Lockdown Summit

Lockdown Summit

On July 17 the first major conference to critically evaluate the global response to COVID-19 will be held in London. I’m delighted that TNE will there to report during the day and – hopefully – record a few interviews with some of the speakers. The speaker line-up is exceptional and includes Luke Johnston, Prof. Karol Sikora, Professor Norman Fenton and Dr Clare Craig. 

The goal of the event is to present a series of responsible pandemic exit strategies to ensure that total harms are minimised, without further lockdowns.

This landmark LIVE event will take place in the presence of media, policy makers, professional bodies and will be livestreamed around the world.  You can register for the livestream here.  

https://www.questioneverything.io/

The response to COVID-19 has without doubt created one of the single largest global catastrophes in modern history. Many countries around the world have been plunged into lockdowns and unorthodox restrictions on an unprecedented scale in an attempt to curb the virus. 

However, a growing body of evidence shows that lockdowns and other interventions have not only failed to influence the course of the pandemic, but have prolonged it and created a trail of devastating short-term and long-term collateral damage that now far exceeds the harms caused by the virus:

UK Hospital waiting lists have reached a record high of 4.7 million people, with almost 390,000 of those waiting for over a year. (Source: NHS)

Over 3 million people in backlog for cancer screening. (Source: Cancer Research UK)

UK national debt at record high – >£2 trillion for first time ever. (Source: ONS)

Over 112 billion days of education lost around the world. (Source: Save the Children)

COVID-19 to plunge as many as 150 million people into extreme poverty around the world. (Source: The Economist)

The long-established rulebook for managing pandemics was thrown out to tackle COVID-19, and now is the time to review the evidence and ask why. 

Be sure to watch the event live. This is an opportunity to critically evaluate the global response to COVID-19 and present a series of responsible pandemic exit strategies to ensure that total harms are minimised.

N for Negligent?

In this harrowing and very personal account, David Howell tells of his own recent experiences with the NHS – and how it seems to have lost sight of the importance of care in its constitution.

Imagine you’ve led a dignified life, a long and dignified life, in which you’ve been a really valued member of society, and a cherished and appreciated member of your family. You’ve paid every penny of tax you’ve ever owed, without complaint, and you’ve supported others not as fortunate as you, by donating to charitable causes. Wouldn’t you then deserve – and be entitled to – the best possible care in your latter years? You certainly wouldn’t expect to be treated as if you’re a burden or an irritant. You would assume a civilised society wouldn’t allow such a thing to occur. Sadly, in the UK, in 2021, this is happening on a daily basis. People are being failed by the very institution that was built to protect them, and that they have paid for all their lives. I had heard the stories, and then I saw it happen before my very eyes. And I was appalled.  

At the beginning of June 2021, around 14 months since the country, en masse, started to sacrifice their civil liberties in order to “help” the NHS cope with Covid cases, both of my wife’s parents were taken into hospital with serious life-threatening conditions. I had watched them slowly deteriorate for months. Their once active lifestyle had all but disappeared. They used to take regular trips out to the local weekly scrabble club and other social gatherings, and visits from their family gave them that essential lifeblood of human connection. Those experiences, of connecting with people, gave them their essential reason to exist, even as they grow older. In retirement they continued to live with some degree of meaning and purpose, still serving society and adding to the rich tapestry of life. They provided real guidance and wisdom to the younger generations in their family, and liked nothing better than to share a meal with family and friends whilst reminiscing about times gone by or discussing the local football team’s form, and their recruitment of new and upcoming players.

The Covid-19 lockdown, imposed by the government in March 2020, virtually halted the lives that these two people enjoyed. Every aspect of their lives was affected. They were cut off from friends and family; they lost their ability to connect, physically, with others. Some of their most basic human needs were cruelly curtailed and instead they started a sentence of solitude, being told to stay confined like criminals in their own home, being made to feel fearful of venturing out; fearing human interaction itself, something that they had so enjoyed. Their greatest joy turned into their greatest fear in an instant. It is now starkly evident to me that their experience over the past 15 months has aged them dramatically. They have descended into poor health and both display signs of the early onset of dementia. They have been tormented. Robbed of their daily outings, they have been stuck inside with the TV on. Thus they have been bombarded by the constant news of Covid-19 deaths and infections, and the repeated chilling adverts showing the nightmare of Covid sufferers. They were subjected to a relentless stream of messages warning that anyone might infect them, that the disease could be lurking around any corner ready to kill them. So they didn’t go out.

We now know that the fear-mongering messages were designed specifically to frighten people and stop them from leaving their homes. The government’s “Behavioural Insights Team” or “nudge unit” was charged with “controlling” people’s behaviour. Perhaps, pre-pandemic, they were a benign team, delivering positive messaging to help improve people’s health. Perhaps they were behind the campaigns to help people to remember to eat “five a day” and “30 x 3” (thirty minutes of exercise 3 times a week). To “nudge” people’s behaviour with pictures of vegetables and yoga classes, to keep them healthy, seems like a fairly positive thing to do. To nudge people’s behaviour, using fear messaging, to prevent them from doing the very things that could keep them well during the outbreak of a respiratory disease – things like getting sunshine, fresh air, and stimulating their immune system with physical contact, is abusive. Terrorising them in their own homes, increasing their stress and anxiety to toxic levels, is surely nothing short of criminal. What was done to people now looks like a macabre social experiment in which they were unwitting, innocent guinea pigs. My wife’s parents, like so many people, dutifully followed the crowd, obeying all the rules, trusting that their government would only ever tell them to do the right thing for themselves and society as a whole. At the very least, we assumed that our sacrifices would mean that the hospitals would be able to cope admirably and compassionately with anyone who needed healthcare. Nothing could be further from what I have experienced.

On the day my father-in-law was admitted, we received a phone call at 10.45 pm telling us to go to the hospital immediately as his condition was critical. A male physician asked us, over the phone, whether my wife was willing to agree to have a “DNR order” put on her father. This order basically means, “do not attempt to resuscitate” if the patient goes into cardiac arrest. The physician explained that, “jumping up and down on an elderly man’s chest is harmful and unethical” and this was the reason my wife should agree to the DNR. I am still struggling to get my head around that logic. To try to save a man’s life by doing something that could kill him is wrong? How? Reluctantly, my wife agreed to the DNR.

When we got to the hospital, which is about 30 miles from our house, only my wife was allowed to go into the ward. I had to wait outside and sleep overnight in the car. We were told that “Covid restrictions” were still in place and most patients were not allowed visitors at all, but my wife’s father’s condition made him a special case. Despite having been warned, on the phone, that she’d have to take a “Covid test”, once we got to the hospital, this was never mentioned again. She spent the night at her father’s bedside. The drugs he’d been given to regulate his heart had put him into what can only be described as a state of psychosis. He was hallucinating, he was agitated, he was confused, and he was extremely hyperactive all night. My wife had an extremely stressful time sitting with him through the night, often having to prevent him, physically, from getting out of bed, and restraining him on numerous occasions when he attempted to remove wires and tubes from his body. Thankfully, he made it through the night, but he had developed urinary problems and had to be transferred to another hospital to have those treated before he could have the surgery that had been offered to him, to fit a pacemaker. This hospital was a further 10 miles away. Fortunately, my wife was still able to accompany him, providing him with comfort and reassurance at a very distressing time.

Once my father-in-law had been transferred to the original hospital and his pacemaker had been fitted, my wife was abruptly told that no further visits would be permitted. Why was that? Her father still needed her, nothing had changed, but she was denied access. In the first two days, she had effectively acted as a support staff member for the NHS. She had been their “eyes and ears” while her father suffered the effects of the administered drugs. She freed up the hospital staff to carry on with their duties instead of having to sit with a distressed man. Once my wife’s services were not needed, she was frozen out. Suddenly she was treated like a hindrance, or an annoyance. And not being there severed her communication. Having seen his reaction to the first drugs he was given, she desperately wanted to keep tabs on what treatment her father was receiving, and to check on whether he was getting enough physiotherapy, and whether he was being mentally stimulated and well fed. She had been taking care of him on behalf of the NHS; she wanted to continue. However, every time she tried to phone to get information she was “fobbed off”. She was told to call back later (that is, if she could even get the phone call answered, most of the time it rang out), or that they would phone (they never did). She was told that there was a shift change, or that the nurses were doing the drugs rounds. She was told they were busy and that the person looking after her father was engaged with looking after someone else. She was tortured by being unable to ascertain whether her father was receiving good treatment. She had no reason to believe he was, and every reason (since she had been doing most of his bedside care herself to this point) to believe that he wasn’t. At every turn, she was made to feel that she was not entitled to any information; that she was a nuisance. This is a terrible thing to put onto someone’s concerned next of kin. And it was counterproductive. Had she been allowed to stay and look after her father, she would not have been calling and bothering them. A lack of information triggers suspicion and anxiety; and eventually leads to conflict. This has been going on for five weeks at time of writing. He is currently still in hospital having now developed a urinary tract infection.  

Throughout this ordeal, my wife has never been without the additional stress and worry over her mother’s condition. My mother-in-law was admitted to hospital a few days after her husband. She has not been 100% since having a triple bypass operation, and is only semi mobile as she has severe back problems. However, the fear and anxiety of being unable to get a face-to-face appointment with her GP for over a year did far more damage to her health than anything else. After her husband – her designated carer – was taken into hospital, her condition got worse.

For several weeks, two people, who have been married for over 40 years, lay in the same hospital, forbidden to see each other. I just weep when I think of their emotional pain. And they were not allowed visits from the closest family members. I will never come to terms with the cruelty of this.   

My mother-in-law was eventually discharged a week ago. She was offered a “care package” that guaranteed she would be visited four times a day. When her son, my brother-in-law, saw her, the first time any family member had seen her for nearly a month, he was horrified at her condition. He said she was in a terrible state; she looked as though she had “aged 10 years” and he wondered how on earth she had fitted the criteria for discharge. She had lost weight and was no longer independently mobile. Unable to get up her stairs, a commode was put in her lounge for her to use. When he voiced his concern to the care worker who arrived that evening, he was told, “I’ve seen a lot worse.” We all immediately agreed that, if people were getting discharged from hospital in a state a lot worse than that, there was something seriously wrong in the “health service”. 

During her first night at home, my mother-in-law developed chest pains and phoned for an ambulance. But when it arrived, the paramedics who examined her declared that she was not “bad enough” to be admitted to hospital but that someone should remain with her. Which, again, seemed to put a lot of responsibility on a family member – in this case, to be my wife’s brother. She got through the night and the next day, but the following night had a fall. The carer found her on the floor in the morning and an ambulance was called again. This time she was admitted to hospital to examine whether she had hurt anything during the fall.

Why hadn’t the original ambulance call out resulted in her being readmitted? Well, we later found out that ambulance staff are encouraged not to take recently discharged patients to hospital because it would be registered as a “failed discharge” and be a black mark on the hospital’s records.

Our relief that she was back in hospital being cared for was soon shattered. Just over 24 hours later, my brother-in-law, after a terrible ordeal trying to get information about what ward his mother had been admitted to, discovered that she had spent her first day back in hospital lying on a trolley in a hospital corridor with no food, no water, and no company. Before he received this devastating information, he’d been given the usual run around on the phone, unable to speak to anyone for hours. At one point he was told his mother was okay and then the person on the phone admitted that she hadn’t actually seen his mother, she just “knew” she was okay! When he finally got through to someone in charge, and voiced his concerns that his mother had been mistreated, he was told, “We’re not a care home.” Clearly the hospital felt that only “care homes” need provide care; hospitals are not required to provide care… or food… or water.

Where, as a society, have we gone wrong, when a man can complain that his elderly mother has been abused – denied comfort, food and water from an institution she had invested her hard earned money into all her life – only to be told, “We’re not a care home.” Have we totally dehumanised the NHS? Is this what everyone was coerced into clapping for? Perhaps, when a society deems it acceptable for a 100-year-old man to “raise money” for an institution that we have all paid for, the perception will be that anyone receiving any treatment from it should count themselves extremely lucky and not expect luxury extras like care, food and water! What next? Should we clap for the Bank of England as they raise our interest rates? Cheer for HMRC as they chase near-bankrupt businesses for tax payments? Draw rainbows for the Home Office as they introduce legislation that will all but ban our right to protest?  

My in-laws are both still in hospital. My father-in-law is now battling with a new urinary tract infection in hospital. He’d been there for four weeks when we discovered, to our horror, that he still had a DNR order “on him”. By this time he was certainly out of danger, but if something had happened to him, the hospital would have had no legal duty to try and resuscitate him! It happened to be a Sunday afternoon when we suddenly thought to check that the DNR order had been lifted. When we got through to the ward sister, we were told that we’d been very inconsiderate for calling on a Sunday and that the DNR could only be overturned by a doctor, and that could only be done the following day. She treated us as if we were asking for a very inconvenient favour! To add insult to injury, one of the nurses went and discussed this matter directly with my father-in-law. He obviously had no idea he’d been placed under a DNR on the night he’d been admitted to hospital, because he’d been so unwell. He became extremely distressed and when my wife spoke to him, later that day, he was very confused and upset. Can you imagine discovering the existence of a legal document declaring that, if you went into cardiac arrest during a stay in hospital, they were not required to try and save your life?

During the discussion with the ward sister, it became apparent that she blamed us for not “remembering to cancel the DNR”. It wasn’t a wine club subscription! Surely a medical professional caring for my father-in-law should have taken responsibility for questioning the DNR. Or perhaps they just didn’t notice it themselves. Perhaps it was just too much hassle to raise the issue. Again, what kind of society allows this from medical professionals? 

Conway’s Law, commonly known as the “mirroring hypothesis” is based on the work of Melvin Conway, an American computer scientist and programmer who came to prominence in the 1960s. He stated that, “Organisations which design systems are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organisations.” In other words, organisations tend to create systems that mirror their own communication structures. So we can assume that the behaviour of the staff in the NHS is a reflection of whatever has been communicated by the administration and leadership. For example, if they have been told they will only be judged on how many “failed discharges” are recorded and not on the number of complaints made by relatives of patients, then we know where they will put their efforts. How can we square this up with the Hippocratic oath, “First do no harm?” I’m sure it does not mean, “First do no harm to your KPI targets.”

The NHS is not a business. The NHS is a service that most people in the UK spend all their lives paying into on the understanding that they will receive the best care in their twilight years. If the NHS can no longer provide that, or no longer wants to provide that, then it has failed us. Give us our money back and let us build our own health service based on the principles of “people first”; that is the very least our elderly and infirm deserve. As Gandhi is reported to have said, “The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.”

David Howell

David is a retired UK Police Sergeant. He worked in police aviation for many years, specialising in training and crew resource management. He is now a training consultant, with his own business, and is an advisory board member of Conduct Change. 

Face Liberation

As a writer, watching what has unfolded in the world over the past 15 months and trying to comment in real time and diarise for posterity, has been exhausting. At every turn, aghast at what has been done to people, I’ve wanted to scream from the rooftops. But it takes time to formulate one’s thoughts. It takes patience. Some pieces are ready quickly; some pieces take months to gestate. The urge is always there… to record, analyse and share. No matter what I’m experiencing, in real time, I’m also thinking about how it relates to something I’m writing.

As someone who has been deeply, relentlessly and systematically traumatised by the sight of masks and by the bullying of mask zealots (including by a member of the British Transport Police who saw fit to torment me and challenge me on my exemption despite knowing I was committing no offense), I wanted to comment on the horrific outpouring of mask worshipping by certain voices in the media in the wake of Monday 5th July’s announcement that they will no longer be mandated by any law. But I cannot express my feelings any better than Professor Robert Dingwall, who has tirelessly fought to protect our human rights, via his presence on government advisory bodies, against what can only be described as a complete coup by the combined interests of communists, biotechfascists and ecofascists.

Please put aside any preconceived ideas and beliefs you have around mask wearing, and read his words. Please encourage others – especially those who believe they are wearing masks for virtuous reasons – to read his words. Then please, for the sake of humanity, stop wearing masks. If nothing else, do it for the babies. They have been starved of human faces, and their development will have suffered if they’re surrounded by the masked. Take off your masks for the babies and smile at every one you see. There may yet be hope for the human race.

And thank you, Professor Dingwall, for your thoughtful, profound and courageous words. They are deeply moving.  

“As a member of government advisory bodies, I have always felt it would be incompatible with that status not to wear a face covering where legally required to. However, I shall cease to do so from 19 July when these requirements lapse.

I shall do this as an act of solidarity with all the people who have been exempt because of respiratory and neurodiverse conditions.

I shall do this as an act of solidarity with all the people who have been exempt because of trauma induced by previous assaults or abuse.

Both of these groups have often had a hard time over the last 15 months from police officers, street marshals, security guards, door staff and self-appointed busybodies.

I shall do this as an act of solidarity with all the people with communication difficulties, whether auditory and unable to lip-read, or visual and unable to use sound for reliable interaction and navigation.

I shall do this as an act of solidarity with all the small children whose education has been disrupted by the lack of visual clues, especially in language development.

I shall do this because, as SAGE, ECDC, WHO, CDC, CEBM, etc. have pointed out, the evidence of benefit in interrupting transmission from face covering is weak and ambiguous, allowing any partisan to cherry pick studies that suit their case.

I shall do this because, as the highly charged responses to the UK government’s announcement have shown, the main reasons for covering faces are now about fear and anxiety which will not be eased by clinging any longer to these comfort blankets.

I shall do this because I, too, am a moral person who cares about those with disabilities who are potential victims of discrimination, about small children whose development is disrupted, and about respect for scientific evidence.

If others take a different view, that is their prerogative. However, I will not allow them to suggest that I am less moral or caring and I will expect them to respect my choices as I respect theirs.”

Masked Virtue

There’s an argument that has been doing the rounds today on Twitter.  It’s this: that the wearing of face-masks, after the mandate is lifted on July 19, is something that should be done ‘for others’ – as an act of selflessness.  It’s an argument that’s been made by politicians like Layla Moran, as well as Femi Oluwole, the self-styled ‘political activist’. 

What about the voluntarily un-vaxed non-mask wearers?
Femi: Last Mask Standing

But let’s think about that argument. I’m not proposing discussing the merits of wearing masks or their efficacy. (The evidence for their efficacy in terms of reducing spread of disease is flimsy – especially when the incidence of symptomatic Covid in the general population is tiny). 

But let’s assume that those who wear masks for others, not for themselves, are doing so for non-mask-wearers. Because, clearly, they can’t be doing it for mask-wearers who are ‘protected’ by their own masks (unless they don’t work).

Those who will not be wearing masks post-July 19 will clearly be of the view that the risks of them spreading Covid will be miniscule. They’ll also be of the view that other mask non-wearers will not present a material risk to them and vice versa.  Moreover, like me, they’ll be of the view that those who continue to wear masks might have residual concerns about risks – but they are protected (even if only psychologically) by the fact that they are wearing masks themselves.

So everyone is happy.

But not so. Apparently, non-mask wearers will be considered selfish – even though they clearly present little to no risk based on minimal risk of spread (as verified by the government) and the fact that mask-wearers are, in effect, double-protected (from lower general risk in the population and their wearing of masks).

Therefore, the only conclusion one can reach is that mask wearers will be deriving some other selfish benefit or utility from mask wearing – namely that it will make them feel more virtuous.

The actual utility provided by the mask (to mask-wearers motivated by the selflessness argument) is neither here nor there. Rather, mask-wearers can assume a virtue-signalling high ground based on their selflessness that is, ultimately, selfish. 

The wearing of masks will become a virtue signalling act of theatre and the next step in the evolution of identity politics. 

But, thankfully, I don’t think it’ll last long.  Soon everyone will be skinny-dipping like it’s 2019. 

Be More Bev

A couple of days ago a friend sent me a clip from the Jeremy Vine show; I believe it was filmed a few weeks ago. Jeremy is someone I once enjoyed listening to, and even spoke to as a phone-in guest on his BBC 2 radio show a couple of times. He has always been acerbic but I remember appreciating his non-partisan stance. In particular, I recall, he encouraged fair debate on Brexit and on the issue of extreme environmental activism. But if the incident that occurred on his TV show did not horrify him, I can only assume he has completely lost his mind.  

In the clip, I saw a journalist I have come to know as Bev Turner being harassed by a fellow panellist whose name I do not know (and do not think I wish to know). That a grown woman in the UK in 2021 felt justified in speaking to another grown woman with such vulgar contempt and ignorance, on live television, shocked me to the core. I have not watched mainstream broadcast television since March 2020. Is this what it has come to? Please watch the clip before reading on.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CQypqlbAPbQ/

If you were unable to watch the link for any reason, let me describe the moment. The fellow panellist demands to know which make of “Covid vaccine” Bev has taken. She goads, aggressively and not so passively, “Did you have the Pfizer or the Oxford AstraZeneca? I have a right to know, Bev. It affects me. I’m sitting here within feet of you, I have a right to know.” There follows some childish rant, after Bev offers some scientific insight, in which this woman suggests that, since Bev doesn’t have a medical degree she has no right to question any medicine the government dictates she takes. Wow. When Bev exercises her right not to discuss her medical history with this woman (or the general viewing public), the woman says, “The fact that she refuses to say, means to me that she hasn’t had it.” And?

One would assume that most rational adults watching this would be disgusted by it, but upon further research it appears that OfCom received thousands of complaints. But not about the abuse. People were furious that Bev dared to tell the truth, which is that all the medicines currently offered as “Covid vaccines” are still in clinical trials. Well if the public is not aware that all “Covid vaccines” are still in clinical trials until at least 2023, then, Houston, we have a serious problem. Every person who has received, or is going to receive, a “Covid vaccine” should have been clearly informed by the “vaccinator” that these drugs are still in clinical trials. The UK regulator has approved these drugs on the understanding that a) we are in a serious public health emergency, and b) there is no other available treatment. If either of those factors were found to be incorrect, at any time in what is an ever-evolving situation, the “emergency approval” would have no basis; the drugs would have to be withdrawn immediately. You can whistle any tune you like to avoid them but these are the indisputable facts. In addition, while government officials are very keen to claim that it is the roll out of “Covid vaccines” (and no other factor) that has “broken the link” between infections and death, no one – I repeat, no one – has ever suggested that these drugs a) prevent infection (as the rapid rise of the not-too-serious “delta variant” in “vaccinated” folk has proved) or b) prevent transmission (see also, “vaccinated” carriers of the “delta variant” infecting family members).  

Watching this altercation, I was reminded of being hounded by schoolgirls over whether or not I’d lost my virginity. They demanded to know my sexual experience status; they silenced me for a week to try to make me tell them. It reminded me of being harassed by a former boss who demanded I tell him whether or not I had a boyfriend and froze me out of meetings until I admitted that I didn’t have one, which he took as a cue to attempt sexual assault. It reminded me of my elderly relative who lived in terror of people finding out she was Jewish in the 1940s… because she knew it would mean death. 

I ask you to sit down and ask yourself a serious question: what have we become? 

This incident, broadcast on national television, has nothing to do with viruses or politics or health or medicines or even fear. The situation I witnessed was one of pure oppression and discrimination. On live television, one woman berated another woman because she felt entitled to a “better” status. The implication of this woman’s interrogation was, “I have a status that deems me an acceptable human being and unless you reveal you have equal status, I will deem you an unacceptable human being.” The belief upon which this statement was made is completely unscientific; the statement is simply a vicious verbal attack that seeks to undermine Bev’s rights as a human being. It is an attempt to dehumanise her. 

Moreover, a full understanding of the medical facts (cases currently being far more prevalent in people who are medicated than people who are not medicated) would suggest that Bev – if she had not chosen to be medicated – would be at greater risk of contamination from the other woman. But Bev does not seek to ostracise that woman, or claim a higher status. This woman must understand her responsibility. She is on national television. People will model her behaviour. Young people will model her behaviour. And unless she makes a full apology to Bev, this kind of behaviour will lead to chaos. Perhaps even death… as it eventually did in Germany in the 1940s. 

Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. Pictures from the G7 Summit showed guests were maskless whilst catering staff were all masked. A photo taken at Wimbledon recently depicts the smiling faces of the Duchess of Cambridge and her friends having a wonderful time, laughing joyfully. But we cannot see the smiles of the ball boys and ball girls as they have all been forced to wear masks. Last I heard, we were engaged in uniting against discrimination, not creating new ways to impose it. None of this is okay. It is uncivilised, unBritish and unacceptable.

But there is a silver lining.

Bev Turner is a survivor. Bev Turner is a warrior. Bev Turner showed viewers that, when you are being bullied you must stand up for yourself and defend your human rights. Bev Turner’s behaviour will also be modelled.

Do the right thing, kids. Bev is fierce. Be more Bev.

#BeMoreBev

Ivermectin: Censorship and Covid

ivermectin

This article is about suppression of free speech and censorship. Prior to 2020 academics – especially clinicians – would openly debate and discuss the merits of different pharmaceutical and medical interventions to treat illness. With Covid, that ended. Suddenly. The suppression of free speech has accompanied unparalleled state intervention, fear-driven propaganda and social coercion. And the degree of corporate and media involvement in the suppression of free speech, and dissemination of an “approved narrative,” has taken many of us by surprise. We’re happy to publish this article by Josh Hamilton on how the Ivermectin story has been systematically suppressed. A version of this article was originally published on Josh’s own website (link at the bottom).


There was a PHD of evolutionary biology, who in April of 2020, was saying, calmly, that the genome of covid-19 looked suspiciously like it had been modified or engineered in a laboratory. Despite no evidence to suggest that this was patently false, and a long line of coincidences to suggest that the lab leak theory was, at the very least, plausible – this was dismissed out of hand by the mainstream media. His name was Dr. Bret Weinstein, who discussed this theory openly and frequently with his wife, Dr Heather Heying, on their Dark Horse podcast and on other shows hosted by Joe Rogan and Bill Maher.

We now know that the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a level 4 biosafety laboratory, was working on “gain of function” research on how coronaviruses jump from species to species. Sky News Australia has even revealed that labs were working on live bats around the beginning of the pandemic. This was being funded by the NIH and the US government (either knowingly or unknowingly) through a group called Ecohealth Alliance. This kind of research was banned by the Obama administration and this funnelling of funding through Ecohealth circumvented the ban. The President of Ecohealth Alliance, was then hired to lead the task-force into whether covid-19 had leaked from a lab. Although Daszak declared in The Lancet that he has “no competing interests” on Covid-19.

Despite Dr Weinstein’s credentials and his calm and considered presentation of the evidence, he was labelled by some as a conspiracy theorist along with anyone who chose to suggest that the lab leak was a very plausible theory for the origin of covid. It turns out the theory was racist as well – “Baseless accusations of Chinese culpability for the virus have already fueled xenophobia and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the Bay Area and across the country.”

Regardless of how accurate the theory might be, the crucial point to note here is that our media institutions have taken it upon themselves to become the arbiters of truth – to arrogantly decide that they know best. Anything outside of the mainstream is a conspiracy theory or misinformation, until they decide it is not. The glass, on this occasion, was shattered by the appearance of John Stewart on Stephen Colbert’s show and suddenly it was a plausible theory again. 

So the truth has come to light, isn’t that what the system is meant to do? Unfortunately no. The point of the media was never to censor, rather it was to inform and challenge the status quo, not help prop it up. This theory being suppressed and dismissed for so long may not have caused much measurable real-world harm beyond the loss of mainstream recognition for any public figure or scientist who chose to pursue this theory, but that does not mean that censorship is harmless. There is, as Bret Weinstein himself said on his latest appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, no scenario is which censorship is for the ultimate good of civilization and society. The censors and book burners of history are never the heroes. 

The mainstream media was wrong, the fact-checkers were wrong, and the people who were right had their reputations tarnished with no apology; yet the people who were wrong remain unassailable as our keepers of the truth. I do often wonder when the mainstream will lose all credibility. They can be wrong time and time again, and yet we still believe them to be correct when they label someone as a conspiracy theorist or remove their content from YouTube.

Bret Weinstein has lost much of his income provided by YouTube adverts as they have demonetised all of his content. Interestingly they are still advertising on his videos, so there is no issue from advertisers. This may not be total censorship, but it is implicitly pushing us all towards a place where we dare not speak the wrong words, lest the ad money be stripped from us by the gods of Silicon Valley. 

Which brings us to Ivermectin. 

From the FLCCC (Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance)

Bret Weinstein hosted Dr Pierre Kory on his podcast to discuss the drug Ivermectin. Here are just some of his credentials:

Pierre Kory is the former Chief of the Critical Care Service and Medical Director of the Trauma and Life Support Center at the University of Wisconsin. He is considered one of the world pioneers in the use of ultrasound by physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of critically ill patients.

Dr. Kory was also one of the U.S. pioneers in the research, development, and teaching of performing therapeutic hypothermia to treat post-cardiac arrest patients. In 2005, his hospital was the first in New York City to begin regularly treating patients with therapeutic hypothermia. He has won numerous departmental and divisional teaching awards in every hospital he has worked. He has delivered hundreds of courses and invited lectures throughout his career.

Dr. Kory has led ICU’s in multiple COVID-19 hotspots throughout the pandemic. Having led his old ICU in New York City during their initial surge in May for 5 straight weeks, he then travelled to other COVID-19 hotspots to run COVID ICU’s in Greenville, South Carolina and Milwaukee, WI during their surges. He has co-authored 5 influential papers on COVID-19, with the most impactful being a paper that was the first to support the diagnosis of early COVID-19 respiratory disease as an organizing pneumonia, thus explaining the critical response of the disease to corticosteroids.

In this discussion they closely and thoroughly examined the evidence that Ivermectin could be the final tool we need to defeat covid-19.

The podcast was quickly removed from YouTube, citing spam or misleading practices. Ivermectin itself is mentioned in the YouTube community guidelines as being forbidden to discuss as a treatment for Covid (that alone for me is a “what the fuck?” moment). Who are YouTube, the video-hosting platform, to decide they have more expertise than two clinicians – one of whom literally worked and treated covid-19 patients on the front line and pioneered the treatments that we use to this day to treat covid in hospitals. How on earth can we pretend we exist in a free and open society when doctors are silenced for discussing medicine?

The drug has shown in a number of trials that it has remarkable efficacy in treating Covid, especially in the early stages, and as a preventative measure – in other words as a prophylactic. There are even studies suggesting its efficacy against long covid and post-vaccine syndromes, though further research is required here. 

Dr Kory thought that when he assembled the evidence towards the end of last year that this drug was proving incredibly effective when it was administered en masse in countries like Mexico, India, and Peru and in studies in other countries with large and small sample sizes. One study of frontline health workers found that not a single one of over 700 who participated in a trial of ivermectin contracted covid-19. 

Weinstein suggested on the Lex Fridman Show that this may well be a case of an auto-pilot gone wrong. YouTube are forced to use an algorithm to scan videos to track and monitor content. They have to deal with an unfathomable amount of information, though that does not excuse them. There is a high likelihood that the censors at YouTube are doing this to prevent the spread of dangerous misinformation, but, in their hubris, they have decided that in pursuit of this goal, it is acceptable to censor those who discuss issues like this honestly and in good faith – those who are actually qualified (even by YouTube’s standards) to discuss this. 

If the drug is even half as effective as some of the studies have shown, then the censorship of discussion about this drug is the most egregious form of authoritarianism that I can imagine. It is negligent man-slaughter on a global scale, perpetrated by those who claim to fact-check and censor with (they claim) our best interests at heart.

These are the folks who over the past year have told you that the lab leak theory was a racist conspiracy theory – until it wasn’t, the Great Reset was a conspiracy theory – until it wasn’t, and that vaccine passports were a conspiracy theory – until they weren’t. The official line is that vaccines are the way to freedom and a return to normal life, so anything that promotes an alternative narrative is dangerous to that goal – it puts the entire project at risk. Therefore, Bret Weinstein, Dr Kory and co. cannot be allowed to propose that there may be an alternative treatment – as that may reduce people’s willingness to get the vaccine and defeat the effort to drive Covid-19 to extinction. 

There is also a quiet suggestion that, if there was a safe and effective treatment that had already been approved by medical agencies around the world, it would have been impossible to get the emergency approvals needed to administer the vaccines. 

When Dr Tess Lawrie from the British Ivermectin Recommendation Development Group (BIRD) group – a grassroots initiative bringing together clinicians, health researchers and patient representatives from around the world to advocate for the use of ivermectin against covid-19 – attempted to post on LinkedIn about her meta-analysis of 15 studies on the effectiveness of Ivermectin, the link was forbidden to be posted. Dr Lawrie has also been removed from Twitter after her analysis of adverse effects of vaccines from publicly available data. 

https://twitter.com/IanHarper58/status/1407245779467649026

She was not allowed to post as there is no evidence that Ivermectin is an effective treatment for Covid-19 – therefore one cannot post evidence that Ivermectin might be effective. You may not post evidence, because there is no evidence. This kind of logic is both dangerous and highly disturbing to anyone concerned with free and open debate. If there is a drug that might work, that doctors who are using it say it works, then we need to have an open and in-depth discussion about the evidence. Not shut down any conversation as there is not enough evidence. 

Tim Pool, who is famously derided for sitting on the fence on many issues, simply mentioned that a new Ivermectin study from Oxford University was showing promising results. For that egregious relaying of the facts, Tim’s channel was served with this warning

This drug is not patented and is cheap to produce (some estimates have it costing $1-2 per treatment), it’s been administered worldwide over 4 billion times and has been shown across numerous studies to be effective against Covid. This could literally be our salvation – we have the final nail in the Covid coffin – this might be the chance to defeat Covid and fulfil even the deepest desires of the zero Covid zealots.

But, instead, for whatever reason, our system is trying every way to shut down discussion about it. Vaccines are the only way out, apprently. The only drug which is acceptable to discuss is the patented and expensive drug, Remdesivir (which costs £1900 ($3000) for a 5 day treatment). Best of all, whilst doctors are screaming about Ivermectin, the U.S. and Dr Fauci are shutting their eyes so tight, they’ve decided to invest $3.2 billion in a search for new anti-viral drugs. 

It does not surprise me that much that our system has chosen this path – regardless of whether it is malice, greed, or incompetence (perhaps a mixture of both). For too long our system has failed to do what is best for society and focused solely on what is best for the wealthy. When lockdowns are profitable for the biggest corporations in the world, it makes sense that our governments support them. When vaccines (utilising a brand new piece of technology with no long term safety data and for which the manufacturers are exempt from liability) are more profitable than an already tested drug – it makes sense that is what the system will support. When outsourcing our healthcare services in Britain to private companies proves far less effective, but more profitable, of course the system chooses that option. It’s because profit is king – it comes above truth, public health, and the prosperity of society as a whole. This is unfortunately the reality we live in. If you think the current crop of politicians on either side of the Atlantic actually care about the people and not just their votes (save for a rare few) – you’re sadly mistaken. 

Some people in Britain and America have decried the lack of action from their governments, claiming that tens, if not hundreds of thousands of deaths, could have been prevented had we simply locked down sooner. Yet these same people are utterly silent on the fact that since last year we have had a drug that has been shown time and again to be incredibly effective at treating Covid, especially when catching it early. The fact that discussion of this drug has been so heavily censored is criminal – had a free and open discussion about it been possible, there are equally tens of thousands of people who might have been saved in the UK or US alone – millions if we consider the global figures. 

Censorship has quite literally killed people. If one life could have been saved by this drug, isn’t it worth discussing? Censorship is a horrifying practice and one that I used to believe we as a society abhorred. Instead, through fear and trauma of a year of pandemic and lockdowns we’ve been rail-roaded into believing censorship is for our own good.  It is not. It never is. It never will be. I only hope enough of us realise this in time. 

By Josh Hamilton. Editor at https://thejist.co.uk and Host of Chatter

We Are Civilians

civilians

The First World War was not known, at the time, as the First World War, of course; it came to be known as the “Great War” – a description as peculiarly paradoxical as “perfect storm” – because H.G. Wells declared it would be “The War That Will End War” (the title of his book of collected articles from the time). Alas, he was overly optimistic.

War is a very lucrative business and integrity holds little value on the balance sheet. History has shown that some corporations are willing to profiteer indiscriminately, happily making deals with both sides, calling themselves “neutral” rather than “unscrupulous”. Nation states can be equally duplicitous. During the American Civil War, despite Queen Victoria giving an official “Proclamation of Neutrality” in 1861, the British government endorsed Liverpool shipbuilders supplying the Confederate states with battleships.

War is also cruel and merciless as it destroys innocent lives. The first two British civilians killed by aerial bombardment when the German Zeppelin airships attacked Great Yarmouth on 19th January 1915, were reported to be 53-year-old shoemaker Samuel Smith and 72-year-old widow Martha Taylor. Many more civilians would subsequently lose their lives as a result of air raids over Britain during the First and Second World Wars. The sight and sound of bombs dropping from the skies onto our towns and cities is, thankfully, an experience that is barely still in living memory in the UK, although we now live under the threat of terrorist attacks that periodically maim and kill civilians. Acts of “terror” is how we have come to define acts of war committed by self-appointed leaders and proponents of extreme ideologies that we oppose.

The Council of Europe’s “Manual for Human Rights Education With Young People” poses complex and ethical questions about what constitutes an act of war and what constitutes an act of terrorism. ‘Both involve acts of extreme violence, both are motivated by political, ideological or strategic ends, and both are inflicted by one group of individuals against another. The consequences of each are terrible for members of the population – whether intended or not.’ In other words, both objectively violate human rights. ‘Wars and national emergencies,’ the manual explains, ‘allow for states to “derogate” from – or temporarily put aside – some of their human rights commitments. However, certain human rights, such as the right to life or the right to be free from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment can never be put aside. These are regarded as so important and so fundamental that they should be observed even when a state’s security is at risk.’ 

We will return to what constitutes “torture, inhuman and degrading treatment” another day.

War is justified, by those who wage it, as being necessary in the pursuit of protecting the land, people and status quo of their nation or society. So in the absence of worldwide universal agreement on how land, people and status quo should be structured and run, war is always inevitable. And in the pursuit of what the instigators of war seek to achieve, there will always be civilian casualties. But what differentiates the British civilians killed by a suicide bomber on the London Underground from the Iraqi civilians or Syrian civilians killed by airstrikes performed by HM Armed Forces, other than the chance location of their birth? Amnesty International estimates over 1,600 civilians in Raqqa, Syria, lost their lives in air strikes by the British, US and French coalition in 2017. The civilian death toll from the various wars waged in Iraq is well documented. The killing of any civilian in any war is the most atrocious waste of life.     

“Civilian” apparently comes from old French, the word “civilien”, meaning to being ruled by “civil law”.  What underpins civil law is “natural law”, which states that all persons are born free and have the right to live without fear of unjust oppression. Natural law also states that killing a person is always wrong, and that punishing someone who kills another person with intent is always right.

We come up against a stark oxymoron in the term “civil war”. We agree that “war” refers to an attack by one side upon another, but civilians, by definition, are persons not engaged in combat, so how can they fight to defend their civilian rights without employing actions that would deem them combatants and not civilians? The only true way for civilians to “fight” in a civil war is to do so without engaging in any direct combat, by mounting a peaceful resistance to the war waged on them. If they maintain their civilian status they will be protected under the “Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War”, which states that all persons “in enemy hands” not covered by the conventions on – for example – prisoners of war (captured and imprisoned combatants) and medical personnel, must have a specific status: civilian status. No one can be unprotected by the law or fall outside of the categories of the conventions.

Civilians are also protected under the International Humanitarian Law, which is particularly applicable in the case of so-called “civil war” because it sets out what a regime can and cannot do to its own people if it is attempting to assert power in an oppressive and unethical manner.

The flaw in the ointment, with regard to our current global situation, is that these conventions are predicated on the assumption that war, by definition, is waged by physical force, that you can only attack people with physical weapons (such as guns and bombs) and physical acts (such as rape and torture). For a long time, we assumed that domestic abuse could only be classified as such if it involved physical abuse. It took years to establish, by law, that pure psychological abuse is abuse. Any physical abuse is also, by its very nature, psychologically abusive, but the added cruelty of pure psychological abuse is that the victim has no scars to show as evidence. The most cunning abusers know this, and take great pains to cover their tracks and ensure there is no direct proof of their crimes.

If pure psychological abuse absent physical assault on an individual can legally constitute domestic abuse, then it follows that pure psychological abuse absent physical attack on entire societies constitutes an act of war. Just because you can’t see bruises doesn’t mean someone hasn’t been abused. Just because you can’t see bomb wreckage, doesn’t mean civilians haven’t been attacked. If a hostile entity attacks the minds of huge swathes of the civilian population, turning them into self-harming, propaganda-spouting ideologues, who will even go to unimaginable lengths to defend the harms they perpetrate on themselves, it is clear that a war has been waged, that we are witnessing psychological warfare. Any techniques used to psychologically abuse civilians should be classified as weapons; these can be just as deadly as physical and biological weapons. In fact, perhaps more so, since the victim will often remain oblivious to the fact that they have been attacked, making them increasingly vulnerable to further abuse down the line.

Cunning psychopaths don’t throw punches; they lie, they manipulate, they gaslight, they deceive, they falsify, and they play psychological games with their victims. One of the most egregious tactics of all is to frame the “good guys” as the “bad guys” and vice versa. Causing confusion is a particularly effective method of psychological control. Everything is perception, and distortion is a powerful and manipulative tool. 

That we are living through World War Three is indisputable, even if the true face of our “enemy” is not entirely evident yet. Efforts to unmask the identities of those who constructed and coordinated the attacks on us will presumably continue far into the future. No doubt a hugely complex picture will eventually emerge. Heavy is the pathogen that wears the false crown.

But when human beings assume authority over others, and grab power by force and stealth, they become weak and trapped by their own machinations of mendacity. Every tyrant eventually discovers this. Succession without authenticity is destined to fail. To be truly powerful you must humbly offer yourself as a sacrificial lamb to your disciples. You must sit so squarely in your purity and unshakeable integrity that the brave and broken flock to you, seeking out your light in the darkness. Only then will you freely, almost accidentally, attract the respect of those you lead. This is why the story of Jesus of Nazareth has endured for so many years. Gandhi had this inherent power, as did Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Which leader, today, could hold a candle to any of these people? Perhaps, when the leaders become pathologically weak, the flock have to become lions.

The final civilian death count from World War Three is likely to exceed, by far, all civilian deaths ever recorded in all the wars that human beings have ever waged combined. This is because the definition will come to include any death that can be traced back to the harm caused by any measure deliberately imposed upon the civilian population in the name of “controlling” a virus. The argument will be made that those imposing such measures knew that viruses cannot be “controlled”. Even if they could be, all control measures would have to have passed strict safety standards and a cost-benefit analysis proving they did not do more harm than good; you can’t just experiment on people with measures that have never been tried and tested before. None of this happened, of course. So we will be looking at deaths due to the withdrawal of health services, deaths due to fear-induced stress causing heart disease, deaths due to social neglect, deaths due to fear of contacting emergency services, deaths due to fear of leaving the home, deaths due to stress-induced domestic abuse, deaths due to increased drug and alcohol abuse, deaths due to malnutrition from loss of livelihood, deaths due to compromised human immune systems, deaths due to medical malpractice, deaths due to the politicisation of medical interventions and the hasty authorisation of novel drugs, deaths due to ADE, deaths due to failed medical experimentation, deaths due to lung disease caused by mask wearing, and deaths due to suicide as a direct result of isolation and the loss of hope. Deaths that will not be recorded as civilian deaths during World War Three will be those triggered by an upper respiratory virus. You cannot hold a virus responsible for intentionally inflicting harm on people.

That the UK government, with full knowledge of how many actual deaths are caused by these life-threatening measures, is still attempting to impose them, still justifying them using flawed models of predicted deaths from covid, is unconscionable. The use of an unknowable counter-factual in their argument is deceitful and cruel. To say, “this person would definitely have died of covid if this child had been allowed to attend school, therefore denying children education is justified and in future all children must not attend school,” is like saying, “this particular person would definitely have died of covid if they hadn’t had this vaccine, therefore the vaccine saved their life, therefore everyone must take this vaccine,” or, “We’ve vaccinated all these people and fewer people are getting infected therefore it must be the vaccine, it cannot possibly be seasonality or natural herd immunity,” or, “The rains came today because I finally sacrificed my sheep this morning; if I hadn’t sacrificed my sheep there would have been no rain.”. These are arguments built on sand, which simply have no meaningful validity, and it is blatantly clear that those in positions of power are cognisant of this nonsense.

Reading this report published in July 2020 in which the government tries to balance the death and devastation caused by lockdowns with upsides such as cleaner air, is mentally excruciating. As is trying to follow public addresses made by England’s Chief Medical Officer. His crowning moment, though, was this Royal Society of Medicine interview with Professor Simon Wessely, in which he repeatedly contradicts himself and seems to lose track of where he is in the false narrative. Ultimately they are all trying to squeeze square pegs into round holes – in other words trying to justify killing and harming a lot of young and healthy people who had their whole lives ahead of them in order to save a small number of very old, poorly people who have led full and interesting lives but are close to death. Are we saying that it is acceptable to let people die of anything but covid? That cancer deaths are acceptable, fatal heart attacks are acceptable and suicides are acceptable, but covid deaths are unacceptable deaths? That covid must be contained at any and all cost because it would be a crime to “allow” anyone to Die of Covid. This is an unacceptable, deadly doctrine.    

World War Three will come to be known as the War on Humanity. In the name of covid, an unmitigated attack on everything that makes us human was launched. We can see now that this was never about a virus; it was only ever about control. Specifically, there appears to be a sinister attempt to strip us of our individual human idiosyncrasies and natural rights. We have systematically and cruelly been denied the most fundamental aspects of human life: the sight of human faces, the tenderness of human touch, the joy of social interaction, in-person healthcare, sunlight on our skin, the freedom to breathe unimpeded, the freedom to speak uncensored, the ability to earn a living, the right to protest, and – by the far the cruellest infringement of our natural human rights – the right to hold the hand of a loved one as they take their last breath, and the right to witness our precious offspring take their first. 

The wheels are slowly coming off the “war on covid” as the “R” of truth overtakes the “R” of lies. This is because lies will always eat themselves and end up diminishing into a sticky black hole that is both easy to recognise and to avoid. Truth, conversely, is a self-regenerating light that burns with the same eternal and omnipotent power as the life-giving sun itself. A tsunami of truth is about to come crashing down on the heads of all those who have followed the flawed playbook of other despots (specifically “if you get caught lying, keep lying, only ever lie, and make the lies so big no one will dare question you.”). Anyone who imposes and upholds restrictions, who administers various measures, who participates in the “control covid” culture – as we have seen many people do with disturbing levels of fanaticism in some cases, are the henchmen of this war. History will not look kindly upon them; at best they will be pitied because – after all – they were subjected to unprecedented and unimaginable levels of propaganda. In that respect, perhaps we may come to view them as indirect casualties of war, attacked by the very psychological weapons they, in turn, used against others.

So now what to do? Well, it doesn’t seem as though anyone is coming to save us. And perhaps that is how it has to be. Survivors of physical and psychological abuse know that opportunity follows crisis, and that there is a transition period during which you must transform from victim to survivor. This journey involves taking back your individual power, coming to terms with your own role in the situation, forgiving yourself for being deceived, soothing your fears and tending your reopened wounds. The experience is life changing, and allows you to move forward, fearlessly, with a sense of peace; it is nothing short of an enlightened spiritual awakening. 

An oppressive and deliberately discriminatory regime will only ever create the means to destroy itself. The one thing that machines – and the madmen governed by machines – will never understand is that the individual human mind, truly liberated and free from fear, is the most powerful force on earth. So-called “slaves” who have refused to kneel down at the feet of their oppressors, who have died on their feet, fearless and free in their minds, have always understood this.

If we are to survive this psychological war, this war on humanity, we must not focus on who or what is driving it. We must band together, globally, as peaceful civilians. We must – in our hearts – pledge our allegiance to a Global Civilian Movement and become engaged in nothing more and nothing less than protecting the basic and natural human rights of all people, through the promotion of nonviolent resistance to regimes intent on suspending them.

Your duty, as a civilian, is to stop engaging with the psychological manipulation machine. You must recognise that every aspect of it is part of the whole; you must comply with none of it, ever again. You must refuse to be tortured by it. Your enduring purpose now, as a civilian, is to educate others. Tell people about their rights and status as a civilian during a time of war. Teach them how to protect themselves. Remember that great Charles MacKay quote, “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” Be patient as, one by one, your fellow civilians recover. Identify yourself to others as a civilian, through your online personal profile, your business and to your authorities. Engage with other civilians. There is strength and sanity in numbers.

It would be fitting to declare Monday 21st June 2021, the day when the British government will break their agreement with the British people by continuing to impose unreasonable restrictive measures on them, as the first and annual Global Civilian Day

There is no telling how long this war will last, but global civil resistance starts now and will last forever. Because we, the people, are free, will always be free, and will uphold the natural rights of all civilians of all nations for all of time. 

We will not participate in this war.

I am a civilian.

You are a civilian.

We are civilians.


By Anna Wright. Anna is a regular columnist for TNE.

All Cash Monday

allcashmonday

Starting Monday 21st June, every Monday is #AllCashMonday. By paying with cash we can all help those – who mostly earn cash – escape the digital creep, and to give hospitality a boost through better margins (banks pocket fees from digital payments).

The hospitality sector and workers have had a traumatic 15 months of restrictions. By paying with cash this will help independent businesses, too, as corporate chains are beginning to go cashless. Also, by paying in cash, serving staff are more likely to get cash from tips straight into their pockets.

https://twitter.com/JeffreyPeel/status/1404006293833138177?s=20

On a deeper level, cash is the only truly democratised form of value exchange other than direct trade of services (which governments don’t like as it avoids tax).

We all should be concerned about digital creep. The lowest paid get a better deal from cash. There will always be tax fraud. But it is unconscionable to go after sole trader businesses, the plumber or nail technician who earns hand-to-mouth in cash, and not go after the corporations who evade/avoid billions.

So let’s do our bit. Let’s start by paying trades people in cash where we can. And let’s eat out – and pay in cash on Mondays to get things rolling.

Project Ostracise

Having worked in marketing communications for most of my career I can spot the start of a new campaign a mile off. Yesterday, Monday, I’m pretty sure, was the start of Project Ostracise. (In fact, governments prefer less obvious campaign titles that have a fair degree of public-school machismo and obfuscation: like Operation Warp Speed or Moon Unit).

Project Ostracise (let’s work with that) engaged a bunch of “celebrities” – or perhaps a few luvvies just jumped on the bandwagon in the hope for some work from the burgeoning government campaign coffers at some time in the future – to opine about how selfish the unvaccinated are. 

We had Robin Ince, the “comedian” and host of “funny” Radio 4 science programme The Infinite Monkey Cage, who ended up closing his Twitter account rather than engage in any debate on the matter. We also had West End musical titan (Lord) Andrew Lloyd Webber and Iain Dale, the former wannabe Conservative MP and blogger, suggest that the unvaccinated are being selfish.

Dale took to the airwaves to say the things that politicians “would never say to you” – to say the things that politicians have been saying pretty much for the last 5 months (since vaccines became available for this “dreadful” virus that’s killing everyone – except it isn’t, of course).

However, the main point that seems lost on all of them is that the people who remain unvaccinated are probably people who are 1) very young and, therefore, the virus presents a negligible threat; 2) the not-so-young who do not perceive the virus as being a threat (because it isn’t); 3) a bunch of people who haven’t really given it much thought because it’s only a “thing” because the government keeps telling us it’s a “thing”.  The group in 3 may be a subset of the group in 2 or vice versa. 

And, of course, they are not being “selfish” because the people who aren’t in groups 1, 2 or 3 above have all been vaccinated despite the fact that they’ve managed to live through the worst of the “pandemic” without any need for a vaccine to date.  Therefore, they are immune (or significantly protected from) people who might contract any lingering Covid-19 related disease. 

Or perhaps they’re not (or think they’re not). Because, given the bizarre nonsense about the “Indian” variant, the newly vaxed may in fact think they might succumb to radical new and exotic versions of the disease carried by the selfish (even though the selfish have managed to survive unscathed from the worst of the virus for the last year or so and don’t feel sufficiently afraid of catching it despite the existence of these new variant scariants). 

Or do they?  Or is it the case that this is, in fact, a really very poor comms campaign?

Judging my jaunt around Lidl earlier I suspect the vaxed are, in fact, feeling much more confident…and the unvaxed. I reckon that a third of the customers had either no masks on or were wearing the masks in a jaunty nose-out fashion. On a flight last week from London to Belfast I noted that most of the passengers were, let’s say, relaxed about their mask slippages. They seemed unaware that Jason Isaacs would like them hanged for such activity. 

Because, let’s face it, this continued lockdown, socially distanced, mask-wearing piffle is wearing seriously thin. People are increasingly of the view (even those who initially went along with the nonsense) that vaccines were the pass out of the socially engineering nanny state bunkum. The virus is not a serious virus for most. Those that were spooked by it have been jabbed. So let’s move on. 

Moving on requires us to be able to travel unhindered, go down the pub and do whatever we have to do without this continued, interfering nonsense that’s so obviously about another type of technocratic society we obviously don’t want. And celebrities are not going to convince us any time soon that we do. 

Because here are the facts. Hospitalisation plummets after every respiratory seasonal spike. It doesn’t require a super-successful, envy-of-the world, vaccination campaign. All cause deaths so far this year are pretty much as normal. Last year we had excess deaths but only putting the year at about 8th in the league table over the last 30 – and we didn’t even have a vaccine then. And we could still fly to Greece without a PCR test or vaccine card.

This talk of “selfish” is utter garbage and the celebs know that so implicitly that they are embarrassing themselves with their own Twitter accounts.

Campaign Ostracise is full of holes. Let’s move on. We’re done with the click-bait and the celebrification of public health. And, if it continues, more of us will start getting the impression that there’s something very coercive going on.

Electile Dysfunction

Tomorrow, across Britain, many elections are taking place. These are elections that, mostly, are about a year too late because of the Covid “emergency” of 2020. As a result, the Mayor of London, for example, has been in office – unelected – a year after his sell-by date.  Scotland and Wales will have elections for the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly. There will be local council elections across England and elections for Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales.

The elections are taking place over a year after the first lockdown was announced by Boris Johnson and in the middle of a second national lockdown. And we had various regional flavours of lockdown in-between (alongside pointless mask mandates and a rag-bag collection of dictums that made no sense – remember the one about the ‘substantial meal’ when the restaurants were last open?). 

Lockdown, indeed, was a concept that was unknown on these shores before March last year. Inspired by China, lockdown has succeeded in bifurcating the electorate in a manner that was unimaginable even during the crescendo of the 2016 Brexit campaign. Society is now divided on the basis of the informed versus the scared (plus civil servants ‘working at home’). 

For the informed, therefore, the elections present something of a dilemma. The last party anyone of sane mind would vote for is the Conservative Party. One could barely squeeze a wafer-thin mint between Boris and the policies of Xi Jinping.  This ‘Conservative’ Prime Minister has overseen the effective suspension of civil rights and democracy, the unemployment of vast swathes of the productive workforce, and an escalation of public debt to levels never seen in our history. No Marshall Plan will get us out of this monstrosity of debt.

Meanwhile, Keir Starmer wanted the same policies, with bells on, sooner, harder and deeper – with zero consideration for the fact that Labour constituencies have been hit hardest and deepest by lockdowns that have devastated local communities and livelihoods.

Hence the dilemma. Who to vote for?  Admittedly, local and regional government is supposed to be about the local and regional. But Covid policy swamps everything else. Boris and his big lockdown are the huge elephants in the voting centres. 

The alternative choices facing the electorate, therefore, come down to Reform (the party that emerged from the party formerly known as the Brexit Party); Reclaim (ostensibly the Laurence Fox party – who is standing for London Mayor); David Kurten’s Heritage Party; and a smattering of LibDem liberal anti-lockdowners (but it’s hard to find out who they are among the swathes of woke). 

In addition, there’s The Democratic Network (TDN) candidates, led by Nigel Jacklin.  Its candidates have tapped into concern – in particular – by local communities about the ‘service’ provided by the police.

According to Jacklin, “In the major cities the Mayor holds the police to account. Elsewhere it’s the PCCs (Police and Crime Commissioners). These are elected positions we can vote for on Thursday. Very few PCCs are independent; perhaps more will be elected this time.

“We have met many people who feel the police are “out of control”. Others are concerned about the increasing ‘politicisation’ of the police. Many of us have witnessed scenes involving police brutality during lockdown that we did not expect to see here in the UK. A survey we conducted in March found that the majority of people lacked faith in the police.”

In fact 78% of respondents in the survey conducted by TDN were not particularly confident that, should they need help, the police would handle their complaints effectively. 77% of respondents were not particularly confident that, if they were the subject of police attention, the police would be fair and reasonable. These elections provide an opportunity for change – and TDN is putting up candidates to prove it. 

It may well be, of course, that we’ll just have a slump in turnout and the same old candidates will romp home, based on a much-reduced mandate. This is likely to be the case in the London Mayoral election.

Meanwhile the government will continue to spin its short-term relaxation of Covid rules while making subtle hints that it may just have to do more of the (lockdown) same come the usual spike in respiratory infections in Autumn and Winter. 

But tomorrow’s elections are an opportunity for a protest vote like no other protest vote in our history. Hopefully the maverick, thinking, and, frankly, outraged candidates will do well.  We might even have a few upsets. Fingers firmly crossed.