This page is a summary of the past week, tweets and other pieces of information that I think are interesting and perhaps useful to refer to in the future.
For the latest charts see the Dashboard
A great round-up of covid news can be found at lockdownsceptics.org
See also other "scrapbook" pages
1 Policing Dissent
The Police are here to keep us safe
When I first saw the picture at the top of the page, I thought it was so well composed and executed that it must be fake. Apparently it is not. It was taken in Amsterdam.
Finally, on the right we see the man wearing his mask like every good citizen should do.
Perhaps he felt like the person who recently commented on a Daily Telegraph article as follows:
"I find masks utterly dehumanising. To cover someone’s identity and human expression is to separate us from others, to remove the deeply human aspect of social interaction though our face and facial expression. I would no more support masks than I would the dehumanising label of the Star of David forced on Jews in Nazi Germany to separate some people from others based on race marking them as dirty and unsafe to be near. Now we’ve done it with everyone everywhere. Truly despicable. I feel like I’m suffering culture shock right now - thrust into a foreign land, like an ultra orthodox Islamic state which forces half the population to wear veils (also for their own good -or so their government claims) except I’ve no way home and no where to go since travelling is banned. If this does not stop in the next few months I will have to make an exodus to save my family from this inherent evil."
What those in power will always want according to George Orwell is "a boot stamping on the human face forever."
Luckily the brutality of the Dutch police could not be replicated here in the uk. Or could it?
The British police, once admired around the world for their know-how and restraint, seem to have lost their minds.
Handcuffing people out for a breath of fresh air! Disgraceful
Dorset. Police arrest a woman strolling along the beachfront with an elderly companion and, nearby, another woman sitting on a bench looking out to sea. If this doesn’t make you uneasy about what is going on in our country, nothing will. pic.twitter.com/ZCLuRkP5tm— Paul Embery (@PaulEmbery) January 10, 2021
Being in your nineties is no defence when the police decide to act in the interests of our safety.
See our brave police take down this 92 year old menace to society https://t.co/xu8f0dvKOS— InProportion2 🙂 (@InProportion2) January 7, 2021
Unfortunately, these examples of heavy handed policing are everywhere.
Here's one more if you have the stomach it. In this clip a man is roughly jostled to ground by a posse of the men in blue. The heavy handedness seems to be consistent across the UK and beyond.
The only purpose I can think of behind such police behaviour is a deliberate and coordinated attempt to intimidate.
Police seem to have lost the plot and their humanity. Just following orders is no excuse. Brownshirts! https://t.co/EqnocdR8WA— InProportion2 🙂 (@InProportion2) January 11, 2021
Of course not all police are bad. One of the most heartfelt articles recently has been written by a disgruntled police officer. He writes:
"Trust in the police is now circling the drain.
Anti-lockdown protesters, are made up of a diverse cross-section of the general law-abiding public .. have been met with almost immediate aggression and violence from the police
A very troubling aspect of this is how many ordinary people and politcians seem to think the heavy handed policing we are seeing as justified. In the last year people's values have changed fear will do things to you if you let it - and mostly they don't realise it has happened.
Scientist Mark Changzi is a truly original thinker and has had many thought provoking contributions to the covid debate from detailed scientific issues to cultural issues that stretch far beyond.
The Covid pandemic was a litmus test.— Mark Changizi (@MarkChangizi) September 27, 2020
This was THE moment in several generations to recognize the treacherous signs of groupthink and authoritarianism.
How did you fare?
2 Opposition to Lockdown
Lockdown has nothing to do with Left/Right politics. Some people on the left have got themselves organised in favour of sanity in the form of the Left Lockdown Sceptics
The 11 points of their overview seems eminently sensible, here's an extract:
Of course the Government's view of things is not just enforced by police truncheon, covert psychological techniques are used. Although the minutes of the "behavioural" team are published, most people are unaware. Between the manipulation of Big Tech and manipulation by Government, there is less and less room for free thought. Is this OK?
The professional body overseeing the work of psychologists in the UK does not think so:
"We are writing to you as a group of psychological specialists to raise ethical concerns about the activities of the government-employed psychologists working in the ‘Behavioural Insights Team’ in their mission to gain the public’s mass compliance ... Our view is that the use of covert psychological strategies - that operate below the level of people’s awareness – to ‘nudge’ citizens to conform to a contentious and unprecedented public health policy raises profound ethical questions
The important word in the above is "covert" - since when was it the job of Government to covertly program us!
Great letter from former Chief Medical Officer for Ontario
I can only find this in a blurry image, click on it to enlarge. So much of the terrible story contained here in a single page. Who would have though a Chief Medical Officer would know anything.
"Our well intentioned but misguided efforts to control Covid are compounding the tragedy"
In this time of emergency and controversy there is huge need for clear thinking and leadership. Parliament now sadly seems to be an irrelevance - "laws" are made up on the hoof by the PM before being leaked to the press. An exception is MP Desmond Swayne. Listen to his speech:
Like a scene from a dystopian sci fi drama - a lone exasperated MP pleas for sanity to an empty and abandoned parliament https://t.co/c4KBc9cSCp— InProportion2 🙂 (@InProportion2) January 11, 2021
4 Do Lockdowns Cost More Life than they Save?
The times.co.uk reports that lockdowns will cost £2.4bn a day as economy crashes. I make that about 100 days to completely burn through the annual budget of the NHS. This financial loss will lead to poverty and reductions that will kill people.
LBC host Maajid Nawaz provides an overview of the collateral harms:
(I notice that when I include tweets on this page, twitter often adds a "See the latest COVID-19 information on Twitter" notice - be careful to click on the correct link and not their "safe" one,)
Bristol Professor calculates that lockdowns will cost ten times as many lives as they save
3)— Maajid أبو عمّار (@MaajidNawaz) January 17, 2021
“average lives lost comes to 560,000..greater than the UK's military & civilian losses in the 2nd World War... (Covid deaths are) less than 10% of the [equivalent] loss of life by..prolonged lockdown”
Prof. Philip Thomas of Bristol University:https://t.co/C3loqgZybQ
6)— Maajid أبو عمّار (@MaajidNawaz) January 17, 2021
A UK study found a 1,493% rise in the incidence of abusive head trauma among children over the course of the COVID-19 crisis.https://t.co/WpESswdjRK
10)— Maajid أبو عمّار (@MaajidNawaz) January 17, 2021
But globally, lockdowns are stockpiling serious problems:
“UN warns economic downturn could kill hundreds of thousands of children...”https://t.co/GsZj65vrZJ
11)— Maajid أبو عمّار (@MaajidNawaz) January 17, 2021
UN warns of a “famine of biblical proportions” with 265 million people “literally marching to the brink of starvation”https://t.co/zpU2tCgm5D
12)— Maajid أبو عمّار (@MaajidNawaz) January 17, 2021
The UN estimated that the crisis had “pushed an additional 150 million children into multidimensional poverty—deprived of education, health, housing, nutrition, sanitation or water”https://t.co/8Pwjsmo9do
Has this gone too far for you yet?— Maajid أبو عمّار (@MaajidNawaz) January 18, 2021
Good people of Britain - who have never succumbed to fascism - ask yourselves: where are your red lines, and have they been crossed yet?https://t.co/DiWRur911G
There are problems in the USA too. A new paper by US National Bureau of Economic Research estimates an 𝗲𝘅𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗱𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵 𝗼𝗳 𝟴𝟵𝟬,𝟬𝟬𝟬 𝗔𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗻𝘀 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝘅𝘁 𝟭𝟱 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 due to the unemployment caused by Covid lockdowns.
4 Masks: Symbols of fear
At the start of the In the Seconded World War, children were given proper looking gas masks. For covid, the Government does not seem to care what kind of mask you have, nor how bad hygiene practices are in their use - despite medical advice that this is essential.
This attitude on the part of the Government strengthens my feeling that mask wearing is not done to protect health - it is done to signal your virtuous compliance while providing a continual literal in your face advert to not forget that there is a deadly virus out there that we all need to be afraid of.
Robin Monotti provides a good overview of the science concerning masks:
The evidence based science shows that medical face masks for the healthy do not alter rates of community transmission of SARSCoV2 while they contribute to the plastic pollution of planet. Cloth & masks of other materials increase rates of infection through nebulization spread.— Robin Monotti (@robinmonotti) January 15, 2021
Cartoonist Bob Moran is as insightful as ever:
An illustrated thread on masks:— Bob Moran (@bobscartoons) November 22, 2020
Many people are still totally devoted to the idea that 'the science' proves that masks are effective. They relentlessly share reports, research, data & pictures of people urinating on one another to prove their point. Let's pretend they're right. pic.twitter.com/rbHgU6kQAH