers: Professor Pantsdown. A couple of weeks ago I dubbed Neil Ferguson “Dr Strangelove”, trying to capture the mesmeric effect he seems to have had on successive British Prime Ministers. But it turns out the “Strange Love Doctor” would have been more appropriate. According to the Telegraph‘s spellbinding scoop – a marmalade-dropper if ever there was one – Ferguson has been carrying on an affair with a married mother-of-two during the lockdown. Talk about breaking the social distancing rules! And the icing on the cake is that the name of his 38 year-old mistress is Antonia Staats! You couldn’t make it up, as we say on Fleet Street. The punning possibilities are endless. (Guido Fawkes: “Who could blame a boffin for wanting to massage his staats?“) Incidentally, if you can’t get past the Telegraph‘s paywall, not to worry. The story is also in the Mail, the Guardian, the Metro, the Independent, the New York Times… it’s everywhere. The BBC even has it, although in a very muted form. The latest development is that Matt Hancock says it’s now in the hands of the police. Are we about to see Imperial’s Professor of Mathematical Biology led away in handcuffs? The intellectual architect of Britain’s draconian coronavirus policy may be about to experience what it’s really like to be locked down. (He won’t, obviously, but I couldn’t resist that.)

One interesting detail: in his statement to the Telegraph, Professor Ferguson said: “I acted in the belief that I was immune, having tested positive for coronavirus, and completely isolated myself for almost two weeks after developing symptoms.” So not only does Professor Lockdown think you do develop immunity after recovering from COVID-19, but you don’t even need to take an antibody test to prove it. If only all of us who think we’ve had it were free to act in the same way.

I’m fascinated by the details about Antonia Staats. According to the Telegraph, she lives in a £1.9 million house in south London with her husband and two children and has an “open marriage”. Guido has dug up a podcast she did on March 31st (now offline), 24 hours after visiting Professor Ferguson, in which she complains that the lockdown is putting a strain on her marriage. But it’s her politics I’m really interested in. The Telegraph has her down as a “left-wing campaigner”, a reference to the fact that she campaigned against leaving the EU and is a long-standing environmental activist who supported Greta Thunberg’s climate strike. Many of the papers have included this picture of her standing outside Number 10 delivering a petition to the Prime Minister about ending fossil fuel subsidies:

Some of you may be wondering, what is the relevance of Ms Staat’s politics? The answer, obviously, is that her politics are likely to be Professor Ferguson’s politics. We know that he co-authored a paper in 2016 warning of the terrible consequences of leaving the EU, and we can see from his Twitter feed that he’s not exactly a Tory. For instance, he sent the following tweet to the Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran when she won Oxford West and Abingdon in 2017: “Great news – so happy to wake up to hear you won! Fingers crossed that last night means at least a softer Brexit.”

The reason for looking into the political affiliations of the scientists and experts who’ve been advising governments across the world during this crisis is that it may throw some light on why those governments have made such poor policy decisions. Will the vast majority of those advisers turn out to be left-of-centre, like Professor Ferguson? I’m 99% sure of it, and I think that will help us to understand what’s happened.

I don’t mean they’ve deliberately given right-of-centre governments poor advice in the hope of wrecking the economy for nefarious party-political reasons, or because they’re members of Extinction Rebellion and want to destroy capitalism. Nor do I believe in any of the conspiracy theories linking these public health panjandrums to Bill Gates and Big Pharma and some diabolical plan to vaccinate 7.8 billion people. I have little doubt they’ve acted in good faith throughout – but that’s part of the problem. The road they’ve led us down has been paved with all the usual good intentions.

The mistakes these liberal policy-makers have made are depressingly familiar to anyone who’s studied the breed: overestimating the ability of the state to solve complicated problems as well as the capacity of state-run agencies to deliver on those solutions; failing to anticipate the unintended consequences of large-scale state interventions; thinking about public policy in terms of moral absolutes rather than trade-offs; chronic fiscal incontinence, with zero inhibitions about adding to the national debt; not trusting in the common sense of ordinary people and believing the only way to get them to avoid risky behaviour is to put strict rules in place and threaten them with fines or imprisonment if they disobey them (and ignoring those rules themselves, obviously); arrogantly assuming that anyone who challenges their policy preferences is either ignorant or evil; never venturing outside their metropolitan echo chambers, being citizens of anywhere rather than somewhere… you know the rest. We’ve seen it a hundred times before.

More often than not, the “solutions” these left-leaning experts come up with make the problems they’re grappling with even worse, and so it will prove to be in this case. The evidence mounts on a daily basis that locking down whole populations in the hope of “flattening the curve” was a catastrophic error, perhaps the worst policy mistake ever committed by Western governments during peacetime. Just yesterday we learnt that the lockdowns have forced countries across the world to shut down TB treatment programmes which, over the next five years, could lead to 6.3 million additional cases of TB and 1.4 million deaths. There are so many stories like this that it’s impossible to keep track. We will soon be able to say – with something approaching certainty – that the cure has been worse than the disease.

Neil Ferguson isn’t single-handedly responsible for this world-historical blunder, but he does bear some responsibility. His apocalyptic predictions frightened the British Government into imposing a full lockdown, with other governments quickly following suit. And I’m afraid he’s absolutely typical of the breed. He suffers from the same fundamental arrogance that progressive interventionists have exhibited since at least the middle of the 18th Century – wildly over-estimating the good that governments can do, assuming there are no limits to what “science” can achieve and, at the same time, ignoring the empirical evidence that their ambitious public programmes are a complete disaster. At bottom, they believe that nature itself can be bent to man’s will.

It isn’t an attractive, 38 year-old woman in a red dress that has brought down Professor Lockdown. It’s a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat.

Okay, rant over.

Not all left-wingers support the lockdowns, of course. There are still plenty of sensible ones out there. I get quite a few supportive messages beginning, “I usually disagree with your politics, but on this occasion…” Here’s one I particularly liked from a reader in Australia:

As a man of the left, I have been as dismayed by the contemporary left’s fervent embrace of lockdown mania as by its failure to understand democratic national populism (Brexit, Trump, etc). Thanks for your sane, rational counterpoint to the remarkable hysteria and panic that has gripped the nations of the world over a reputationally-inflated bug. For lockdown reading, I suggest the real-life-based short story, ‘The Day the Dam Broke’ (in James Thurber’s collection of shorts, My Life and Hard Times) about a “frightful and perilous afternoon in March 1913 [in Columbus, Ohio] when the dam broke, or, to be more exact, when everybody in town thought that the dam broke” and “hundreds of people went streaming by our house in wild panic, screaming ‘Go east! Go east!’ … fearful of being overtaken and engulfed by the roaring waters – that is, if there had been any roaring waters”. The fleeing townsfolk included the town’s doctor, whose statements always carried conviction and gravitas. After the panic died down “people had gone rather sheepishly back to their homes and offices, minimising the distances they had run and offering various reasons for running” even though “there had never been any danger at all”. Thurber’s story is a wry study of unfounded fear, folly and foolishness. It should be required reading for all epidemiologists and politicians.

I’ve tracked down a YouTube video of Keith Olbermann, an American political commentator, reading aloud The Day the Dam Broke that you can view here.

I wrote about the shortcomings of Professor Ferguson’s computer model for my column in this week’s Spectator, but last night the editor got me to rip it up and write a new one about last night’s extraordinary news. I’ve done that, and it’s now online. Here’s an extract:

Why is it that the most zealous advocates for reining in human behaviour, whether it’s in Prohibition-era America or the midst of a public health crisis, always get caught with their pants down? I’m reminded of something the late Christopher Hitchens said: ‘Whenever I hear some bigmouth in Washington or the Christian heartland banging on about the evils of sodomy or whatever, I mentally enter his name in my notebook and contentedly set my watch. Sooner rather than later, he will be discovered down on his weary and well-worn old knees in some dreary motel or latrine, with an expired Visa card, having tried to pay well over the odds to be peed upon by some Apache transvestite.’

For those who find this sort of thing unenlightening and want a more meaty takedown of Professor Ferguson, a reader who’s an experienced coder – as in, worked as a senior engineer at Google for eight years – has written a review of the code underpinning the Imperial College model for this site that you can read here. Quite technical, but even a non-specialist like me can get the gist: ICL’s computer model is a great illustration of the coders’ golden rule – “garbage in, garbage out”.

In other news, an international survey by a team from the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at Cambridge has found that Britons are more scared of coronavirus than anyone else in the world. Dr Sander van der Linden, who led the study, seems to think this reflects well on us. “The national stereotype is that British people are fairly reserved, but when something goes on people seem very willing to step in and do the right thing,” she told the Telegraph. The paper reports that Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, the statistician who heads up the Centre, is less sanguine about the results of the survey. He has expressed concern that we’re “over anxious” and called for a campaign to get people “to start living again”.

If you are suffering from “coronaphobia”, this is a must read Twitter thread by Dr Muge Cevik, an infectious diseases researcher at St Andrew’s University. She cites numerous research studies suggesting that a close and prolonged exposure to someone infected with the virus is necessary for transmission, making a nonsense of social-distancing rules. The most likely hotspots are not sporting arenas, shopping centres, restaurants, cafés, etc., but hospitals and care homes. “Casual, short interactions are not the main driver of the epidemic,” she says, although she stops short of saying we should ignore social distancing rules. The technical way of putting this is that the virus is a nosocomial infection. Incidentally, this is Matt Ridley’s reason for becoming a lockdown sceptic, something he revealed in a webinar that he and I participated in yesterday for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, along with Inaya Folarin Iman. You can watch that here.

And while we’re on the subject of social distancing, here’s yet another reason to move to Sweden. The Nordic country’s Public Health Authority has put up this notice on its website regarding the two-metre rule. Remember, this is the rule that’s likely to be imposed on the entire population of British office workers, not to mention everyone else, everywhere. This is a verbatim translation:

There are currently no studies that show any exact limit for what distance is safe, but considering how droplet infection spreads, a benchmark could be at least one arm’s length distance. Another reason why the Public Health Authority only provides an approximate measure is that businesses such as restaurants, shops and other public places must be able to have some flexibility for the business to function.

I came across a great new website yesterday – Evidence Not Fear. It’s like a militant version of Lockdown Sceptics. It doesn’t just collate evidence about the ineffectiveness of lockdowns, it urges its readers to take action. For instance, it includes this template you can use to write to your MP. I’ve added a permanent link on my Introduction page.

Exciting developments with Simon Dolan’s lawsuit against the Government. Philip Havers QC has joined the team. Havers, a barrister and Deputy High Court Judge who specialises in public law, human rights and public inquiries, will be helping Dolan mount a challenge against the lawfulness of the Government’s restriction of civil liberties. You can contribute to the crowdfunder here. Last time I checked it was up to £75,000, more than halfway to the £125,000 target.

In Monday’s update I gushed enthusiastically about the imminent attack backbench Conservative MPs were about to launch on the Government over its mishandling of the coronavirus crisis. This was in a House of Commons debate that afternoon. Well, bad news I’m afraid. Attacks came there none. A reader has listened to a recording of the debate so you don’t have to. Here is his summary:

Not one MP called for an end to lockdown.
Not one MP said, ‘The epidemic is over, Secretary of State.’
Not one MP said, ‘Stay social distancing for two years before a vaccine is ready? You’re having a laugh.’
Not one MP said, ‘The lockdown has been the biggest mistake in history.’

A reader has sent me a comment he posted on the BBC News website yesterday. It was below a story saying “the maths” showed back in mid-March that the UK needed to change course or a quarter of a million people would perish in a “catastrophic epidemic”. To which the reader responded: “This is of course as inaccurate as Ferguson’s modelling. The model showed it, because the model was wrong. Box’s Aphorism says, ‘All models are wrong, but some are useful.’ I think it should be updated to: ‘All models are wrong, some are useful, but some are murderously toxic.'”

Another reader has sent this comment and I’ve received at least a dozen others like it:

Lockdown Sceptics has helped me retain my sanity through this mad period – thank you. The only other short, more emotional release came from the revelations about Neil Ferguson – rather like seeing your team score a goal but then having to knuckle down for a nerve-jangling second half.

I’m a QPR supporter so I know all about nerve-jangling second halves.

Two different people sent me this cartoon from an Australian newspaper:

A cartoon from yesterday’s edition of The Australian

A reader who’s an expert in cyber security has read the 4,000-word article published by GCHQ assuring us that the new NHS virus-tracing app is going to work brilliantly. He’s not impressed:

The whole thing reads like it has been written by a maths professor. It’s trying to say “so long as we are using Elliptic Curve Integration Encryption Schemes, ephemeral symmetric 128 bit keys and Advanced Encryption Standard in Galois Counter Mode, what could possibly go wrong?” All that theory is great but as politicians, civil servants and governments never seem to learn: In theory, theory and practice are the same, but in practice they are different. It is all the real-world, people-based problems that these schemes don’t anticipate and are their eventual downfall.

You can read the rest of his assessment, which I’ve published on Lockdown Sceptics, here.

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

And finally, a story to brighten your day: police in Lancashire have withdrawn a fine imposed on a pair of sisters in Preston who had gone to the docks for some exercise. The sisters – members of the same household – had driven to the docks to take a walk around the basin for some exercise and fresh air, according to the Lancashire Post. An eagle-eyed local constable spotted them and promptly issued two, on-the-spot, £60 fines. Well done to Patrick Ormerod, the sisters’ solicitor, who forced the police to withdraw the fine.

Suggestions for this site’s theme tune continue to flood in: The Model by Kraftwerk (although Ferguson’s model isn’t “looking good”), School’s Out by Alice Cooper (horribly appropriate, given that it doesn’t look like secondaries will reopen until September) and From a Distance by Bette Midler.

Thanks as ever to those who made a donation yesterday to pay for the upkeep of Lockdown Sceptics. 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. Incidentally, thanks to all those who’ve sent stuff in over the last few weeks. Some real gems there. Keep ’em coming.

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Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
29 days ago

I hope the moderator will let me re-post this, my last comment on the previous thread, as one of the first comments on this one. We could all do with some positivity right now and this is one of the most positive things I’ve read –

Charles Eisenstein’s stunning, powerful, deeply moving, and ultimately inspirational essay about this crisis: “THE CORONATION”.

I will link to both written essay and audio version:

https://charleseisenstein.org/essays/the-coronation/

https://youtu.be/wTISp3I2r5g

Let me add……..

Since this crisis started, a whole series of dominoes has been falling in my mind, almost daily. This time is, I believe, an extraordinary turning-point for humanity, and if we can navigate our way through it without the would-be tyrants succeeding with their power grab, we may emerge with an entirely new (and massively saner) vision for ourselves and our planet.

Here’s one “domino”:

The trigger for the crisis was a DISEASE from CHINA

The CHINESE pictogram for “DISEASE” translates literally into English as “DANGEROUS OPPORTUNITY”.

I’ve been telling my ‘chronic pain’ physio clients this for years. “Mrs. Bloggs, the Chinese word for ‘disease’ means ‘dangerous opportunity’. The ancient Chinese were clever people, they knew that an illness is often an opportunity to fix the things that caused it in the first place.”

Now, suddenly, (and uniquely) we are in a time of global DANGER. But it is also an unprecedented OPPORTUNITY for the whole of humanity to come together and understand the causes of our diseased society, and the diseased worldviews that have helped to create it.

If nothing more, humanity will have learned the priceless value of a hug.

(I’ll post some more thoughts on this from time to time. The moderator is free to kick me off if I’m getting too metaphysical!)

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
29 days ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

Years ago (it stuck with me) I read somewhere that the Chinese say ‘a crisis is an opportunity on a dangerous wind.’ So much the same as you Gracie, thus this is my endorsement of your post.

Farinances
Farinances
29 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Baldwin

And there behaviour vis a vis the attempted aquisition of foreign companies during this shitshow would bear that out….. 😉

Mark
Mark
29 days ago

“The mistakes these liberal policy-makers have made are depressingly familiar to anyone who’s studied the breed: overestimating the ability of the state to solve complicated problems as well as the capacity of state-run agencies to deliver on those solutions; failing to anticipate the unintended consequences of large-scale state interventions; thinking about public policy in terms of moral absolutes rather than trade-offs; chronic fiscal incontinence, with zero inhibitions about adding to the national debt; not trusting in the common sense of ordinary people and believing the only way to get them to avoid risky behaviour is to put strict rules in place and threaten them with fines or imprisonment if they disobey them (and ignoring those rules themselves, obviously); arrogantly assuming that anyone who challenges their policy preferences is either ignorant or evil; never venturing outside their metropolitan echo chambers; citizens of anywhere rather than somewhere… you know the rest. We’ve seen it a hundred times before.”

Spot on, I think. And a number of other zingers in today’s piece, as well.

Nick
Nick
27 days ago
Reply to  Mark

I’d add ‘collapsing scientific knowledge into dogma’ and failing to understand that ‘science is believing in expert ignorance’, as Richard Feynman so masterfully put it

Tim
Tim
29 days ago

Another excellent read. Thank you so much.

Just listened to the Brendan O’Neill show with Lionel Shriver. She brilliantly articulates everything that is wrong about the Lockdown and the British peoples’ attitude to it. Well worth a listen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6YYI7nPy-0

Cbird
Cbird
29 days ago
Reply to  Tim

Brilliant Toby. Our sanity thanks you. How many hours are there in your day?

Thomas Murphy
Thomas Murphy
29 days ago
Reply to  Tim

I;m listening to the same broadcast. she brilliantly encapsulates everything I have been posting on social media for weeks.

As a middle-aged man who has no respect for Ferguson (heard his doomsday, Leftie scenarios one too many times), I knew exactly how this story would play out … except that I didn’t see the lockdown coming. why should I have done? We have never reacted this way before in the face of a virus which, it turns out, is not as deadly or even as transmissible as we have been told.

To anyone reading this post, I strongly recommend that you click through to the link Tim provided. Lionel Shriver talks for about an hour but she is well worth listening to.

wendyk
wendyk
28 days ago
Reply to  Tim

Brilliant. Risk aversion is the new credo. Emoting has replaced rationality.

Nick
Nick
27 days ago
Reply to  wendyk

In tandem with the replacement of scientific knowledge by dogma.

Bob
Bob
29 days ago

Keep up the excellent work, Toby! Slightly pedantically – the spelling is Staats.

Bob
Bob
29 days ago
Reply to  Bob

YouTube already has a handy ‘how to pronounce’ video up!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buGjy8rn1BQ

IanE
IanE
29 days ago

So true about the sort of advice on offer to government by Lefty advisers.

Perhaps even more significant is what it says about the governments that choose such advisers. If we ever do get a Conservative government, it will be fascinating to see whom they approach for advice. Mind you, I don’t expect to see that issue answered in my lifetime!

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
29 days ago

“Nor do I believe in any of the conspiracy theories linking these public health panjandrums to Bill Gates and Big Pharma and some diabolical plan to vaccinate 7.8 billion people.”

Dr Judy Mikovits would disagree. Another re-post, this one is highly disturbing:

https://plandemicmovie.com

– but as the written intro below the movie suggests, the final outcome of understanding – and rectifying – what appears to be going on behind the scenes, might be hugely positive.

Pebbles
Pebbles
29 days ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation has hugely monopolised global health systematically and strategically in the last 10-15 years, ever since he decided to go “philanthropic”. To assume that BG isn’t trying to sway things his way in this Coronavirus crisis is nothing short of naive.
That is not to say he released a virus in order to make money or sell a vaccine, no, it’s about the most cut throat and second wealthiest entrepreneur of all times buying – read: funding – his way into state health systems and ultimately governments worldwide through enormous sponsorship campaigns, overtly and covertly, to influence governmental policies.
He (among others) has short-term as well as long-term agendas and all companies involved in this have the words digital dictatorship written all over them. Everyone needs to get off the “this is a conspiracy theory” crap and simply follow the evidence…

From cut-throat computer entrepreneur to big wise daddy; a report in The Nation:
https://www.thenation.com/article/society/bill-gates-foundation-philanthropy/
Short term agenda – monopoly on global health – have a look at Corbett report: https://www.corbettreport.com/gateshealth/
Longterm agenda – ID2020 / a totalitarian state of the world:
https://www.globalresearch.ca/coronavirus-causes-effects-real-danger-agenda-id2020/5706153

Why exactly is the British government flinging about ideas of immunity passports and tracking apps etc…? Because the care about our health and wellbeing…? LMAO.

Willow
Willow
29 days ago
Reply to  Pebbles

And in case anyone is in any doubt what a digital dictatorship looks like, here is a sneak preview

https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-18/china-social-credit-a-model-citizen-in-a-digital-dictatorship/10200278

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is where Gates et. al. intend to drive this pandemic of opportunity if they possibly can. They have been infiltrating global organizations and state governments as well as the charity sector, non profits and academia for at least 2 decades.

The playbook was already written and when Covid19 pressed the start button the machinery ground into action. It’s no coincidence in my view that the response of so many sovereign nation states has been to uniformly and simultaneously construct the infrastructure for the digital dictatorship. Even the language “New normal” is being spoken by almost all Western governments. This kind of homogeneity doesn’t happen by accident. Palantir is now busy building the database for both UK and US. and Onfido is building the immunity passport software also for both countries. I’m certain the UK and US at least will end up joined up.

I believe the new normal they want to usher in is a communist technocracy and we will be very lucky if we can derail the process now it’s underway. I don’t think it’s any accident that Western economies have been thrown under a bus either. Putting half the population on the teat of the state and either destroying or partly nationalising business is creating the perfect environment for a slide into communism.

The suspension of democracy, the abject failure of every single MP to raise even a little finger in protest and the alarming upswing of censorship are not warnings we should ignore. Lifting the lockdown will be a great start but putting a stick in the wheel of what’s being rolled out is a whole other matter.

My conspiracy theory, given that Knut Wittkowski showed China’s epidemic had peaked before lockdown, is that China’s lockdown was theatre through and through. It was fully intended to appear effective and decisive so that the West would follow suit. I don’t think it’s any coincidence at all that most of the pressure to lockdown has come from a largely left wing press. Bill Gates has made no secret of the fact that he thinks both democracy and capitalism are failed ideologies he’s also a fervent admirer of China. I don’t want to even begin to speculate about the origins of the virus, personally it would take a lot to convince me that he was involved in that. But he is definitely involved in rolling out the vaccines, immunity passports, contact tracing (surveillance) and censorship that are being put into place. These are all straight out of the Event 201 playbook. He was a very vocal advocate of the lockdowns that have crashed both the US and UK economies. He also bunged, sorry donated, $100 million to Xi Jinping. Was that the price for the bit of theatre (lockdown) that convinced the West to throw their capitalist economies under a bus and has led to the worst assault on democracy and civil liberties we’ve ever seen in our country? 🤔

Willow
Willow
29 days ago
Reply to  Willow

Oh look, the supreme ruler of the universe wants into education next

https://twitter.com/ActivistPost/status/1258213319862824960

chris c
chris c
28 days ago
Reply to  Willow

A couple of articles on this here

https://www.ukcolumn.org/coronavirus

KH1485
KH1485
28 days ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

It’s been removed. Surprise, surprise …

Mark
Mark
29 days ago

“People in Britain are more scared of coronavirus than those in other countries because they care more about their fellow citizens, the first international study into fear of the disease has concluded.

The research carried out by a team from the University of Cambridge found that a British sense of social responsibility was fuelling the highest levels of concerns over the risk posed by Covid-19.”

Don’t believe this for a moment. I mean, I can certainly believe we might nowadays be the most scare-mongered, fearful, cowardly nation of pussies in the world (on this issue at any rate – there’s ample evidence to support that), but I don’t for a moment believe such a cosily convenient, self-aggrandising cover story as the idea that it’s all – or even most – out of noble, altruistic concern for “others”. I know that’s what people are told to say, and often what they do say, and I don’t doubt many might even believe it. We human beings are famously good at deluding ourselves as to our own motivations.

But reality tells me it’s not the case. The constant evidence in the streets of people shrinking away from each other in evident personal fear. The endless fearful nonsense about “keeping safe” and workers insisting they need PPE “to save lives”. The angry confrontations over people getting “too close” that clearly betray actual fear.

Even if we were so absurdly scared over this objectively not very dangerous virus only out of “concern for others”, all that would mean is that the British as a nation are just stupid and grossly misled, rather than stupid and cowardly and grossly misled.

The evidence of this coercive lockdown and the almost universal support for it even as the evidence justifying it goes from non-existent when it was initiated to ever more negative by the day, tells me that either description will do.

ChrisH29
ChrisH29
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark

I agree wholeheartedly.

I have noticed on Social Media that there appear to be vast numbers of people who have swallowed the Lockdown-ista propaganda Hook Line and Sinker, forever quoting “You don’t care about lives” or “Lives before money” or some other irrational nonsense. That observation is confirmed by the recent opinion polls concluding that the majority of the country want the lockdown to continue, .

It occurs to me that the majority of these poltroons are below the median age of the UK, 40, and know they are at materially no risk from this disease (how stupid do you have to be not to have gleaned, even if by osmosis that the young are not in danger), the people they are claiming to be protecting are the old since the vast majority of the victims are past retirement age. The truth is that they are suffering from Coronophobia and are only interested in themselves, their concern for the old being slaughtered by this virus is as bogus as Mrs Staat’s fidelity. These Coronaphobics are not endeavouring to protect the lives of those actually at risk, rather they are trying to mitigate the minuscule risk to themselves that they will contract the disease, with not the slightest concern for the cost in money and the lives of others. One work springs to mind – HYPOCRITES

I wonder if anyone would dare conduct a poll of the vulnerable age groups, let’s say everyone over 65 or 70, with the question:

“Which would you rather:
(1) Reduce the risk of you catching Covid-19 by shutting down the economy and harming the economic future of your grand children or
(2) Open it up and accept the consequences”.

I wager there would be an overwhelming majority, near 90%, voting (1)

Mark
Mark
29 days ago
Reply to  ChrisH29

Yes, I agree. I get the impression there’s a lot more real fear of this disease in the younger groups, though there are a fair few nervous oldies about. I suspect your poll would be a lot closer than the general polling anyway.

Polemon2
Polemon2
29 days ago
Reply to  ChrisH29

Aged 75, I vote (2)

eastberks44
eastberks44
29 days ago
Reply to  ChrisH29

Change the wording of (1) to Reduce the risk of you catching Covid-19 by spending the rest of your natural life in solitary confinement, shutting down the economy and harming the economic future of your grand children

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
28 days ago
Reply to  ChrisH29

They must all think they’re being so virtuous.
Pass me the sick bag!

chris c
chris c
28 days ago
Reply to  ChrisH29

They may change their minds too late when they find they can’t get a plumber, electrician, builder, decorator, gardener etc. because they were all driven out of business.

Laura
Laura
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Agreed – if everything was open tomorrow, people would be “shocked” with how many “fearless” citizens there are…

GetaGrip
GetaGrip
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark

If the furlough scheme’s 80% does drop to 60% as suggested in the media, I predict a 25% drop in this ‘level of concern for others’.

Farinances
Farinances
29 days ago
Reply to  GetaGrip

Following my discussion with my mate the other day, it’s evident they use community mindedness as an excuse – I quote – “but you live in a community” – bit when pressed dissolve into what what they actually think – “Well if anyone I lived with was regularly going outside I’d make them live in the shed”.

Csaba
Csaba
29 days ago
Reply to  GetaGrip

I think that is the exact reason. People can think i can get 80 %for doing nothing then why i would work for 20%. It is bad, isn’t ?

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
28 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Spot on. Every time someone walks away from me now, I walk towards them 🙂

Gary Gimson
Gary Gimson
29 days ago

Surely, Sander van der Linden is male not female. Sander is a pretty common Dutch male first name!

GLT
GLT
29 days ago

Thank you, Sue, for your fascinating report on the code behind the ICL model! I know very little about coding and I suspect that our leaders know even less.

Jane
Jane
29 days ago

Piers Corbyn is a lockdown sceptic. In fact, he is a pandemic sceptic. I wonder if Jeremy Corbyn, as Prime Minister, would have listened to his brother and resisted pressure to panic, and what people’s reactions would have been. Alas, we shall never know.

guy153
guy153
29 days ago
Reply to  Jane

He didn’t pay much attention to the fact that Piers is also a climate skeptic. I think politics would have trumped science on this issue as well.

Farinances
Farinances
29 days ago
Reply to  guy153

Personally I think Jezza would’ve loved to have the economy (evil evil capitalism) at his beck and call a bit too much and we’d still be in the same situation.

Fred
Fred
28 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

Regardless of Jeremy Corbyn’s personal views, we’ve seen very litle commitment to liberty in the tory, labour, lib dem, snp or green parties. I don’t think there are enough people in politics who care about quaity of life, in any party, for any plausible administration made of members of any current party to have taken a sane anti-lockdown course through this. Whoever was PM, even if it was someone rational, too many in their party and every other party would be pulling toward the lockdown apocalypse.

Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson
29 days ago

According to the Daily Mail more people have died from Covid19 than died in the blitz . They probably got this idea for a line of attack from the US media which led the attack on Trump with Covid19 had killed more Americans then the Vietnam war.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-coronavirus-death-toll-vietnam-war-american-fatalities-a9489241.html

Actually the number of UK fatalities from Covid19 occurs every 3 weeks from all cause mortality and on a fun fact note more people died on the roads of Britain during WW2 , probably due to the blackout than actually died during the blitz . Nearly 10,000 were killed in the worst year on the roads 1941.

Farinances
Farinances
29 days ago
Reply to  Peter Thompson

My great grandad used to drive trucks during the war and said it was the most dangerous job you could have. It’s why I’m still much in adiraion of the Queen and her driving job during the war.

Simon Conway-Smith
Simon Conway-Smith
29 days ago

Toby, thank you for your contribution to the GWPF webinar yesterday, it was very interesting. I had hoped the moderator would have highlighted the essence of a question I posed, amongst all the others, which was echoed by some others, and that is why the group of people who can weigh up real world pros & cons to a theoretical hypothesis (such as Ferguson’s model) are never present at the policy table, i.e. ENGINEERs, or in the medical world, practitioners. Would love to see your thoughts on that.

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
29 days ago

Toby Young, you’re a legend. Thank you once more for your great work.

We may be just starting the second half but I sense that we Lockdown Sceptics have the wind in our sails now …*

(*not sure if this works, being neither a football fan or a sailor, but I’m sure you get the gist of what I’m saying!’

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
29 days ago

Also, I do hope that you write a book about all this that you mentioned on London Calling.

The following may provide interesting background research on how we got here:

– Scared to Death: From BSE to Global Warming: Why Scares are Costing Us the Earth by Christopher Booker
– Groupthink: A Study in Self Delusion by Christopher Booker (thanks for posting quote from it the other day), and
– How Fear Works: Culture of Fear in the Twenty-First by Frank Furedi

Jacob Nielson
Jacob Nielson
29 days ago

Brilliant today, Toby.
Let’s hope this doesn’t go to extra time or penalties. The agony….

Mimi
Mimi
29 days ago

Toby, thanks again for curating your special island of sanity! I LOVED your piece in the Spectator this morning! Dear me, the jokes do write themselves, don’t they!

I have been wondering about the role of climate activism in lockdown zealotry. I have a hypothesis. Lots of people have their pet fears – climate change, immigration, overtourism. And they desperately wish those problems would go away, but they are powerless to do much to stop them.

So when a phenomenon comes on the scene that actually allows them to force everyone to stop doing the thing they hate, they jump on it. Climate activists want to end airplane travel (flygskaam) and use of fossil fuels for transportation – well, COVID has granted them that wish! Millions of people would like to see an end to immigration from poor countries into rich ones – hey presto, COVID has closed the borders! Want to visit Venice and actually be able to walk freely? You can’t, but if you could, Venice is delightfully uncrowded!

Anyone who has ever driven in Atlanta has imagined what it would be like without 5 million cars on the highway all at once. Driving there during the COVID shutdown is a literal dream come true.

So I’m not surprised to see that Ferguson has a side motivation (hee hee) that would play toward Thunberg-style climate activism. Keeping the world shut down for the good of the planet is an excellent side benefit, if that’s where your heart lies.

And here’s Johan Giesecke taking down lockdowns in the oh-so-reputable Lancet. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31035-7/fulltext

Also this tube map of Lockdown economics: http://www.infodesigncentral.com/LE_150-20.jpg

maudboggins
maudboggins
29 days ago
Reply to  Mimi

Exactly Mimi. The suggestion that nobody would do things for a political motive under the guise of science or medicine is preposterous and devoid of historic memory…. does anyone recall a little period in history called the Cold War? Scientists, academics and subversives ahoy parading as one thing it wearing red underwear at all times.

This is mankind. Since when did mankind never do anything for political or personal gain that involved insidious methods ? Have we all of a sudden become angels ? Was Blair completely innocent of his filthy untruths over WMD? It seems nowadays nobody screws up or tries to hide anything. Nonsense.

Nothing’s changed. People are still underhand and will try to hide their mess ups. People still want to push their agenda using any means necessary in certain cases. It’s our perception of these things that’s changed and the fact anyone who questions those in authority’s methods is automatically labelled a crackpot conspiracy theorist. Cue people getting away with whatever they like…..

The epitome of counter-productivity….and we will come to regret it if we keep this up.

swedenborg
swedenborg
29 days ago
Reply to  Mimi

Just quoting the summary in this brilliant,short and straightforward article by Giesecke in the Lancet
“In summary, COVID-19 is a disease that is highly infectious and spreads rapidly through society. It is often quite symptomless and might pass unnoticed, but it also causes severe disease, and even death, in a proportion of the population, and our most important task is not to stop spread, which is all but futile, but to concentrate on giving the unfortunate victims optimal care.”

Barney McGrew
Barney McGrew
29 days ago
Reply to  Mimi

The tube map is wonderful! And highly depressing.

Amy
Amy
29 days ago
Reply to  Mimi

Not to mention how excited they must be about the impending meat shortage!

Willow
Willow
29 days ago
Reply to  Amy

I’m sure Bill Gates is. He’s heavily invested in lab grown meat after all..

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
28 days ago
Reply to  Mimi

I love the tube map! A shame “currency” is spelled wrong…

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
28 days ago

…and passes!

mogg42
mogg42
29 days ago

Who did the model for the 6.3 million additional cases of TB and 1.4 million deaths which you seem to accept withtout scepticism? Researchers including those from Imperial!

Caswell Bligh
Caswell Bligh
29 days ago
Reply to  mogg42

The irony was not lost on me: models competing with each other to predict disaster. However, the TB modelling is, I think, based on more straightforward, mundane facts than the Covid one.

It does make me think: if you purport to be modelling the world, and to know the effects of something like a virus, then before you go making policy recommendations like lockdown, shouldn’t you also plot graphs for the other diseases, the effect on the economy, food supply, mental health, etc. etc.? Then a proper reckoning of the various death counts can be drawn up…

For me, it illustrates what scientists are good for, and what they are not. They have no business recommending policy! And even politicians should keep their noses out of people’s real lives as much as possible, for they, too, cannot begin to quantify what their meddling will do.

old fred
old fred
29 days ago

Not the best of days, media-wise, for Neil Ferguson, it seems. The hatchets are well and truly out everywhere apart from the BBC, of course.

Having worked in a university for many years, I do wonder what the VC and governing body of Imperial College will be making of the current situation re Fergie, particularly in relation to how it affects the university’s international reputation?

Will they be thinking:

a) ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity’ and leave him where he is?

b) promote the guy to get him out of the way?

c) invite him to lunch with the VC (we know what that means – I have seen it happen more than once)?

d) something else?

In view of the onslaught he is currently undergoing Ferguson could decide to escape by joining the Bill Gates Foundation (or similar), (on big bucks, no doubt), but whether Gates would want ‘soiled goods’ may now be an issue.

Any views?

maudboggins
maudboggins
29 days ago
Reply to  old fred

How could Gates be worried by soiled goods when he’s in bed with the Deputy Vaccine Antichrist himself, Anthony Fauci?

Bit late for that now !

ChrisH29
ChrisH29
29 days ago
Reply to  old fred

I think the evisceration of Ferguson’s model, linked to in this article should be sufficient for Imperial and everywhere else to wash their hands of him.
Moreover, I would not advise any of his Post-Grads to put him on their CV when moving on. They’d be better off putting the 3 year gap in the resumé as “doing a spot of bird in The Scrubs for selling weed” than mentioning the Harbinger of Hell.

old fred
old fred
29 days ago
Reply to  ChrisH29

The post just now by ChrisH29 listing what Imperial has received from Bill Gates means my questions are irrelevant as IC seems to a subsidiary of the BG Foundation. Nuff said.

wendyk
wendyk
29 days ago
Reply to  old fred

Perhaps a ‘sabbatical’ with the WHO?

Andy
Andy
29 days ago

The man is scum but the idiots are the ones that listen to him without having different views from other scientists. If the government do not dismiss him immediately then god help us all. My question is why are our doctors so quiet when doctors from all over the world are speaking out against this massive scam.
All watch plandemicthemovie.com

maudboggins
maudboggins
29 days ago
Reply to  Andy

Totally true whoever you are. Bang on.

More please …..

GetaGrip
GetaGrip
29 days ago
Reply to  Andy

As a doctor I’m disappointed to inform you that almost all my medical colleagues are lockdown enthusiasts.
My theory is simply that this is due to having a world view focused entirely through a medical prism, and the kind of ignorance and disinterest in wider economic realities which only well paid public sector employees with unmatched job security and superannuated pensions can afford.
Oh, and that Thursday evening clapping adulation thing doesn’t exactly encourage any dissent from medical Groupthink.

Mimi
Mimi
29 days ago
Reply to  GetaGrip

A number of doctors in the U.S. think the lockdown is BS. A number of them are also currently furloughed, which probably helps, but not all. They just keep their heads down to avoid offending – doctors generally being good at following rules and not interested in political action.

Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson
29 days ago
Reply to  GetaGrip

As a doctor myself I would agree there is a certain groupthink and I thought better of replying to a group letter from a colleague on the LMC extolling the virutes of the lockdown in bringing the hospital death toll down. However I do detect murmurred scepticism as well. as a rule of thumb the younger and less experienced the medic the greater the enthousiasm for the lockdown.

KH1485
KH1485
28 days ago
Reply to  GetaGrip

Their pensions won’t be worth anything shortly …

AntisepticSkeptic
AntisepticSkeptic
29 days ago

First off, I believe matters pertaining to this shutdown transcends the political spectrum.

I’m left of centre; and I fervently oppose this shutdown.

Please, can someone explain to me how supporting a shutdown of livelihoods and freedoms is at all left of centre? Authoritarianism is not left of centre. It is right of centre. I’m surrounded by people who lean so far to the right they’re grazing their shoulder on the ground, and these people are the most fearful. Supporting government involvement in our lives is not left of centre.

Can someone please shed some light on this endless, deplorable obsession with left and right in relation to this shutdown? Because, quite obviously, I’m not understanding it.

Jacob Nielson
Jacob Nielson
29 days ago

I hope what unites us here is a love of freedom, a healthy skepticism of authority and plain common sense.

AntisepticSkeptic
AntisepticSkeptic
29 days ago
Reply to  Jacob Nielson

Absolutely.

ChrisH29
ChrisH29
29 days ago

In extremis there is but a fag paper between Left and Right, they’re both tyrannical nightmares.

BecJT
BecJT
29 days ago

As I’ve said before, I think a much more useful analysis would be social class and age, I think that’d tell us a lot, I think it’s a posh panic by those who can afford to panic as they are cushioned, and those perhaps insulated from the harsher of some of life’s realities. I mean if you drive a van for amazon on zero hours, how is your life any different really? Feel any safer?

Mark
Mark
29 days ago

According to this Atlantic article, there is a clear left/right divide in the US, with Democrats seeking to play up the covid threat and Republicans to play it down:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/03/how-republicans-and-democrats-think-about-coronavirus/608395/
That gibes with my own impressions, that leftists tend to like it because it plays into their general enthusiasm for big government, collective healthcare, social solidarity etc. That was also suggested by a US study Toby linked to last Saturday:
https://heterodoxacademy.org/social-science-liberals-conservatives-covid-19/
I don’t think it’s as easy to do that kind of study here because there is less dissent generally. But I still think there is a leaning to the right in the resistance here, it’s just that it is suppressed a bit by the fact that we have a “Conservative” Party government in charge at the moment, so there’s a degree of suspension of dissent for partisan reasons.
Left libertarians tend to balk at the liberty crushing aspects but they most likely still feel a bit warm and fuzzy about the other aspects despite those concerns.

AntisepticSkeptic
AntisepticSkeptic
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Good article. There is certainly something to be said for the epicenter location and attitudes towards the virus, especially given the fact republicans obsess over firearms and protection. Perhaps they’d feel differently if it was on their doorstep, perhaps not.

Anyway, right and left are amorphous labels of entirely questionable utility. Surely, only a moron could categorise every single one of their beliefs at one end of the spectrum. Sod absolutes!

Whatever the political position is, I don’t care. I’m anti-lockdown, and I want a pint of cask ale with my chums.

Great work on here.

Mark
Mark
29 days ago

I agree, anti-lockdown is what matters.

The labels are useful, but as you rightly say, only up to a point, they’re just generalisations after all. It’s a bit like when I was dissenting over the Iraq war back in 2002/3, the government label rather confused the opposition to the war because normally conservatives quite like a good war, are more likely to be pro-US, and are very easily persuaded that an Arab dictator is a legitimate target, whereas leftists are harder to persuade on all three (not left-labelled governments – they warmonger with the best of them, Harold Wilson aside, from Wilson, FDR and Johnson in the US to Blair in the UK, but actual leftie voters).

In the end the leaderships of both parties pushed the war, shamefully for all concerned, and I had to rub shoulders with a lot of mostly perfectly decent lefties in the only political demo I ever went on in my life (conservatives don’t do demonstrations, generally). Mind you, the utter ineffectiveness of that demo rather confirmed my prejudice against demonstrating in general.

AntisepticSkeptic
AntisepticSkeptic
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark

My first comment on this website was concerning my desire to protest publicly against this lockdown, though I don’t have a propensity for activism. No doubt such a protest would involve me rubbing shoulders with people whose opinions I disagree with. So long as they are reasonable, what matters eh?

This site has been terrific for rational conversation, and hasn’t at all stooped to ranting quarrels.

Mimi
Mimi
29 days ago

IDK, maybe this is changing alignments. I thought of myself as pretty much on the left in the U.S., sort of by default. I’ve found most Republican rhetoric pretty repugnant for the past couple of decades, and was appalled when Trump was elected. I don’t love all of the Democratic platform, though. I’ve often wished for a party that split the difference – socially liberal but fiscally conservative. Maybe that’s libertarian now, but they’re mostly a fringe element here.

The people who most passionately own their Democratic allegiance seem to be the most dogmatic lockdown zealots. They’re the ones who immediately dismiss any contrary story as “not news.”

This experience is giving me an appreciation for Tucker Carlson, of all people, and has actually had me saying “Thank god for Fox News.”

And it’s not just me. My husband and sister and her husband, too. We have science degrees (actual science, not the kind you “follow”) and have never seen why people are getting excited about the numbers of cases/deaths or the way they’ve been portrayed. It seems that the NYT, the Post, and CNN are just plain lying. They are engaging in advocacy of a specific viewpoint re COVID, and they’re blatantly ignoring any contrary evidence, of which there is much!

Sooo…. though I can’t see myself ever voting for the Donald, I now feel grateful to live in a Red state. At least we now have some restaurants open, though they’re so packed you can’t get in.

Mark
Mark
29 days ago
Reply to  Mimi

I agree about Tucker Carlson, he was great I remember back during the Republican Presidential nomination campaign. He’s quite bright and unusually freethinking for a political commentator I think.

“socially liberal but fiscally conservative”

Yes, that was the Libertarian Party, back in the day. but as you say, they aren’t going to win any elections.

BecJT
BecJT
29 days ago
Reply to  Mimi

I’m the same, but with Brexit, then the appalling performance of Labour activists during the election just trying to ‘cancel’ everyone, like some kind of mob (ditto the fringe loonie Brexiteers, I think Nigel Farage should be fired into outerspace along with Momentum, all crack pots), and then this, I came to be just grateful for what an unlikely but rather miraculous thing democracy and civil debate can be, and how grateful I felt for decent, honorable, honest, well reasoned views, how we need that debate, and middle ground and give and take, and respect for other views. I think our political class on both sides been taking the p*ss out of the social contract for quite some time, and all that upheaval made me realise we shouldn’t take it for granted, it’s more fragile than we think.

In short, I realised I needed to grow up, and accept I might passionately feel this, that didn’t negate someone else’s right to passionately feel something else. And how disagreement is important and good, as is listening, it’s how we solve problems. It’s the dogmatism (whatever the issue) I can’t bear. I’ve never voted Tory in my life (then again as part of the above, I admit I didn’t really know what being a tory even meant, just that they were the ‘wrong’ team, when I was a student Thatcher was just the devil, that was just a fact), but all this ‘never kissed a Tory’ stuff is just stupid, I know loads of lovely tories, they just have about a 5% different view on tax and spending than I do, they’re not frothing monsters, they just have a world view, that they’ve really thought about, and it’s sincere and held with integrity, who am I to roar they are WRONG, or heartless, it’s just stupid. Ditto Brexit, big mistake in my view, but the whole debacle of remain really made me think, I don’t care how passionately you believe something, no need to utterly denigrate people.

This lockdown stuff, it’s a kind of identity politics, a tribal thing, like football hooligans, it’s perfectly possible to say, ‘well I agree with you there, but have you thought about this’ or indeed to think ‘well is that true?’ but we simply can’t seem to have that conversation. It seems to be ‘team save lives’ or ‘team economy’ with no awareness that those on the notional ‘team economy’ have kids, and grannies and loved ones, and health issues. I shared an article by Lord Sumption the other day, ex supreme court judge, very erudite and respected man, and people wouldn’t read it because it was in the Mail, and therefore was already contaminated with ‘wrong’ before the ink was even dry. It’s really maddening.

That probably didn’t make any sense, ^^^^^^ that is the inside of my head 🙂

AntisepticSkeptic
AntisepticSkeptic
29 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

I believe all of Sumption’s commentary on this has been exceptional.

Also, I don’t have anyone in my life I agree with completely. And I have many people in my life.

BecJT
BecJT
29 days ago

Exactly, so do I, but I’ve had lots of conversations with friends about how they vote, or what “team” they are on about various issues, it’s amazing how much of it isn’t really what they believe, but they’ve sort of arrived at that ‘team’ because they are the ‘good’ team, it’s more emotional, or tribal than actually considered. Then lockdown came along, and I realise I’ve how far I’ve moved away from things I just reflexively accepted as ‘right’ or ‘true’. (which is why I’m not explaining it very well, still figuring it out).

Mark
Mark
29 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

In case you haven’t seen it, this is quite a good book on the general issue of to what extent our moral judgements are preset to put us in one team or the other, and how much we can overcome that:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0076O2VMI

KH1485
KH1485
28 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Or ‘Groupthink’ by the late Christopher Booker.

AntisepticSkeptic
AntisepticSkeptic
29 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

I’m disappointed with some of my friends currently too. They are just not interested in flexing their questioning muscle. I didn’t mind providing articles and data, and some sensible analysis, but it proved useless, because they can’t get over that first hurdle of skepticism. They trust the government and its advisors unequivocally. So, I’ve stopped providing information. No doubt there will be some exchanges in the pub about it all later, of which will consist of, I believe, me bragging about being correct! – hopefully. That relies on this all being exposed as a giant farce, of course.

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
29 days ago

It will also depend on whether there are any pubs left open and viable after all this lot. If there are, you may have to produce your Orwellian tracking device to get in, and a sign on the wall will remind you that “all conversation is monitored and recorded by HM Government.” Best to just talk about football. (If that’s still happening.)

Annabel Andrew
Annabel Andrew
28 days ago

I don’t think that there is any doubt at all about this being a giant farce- the biggest farce is that HMG have not looked at any of the blindingly obvious results of leading scientists worldwide. They insist on pumping out inflated numbers and then Facebook is full of people sharing and insisting that we all stay in for another hundred years or so. I have never felt so desperate or helpless in my life.

KH1485
KH1485
28 days ago
Reply to  Annabel Andrew

Ditto. And why do they keep pushing the ‘announcements’ along a few days every time? After the first three-week lockdown, they pushed it on to the Thursday and now they’ve pushed it along until the Sunday. I have e-mailed my MP imploring the government to lift this insane lockdown. Why can’t they treat us like adults? And has someone done some ‘modelling’ to determine at what point the people are going to rebel?

OpenCorona
28 days ago

In the US at least, the breakdown is hard left vs. right for the zealots vs. skeptics. Unfortunately this has been conflated with support or hatred for the President. Politics should never have had anything to do with this.

I firmly believe zealots in the US are towing the party line because they dislike the President. That matter plus their personal investment in the lockdown and propensity for virtue signaling results in an almost unbeatable wall of zealotry. These are intelligent, educated people who believe this because they wouldn’t even consider questioning it let alone be open-minded.

BTLnewbie
BTLnewbie
29 days ago

Excellent as ever – thanks Toby – and from a fellow ‘R’s supporter to boot 🙂

It seems to me that things are starting to unblock – on my (wholly unnecessary) trip to my local town today, it was evident that there were far more people about (and no social distancing at the local carwash).
The Swedish advice on social distancing is spot-on – I’ve been advising one local organisation not to include reference to SD in their advice to members as to when they can reopen, as the Gov’t will create face-saving Rules which will be honoured only in the breach.

Keep on keeping on!

PS – Here’s a Latin tag for Boris: Tacitus (on the Roman subjugation of the Scots):
“Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant” – “where they create devastation (this also translates as isolation), they call it peace”.

Jerry Nerts
Jerry Nerts
29 days ago

It’s trivial, but I am very glad Matt Ridley is a fellow skeptic. Always seemed like a dependable chap.

IanE
IanE
29 days ago
Reply to  Jerry Nerts

But I was stunned (and saddened) to discover that Melanie Philips is a lockdownista. Quite extraordinary – perhaps she has a crush on Boris [there is, after all, no accounting for taste!].

maudboggins
maudboggins
29 days ago

SORRY FOR THE ESSAY. PUT THE KETTLE ON!

Toby… as you know and as I have told you you are my favourite lockdown crusader extraordinaire….

But I’m afraid your point re Gates being the benevolent altruistic Saviour not wanting to vaccinate 7.8 billion people…is ….. incorrect.

The little darling openly states that IS his intention on his blog…which reads:

‘We need to manufacture and distribute at least 7 billion doses of the vaccine.’

Here’s the link to his blog and that article as I am sure you want to be as informed as you can:

https://www.gatesnotes.com/Health/What-you-need-to-know-about-the-COVID-19-vaccine

And no the Russians didn’t create the page. Nor did aliens or Paddington Bear. It’s quite real.

Readers may wish to keep up with Gates’ musings of global medical megalomania…whilst he proffers himself as the man about to save the world he also openly admits there are too many people in it, along with his weaselly bum-pal Antony Fauci.

Please all watch

https://youtu.be/k-moc9EIgbg

Before it mysteriously gets taken down (again) by Stasi-Tube. It’s 26 minutes but have a G&T while you’re watching ……

We are sadly and dangerously getting to a stage now where rigorous and legitimate information is being totally ignored by highly intelligent people on the basis that it may be a “conspiracy theory”, which they are ridiculed for believing so avoid to save face, and which in turn perversely allows those who wish to act in an underhand manner the absolute clear run to get on with it. Reverse psychology at its best. This judgementalism must stop and we all need to ask one simple question ; is what the person is saying true? It doesn’t matter a toss whether it doesn’t fit with the narrative we seek. The point is the truth not the political standing or even past history of the speaker …. as Toby’s own “Offence Archaeologists” point duly illustrates.

Since when did mankind not act in an underhand way in certain circles? Since when did mankind not remove certain members of society who got in the way of what they wanted? From Rome to Henry VIII’s court the gerrymandering of facts and figures and creation of hideous lies has been a part of our entire being. This is how empires were built and destroyed in equal measure, but then you all know this….

As for the trail for this BS…it’s easier to follow than a freshly laid drag hunt by the Beaufort…anyone who wants the flow chart of brown envelopes should contact me directly. Unless Toby posts it here at some point.

If this kind of stuff existed in a planning application the public and local authorities would be all over it. If it existed with oil company lobbying for fracking sites the same would apply. So why don’t we issues the same suspicion and scrutiny to Gates? Because we’ve been made to feel stupid for doing it.

Recall the Big Lie, create a lie so bizarre sounding that people will just stand there and say, “Nooooo? They wouldn’t be so brazen or ridiculous to do THAT would they?”, Hitler, blaming Jews….remember? This was also a World War Two intelligence tactic favoured by the British … and we succeeded in many operations because of such ruses.

Whitty’s department received funding from Gates. So did Fergusons. Nobody’s saying they’ve been eating babies in a ritualistic Satanic cult..just that they have questions to answer, hideous conflicts of interests and a whole lot of a stench around them. And to believe they are all well-intentioned hapless buffoons is denying the human condition, which can be most unpleasant, as any history book will tell us. Sometimes incompetence is accompanied by an intention that’s unplesant and self-serving.

I guess anyone who’s come close to this stuff and experiences it for themselves is more likely to believe it goes on.

Enough said. But do think on it all.

ChrisH29
ChrisH29
29 days ago
Reply to  maudboggins

I for one would like the flow chart.
For the sake of completeness it is worth noting that Gates has paid the following to Imperial:
2020 $ 79,006,570
2019 $ 2,646,785
2018 $ 2,696,803
2017 $ 3,448,111
2016 $ 48,046,547
2015 $ 17,710,069
2014 $ 391,988
2013 $ 14,518,642
2012 $ 7,741,002
2011 $ 2,924,038
2010 $ 7,385,664
2009 and prior $102,266,365

Farinances
Farinances
29 days ago
Reply to  ChrisH29

YES. As far as I’m concerned “follow the money” is the most modern manifestation of Occam’s Razor.

JohnB
JohnB
28 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

‘cui bono ?’ preceded Occam, yes ?

guy153
guy153
29 days ago

It’s interesting how people’s political starting point influences their interpretation of this!

Some of us see in the lockdown the continuation of a pattern that started last year with the B word: that this government is defined by its willingness to crash the economy in return for popularity.

Although many people do believe that Brexit is a good thing and I respect those views, I don’t think Johnson ever believed that any more than he paid any attention to Ferguson or his bad science.

Of course Ferguson and his girlfriend are awful lefties with everything that implies (and your rant is spot on) but don’t tell me he was anything other than a prop in this. He was the justification for a populist lockdown and subsequently for the claim that Johnson saved half a million lives. I’m sure they made it worth his while.

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
29 days ago

Earlier I mentioned my “falling dominoes”.

Time for another one.

This has long been one of my favourite poems, and I wasn’t sure why it resonated with me so much. But a few weeks into this crisis it hit me with full force.

It could almost have been written for THIS very point in human history, with its themes of prisoners (lockdown!), springtime, awakening, wrongs and evils (Gates? Rights violations?) and its clarion-call for a transformation of the human psyche into something that can “go the lengths of God”.

A SLEEP OF PRISONERS. Christopher Fry (1917-2005)

The human heart can go the lengths of God…
Dark and cold we may be, but this
Is no winter now. The frozen misery
Of centuries breaks, cracks, begins to move;
The thunder is the thunder of the floes,
The thaw, the flood, the upstart Spring.

Thank God our time is now when wrong
Comes up to face us everywhere,
Never to leave us till we take
The longest stride of soul we ever took.

Affairs are now soul size.
The enterprise
Is exploration into God.
Where are you making for? It takes
So many thousand years to wake,
But will you wake for pity’s sake!

Steve Carter
Steve Carter
29 days ago

I agree with your many other readers; you have helped me stay sane too! Please keep up the great work; our voices will need to be heard just as clearly in the next few weeks as they have in the last few.

Laura
Laura
29 days ago

Here’s a great stat: the median death age of coronavirus (82) is greater than average human life expectancy (79)

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

Brilliant!

ChrisH29
ChrisH29
29 days ago
Reply to  Laura

Strange, my source has the numbers reversed, Median age 81.4, coronavirus death 79.5. It was some time ago so I would be interested to know the timing and source of your stat.
Thanks.

IanE
IanE
29 days ago
Reply to  Laura

82.9 for women; 79.2 for men (who suffer much worse of course!)

Digger
Digger
29 days ago

Song suggestion: “Death Walks Behind You” by Atomic Rooster. Great site and information – much appreciated.

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
29 days ago

Interesting video by one of many “amateurs” looking at the stats, namely a certain Andrew Mather, businessman and mathematician.

He makes the point that the “virus” is now acting in a very “un-virus-like” way; inexplicable by any known microbiology; totally explicable if Governments are inventing/massaging figures in order to prolong the lockdown – to serve whatever agenda they (or their overlords) have planned for us.

https://youtu.be/imrLwM97i0k

How accurate this is I don’t know, being hopeless at maths and graphs, but maybe other maths/stats graduates or even a professional medical statistician could review Mather’s conclusions to see if they’re valid.

Mather has no doubt about what to do if his suspicions are correct. In his words, “it’s pitchfork time” and those responsible should spend the rest of their lives in jail.

Csaba
Csaba
29 days ago

Ferguson did what he did and it was wrong but the real mistake was done by others who listened him without challenging him. How a country could rely on a single adviser more than on others.

Tony Rattray
Tony Rattray
29 days ago

Our prime minister has twice now refused to use the ‘austerity’ word to sum up the next 5-10 years of government. So, could we make up our own suggestions for what he might call this period of his premiership and thereafter?
Based upon my own ‘scientific modelling’ (not subject to peer review or wider rational thought), it will in all probability involve the following:
• A prolonged recession (50% probability of a depression).
• Mass unemployment (100% probability).
• Significantly higher taxes for middle and high earners – there is a high probability in my modelling that this will initially be blocked (60%), but a 90% probability of materialisation.
• Government debt to gdp more akin to those previously recorded by italy and greece. There is a high probability (90%) that unlike the previous period known as ‘austerity’, the government will instead accept this manifestation as the ‘new norm’ of economic behavioural management. This will raise two key scientific questions – what was the point of the previous period of austerity?; what if we face another ‘critical event’ in the near future (the ‘oh dear’ scientific and moral conundrum).
• Although interest rates will be lower, a 100% probability that there will be an exponential growth in public debt interest payments (note for the scientific community, I have a graph with a very sharp red line to the sky for those that wish to view it). For the mass public (non-scientific and highly emotional) ‘our’ (remember its public debt, not the governments!) annual interest payments will be akin to the building of over 100 cancer treatment centres every year (in fact, as many as you want), or saving x10 the number of civilians that died during the ww2 blitz! Or in the words of a proposed metro newspaper headline for later this year – “hitler would turn on his grave”.
As I myself am also a fan of the classics, I have the following suggestion for naming the next 5-10 years:

nocere se, non a iocus (self harm ain’t a joke)!

Mark
Mark
29 days ago
Reply to  Tony Rattray

This can’t be true. I have it on high authority that the magic money tree will pay for everything and our economy will boom, with unlimited public spending and free jam for everyone. I mean we all know that governments can just make as much money as they want to just by typing on a keyboard, right? What could possibly go wrong?

Csaba
Csaba
29 days ago

Well, 100 billions have been spent on economic support. For me, it means £ 1500 per each of us. That’s a lot of money to pay back in the system. Who is gonna pay for it?

rossum
rossum
29 days ago

For the playlist: Killing Joke “I am the Virus” https://youtu.be/A4wdbibV3IM

The Spingler
The Spingler
29 days ago

More news from my partner’s 83 mother, who I have mentioned before when her and her fellow inmates at her assisted housing apartment block liberated their communal garden. She has been flicking the V’s at the lockdown again, walking all the way across town yesterday to go to the post office, when she could have bought a stamp from Sainsburys next door, and spent a couple of hours in a local launderette doing her washing. There is a communal launderette in her apartment complex but she resents being allocated a specific day and time when she can use it, so out into the wilderness she goes. The madness is that all the residents go out to Sainsburys and into town each day but are then forcibly kept apart when back in Colditz.

Locally to me it seems that the residents of this corner of South Wales have had enough of lockdown. More cars on the road, more people out and about. I did the high risk supermarket shop this morning – except it’s not risky at all is it?! so why do I have friends scared to go in a supermarket!! – and whilst in the pointless queue waiting to go inside I got chatting to the woman in front of me, who shook her head at an acquaintance that came past and said a muffled hello to her through his face mask, ‘I hope they don’t make us all wear masks’ she said, ‘we can’t avoid germs forever can we’. I agreed with her of course. Face mask wearers were still in the minority but definitely more around than last week, which is worrying. More worrying another member of the queue had wrapped a scarf round his face, he then proceeded to have a conversation on his mobile but of course his voice was so muffled he had to shout. Is this the future that beckons us – the return of Dom Jolly phone conversations on trains, and in the street?

coalencanth12
coalencanth12
29 days ago
Reply to  The Spingler

Glad to hear she is still up to her tricks, you can bet your bottom dollar these acts of disobedience and rebellion are going on all over the UK! I see the same round here.

Farinances
Farinances
29 days ago
Reply to  The Spingler

I too have happy news to report. I was in a large warehouse today servicing the pooters.

There were few people wesring masks. Loose ‘social distancing’ measures had been introduced, but the majority of people were actually ignoring them! – realising that they couldn’t properly communicate in a high pressure, noisy environment if they were two metres apart at all times. They already have to shout over machinery, so shouting over 2m isn’t really gonna happen.

Everyone was in high spirits, and not a shred of fear was shown. People were laughing and joking.

It cheered me up so much. 🙂

coalencanth12
coalencanth12
29 days ago

I was very interested to read the take-down of Ferguson’s code. This is worse than I thought possible. I would like to re-assure readers that not all academic code is this bad, in my own field there are many open packages which are subject to unit tests and cross-validation.

I would bet good money that this particular code would yield completely different results run on different chipsets or operating system builds. I’ve run into this problem in my field as certain software I use scientifically rely on generating a ‘random’ input. Usually you would expect reasonably good convergence between colleagues using say Windows vs Mac though, enough to average out any differences. Not the er, 80000 from Ferguson’s code.

JRG
JRG
29 days ago

Is there a lawyer in the house?

Question: Given that a worrying number of Covid-19 free people have died as a result of these draconian measures, a byproduct of which has been to scare people s***less so as to deter the reporting of life threatening medical conditions or the deferring of essential medical treatment, could the government be accused of gross negligence manslaughter?

Farinances
Farinances
29 days ago
Reply to  JRG

I imagine so. Maybe Simon Dolan will go a little into this in his lawsuit

IanE
IanE
28 days ago
Reply to  JRG

Not to mention the vast outbreak of suicides that will now inevitably hit the country as people lose businesses, jobs, livelihoods, houses … After the much less severe 2008/2009 economic crash the suicide rate doubled and we can now expect at least 10 thousand of excess suicides over normal years.

GLT
GLT
28 days ago
Reply to  JRG

If Simon Dolan’s action is successful and the government’s action is declared unlawful then I think we are likely to see all sorts of actions. For instance, there is an old concept where a wrongful act by a third party that interferes with performance of a contract may result in the parties to that contract having an action against that third party. It was the original basis for limiting trade union action before legislation was enacted. I think it’s an area that hasn’t been explored much since.
In the absence of a declaration that the government has acted unlawfully, then it would be down to proving that the government was negligent in its actions. This would be a very high hurdle, although the longer this goes on the more negligent it seems!

Nel
Nel
28 days ago
Reply to  GLT

Let’s hope whoever they present it to is unbiased

ianp
ianp
29 days ago

Having my eyes wide open on all of this has been so weird at work, hearing that sinister phrase ‘stay safe’ more than once. Not seen anyone send ‘#staysafe’ for a few days else they will get ‘#fuckoff’ back at them. The word is everywhere in corporate prat land like ‘when it’s safe to do so’, ‘if it’s safe’… safe safe safe safe!

It feels like I am on a conference call with a bunch of gibbering monkeys who are so far down the evolutionary scale that I pay even less attention to their fucking ‘quarter 3 targets’ than I usually do. They have a long way to go until the lightbulbs switch on. I did cure a couple of colleagues though – simple maths, logic and not a R number in sight.

I have a kind of admiration for what must be the most evil genius propaganda phrase of all time. ‘Stay at home. Stay safe. Protect the NHS’… Makes me sick writing it.

What if it had simply been ‘Stay at home. Protect the NHS’ …? Still all manner of fucking wrong but the sheep would soon have been asking why the hospitals are so bloody empty. We would not have this feardemic that needs to be exterminated asap. That’s the control that must be broken, then govts will start to feel the wrath.

People will see the facts in front of their eyes, it will happen eventually, it has to as you simply can’t keep counting deaths that didn’t bloody happen, I just hope it won’t be too late.

Sunchap
Sunchap
28 days ago
Reply to  ianp

Yes . You are totally right. Staying at home is not “staying safe”. As my new hero, epidemiologist Wittkowski has stated, sheltering at home with other people in a cramped space increases the transmission of a respiratory virus. Going outside is safer, these bugs do not like UV.

New York Governor Cuomo said today that he is “shocked” that 66% of recent admissions were from people sheltering at home. Is he joking!!!??

IanE
IanE
28 days ago
Reply to  Sunchap

No – he IS the joke!

wendyk
wendyk
28 days ago

From ‘Round The Horne’ : Lady Counterblaster’s prescient butler Spasm -‘Doomed! We be all doomed!’ Played by Kenneth Williams.

wendyk
wendyk
28 days ago

Yesterday afternoon a patronising text from the NHS landed in my phone: decidedly bossy and warning me not to order more than the medicines that were actually needed.

It assured me that supplies were plentiful but that ordering everything on the repeat list at once should not be done at once.

How much more of this nannying will we have to endure?

And up here Sturgeon is resuming her role as she who must be obeyed, while subtly distancing herself from Westminster.

Yesterday an old man swathed to the eyeballs in a grubby scarf glared at me as I stood aside to let him pass.

Lionel Shriver’s discussion with Brendan O’ Neill is a shining example of the good sense and rational judgement which appears to have deserted our risk averse society; although of course, we don’t seem to be averse to destroying the economy and people’s livelihoods.

Rant over for now.

Hoppy Uniatz
Hoppy Uniatz
28 days ago

To celebrate today (VE Day), there’s only one possible theme song for this site, “I’m Going to Get Lit Up When The Lights Go On In London” by Carroll Gibbons and the Savoy Hotel Orpheans.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs-EuENUfO0

Oaks79
Oaks79
28 days ago

Great new in depth interview with Dr Wolfgang Wodarg who was one of the first to come out against this.
https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/07/watch-corona-crisis-what-really-happened-and-how-to-learn-from-it/

Mark
Mark
28 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

Fascinating, thanks. A very good interviewer and a very interesting interview subject, though not someone whose views I would have been particularly interested in before this coronapanic forced me to pay attention to such matters.

It’s an interview of a German doctor and former politician (mainstream left as far as I can tell – the equivalent of a Labour Party MP and party admin type here), who used to run a public health authority, who seems to have a lot of relevant background but has apparently been discredited as a result of his views on this crisis.

As far as I can tell, his view is that this is basically just an uptick in seasonal pneumonia that has been mis-portrayed as a big new pandemic. I don’t take some of his specific conspiracy theories on the supposed origin of the panic particularly seriously, but I’m interested in his medical experience and technical points, as well as his obviously deep inside knowledge of the politics of healthcare.

It’s quite detailed and slow moving, but this guy is obviously an intelligent man with immense, directly relevant knowledge and experience. A particularly interesting point for me is at around 39 minutes, where he talks about herd immunity, he asserts that it’s normal for rhinoviruses to get up to 70-80% prevalence before achieving herd immunity levels, but influenza and coronaviruses always top out at much lower levels, around 20-30% for coronaviruses – which would explain the patterns for this virus we’ve seen. Unfortunately the discussion derails when he’s asked why it only needs 20% or so – I would have liked that point to have been pressed in more detail by the interviewer. I assume it’s because of existing partial and cross-immunities and perhaps variations in susceptibility for other reasons. And towards the end he gives some fascinating personal experience-based knowledge on high level corruption in healthcare politics.

For me, the story of his sudden personal destruction when he spoke up about this latest panic is very telling. I assume this is an issue that will have been quite widely followed in Germany, but I didn’t hear about it here. The Wikipedia summary says:

“Wodarg gained notoriety during public discussion of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in early 2020 when he argued that SARS-CoV-2 was only one of many similar viruses which usually go undetected as part of an ordinary seasonal period of respiratory infections, and that the worldwide activities to stop the pandemic were “hype” caused by the selective perception of researchers.[4]

His comments on the COVID 19 pandemic drew criticism from German scientists and some German media outlets. According to the critics, Wodarg’s claims largely contradicted the verifiable facts; some of his statements were neither verifiable nor falsifiable; and because the facts Wodarg presented had nothing to do with each other, his statements had proved to be misleading.”

And concerning his abrupt removal as a Transparency International Germany board member:

“Transparency International Germany, on whose board of directors Wodarg serves, distanced itself from his statements on 17 March 2020: “Transparency International Germany rejects the sweeping criticism of board member Dr Wolfgang Wodarg of the government measures to protect the population from the corona virus. (…) Wolfgang Wodarg is speaking on this matter as a private individual and not in his capacity as a member of the Management Board.”[10][20] On March 25, 2020, the board decided to suspend his membership in the association “until further notice”, which means that Wodarg can no longer exercise any functions on the board or as head of the health working group for the time being. The Board of Directors will commission an independent committee to look into Wodarg’s statements about the Corona virus and to determine whether his behaviour has harmed the interests of Transparency International Germany. Transparency Chairman Hartmut Bäumer said that the reason for this was that Wodarg had expressed his views on “radical media” such as KenFM, Rubikon, Geolitico, and in an interview with Eva Herman; all of “which regularly work with conspiracy theories, with anti-democratic and sometimes anti-Semitic prejudices” and “oppose the basic democratic principles of Transparency”; while “some of them are personally close to the AfD”.”

(I always like to see lefties getting hoist by their own demonisation petard, when their habit of delegitimising political enemies as beyond the democratic pale is used against them. But in this case, that’s obviously very minor next to the big issues at stake here.)

Tim Bidie
Tim Bidie
28 days ago

Professor Pantsdown has revealed this fandango as ‘Carry On Covid!’, alerting the public at large to the need for a long overdue inspection of the credibility of the major protagonists.

Had the government stuck to its guns, imagine what a position it would have been in: Margaret Thatcher after The Falklands……

The clues were there, and the experts that provided them. Consider this from 06 February

‘People are saying a 2.2 to 2.4% fatality rate total. However recent information is very worthy – if you look at the cases outside of China the mortality rate is <1%. [Only 2 fatalities outside of mainland China]. 2 potential reasons 1) either china’s healthcare isn’t as good – that’s probably not the case 2) What is probably right is that just as with SARS there’s probably much stricter guidelines in mainland China for a case to be considered positive. So the 20,000 cases in China is probably only the severe cases; the folks that actually went to the hospital and got tested. The Chinese healthcare system is very overwhelmed with all the tests going through. So my thinking is this is actually not as severe a disease as is being suggested. The fatality rate is probably only 0.8%-1%. There’s a vast underreporting of cases in China. Compared to Sars and Mers we are talking about a coronavirus that has a mortality rate of 8 to 10 times less deadly to Sars to Mers. So a correct comparison is not Sars or Mers but a severe cold. Basically this is a severe form of the cold.'

https://www.fwdeveryone.com/t/puzmZFQGRTiiquwLa6tT-g/conference-call-coronavirus-expert

Professor John Nicholls, Clinical Professor in Pathology at the University of Hong Kong

But, really, who is Professor John Nicholls?

'In 1997, following the first outbreak of H5N1 influenza in humans, he commenced collaboration with the Department of Microbiology to study the pathological effects of avian influenza viruses in the respiratory tract. In 2003 he was a key member of the research team at the University of Hong Kong which isolated and characterized the novel SARS coronavirus which was associated with the global outbreak of 2003.

His work on SARS and avian influenza has been published in prestigious journals such as Lancet, PLOS Medicine and Nature Medicine as listed in part of his selected biography. His current investigative work is looking at the viral binding sites in the respiratory tract and determining susceptibility to avian influenza in humans and other animals. Together with staff from the School of Public Health he has established a lung and bronchial ex vivo culture system to investigate tropism and pathogenesis of emerging viral infections, as well as potential novel antiviral agents such as DAS181 in these systems. In 2009 he was awarded a Croucher Senior Medical Fellowship to work on novel therapeutic strategies for influenza.'

http://www.patho.hku.hk/staff/list/nicholls.html

So Professor John Nicholls worked in China (Hong Kong) during the Covid 19 outbreak and specialised in emerging viral infections……….

Hong Kong deaths from Covid 19? That would be 4 exactly.

I note that even an article in The Guardian is calling for an immediate public enquiry.

BrianJR
BrianJR
28 days ago
Reply to  Tim Bidie

Don’t misunderstand me, I am a raging sceptic and furious at the UK government. But unless I misread the full article linked here from Prof Nicholls the last para would just play to those wishing to discredit him ? The last sentence being “So it should spread far less outside of Wuhan”

Given the clear and obvious need for anyone involved in the decision making that has lead to our catastrophic over-reaction in the UK, any evidence will need to be irrefutable.

Truth is I fear, that much as we all want to hold someone /many to account we have little or no chance of achieving it realistically.

BrianJR
BrianJR
28 days ago
Reply to  BrianJR

oops – should have written:
Given the clear and obvious need for anyone involved in the decision making that has lead to our catastrophic over-reaction in the UK to wriggle off the hook, any evidence will need to be irrefutable.

Tim Bidie
Tim Bidie
28 days ago
Reply to  BrianJR

As Professor Nicholls points out, so little was known at the time he gave his interview 3 months ago. Since then, it has become clear that the virus had already spread to France at least a month before he gave his interview. So the mitigation measures he mentions were already too late. He could not know, since the Cambridge University virus timeline work only itself started in February, that the virus could have switched to humans as early as mid September 2019.

All of this is, by now, academic but any enquiry must surely ask why the most experienced coronavirus experts within China, including Hong Kong, were not consulted in detail for their best advice, at the very least to better inform the modelling in Britain.

Paul
Paul
28 days ago

Surely the site theme tune should be “Isolation” by Joy Division?

Jacob Nielson
Jacob Nielson
28 days ago
Reply to  Paul

Or Toto? 🙂

DaveyP
DaveyP
28 days ago

Looking at the ONS figures that have been released this week the “Stay home, stay safe” mantra is not true at all.

Normal figures for death rates before COVID-19 for people at Home were around 2,500 a week and the same in Care Homes too. The figures from the ONS for the Weeks ending 3rd April, 10th April, 17th April and 24th April give a total of 17,386 death at Home from all causes of which 1,289 are COVID-19 deaths. This means that during this time there were 6,097 excess deaths at Home during this four week period, just under 5,000 more that COVID-19 deaths.

The overall excess non COVID-19 deaths in Care Homes is even worse. For the same 4 week period there was a total of 23,923 death from all causes of which 5,865 are COVID-19 deaths. This gives 8,058 excess deaths in Care Homes over the four week period, just over 2,000 more than COVID-19 deaths.

Therefore, during this period there has been around 14,000 excess non COVID-19 deaths at Home and in Care Homes which is around 7,000 more deaths than from COVID-19 in the same locations. As there would normally be around 5,000 death pre-COVID-19 per week at Home and in Care Homes, we are looking at the 14,000 deaths equating to 3 weeks of normal deaths.

So, “Stay home, Stay Safe” is complete and utter rubbish, as the figures for being locked down are showing that in fact it is more dangerous to be staying home. The lockdown isn’t working as it is causing a significant increase in excess non COVID-19 deaths which are significantly higher than COVID-19 deaths. These deaths are also being completely ignored by the Government and MSM as well, and at these levels surely this needs investigating as they are either due to the lockdown, and thus removing the lockdown would reduce these deaths, or there could possibly be another virus or illness causing these deaths that we are unaware of.

IanE
IanE
28 days ago
Reply to  DaveyP

Well spotted – and, now you mention it, not totally surprising – homes are not that safe and care homes run by panicked staff are almost inevitably less safe than in ‘normal’ times. It just amazes me that anyone can support this catastrophic lockdown – and that ignores the (to me at least) equally important loss of freedoms: ending the Lockdown is much like Brexit – the restoration of freedom and independence!

ianp
ianp
28 days ago
Reply to  DaveyP

Yes, this has to get out there, but my experience is that the brainwashed are utterly fucking thick as pigshit and will ignore it completely. It has to be distilled into the most shorteest, simple, official, cartoon like representation possible.

We are playing out a real life version of the film ‘Idiocracy’ folks, and we are simply Luke Wilson

wendyk
wendyk
28 days ago
Reply to  ianp

Judging by the look I got from the old boy swathed Lawrence of Arabia like in his grubby scarf yesterday, I’ll have to agree with you.

I tolerated this fairly well initially but now the numbers of people sporting utterly useless face coverings and stepping off the pavement is becoming increasingly tiresome.

‘Stay home, stay safe’ is going to qualify as an oxymoron shortly, if not now. Grrrrr!

DaveyP
DaveyP
28 days ago
Reply to  ianp

You are absolutely right, it needs to get out there. Unfortunately, the majority of people believe what’s on Facebook, Twitter, and the MSM, and are so blinkered by what is on there that they take it as gospel and never actually look at what’s behind the story.

ianp
ianp
28 days ago
Reply to  DaveyP

It’s just extraordinary. The BBC in particular has been the most culpable, absolutely no critical questions of the government whatsoever. A large proportion of the population has probably turned to them as ‘trusted source’ of ‘impartial’ information. Even the brain-dead realise that the papers have a political bias in all that they report.

The public lynching is coming soon.

Kuntsberg and her fucking ‘new normal’…

I note that the dirty rag The Sun are now turning and continuing the campaign against Ferguson. It must continue!

When the truth comes out and oh it will, the BBC are finished. Facebook and YouTube and the other MSM will get away with it.

At the end of the day, it’s the general public who should also hang their heads in shame. They have let this happen, through their selfishness and apathy

DaveyP
DaveyP
28 days ago
Reply to  ianp

Unfortunately, the truth wont come out for a long time as the MSM are getting record viewing figures and selling more papers/digital services than ever. So, even more people watching who can be brainwashed.

wendyk
wendyk
28 days ago
Reply to  ianp

Actually, The Sun has a very wide readership and excels at puncturing the pompous and pious pretensions of our so-called betters.

Nothing and no one is sacred.

Their punning headlines are irreverent,funny and memorable.

So,if The Sun really gets behind time to end the lockdown, I predict that the public mood will start to change from abject fear aand compliance to a more combative approach.
We can but hope and Brendan O’ Neill and Rod Liddle write regular pieces .

Bob
Bob
28 days ago
Reply to  ianp

I’m never going to look at the BBC content again after this (the Gell-Mann amnesia effect in action!)

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
28 days ago
Reply to  ianp

Perhaps we should be referring to “Brave New Normal” which might wake a few literary types up!

Barney McGrew
Barney McGrew
28 days ago
Reply to  DaveyP

I think that lockdown, like the iconic mask, is a gesture. In fact it is like a religious sacrifice or self-flagellation. It gives helpless people a feeling that they have done something; that the gods will be kind to them because they have suffered something. They don’t really care whether it ‘works’ as such.

DaveyP
DaveyP
28 days ago
Reply to  Barney McGrew

Too right, there is more than enough people at the moment with the “holier than thou” attitude.

wendyk
wendyk
28 days ago
Reply to  DaveyP

Haloes are being polished and masks donned.

Rick
Rick
28 days ago
Reply to  Barney McGrew

They’ve forgotten that the real world is not a movie or a novel, redemption does not come from suffering. No author is going to say “our characters have made themselves suffer hard enough, lets pul them out of this”. The only way out of problems is to confront them, to accept risk as a part of life.

BecJT
BecJT
28 days ago
Reply to  DaveyP

Have you emailed this to Toby, as not sure he sees all the comments, as I agree we really need to join all this up and get to the bottom of it. And the testing, WHO guidelines say they can test for any old coronavirus, plus death recording is really dodgy also. I’m trying to find out if there’s a CQC points system here, where points mean prizes ££££, there is in the states, I think everything bar a gunshot murder is going in the stats as covid as the hospital gets paid.

DaveyP
DaveyP
28 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

I was wondering too whether there is some benefit financially to the doctors for attributing the cause of death to COVID-19, such as being able to claim a certain level of expenses for COVID-19 diagnoses which is meant to be spent on PPE.

Matthew Reid
Matthew Reid
28 days ago
Reply to  DaveyP

I despair, I really do. I thought just maybe, the disappearance of Ferguson was somehow the start of the government realising he work was actually crap and the start, albeit slowly, of rolling back this lockdown. Alas, not a chance. We get promised an announcement on Sunday, hints of sanity being restored, yet this afternoon’s leaked government meetings suggest that actually, nothing will change.
I’m now frightened to death this will never end. I like to think I’m intelligent, so why is it so few people can see my point of view? I don’t claim to have all the answers, nor am I announcing my righteousness on my lockdown opinion but so many people cannot see the disaster that it is. It’s not hard to fact find, read between lines, look what likely future scenarios are yet we who doubt this lockdown are a massive minority, why? You shouldn’t need that much intelligence to see the devastation the lockdown has caused and will cause, it’s not hard to envisage and rationally predict a bad future due to bad pandemic mitigation strategies.
All I want is to go for a walk without worrying who’s coming the other way down the path. I want to not swerve around someone for no good reason, I want to play golf, not be scorned for not clapping the NHS, want my daughter to see her friends other than through a screen, sit on a bench and do nothing without some idiot staring at me like I was a potential murderer. I just wish, for no more than common sense and rationality, but I can’t have it. It is utterly unreal.

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
28 days ago
Reply to  Matthew Reid

If someone walks away from you, walk towards them. That’s what I’ve started doing 🙂

Matthew Reid
Matthew Reid
28 days ago
Reply to  DaveyP

I despair, I really do. I thought just maybe, the disappearance of Ferguson was somehow the start of the government realising he work was actually utter shit and the start, albeit slowly, of rolling back this fucking lockdown. Alas, not a chance. We get promised an announcement on Sunday, hints of sanity being restored, yet this afternoon’s leaked government meetings suggest that actually, fuck all will change.
I’m now frightened to death this will never end. I like to think I’m intelligent, so why is it so few people can see my point of view? I don’t claim to have all the answers, nor am I announcing my righteousness on my lockdown opinion but so many people cannot see the disaster that it is. It’s not hard to fact find, read between lines, look what likely future scenarios are yet we who doubt this lockdown are a massive minority, why? You shouldn’t need that much intelligence to see the devastation the lockdown has caused and will cause, it’s not hard to envisage and rationally predict a shit future due to shit pandemic mitigation strategies.
All I want is to go for a fucking walk without worrying who’s coming the other way down the path. I want to not swerve around someone for no good reason, I want to play golf, not be scorned by twats for not clapping the NH fucking S, want my daughter to see her friends other than through a screen, sit on a bench and do fuck all without some idiot staring at me like I was a potential murderer. I just wish, for no more than common sense and rationality, but I can’t have it. It is utterly unreal.

Mark
Mark
28 days ago

In future years, academics will study 2020 not for the relatively minor uptick in global disease deaths, but to analyse the way mass panic affected policymaking, so as to understand how the huge political, economic. cultural and strategic consequences came about.

scuzzaman
scuzzaman
28 days ago

“ICL’s computer model is a great illustration of the coders’ golden rule – “garbage in, garbage out”.”

It’s a lot worse than that.
(Isn’t it always?)

If the code consistently produced garbage outputs when given garbage inputs then that would indicate some degree of reliability in the code itself. It doesn’t guarantee it will produce useful outputs when given useful inputs but it raises the probability somewhat.

But the code in question produces useless garbage irrespective of the inputs. The implied conclusion is that the code itself is garbage – exactly in line with the review – but that conclusion is woefully understated as “garbage in, garbage out”.

wendyk
wendyk
28 days ago
Reply to  scuzzaman

It sounds like a mutating code -a sinister Coronacode : this is a silly suggestion but we have to try and find some humour in all this stupidity.

KH1485
KH1485
28 days ago
Reply to  wendyk

My own silly suggestion – a pity there is no-one like Kenny Everett, donning over-sized polystyrene hands and and imploring “Let’s all get back to work”

wendyk
wendyk
28 days ago
Reply to  KH1485

O yes! He was a favourite of mine

KH1485
KH1485
28 days ago
Reply to  wendyk

The trouble is, right now, that would be as radical an idea as his original proclaimation!

swedenborg
swedenborg
28 days ago

One of the most interesting information from Gov Cuomo’s press conference about New York Covid-19 epidemic yesterday. Although deaths, ICU admissions and general hospital admissions were declining he was shocked that 60 % of the new admissions were directly from home. Not a very good advertisement being locked down for weeks. Perhaps not so surprising. Closed environments (nursing homes, hospitals, prisons, homeless shelters etc) have high transmission rate and household in lockdown is by definition a very closed environment. You can be sure that in a lockdown household, especially in a poor, multifamily setting, a single asymptomatic would certainly have the best opportunity to transmit to the others. Lockdown sceptics can’t be surprised.

DaveyP
DaveyP
28 days ago

I just had an interesting chat with a family friend who Grandmother in her late 80’s has just died and it was diagnosed as COVID-19.

I asked her if she’d was allowed to go to the hospital to see her, but she said “Oh, she was never in hospital, she died at the Care Home.” She then told me that her Grandmother had been in the Care Home for 10 years as she had Dementia and could no longer recognise anyone. I asked if her Grandmother was tested for COVID-19, she said “No, but the doctor says she had it”. I asked her if she had any symptoms, she said “No, she just passed away in her sleep”

I’m really not getting the diagnosis here, a lady in her late 80’s with dementia who dies in her sleep, and with no COVID-19 symptoms yet a Doctor is allowed to class the cause of death as COVID-19. There will be no autopsy or inquest into the death so there is no way to disprove it.

There is really something wrong big time with this!

Steve Austin
Steve Austin
28 days ago
Reply to  DaveyP

See the link I posted above….

DaveyP
DaveyP
28 days ago
Reply to  Steve Austin

It would be interesting to actually find out how many death certificates include “presumed COVID-19” on them.

swedenborg
swedenborg
28 days ago
Reply to  DaveyP

As I understand it, the death certificates for Covid-19 has been simplified for just Covid-19. The new precautions we had in place after Shipman is not in place for Covid-19.So a new Shipman rampaging around would be difficult to spot.

DaveyP
DaveyP
28 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

Yes, I was reading that the procedures put in place to stop another Shipman have now gone.

For the people that have died, I wonder if wills are being examined to see if they have been changed over the last two months?

The Spingler
The Spingler
28 days ago
Reply to  DaveyP

It’s standard procedure for care home deaths. Doctors have to put a cause and in the absence of a definite (eg she rolled down the stairs in her wheel chair and broke her neck) they put the most probable. Last year my Mum passed away in her care home. No idea from what. She had dementia and a month earlier had what was suspected to be a stroke. No actual diagnosis because you don’t send people in her position to hospital but it was considered most likely due to her medication and age. To everyone’s surprise a couple of days later she woke up, bright as a button, back to ‘her’ normal. A month further on she started refusing food and water and eventually passed away. Again no hospital and no diagnosis, but her death cert said cause of death stroke. If they can’t put a cause they have to do a PM, so it doesn’t surprise me that Doctors are using CV19 for people whose cause of death is unknown.

swedenborg
swedenborg
28 days ago
Reply to  Steve Austin

The US and the UK leaders need the highest death rate as possible as fig leaves for a disastrous lockdown. Therefore the criminal, unethical and shameless falsification of deaths attributed to Covid-19 in both UK and US is in full swing.

Georgina Eilbeck
Georgina Eilbeck
28 days ago
Reply to  Steve Austin

It’s a great summary, thanks.

Steve Austin
Steve Austin
28 days ago
Mark
Mark
28 days ago

There’s a great interview on Off-Guardian with a German doctor and politician Wolfgang Wodarg linked in Oaks79’s post just below, and in it he mentions the way these viruses tend to see off older people. An important concept to bear in mind generally at the moment is the old description of pneumonia as “the old man’s friend”:

https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/ask-the-expert/cancer-faqs/a10366/why-is-pneumonia-called-the-old-mans-friend/

Tim
Tim
28 days ago

The site has been very slow, last night and this morning. Is there a problem?

wendyk
wendyk
28 days ago
Reply to  Tim

I’m finding the same sluggish response. Hope it hasn’t been hit by a DDoS

eastberks44
eastberks44
28 days ago
Reply to  wendyk

I think it’s just sheer weight of traffic. Make a donation so we can afford more bandwidth.

wendyk
wendyk
28 days ago
Reply to  eastberks44

I already have

wendyk
wendyk
28 days ago
Reply to  eastberks44

Yours is a good point since it might mean that more people are starting to question the limbo in which we’re stuck.

Perhaps the Prof’s debagging has done some good

ianp
ianp
28 days ago
Reply to  Tim

More and more people being unplugged from ‘The Matrix’ I would presume

Mimi
Mimi
28 days ago
Reply to  Tim

I suspect it’s people clicking on the link about Ferguson’s code, which has been widely reposted.

Mark
Mark
28 days ago

As I was engaged in yet another futile discussion with an acquaintance of broadly mainstream leftist leaning, I was struck again by the remarkable disinterest these people suddenly seem to have in the issues of government powers, civil liberty and state intrusion into people’s lives. These are people who usually have what I generally regard as a rather over-sensitive and almost paranoid obsession with defending against anything they perceive as encouraging big government in these areas (not of big government in terms of social spending, obviously, but certainly in terms of civil liberties). And especially so when, as with healthcare, there is any whiff of suspicion of big corporations being involved.

And yet here, in the midst of some of the grossest such intrusions we have ever seen [according to Lord Sumption: “the lockdown is without doubt the greatest interference with personal liberty in our history” – and that’s before we even start to consider the menacing long term implications of the threatened “new reality”], there’s a general air of disinterest, and a rather casual dismissal of it as just “necessary” to deal with the “emergency”. (Which frankly should in itself be ringing alarm bells for any student of history!)

We endlessly heard in the distant past (BC – Before Coronapanic) how the great danger is that fear will be used to justify power grabs of this kind. Many of the lefties I’m talking about were in the habit of darkly making exactly that point, fairly regularly, before the current panic arose. Then, silence.

We are living through a rather dramatic illustration of just how effectively fear makes people accept things that they would never normally accept, how it can fundamentally change popular perceptions of issues, almost overnight. Even for people who absolutely are forewarned, and who fully ”know” that giving in to fear in this way is disastrous.

A hard lesson in reality for us all, and a very expensive one.

wendyk
wendyk
28 days ago
Tim
Tim
28 days ago

The site has been playing up this morning. I hope it will accept my comment this time. Or rather … it’s a question.

Is it moral to borrow money from people who haven’t been born yet?

Tim
Tim
28 days ago
Reply to  Tim

Actually … that’s the wrong question. The question should be ….

Is it moral that we should borrow money and expect it to be paid back by people who haven’t been born yet.

BTW … who are these people that are lending us all this money?

Barney McGrew
Barney McGrew
28 days ago
Reply to  Tim

One of them’s called Gutenberg, I believe.

Disgruntled
Disgruntled
28 days ago

I see a few of the papers are this morning running with the supposedly leaked government timetable for ending lockdown, culminating in finally getting bars and restaurants open by September (like there will be any left in business by then), just in time for next winter flu season to throw us back into lockdown. Give me strength.

My only hope at this point is that the tide of scientific evidence that is currently turning will finally break in the coming weeks, such than neither the government nor the MSM can obfuscate the fact that lockdown measure are as unnecessary as they are ill conceived.

It seems to me abundantly clear that the only people who need any form of shielding are the over 85s who, according to the ONS figures, make up 40% of all Covid deaths. Add in the 75-84 age group and it’s 70%, while deaths under the age of 45 are running at 1% of total. Even then, if I were a fit and healthy 75 year old, I’d want to decide for myself whether I needed “protecting”.

DaveyP
DaveyP
28 days ago

This story has just broken on Sky Sport “No fans at Dutch games until there is a vaccine, says health minister”

It says supporters cannot attend football matches until there is a vaccine.

The Health Minister said: “We cannot yet mention a date for the last step, the mass gatherings. That is actually only possible if there is a vaccine and no one knows how long it will take. We hope of course soon, but a year or more is very real.”

So, it looks for definite that we will only be able to go back to normal once we have all had the vaccine, and no doubt have our app on our phones with our vaccine certificates on.

Josh
Josh
28 days ago
Reply to  DaveyP

Just noise making. Once the danger is negligible they will have to relent. Especially because it’s highly unlikely a vaccine will present itself.

ianp
ianp
28 days ago
Reply to  Josh

Or… When the realisation that bang on cue that the public have turned completely, then a vaccine will magically ‘appear’ and thus begin the propaganda cycle of forced apps and ‘immunisation’… Dear god I hope I am wrong

guy153
guy153
28 days ago
Reply to  ianp

I hope so too… Why not just inject everyone with a placebo to cure the coronaphobia and job’s a good ‘un?

Cheezilla
Cheezilla
28 days ago
Reply to  guy153

You do realise that placebos aren’t just composed of distilled water?

guy153
guy153
28 days ago
Reply to  Cheezilla

What? Don’t say that!

ianp
ianp
28 days ago
Reply to  DaveyP

This is horrifying. We must fight tooth and nail on this until the bitter end.

kvnmoore561
kvnmoore561
28 days ago

Hi,
FYI, I have sent a letter to Sir Graham Brady (1922 Committee chair) and his office responds very promptly. They’ve said that they are only responding to constituents currently, which is fair enough, but that they will pass my comments on to Sir Graham. I’m just sharing to encourage you that you will get a response if you do email them.
Kevin

IanE
IanE
28 days ago
Reply to  kvnmoore561

I don’t usually, even after contacting my local MP.

kvnmoore561
kvnmoore561
28 days ago
Reply to  IanE

I did get a reply from my MP too, but it wasn’t as prompt as the one from Sir Brady. We just need to put some pressure on even though most people still seem to be oblivious to what’s going on.

wendyk
wendyk
28 days ago
Reply to  IanE

Neither do I;she’s an SNP stalwart

Oaks79
Oaks79
28 days ago

Is it only ‘lockdown sceptics’ that are seeing the data here ? Seriously you would think this was killing 20 year olds that are fit and healthy within hours of being infected the way Piers ‘bed wetter’ Morgan is acting. He is literally driving fear into people.

Mark
Mark
28 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

It’s become a self-sustaining fear fantasy that needs no further input and is immune to reality.

Georgina Eilbeck
Georgina Eilbeck
28 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

Every single individual who has subscribed to the narrative has an enormous vested interest in maintaining it. The alternative is that they have to accept some degree of personal responsibility for the devastation that comes next. Much easier to say it is an ‘inevitable consequence’ of what ‘had to be done’

I have to admit that I feel increasingly responsible, given my belief that the narrative is severely flawed, for not speaking out further and louder.

Disgruntled
Disgruntled
28 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

I see that #keepthelockdown is trending on Twitter today. I honestly think some people have lost the plot.

Chicot
Chicot
28 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

Stories like this don’t help:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-52572794

Joe Public sees a story like this and thinks “Oh my God, even healthy 20 year-olds can die from this!”. They don’t bother to check the stats and come to realize that the threat to the healthy young is absolutely miniscule. There seems to be a complete inability among most of the public to actually assess levels of risk. The attitude seems to be that if something can happen once then you should panic about it regardless of the actual probability of the event.

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
28 days ago
Reply to  Chicot

Any and every pandemic and / or flu season takes out a few young people, some of whom were previously healthy (or at least, they weren’t obviously ill – there’s a difference).

Articles like this https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21030071/
are easily available from PubMed. These should be collated and used as ammunition against the fear mongering (“OMG!! OMG!! A YOUNG person has died from a viral pandemic! This has NEVER happened before in the whole history of medicine! We’re all going to DIE! OMG!! OMG!! OMG!!” You get the picture.)

guy153
guy153
28 days ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

I think flu can be quite dangerous for young children, as opposed to this which doesn’t affect them at all. I think I read somewhere that’s true of all coronaviruses not just this one.

I hate to think what the media bleatfest would be like if this one was influenza and was affecting children.

wendyk
wendyk
28 days ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

And there are no similar eruptions when young people sadly die of meningitis.
Outbreaks occur fairly regularly at universities and colleges; I saw it happen when studying at Surrey University some years ago.

Jane
Jane
28 days ago
Reply to  Chicot

The article says that the girl had a kidney infection and initially tested negative for covid. I’m sure what she went through was traumatic, but if nobody had ever heard of covid then she would have been ill with a kidney infection.

GLT
GLT
28 days ago

FYI

Update on Join the Legal Challenge to the UK Govt Lockdown

We have today accused Boris Johnson of “dragging his heels over the burning embers of the economy” after the Government said it needed more time to respond to his legal challenge to lockdown.
Our lawyers sent a Letter Before Action the Government on Thursday April 30, setting a deadline of May 7 for them to respond.
The legal challenge calls on the Government to urgently action the allowing of gatherings of up to 100 people, the reopening of schools, and to commit to a review the lockdown restrictions every two weeks
However, government lawyers have now written to our legal team requesting a further week to issue their response.
The initial deadline was also the time PM Boris Johnson was due to announce a review of lockdown. That announcement has also been pushed back – reportedly until Sunday evening.
“The Government is playing for time in asking for more time to respond to the Letter Before Action. Time is something ministers really do not have the luxury of – every day is estimated to cost the economy £2.5billion.

wendyk
wendyk
28 days ago
Reply to  GLT

Just received my copy; grim. Lockdown extended up here by FM Sturgeon, who has said that ‘ she won’t be pressurised into lifting measures’.

Farinances
Farinances
28 days ago
Reply to  wendyk

“I won’t bow to sanity!!” Lol

Annabel Andrew
Annabel Andrew
28 days ago

Have just seen on the DT ( which is more sensationalist every day) that the lock down is going to be formally another 3 weeks- have I read that wrongly?

wendyk
wendyk
28 days ago
Reply to  Annabel Andrew

FM Sturgeon has extended house arrests up here for another 3 weeks, but, she might consider letting us out more than once a day.
Whether we’ll have to convince her that our elf and safety won’t be at risk remains to be seen.
This is like being in detention after school.

Jane
Jane
28 days ago
Reply to  wendyk

Some well-known Scottish independence bloggers have gone into full stay home to save lives mode and conclude with a leap of logic that since Boris Johnson did not follow Neil Ferguson’s advice soon enough, Scotland should become independent. Gordie Broon has been dusted off to tell us that we should come out of lockdown when London says so. The Scots aren’t having that. We’ll stay in our houses till Nicola tells us to come out and let that Boris try and stop us! It’s depressing.

wendyk
wendyk
28 days ago
Reply to  Jane

You’d think that the Nats, could, just for once, see the sense in having a unified policy for the entire UK.
Some hope.
And how on earth would they manage the stupendous costs of this lockdown if they achieved independence?
EU hand outs? Don’t think so.

Mark
Mark
28 days ago
Reply to  Jane

Scotland the Brave!

wendyk
wendyk
28 days ago
Reply to  Mark

If Boris does relax the house arrest criteria and allows more folk out on licence, how will Nicola respond?
After all, she’s never lost an opportunity to have a go at Westminster and she might find that her followers start to get restive.

guy153
guy153
28 days ago
Reply to  wendyk

She has an obligation to do the opposite of Westminster so this might be good news in disguise for England at least.

Starmer is saying we need to do TTT which is kind of obvious really if you’re in opposition. The facts that it’s hopelessly impractical and too late aren’t problems if you’re in opposition because you only have to talk about it not do it.

guy153
guy153
28 days ago
Reply to  wendyk

She has an obligation to do the opposite of Westminster so this might be good news in disguise for England at least.

Starmer is saying we need to do TTT which is kind of obvious really if you’re in opposition. The facts that it’s hopelessly impractical and too late aren’t problems if you’re in opposition because you only have to talk about it not do it.

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
28 days ago

New video of Knut Wittkowski being interviewed by Dr Daniel Erickson:

https://youtu.be/Ftaq1lp5jOk

Apologies if someone else has already flagged this up.

Mark
Mark
28 days ago

In these dark times, we must cling tight to every snippet of good news:

https://www.standard.co.uk/go/london/attractions/notting-hill-carnival-2020-cancelled-a4420841.html

Mark
Mark
28 days ago
Reply to  Mark
IanE
IanE
28 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Yes – a smile came to my face when I saw that!

Annabel Andrew
Annabel Andrew
28 days ago

Have sent copies of the ‘evidence not fear’letter to both my MPs – my business MP is Rishi- hoping that he wants this fiasco to end as much as anyone!

Oaks79
Oaks79
28 days ago

So that Mason Mills posted this:
Barring a second wave, the lockdown will be fully lifted by mid July.

Focus on saving lives and the NHS, let government worry about the Economy and the future of the country.

If you don’t believe they are fighting for you and your livelihoods, you are wrong.

Have faith.
https://twitter.com/MrMasonMills/status/1258390767816540168?s=19

Oaks79
Oaks79
28 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

Reason I’m sharing his tweet is because during the whole Brexit will we/won’t we before the election he was pretty much spot on with his tweets like he attends meetings etc, some actually think he is Cummings

BecJT
BecJT
28 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

I don’t like the cut of his jib!

swedenborg
swedenborg
28 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

I think you are right.Looking at his tweets looks very suspicious.Intresting to know that Boris Johnson’s two most eminent public health advisors were Neil Ferguson and Dominic Cummings

Dylan Jones
28 days ago

“Nor do I believe in any of the conspiracy theories linking these public health panjandrums to Bill Gates and Big Pharma and some diabolical plan to vaccinate 7.8 billion people.”

For us to take that sentence seriously there would have to be no linkage between “these public health panjandrums” and “Bill Gates” and “Big Pharma” and “plan to vaccinate 7.8 billion people.”

No one can seriously deny such linkage so all that is left to deny is that it is “diabolical.”

Therefore I think you were joking there.

The philanthrocapitalistic pharmaceutical network is currently blackmailing the world to accept mass vaccination or remain under lockdown in one form or another indefinitely. Honestly, now, what is not diabolical in THAT sentence?

Steve Austin
Steve Austin
28 days ago
Reply to  Dylan Jones

https://www.bitchute.com/video/IB3ijQuLkkUr/

Plandemic – watch it quick, before they remove it again.

eastberks44
eastberks44
28 days ago

Does Sweden have any equivalent of the weekly total death statistics we get from the ONS? If so could someone post a link or better still a translation?

Cbird
Cbird
28 days ago

This from our local council re the coming weekend:

“Please remember to follow the government’s guidelines over this bank holiday weekend and only travel for one of the three essential tasks – to work, to get food or for medical treatment.”

Wrong! I for one will be making a point of going or where I like, when I like and for whatever reason I like

Cbird
Cbird
28 days ago
Reply to  Cbird

Sorry, should add: as often as I like

stevencress43
stevencress43
28 days ago
Reply to  Cbird

I couldn’t agree more and I believe that there are a lot of people that feel exactly how we are feeling, but what do we do about it to make the rest of the country wake up to what is going on ? During the run up to the last election the anti Brexiteers staged a rally in London that received global recognition, how do we try and achieve something similar on behalf of lockdown sceptics ?

Cbird
Cbird