COVID-19 | A VERY BRITISH TYRANNY

The principal reason I write about anything at all is to help shape my understanding of topics of interest to me. If in so doing your own understanding of the topic in question is also shaped in some way – possibly not in the same direction as mine – then that’s a good thing. The issue of the COVID-19 pandemic and, moreover, governments’ responses to the public health threat have pretty much trumped everything this year – apart, perhaps, from Trump himself; but that’s another vexatious topic. For months I’ve been grappling in my head with COVID-19 and especially how politicians of the developed world have responded. By reading this post, you’re invited to join me in shaping your own thoughts about how the UK Government and the devolved governments of the Kingdom have handled the arrival in our midst of a killer virus.

A LONG READ

The Dilemma

Scotland’s continued membership of the United Kingdom (UK) was a binary contemplation in the referendum of 2014: either you were in favour of Scotland’s secession from the Union, or against it. Similarly, the UK’s continued membership of the European Union was a binary decision in the referendum of 2016: either you were in favour of recovering the UK’s sovereignty, or against it. Those two referendums cleaved the nation.

The advent of COVID-19 into our lives and, moreover, how we respond as a society to the threat posed by the novel coronavirus has also created a national dilemma. The British people are cleaved once again. In essence, either you believe that the whole of our society should now be organised virtually to no other end than preventing anybody from dying with COVID-19 scribed on their Death Certificate, or you believe that there’s a cost-benefit analysis at play here: the costs of preventing but one death from COVID-19 should be weighed against the benefits of protecting us all from contracting the virus, taking into account myriad economic and social factors. Depending on which camp you’re in, it’s difficult to persuade your opposite number to change his or her mind.

Who’s Right?

Like you, no doubt, I have friends – indeed you could be one of them reading this now – who are quite convinced that everything we’re doing at the moment is, by and large, the right thing to do. In other words, it’s right to place COVID-19 above all other health, economic and social priorities; it’s right to lockdown society and impose on people the most extraordinary – some would say cruel and oppressive – personal and collective strictures; it’s right to govern society on the Machiavellian basis that the end, that is nobody must die of/with COVID-19, justifies the means, that is cruel and oppressive strictures to control behaviours – otherwise known as tyranny; a very British tyranny, of course.

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

C S Lewis

I can hear now the howls of outrage emanating from my friends in the Lockdown Camp. They’ll be screaming that COVID-19 represents an existential threat; that if we lifted the largely blanket personal and collective constraints on society now being imposed by the Government (without any meaningful democratic challenge, by the way) then there’d be coronavirus carnage; they’ll be shouting that we have no choice, there is no other way than to organise society around the Hippocratic philosophy of ‘first, do no harm’. Indeed, those who govern us with almost unfettered powers these days, bellow daily from the rooftops that almost nothing else matters other than COVID-19 deaths, data and statistics.

Should We Keep Going Like This?

The question is, after almost a year of having COVID-19 in our midst, are our political masters getting it right? Are they right to persist with the single-minded, blunderbuss approach of bludgeoning society with lockdowns, or is there some other strategy that should be pursued?

I’m an ex-military man; a military attitude never really leaves your bloodstream. If someone starts screaming, ‘Incoming!’, one’s first reaction is to take cover, pronto, no questions asked. When COVID-19 struck in early 2020, it was right for the Government to scream, ‘Incoming! Take cover!’. We had no idea what was incoming, how lethal it was, nor how best to counteract COVID-19. A blanket lockdown was the right thing to do, no questions asked. I go along with that. However, what are the implications of using lockdown as the primary, if not the only response to COVID-19, knowing what we know today?

COVID-19 and Scotland’s Public Health

Fast-forward to the approaching festive season. Today, we have a pretty good understanding of the lethality of COVID-19. Yes, COVID-19 is a nasty, killer disease; but can you name any killer disease which isn’t nasty? Notwithstanding, we’re now conditioned to believe that no other cause of death matters more than COVID-19. Hence, the National Health Service is now the Covid Health Service.

According to The Scottish Public Health Observatory, public health statistics for other non-Covid diseases and illnesses make for grim reading, to wit: declines in admissions to hospital, both as emergencies and planned, across age groups and deprivation groups; a marked decline in the number of people attending Accident & Emergency Departments; marked drops in out-of-hours consultations with GPs, which remained around a third lower than in previous years by August; lower than expected numbers of interventions for ischaemic heart disease at national referral centres in Edinburgh and in Clydebank; a fall in the coverage of Health Visitor child health reviews offered to pre-school children; a fall in the proportion of children identified as having developmental delay during child health reviews – this has resulted in around 800 fewer children than expected being identified as having a developmental delay at 27-30 months; a fall in contacts for mental health problems during the period of lockdown as well as a fall in rates of prescribing for mental health problems.

In Scotland, by September, a total of 1,500 more people than usual had died from heart disease, strokes and other causes such as overdoses and suicide generally. According to Public Health Scotland, by September, fewer than 30,000 patients were seen within 18 weeks, down from about 73,000 a year ago. In other words, our politicians’ response to COVID-19 has fomented a public health shambles.

Look At The Facts For Yourself

I had a look at the National Records of Scotland COVID-19 Dashboard for Week 46, the current data at the time of writing this post. It showed that 91% of my fellow Scots’ citizens who’ve died of/with COVID-19 (that’s 5,135 people) were above the working-age population, ie above 65 years of age. Most of those deaths – 83% of them – were people aged 75 years and over. The average age of death in Scotland is 79 years, by the way. Thus far this year, 3,885 people over 75 years old have died of/with COVID-19.

So, mostly elderly people (75-plus years-old) in Scotland who, statistically, might not reasonably expect to live much beyond 80 years of age have died of/with COVID-19 this year. The ineluctable tenor of the political message is that this is an utter disaster for the nation. Consequently, our politicians have opted to shut down society, trash the economy into the worst condition for 300 years, withdraw countless civil liberties and screw us all over for a generation and more – presumably to demonstrate to voters their caring attitude to the electorate. It’s an odd state of affairs; a strange approach to life’s priorities.

The highest proportion of all COVID-19 deaths in Scotland has occurred in people over 85 years of age. So, of the 5,135 COVID-19 deaths to the data-week ending 15 November, 2,134 of them were people who died at 85 years of age and older – bearing in mind again that the average age of death from all causes in Scotland is 79 years. Over 90% of those deaths of 85 year-olds involved people with pre-existing illnesses.

No Scottish child below 15 years of age has died of COVID-19. Of Scottish citizens in the prime education and working age range 15 – 44 years-old, just 34 of them have died – that’s 0.006% of Scotland’s population. Of those 34 poor souls, 3 of them were in otherwise good health. That means that, in Scotland, if you’re in the age range 15 to 44 years-old, and are in otherwise good health, the Scottish Government’s own data shows that you have a less than one-in-1.8 million chance of randomly contracting and dying of COVID-19. To attenuate this appalling risk to your life, Scotland’s Government has trashed the education system, wrecked our public health framework, created the worst employment prospects in decades and criminalised normal social behaviours. Like I said, it’s an odd state of affairs, a strange approach to life’s priorities.

The Withdrawal of Civil Liberties

If you take your steer from the mainstream media, especially mainstream television news, you could be forgiven for thinking that COVID-19 threatened human life as we know it (which the evidence suggests it doesn’t, by the way). On the other hand, if you pull up the raw data and interpret it for yourself, you start wondering – as I do – what is really going on here? In Scotland this year, 447 people in my age range (45 – 64 years-old) have died of/with COVID-19. Of those wretched souls, 36 of them were in otherwise good health. That means that of the 5,463,300 Scots’ citizens in my age group, in reasonable health, 36 of them have copped it with COVID-19 this year. Again, to attenuate this appalling risk to my life, Scotland’s Government has trashed the education system, wrecked our public health framework, created the worst employment prospects in decades and criminalised normal social behaviours. Like I keep saying, it’s an odd state of affairs, a strange approach to life’s priorities.

This year, I haven’t earned, nor will I earn barely a penny – nor will I pay any income tax of course – as a direct consequence of politicians deciding that because 36 of my otherwise healthy 45 – 64 year-old fellow citizens have died of/with COVID-19, I should stay at home, not go to my workplace (it would be nice if I had one), wash my hands incessantly, muzzle myself, not use public transport, stop Scottish country dancing, not visit my children living in other regions of Scotland, not visit my 89 year-old mother living in England, not march with my fellow veterans at the Cenotaph Parade, not go to the theatre, not enjoy a meal and a bottle of wine with a group of friends, not listen to live music, not go to the cinema, you name it, I can’t do it. For my own good.

Across the UK, the state has decided, on its questionable interpretation of ‘the science’ and with no credible democratic mandate, to micro-manage the lives of tens of millions of citizens, ostensibly to protect us from ourselves.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Benjamin Franklin

The British Medical Journal

Again, I can hear the Lockdown Camp screaming at me now, ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about, Moraymint! You’re not a medic or a professional scientist. You’ve nothing to say on this matter. Put on your muzzle and get back in your box’. In fact, I’m a physicist by university education and consider myself to be scientifically-literate if nothing else; but, OK, let’s check out a view from, say, the British medical establishment.

The British Medical Journal (more properly ‘The BMJ’) is a weekly peer-reviewed medical professional journal and one of the oldest general medical journals in the world. In an editorial published on 13 November 2020, The BMJ declared that, ‘politicians often claim to follow the science, but that is a misleading oversimplification. Science is rarely absolute. It rarely applies to every setting or every population. It doesn’t make sense slavishly to follow science or evidence. A better approach is for politicians, the publicly appointed decision makers, to be informed and guided by science when they decide policy for their public. But even that approach retains public and professional trust only if science is available for scrutiny and free of political interference, and if the system is transparent and not compromised by conflicts of interest.’ Amen to that.

Against that backdrop, The BMJ’s view is that ‘science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. COVID-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health.’ Not exactly mincing their words down there at the British Medical Association. The article goes on to state that ‘the [COVID-19] pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency – a time when it is even more important to safeguard science.’

Let’s stick with The BMJ’s view for a moment before moving on to look at what we should be doing under the circumstances to live with COVID-19. The BMJ argues that, ‘science is a public good. It doesn’t need to be followed blindly, but it does need to be fairly considered. Importantly, suppressing science, whether by delaying publication, cherry-picking favourable research, or gagging scientists, is a danger to public health; it causes deaths by exposing people to unsafe or ineffective interventions and preventing them from benefiting from better ones. When entangled with commercial decisions it is also maladministration of taxpayers’ money.

Politicisation of science was enthusiastically deployed by some of history’s worst autocrats and dictators, and it is now regrettably a commonplace in democracies. The medical-political complex tends towards suppression of science to aggrandise and enrich those in power. And, as the powerful become more successful, richer, and further intoxicated with power, the inconvenient truths of science are suppressed. When good science is suppressed, people die.’

Now, if you happen to be a medical professional reading this blog post, awestruck by the Government’s ‘led-by-the-science’ propaganda, perhaps you should drop a line to your colleagues at the British Medical Association and tell them to wind their necks in.

It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they’ve been fooled.

Mark Twain

Politicians and the Scientific Method

It could be argued that politicians and others, not least in the mainstream media and especially television news’ channels, are – knowingly or not – suppressing ‘good science’, to use The BMJ’s term. That said, it’s questionable whether collectively British politicians understand science to any great extent at all. As far as UK Members of Parliament (MPs) are concerned, only about 100 of them have a Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths, Medicine (STEMM) background. In other words, some 85% of our lawmakers are, to all intents and purposes, scientifically-illiterate. Our MPs have demonstrated, painfully, that they have little or no understanding of ‘the scientific method’ which, to use the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition, is ‘the method or procedure that has characterised natural science since the 17th century, comprising systematic observation, measurement and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses‘. The key words being ‘modification of hypotheses’. Or, to use a phrase attributed to the British economist John Maynard Keynes, ‘When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?

Despite the endless political pronouncements, there is no such thing as ‘the science’. In the face of rapidly changing scientific circumstances (the actual spread of the COVID-19 virus and the evidence of its impact, epidemiology, immunology, vaccinology, serology, infection testing etc), human behaviour and economic impacts, the facts about how best to live with COVID-19 are changing all the time. However, from the outset, the UK Government and its devolved Governments have adopted and stuck resolutely to the policy that if the only tool in your box is a hammer (lockdown), everything (‘the science’) looks like a nail.

Returning to the question I posed earlier: after almost a year of having COVID-19 in our midst, are our political masters getting it right? Are they right to persist with the single-minded, blunderbuss approach of bludgeoning society with lockdowns, or is there some other strategy that should now be pursued?

The Great Barrington Declaration

Let’s take just one example of an alternative scientific response to handling the COVID-19 pandemic known as ‘The Great Barrington Declaration’. Funnily enough, this is not a topic given much airtime by the BBC or other mainstream news channels, so perhaps you’ve never heard of it. In October 2020 the American Institute for Economic Research convened a meeting of epidemiologists, economists and journalists to discuss government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The result was the The Great Barrington Declaration – you can read it for yourself here – signed at the Institute’s headquarters on 4 October 2020 and released to the public the following day. The Declaration advocates an alternative, risk-based approach to the COVID-19 pandemic involving ‘focused protection’ of those most at risk, and seeking to avoid or minimise the societal harm of lockdowns. The authors say that keeping lockdown policies in place until a vaccine is available would cause ‘irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed’. The health harms cited include lower childhood vaccination rates and worsening care for heart disease, cancer patients and other killer diseases (exactly as is happening now). The authors also point out that the risk from coronavirus is hundreds of times greater for the old and infirm, with children more at risk from contracting seasonal flu than COVID-19 (an inconvenient truth).

Within days of its publication, some 6,300 medical practitioners and public health scientists from the UK, the US and other nations had signed The Great Barrington Declaration.

On Spectator TV, the British journalist Andrew Neil grilled one of the authors of The Great Barrington Declaration, Dr Jay Battacharya, to sense-check the hypothesis. This interview is, may I suggest, worth 12 minutes of your time:

However, this kind of alternative scientific view, a different hypothesis, has turned out to be about as welcome as a turd in a swimming pool as far as the British and, indeed, many other western political establishments are concerned. Our politicians’ unspoken response to The Great Barrington Declaration has been to hell with ‘the scientific method’; we’re not too familiar with that anyway, and we’ve no intention of modifying our hypothesis in the name of ‘good science’, or just because the facts have changed; we’re on a roll with lockdowns.

The Danger of Lockdowns

In relation to the societal harm of lockdowns, a UK Government report of July 2020 noted that whilst, ‘direct COVID-19 deaths account for the majority of all excess deaths, when morbidity is taken into account, estimates for the health impacts from a lockdown and lockdown-induced recession are greater in terms of Quality-Adjusted Life Years than the direct COVID-19 deaths’. Read that again. It says that the overall risk to the nation’s health in the long-term comes not from COVID-19 itself, but from the wider impacts on health and well-being associated with lockdowns. The report states that, ‘much of the health impact, particularly in terms of morbidity, will be felt long after the pandemic is assumed to last’. For ‘long after’, read a generation and more.

A Self-Inflicted Crisis

You see, The Great Barrington science doesn’t fit with the political zeitgeist; of politicians parading before us as omnipotent Public Health Warriors, ordering us this way and that to demonstrate how clever, compassionate and powerful they are, telling us how they’re being ‘led by the science’ to make political decisions involving cratering the economy, smashing society to smithereens and crushing our freedoms. In Scotland, all this is being done partly in the name of saving the lives of another 3 healthy people of prime educational and working age (15 – 44 years), in the wider context of a disease which overwhelmingly threatens people above the working age, and which primarily kills people older than Scotland’s normal life expectancy. These are brutal facts, but they’re facts nonetheless; however, they play virtually no part in the Government’s decision-making processes regarding the economy and society at large. It’s scary really.

At times, I’m left speechless at the latest pronouncements from our megalomaniacal politicians. I keep wondering just how all this is going to end, especially since the UK national debt is now larger than the economy itself, still climbing, and wholly unprecedented in peacetime. It’s as if our politicians have had a collective leave of their senses. I find it alarming not being able to understand why, when and how the Governments of the countries of the UK intend to right the upturned ship of state. At the moment, there’s no end in sight to the politically-induced national hysteria. Betting the farm on a vaccine is not a credible strategy for leading the nation back to normality given the socio-economic destruction being wrought upon us every day.

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.

Charles Mackay

I maintain that, when all’s said and done, our politicians have proved themselves to be inept in the face of a national crisis. The crisis in which we now find ourselves is not a public health crisis, per se; it’s a self-inflicted political crisis and, therefore, a looming socio-economic catastrophe. Our politicians appear to be incapable of understanding the complex interplay between science, the economy and the normal functioning of society, and of learning from their mistakes. The unchecked, unbalanced Governments of the UK are constantly doubling-down on their errors and making matters worse with each passing day. But hang on: there are vaccines in the wings.

A Vaccine – We’re All Saved! Aren’t We?

Well, not necessarily.

On 18 November, the New Scientist declared that ‘we can’t be certain that the coronavirus vaccines will stop the pandemic’. The article made a number of key points including saying, ‘things may look good, but we’re still a long, long way from a vaccine that will get us back to life as normal. That is in no small part due to the huge challenge of manufacturing, distributing and administering one, plus the reluctance of a significant minority of people to get vaccinated. However, it is also down to trial constraints, which leave a number of questions around safety and effectiveness. If you thought those were the things the trials could give us all the answers to, think again’.

The New Scientist goes on to state, ‘we simply don’t know yet how long protection from any vaccine will last. Time isn’t something that the vaccine developers have control over. Will COVID-19 vaccines save lives? Current trials aren’t designed to tell us. Unless urgent changes are made to the way the trials are designed and evaluated, we could end up with approved vaccines that reduce the risk of a mild infection but do not decrease the risk of hospitalisation, intensive care unit use or death’.

You see, our politicians and their mainstream media colleagues don’t really do science, so they take things like companies announcing the discovery of a COVID-19 vaccine at face-value. The BBC and most of the other mainstream news’ channels jump on the ‘A Vaccine Will Save Us All!’ bandwagon and, before you know it, the majority of your fellow citizens have been duped again. What’s happening all around us at the moment is worthy of a Kafka novel. Largely isolated protagonists like me are facing a bizarre, surrealistic predicament manufactured by the incomprehensible behaviours of an unhinged, socio-bureaucratic government running riot through society. Or am I missing something here?

The 90% Economy

Recovering from this unholy socio-economic mess will be an epic in itself. The UK economy will have shrunk by at least 10% as a result of politicians’ mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the worst economic slump in 300 years. A 10% reduction in the size of the economy doesn’t sound like much in the great scheme things. However, The Economist published an editorial recently entitled, ‘The 90% Economy’. It started by saying, ‘life after lockdowns will be hard in ways that are difficult to imagine today. In many things, 90% is just fine; in an economy it is miserable … a 90% economy threatens great suffering. The anger it creates may end up feeding protectionism, xenophobia and government interference on a scale not seen in decades. If that is an outcome you would reject, it’s time to start arguing for something better’. Too right it is, but you can only do this if you’re sceptical about how the Government is handling the COVID-19 pandemic. Astonishingly, opinion polls keep telling us that most people are content with the Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. I do wonder what they’re smoking. I know, however, that they probably listen to and watch the BBC, but they probably don’t read The Economist, or The BMJ, or the New Scientist or interrogate the data published by the National Records of Scotland or the Office of National Statistics and decide for themselves what’s really going on, or at least question Government policy.

No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe the doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require to have their strong wine diluted be a very large admixture of insipid common sense.

Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury

The Old Days

I remember the old days of living in a free society. In those days, we made our own decisions over what risks we were willing to run and what precautions we were willing to take according to our own circumstances to protect our own health. The reality is that every time we step outside our homes, the risks we face multiply.

A free society assumes that its citizens are competent to assess those risks, balance them against the avoidance costs, and to manage their decisions in a generally responsible way. It’s called common sense and it’s an essential prerequisite for self-government and liberty. Specifically as far as, say, COVID-19 is concerned, the choices made by an octogenarian with emphysema might be very different from a healthy person of prime educational or working age. Indeed, it’s almost inconceivable that they’d make the same choices. So, Dear First Minister Nicola Sturgeon: only a fool would claim the omnipotence to make an informed judgement for every person, in every circumstance, in every community in Scotland until a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic descends from heaven, eg like a vaccine, but I assume you’ll be unaware of the New Scientist’s observations above.

The Great Barrington Declaration was, in effect, a call to have politicians lead us forward to the old days, themselves led by what The BMJ calls ‘good science’. Right now our politicians wouldn’t recognise ‘good science’ or, moreover, ‘the scientific method’ if it ran over them in a Challenger main battle tank. Hence, it’s lockdown after lockdown until kingdom come, and I’m arguing here that you and I need to be extremely concerned about our politicians’ national suicidal approach to government: a very British tyranny.

Where Do We Go From Here?

In the second of these two blog posts, I’ll set out what I would be saying and doing if I was the Prime Minister faced with leading the UK out of the extraordinary hole into which our political class has dug us.

The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants.

Albert Camus

REFERENCES

If you want to develop an eclectic understanding of how we might recover from the worst economic decline in 300 years, recapture our civil liberties and reconfigure our way of life back to normal (not to an absurd ‘new normal’), then you could do worse than to check out these sources of information:

Spikedonline: The making of Britain’s COVID catastrophe

Lockdown Sceptics: If Lockdown was a drug, would we use it?

Lockdown Truth: Helping people organise themselves to fight the ‘new normal’

Our World in Data: Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19)

Evidence Not Fear: Referenced and sourced COVID-19 information

CapX: Lockdown vs Liberty with Jonathan Sumption

Scientific American: A sustainable alternative to blanket lockdowns

The Spectator: It’s time for an alternative to lockdown

Collateral Global: A global repository for research into the collateral effects of COVID-19 lockdown measures


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See you down the pub … eventually.

40 comments

  1. […] I used to follow MM in the days before the Daily Telegraph censored then shut down their comments se…. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mark Bailey · ·

    Hi Moray Mint,

    Apologies if you have already posted on this, I’m new to this blog although I use to enjoy your posts on the DT.

    My take on the response to the pandemic by governments around the world is that they are using lockdowns to reduce the demand for oil. The airline industry has been shutdown and there are less car journeys due to closed businesses, WFH and lockdown. Boris recently announced that the ban on the sale of new diesel/petrol cards has been brought forward to 2030.

    As you have often said, the oil age is coming to an end, easy oil has long gone (peaked 2005) and even the number of fracking wells in the USA have declined from 800 to less than 200. Saudi’s super giant oil fields are pumping out ever more water with the oil (sorry for preaching to the choir!).

    Since the GFC, which was precipitated by the oil price spiking to $143 per barrel, governments have been desperately scrambling to keep the wheels of the economy going. The USA’s fracking miracle has been an environmental disaster that has bankrupted most drillers or saddled them with huge debts. Now instead of pumping more oil to meet demand, governments’ are desperately trying to reduce demand, via a green agenda encouched in the Great Reset / 4th Industrial Revolution.

    I find it laughable when I google about peak oil, now it is all about peak oil demand! As if we are all now using less oil because we are so green and that the poor oil companies will have their assets stranded.

    So our lockdown maybe a British tyranny but I’m afraid that we are in for a gruelling time ahead as we adjust to declining living standards. It’s interesting how lockdowns are worldwide, the alternative is the more terrifying prospect of global resource wars and a Mad Max future.

    Best Regards
    Mark Bailey

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Susie Bleeker · ·

    Evening Moraymint

    Thoroughly enjoyed you latest MM Chatter. We do hope you are well. Trisha said you all had a lovely time together recently.

    John thought you might be interested in the following links if you’re not already aware of them:)

    https://www.covid19assembly.org/

    https://www.mp-22.com/episode-1-prologue

    Lots of like minded people out there.

    Best wishes to you all

    Susie x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks Susie, and I shall look at those links. Despite the madness, we’re fine here. Sometimes I think I should take the ‘I’m alright Jack’ approach to all this and let the world descend into purgatory. Up here in Moray, life goes on much as normal and has done since March. However, you and I know that we’re living in the calm before the storm; we’re living in a phony economy at the moment. I’ll give it less than a year before reality sweeps over society like a mustard gas cloud – and then the ‘fun’ will start. A vaccine will have only a moderating impact on the state we’re in, if that, and will not be the panacea the propaganda would have us believe. It won’t be a binary thing: day before vaccine – we all die of COVID-19; day after vaccine – we all live forever. The politicians and the BBC would have us believe that sort of nonsense.

      Looking forward to Christmas though! Our decorations are going up now and the Christmas carols are playing in the background 😀 …

      Like

  4. reallyoldbill · ·

    Interesting post as ever, MM. I can’t really claim to know which side of this increasingly polarised argument is right. Of course we have a moral duty to do everything we can (within reason) to protect life, and there has emerged an unpleasant streak from some in younger age groups to dismiss deaths amongst the most vulnerable to the worst effects of this virus as, “Well they are elderly. They would have died anyway”, even when the victim was previously fit, active and healthy with years of productive and enjoyable life before them. They may hold a different view when they get older themselves. Simply ignoring the virus was never a realistic option for government, national or devolved.

    On the other hand, putting the economy deliberately into the deep freeze, possibly for years to come, also carries risks to health. I never thought, short of another world-wide conflict, possibly even one involving nuclear exchanges, to see the national debt balloon to such levels in such a short space of time. The outlook is indeed bleak of that front.

    Perhaps, despite your position that this is a binary argument, there was/is a third alternative: protect those who are known to be the most vulnerable, including the elderly and those with existing health conditions known to place them at higher risk of mortality from the virus, and allow the rest of society to keep functioning, if not exactly as it did in pre-Covid times, but at least with sensible precautions like social distancing and increased hygiene measures in place. A global lockdown on the scale we have seen might have been justifiable in the early days when so little was known about this virus, but after so much research and better knowledge of the realities it is hard to see why such measures are still in place with rumours that they may remain well into next summer. A measure of financial assistance to those of working age who would be required to isolate under such arrangements would be nothing compared to the eye-watering sums required to support millions more during a national lockdown.

    In many ways,and there is obviously no ideal time for a global pandemic, this virus could not have struck at a worse time for so many reasons. The presidential election in the USA, to judge from the movement of opinion polls throughout this year, was certainly affected by the experience as opponents of the incumbent weaponised his handling of it with no guarantee they would have done better. Opponents of Brexit, and without doubt the EU negotiating team, have seen it as a useful way to re-energise efforts to justify further delay to a full and sovereign separation citing consequent economic concerns from the pandemic with a dangerous possibility that the UK will be enticed into signing up to a “deal” which will trap us forever in EU orbit. And in Scotland, thanks largely to an uncritical media on both sides of the border, so engrossed are they in their fixation in undermining the UK government at Westminster, that little if any scrutiny has been undertaken of the SNP’s handling of the pandemic, the First Minister has consequently somehow emerged from it with her reputation much enhanced. I have seen several interviews with people in Scotland who claim to have voted NO in the 2014 referendum who would now, purely because of the image they have of a competent handling of the pandemic by Ms Sturgeon, vote YES were they asked again. With Holyrood elections due shortly, there is a very real danger that this impression will translate into an increase in support for the SNP there, with the already stated danger that such an outcome would be taken as justification for a re-run of the referendum with a potentially different result. The continued existence of the UK could yet be a further victim of this dreadful virus.

    Without agreeing with their conclusions, I can understand why the conspiracy theorists are so adamant that this was, for the globalist elite, a very conveniently timed outbreak.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks Bill, good stuff as usual.

      You say, ‘there was/is a third alternative: protect those who are known to be the most vulnerable, including the elderly and those with existing health conditions known to place them at higher risk of mortality from the virus, and allow the rest of society to keep functioning, if not exactly as it did in pre-Covid times, but at least with sensible precautions like social distancing and increased hygiene measures in place.’ That, of course, is The Great Barrington Declaration’s philosophy!

      We’re living through a transformational epoch; however, I fear that the transformation taking place will not result in us ending up in a better place …

      Like

  5. Thank you Moraymint. I am incensed by the Government’s reaction to a virus they downgraded to a Low Consequence Infectious Disease in March, a week before the first lockdown …. having assessed that it had low mortality rates!

    In my opinion, those who have supported the ruinous lockdowns and dictatorial micro-managing of our lives have no right to complain – ever – about the consequences, which were obvious from the start. Wrecking the economy destroys lives; and they have destroyed more lives than we would ever have lost from this LOW CONSEQUENCE virus.

    I have lost all patience with people I used to call friends who bleat about the Government “following the science” and how “lives must be saved.” Friends who were on the opposite side of the Brexit debate, with whom I maintained friendship throughout the Brexit Wars, I no longer count as friends. I see them as brainwashed sheep, UNWILLING to think for themselves since I know they aren’t incapable, and desperate to virtue-signal their compliance with the draconian “rules” our Lords and Masters dictate.

    Whilst not wishing to minimise the effect on anyone, as a female I find it amazing that my female former friends don’t want to listen to the facts and simply DO NOT CARE that the consequences of the lockdowns have been far worse for women and children, than men. Murders – up; physical abuse – up; alcoholism – up; job losses – up; poverty -up. Hospitality and Retail, the two sectors which have been damaged the most, are mostly staffed by women. They are low status, low wage jobs but vital for women, who (more often than men) have to find local work that fits around domestic life. And if you’re a single mother, as I was for many years after divorce, they are a lifeline to a slightly better standard of living than welfare.

    But they’re being decimated. Most women working in these sectors have little or no opportunity to find alternative work due to educational levels and/or personal circumstances. They are being thrown on the scrap-heap. And if they can’t work, they won’t earn any kind of private pension, so their old age will also be one of poverty. It’s sickening. Thanks to a combination of my own efforts and inheriting some money from my late parents, I am no longer in a desperate financial situation (I am not wealthy, but financially secure). But I know that if this had happened 20 years ago, it would be me facing penury, and 28 years ago possibly suffering domestic abuse.

    As this article argues, most persuasively, the Government is behaving like an abusive husband. I cannot, and will not, ever forgive them.

    https://makemorenoisemanc.wixsite.com/mysite/post/the-feminist-case-for-opposing-lockdowns

    And yes, I believe it’s being done for political reasons. Cummings decided that this was the way the Not-a-Conservative-Party would demonstrate to Labour voters that the NHS is safe in Tory hands. Conservative voters – particularly those on the libertarian end of the spectrum like me, are dispensable.

    Well since, I’m dispensable, they will never get my vote again as long as I live.

    Keep fighting Mr Moraymint; we need articulate voices out there challenging the DESPOTS who have destroyed the life chances of the next 4 generations.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks Donna, and I know what you mean about this matter putting friendships under strain. Like you, I have good friends of mine who believe sincerely that the strategy of all the Governments of the UK – essentially to close down the economy and society until a vaccine arrives to save us all – is absolutely the right thing to do … and who the hell are you, Moraymint, to argue otherwise?

      See my reply to Susie Bleeker above.

      Thanks for the link; will take a look …

      Like

  6. Fraser Bailey · ·

    Hi there,

    Thank you for this, a perfectly structured excoriation of our evil and clueless political and media classes.

    Believe me, there are millions who think like you, and I have been of this mind since the beginning. Indeed, I don’t really even share your belief that a lockdown was necessary in March.

    I have been following you for some years, initially on Breitbart I think. Or was it the DT? Keep up the good work. Perhaps, just perhaps, one of the wicked goons in power will read something you write and develop at least an iota of reason.

    Fraser Bailey

    Liked by 3 people

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks Fraser. I comment on the DT website mainly, but not that often these days; Breitbart less so.

      I’ve made this blog post known to my MP, Douglas Ross; I’ve emailed the link also to James Delingpole, to every member of the Executive Committee of Parliament’s COVID Recovery Group, to Neil Oliver, to Toby Young at Lockdown Sceptics and to others.

      I think it’s important not only to publicise one’s thoughts in cyberspace, but also to try and get one’s views into a place where they can, perhaps, influence decision-making …

      Like

    1. moraymint · ·

      Did you intend to post a comment, Jim?

      Like

  7. There’s really not much more one can say to that which has been written.

    I’ll throw in a bit more …

    COVID-19, Gates, et al and ‘The Vaccine’.
    I can well foresee a time when vaccination will be made compulsory. Nanotechnology, and ‘The Elite’s quest for absolute control will make it so. Those who categorically refuse to concede to having their lives controlled in such a manner will have, for example, a COVID-19 symbol (the asteroid with pointy bits resembling a floating mine) indelibly imprinted upon their forehead, along with their ‘Designation’.

    Scary thoughts, beyond the realms of fantasy?
    O.K., but in all honesty, who could have imagined (other than Common Purpose Marxists perhaps) twenty years’ ago that the day would come when white became black; when people could be male one day, female the next and in-between the day after that; and that personages who actually lived had their entire existences simply wiped from history.

    “Those whom the Gods wish to destroy, They first make mad” (and render penniless) – Euripides, I believe it was first attributed to.
    “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” – Sir Winston Churchill.
    #BlinkeredLuvvyMarxists (#BLM) and the insidious creep of the severely mentally impaired, in thrall to a vile and hateful ideology!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Excellent post again Moraymint

    Just to present a different view….

    Someone once said that the way to judge a nation/society is to see how they treat their old people.

    The way we tend to shovel the elderly off into care homes would suggest the UK are not world leaders in this regard….

    We also hear it said that the elderly include the last of the wartime generation – people to whom we owe a debt.

    And then , to quote our host ….”incoming”

    The fact we have moved heaven and earth to protect these “non productive” people is, I would suggest , a Good Thing. What were we (and our elected representatives) supposed to do?

    “Sorry gran, love you to bits – thanks for all your contributions over the years , winning the war and all that – but your time is done and we need to keep the pubs open”

    Don’t think so ….

    The fact many were released into their care homes to then infect others is a matter of shame and hopefully we will get to the bottom of how that happened.

    And of course this whole “infecting others” things is critical to all this. It’s over simplifying to say “I can assess my own risks and act accordingly”…..

    What I don’t know is YOUR risk profile. This is complicated by the “show no symptoms” problem…..I feel fine – but I can pass the disease on to a vulnerable person.

    Are there some questions to be answered? Absolutely …. the ones highlighted by Moraymint and I would love to see commentary from the politicians and scientists on…

    Why the emphasis on 40 cycle PCR?
    Why the reliance on modelling that recent data shows to be wildly pessimistic?

    And just to throw some red meat into the discussion

    If we are “all in this together” why hasn’t the Public Sector had a 20%pay cut for the duration?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Douglas Brodie · ·

    An excellent, well-researched post nicely sprinkled with very apposite quotations. Another quotation that comes to mind is “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”, Joseph Goebbels. I’m afraid that as a nation we have been exposed to the full Goebbels technique on Coronavirus, for some unfathomable reason. You don’t need to be a scientific expert to smell a rat with what is going on.

    I did a modest post of my own six weeks ago, sent as an email to Nicola Sturgeon to express my anger at her “Unscientific Mishandling of Coronavirus”. Sad (needless?) to say, I haven’t had a reply. It is posted online here: https://principia-scientific.com/open-letter-to-scotlands-first-minister-on-mishandling-of-coronavirus/.

    In my post I noted that over the months since the initial lockdown to “flatten the curve”, which was supposed to last just 3 weeks, science, logic and rationality seem to have gone out of the window and that government (UK and Scottish) disregard for the science and the societal collateral damage caused by their disproportionate lockdown measures was unfathomable. I wondered if it was down to lack of technical competency or if it was just an act to cover up their panicked (thanks to Prof Ferguson) initial lockdown overreaction or even if it is being motivated by something more sinister, namely the Davos “Great Reset”, openly presented at https://www.weforum.org/great-reset/.

    The more the deceptions and lockdown tyrannies go on, the more I wonder if the so-called Great Reset is the real motivation. In the past few weeks we have had Boris Johnson and Joe Biden (and the SNP) pushing the unconcealed Davos mantra to “Build Back Better”, based on hopelessly naïve “green” recoveries.

    Anyone with a modicum of research skill can see that the establishment case for never-ending lockdowns and mask-wearing until such time as an effective vaccine is administered to everyone is simply voodoo science. Why else was the alternative, eminently sensible approach of the Great Barrington Declaration dismissed without debate and its authors publicly vilified and censored? Why does the government ignore the many independent scientist and medics who say that the current approach is badly flawed and self-harming? Why do Big Tech (Facebook, Twitter, Google) who are making a fortune from Covid blatantly censor messages which go against the establishment lockdown narrative?

    The scientists of Sage are simply not to be trusted and clearly have some ulterior motive for their unscientific propaganda, for example their recent “predictions” that that we could soon suffer 4,000 Covid deaths per day in the so-called second wave. They got Matt Hancock to say that, inconceivably based on the official data, “hundreds of thousands” of UK deaths could occur in their imagined second wave. Empirical evidence from past decades shows that a virus like SARS-CoV-2 never causes a second wave. Empirical evidence from the Cambridge Evidence-Based Medicine Group shows that excess deaths in England and Wales are currently rising slowly to just above the rate of recent years. This “wave” is nothing like the initial March wave, see https://www.cebm.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/florence-12.jpg. I would postulate that many of these excess deaths are most probably due to people dying from being denied NHS treatment for non-Covid illnesses.

    The Ayatollahs of Sage (not to mention the Taliban of Independent Sage) take us fools with their unscientific insistence that 90% of the population still has no immunity to Coronavirus and that only lockdowns will prevent the virus “ripping through” the populace. This can be discounted by the simplest of publicly-available data, namely the Worldometers graph of UK new daily deaths, see https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/uk/ (scroll down for new daily deaths).

    This is a classic Gompertz-type curve typical of all such viral diseases showing a steep rise in March followed by a steady fall through April to September. The same rise and fall occurred in all countries and states (with seasonal variations), regardless of the stringency of lockdown applied. The fall is due to the virus being no longer able to find enough susceptibles within the population, in other words community (herd) immunity being at least partly attained. This is epidemiology class 101.

    It is normal for respiratory illnesses to increase from September through to about January and 2020 is no exception. I would postulate that it is exacerbated this year because Covid community immunity was only partly attained over the summer, because of the ongoing lockdowns. The autumn population movements and changes – schools going back, students going to universities, etc – has upset the partial community immunity equilibrium but it should soon get restored (see Sweden below). Also, many non-Covid deaths are being attributed to Covid, in other words the data cannot be fully trusted.

    I rest my case on the example of Sweden which used minimal lockdown methods, minimal school disruption and never mandated face masks. Its Covid death rate per million population is less than ours although still quite high because they managed their care homes very badly, just as we did. The Worldometers graph of Sweden new daily Covid deaths is here: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/sweden/.

    The graph is the same Gompertz shape as the UK although with a slightly slower decline after April. It shows a similar, smaller autumnal rise as the UK but starting about a month later and already tailing off, indicating a better attainment of community immunity than the UK. The lucky Swedes are more or less back to normal, unlike us stuck in varying degrees of lockdown until … when exactly? The horrendous ongoing collateral damage to the fabric and economy of our society continues …

    The government and its lockdown supporters studiously avoid mentioning Sweden because it totally destroys their propaganda that Covid can only be countered by lockdowns, facemasks and eventual vaccination. They pooh-pooh the Sweden example by saying that neighbouring Norway and Finland did better, ignoring the fact that these countries imposed less stringent measure than Sweden. They also ignore the fact that unlike Norway and Finland, Sweden suffered very low morbidity over the winters of 2019 and 2020 with the happy but sad result that many more vulnerable susceptibles were still alive in Sweden when Coronavirus struck. Finally, they also say that the Sweden population spread is not like the UK when it is actually highly urbanised, but with huge unpopulated areas.

    These people will use any distortion of reality to push their unfathomable case. Why, oh why, does anyone think it is a good idea to copy the lockdown technique of communist China of all counties, against all the guidelines established from many decades of virus experience?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks Douglas, all good stuff, and I’ve been over and spent time at your own blog …

      Like

  10. Martyn Edwards · ·

    MM,
    Another magisterial tour de force article. I agree with everything you say, but it doesn’t cover all aspects. It is generally impossible to think of everything, so I hope you won’t mind me adding my twopennyworth.

    Firstly, I did not see any reference to what measures are being taken by governments in other countries. My uninformed view is that many governments throughout the world are taking broadly comparable measures This means that HM Government does not have a monopoly on amateurish attempts to deal with Whu Flu. They are all too busy responding to the symptoms when they should have paid more attention to dealing with the causes. All countries of the world should have placed an embargo on aircraft flying in from China at the outset. Governments and vast swathes of the population will not recognise Whu Flu for what it is: a prime example of bio-warfare.

    I do not believe that the government thought through the consequences of lockdowns. As ever, might is right. SMEs are hammered or wiped out while the big boys renege on their rental agreements. This economic catastrophe should make it clear to everyone how important it is to support local businesses.

    Secondly, it is not only HM government that is to blame for our predicament. There is a sizeable cohort of the electorate which thinks only of its own interests. I understand that the University of Bristol, for example, allowed thousands of Chinese students to return from China to Bristol to continue their studies. China is such a large customer of British universities that they exert undue power by dint of financial contributions to the universities. The overpaid vice chancellors are hardly going to rock the boat when they earn far more than the PM.

    Retail traders continue to buy in Chinese goods as these are much cheaper than comparable goods sourced from other countries. The reason for this is that they fear that their customers are not prepared to pay for more expensive goods sourced from other countries. A fear probably justified so that traders fear losing trade should they refuse to stock Chinese products.

    Governments are well aware that China is able to undercut national markets by paying slave-level wages. Governments should be acting in the defence of their respective electorates by placing an embargo on Chinese products for this reason. Given that his father and brother both have commercial Chinese interests, Boris Johnson is no longer fit to be the PM of GB.

    You would think that the electorate would have learned its lesson and boycott Chinese products even if the immediate financial inconvenience is considerable. The fact is that we are going to suffer from higher prices for consumer goods when inflation hits us. One approach that can be taken to respond to this is to buy once and buy well. Buy something that can be repaired. The first question every buyer should ask is not “How much does it cost?”, but instead, “Is it made in Britain?”

    Another consideration that could have supported your views MM, is a historical perspective. The country did not close down in the past when flu epidemics or worse were doing the rounds. The decision as to what action should be taken was left to the discretion of the individual. Fifty years ago, standards of public hygiene and personal responsibility were higher.

    Covid 19 could well turn out to be a watershed in the demise of this country. I have read that 1/3 of all hotels restaurants and pubs may close. Busses here in Winchester have been virtually empty since March. 2020 has been my worst year in 28 years of trading as a freelance translator. HMRC will not be getting any tax out of me on this year’s earnings.

    But given that we are where we are, I have resolved to exploit this opportunity to teach myself Russian again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      All good and interesting stuff, Martyn; thanks very much …

      Like

  11. Neil Oliver goes up in my estimation by the week: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhNoCKFDO8I

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, agreed. He is a very articulate man and a voice of reason we need to hear more from in the media. He’s the kind of person we really NEED in Parliament. I’ve also found it encouraging that there is at least one other Scot who doesn’t hate everyone from south of the border 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. moraymint · ·

      Agreed. I’ve just emailed him, through his agent, with a link to this blog post of mine …

      Like

      1. I emailed him yesterday through his Agent, to thank him. He’s apparently been getting significant abuse, so we need to let him know that there are many of out here cheering him on.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. 10navigator · ·

    I agree wholeheartedly with your post MM and indeed, recognised all but one of the quotes you used, having been an avid follower and donor to Lockdown Sceptics for many months. In particular I have followed the work of (inter alia) Prof Carl Heneghan, Dr Mike Yeadon, Prof Sunetra Gupta and Dr Roger Hodkinson, who all would appear to be voices in the wilderness as far as Boris is concerned. Mind you they aren’t Mathematical Modellers or Behavioural Scientists, and have no dog in the fight when it comes to financial vested interests, (unlike 12 of SAGE’s top 20 ‘influencers.’ who are either directly employed by, or receive grants from ‘Big Pharma.’)
    You characterise the Govt’s handling of the ‘casedemic’ as “inept” Would that ineptitude were the sole reason for the debacle. I’m no conspiracy wallah, but I think that nefarious (financial) motives are afoot when, for example, Hancock orders many millions of excess doses of the Oxford vaccine against all the advice of his colleagues. I believe Sir Patrick Vallance still holds 600k in Pfizer shares too. The ‘convergent opportunism’ (to quote Mike Yeadon) is to good a moment to pass up, but that of course implies nearly every country is equally guilty. It may yet prove to be a truly Global phenomenon down to the WEF and Klaus Schwab, The Great Reset and the Davos Manifesto.
    I’m minded of the quote from the film ‘Local Hero.’—–“Strange times Archie.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. moraymint · ·

      Good stuff, thanks 10navigator …

      Like

  13. Simon Kingsley · ·

    Dear Mr. Mint,

    it is a pleasure to hear from you again and to see that you have not lost any of your form. As an Englishman who is experiencing COVID-19 German-style, I can but weep at the situation in my homeland. For the record, I abstained at the last election since I had the choice between cholera and typhoid and did not fancy either of them. But that Boris Johnson has turned out to be exactly as I feared, worse even, goes beyond the boundaries of even Schadenfreude.

    Something you might care to research, because after decades of having nothing to do with conspiracy theories of any kind (The Titanic hit an iceberg, it sank, get over it), it is no longer a conspiracy theory when ‘they’ say it to your face… So in this vein it is worth taking a look at The Great Reset, Agenda 2030 and Build Back Better. The first was coined by Klaus Schwab, who founded the World Economic Forum, as was Agenda 2030, and together with Build Back Better (purely coincidental that it was Biden’s campaign slogan and has been mentioned several times by our prime minister and New Zealand’s Blessed St. Jacinda Arden), all of these terms now feature on the United Nations’ own website as well as that of the WEF. They vie for scariness but The Great Reset is absolutely terrifying. My partner Julia, former East German who knows what a dictatorship looks like, and I are increasingly glad we will not live to see the future these people are creating.

    You can find many very good, as in intelligent and reasoned, YouTube videos on this. I would commend to you those by Paul Joseph Watson and David Cullen, who posts as Computing Forever. To put it bluntly, the pandemic is being used as a window of opportunity for the globalists to push their own agenda, spearheaded by a Green agenda as championed by the prime minister’s puppet mistress. Oops! My bias has shown itself! But seriously, from one middle aged, straight, white male (and thus equally as guilty for everything bad that has happened, ever), it is worth your taking a look. And should you disagree, then at least I know you are disagreeing on the basis of an informed opinion and not your feelings.

    Wishing you and yours continued good health and that one day I will be able to say to you, “Mine’s a pint”,

    Simon Kingsley

    >

    Liked by 4 people

    1. moraymint · ·

      Fascinating stuff, thanks Simon. Yes, a pint in the real world one day would be excellent. It’s not unprecedented for me to meet up with folk who follow my blog and, for one reason or another, we decide to share a beer.

      Until then, slainte mhaith!

      Like

  14. arfurbryant · ·

    “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocation, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

    Yet in holding scientific discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
    Dwight D. Eisenhower
    January 17, 1961

    Liked by 2 people

    1. moraymint · ·

      Prescient!

      Like

  15. BTW – I find that I cannot “Like” this post. When I click the button it pops up a temporary screen, which ought to be the WordPress login form but it is blank. It then disappears just as quickly. This has been the case for some time. Other WordPress blog that I follow such as “NotALotOfPeopleKnowThat” don’t have this problem.

    Like

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks Wolsten, will investigate and repair and/or get back to you. Standby …

      Like

      1. reallyoldbill · ·

        This also happens to me, but I have found that if I press the “cancel” button on the blank box and then re-select the WordPress logo the login box appears normally.

        Like

    2. moraymint · ·

      Wolsten, I’ve checked the settings on my blog here and can’t discern why you get the problem as described. Could it be a setting at your end?

      I’ll have another look at my settings today anyway.

      Bloody technology …

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a strange one. I can’t see what else I can change at my end. I have tried logging into WordPress in another tab first but that doesn’t help.

        Like

  16. Excellent article, I really appreciate all the time and effort that went into this. I couldn’t agree more with everything you have said. This isn’t just a temporary crisis, it should be a massive warning that we are being governed, in the main, by complete imbeciles. The pandemic measures are likely to last a generation but our failing democratic system seems to be terminally damaged.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. deejaym · ·

    Thank you MM for this. As dispassionate & accurate a summary of this sad situation that I’ve read.
    Just a shame numpties like Alvin seek – by utilisation of misunderstood & inaccurate stats – to twist the narrative.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. One of your best MM and almost impossible to gainsay.

    I keep asking my safe seat Tory MP (a member of the Timpson family business) whether he has seen a cost/benefit analysis to justify the government’s unprecedented interventions, something his family business must use all the time. No answer has been his stern reply!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Am I surprised, John?!!

      Like

  19. Alvin Scott · ·

    Just a quick reply, I need a longer period to take it all in

    The issue is that Scotland has obviously had a better Govt approach

    England now over 65,000 dead and whilst many have been older I would have to say there are plenty in children and all working goups

    I would as you to reflect What the deaths would have looked like without Scotlands better lockdown.

    We locked ourselves in a fortnight before the Govt and I am sure others did also.

    In the US failed worse than us and well the figures now show – You have freedoms and see 100,000 dead

    Sorry I think you view of the events is from a standpoint that Scotland had a better leader.

    Just like New Zealand clearly indicates- Lock down worked – it was opening to soon for Pubs bars etc

    Best Regards

    Alvin Scott

    Like

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks Alvin. I think the issue is not so much what has or hasn’t been done before now, by whom, how and why. We are where we are. The fundamental point is that, knowing what we know now and in terms of living with COVID-19 in future, there has to be an alternative to locking down society or vast chunks of it time and again in the vain hope that a vaccine will guarantee 100% protection. It’s simply not a sustainable approach to operating an advanced economy and living a civilised life …

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Without herd immunity or continuous lockdowns, lockdowns don’t work. You quote New Zealand, which is almost certain to have no herd immunity, so cannot open up its borders until it does or an effective vaccine turns up. If you think Scotland has fared better than elsewhere then good luck with that. St. Nichola’s approach, typical of a left wing demagogue, is to take over the control of peoples’ lives and to always be seen to be something different to England in order to sow division.

      Liked by 2 people

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