“Senior government sources …”
Week five of Lockdown starts today. Over the weekend many experts – virologists, epidemiologists, but above all politicians and political pundits in our MSM – have been thinking out loud about lifting some Lockdown restrictions.
But why it is that political ‘reporters’ from our main TV channels are suddenly more competent to ‘scrutinise’ government scientific experts and their Lockdown decisions than their science reporters? Apparently, once you’ve got ‘prominence’ as ‘pundit’ in [insert the name of any ‘political’ TV ‘show’], you’re blessed with an instant increase in intelligence and knowledge, elevating you even above the government experts. Who needs Parliament or government when we have ‘scientific experts’ running things, scrutinised by self-proclaimed TV “experts”!
It’s even worse when taking into account our daily newspaper reports, especially those in the broadsheets. Yesterday The Sunday Times published a report massively criticising Johnson, stating in the subheader that “Boris Johnson skipped five Cobra meetings on the virus, calls to order protective gear were ignored and scientists’ warnings fell on deaf ears. Failings in February may have cost thousands of lives” (link, paywalled). You can read the reply from No10 here. This doesn’t come under ‘they would say that, wouldn’t they’ – it is a factual refutation and they make a point which I’ve been mentioning for some time now:
“No10 also hit out at an unnamed source in the article who claimed there had been a “failure of leadership” in Downing Street. The statement said: “This anonymous source is variously described as a ‘senior adviser to Downing Street’ and a ‘senior Downing Street adviser’. The two things are not the same. One suggests an adviser employed by the government in No10. The other someone who provides ad hoc advice. Which is it?” (link)
It really is time that ‘Our MSM’ name the various ‘senior Whitehall sources’, the various ‘senior ministers’, the ‘government sources’, the ‘senior MPs’ and ‘senior experts’ they are so fond of quoting! You cannot demand that the names of the members of SAGE be made public while keeping your “sources” strictly anonymous. This is, so far, not a police state, the broadsheet sources are not in danger of being carted off to a re-education camp!
In any case – why should we trust anonymous “sources” who quite obviously have their own agenda, from attacking Johnson 24/7 to jockeying into position as possible successors for his job? And that’s before I mention the pernicious role played by those reporters and pundits who make themselves look big and powerful by insinuating they have privileged access to ‘top levels’ in government. How do we know that these ‘sources’ aren’t a figment of a reporter’s imagination if no names are given? Above all – why do we have to pay to listen to or read what is basically nothing but gossip, justified by the magic phrase ‘a senior source told me’?
Having said all that, let me mention two reports in the Express (here and here) where named Brexiteers are pointing out that an extension would mean we’d pay huge extra sums to the EU to bail out their disastrous CV-19 policy, and let me urge you to read this warning in another report:
“There are concerns that the EU is deliberately briefing that the transition period will have to be extended while Michel Barnier’s negotiation team drags its feet to try to force a delay in Britain being free of EU rules.” (link)
This is a warning we cannot disregard. Remain is poised to use the Lockdown here and in the EU as argument to keep us in – money no objection.
As “Our MSM” are trying to predict if, when and how the Lockdown restrictions might be lifted – all based on what their ‘sources’ said – there’s a new item to keep ‘Project Fear’ running: the ‘Second Peak’. To prevent that, “we” must copy France, Germany and other countries because ‘we’ are too inept to do it properly.
I suspect that “we”, i.e. government, will follow France whose Lockdown Exit will start on May 11th. There’s one totally unacceptable point though which ‘senior’ sources mentioned yesterday: that the over-70s will have to be kept behind locked doors for 18 months. The report from which the following quote was taken is based on Michael Gove’s TV interview yesterday, so it’s not ‘anonymous’:
“More shops and businesses would reopen in late May and early June under the second phase of the plan. All employees would be urged to return to work and some small social gatherings would be permitted. However, larger events such as sports and concerts would not be allowed until later in the summer. Over-70s and those who are particularly vulnerable to the virus could have to wait for more than a year for a vaccine to be developed before they can return to normal life.The measures risk triggering a backlash from people who could be ordered to stay at home until autumn 2021.” (link, paywalled)
Yes, that’s right: house arrest until autumn 2021 – just because you’re over 70. For ‘your own good’. And don’t rely on a vaccine – here’s a warning from one of the scientists involved in developing a vaccine:
“Sarah Gilbert, head of the Oxford effort, admitted yesterday that success could not be guaranteed. “I think the prospects are very good, but it’s clearly not completely certain,” she told the BBC. Her team are acutely aware that a vaccine may alter the immune system in a way that makes contracting Covid-19 more dangerous.” (link, paywalled)
And this is the vaccine the over 70s have to look forward to? Blimey …! I think we rather should be permitted ‘out’ when wearing fashionable face masks – making those masks would surely boost our fashion industry.
Meanwhile, ‘Our MSM’ are diligently shunning specialist blogs dealing with the CV-19 pandemic. After all, only ‘proper newspapers’, only ‘proper TV stations’ are in possession of the truth. Asking inconvenient questions which are being asked across the world is not the way to keep Project Fear&Hysteria going.
For example, the Adam Smith Institute is publishing ‘Despatches’ at the moment – daily reports from an NHS frontline doctor. He is more akin to a whistleblower, so his anonymity is understandable. You might like to read this entry of April 17th where he describes how, at the end of a ‘weird day’, there were more doctors than patients present.
Obviously, ‘Our Sacred Cow’ is not ‘overwhelmed’ by CV-19 patients or indeed other patients. Common sense – apparently not present in “Our MSM” – would lead one to ask: how come, if the huge new ‘Nightingale hospitals’ created for dealing with CV-19 patients are standing empty, there are still no resources for dealing with a ‘second peak’?
Another new venture is called “Lockdown Sceptics”. One of their regular writers is Toby Young who takes issue, day by day, with government and the reporting in ‘Our MSM’. Talking about government ‘hawks and doves’ in regard to easing restrictions, he writes:
“This, or something like it, is the exit strategy the Government should have unveiled on Thursday when it announced the lockdown would be extended for three weeks. It looks like the “hawks” in the Cabinet – those who want to end the lockdown – have triumphed over the “doves”. (Michael Gove, who was a leading dove, has “changed his position”, according to the Sunday Times.) One reason the hawks have gained the upper hand, the paper says, is because the Treasury has produced an “apocalyptic” report – soon to be leaked, no doubt – warning that failure to ease restrictions in “the next few weeks” will mean 60% of businesses running out of cash within three months.” (link)
Do read the whole thing! I hope Toby will also take issue with the jaw-dropping opinion piece in RemainCentral today, under the sub-heading “ Don’t let the civil liberties lobby blind us to the fact that greater state surveillance, including ID cards, is required” (link, paywalled). The gist of that piece is that ‘others do it’ (like, ahem, China?) – and it doesn’t hurt them a bit! You really couldn’t make it up!
Finally: “Our MSM” have been very keen to compare the measures taken by our government with those taken by other countries – always to our detriment. They never look at critical reports coming from said countries even when well documented. So it’s no surprise that this blog, which has been doing just that, never gets a mention. After all, it’s from Switzerland, a tiny country which our mighty MSM pundits surely can overlook.
You however might go and check their reports and updates for yourselves. Who knows – you might be able to email your MP and ask him or her about these reports, about the reports in ‘Lockdown Sceptics’, and why they seem to accept that the over 70s must be treated as lepers, kept behind closed doors.
You might even get an answer – they do have time on their hands and have been given that lovely sum of £10,000 to allow them to ‘work from home’. We, as we all know, haven’t. Ask why the over 70s should not receive £10,000 (tax free), to make their house arrest a bit more bearable – after all, they’re most in need of a technological upgrade.
As always – keep vigilant, keep asking inconvenient questions. Perhaps we don’t need a ‘vaccine certificate’ but just one attesting that we’re all diligent washers-of-hands, promising to wear fashionable masks, in order to be let out?