When everything is manipulated, it’s a conspiracy

Oh dear oh dear oh dear. I won’t comment too much on the orchestrated, and of course unchallenged, fear-fest of the two government scientists’ explanation for the need for renewed lockdown yesterday. It was intended to prepare the way for Boris Johnson’s regretful announcement this morning, locking us all up again for another six months, without charge or benefit of clergy (needless to say unquestioned in Parliament in any effective way).

We are to have firms shut down for breaking the rules (they would only be breaking them to prevent shutting down through going bust, so they’re screwed either way), pub and restaurant curfews (to make that whole curfew thing familiar, no doubt), troops assisting the police on the streets because, as we all know, locked down grannies have been throwing bombs at the cenotaph and some rebels, it is credibly reported, are amassing weapons of mask destruction.

It is, as folks across different countries are recognising, indistinguishable from the imposition of a police state, through Goebbels’ preferred method, engendering fear. That is the only explanation for using riot police against a crowd of 10-15,000 at a peaceful lockdown rally addressed by doctors and scientists in Trafalgar Square last week, and for ensuring that the press and broadcasters universally either failed to report it, or labeled the protestors as a few hundred (fascist?) conspiracy theorists who attacked the police. As on previous occasions they failed to report the presence of armed-forces veterans rallying to protect the freedom for which they risked their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But you can watch the videos of that debacle, and hear interviews with eye-witnesses, and then judge for yourself – though you can’t when the press censors itself and social media delete such “misinformation” and point you to anodyne government sources on COVID.

The fact that one can easily demonstrate that every reason given for lockdowns, and the evidence for all the coercive measures to “beat the virus,” fold upon examination must eventually make even the most charitable of us shift from the explanation of “incompetence” to the explanation of “malice.” Such coercion would be oppressive and anti-democratic even if it were in a good cause.

Just as a preamble to my main point, as a church leader I was struggling at a church meeting last night (maybe they’ll be banned from this weekend?) to work out how we can do church with all the coming restrictions: we can’t fit everybody into our large modern building because of 2 meter social distancing – which figure was arrived at by some politician arbitrarily doubling the WHO recommendation, which itself lacks a shred of published evidence for being effective in the real world. But whoever did it has successfully bankrupted the travel, entertainment and hospitality businesses, as well as making church services impossible.

An alternative solution for church, hiring the village hall next door and doing a TV link, is hampered by the diktat to deep clean the seating or not use it for 72 hours afterwards. You get viruses from your bum, through your trousers, it seems – whoever knew that before 2020? But of course there is no good in vivo science supporting significant transmission of COVID on solid surfaces. A New Jersey professor in the field estimates that infection might be passed if you touch something that has been directly coughed on within an hour or two. But don’t listen to him, as he probably has an Agenda.

Once in a service, we’re not allowed to sing (evidence?) and everyone must wear masks, for which there is not only no good evidence of benefit in the community, but which the uninterrupted progress of the “case” rate in Britain proves to have been totally ineffective, as I showed in my last post. Failure to relax even debunked measures is a sign that compliance, not protection, was always the name of the game.

In any case, the scientists Drs Gloomy and Prof Gloomier proved (by asserting it) that public misbehaviour is the cause of all our woes, rather than totally ineffective government interventions. Shame produces obedience – or just as good, it makes the public blame pub-goers, or the young, which creates scapegoats and more fear. Success.

But despite the pervasive social conditioning the press comments pages, and even a few articles, are today full of people complaining how the starting points of charts were doctored in the official presentation to maximise the fear, how absolutely nothing was done to answer well-publicised scientific concerns like the false positive rate of PCR testing, and so on. I will restrict myself to just one observation that underlines how this is all nothing more than Project Fear, as the “scientists” presenting it must have known.

Much has been made of the claim, not substantially borne out by the data over any length of time, that cases (or was it admissions) are doubling every week. It seems to have started only last week, which makes their projection of an exponential increase, unheard of in any real virus epidemic including the spring outbreak, and still less in any second wave, dubious. Highly dubious.

But let’s run with it (as I did with Ferguson’s false projections back in March, in my first post on lockdowns). They predict – woops, it’s not a prediction, but a projection they say, thus letting themselves off the hook for the government’s treating it as a prediction and clamping the country in irons again… they predict 50,000 new COVID cases a day by mid October, (which is only likely to fail by the possibility that testing capacity won’t increase enough for than many false positives). This, they say, will lead to up to 200 deaths a day by mid November. Shock, horror, catastrophe. Did that man say 200 deaths A DAY??

I’ve not seen a comment on that death figure in the media, so I’ll just say a little here. The first thing to remark is that, from established data from other recessions, and from the fact that they have admitted to reining back NHS provision to cope with COVID, we can reliably predict as many deaths as that, and more, over time from the effects of lockdown. Most of those deaths will be of the young and productive, so any normal cost-benefit analysis would show that your lockdown is pouring QUALYs (quality added life years) down the sink at record pace. NICE seems to have been sidelined from these medical interventions.

And neither is it any secret, if only from the response of the markets, that millions of jobs and, indeed, whole industries, will go to the wall. Boris said in advance that another lockdown would be a disaster for Britain, and yet has announced a six month lockdown anyway. No democratic government should knowingly impose a disaster on its people by decree. Is it treason, or only genocide?

More directly to the point, let us look at any of the many government documents on winter excess deaths, and focus down on mid November in previous years, mid November being when we are told that ghastly toll of the very elderly and already sick will begin to prove the need for ruining Britain. We find that the five year running average for excess deaths, which broadly reflects flu and other seasonal infections like Coronaviruses, is around 1350 deaths per week. Or roughly 200 per day. Where have we heard that figure before recently?

In some years, such as last winter, it is considerably lower (helping to account for our relatively high death rate from COVID-19, as there was a late harvest for the virus to gather). And in some years, like 2017-18 and even more in 2000, it is significantly higher. In other words, even taking their exaggerated, worst case, prediction – woops, projection – at face value gives us a death rate of the same order of magnitude we always have in November.

Even that does not alter the demographics of the disease. Below the age of 50, you are vanishingly unlikely to die from COVID, and most likely to have no symptoms at all. I am 68, just below the most vulnerable age category depending how you cut the cake, and without any serious underlying illness I have a 1 in 1000 chance that COVID would kill me. Taking into account the low prevalence in my county throughout the epidemic, I only have a 1 in 1000 chance of getting it at all, making me a true one in a million. I’ve faced many bigger risks in life on a daily basis.

So the fearmongering in this case is achieved, as so often, by removing all context from an apparently large number. And no scientist or doctor is that mathematically incompetent, even though Matt Hancock is. The dynamic scientific duo made much use of SAGE’s pet behavioural psychologists’ “Make them feel guilty about infecting others” trick, again obscuring by emotional manipulation the fact that if social isolation is such a moral imperative to protect the vulnerable, driving your car is statistically a much higher risk to others’ safety, or even going to church with a cold, since the winter deaths of many elderly are precipitated by just such a minor infection.

No, we are all being manipulated, manipulated, manipulated. And when you work that hard to manipulate people, including press censorship, cancelling scientific dissenters, mobilising riot police and now soldiers, imposing £10,000 fines for protesting or leaving your house because somebody else had a positive test… it is not because of incompetemnnce but because your totalitarian objectives care nothing for the safety of the public, nor even the survival of the economy. The real stakes must be awfully high, if only we knew what they were. Because we’ve done far worse viruses before quite successfully, without any of this torture.

Meanwhile, though, we may be thankful that the UK’s constitutional protections are in place and active in the form of our monarchy. Prince Charles has helpfully said this week that we must take the environment more seriously because of climate change, or bad things will happen in the future. Bad things are happening now, Sir. Today. And your green energy will not be affordable once we’re all serfs.

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About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
This entry was posted in Medicine, Politics and sociology, Science. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to When everything is manipulated, it’s a conspiracy

  1. Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

    Mea culpa. I belatedly checked the ONS statistics, and the claim that cases are doubling every week isn’t even true for last week. On today’s figures, they have doubled in 20 days, meaning that our two scientists knowingly lied in their presentation, as well as using misleading charts, for surely they can do maths better than the Health Minister.

    That alters the calculation based on an exponential rise (of which there is no evidence whatsoever) to only 8400 cases daily by mid October, and a proportionate number of daily deaths in November as only 34, which is well within the year to year variation of excess deaths I found in the figures.

    Well, if you simply lie to your people so blatantly, you must despise them (and perhaps with good reason if few of them can be arsed to check your statements). But it’s a bit Soviet, isn’t it?

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      Today Dr Sunetra Gupta expressed surprise that “such a graph” as the entirely speculative projection at the presentation was shown to the public.

      But also today it is revealed that Prof Gloomier has £600K invested in GSK vaccine research. No conflict of interest there then. Ask yourself – if you have such a vast sum invested in vaccines, how open will you be to other ways of dealing with COVID-19?

      And that is without considering that a large part of the scandal surrounding the N1H1 Avian Flu debacle of 2009 was that powerful figures at the WHO had financial interests in vaccine research. Bill Gates still does of course, as the WHO’s second largest donor. But the Britsih Government has also invested heavily in vaccines – who knows what individual members of the government, or its advisers, are doing with their pocket money?

  2. Elizabeth B. says:

    “ No, we are all being manipulated, manipulated, manipulated. And when you work that hard to manipulate people, including press censorship, cancelling scientific dissenters, mobilising riot police and now soldiers, imposing £10,000 fines for protesting or leaving your house because somebody else had a positive test… it is not because of incompetemnnce but because your totalitarian objectives care nothing for the safety of the public, nor even the survival of the economy. The real stakes must be awfully high, if only we knew what they were. ”

    Here, you have summarized well the strange dynamic. What on earth could be the stakes? I would think that an answer could be found by looking to the past. At some point it is likely that some powerful people played similar games with peoples’ lives. I wondered if the Great Famine, the Irish Potato Famine could reveal some similarities. I don’t really know enough British history to knowledgeably compare current events to any historic time. Nonetheless, it seems there are some small commonalities. A pathogen, a strain of Phytophthora, turned up in Ireland, eventually infecting and devastating the potato crop. Here, we have an apparent pathogen, rather mild for most people. Fear-mongering in its name does have disastrous effects. Is someone trying to replay the effects of the Great Famine?

    Britannica states “ The government’s grudging and ineffective measures to relieve the famine’s distress intensified the resentment of British rule among the Irish people. Similarly damaging was the attitude among many British intellectuals that the crisis was a predictable and not-unwelcome corrective to high birth rates in the preceding decades and perceived flaws, in their opinion, in the Irish national character.”

    Does someone want a crisis that will serve to bring about an impoverished population? Will the government help those it drives to destitution? Will they refuse to help those driven to destitution? Surely people don’t want to leave it to the government to determine their destinies. Surely they won’t sit back and be driven to utter helplessness, leaving themselves at the mercy of bureaucrats to feed them or not.

    Shame on Prince Charles’ out of touch words. He should stand up and defend his countrymen like a man, rather than moral preening preaching. He should tell Boris Johnson that he refuses to see his citizens tyrannized, driven to abject poverty. The people who have paid and paid and paid in order to support his royal comfort. Instead, he gives them self righteous words.

    Boris Johnson is a maniacal freak who needs to be called back to wherever he came from. A madman who turned against his own people. If he were a dog, we would think he had rabies.

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:


      The Irish Famine would indeed be an interesting targeted study. My Irish paternal forbears missed it, having arrived here around 1820. But getting at the true background is complicated by its mythological status in Nationalist Irish History. I’ve not studied it closely enough.

      There was, in England, certainly incompetence, “Let them eat cake” ignorance, and financial interest involved, but it would be fascinating to know how much the philosophy of Malthus also led to an early kind of Eugenics. It’s when you’re convinced you’re following a righteous cause that you commit the worst atrocities.

      Certainly, there were popular ideas of the Irish as too lazy to grow anything except potatoes (even though they were the backbone of the Navvies who built the canals and railways), over-breeding (because Catholic), alcoholics and generally feckless.

      Yet there were factors like the traditional Irish inheritance system, which saw land divided into ever smaller and less productive parcels. That seems to be how my ancestors migrated from estates in Mayo to cottages in Roscommon, and finally a boat to Dudley.

      It’s certainly mistaken to view it in purely racial terms: some of the native Irish landlords were the worst abusers of their tenants, and some landlords, both Irish and Anglo-Irish, tried their best to relieve the famine, at great personal cost. As now, there were no doubt many dissenting voices, but an elite held the power.

      What is worrying for our own times is that there are still many people convinced that the world is seriously overpopulated, especially amongst the poor, and that the economy needs to be radically redesigned.

      It’s also true that many of these have great influence in global finance and business, or the media, and in the governments and international NGOS of the world. It seems unlikely that the ambitions of such people include relinquishing their money and power, because they could do that easily by handing control to the ordinary people.

  3. Elizabeth B. says:

    Another thought that hit me on waking this morning is that this is payback for Brexit. The elites did not want Brexit, for the most part, it seems. Am not going to go document it at the moment but I do remember reading that Boris Johnson was at once time not for Brexit and only claimed to be so that he could gain political power.

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      Maybe, but I doubt Boris has the depth to be a true Macchiavellian. He seems more to see himself as Churchill, but he’s Churchill-Lite, imitating the rhetoric bit without the statesmanship, or deep-held principles.

      He seems more like G W Bush in not bothering too much about detail.

      So on Brexit, it seems possible he saw how public opinion was going and put his weight behind it, and he has stuck to his guns with a Euroskeptic) but not especially high-value) cabinet.

      Still, it’s true that Brexit, like Trump in your part of the world, is a fly in the globalist ointment, so it wouldn’t surprise me if there are forces determined to make Briian’s economic failure an object lesson, if not just to punish us.

      However, we need to remember the how democratic deficit has emerged in full force in so many countries – Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc, not to mention non-English speaking countries like Germany. If there are no “hidden influences” then it’s remarkable how the political and monopolist classes are in lockstep at the moment.

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