COVID-19 | A MORAL MAZE

Pressure is mounting to enforce the lockdown-equivalent of super-gluing every citizen in the land to their living room sofa to prevent us all from dying of COVID-19. One has to question the morality of blanket, state-enforced lockdowns.

Holding the Contrary View

One of the drawbacks of being a lockdown sceptic – I’m one of them – is that some people assume we’re heartless, selfish, right-wing nutjobs. It’s further assumed that our preferred strategy for responding to COVID-19 is to let the virus rip through society and then – to mix metaphors – leave every man for himself; let Darwin’s rules prevail; let the Devil take the hindmost; let herd immunity save us all because I’m alright Jack and, above all else, we need to get back to work and earn loadsamoney. Sort of thing. I’ve friends of mine whom I suspect might allocate this stereotype to me.

Interestingly, one of my buddies said recently that my contrary views about the Government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis reflected my ‘political prejudice’. It was an interesting observation because, the last time I looked, politicians of every hue were doing the same thing: locking down societies. The Tories are doing it; the Democratic Unionists (Northern Ireland) are doing it; Labour is screaming for it; the Scottish Nationalists are doing it; Welsh Labour are doing it. Everybody’s doing it; certainly politicians of the western world are doing it. They’re all telling us that locking down society is the one and only way to protect the population from the ravages of COVID-19.

That said, some nations which didn’t pursue a national lockdown strategy are doing alright, thank you: I’m looking, for example, at Sweden and at East Asian democracies like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. No state-enforced lockdowns in those countries and no COVID-19 apocalypses either. Shurely shum mishtake?

Just to be clear, and despite what some people who know me might think, I’m neither on the left nor the right of politics, nor am I a nationalist. I’m not a green, nor a social-democrat, nor am I a liberal-democrat. Rather, I’m content to be a democrat (ie someone who believes in democracy and freedom of speech), a patriot and a libertarian. When I vote, I vote for the political party which I think best matches my own views about what makes for a good life, or I vote for ‘none of the above’.

Lockdown Sceptics

As far as COVID-19 is concerned, I’m in a distinct minority of society. I’m within a cohort – the Lockdown Sceptics – largely vilified by the world and his wife. In the UK I’m in the same company as former Supreme Court judge and neo-liberal, Lord Jonathan Sumption, social commentator Toby Young (The Free Speech Union), Conservative-loathing Peter Hitchens (journalist and author), Parliament’s Covid Recovery Group, erstwhile Trotskyist Brendan O’Neill and the spikedonline team, The Great Barrington Declarators, Nigel Farage (leader of the Reform Party UK), The Conservative Woman and other such mavericks and reviled individuals and organisations.

If there’s a common theme at all across that motley crew, it’s probably libertarianism – which I suppose you could label ‘political prejudice’, but that’s just a neat way of curtailing freedom of speech. The argument goes like this: ‘Your views, Moraymint, as a lockdown sceptic don’t really count because I’ve made some assumptions about your political leaning, so you’re prejudiced’. Not surprisingly, I don’t subscribe to that attitude to public discourse. We’re all prejudiced one way or another. If you believe in freedom of speech then you have to at least listen to, and take account of the views of those of us opposed to the blanket locking down of society as being, allegedly, the one and only way to counter the threat to life posed by COVID-19.

The Problem With Lockdown

The fundamental problem with locking down society to prevent – at any and all costs, evidently – the COVID-19 deaths of certain members of society, is the moral imbalance created by the policy of draconian lockdown. That’s the essence of lockdown scepticism. It’s not to argue for the opposite of lockdown as such, ie for a hands-off, laissez-faire approach to virus control. Rather, lockdown scepticism poses the question, ‘Is there not a morally and scientifically acceptable alternative to lockdown?’.

The rationale for this question is to look at the moral scales; to look at the balance of morality across society in the fight against COVID-19. There are costs and benefits associated with lockdown. We’re told that the benefits of lockdown are ‘protecting the NHS’ and ‘saving lives’. Furthermore, we’re told that there’s no morally acceptable alternative to lockdown. Either the whole of society pays the preventative price for mitigating the threat to life posed by COVID-19, or you’re a heartless bastard, or indeed you’re a criminal. No ifs, no buts. In the space of less than one year, our society has shifted from being open and free to being closed and policed. Just like that.

Saving Lives

Let’s look at the principal supposed benefit of lockdown, namely ‘saving lives’. Whose lives are being saved, and why are their lives more precious than others in society? According to the World Health Organisation, COVID-19 is a disease of the elderly and especially the elderly-unwell: it kills ‘older people, and in particular those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer …’.

Here are the outcomes of some recent research in the UK into how people perceive the COVID-19 threat, published in the Financial Times on 20 November 2020. The median Brit thinks that the average age of death from COVID-19 is 65 years-old; in fact, it’s 82 years-old. Incidentally, the average age of death from all causes in the UK is 81 years-old. The average Brit thinks that COVID-19 has killed 1% of the population; some think as much as 7% of the population has been killed by COVID-19; my fellow Scots think 10% of the population has died of COVID-19 (nice one First Minister Nicola Sturgeon). The truth is that, on the date of this post, about one-tenth of 1% of the UK population has died of COVID-19.

According to the British Medical Journal the only children who have died of COVID-19 had ‘profound’ underlying health conditions. On the other hand, every year in the UK, about a dozen otherwise healthy children die of influenza. Professor David Spiegelhalter, Chair of Cambridge University’s Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication has calculated that, right now, the chance of you or me dying of COVID-19 if we catch it is roughly the same as our risk of dying over the next 12 months anyway.

Neither politicians nor the mainstream media, particularly TV news channels, will highlight these sorts of facts to you in the way that I’ve done here. They don’t fit the message.

The point is that the Government has put the fear of God into the population  – which is an extremely useful tool for hammering lockdown into society. The problem is that the growing costs to society of an indefinite, blanket lockdown are potentially cataclysmic. However, those costs are deemed to be acceptable to the Government and to the wider political class, and acceptable to the profession of journalism too as it happens. With a few notable exceptions, journalists don’t question rigorously the merits of lockdown which, for me, has been one of the many extraordinary consequences of the coronavirus hysteria. Apart from anything else, one has to question the scientific literacy of the political and journalistic classes in this strange episode of British history.

NB It’s worth remembering that throughout this pandemic, government ministers, the political class at large, public sector employees generally (all 5 million of them) and journalists far and wide have all been paid 100% of their wages, 100% of the time. Nice work if you can get it.

The Costs of Lockdown

So, what are the costs of assuming national lockdown to be the one and only mechanism for countering the public health threat posed by COVID-19? Well, a huge swathe of non-COVID-19 illnesses in people of all ages are not now being treated by the National Health Service (NHS), squeezed out by the public health prioritisation of COVID-19; people are dying unnecessarily as a result; acceptable cost. Mental health throughout society is declining rapidly; acceptable cost. Home alcohol consumption is growing rapidly; acceptable cost. Incidents of domestic abuse and child abuse are climbing rapidly (possibly related to the previous trend); acceptable cost. The economy has been cratered into its worst condition in 300 years – some economists are now saying the worst condition in the whole of UK peacetime history; acceptable cost. The national debt, rising daily, now exceeds the country’s total economic output; acceptable cost. At least a quarter of a million small businesses face annihilation (according to the Federation of Small Businesses); acceptable cost. Industry and cultural sectors like hospitality, travel and the arts are disintegrating before our very eyes, in many cases never to recover; acceptable cost. Unemployment could rise from fewer than 2 million today to as many as 6 million people; acceptable cost. Scarring and permanent damage to the economy are inevitable; acceptable cost. The education system is in tatters and children’s life chances jeopardised; acceptable cost. The justice system is facing a backlog of tens of thousands of cases and years of delay in justice being served; acceptable cost. The workings of Parliament and, therefore, the functioning of democracy itself are on hold indefinitely; acceptable cost. Civil liberties have been trashed, creating a list as long as your arm which I  shan’t record here, but with which you’re familiar; acceptable cost.

You have to accept that if you’re a lockdown lover, rather than a lockdown sceptic, that list above, taken together, represents an acceptable price to be paid for protecting some of our fellow citizens from dying of COVID-19. On the other hand, we lockdown sceptics question the morality of all this.

Alternatives to Lockdown

The question is why does our COVID-19 strategy not focus on protecting the most threatened in society, the elderly and elderly-unwell, whilst allowing the rest of society to be relieved of those truly staggering costs I’ve listed above? Costs which will play out over a generation and more with as yet unforeseeable, but almost certainly grim consequences. What is the moral justification for skewering our whole way of life – because that’s what governments and politicians are doing now, without any sign of an end to it all – to protect the health and wellbeing of a segment of society? Don’t assume that a vaccine will be the COVID-19 panacea.

This isn’t heartless fascism. It’s a genuine challenge to the moral equation being calculated by those who govern us. What is the moral justification for ruining tens, if not hundreds of thousands of lives, potentially several million lives in one section of society to save lives in another, dare I say, smaller section of society? Knowing what we know now about the lethality of COVID-19, why can we not distinguish between those who are most threatened by the virus, and those less so? Why can we not organise society’s response so as to protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19 in a way which also protects the health and wellbeing of those least vulnerable to COVID-19? What is the moral case for total lockdown?

There is No Alternative to Lockdown

The answer, we’re told, is that there is no alternative to wholesale societal lockdown; it’s the right thing to do. It’s not possible to isolate and shield those most vulnerable to COVID-19 and, therefore, we must accept the destruction of the economy, potentially allowing many thousands of our fellow citizens to die unnecessarily of non-COVID diseases, creating dystopia, trashing civil liberties and embedding damage to our way of life which will be with us for decades into the future. That’s what we’re told to believe and accept. It’s lockdown and all its collateral damage, or we all risk dying of COVID-19 – according to our scientifically-illiterate political masters who are, after all, only ‘following the science’.

What’s the Answer?

Look, I don’t have any smart answer to this crisis any more than you do. One has to ask, however, how did countries like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan avoid the decimation of their societies without blanket, state-enforced lockdowns. The same question applies to Sweden which chose not to go down the state-enforced lockdown route, but whose COVID-19 death rate per million is 23% lower than the UK’s.

The Great Barrington Declaration argues for selective protection of the vulnerable whilst allowing the rest of society to get on with their lives as best they can. It’s not a perfect alternative, there’s no such thing; people would still die of COVID-19 and other causes; the economy would suffer; behaviours would change or have to change; some civil liberties would be curtailed etc. However, I come back to the fundamental point made by lockdown sceptics like me: what is the moral justification for imposing such staggering health, economic, social and cultural damage across the whole of society, inching the nation towards the next best thing to a police state in response to a disease which – even now – is killing primarily the elderly and the elderly-unwell with an average age of 82 years?

No Way José

I accept that some of you reading this will not be in the least persuaded by my argument for challenging the morality of the lockdown strategy. You’ll tell me that one death from COVID-19 is one death too many regardless of the victim’s age or any other personal circumstances. Full-stop. We’re told that lockdown tempers the virus’s transmissibility and, therefore, lockdown is the right and proper response. If lockdown skewers our way of life today and wrecks the life chances of the next generation, that’s just too bad; it’s a price worth paying for the lives of your grandma and mine.

Yes, of course, people in other age groups are dying of COVID-19. However, I keep coming back to the fundamental point: who’s doing the moral maths here and concluding that to protect one-tenth of 1% of the population from death-by-COVID-19, society at large must pay an extraordinary price in health, economic and social terms for decades to come?

The National Health Service

Here perhaps is a surprising admission from a lockdown sceptic: the NHS is failing to cope with the impact of COVID-19. Aha, therefore, you say, it’s wrong for people like me to push back against a national lockdown strategy because without lockdown the NHS would surely collapse. Hence the Government’s COVID-19 mantra to justify lockdown: ‘protect the NHS’ and ‘save lives’. We looked at the ‘save lives’ exhortation above, but what about protecting the NHS?

It’s beyond the scope of this post to analyse how the NHS has performed in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the situation raises a few glaring observations and questions in my mind. How is it that an institution which chews its way through the thick-end of £225 billion per year of taxpayers’ money, employing 1.3 million people can be stretched to the point of collapse in the face of a 10% – 15% increase in demand for its services? I can’t think of many other organisations, if any, which would collapse in the face of such a change in demand for its services. After all, the NHS has had at least 9 months – and some would argue years and decades – to prepare for the prospect of a surge in demand for its services, to prepare for a pandemic. If not, what has the NHS been doing all this time? Perhaps the more acute question is what have our politicians and NHS managers been doing all this time? What have successive British governments and NHS management been doing since, say, the 1957 and 1968 influenza pandemics to prepare the NHS for an inevitability like COVID-19? The answer to this question and many more will have to be addressed in the post-COVID-19 Royal Commission.

Here’s another question. Why, in March 2020, did the NHS not immediately mobilise the thousands if not tens of thousands of recently-retired medical professionals (like my doctor-wife, for example) in response to COVID-19 and put the service on to a war footing, so to speak? My wife, Dr Moraymint (not her real name) did indeed volunteer to be re-registered as a medical practitioner. She was bombarded with bureaucracy and lost the will to live filling in endless forms which bore little or no relation to her apparently desperately-needed medical skills. Despite the NHS being in a state of collapse (is it really?), Dr Moraymint has heard nothing/nada/zilch/diddley-squat from the service about being deployed into action since her form-filling bonanza.

I’ll draw a line under this section of the post because I could write a stand-alone essay on the subject. The point is, I would wager that if the NHS got its act together, swept away the bureaucracy and mobilised its vast number of recently-retired medical professionals across the UK, the institution could make a significant dent in the COVID-19 surge in demand for its services. Meantime, we’re now putting British society under house arrest to protect the health of an institution established to protect the health of British society. You couldn’t make it up.

Following the Science

The irony of listening to our politicians banging on about ‘following the science’ is that the essence of the scientific method is scepticism. However, statistically, you’re more likely to be in favour of a blanket, state-enforced lockdown than you are to be a lockdown sceptic like me. Polls show that some 70% of the British population supports lockdown. Perhaps this isn’t surprising given that there’s no balance to the public debate in politics and in the media about the whys and wherefores, the rights and wrongs of Government COVID-19 policy. Anybody who does question the morality of Government lockdown policy either isn’t heard at all, or is vilified by politicians and others in the press – which itself leaps on to the vilification bandwagon; it’s a self-serving witch hunt. If you’re a lockdown sceptic you’re a voice in the wilderness and/or you’re a heartless, selfish, right-wing nutjob – which was my opening gambit. I can’t get too worked up about other countries’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in the UK, I think that in the fullness of time we’ll discover that all 4 national governments’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic will turn out to have been a moral disaster. I hope I’m wrong.

COROLLARY

Finally, Lord Sumption is far more eloquent than me at conveying the libertarian discomfort with wholesale, state-enforced lockdown …

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See you down the pub … eventually.

22 comments

  1. i couldn’t agree more with you Moray.. I have voiced the same opinion on several other sites. i know ,sadly, that it will make no difference. If people like Ivor Cummins and his excellent group of world wide viral experts ,using solid scientific charts and up to the minute data , have not been able to make the smallest dent in this governments implacable smug facade .We stand zero chance. So we are left with.? A government who will not listen to experts.. A government who pretends to care for the people ,but in fact is killing them with Lock Downs. proved to be dangerous and of zero value .
    Is the whole thing therefore an elaborate exercise in control?, as many believed right at the beginning, including myself. If so, then the idea that this was not a mistake.not a virus released in China by mistake ,but one manufactured at the University of North Carolina and then moved to Wuhan, as many Scientists believe. to be true. Released by mistake ? or design? The idea begins to take on more than a little element of truth given the above attitude of the government . Why should we be silenced with the gag that conspiracy is absurd, when it has happened many times before within secretive governments.and before that within the Royals that controlled us Why do we keep forgetting that those in power do not really care a jot about us.Are we really such fools?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andy McPherson · ·

    Dear Moraymint, your not heartless, just wrong.

    My partners daughter has just left a 5 day music live festival in New Zealand. 1000s of folk mixing and mingling. She had a lot of fun.
    Mrs Ahern the NZ Prime minister Lockdown her country early and hard. It worked. No Covid. When the virus returned she lockdown hard and it worked again.
    NZ is not yet vaccinating. They are awaiting the evidence of our vaccinations before proceeding. That’s what I call success.

    Lockdown is a public health tactic not some assault on the population anymore than the Blackout was an assault on our freedoms during the 2WW.

    The problem has been our libertarian leaders in London have failed to Lockdown quickly, hard and long enough to spare us prolonged agony.

    Please stop mentioning Sweden. Try Norway, Denmark, Taiwan but best of all NZ. Lockdowns work when used right!

    To quote one of your corespondents . “The policy in Scotland was conveniently enunciated last week by the SNP’s Dr Philippa Whitford (a breast surgeon) in the Westminster debate on Boris Johnston’s latest lockdown. To summarise, she attested that the right approach is to pursue total suppression of the virus (zero-Covid), that vaccination is the only acceptable way of getting to herd immunity and that lockdown has to continue for as long as it takes“

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Trevor Bailey · ·

    Thanks so much for your latest essay, MM. I don’t know if you if you are aware of UK Column. They broadcast on Mon, Wed and Friday at 1pm on Youtube. Far removed from the Lamestream media.

    Occasionally they come up with a series (as well as articles on their web site.). The latest (today) is the start of one such series. I think you may find it worthwhile.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sean Stanley-Adams · ·

    Spot on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Robert Graham · ·

    Not strictly relevant to this discussion but Spain has mandated the wearing of facemasks outside in the fresh air, everywhere. Of course, many people either ignore or cheat on this rule but there is widespread acceptance. Spain is also planning to “black list” people who choose not to have the vaccine. How can this behaviour be acceptable in a, supposedly, “democratic” country and when did the Spanish people become so supine?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Something extraordinary is unfolding all around us. Most days I feel like the child in the story of The Emperor with No Clothes. Is it really only me who sees the reality? Heresy, I know, because the majority of people – including so many of my friends and acquaintances – see a clothed Emperor and think he looks terrific, just terrific …

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Douglas Brodie · ·

    An excellent summary of our current sorry situation. We are seeing the terrible effectiveness of state-sponsored propaganda which has cruelly rendered a significant proportion of the general public scared witless and believing that drastic lockdowns are the only solution. As a lockdown sceptic like yourself, I find I have to button my mouth in day to day social contacts to avoid being labelled a crank.

    The thing that upsets me so much is that it is all so unscientific, contrary to the protestations of the politicians. It started off on the right lines with the stated objective of not locking down (as per the then WHO guidelines) and allowing community (herd) immunity to build up, as many countries and states have successfully managed without incurring massive collateral damage. Unfortunately they then switched to conform to the revised globalist consensus. I still can’t help wondering if there is some global ulterior motive behind it all.

    The policy in Scotland was conveniently enunciated last week by the SNP’s Dr Philippa Whitford (a breast surgeon) in the Westminster debate on Boris Johnston’s latest lockdown. To summarise, she attested that the right approach is to pursue total suppression of the virus (zero-Covid), that vaccination is the only acceptable way of getting to herd immunity and that lockdown has to continue for as long as it takes.

    It seems to me as a layman that this goes against almost a century of established medical practice. Surely she was never taught these ideas at medical school (Glasgow University)? Maybe someone more professionally qualified among your readers could comment on this. It seems self-evident to me that her “cure”, based on warped political ideology rather than conventional medical science, is worse than the actual disease when societal collateral damage is taken into account. It must take a herculean effort of 1984 “doublethink” on her part to believe that it is the right course.

    Looking at all-cause deaths to avoid getting bogged down in over-attribution of deaths to Covid and the political panic caused by the “false positive pseudo-epidemic” due to over-reliance on PCR testing, the 2020 UK death rate was actually “unexceptional”. Here in Scotland, if the excess deaths from weeks 14 to 22 are excluded (the initial Covid spike), the 2020 excess death total is just 4% above the 5-year average. Considering that the lockdowns have themselves cause an increase in non-Covid deaths, as you describe, this is surely a statistically insignificant justification for draconian ongoing lockdown, which could well be never-ending if Sturgeon sticks to her unscientific “zero-Covid” strategy.

    We seem to be moving rapidly into an age of de-enlightenment where emotion and ideology trump rationality and common sense. It is particularly worrying that Big Tech and the Davos elite are heavily in on the act. I find it really sad that so many people don’t seem to realise how badly we are being led.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. moraymint · ·

      Good stuff, Doug. You and other blog readers might be interested in this presentation …

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Douglas Brodie · ·

        Yes, I’ve seen that. It should be mandatory viewing for all politicians because it goes beyond the Sweden issue to explain via indisputable facts just how badly Coronavirus has been mishandled, that neither lockdown nor testing mitigate Covid mortality rates and that it is imperative that nothing like this is allowed to happen again.

        As a naturally-sceptical layman, I look to the unambiguous Worldometers data on minimal-lockdown Sweden whose epidemic ended naturally in early July and whose normal winter resurgence of respiratory illness deaths (clearly not an ongoing pandemic) is now rapidly fading away, almost into single figures daily.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Simon Kingsley · ·

    Dear Mr. Moraymint,

    a pleasure to read you again and I hope that you and yours are well and coping. Germany, my current location, is struggling now to cope and at least two federal states, Saxony and Thuringia, have already reached their limits with regard to ICUs, hospital beds, mortuaries and crematoria. Merkel, having handed this country’s, as well as the other EU nations’, vaccine programme over to Brussels is now universally loathed but, as ever, being a politician she will never bear any personal consequences and thus can safely dodge all responsibility. Latest news: Bavaria has ordered compulsory wearing of FFP2 masks on public transport, in shops and outside in general.

    With regard to your blog… I think you will find that Sweden has done some very serious rowing back on its previous no-lockdown policy, events having overtaken it. I am well aware of the lies, damned lies and statistics factor, but it is essential to compare like with like wherever that is possible. One of these ‘likes’ being population density as well as the general number of Swedes vs. Brits etc. I believe Japan and South Korea are also having a COVID-19 problem now.

    What the UK government has not done is produce the data justifying its lockdowns, as you mention, but even then it also becomes a trade off, as in ‘How many lives can or could or should…?’, which is a debate or discussion we are just not equipped as a society to have. Here, and I have this from doctor friends, there are now increasingly more younger and fitter people, with no preconditions, being hospitalised. The politicians were warned well in advance that this would be the virus’ curse but, no surprises, decisions were not taken and action delayed until after events. Our current lockdown is due to end 31st January but we are, if anything, heading for tougher measures and the vaccination scheme is a complete shambles. Doubtlessly, come post mortem time, Brussels will say it all demonstrates the need for even further, deeper and faster EU.

    I have no solutions either, although putting the NHS as is out of misery would be a very good start. Clapping like trained seals, handing out gongs etc. is not even papering over the cracks. If anything the sacred cow will emerge enjoying the kind of Sharia-like protection a certain other deity enjoys… “The NHS…” to be followed by everyone else intoning “The envy of the world” and woe betide those who don’t or just mumble it.

    The pub… I remember it well. Mine’s a pint.

    Best wishes,

    Simon Kingsley

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Old Goat · ·

    You tell it as it is, sir. I had a suspicion at the outset, last year, that there was far more to this “virus” than was readily obvious. Interesting that the town of its “source”, and the scene of frantic lockdowns, and the alleged welding of people into their homes, is now free as a bird, and there are zero restrictions. It’s as if the Chinese are laughing at us…

    Now we are hammered with propaganda, supported by the bods in SAGE (and sage is one thing they are not…) whilst the more scientific approach appears to decry lockdowns and facemasks as useless. We used to hear regularly, especially on alt.news sites and Talk Radio these epidemiologists and virologists giving us the opposite narrative to that issued by the government, but now they are discouraged from speaking out.

    It’s as if the government are desperate to have us do as we are told, and cower in fear behind our sofas, whilst they continue their nefarious work with those who support the Great Reset.

    Because THAT’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

    Reposted on Going Postal

    Liked by 3 people

  9. The best comment I’ve seen so far is from a medic: ‘yes, lives matter but so do livelihoods’.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. There is no moral justification for the lockdowns: not scientific; not economic; not democratic. The only “justification” is political. This so-called Conservative Government had only recently won a large number of normally Labour-voting seats and politically could not afford to see the NHS collapse into the kind of chaos reported from hospitals in Northern Italy.

    In due course we will have a Public Inquiry into the Government’s actions. It’s remit will be set by Parliament and it will be held and controlled by those who advocated a Lockdown (for political reasons).

    It’s findings will be that, yes some mistakes were made. But they were mistakes because the Government failed to lockdown faster, longer and harder.

    The Establishment will circle the wagons to protect their own. Move along ….. nothing to see here.

    And in the rear view mirror will lie the shattered economy; the millions of ruined lives; a mountain of debt and the wreckage of our democracy.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. One of the problems we have is a complete misunderstanding (at best) or complete ignorance (more likely) of the concept of risk in society, and the inherent trade-offs.

    This problem has got worse over the years -for a variety of reasons.

    An obvious example is how we accepted battle casualties in the past – sometimes up to multiple thousands per day – but now beat ourselves up if we lose a couple of men in one incident.

    Civilian casualties? Same problem – an air crash gets huge publicity due to the number of people killed – conveniently forgetting more people die on the roads.

    So to the Covid example and your question – we do not have the language, culture or common vocabulary to start to have a meaning conversation – far less agree the algorithm that kills granny but let’s little Jonny go to school……

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you Moraymint, my views exactly.
    I signed the Great Barrington Declaration when it first appeared and fully support it.
    What worries me most is how we are ever going to be allowed to get out of this situation, the government is in full back-covering mode and I fear they will not ease off completely even when the “cases” fall because “it might come back”…..

    Liked by 2 people

  13. deejaym · ·

    Another masterly SITREP MM…….What is becoming more & more disturbing (to me) is that views allied to yours, Godfrey Bloom, John Ward & Going Postal (to name but 4) are very much outside of the loop & sadly stand no chance of widespread traction & dissemination.

    Its truly staggering to see how far the country has fallen in less than 11 months…….another year of this, what’s going to be left ?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. James De Burghe · ·

    The problem in the UK was simply that at the outset the UK government did not follow the science. Instead Boris walked around shaking hands and pretending the whole thing was just a flash in the pan. The countries that took the threat seriously got on top of the problem by total lockdowns. You are mistaken to believe that Korea and Japan did not lock down, Had the UK gone for a full lockdown as early as last March and ensured strict health checks on the borders it would not be in the mess it is in now. The essence of science is not scetisism but enquiry, testing and peer reviewed proof, please do not confuse those sad and outdated government scientists with science in general, their advice ran contrary to the peer reviewed facts of Covid. If the UK population does not have the self discipline to endure a strict lockdown until the infection rate is severely reduced that it will still be ravaged by this virus in a years time. Vaccine is too little and too late to have any real impact on that outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks James and you make some excellent points. Yes, my argument is not against lockdown, per se, it is to question how COVID-19 mitigation measures are applied across society. I think The Great Barrington Declaration gets to the heart of the matter by advocating a strategy of focused (rather than blunderbuss) protection. It ain’t easy, I accept that, but I shudder at the wider costs to humanity of blanket, state-enforced lockdowns with no clear end in sight and no government-stated exit strategy …

      Liked by 1 person

  15. The sad thing is you will not be wrong – the even sadder thing is that each and every politico responsible for the moral disaster will walk away scot-free.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. marlowejames · ·

    You may not be aware of this externally peer reviewed study of the PCR test protocol that has been the catalyst of the West’s lock downs & Govt policy.
    We repeatedly hear that the Govt is “following the science” and acting accordingly, which would imply that the Govt’s scientific advisors (SAGE) are fully aware of this externally peer reviewed study, but I have seen no evidence of any caution regarding testing, but instead, greater emphasis on the PCR tests to dictate Govt policy.
    https://cormandrostenreview.com/report/

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Lee Taylor · ·

    I for one am fully onboard with your analysis Moray. Its as brilliant as ever. My concern here is what is the end game with this? I am not at heart a conspiracy theory supporter. Most of them are bunk and easily disproved, but the whole lockdown and proto police state that appears to be emerging is to my mind sinister. I have often wondered how one of the most forward and progressive countries on Europe could sleepwalk into a totalitarian state in the 1930’s as Germany did. However you only have to look around to see how the kung flu has relased the inner national socialist in so many to see how this can come about.

    Liked by 4 people

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