When lockdown happened in March 2020 I quickly started looking around for like-minded people who were as perplexed as I about the loss of freedom and Western democratic values. Several groups emerged in rapid order and I joined, or supported as many as I could. In the early days some notable voices - like Lord Sumption, the Law-Lord, and Luke Johnson, the businessman and journalist - were granted air-time before the mainstream media clamped down in earnest on any dissenting viewpoints from the government propaganda.
Mike Yeadon was probably one of the most effective voices - because of his background in pharma R&D and his understanding of Pfizer, in particular. I lent my support - as a Comms and campaign specialist - to the Yeadon Campaign, then PCR Claims and then HART, the organisation that was created to counter the SAGE and Independent SAGE propaganda machines. Some of the most effective researchers, statisticians, doctors, and clinicians started to create some noise on social media and on video streaming platforms - before being de-platformed.
Many of us were encouraged that Richard Tice of the Brexit Party (now the Reform Party) had shown support for our arguments against the removal of basic freedoms and about the abject waste of money associated with Covid response. I met with Tice in December 2020 and he was in broad agreement that the PCR testing was of questionable efficacy. He felt that the BBC was vastly over-stating “case numbers” and that the spending on track & trace and Nightingale Hospitals was vastly wasteful.
In May 2021 Richard invited me to a party to celebrate the end of lockdown (to be held in June) - but I was not able to attend. By that time Reform was clearly positioned as an anti-lockdown party. By October 2021, at the Party’s annual conference, the Party leadership was taking a strong line against the emerging “vaccine passport” policy of the Conservatives and the conference had a no-mask-required policy. I attended as an observer.
Richard made a point of meeting with Alan Miller (of the Together Campaign) at a Fringe event and spoke on the panel against vaccine mandates. Richard also signed the Together Declaration that was opposed to vaccine mandates. At that time there was insufficient data about possible vaccine side-effects. But the rejection of vaccine mandates implies that people should be free to choose whether to accept or reject medical interventions.
Richard started, in late 2021, a regular slot with Talk Radio - now TalkTV. Unlike GBNews, which has featured many debates and commentators who question vaccine efficacy and safety, TalkTV’s editorial position has always been much more cautious. Many of TalkTV’s anchors - such as Julie Hartley Brewer - have refused to question vaccine efficacy, while taking a strong position against, for example, masks. However, it would appear that TalkTV, as part of Murdoch’s media empire in the UK, has an editorial position that will not challenge the government/big pharma narrative of “safe and effective”.
When I held an event in June last year with Nick Hudson of Panda, Richard Tice and Isabel Oakshott were in the audience - but left before the end. Nick spent the latter part of the discussion focusing on the degree of influence large pharmaceutical companies were having - especially through their involvement in corporatist ‘deep state’ organisations like the World Economic Forum and Gates Foundation.
Last month it was revealed that Richard Tice’s partner, Isabel Oakshott, had ghost-written Matt Hancock’s book, Pandemic Diaries.
And then, last week, when asked if he would accept Andrew Bridgen to join the Reform Party (thereby becoming its first MP), Tice replied, “No....I think Andrew has frankly got it wrong in his approach to vaccines.”
The big question, of course, is what happened? Has TalkTV mandated Tice’s “line” in terms of the vaccines? Is Tice’s ego too big to countenance the idea that his position as Reform party leader would be undermined if Bridgen was the party’s most visible political representative and (as an MP) de facto policy lead? Has Tice lost touch with the membership of Reform - or was he ever in touch in the first place? And how has his determined, anti-lockdown and anti-mandate positions suddenly pivoted towards protecting big pharma interests?
I suspect that Richard might believe his future lies in broadcasting rather than politics. However, I wonder how tenable his position with TalkTV will be when he’s no longer seen to be that relevant.