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Could This be Boris’s Poll Tax Moment?

Good comment from Scotty below yesterday’s update. I wonder if he’s right?

I feel slightly more optimistic about the mandatory muzzle edict after having a day to digest the news. Something is telling me that as this ramshackle shitshow of a Government lurches from one idiosyncratic, trigger-happy ruling to the next, a great fire of utter resentment for them will start to burn across our land.

From bizarre quarantine orders to the locking down of Leicester, to the continued assault on the high street and small businesses by this dehumanising, rotten command to suffocate on our own exhalations as we traipse around these places. Add to that the inevitable nastiness that is already present on the likes of Twitter, but will invariably spill out into wider society as we enter a new shaming culture perpetrated by hysterical muzzealots.

Your average punter will become very pissed off with it all, very quickly I’ll bet.

I feel this will gradually precipitate a trickle of scepticism towards these oppressive measures within the general public, and the flock will start to slowly thin. People previously cowed into silence may soon find their voices. Organised “boots on the ground” protests and crowd-funding appeals for legal challenges may suddenly see their numbers and coffers swelled respectively. Those suffering from mental health and anxiety issues may find solace within boards like these, growing our community. Growing our influence.

Boris et al are continually poking the bear, stress-testing the nation to see just what else they can take from us, or force us to do in order to serve their warped New Abnormal agenda. With each new diktat, with every further assault on our civil liberties, they are collectively sticking their heads into the mouth of a crocodile.

It’s only a matter of time before we hear a satisfying “snap.”

Tesco, JD Sports and Lidl have all announced they won’t enforce the new edict. The police have basically said the same. Beginning to look like Boris has over-reached…

One reader emailed me a well-crafted expression of rage: “Do you know how to tell if a politician is lying? Answer: their lips move when they speak. That’s probably why they love masks so much.”

And if masks-in-shops doesn’t push people over the edge, this surely will:

Bonfire of Conservative Party Membership Cards

Take that, Boris

Poppy in the comments has announced that the face nappy edict has prompted her to rip up her Conservative Party membership card – and she’s not the only one, according to the Independent. I know how she feels.

I finally cancelled my Conservative party membership, along with a strongly-worded email to CCHQ. Feel sorry for the poor sod who will have to read it who likely doesn’t care but I sincerely hope that CCHQ is getting quite a few of these emails and it will create an overall mood that the party is starting to haemorrhage its support. That’s the one place we can really hurt them – at the ballot box.

It was the mandatory masks which was the final straw. I tried to hold on as long as possible because I know I’m an asset to the party (early twenties, female) but every time I opened my wallet and saw my membership card, I actually felt a sense of shame that I was supporting a government that has perpetuated such a monstrous fraud on the British people and who are Conservative in name only (CINO). They are a government which no longer align with my principles, what with enormous public spending and some of the most draconian laws ever enacted in peacetime. Enough is enough.

For some readers, it’s not just membership cards that will be torn up as a result of this policy.

The latest news regarding face masks is as you imply, arguably impossible to accept. Face nappies for all. I am now planning to sell up and move to Alderney in the coming months because I cannot believe what has happened to the spirit of this once great nation. Even quite recently we were characterised by “Keep calm and carry on”. All we stand for now is abject fear, pathetic bed-wetting anxiety and a supine willingness to accept loss after loss of personal liberty. Even as the virus disappears!

I am now ashamed of my British passport. I would swap it for a Swedish version in a heartbeat.

UK Government Guide to Arts and Crafts

There’s some helpful advice on the UK Government website about how to make a face mask. No, I’m not making this up.

Looking forward to the follow-up: How to make a tinfoil hat.

Burkhas Optional, Face Masks Mandatory

A reader has sent me a brilliant piece of satire: it’s a slight adjustment to Boris’s famous Telegraph article from two years ago on why he didn’t think the Burkha should be banned. It’s exactly the sort of piece he would have written about face muzzles if he was still a humble Telegraph columnist and not Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Here’s a taster:

If you tell me that masks are oppressive, then I am with you. If you say that they are weird and bullying to expect folk to cover their faces, then I totally agree.

So I was a bit surprised to see that on 24th July the UK Government joined no other European countries (except for Scotalnd) – in imposing a ban on not wearing masks in shops, on public transport and maybe in Offices too – those items of headgear that obscure the face. Already a fine of £100 has been made law. Arguments have broken out over mask wearing. Opinion is divided and there will be demonstrations, on both sides of the argument. What has happened, you may ask, to the UK spirit of live and let live?

If you tell me that the Mask is oppressive, then I am with you. If you say that it is weird and bullying to expect human beings to cover their faces, then I totally agree – and I would add that I can find no scriptural authority for the practice. I would go further and say that it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like they have nappies glued to their faces; and I thoroughly dislike any attempt by any government to encourage such demonstrations of “virtue” and “fear”.

I am against a law requiring the mask to be worn because it is inevitably construed – rightly or wrongly – as being intended to make some point about fear.

I’ve given it a permanent slot on the right-hand side in the section entitled: “Masks: How Effective Are They?”

Worth reading in full.

Responses to Mad Woman on the Train

Dame Edith Evans as Lady Bracknell

Yesterday, I announced a competition. It was in response to this email from a reader:

I’ve just received a stern telling off for not wearing a mask on the tube by a crazy masked lady with a posh voice telling me she’s lost six (I tell you six!) family members to the “virus”. I must admit I was left a bit lost for words but obviously still mask free. What should my response have been?!

The best suggestions I’ve received are:

“Would you like to join them?”

“I’m so sorry for your losses – let me give you a hug”

“Come any closer, and you’ll have lost seven!”

“Lucky them!”

“Did they die of Covid or with Covid?”

“To lose one family member to Covid may be considered unfortunate. To lose six smacks of carelessness.”

“It’s called natural selection. Deal with it.”

“Are you sure they’re not just hiding from you?”

“And the crazy coincidences don’t stop there. I’m with the Guinness Book of World Records. How can we contact you?”

“Good Lord, what’s the name of the family doctor? Shipman?”

“Don’t worry; they’re not really lost, you just don’t recognise them behind their masks.”

And the winner is:

“I am so sorry to hear that you have lost so many family members to this virus, you have been incredibly unlucky. I am a person in the vulnerable category, however, with COPD, who has just come out of a 12 week quarantine and very unlikely to have a virus to pass on. Moreover, the Government has said that people like myself are exempt from wearing masks and, as they restrict breathing and reduce the oxygen to the lungs, it would certainly not be a good idea for me to be wearing one. In any case, I have had enough of solitary confinement and want to get a life. So I choose to take the risk!”

Well done to Martin Martinez.

A Dentist’s Stepfather Writes

Is it safe… to go to the dentist?

Interesting email from a reader about the horrendous conditions dentists are being forced to work in:

My stepdaughter is a dental nurse. In March their surgery was closed but she stayed on during lockdown to cancel all appointments and field phone calls, although the most help she could offer was to refer patients to a “Dental Hub” who could do nothing useful except extract a molar or hand out antibiotics.

A couple of weeks ago they opened with all the ridiculous requirements including wearing medical quality masks. They had training to use these which included a testing helmet that looked as if they were headed for another planet (but aren’t we all)!

Last week she had a nasty bout of bacterial tonsillitis (probably bacterial because it responded immediately to antibiotics) and was in bed for one day and off for three (for which she gets no pay – with three kids to support).

My guess, but a logical guess, is that the well fitted mask caused this bacteria to fester and make her ill. Who knows what other ill effects these things can induce. It certainly didn’t “protect” her in any way.

Postcard From Leicester

A reader from inside the plague-ridden city of Leicester has got in touch.

Greetings from Leper City – the new European pariah. Much rumour and nonsense with the police here being very sensible for the most part and not doing anything particularly intrusive. I have yet to see any checks – just a few random signs noting that it is essential travel only. I have moved daily from the city to the county without any problems.

But the lockdown has clobbered local businesses – many bought stock etc ready to re-open, many were teetering on the edge and have now fallen flat. And all because of a rise in positive tests from the city. The BMJ had an interesting piece arguing against local lockdowns.

Most in the city think the lockdown was a political gesture to show a strong decisive Government taking action. It was based on rising numbers of positive tests results (not on hospitalisations or deaths – there has been no increase in either). The reason for the rise in positive test results? Simple – lots more tests were done in the city. There is no spike – we are simply finding people with the virus who are otherwise fit and well.

More on the Academy of Medical Sciences Report

A reader has been taking a closer look at report published on Tuesday showing 119,000 people will die from COVID-19 in hospitals this winter unless we… blah, blah, blah:

Have you noticed in the AMS Report of July 14th that on p.36 it specifically recommends the provision of “alternative accommodation” (among other facilities), which it makes clear would be ideally targeted at “socio-economically disadvantaged communities, including some BAME communities who are more likely to live in multi-generational households”.

How would that work? Where does the alternative accommodation come from? What would it be? Some nice empty flats? Or maybe a disused army camp? How do you get people to move out of their homes? The implication is that multi-generation households will be split up if the AMS experts (listed on four pages!) have their way.

In the next few lines comes the recommendation that ‘supporting people to enable them to comply with Covid-19 advice and guidance’ be laid on. “Supporting” and “comply” – if ever a pair of words had an ominous tone it was them.

On the face of it the passage has a reasonable and pragmatic tone to it. But as I read them I felt a chill down my spine. Is it possible, just possible, that here we have the first traces of how a sector of our population might be selected for relocation to ‘alternative accommodation’ in the interests of the welfare of the state? Is it just me or does that have echoes of trucks at night, boots on cobblestones and knocks on the door? Would it, like face masks, be “obligatory”?

I’m not suggesting for one moment our liberal-minded government of luminaries and visionaries would ever dream of such a thing, but I really do wonder why some of our scientists don’t have the wit to listen to themselves sometimes. The path to totalitarianism isn’t one that falls over a precipice but is instead a gentle and easy slide downhill conducted obliviously by people who have convinced themselves they are the embodiment of moral rectitude.

Incidentally, the Report uses the word “surveillance” SEVENTY times.

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” George Orwell, 1984

Or even better

“Sanity is not statistical.” (Also Orwell)

Better Safe Than Sorry

Amusing email from Trevor Parker, a reader in Welwyn Garden City:

Don’t forget to put your mask on though if you’re heading to the shops!

I’m taking no chances though. I’m also carrying an umbrella.

And wearing a snorkel and lifejacket (I can’t swim and we haven’t had a flood here in Welwyn Garden City since….well, ever….but you can’t be too safe, now can you?)

Also I have (in the name of safety) erected a mosquito net around my bed.

And I am carrying a maritime grade fog horn around the supermarket with me from next Friday onwards, which I will be sounding at 20 second intervals, just in case there are any ships nearby and it might possibly be foggy, here, 50 odd miles from the sea. But better to be safe than sorry, eh?

And I’m going to make sure from next Friday that my car will have it’s snow chains on. It’ll protect me from losing control in the snow and ice, and it’ll protect others from me by stopping me sliding into them.

And these are all in the name of safety of course, and I expect I will just have to carry on doing them until a vaccine is found for SARS-CoV-2, which at the soonest will probably be mid-winter some time (of course, many months after there have been any cases reported).

NHS England Reports Zero Deaths From Covid for July 13th – 14th

On Monday I predicted that the day would come this week when NHS England reported zero deaths from COVID-19 and that day has arrived. The data released yesterday for new deaths by NHS England is showing a total of 22, with the oldest death being reported from Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust on April 27th. There are zero deaths reported for the last 24 hours (or at least, specifically, for the period 4pm 13 July 2020 – 4pm 14 July 2020).

But don’t forget to mask-up.

A Paramedic Writes

Depressing email from a paramedic. I’ve verified his identity.

I work for an out-of-hours service in the south of the UK. We receive cases from 111 and then ring patients to discuss their problems and then either give advice over the phone, send them to a clinic to be seen in person or, if elderly or infirm, send a car to see them at home. One of the services we provide is recognising death, allowing bodies to be taken away to funeral homes before the GP fills in the death certificate.

I cannot give exact details to maintain the family’s privacy but I was recently called to a lady who had died of cancer at seventy-two. Her husband seemed particularly unsettled so after I had seen her and filled out the paperwork we sat down across from one another at the dining-room table. I took off my mask so we could speak freely and asked him what was nagging at him.

The husband said he wanted his wife’s death to be recorded as from cancer and not Covid as his wife had been due to receive immunotherapy when the lockdown began but she had been told, flat, that her treatment was to be postponed indefinitely. A senior medic personally rang her and told her that he had been instructed not to continue treatment of his patients and that nothing could be done, even the oncology unit waiting-room had been turned into a makeshift Covid ward: there would be phone calls every six weeks or so to see how she was. In the second of these phone calls two months later she was told that immunotherapy was available up in London “but that is was probably too late”. She was dead within weeks.

I’ve had to sit at a lot of families’ dining-room tables over the years to give bad news, previously on ambulances in London and now in a civilian car, at all times of day and night. Some have remained with me and others not but never before have I had to try and explain how an entire system has failed. Everyone understands that eventually the human being degrades and dies, that terrible accidents can happen, that there are too few ambulances for everyone but this is the first time that I’ve had a patient’s relative question the entire system.

My having to sit across from a man who simply cannot understand how in a just society treatment can just be turned off by fiat from some manager in an office somewhere isn’t the most terrible thing that has happened in the past few months. However, for the rest of this man’s life he will wonder how entire wards filled with staff, equipment and medication can just be binned at only the prospect of deaths rather than with hard evidence, that known illnesses can be superseded by the potential of others, based solely on modelling.

Dick Delingpole’s Shop

Listeners to London Calling, my weekly podcast with James Delingpole, will have heard us talking about the merch store set up by James’s brother Dick. It sells an array of sceptical products, including the above mug. You can access the shop here.

While you wait for you cup to arrive you can sign this petition.

Don’t Want to Wear a Mask? Problem solved

These handy lanyards are available from Amazon for the very reasonable price of £4.95. Purchase here.

Round-Up

And on to the round-up of all the stories I’ve noticed, or which have been been brought to my attention, in the last 24 hours:

Theme Tune Suggestions By Readers

Just one today: “Faith No More – Everything’s Ruined” by RHINO.

Small Businesses That Have Re-Opened

A few weeks ago, Lockdown Sceptics launched a searchable directory of open businesses across the UK. The idea is to celebrate those retail and hospitality businesses that have re-opened, as well as help people find out what has opened in their area. But we need your help to build it, so we’ve created a form you can fill out to tell us about those businesses that have opened near you. Now that non-essential shops have re-opened – or most of them, anyway – we’re now focusing on pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants, as well as other social venues. As of July 4th, many of them have re-opened too, but not all. Please visit the page and let us know about those brave folk who are doing their bit to get our country back on its feet – particularly if they’re not insisting on face masks! Don’t worry if your entries don’t show up immediately – we need to approve them once you’ve entered the data.

Remember, there are some business that are still not allowed to re-open. Got this depressing email from a reader:

I have a family run nightclub that’s been closed now for nearly four months with no income coming in the overheads and insurance on the building and other costs that I can’t cancel are mounting up.

We must be one of the only sectors that are still ordered to remain closed but with no extra financial support. I would appreciate it if you could do a section for businesses that still remain closed to highlight my plight.

Now I read face masks could stay until next summer which is a nightmare for my business and is absolutely ridiculous. I despair.

Note to the Good Folks Below the Line

I enjoy reading all your comments and I’m glad I’ve created a “safe space” for lockdown sceptics to share their frustrations and keep each other’s spirits up. But please don’t copy and paste whole articles from papers that are behind paywalls in the comments. I work for some of those papers and if they don’t charge for premium content they won’t survive.

I know it becomes difficult to navigate the comment threads after 24 hours. One alternative to continuing to post below my updates is to move to the forum on Lockdown Truth. The creator of that site has extended a warm welcome to everyone here (and he’s launching a crowdfunder to mount a legal challenge against the face mask edict which you can read about here).

Shameless Begging Bit

Thanks as always to those of you who made a donation in the last 48 hours to pay for the upkeep of this site. It usually takes me several hours to do these updates, which doesn’t leave much time for other work. If you feel like donating, however small the amount, please click here. And if you want to flag up any stories or links I should include in future updates, email me here. I’ll try and get another update done soon.

And Finally…

If you want a laugh, this YouTube video is very funny. Definitely worth clicking on.