No 10 – now with improved ‘covid data’ thanks to resident GCHQ experts!
As I scanned this morning’s headlines in ‘Our MSM’ I detected signs that their covid-front seems to be crumbling. The reason for my impression are two reports which are devastating for SAGE and for the BJ regime. One of these is a preview of a BBC documentary. More on all that below.
First though, an indication that BJ is desperately trying to show that he’s in control. After presenting his green blob ‘project’ he’s now going to announce another spending plan which will go down well with most of us: increased spending on the military, especially the Royal Navy and money for ‘cyber force’ as well as a space programme:
“Boris Johnson has pledged to end Britain’s “era of retreat” with the largest investment in the military since the Cold War and plans for a new space command and artificial intelligence agency. The prime minister will reveal a four-year funding settlement for the Ministry of Defence today, worth an additional £16.5 billion. This is aimed at transforming the armed forces and bolstering global influence. It will address a shortfall of up to £13 billion in the military’s existing ten-year equipment plan, while funding investment in a series of novel technologies and initiatives.” (link, paywalled)
While The Guardian predictably wails that this spending comes as the foreign aid budget is cut the DT reports faithfully the words of BJ, that “he had made the decision “in the teeth of the pandemic because the defence of the realm must come first” (paywalled link). Good grief! Is BJ trying to create an image of him waving a defiant fist in the face of covid? Is government addicted to using purple prose in their announcements?
Well, BJ has told us that eradicating ‘Teh Virus’ is akin to war, that everybody must do everything to ‘save lives’ and ‘Our Sacred Cow’. Yesterday that ‘war’ became a size larger, with ‘saving the planet’ with all the green blobbery. Sir John Redwood has some questions on that in his Diary this morning (link). So – what about all those green heads-in-the-clouds jobs? Perhaps more real jobs can be created by spending on the defence of the realm:
“Downing Street said 40,000 jobs would be created over the course of the four-year settlement, which gives the Armed Forces an extra £16.5 billion. That is on top of the 2019 manifesto pledge to increase spending by 0.5 per cent above inflation every year. It means the Prime Minister and Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, have won a lengthy battle with the Treasury to release the funds despite hundreds of billions being spent on the coronavirus response.” (paywalled link)
Note that last sentence! Cynical old cow that I am, I wonder if BJ ‘stood firm’ in the teeth of the Treasury to clip Rishi’s feathers. On a less cynical note I suggest the Treasury was won over because these jobs will be real as opposed to vacuous green ones. Real jobs mean taxes flowing into the Treasury coffers. Sunak has ring-fenced this spending for the coming four years while all other departments will have to make do with single-year settlements. Mind you – this is still a bit ‘pie-in-the-sky’ when we read that:
“Although the money is agreed, details of the government’s strategy for foreign, defence, development and security policy will be finalised in the new year. The integrated review, which draws the strands together, is expected to be published at the end of January.” (link, paywalled)
We recall that Cummings worked on this integrated review but since he’s now history, a non-person – a week is a long time in politics, remember – it’s not worth mentioning except when one wants to give him a final kick:
“Mr Cummings also wanted to reform procurement of traditional weapons, but appears to have lost that fight before his departure from Number 10.” (paywalled link)
See – he’s a loser, so was rightfully kicked out … And now that we feel good, here are the two covid horror stories. They are outrageous, one being worse than the other. Please put down your tea mugs and remove all hard implements from your vicinity – you do need your PC screens!
First, the DM article. They preview a BC programme being broadcast tonight, called ‘Lockdown1 – following the science’ (link). This documentary reveals that SAGE based their modelling this spring – on wikipedia data! Also, there was not one expert in human corona virus research in that group …
Not only do words fail me, I’m also trying to catch my breath. Let’s not forget that these are the same SAGEs who’re declaring we need more restrictions if we want Christmas. These are the same SAGEs who are behind the blatant NHS data manipulations, well documented elsewhere. Here’s what Professor Carl Henegan of the CEBM told the DM:
“’The fact they used Wikipedia for their models is just completely unacceptable. You’ve got to use verified data. I cannot imagine a scenario where any scientist should be turning to Wikipedia – the thing about models is it’s extremely important the evidence they’re based on is as robust as it can be. It reflects our lack of preparedness, there were outbreak happening in Europe that could’ve been used to inform. If they [SAGE] didn’t understand the data or couldn’t access it they should’ve been in touch with public health officials abroad to understand them.” (link)
So we went into Lockdown because of ‘data’ on wikipedia? Strewth! Please read the whole report! There are other specialists whose comments are as devastating for SAGE as the one by Prof. Henegan. Email the link to your MP – our HoC peacocks surely must demand an end to this whole coercive shambles, now!
Perhaps though SAGE has changed its spots and everything is now perfect? The other covid horror report would suggest that this might be the case. It’s an ‘exclusive’ in the DT,making me want to throw up:
“The Government’s intelligence-gathering and surveillance agency has deployed experts to work inside the Cabinet Office to sift through huge amounts of big data in an effort to give Mr Johnson the most up-to-date information on the spread of the virus. […] The deployment of the intelligence agency, embedded in the Cabinet Office, is seen as critical in providing non-partisan, independent data for Mr Johnson on which to base key decisions such as the reintroduction of lockdown.” (paywalled link)
So did BJ perchance not trust the SAGE data completely? Perhaps there’s another reason for having GCHQ experts sift through data in No 10, something they surely could do as well from Cheltenham? It would seem so:
“GCHQ analysts have been given access to mobile phone data to track the public’s movements during the national lockdown. The up-to-the-minute reports on compliance are passed to the Prime Minister, who must decide in a little over a fortnight whether to end the lockdown on December 2. […] The GCHQ cell also worked on the NHS Test and Trace app, making sure sensitive data remained secure and anonymised, preventing foreign hostile states from trying to hack into the app. […] The team has been examining Google search data that allows it to analyse public behaviour, with “daily highlights” passed to Number 10 to enable “better policy-making”.” (paywalled link)
It’s stunning how under the cloak of ‘fighting covid’ even the most shocking breaches of our privacy are permitted, unopposed. Is this how and why we’re being ‘nudged’, by having GCHQ tracking our data to tell BJ how compliant we are? Are our data no longer private when BJ needs to make ‘daily decisions’ to ‘combat covid’? There’s more:
“The UK’s intelligence agencies are tasked with responding to “changing and emerging threats” – usually applied to rogue nations and terrorist organisations – but that remit has been extended to tackling coronavirus. MI5 recently disclosed that it was investigating how the virus spreads, based on work at the Government’s chemical weapons laboratory at Porton Down, in Wiltshire.” (paywalled link)
Was this ‘extension of the remit’ actually scrutinised by Parliament? No – don’t answer, we know the HoC has emasculated itself totally because “Covid!”. Does GCHQ, does MI5 have enough manpower to track actual terrorists? Aren’t we all in fact being treated as potential ‘covid terrorists’ who must be observed? Does a declaration of ‘we’re fighting a war on covid’ – based on wikipedia data! – permit this unprecedented intrusion in our private lives?
Apparently the GCHQ experts were also looking at google searches for new jobs which led to Sunak prolonging the furlough scheme. Is this the sugar which makes this bitter, bitter medicine go down? To round this up, here’s why this ‘deployment’ was permitted to go ahead, unresisted:
“GCHQ’s deployment into the heart of Government will have been aided by the appointment in September of Simon Case as Cabinet Secretary and head of the Civil Service. Mr Case had previously worked for GCHQ as director of strategy in 2015.” (paywalled link)
Didn’t the previous Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, a certain Mark Sedwill, also have ‘connections’, being the ‘National Security Adviser’? What does it say about the state of the nation when so many are clearly happy to give up a bit of their freedom, of their privacy, for the sake of being kept ‘safe’ – from terrorists (we know how well that has worked in the past!) to covid?
I’m saving the Brexit News for tomorrow and shall refrain from quoting what Benjamin Franklin allegedly said about liberty and safety. Instead, here’s a quote from Mark Twain which applies perfectly to the two covid horror reports:
“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”
Never mind that some ‘facts’ are the spurious ones SAGE took from wikipedia. BJ now has all the daily facts about everything, thanks to GCHQ. He can distort them to his heart’s content.
It surely is time to take pitchforks (virtual ones, GCHQ, ok yah?) to this steaming heap of covid manure!