by John Ward
I have been a lifelong opponent of conducting research to ask what people “think” about a subject when the technicalities are beyond either the IQ or professional experience of the sample. Survey companies do these studies almost always because politicians want to know what the electorate is thinking; but there is also a thing called leadership, and the need for it should be drummed into every legislator. Asking a question – the answer to which is beyond most interviewees – is either plain daft or, more often, done from all the wrong motives.
Such is genuine populism: the Demos want lions eating Christians, so let’s give it to them. Leftlibs in 2020, by contrast, use ‘populist’ to mean ‘all the pols who disagree with me’.
Despite that, my starting point for this analyis is just such a survey – first, because it demonstrates a trend; and second, because attitudes to Lockdown do represent an exceptional case where, whether people grasp the rationale or not, they somehow sense that its effect on them is not altogether justified – in terms of either mental health or income loss.
Further, in this case, there is a salutory lesson for our utterly hopeless Opposition Party.
The last MORI survey I looked at in late May had a whopping 76% of voters not only in favour of strict lockdown, but positively Cromwellian when it came to businesses staying closed and restaurants strictly observing social distancing. Under 20% were opposed to the “hide from Covid” strategy imposed by health officials.
Five months on, doubt is clearly setting in….but more so among Labour voters who now display high levels of fear about job loss, wage cuts and tax rises.
The raw tab on hardline lockdown opponents was 9%; it’s now 40%, with 45% of 18-34 Labour supporters (and 38% of even over 55 Left voters) saying they do not think Lockdown2 will be effective.
Given the never-ending stream of State propaganda pouring out daily from the BBC and all points up to the Daily Mail, these data are both encouraging and remarkable.
So the ground game has changed, and the centre-right end of Tory MPs (in particular the all-right 1922 Committee) are more in tune with mass feelings out there in TV-land than either the Cabinet or the Labour Party. Nothing new there then: but if I were Keir Starmer, I’d be looking to put clear water between myself and the Borisites on this issue.
In a nutshell, poorer voters and rank and file Tories are becoming driven by self-preservation. The fact that the Government, the Opposition and Whitehall don’t seem to grasp this reality is profoundly unhealthy.
Compare and contrast those totally unerstandable personal an familial motivations with other social stakeholders, and the hypocrisy and monied corruption is thrown into an even harsher light.
This is the WHO (World Health Organisation’s) recently updated “view” on the best approach to controlling Covid19. It is a very odd little catechism, representing an unholy mixture of Soviet history rewrite and blind ideology:
‘Herd immunity’, also known as ‘population immunity’, is a concept used for vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached. Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it…..Attempts to reach ‘herd immunity’ through exposing people to a virus are scientifically problematic and unethical. Letting COVID-19 spread through populations, of any age or health status will lead to unnecessary infections, suffering and death.
Well hey WHO, don’t beat about the bush – get off the fence, there. Not only utterly opinionated ‘settled science’, but also moralising hypocrisy, yet: ‘problematic and unethical’. It’s pure ideology presented as fact…and worst of all, achieved by acquisition of the term herd immunity as if they invented it – while being ultra-careful not to mention the N– word, natural immunity. Because the very real concept of NI ridicules the WHO’s ‘Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it’ one-size-fits-all claptrap.
When RFK Jr first started laying into the WHO as funded by and irreversibly attached to Big Pharma aims, I did ponder for a while whether he had lost it in his (sometimes worrying) enthusiasm for a subject. But having read the steaming heap of medical manure above, I mean for heaven’s sake – it could’ve been dictated by Emma Walmsley.
Oh look – she’s become a white-cap. How apt. GSK CEO Emma Walmsley says 14 billion doses of a Covid vaccine could be needed around the world. That’s two vaccinations for every human on the planet. Perhaps she figures that fifty per cent of vaccines used won’t work first time. Or maybe she’s just hyping the table stakes.
So much for the motives of the “vaccine” peddlers: what about the front line of health workers and genuine medical data analysts not in hock to the Pharmafia?
Here, it’s a somewhat different story:
Thousands of scientists and health experts have joined a global movement warning of “grave concerns” about Covid-19 lockdown policies. Nearly 6,000 experts, including dozens from the UK, say the approach is having a devastating impact on physical and mental health as well as society. They are calling for protection to be focused on the vulnerable, while healthy people get on with their lives.
Bear in mind that’s the British Blathering Clique fessing up to the existence of opposing opinion based on observation and experience rather than money: must’ve been a light news day. The piece focused on a vague ‘health’ concern as if trying to make it look like something written by the owner of a radical Vegan health store.
EClinical medicine by contrast (a favourite site of mine) more appositely mined the data series from last March, and concluded as follows:
Restricting movements and closing borders also had no significant impact on Covid-19 fatalities, even if early border closures appeared to significantly lower cases and lessen the peak of transmission….Countries with widespread mass testing did not appear to have fewer critical cases, or deaths per million….Government actions such as border closures, full lockdowns, and a high rate of COVID-19 testing were not associated with statistically significant reductions in the number of critical cases or overall mortality.
Zero assertion, maximum unmodelled numbers. The BMJ/Yale site reached similar conclusions on the same basis:
Draconian stay-at-home orders and shutting all non-essential businesses had little effect on fighting coronavirus in Europe….Data on case numbers and deaths were taken from the daily published figures by the European Centre for Disease Control and dates of initiation of various control strategies from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation website and published sources….stay at home orders and closure of all non-essential concerns was not associated with any independent additional impact. Our results could help inform strategies for coming out of lockdown.
Yessir, they certainly could…if anyone in the Whiteminster knitting-circle bunkers was listening. But they aren’t. OK – maybe BoJo doesn’t read the British Medical Journal: but I’d be surprised if he doesn’t take a look at the WSJ now and again:
In response to the coronavirus, many governments deployed draconian tactics never used in modern times: severe and broad restrictions on daily activity that helped send the world into its deepest peacetime slump since the Great Depression. The equivalent of 400 million jobs have been lost world-wide, 13 million in the U.S. alone. Global output will fall 5% this year [but] the Lockdowns were unnecessarily harmful and largely ineffective.
Oh dear: and it was all going so terribly well. Time therefore to turn to Imperial College London’s wholly Astrazenica, Bill Gates and Clinton Foundation-funded snake pit in the form of its J-IDEA section:
Opening the symposium, the Director of J-IDEA last week said: “Our research to date includes 37 reports on the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, health system capacity and potential impact on different age groups. These reports have been used by policy makers globally and have helped inform key decisions on public health. We have also created some useful planning tools and resources which have been used both nationally and globally.”
Well, they would’ve helped inform decisions had they been accurate, unbiased, and reduced costs for the Government….rather than, since 2004, lumbering the British taxpayer with £27 billion of completely unnecessary cattle slaughter, NHS purchase, meat export problems and baseless warnings about epidemic social disaster.
And who was the head of J-IDEA referred to? Why….it’s none other than our old friend, Professor Neil Ferguson – The Man Who Was Never Right, who imposed a needless economic lockdown last Spring (excepting himself, because he needed a shag) but is still a welcome guest on Andrew Marr.
Let me try to elaborate some conclusions.
Some people in this occasionally well meaning but often misinformed debate on Personal Destiny Control versus The Common Weal have the muunnneeee means, profit motive and media opportunity to make their depraved goals sound like something we should all salute.
Real people with brains but without means, profit mania or media access are trying to break out from the Nutjob Conspiranoid Amish image given them by the Davos to Pharma via Neocon Hegemony complex.
Ordinary citizens are beginning to cotton on…but their traditional protectors are engaged in quasi-religious internal strife and/or a desire for power at any price….especially if climate nonsense and healthy virus-free long life fantasies are thrown in.
The West doesn’t just need a functioning Opposition: it needs an effective resistance.