Wear a face mask or die …
‘Tis another sunny summer morning somewhere in the British Isles, another morning on which the figurative shelves of Our MSM are bare. It’s as if most writers and editors have become so bored with the ‘daily news round’ that they seem to just go through the motions in their articles from CV-19 to the economy to Brexit.
Well, this may change today at PMQs and when the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak will present his spending plans, some items of which have already dribbled out. There’s speculation that he’ll hand out £2bn:
“to “kickstart” work placement scheme in which the state will cover the minimum wage for young workers, with employers able to top up pay packets. Each person will receive about £5,500 from the government over half a year, while businesses will receive £1,000 for taking them on. The measure, which will be aimed at those aged between 16 and 24 who are claiming universal credit and are at risk of long-term joblessness, could help 300,000 people and comes amid concern about mass youth unemployment.” (link)
That’s just a bit more than what he’ll give to the luvvies – he’s got £1.57bn to support ‘The Arts’ (link), for theatres and museums. Why anyone would want to sit in a theatre or auditorium, socially distanced and wearing a mask, is a question not to be asked. Reports from pub goers show that those ‘rules’ are making visits to pubs under those circumstances less than fun.
Toby Young in LockdownSceptics published a reader’s letter yesterday (scroll down a bit here) which sums up why only 5% of us have gone to a pub since the restrictions were lifted. Why would opera goers be any different?
Then there’s Brexit and the EU. Barnier turned up in London yesterday where David Frost gave him a ‘fish dinner’ (‘twas halibut, according to RemainCentral), in preparation for today’s meetings. The sniff of disapproval by The Times reporters and comment posters was audible across the country:
“Mr Johnson was not due to attend last night’s dinner but Downing Street had not ruled out the prospect of him “dropping in”. (link, paywalled)
Apparently it’s now reprehensible that the PM isn’t attending a dinner between negotiators who aren’t head of states. I’m reliably informed however that M Barnier isn’t a member of that proliferation of EU presidents and vice presidents even though he behaves as if he were. He doesn’t need to be upgraded further.
The rest of that article and of yet another one by the DT’s resident Remainer (link) come either under ‘wishful thinking’ (e.g. here) or under: ‘let’s try and influence the talks by painting Barnier as the nice guy’. They’re all based on selective quotes from the transcript of Barnier’s hearing at the HoL EU Select Committee which, as we reported yesterday (here), took place on June 23rd.
Just because that transcript was only published two days ago doesn’t make the content ‘hot news’, this headline in The Express notwithstanding (link). That article is about the EU being ready for full border checks from January 1st 2021. The timeline of publication gives the game away: The Express published their article at midnight today, faithfully following the original report from James Crisp in the DT which came out at 7pm yesterday (link).
Meanwhile, ‘Our MSM’ don’t know what to make of Italy’s latest attempt to block the spread of CV-19:
“Italy blocked all flights from Bangladesh yesterday after 36 passengers arriving in Rome from the capital, Dhaka, tested positive for coronavirus. “That’s 36 out of 275 passengers — this flight was out of control, a viral bomb,” an Italian health spokesman said. Passengers were either dispatched to hospital, sent home to isolate or put up in an airport hotel for two weeks of quarantine as the Italian health minister suspended flights for a week.” (link, paywalled)
One wonders if passengers from Bangladesh, Pakistan or India landing in Heathrow were similarly checked. After all, it’s fair to assume that there are more Bangladeshis coming ‘home’ to London than coming to Italy. It surely cannot be the case that ‘Our MSM’ aren’t demanding such checks because that would be racist, can it!
Instead we’re treated to the latest CV-19 health scare, that there ‘might’ be a rise in brain damage due to inflammation linked to CV-19 (link). Frightening, isn’t it – but then we’re given the numbers:
“Experts at University College London’s Institute of Neurology have described a four-fold increase in acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) – a rare and sometimes fatal complication normally found in children – since the start of the virus crisis. The new study identified 43 suspected or confirmed coronavirus sufferers, aged between 16 and 85, who were treated at the specialist unit at University College Hospital in London.” (link)
43 cases – be afraid, be very afraid! I’m not blaming the doctors who are reporting their findings to their colleagues and rightly so – I am blaming the ‘health editors’ who use that report, published in a specialist medical journal, as yet another item in their ‘Fear and Hysteria’ campaign.
Moreover, it seems as if any pronouncement or report by “a scientist” must be utilised to keep us plebs in fear and under control. The latest is about wearing masks in public, yet again. Look at this report, coming from the head of the Royal Society who is a chemist, not a medical doctor, virologist or epidemiologist – but he’s a Nobel Prize winner, so he must be right:
“Wearing a facemask should be considered as crucial as handwashing and everyone should carry one when they leave the house, according to the president of Britain’s leading scientific body. Venki Ramakrishnan, who heads the Royal Society and holds a Nobel prize in chemistry, made the comments as he released a report showing that despite the growing evidence masks slow virus transmission, the UK is among the worst for wearing them.” (link, paywalled)
It gets even ‘better’. The Royal Society has set up their own committee to look at the evidence. This ‘scientific’ argument for enforcing mask wearing is quite astounding:
“KK Cheng, from the University of Birmingham, has been one of those advocating masks since the beginning of the pandemic. He said the report should be a wake-up call for Britain to take them more seriously, in the same way they have been in Asia. “Of course, 100 plus countries, numerous Nobel laureates and the Royal Society may all be wrong. But if they were, the penalty will be small. But if those who keep questioning the role of masks are wrong, the damage they do is much bigger, including damaged economy, overwhelmed health services and lives.”(link, paywalled)
In other words: ‘we don’t know if it works or not, but meanwhile wear masks anyway, regardless’. For a proper assessment of this latest ‘expert’ advice you can’t do better than see what Toby Young wrote in Lockdown Sceptics:
“I’ve had a look at the Royal Society paper that supposedly confirms the effectiveness of masks. It’s unimpressive. Note the threadbare evidence on which it bases its sweeping conclusion: – “We have found only two randomised control trials in the primary literature on the use of face masks to reduce onward transmission; one was underpowered, and the other showed significant reduction when adjusted for actual mask usage in a posthoc analysis.” – Congratulations Venki Ramakrishnan. You win bedwetter-of-the-week” (link)
But let’s make mask-wearing compulsory because ‘scientists’ say so … ! We know by now that the urge to socially shame people is sadly great in our country. Compulsory mask wearing, enforced by our fellow citizens who would rather we all stay at home, is another way of killing the life in our towns and cities, from shops and pubs to theatres.
No amount of money chucked at the problem by ‘Our Rishi’ will change this. The fear engendered by ‘Our MSM’, still being kept alive by publishing ‘CV-19 Health Advice’ and reports from ‘experts’, any ‘expert’, will see to that, as will the broad puritanical streak permeating civil servants and opinion makers in ‘Our MSM’ who’d rather prevent anyone from having fun – shops, pubs, theatres: no matter.
A pity there’s no modern-day Charles II kick-starting a Restoration!
Photo by wuestenigel