Pissed-off Toff

The lockdown is a crime

in Big Issues

Instigated by the broadcast media and perpetrated by Boris Johnson, the lockdown is the crime of the century.

The other day I was listening to Jacob Rees-Mogg being interviewed on the radio.

“You would agree, of course,” said the interviewer, asking a leading question to which there was only one acceptable answer, “that every human life is equally precious and infinitely valuable?”

“I’m afraid I wouldn’t,” replied the Old Etonian, taking the wind clean out of his interlocuter’s sails. “To be quite frank, a sizeable proportion of the population of this country consists of perfectly ghastly individuals who are no good to anyone. There’s no doubt that one would be a very great deal better off without them. So to answer your question: I am firmly of the opinion that not all lives are equally precious. And as for the idea that every single life is infinitely valuable, that is clearly absurd. Would it be worth destroying London to save my own life, for example?”

If you did not hear about this exchange, it is because I have just made it up. It never took place, and it is inconceivable that it could have taken place, since when faced with the familiar proposition that every human life is equally valuable and infinitely precious, no modern politician can do anything other than agree.

Nevertheless, the notion that each and every single human life is worth any price whatsoever, no matter how high or how ruinous, lies at the heart of the lockdown and forms the ideological basis for it … and nowhere has this been more apparent than in the coverage of events offered by the broadcast media.

* * * * *

As has been clear for many years now, there is nothing that the media in general and the TV news channels in particular love more than a scare story; and the more terrifying the scare, the better. So when Covid 19 first arrived from China and when Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London consulted his idiotic ‘model’ and gleefully predicted a UK death toll of half a million souls, the news channels lapped it up and came back for more.

This, we were told day after day, was a revisitation of the Plague, and no measure against it was too extreme to consider. The public was scared witless; the politicians duly fell into line, competing with eachother in proposing ever more draconian precautionary measures; and the media carried on whipping up fear and panic.

Then, annoyingly for the TV news channels, Covid 19 was revealed to be not such a terrible threat after all. As the Cambridge statistician Sir David Spiegelhalter pointed out in early May, of the 10 million inhabitants of in England and Wales aged under 15, just two had died of Covid 19. “This is the tiniest risk you could ever think of,” he commented. “[It is] staggeringly low.”

By mid-May, it was clear that the young-ish and healthy were more likely to be hit by lightening (49 occurrences per annum in the UK) than to die of Coronavirus (33 deaths in England under the age of 40, of whom just 3 were under the age of 10). 

Or take healthy people under the age of 60, a group including all children and the vast majority of the working population. Of this group just 253 had died of Covid 19 in English hospitals as at mid-May; which compares to 400 accidental (i.e. non-suicide) drownings in the UK every year.

And so it goes on, with the evidence leaving no doubt that the only groups of people for whom the Coronavirus poses any significant risk are the old and frail, or those with serious existing health conditions. For all other groups – that is to say, for the overwhelming majority of the population – the Coronavirus is essentially an irrelevance.

All of which more or less sunk the Plague narrative being pushed so assiduously by the TV news. Bodies were not piling up in the streets and people were not dropping dead in the aisles of supermarkets as they should have been. It was all rather a disappointment.

But the drama could not be abandoned and the lockdown of the entire nation which the media had championed so assiduously had to be justified. So the narrative now shifts, and the new message is that each and every single human life is infinitely valuable, each and every death is the worst thing that has happened since the beginning of the world. Thus the TV news now focusses relentlessly on emotionally charged stories of individual cases, the implication being that anything – anything whatsoever – must be done to save any and every human life. No matter what the cost.

* * * * *

And so we get to my main point: namely, that the lockdown is – quite simply – a crime.

For as long as it was feared that the Coronavirus was a revisitation of the bubonic plague, there might perhaps have been some justification for closing down the entire country and incurring the vast human and financial costs of such an unprecedented move. But when, one by one, the planks of the doomsday hypothesis began to fall away, this most extreme of precautionary measures began to look not just absurd, but grotesque.

With the accumulation of statistical data about the virus and its behaviour, Professor Yizhak Ben Israel of Tel Aviv University was able to demonstrate in early April that irrespective of whether a country put itself into quarantine like the UK with its lockdown, or went about business as normal like Sweden, the Coronavirus followed the exact same trajectory and pattern of infection. He concluded that the lockdowns were serving no purpose, and that the reaction to the Coronavirus was “mass hysteria” … a conclusion that was echoed by various other distinguished figures such as Professor Sunetra Gupta, an epidemiologist at Oxford University, and the Nobel prize-winner Professor Michael Levitt, who in late May claimed that the lockdown had saved no lives at all.

It is worth emphasising that these conclusions were the product not of fanciful computer-based ‘modelling’ on the basis of which the idiot soothsayer Neil Ferguson persuaded Boris Johnson to implement a suicidal lockdown, but that they were based on historical data. In other words, Professors Israel and Gunetra were looking at more or less reliable statistics relating to recorded events, whereas Ferguson was just gazing into his crystal ball … a ball which had a track record of inspiring predictions notable only for their wild inaccuracy.

(A list of the spectacularly misguided predictions made by the now-discredited Ferguson appears at the beginning of Lockdown Diary no. 7 in the Diary section of this blog.)

In any case, whether the lockdown did or did not impede the spread of the Coronavirus, we are still left with the undeniable fact – even at this stage more or less denied or ignored by the Government, the NHS and the broadcast media – that with a tiny number of statistically negligable exceptions, the only groups at risk from it are the elderly or those with serious pre-existing conditions.

* * * * *

What, then, is the balance sheet for the lockdown championed by the media and implemented by Johnson? What is there to show for the Soviet-style lies and propaganda to which we have been so relentlessly subjected?

Let us be generous towards the Prime Minister and let us assume that on the plus side his lockdown might – just might – have slightly prolonged the lives of a few doddery OAPs and might also have saved the lives of a number of obese slobs with weak hearts. 

Against these small and uncertain gains, we must set a vast host of all too real and certain costs. Here are the main ones:

  • The imprisonment of the entire nation and the suspension of personal freedom to a degree and on a scale never before seen in this country;
  • The creation, overnight, of an extensive and oppressive police state;
  • The destruction of countless lives and livelihoods, with the resulting prospect of unemployment on a scale never seen before;
  • The destruction or near-destruction of whole sectors of the economy, including the hospitality sector, the entertainment industry, the tourism industry and the aviation industry … to name but a few;
  • A vast increase in the national debt, the effect of which will be felt for generations to come;
  • The introduction of a policy of deliberate misinformation in order to encourage public compliance with lockdown diktats, and the conniving at mendacious propaganda carried out by the NHS and the broadcast media;
  • The creation of fear, panic and anxiety as the normal mindset of the nation;
  • The destruction of all social life and the poisoning of normal interaction between people brought about by ‘social distancing’ rules and the compulsory wearing of facemarks which are as useless as they are dehumanising;
  • The decimation of future prospects for the young;
  • An estimated 150,000 lives lost as a result of medical treatments cancelled or foregone due to the lockdown.

In terms of its results, then, the policy pursued by Boris Johnson and his government looks very much like a crime against humanity. Nevertheless, he persists with it. Indeed, it would seem that he is so invested in his frankly immoral course of action that he would rather carry on destroying the country than admit that he has made the most grotesque mistake of any politician in living memory.

* * * * *

Guided by funk and panic, mesmerised by the apocalyptic predictions of a discredited soothsayer, and egged on by scaremongering broadcasters, Boris Johnson is the hapless author of the crime of the century. For him as a politician, and for the rest of us who will suffer the consequences of his folly, the most gigantic reckoning awaits.

Click here to print this article (text only).