Yay! UCL v ICL in the war of the modellers
Well I never! The latest ‘covid news’ is that we have a ‘war of the modellers’, namely between those around Prof Ferguson’s Imperial College crew and those around University College London. Crikey! More on that below – first a couple of ‘news items’ demonstrating that covid has definitely led to a most unsettling softening of mental processes inside Whitehall and the metropolitan MSM. They are too hilarious not to spread around.
The first one is about a plaintive moan regarding our beaches. There’s a charity called ‘Surfers against Sewage’ and they’ve commissioned a poll, reported in The Times:
“Almost two thirds (59 per cent) of adults agree they have seen more plastic waste, such as bags, bottles and facemasks, in their local area in the past 12 months than ever before. Only 16 per cent disagree with that statement, according to the survey of 2,000 adults commissioned by the charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS). Most people believe the pandemic has caused an increase in plastic pollution because more single-use items such as bags and facemasks are being discarded.” (link, paywalled)
Excuse me – but weren’t people told, by pain of horrendous fines, not to go out at all, locally or not? Furthermore – thanks to lockdown and prohibition to go anywhere, all those volunteers usually cleaning up beach litter must’ve been unable to do so since Lockdown 2020. One would therefore expect more detritus to be seen on our beaches, right? Moreover – where is this stuff coming from anyway? Weren’t “we” all obediently staying indoors, unable to throw around plastic bags? Above all – wasn’t it foreseeable that these one-way face muzzles would end up everywhere? But it’s good that a charity has a poll showing that “we” must do something to clean our beaches – that used to be an annual event, wasn’t it?
The other ‘covid news’ item is hilarious. This comes not just under ‘you couldn’t make it up’, it comes under a new category: “government guidelines demonstrate again that civil serpents have lost it” – common sense, for one, and respect for us as well. We’re not the stupid eejits they have come to believe we are – we can think for ourselves, and we do know when their precious ‘coivd guidelines’ are a concoction of ever more ridiculous attempt to prescribe what we can and cannot do.
This is about a ‘new’ guideline being issued. In the previous ‘guideline’, pubs had been prohibited to take payment indoors when permitted to open outdoor areas on Monday. After complaints by industry bosses, there will now be ‘new guidelines’! Pub goers – or ‘drinkers’, as the DT snidely writes – pub goers in rural areas will now be told to bring cash to pay for their drinks because a) they’re not allowed to go inside when pubs are permitted to open their outside areas starting on Monday, and b) broadband and mobile signals in rural areas are so weak that doing everything ‘by smartphone’ is impossible. Well, I had to snigger when I read that:
“[…] ministers will attempt to change the rules before Monday so customers can go inside as a “last resort”, but drinkers have been urged to bring cash so they can pay safely outdoors. Industry leaders met officials on Tuesday to push for a U-turn. An internal memo seen by The Telegraph shows that “indoor payment will be allowed, but only as a last resort, i.e. where portable card payment or cash payment isn’t an option”. (paywalled link)
‘Going inside as a last resort’ – oh my! Does this mean ‘drinkers’ can only relieve themselves outside in the bushes, or are they permitted to use the indoor facilities? If they can use those facilities, why can’t they also pay indoors? And do people in rural areas really need to be told to bring cash, as if they didn’t know already that rural broadband and wifi aren’t up to the scratch civil serpents inside the M25 expect? And this waste of time, this condescension by those issuing guidelines is what we pay our taxes for …!
And so to the absolutely delicious ‘war of the modellers’. This is an ‘exclusive’ in the DT, with the reporter, Ms Knapton, going right in:
“Britain will pass the threshold for herd immunity on Monday, according to dynamic modelling by University College London (UCL), placing more pressure on the Government to move faster in releasing restrictions. According to the UCL results, published this week, the number of people who have protection against the virus either through vaccination or previous infection will hit 73.4 per cent on April 12 – enough to tip the country into herd immunity. The number is in stark contrast to the modelling released by Imperial College this week, which suggested there was just 34 per cent protection by the end of March.” (paywalled link)
Oh look: there’s that dirty word ‘herd immunity’! Is it now permitted to use it? Are we perhaps seeing a tiny shift in the mindset of the covid empire? Next, look at this:
“The Telegraph understands that the Government is unhappy with the pessimistic tone set by models produced by SPI-M, released earlier this week, and has asked other groups to critique the work. The SPI-M summary, presented to Sage, suggested the roadmap out of lockdown was “highly likely” to lead to increased hospital cases and deaths this summer. The models were criticised for using out of date and flawed assumptions about levels of population immunity and effectiveness of the vaccine as well as failing to factor in reductions in transmission due to vaccination and seasonality.” (paywalled link)
My oh my – ‘government’ was unhappy with the SAGEs? Is BJ now desperately casting about to get ‘data’ to support his roadmap, being afeared of the ongoing public displeasure amongst us plebs? After all, his MPs surely tell their whips about the emails they’ve received criticising BJ’s ‘guidelines’, especially in view of next month’s local elections! Back to this ‘war of the modellers’ – see how the SAGEs are getting it in the neck:
“The work by UCL differs from other models because it reacts quickly to real-time deaths, infections, vaccinations, vaccine effectiveness data, hospital admissions and Google mobility trends, which inform transmission trends and the ‘R’ rate, which it currently estimates to be 1.12. Despite the ‘R’ being above one, it predicts that deaths will continue to fall to low levels by May 24 and stay there, with no summer spike forecast. Modellers say their “most likely” scenarios contrast with the SPI-M projections of “reasonable worst-case scenarios” and are more optimistic about the pandemic.” (paywalled link)
What more evidence do we need that SAGE and their pet modellers use their worst-case scenarios to keep scaring the heck out of us peasants and indeed out of BJ and his covid politburo? There’s more:
“Generally, the most likely predictions of mitigated responses, i.e. what is likely to happen, are more optimistic than worst-case projections of unmitigated responses – i.e. what could happen,” the researchers said. The team also published the code of their model so that it can be checked.” (paywalled link)
To crown this, the DT has ‘resurrected’ Professor Carl Henegan! They actually quote his observations, but it’s an abbreviated quote from his interview with TalkRadio to which you can and really ought to listen here. Rounding this up, there’s also an essay by Lord Sumption who calls the SAGE modelling ‘garbage’ (paywalled link). This essay will receive our ‘From Behind the Paywall’ treatment later this morning.
I leave you with another tiny indication that the covid empire seems to back-pedal. It’s in regard to Gove’s ‘covid status check’, or covid passport. Apparently the covidians are so worried that they’re now ‘considering’ to insert a ‘sunset clause’, i.e. to make perfectly clear that this measure would be ‘temporary’, in order to pacify their MPs (paywalled link).
Given the way Gove and the rest have been weaselling around on this issue, I won’t hold my breath. After all, why would we trust that lot when they’ve shown us again and again that we cannot nor ought to. Why would we believe them now when they are apparently abandoning SAGE’s dire predictions because it doesn’t suit BJ’s political agenda! ‘Herd immunity’ against ‘we’re all gonna die without moar lockdowns’? Lay in the popcorn!
Above all – keep writing to your MPs! It’s clearly working – you have them on the run.