Lockdown arguments

The Telegraph is writing the history of the pandemic lockdowns before the official enquiry gets underway. Today I provide an opportunity to comment on the stories so far.

I joined the group of MPs who wanted a solution more like Sweden, with fewer restrictions. I voted with them against the more extreme controls. I pressed for better protection of care homes, drawing attention to the discharged patients  from hospitals as possible carriers of infection. I pressed for isolation hospitals for covid, and for use of the Nightingales. I wanted the full  use of the contracted private sector hospitals for non covid work.

I and the group of MPs challenged the data, drawing attention to the important difference between dying with contact with covid and dying of covid. We pressed successfully for Parliament to meet, in hybrid form at first and then got the proper restoration. The Opposition supported all the lockdowns and urged more and longer. They did not press for early restoration of Parliament which some of us wanted to question and scrutinise government and experts more.

I have no comments on what Mr Hancock has saying and doing. I need to concentrate on todays issues.

214 Comments

  1. Cartimandua
    March 5, 2023

    Sir john the last novel virus killed 236,000 people when the population was under 30 million. London is the most populous city in Europe. Sweden has a population of under 10 million and 50% live alone. Sweden is not a comparator. And lastly there are many vital services that require people to work together . We didn’t lose all the vital services water power food etc.
    Most of the time I agree with everything you say but not this time. Until there was a vaccinated population and effective treatments letting it rip was not sensible. Do we even know how many are now disabled for life by long covid.

    1. Clough
      March 5, 2023

      You try to invalidate the Sweden comparison, Cartimandua, by saying more British people live in multi-person households than in Sweden. So you imply the greater Covid death and illness numbers here pro rata were due to more people being together indoors. But then you have to admit the lockdowns, which made people spend a lot of their time indoors in their multi-person homes, were counter-productive.

      I hear very few people these days who still say lockdowns were the right thing to do.

      1. Frances
        March 6, 2023

        The UK has 7xs the Swedish population. Thats a lot more human hosts for the virus. Its the numbers and the population density. London is the most populous city in Europe. Public health has always been about space and fresh air. A multi person household is only a problem if one or more are meeting people outside. Until there were tests, a vaccinated population, and actual treatments there wasnt a choice. Thank God the Nightingales were not used. China has had vast dying rooms. Would you have preferred it?

    2. Cheshire Girl
      March 5, 2023

      Cartimandua:.

      I agree. The Government were in a hopeless situation, They did what they could at the time, when there was nothing known about the Virus, but that doesn’t suit the Media or the Opposition parties, who are hell bent in getting the Conservatives out of Government.

      1. Richard II
        March 5, 2023

        ‘There was nothing known about the virus?!’ CG, you’re repeating the usual lame apology for the government narrative. I found online in March 2020 the medical report by the doctors who went on board the much-publicised Diamond Princess cruise ship, and reported what they found. Out of 3700 people on board, who’d been mixing and breathing the same air for weeks, seven had died, 20 needed hospital treatment, and everybody else, mostly fairly elderly, walked off the ship unscathed. It was very clearly not a lethal killer virus that threatened us all. If I could see that report online, so could every politician and health authority in the country. It was also known from the start that SARS-CoV-2 was very similar to SARS Covid 1, which is why the PCR test devised very early on was based on the chemical make-up of SARS Cov-1. Another thing that was known at an early stage was that the asymptomatic transmission story was based on invalid data. The Chinese woman in Germany who was supposed to have transmitted Covid without symptoms was soon discovered to have been suppressing those symptoms by taking paracetomol. But the initial media scare story did the trick.

        So you are right in saying ‘nothing known about the virus’, only if you mean how little the public was *allowed to know* by the compliance enforcers in the media.

        1. MFD
          March 5, 2023

          +1
          Agreed Richard

        2. THUTCH
          March 5, 2023

          Spot on, well said.

        3. Frances
          March 6, 2023

          no to begin with there were no tests or vaccines let alone treatments.

      2. Sir Joe Soap
        March 5, 2023

        Completely ignoring their own rules indicates that they didn’t apply their own hysterical reaction to themselves. It’s a bizarre type of backside-covering hypocrisy which gives rise to this way of handling things.

        1. Mickey Taking
          March 5, 2023

          A first step in testing control by fear on the populace. Whitty and co went along with the PM/Cabinet control by media….and then BBC and other soft media played the game by praising the NHS which was actually shambolic, and even most of the residential roads turned out to clap/beat saucepans in adoration.
          Sick.

      3. David L
        March 5, 2023

        The “Nothing was Known” excuse was untrue. Before the World Health Organisation became beholden to the Chinese Communist Party they warned that “the main effect of lockdown would be to make poor people poorer.” And so it has proved, with the corollary that some rich people became much richer.
        Many very highly qualified medics and scientists (Sunetra Gupta, John Ioannides for example and the 60,000+ signatories of the Great Barrington Declaration so readily dismissed by our leaders) warned that lockdowns would not be an effective way to curb the disease but possibly delay it a little, but would cause enormous suffering in many other ways. A U.N. report states that in South Asia 230,000 children died as a direct result of lockdown as the poverty stricken were rendered destitute. In the UK we have spiralling mental health issues and many small businesses collapsed. And all our main political parties went along with it unquestioningly, with one or two demanding even more restrictions. Recently we have seen the silencing of any public debate over the safety of the vaccines and those who dare to mention it are smeared and insulted. I hope the Inquiry brings all these issues to the fore, but maybe there are too many reputations at stake for that to happen? Whatever, the credibility of the whole health advice procedure has been undermined and that is a worry for the future.

        1. Jason Cartwright
          March 5, 2023

          Sewage samples from 2019 confirmed that COVID19 had been circulating in Europe before the first lock down in March 2020. The Nightingale units were never used and the ‘3 weeks to save the NHS’ lock down was completely unnecesary. Death figures were inflated by the official definition with fewer than 20k dying of COVID19. Overall mortality data for 2020 to 2022 show impact of a typical flu virus.

      4. Mick
        March 5, 2023

        Totally agree Cheshire Girl
        That’s what’s it all about now is to discredit the elected government out of office no matter what, people want to reflect on what it would have been like under a labour government still in the EU we wouldn’t have been first in the queue for the vaccine Starmer would have given it to the EU no questions asked, but there again if you were to ask a question to any labour mp they just go off at a tangent and not answer

      5. Ashely
        March 5, 2023

        Well the governments made errors in almost everything they did, touched and said (even after much was know about the virus). Even now they still claim the vaccine & lockdown saved millions of lives so deluded are they! The Barrington Declaration was published in Oct 2020 they just tried to rubbish it as they did with the Swedish approach.

        So what did they get wrong all were foreseeable and was foreseen by sensible people at the time:-
        The source of the virus almost certainly for the lab after enhancement of function.
        The enforced masks
        The billions wasted on test and trace.
        The net harm vaccines (certainly net harm for the young who were never even at any real risk.
        The pandemic planning and inability to make PPE etc. locally.
        The restriction/banning of working treatments that could have saved many lives and were doing so else where.
        The dumping of the untested into care homes to infect others.
        The idiotic lockdowns and billions wasted with fraud virtually encouraged.
        The very long closing of schools and stopping of exams.
        The deliberate fear they induced in the public at vast expense.
        The end of life drugs given to many who were not at the end of their lives other than due to these drugs being pushed on them.

        Can we please have Lord Sumption or similar to do a sensible & quick inquiry in say 4 months and abandon the £millions they will waste on this whitewash and delay one – doubtless taking 5+ years or so.

        1. glen cullen
          March 5, 2023

          Why bother with an inquiry ….they never do ‘lessons learnt’, and the outcome is the first thing they write and known already

          1. APL
            March 6, 2023

            glen cullen: “Why bother with an inquiry ”

            There is an awful lot of money for the looting class, in an enquiry.

          2. Mickey Taking
            March 6, 2023

            Have you noticed inquests are usually done to try to reverse the publicly known situation.
            They take months/years to establish who will ‘run’ it, then take careful input, weeding out that which doesn’t fit the desired outcome. Finally the conclusion is mentioned on a good day to deliver bad news.
            Why bother!

        2. Ashley
          March 6, 2023

          The main point of the public inquiry is purely so ministers can say we have to wait for the full inquiry report (which will conveniently report long after we have gone and will cost £millions this going to our mates in this crony inquiry industry). When it does come out they will say “lessons have been learned and will be learned this was years ago when things were very different).

          We also need a Lord Sumption type to destroy the deluded climate change lunacy religion and our government’s disastrous energy policies and responses to this group think, economy destroying climate alarmist lunacy.

          1. Disillusioned Tory
            March 6, 2023

            Ashley, you are absolutely correct. Unfortunately, the Powers That Be will never allow someone as fearless and incisive as Lord Sumption to lead the public inquiry, lest he actually produced some findings that might lead to real change. It was clear to me from April 2020 that the covid response was a disaster (I went along with the first three weeks thinking that it was reasonable to allow time for the nightingales to be built, but quickly realised that we had been lied to and we were set on course for months of madness); our children and grandchildren will be paying for this lockdown lunacy for decades to come. It didn’t save lives (clearly demonstrated by comparing excess deaths in countries that locked down vs those that didn’t) and has caused huge damage: businesses destroyed; serious health problems ignored; 100,000 children disappeared off school registers; an explosion in mental health problems and a whole generation of children whose educational prospects have been blighted. We had a pandemic management policy that should have been followed; instead, the government was bounced by media hysteria and the baying opposition into copying an irrational and authoritarian lockdown model created in a Communist totalitarian state! I was glad that John Redwood finally woke up to the harm that was being caused, but I’m not sure I can ever bring myself to vote for any of the mainstream parties again.

    3. Donna
      March 5, 2023

      The Government KNEW that the mortality rate for Covid was very low when they launched the first lockdown. If you were under 70 and in reasonable health you had a 99.98% chance of surviving Covid.

      If you were over 70 and in poorer health you STILL had a 95% chance of surviving it.

      The average age of those who died from/with Covid is 83 …… which is OVER the average age of death in the UK.

      There was no need to shut the country down waiting for a “vaccine.” They just needed to shield the highly vulnerable and use the existing treatments many doctors quickly identified: Ivermectin, Hydrodxychloriquine, Budesonide and others. Instead those doctors were silenced and discussion of these treatments was banned.

      1. Sharon
        March 5, 2023

        Indeed. My 92 year old father who was part of three different bubbles, took his dog daily to the park with other dog walkers, and continued to visit three families weekly (after the initial lockdown) is still hale and hearty! In fact, if anything, he seemed to age following his third booster.

      2. Dave Andrews
        March 5, 2023

        To be fair, they did their utmost to discover the 5% of elderly poor, by shipping untested individuals from hospitals (where the virus was distributed liberally up and down the corridors) into unprotected care homes, to seed the infection there.

      3. Ashely
        March 5, 2023

        Exactly.

      4. Mickey Taking
        March 5, 2023

        and most of the 83 year-old average were hideously exposed to it by sending infection into their Care Home.

      5. Ashley
        March 6, 2023

        Plus by reporting deaths within 28 days of a positive covid test (which also had a large false positive rate and included many who died of other things or were dying of other things) you far higher rates than were actually true deaths caused by Covid.

    4. Cuibono
      March 5, 2023

      Funny though how every measure fitted in so well with the requirements of The Great Reset.
      If we had just gone back to normal after a few months of pointless stupidity I might have agreed that although highly flawed, some measures may have helped.
      But we were repeatedly warned that we would not return to our normal. And all measures taken have been far outweighed by the damage that have done.
      And we haven’t gone back to normal.
      And now the powers have shifted the argument towards “climate change” and are working towards the ultimate lockdown.

      1. David Cooper
        March 5, 2023

        Not just “repeatedly warned”, but subjected to constant repetition of the mantra “Build Back Better”, which appeared all too readily to be coming from other nations too. Mere coincidence?

        1. Cuibono
          March 5, 2023

          +many
          All very true!

      2. Ashely
        March 5, 2023

        Exactly!

    5. Peter Parsons
      March 5, 2023

      Any comparison with Sweden should include a comparison with Sweden’s neighbours (Norway, Denmark, Finland), all of whom had significantly lower death rates than Sweden did.

      “What did they do differently to Sweden and why did it deliver better outcomes than Sweden’s approach?” is a more relevant question than comparing Sweden with the UK.

      1. hefner
        March 5, 2023

        That’s called ‘framing the question’ to help the contributors provide the ‘right’ comments. Rhetoric.101.
        Most politicians do it, some without even realising …

      2. Mark
        March 5, 2023

        If you want to make comparisons why restrict them to Nordic countries? Long time readers will recall I produced a number of analyses including this one that shows that higher GDP per capita correlates with higher coronavirus deaths.

        https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/DE3sk/1/

        I also found a strong correlation between local population density and spread.

        https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/K3uOD/1/

        Stockholm and Malmö have much higher population densities than Oslo.

        1. Mark
          March 5, 2023

          I meant to include this chart of the GDP linkage

          https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/9WwxR/2/

        2. Neil Sutherland
          March 5, 2023

          Is your data adjusted for covarates e.g Africa and Asia have younger populations, higher vitamin d levels, plus higher ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine usage. Case ascertainment and availability of diagnostic tests also relevant.

        3. a-tracy
          March 5, 2023

          Mark I always appreciated your data analyses, always interesting.

      3. Philip P.
        March 5, 2023

        One mistake Sweden made was the same as our government’s. They discharged elderly patients from hospital and sent them to care homes. Swedish care homes tend to be large, like the ones in Britain, whereas Norway’s care homes tend to be smaller. That meant the impact of hospital-origin infection was much lower there, contributing to Norway’s lower per head Covid death figures.

        Also, people are now starting to consider the impact of lockdowns on public health not just in Covid terms, but looking at all cause excess mortality. What serious health problems did locking down the population lead to? Excess mortality in Sweden has been very low after the initial impact of Covid, whereas Norway has throughout 2021 and 2022 experienced a much higher rate of excess mortality (Our World in Data: Excess mortality). So saying Norway had a ‘better outcome’ thanks to lockdowns is not the whole story.

        1. rose
          March 5, 2023

          Wasn’t it established that the infection came in with the staff, all over Europe? Only a minute fraction of the infection came from hospitals. (I know that is not what we are told by our truthful and honest media.) In England two thirds of nursing homes had no infection, though Scotland had the highest death rate in the whole of Europe. It is true Denmark and Norway had smaller nursing homes – and smaller populations.

          1. Mickey Taking
            March 6, 2023

            – and a lot of staff worked in multiple homes thus distributing the possible early death cause.

      4. rose
        March 5, 2023

        Denmark, like Germany, had a high death rate from the flu in the preceding winter. We, Sweden, and Southern Europe did not, so there were more frail people at risk. Don’t know what happened in Norway and Finland.

      5. THUTCH
        March 5, 2023

        Adjusted for population increases, the total death numbers suggest a zero excess (all cause) deaths in Sweden for 2020. Source Statista.
        Over the last 12 years the death rate is consistently 0.9%.
        Norway, Denmark, Finland did not in fact have significantly lower overall death rates than Sweden did in 2020. All about 0.9%.
        For sure, like us, there is a clear spike in all cause deaths (see Euromomo) in March and April 2020 where, by their own admission the Swedes got their (care home) policy wrong. But when you look at the totals the stats don’t back up lazy groupthink assertions.

      6. Disillusioned Tory
        March 6, 2023

        Actually, that’s not correct. Although Sweden didn’t fare particularly well compared to their Nordic neighbours (largely because they made exactly the same mistakes as the UK in relation to discharging/admitting untested people into care homes), their overall excess death rates in 2021 and 2022 were actually among the lowest in Europe:
        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/swedens-death-rate-among-lowest-europe-despite-avoiding-strict/
        Plus they didn’t suffer the huge hit to their economy and the resultant mental and physical ill health that will inevitably flow from a country making itself poorer.

    6. rose
      March 5, 2023

      Cartimandua, it was obvious to me that we were all going to get the coronavirus in the end anyway, and so we did, some of us two or three times. It was obvious it was airborne. It was also obvious that those most likely to die would be in their 80s, 90s, and 100s, and so they were. Though that must be qualified by the knowledge that many deaths in nursing homes were recorded as from the Wuhan coronavirus when they weren’t, because the doctor did not have to come out for that cause of death to be recorded. The families knew this.

      In 1968 we had the Hong Kong flu. It took all ages, and in a slimmer, younger, fitter population. Diabetes was very rare then. It was barely on the news and it certainly wasn’t politicised. People either got it or they didn’t; they either died of it or they didn’t. No-one was accusing the PM of mass murder. No-one was accused of being a granny killer. We didn’t have left wing scientists using it to bring about the revolution. Maybe it was because the Government was already a socialist one. But I doubt it. The main difference was we didn’t have 24 hours rolling news then. That was why the population wasn’t in a panic. It barely knew about it, and if you remind most people now who lived through it, they don’t know what you are talking about.

      1. Mark
        March 5, 2023

        Readers may remember the analyses of the death statistics I provided as the first wave progressed. They clearly showed that there were significant numbers of excess deaths from non covid causes as a result of the health service shutting down, with many more than usual in non hospital settings, particularly care homes. I suspect that analysis may have shaped and certainly reinforced the policy views Sir John espoused and recounts above.

        https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/L6gck/1/

        1. Ashley
          March 6, 2023

          +1

      2. mickc
        March 5, 2023

        It isn’t 24 hour news, it’s 24 hour comment, otherwise known as propaganda.

    7. Dave Ward
      March 5, 2023

      “And effective treatments”

      Effective (as well as cheap & well proven) treatments WERE available, right from the start, but their use was demonised by the drug companies, who stood to make huge profits from the so-called vaccines, and numerous government bodies worldwide, who appear to be beholden to them.

    8. Stephen of Kent
      March 5, 2023

      We still don’t have a ‘vaccinated’ population! They jabbed them with something…but it wasn’t a vaccine!

      1. Mickey Taking
        March 6, 2023

        don’t be ridiculous, I had 4 jabs, confirm that Bill GATES is a Saint, I will do whatever Government tells me to do, listen and watch every BBC possible, and know the meetings in No10 were of course never celebrations or parties.
        Our NHS is the best in the world, is cheap and funding should double, I still don’t understand why we can’t use cross channel ferries to bring the refugees from war-torn Albania to us?

  2. turboterrier
    March 5, 2023

    For me like a lot of people I struggle to understand why it took so long to shut down all air traffic from China. As the situation worsened world wide with outbreaks appearing everywhere, why all inbound passenger traffic was not stopped and only those people in mid transit be allowed in to be immediately isolated and tested for a determined period.

    1. Ian wragg
      March 5, 2023

      The government is afraid to upset China.
      Having successfully de industrialised Britain we can no longer live without them.
      It’s only going to get worse with all the net zero nonsense especially as they shut down agriculture.
      The interests of Britain don’t figure in the equation.

      1. Cuibono
        March 5, 2023

        +++Agree 100%
        And the cynical might just observe that those in control of the whole affair had no fear for themselves, their families or their lovers.
        It was as if they knew something that we did not!
        And we were fed a lot of untruths about immunity, transmission and death numbers.
        Plus small boats arrived throughout the whole farrago.
        And regarding immigration is there now no fear of transmission?
        And how odd that we were subjected to imprisonment, humiliation and fear-mongering in order to save our lives….yet all health facilities were closed down!
        Excess deaths are apparently huge now and no one cares one jot for Ukrainian deaths in battle.
        Such a virulent plague…baffled by a tiny layer of cloth! Give over.

        1. BOF
          March 5, 2023

          +1 Cuibono.

        2. rose
          March 5, 2023

          “And the cynical might just observe that those in control of the whole affair had no fear for themselves, their families or their lovers.”

          Professor Ferguson apart, I don’t agree with this. The PM (plus his expectant girlfriend), his Chief of Staff, the Cabinet Secretary, the CMO, Lord Frost, Hancock, and Gove all went down with it and were quite ill, the PM eventually at death’s door. They obviously did take it very seriously but carried on going to work against it. One can’t deny their public spirit. I just wish there had been wider considerations taken into account, as Sir John lists, and that the PM had allowed his better judgement to prevail. I can see how he was overwhelmed by the authoritarians when so many people were accusing him of murder and threatening him with a damning post mortem.

          If he had had Sir John as his Chancellor he would have been buoyed up against the control freaks Cummings, Gove, and Hancock.

          1. Cuibono
            March 5, 2023

            I think that the cynical might also say…
            How could one know, considering the abundance of lies from both media and govt.?
            And they might observe “How very convenient”!
            Surely a brush with death might make one even LESS likely to throw a party?
            What the govt. took seriously was their obligation to follow orders!

            Anyway…those who wish to forgive and find excuses may do so…as they observe the smoking ruins of our civilisation around them.
            And it will get worse.

          2. Cuibono
            March 5, 2023

            PS
            Have you read the leaks?

          3. MFD
            March 5, 2023

            The PM at deaths door! Do you really believe that Rose, I dont! It was all theatre, part of the project fear game they were playing.

          4. rose
            March 5, 2023

            “Throw a party”???

            Yes I’ve read them and I do understand they are carefully edited and selected fragments, not the whole story.

          5. a-tracy
            March 5, 2023

            Rose, I agree, but Johnson could have selected Redwood for his main team, he didn’t he chose people who are now recognised as conspiring against him openly as early as May 2021 in preparation for the ‘Sunak administration’.

      2. Ian wragg
        March 5, 2023

        Just as we come into a cold spell, wind is generating 1.47gw, gas and nuclear 66% of demand.
        I see france and Germany are refusing to sign up to the ban on production of ice cars by 2035. Looks like they want to protect jobs and livelihoods unlike the morons in Westminster.

        1. Cuibono
          March 5, 2023

          +100
          Oh good for them!!🌸
          We’ll be importing our new ice cars then?

        2. glen cullen
          March 5, 2023

          So we’re the only mad-hatters remaining at the tea party

          1. MFD
            March 5, 2023

            Yip!Glen

        3. fedupsoutherner
          March 6, 2023

          Can someone please inform Sakara Gold that wind is not contributing 37% as she stated the other day.

      3. Ian B
        March 5, 2023

        @Ian wragg +1 The new masters that save the UK producing CO2

      4. Mickey Taking
        March 5, 2023

        Ian…Got it in One. And who cosied up, and praised the wonderful deals available with the inscrutable Chinese?

      5. glen cullen
        March 5, 2023

        Maybe some ministers should declare their interest in China

    2. Sea_Warrior
      March 5, 2023

      Good point. The CCP shut down domestic air traffic from Wuhan while demanding that the rest of the world took no action against planes arriving from China. Immediate termination of flights wouldn’t have stopped the virus arriving but it would have slowed the arrival. I was also gob-smacked that the simple measure of temperature-testing wasn’t adopted at our airports.

      1. Mark
        March 5, 2023

        The whole approach to test and trace was flawed and useless. By the time,e a positive case was identified and tracing began the virus was already at least two leaps ahead. £37bn that could have been spent on lowering our energy bills by investing wisely in dispatchable energy.

        1. Mickey Taking
          March 5, 2023

          The ‘mobiles’ deal was agreed not to report the date/time and location of the Bluetooth link to anyone messaged as exposed to a positive. That information would have been a) an excellent warning of areas at risk b) date/time might prove impossible link c) might prove proximity rules being broken.
          An almost useless tool making £bns wasted….who stood to gain?

        2. glen cullen
          March 5, 2023

          I still can’t get over the figure of £37bn yes thirty seven billion and yet Labour the loyal opposition didn’t question it

    3. Sharon
      March 5, 2023

      TT And those entering daily via rubber dinghies?

    4. a-tracy
      March 5, 2023

      Not only flights from China, Italy was a big transmitter to the UK as everyone was allowed to go off to their ski holidays knowing full well that Italy was suffering the first main outbreak with elderly people just left in their homes to die, there was a documentary about it before we locked down.

      They didn’t want to damage Italies economy by stopping travel then when they should. Instead they chose to fatally damage ours. I knew people working in the airport and it was well known people were coming off flights ill with covid and taken straight to hospital.

    5. Stephen of Kent
      March 5, 2023

      Because it was ‘deliberately’ spread around the world so to make a pandemic. Its what they needed to invoke and test ‘population control ‘.

  3. Mary W
    March 5, 2023

    Yes, the past is history – we need to sort out the present. So much time is wasted digging up the past. It’s happened – we need to move on and help people now and looking forward.

    1. Donna
      March 5, 2023

      I’m not “moving on” until the Guilty Men and Women are punished.

      1. turboterrier
        March 5, 2023

        Donna
        Punished?
        Do you mean elevated to the other house?

        1. Ian B
          March 5, 2023

          @turboterrier +1 That’s the bigger danger, all the has/never been’s,’ jobs-for-boys’ that are lumped in this HoL corruption of democracy should be removed.

          1. Mickey Taking
            March 5, 2023

            You mean the House largely filled with known to be previous failures and embarrassments?

          2. glen cullen
            March 5, 2023

            Are you referring to Olly Robbins

      2. BOF
        March 5, 2023

        +1 Donna

    2. Bill B.
      March 5, 2023

      Might I ask, Mary, what you were saying about lockdowns, a mask mandate and a vaccine mandate at the time?

      1. APL
        March 5, 2023

        Bill B: “what you were saying about lockdowns, a mask mandate and a vaccine mandate at the time?”

        I think we can make a good guess.

        Mary W: “So much time is wasted digging up the past.”

        Except the past has led us to the present. Our economy is bankrupt, our Prime minister – who, by the way, nobody but the PTP wanted as Prime minister, while finance minister, expanded the money supply ( by at least 500% in one year ) and handed out sterling like confetti, with no safeguards, much of it was lost to fraud. Leading directly, to the outrageous inflation we are experiencing today. His reckless stewardship of the economy led to the conditions that brought down the Truss administration*, and ruined the pensions of many people who expected government gilts to be a safe haven for their pension funds.

        To reward such a man with the position of Prime minister, marks our utter decline as a nation.

        *I was not a supporter of Truss. I consider her a political and intellectual lightweight.

  4. DOM
    March 5, 2023

    Oakeshot and the FBI simply confirmed what we already knew. Evil took hold in the minds of public officials and that evil and hate for freedom has become baked into our political system

    We have become an EXPERIMENT

    1. BOF
      March 5, 2023

      Yes DOM. In a nutshell, and soon to be extended with digital imprisonment. For our convenience and our own good. The test bed was Covid.

    2. Nottingham Lad Himself
      March 5, 2023

      You seem to be getting confused with Russia, and your cheap hyperbole is an insult to the Ukrainian people who are having to deal with the real thing as we write.

      1. fedupsoutherner
        March 5, 2023

        Theres nothing like closing your eyes to what is happening. How are things in Cardiff Martin?

      2. R.Grange
        March 5, 2023

        This is the clumsiest attempt to change the topic I’ve ever seen from you, lad. Russia and Ukraine both brought in Covid restrictions, much as Britain did, so what? Dom doesn’t seem to be confused at all. Think back to Neil Ferguson and his ‘We didn’t think we could get away with it’ admission, referring to Chinese-style lockdowns. Of course it was an experiment, to see what the authorities could get away with. And if you didn’t think it was evil to shunt people out of hospitals, well-known for catching bugs, into vulnerable care-homes full of unprotected elderly residents, to me your attitude would seem just callous.

      3. Mickey Taking
        March 5, 2023

        Breathtaking! You talking about cheap hyperbole.

    3. rose
      March 5, 2023

      Not only the minds of officials, Dom, but also of the public. Far too many women I know turned into Stasiwomen. It was horrifying, but useful in demonstrating how it happened in other countries – Russia, Germany, China…

      Authoritarianism has always rested on the willing collusion of the public. Mao could not have done what he did on his own.

    4. Mark
      March 5, 2023

      It seems that most of our media were complicit, not least the BBC who seem to fear the sunlight.

  5. Wanderer
    March 5, 2023

    I don’t have any confidence that an enquiry will produce anything of value. I rather fear the opposite will happen. Terms of reference, participants and timescale can all be manipulated to achieve a desired outcome by those in charge.

    My worry is that it will therefore suggest an authoritarian response, involving secrecy, censorship and digital control of the population is the way forward.

    That is not a world that I want.

    1. Ian B
      March 5, 2023

      @Wanderer +1, It will as always be carried out by friend of friends and cost us the Taxpayer a fortune in their wages. Then will not result in any changes. Don’t forget Rishi etc and all the others involved in the Boris Johnson collective Cabinet, as well as their Establishment master, all own the responsibility for the choices they mad

    2. Jason Cartwright
      March 5, 2023

      An enquiry will show that national governance is insufficient to manage future pandemics so management of future global outbreaks should be delegated to the WHO without any democratic oversight.

  6. turboterrier
    March 5, 2023

    This enquiry will hopefully serve not only as a lesson for the learning but also a warning about how we treat and react to scientific advice.
    The investigation and checking of the data is essential to ensure the correct action is taken.
    Government’s never seem to learn as they seem to charge into a policy which as time evolves more sound research and data becomes available to undermine their actions.
    Sound familiar? Net Zero anybody?

  7. Richard II
    March 5, 2023

    The reason why it’s vital to talk about the mistakes made during the Covid crisis is that we must avoid making them again in future. I don’t just mean all the bungling or worse by the likes of Matt Hancock. One of the most serious mistakes was for the public to trust what government agencies and its tame media were saying. By shining a spotlight on the appalling misjudgments, statistical fakery and obsession with control on the part of political and professional elites, the DT has done us a great service. We must be vigilant and stand up against any future attempt by our rulers to remove our rights on the pretext of a public health emergency. The WHO (a UN-linked agency) is right now attempting to lock us into a new international treaty that would allow bad actors to lock us down again, only more thoroughly this time. Instead of the reluctant vacillating bumbling of Johnson over lockdowns and mandates, we would have Starmer acting as the WHO’s henchman, enforcing brutal lockdown regime and mandates far worse than what we had in 2020-21. The DT’s ‘lockdown files’ are not just an indictment of what a bunch of misguided politicians did three years ago – they are a warning to us all to keep our eyes wide open in future. If not, it will be our own fault.

    1. Cheshire Girl
      March 5, 2023

      Richard:

      ‘The DT has done us a great service’ . Since when do the Media do us a great service? Every day they are hell bent on doing a hatchet job. It is often the Government, if they are Tories (never Labour) if not, the Police, Fire Service, Emergency Services.

      The Papers, and the TV News channels are pretty much unwatchable these days. They dont seem to care about what the Public are really worried about: ie. unlimited immigration, rising crime, Shortage of social housing, dilution of our culture etc.

      1. turboterrier
        March 5, 2023

        Cheshire Girl
        Well said. Not a day goes by without a new slant on Harry and Megan and other woke scenarios.
        Farage keeps highlighting it but like our host a lone voice of reality and common sense.

      2. rose
        March 5, 2023

        We would not have been shut down without the media. Or rather, if the media had not wanted us shut down, we would not have been. They then arranged for themselves to have essential worker status, which mean they could roam at will catching out other, lesser, mortals.

        1. Dave Ward
          March 5, 2023

          “We would not have been shut down without the media”

          Bear in mind that Ofcom issued a directive to every UK media organisation, threatening dire consequences if they departed from the “Qfficial” narrative…

          1. R.Grange
            March 6, 2023

            Naturally, Dave. If you look at the online documentation for the October 2019 dry run for Covid, known as ‘Event 201’, you’ll see that control of the media message was a key priority in a future pandemic response.

    2. Christine
      March 5, 2023

      +1

    3. a-tracy
      March 6, 2023

      ‘new international treaties’ seem to bind just the UK and seem un-leavable afterwards, even if it is causing a crisis in your countries.

  8. Sea_Warrior
    March 5, 2023

    Well, I will be paying greater attention to what Hancock was saying when he was messing the country about. I’ve long had a suspicion that the current crop of politicians – whether Conservative or Labour – pay too much attention to how they look rather than to what they are doing. Their reliance on a mass of know-nothing ‘advisers’ is one of the reasons for that failing. One Spad in the papers last week was advising a senior minister before she was even 30! WhatsApp? The PM needs to ban its use for government business.

    1. Mickey Taking
      March 5, 2023

      Although social media has some usefulness, I wouldn’t shed a tear if all were outlawed tomorrow.
      Bit of shame about the thousands losing a job, in China, USA, UK etc analysing the 99.9% rubbish for the tasty morsels freely given away.

  9. Sakara Gold
    March 5, 2023

    Never mind Johnson and his Partygate train crash that has turned the nation overwhelmingly in favour of Socialism, the most positive story about this lovely blue marble in space that we inhabit came out of the UN yesterday.

    After 15 years of stalled talks, more than 100 countries have reached a historic agreement to protect the high seas – a long-awaited step that environmental groups say will help reverse marine biodiversity losses from climate change, overfishing and ensure sustainable development.

    The legally binding UN treaty to conserve and ensure the sustainable use of ocean biodiversity was finally agreed after five rounds of protracted UN-led negotiations that ended in New York on Saturday, a day after the original deadline. Apparently even the Chinese have signed up to it.

    1. Cuibono
      March 5, 2023

      Just a power grab to secure seabed mining rights to resources that allegedly will help with the 2030 zero carbon scam ( ie yet another vast transfer of wealth enabled by our gutless politicians).
      Some ( non coastal) countries will probably be totally excluded from this bumper bonanza and those ripping the heart out of the oceans will greenwash what they are doing.

    2. turboterrier
      March 5, 2023

      Sakara Gold
      How will it be policed and monitored and who and what is going to have to fund it?
      Are all ships and boats going to have independent sewerage treatment plants on board? Are government’s going to ban all outfall discharges and penalise accordingly? How much will be invested in stoping the plastic entering the oceans in the first place.
      It’s great on paper but when reality hits, it becomes sadly a different ball game.
      To me I agree with you its a great step forward but it is also another case of weeing before your flies are open. Bit like renewable energy and insufficient distribution networks.

    3. Sharon
      March 5, 2023

      I wonder what that means in practice? And more than a hundred nations are wedded to the pandemic preparedness treaty! And we all know that means for our liberties!

    4. Dave Andrews
      March 5, 2023

      Does that mean we can stop the Dutch super-trawlers rendering kelp forests to desert? Or do we have to continue allowing it so as not to upset the EU?

    5. a-tracy
      March 5, 2023

      Have the British signed up to it? What about the nations that use the biggest trawlers? How are they do be stopped if they didn’t sign up to it?

      1. rose
        March 5, 2023

        The EU will give dispensations on scientific grounds, special licences, as they do already to the Dutch devastating our fishing grounds.

    6. Wil
      March 5, 2023

      Sakara Gold – And yet I read about a plan for a Canadian company, authorised by the Environment Agency to put 200 Tonnes of Magnesium Hydroxide in the sea off the West Country.
      It is OK if your intention is to fight Climate Change!

    7. Original Richard
      March 5, 2023

      Sakara Gold ;

      As I write the 27GW of installed wind power capacity is providing just 1.41GW or 4.1% of the 34.1% demand.

      Note that the 2050 energy flow chart on P31 of “Mission Zero – Independent Review of Net Zero” – shows no backup at all for the wind generated electrical energy and the nuclear generation is used for electrolysis to produce hydrogen for transport and industry.

      So there will be no electrical energy security when our power is reliant upon expensive and intermittent wind turbines and solar panels supplied by coal fired China, a country described by our security services as “hostile”.

    8. MWB
      March 5, 2023

      Meanwhile, the torrent of filth from our rivers (mostly English and Welsh ones), will continue to pollute the seas around us.

    9. glen cullen
      March 5, 2023

      The UN now own our oceans ….but who owns the UN ….your last line is a clue

    10. BOF
      March 5, 2023

      Would this be the same Chinese state that has built military bases on reefs in the S China sea, and regularly destroys coral reefs, often belonging to other countries, for the giant clams?

      IMO the UN is a very corrupt organisation. As is China.

    11. Original Richard
      March 5, 2023

      Sakara Gold :

      Never mind that the Great barrier Reef is in the best health it’s been for the last 36 years since records began, are you able please to provide a link to show the oceans are boiling as claimed by former vice president, Al Gore, in this video clip of his speech at the last WEF conference in Davos :

      https://youtu.be/zD32KagxG_g

      If the Chinese have signed up to this UN treaty then we’ll know that the science will be following the politics

    12. Donna
      March 5, 2023

      Has someone told the EU whose Dutch and French ships (in particular) are plundering and destroying OUR fishing waters?

  10. Donna
    March 5, 2023

    The removal of our Civil Liberties and Human Rights over a virus the Government had already downgraded from a High Consequence Infectious Disease because they had already identified it had low mortality rates (done a week before the first lockdown) was absolutely disgraceful.

    And the PsyOps fear campaign the Government authorised and launched against their own people is the most evil act the British Establishment has carried out in my lifetime. I don’t kid myself Labour would have been any better: Starmer wanted longer, harder, more draconian restrictions which is what his fellow Socialists, Sturgeon and Drakeford imposed on their people.

    They have wrecked the economy and ruined millions of lives. All the time – as Johnson, Handcock, Gove and Sunak (the Quad making the decisions) behaved like Fascist Dictators – they were playing politics and were laughing at “the little people” whose lives they were wrecking.

    And what did “our” MPs do to stop it?

    NOTHING.

    1. Sakara Gold
      March 5, 2023

      They did nothing because they disagreed with your incorrect analysis dear

      1. fedupsoutherner
        March 5, 2023

        Sakara, Yes, but while Starmer wanted more lockdown after the second one Boris stopped that so who was right? Turns out Boris was and the so called experts were wrong when they said millions would die if we all stopped locking down. This begs the question did we really need lockdowns but just more care of the vulnerable in the first place?

        1. turboterrier
          March 5, 2023

          FuS
          Very good points raised especially highlighting care for the vulnerable.

        2. Mickey Taking
          March 5, 2023

          I remember that spreadsheet simpleton indicating his worst scenario (not the more likely best one?) could seriously be taken to mean 1m deaths over the year.
          And our PM and partner/wife campaigner seized on it to bully Cabinet to portray the NHS leaders as believing it. In tennis terms ‘Game, Set and match!’
          Well, gongs were at stake.

      2. a-tracy
        March 5, 2023

        Just a heads up ‘dear’ is very patronising to women in the UK.

    2. Nigl
      March 5, 2023

      Totally correct, allowed by a weak vacillating Prime Minister. Ego driven power mad. I didn’t think the dung heap could get any higher but it has.

      The enquiry is just a political stunt to push it all into the long grass. I wish we could prosecute some people for corporate manslaughter.

      1. fedupsoutherner
        March 5, 2023

        The enquiry hasn’t even got off the ground yet but some countries have completed theirs. Why does it take so long for this country to do anything useful? Could it be that the findings are not going to look very good regarding the way our politicians on all sides handled this? And what about the idiots advising government at the time? So called experts. They were wrong about so much.

        1. turboterrier
          March 5, 2023

          FuS
          +1 many

      2. BOF
        March 5, 2023

        +1 Nigl.

      3. Donna
        March 5, 2023

        At the very least they should be charged with Malfeasance in Public Office.

    3. Cuibono
      March 5, 2023

      100%
      Yes! 🤗
      I am still in a state of shock over the similarity to one of those horror films where gradually the main character realises that EVERYONE else has been turned into a zombie/alien/Stepford wife etc.
      It must have felt like that to those who did not agree with the Russian/French/significant other-but -unmentionable revolutions.

    4. Sharon
      March 5, 2023

      Donna a good post and particularly, “ The removal of our Civil Liberties and Human Rights over a virus the Government had already downgraded from a High Consequence Infectious Disease because they had already identified it had low mortality rates (done a week before the first lockdown) was absolutely disgraceful.”

      This is rarely mentioned…but is key to it all! I’m reality lockdowns weren’t necessary (or all the other authoritarian nonsense!)

    5. BOF
      March 5, 2023

      Absolutely spot on Donna. And be aware that they have plans for worse. I completed the questionnaire on digital ID, it was like wading through treacle and almost nobody even knew it was there. My understanding is that this will be introduced by the end of the year. Central banks will have CBDC ready and we will be in digital prison.

    6. rose
      March 5, 2023

      Have you noticed the plants which are now saying Sunak was not in favour?

  11. BOF
    March 5, 2023

    Will the Telegraph address the lies of Covid?

    It was dangerous only to us oldies.
    Asymptomatic spread was a falacy.
    Social distancing did not stop infection.
    Masks were completely innefective.
    Lock downs of healthy people were not effective and wrong. Also caused mental and physical ill health plus economic harm.
    Poorly tested gene therapy jabs have caused harm and death on an unprecedented scale, surpassing all previous vaccines.

    If these are not addressed then it is doubtless a means of supporting the official narative. We must not forget that they too have funding from certain billionaire sources!

    1. Dave Andrews
      March 5, 2023

      As the disease was particularly dangerous to old and overweight men, the powers that be understandably took it seriously. They didn’t want the hoi polloi spreading it around, as it might find its way to them and stunt their lifestyles.
      When a disease comes along that’s particularly a risk to young and slim women, it will no doubt be treated as one of those things the human race has to cope with.

  12. Berkshire Alan
    March 5, 2023

    Well aware of your original thoughts JR as you outlined them on this site at the time.
    My concern is that any enquiry (years after the event) will be tainted by today’s so called experts and with the benefit of hindsight, so easy to be right after the event and criticise all concerned, but many who speak very loudly now, were very quiet at the time and offered no solution at all !

    1. Mark
      March 5, 2023

      But many of us did speak up on all sorts of issues, only to be ignored by government and at best ridiculed in the media. I identified and publicised the disturbing rise in care home deaths and in non covid deaths. I argued for the pharma companies to have a share of the liability for vaccine damage and responded to the consultation. I joined in the arguments on the economic and social garms of lockdowns, and repeatedly argued that test and trace was a huge waste. I monitored the news and data out of South Africa when the omicron variant emerged, and pointed out that contrary to assertions its consequences were mild and rarely lethal.

      I know I was not alone. But proper debate was suppressed in Soviet style, just as it is today over net zero, which threatens to collapse the economy and society way beyond anything achieved by covid. That should be the pressing worry of us all.

      1. Mickey Taking
        March 5, 2023

        Still going on neglected : Immigration, Chinese reliance, Health Service, Education, Public Transport, National Grid, Benefits system, Fair Electoral Representation, United Kingdom value, Judiciary/Policing….that will do for starters.

  13. John McDonald
    March 5, 2023

    Like the Government can’t stop the invasion of rubber boats across the channel. It was not able to react fast enough to slow the virus infection entering the Country via air travel ( passenger planes) and to a lesser extent by sea. Damage to the economy was the excuse at that time. Also at that point the view was it would only wipe out the oldies. Think of all the death duties 😊 there was then the usual battle of the experts on how to deal with the virus which was a bit more than a bad flu and a lot of people died. But not that clear how many more than from the normal flu and their general state of health. Enter statics and modelling so we better lock down to prevent the spread of infection until the vaccines are produced. We are told this a really serious threat and the vaccines are fast tracked without the usual care. We have a cheap British vaccine but this is dumped in favour of a much more expensive US version. (There is a lot of money to be made here)
    The NHS can’t cope. The Government is on the hook. What to do ? What do the experts say? Politics and Management thinking now guides actions as nobody can decide what to do. Project Fear starts. Standard Infection control goes out the window and managers send infected people to old peoples homes. But everyone else must isolate to save Granny.
    It is clear by now that vaccines don’t stop the spread of the virus, you can still get the virus multiple times, and masks don’t protect you. So more lock downs for everyone. Beginning to emerge that perhaps the vaccines have down more harm than good . Especially to the young who were not really at risk from the various.
    It’s beginning to look like Government initial inaction, following panic action and Government Politics has done more harm to the Country than the virus could achieve then and more worryingly into the future for individual lives and the Economy . A bit like net-zero and funding the war in Ukraine.

  14. Mary M.
    March 5, 2023

    For those who did their own research and questioned the narrative from the beginning, most of the revelations in the Telegraph are no surprise.

    The Coronavirus Act 2020, introduced by Matt Hancock the then Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, did not fully expire in March 2022. All remaining provisions of this Act which are still in force must now be removed, especially in the light of these revelations.

  15. APL
    March 5, 2023

    JR: “I have no comments on what Mr Hancock has saying and doing. ”

    Right. But what about Hancock’s use of Whatsapp for privileged government communications. Not only was Matt Hancock breaching ministerial regulation, civil servants that communicated with him about government business were breaching civil service regulations too.

    Is there anyone in Parliament that gives a damn ?

    Then, there is the gem of a communication between Hancock, and a civil servant on the topic of people who on returning from holiday to the UK, and following government advice – in good faith, to self isolate in hotels at their own expense was considered ‘Hilarious’ by the civil servant concerned. But of course, you don’t want to comment on that, Convenient!!

    What a disgusting rabble.

    1. agricola
      March 5, 2023

      APL,
      No less disgusting is the use of information given in confidence to the journalist. Some suggest it is niaive to speak to any journalist because they are basically whores of information who cannot be trusted. Not entirely true, there are some who can judge where to draw the line, though the one in question might now be promoted to births and deaths. Those that can judge, fulfill the essential task of the third estate, to hold politicians and all in authority to answer for their decisions and actions.

      1. Hat man
        March 5, 2023

        Agricola, Isobel Oakeshott is doing now what media journalists, the real “purveyors” Ed)of information as you put it, should have done three years ago: uncover the truth and tell the public. The media did not act in the public interest, so now she has to. And as she has explained, for the book she only saw and used a fraction of the thousands of Whattsapp messages, giving a fairly favourable picture of Hancock.

        The journalists at the time did not use their judgement, as you rightly say they should have done. They followed orders from their bought-and-paid-for media concerns, because they knew that to do otherwise was more than their jobs were worth.

        1. Hat man
          March 6, 2023

          What a strange edit. Agricola’s comment can use the word meaning lady of easy virtue, but mine can’t? Bizarre.

    2. Mike Wilson
      March 5, 2023

      Government communications should not be privileged. They work for and represent us. We have a right to know what they are up to.

      1. APL
        March 5, 2023

        Mike Wilson: “Government communications should not be privileged. They work for and represent us.”

        Point 1. They clearly don’t do either of those things.

        Point 2. The widespread use of ‘Whatsapp’ for routine government communications, between ministers and the civil service, and no doubt between civil servants is intended to move such communications outwith the scope of FOI or civil service record keeping. Thus a conscious attempt to circumvent the law.

        But to your specific point, isn’t it odd, that all our private communications, discussions and correspondence should be available to the government at any time for any reason. But theirs should remain confidential.

        Rose: “It is all part of the self loathing which has taken hold.”

        Yes, I blame forty years of the malign influence of the European Union on our civil service.

      2. APL
        March 9, 2023

        Damon Poole: “Yep that’s what will get proper behaviour change”
        Matt Hancock: “When do we deploy the new variant

        You can see why these people were using a non approved illegal ( for government ) communications application.

    3. rose
      March 5, 2023

      It just shows how deeply embedded in the country class hatred is that the Cabinet Secretary has to display it. It is all part of the self loathing which has taken hold.

  16. Javelin
    March 5, 2023

    I posted on this website many times at the start of the covid flu.

    I commented the death rates were similar to the Asian and Hong Kong flu in 1957/68 and that you couldn’t stop the country because of that. I also said Prof Ferguson was an amateur programmer who could not be relied upon.

    I commented that the current (very comprehensive) flu monitoring mechanism would tell us the exact death rate and measuring everybody who died with a cold and because of a cold could easily be calculated by an actuary.

    I also commented out that the Labour Government calculated (accurately) a 1% drop in GDP caused 100,000 deaths and that locking down the country will kill more than the flu.

    I commented that the healthy should get on with life and the Government should protect the vulnerable.

    I commented that the vaccines had not been throughly tested and they were an emergency medicine and that natural immunity would anyway be better.

    Go back and look at my comments.

    The incompetence and poor decision making by ministers was pure “panicary”.

    1. Sharon
      March 5, 2023

      You and many others javelin! No dissenters were allowed, hence the censorship and discrediting!

      1. Philip P.
        March 5, 2023

        My impression was that this blog was one of the few sites that did not censor dissent from the government agenda. I followed it for that reason, even though I found the posts on some days to be trimming a little too closely to the ‘safe-and-effective’ vaccine narrative. On that point, however, it is reasonable to say that the British authorities didn’t know the true position at first, because it’s been shown that Pfizer and the other pharmaceutical companies kept the truth from them.

        MPs can ask questions, and when it became possible Sir John did, but they can’t be expected to know all the answers. And suspending Parliament for a month at the beginning of the crisis, and then having only virtual sessions for another month or so must have made it difficult for MPs to question government policy. A particularly disturbing aspect of it all was that the Labour opposition wanted to keep Parliament from sitting for even longer. I’d imagined that sort of thing was what happens when a military junta takes over a banana republic. I had no idea it could happen to the cradle of Parliamentary democracy.

    2. ukretired123
      March 5, 2023

      A truly independent report would conclude the Covid crisis exposed the incompetence of many governments around the world who were not up to the basic task of professionally running the country and relying on outsourcing their thinking to many unproven experts ( like fake and woeful forecaster Ferguson and his “model” in the case of the UK).
      Even today after Covid we are rudderless with a fake clueless puppet cabinet wed to the global agenda.

    3. Enigma
      March 5, 2023

      Sir John I first wrote to you in March 2020 expressing my grave reservations over the response to the virus. Like Javelin, since then I have posted many times to this site expressing my horror at what was unfolding. All those who did so were labelled conspiracy theorists and covid deniers, but we have been fully vindicated. Donna I agree with everything you say today. Lockdown has been a most evil and cruel act and the damage it has caused is immense on so many levels. Punishment is due.
      Peter Hitchens who also spoke out early on says today that “the publication of the Matt Hancock files has exposed beyond doubt that the government did not know what it was doing and eventually became so swollen with undeserved, improper power that it ought to have been sectioned”, and Alison Pearson says that the lockdown files “are an extraordinary aide-memoire to the madness we all lived through and provide a remarkable insight into the behaviour of those running the country at the time. What a bunch of arrogant, clueless, emotionally stunted authoritarians…”
      Never forgive, never forget. They aren’t finished yet.

  17. ChrisS
    March 5, 2023

    No government should have to see its internal workings spread all over the newspapers.
    Whatever ministers discuss should remain private and we should be in a position to hold them to account for the resulting outcomes.

    There are far too many leaks anyway. For example, a civil servant leaked the confidential Inland Revenue affairs of a senior cabinet minister. That was a disgrace that will go unpunished.

    Hancock was naive and stupid to release all his Whatsapp messages to a journalist – what did he expect to happen?

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      March 5, 2023

      So they can run things how they like then make excuses and wander off with a pay-off when it all goes wrong? No, I think we should know about the internal workings. These are not private mutterings. They affect us all.

    2. a-tracy
      March 5, 2023

      Chris, well then government ministers and civil servants shouldn’t use a Whatsapp messaging service to discuss government secure and sensitive business and a senior cabinet minister shouldn’t then hand these confidential messages to an external journalist (who dates someone from another political party) and not expect a fallout, especially as he did so only to personally profit from it by creating a book!

      How stupid do you have to be. There is another thing as sure as death and taxes and it is betrayal.

    3. Kayla Tomlinson
      March 5, 2023

      Precisely!

    4. Cheshire Girl
      March 5, 2023

      Agreed. Journalists are, in the main, not to be trusted.

    5. R.Grange
      March 5, 2023

      What you’re saying doesn’t stack up, Chris. How can we ‘be in a position to hold them to account’ if ‘whatever Ministers discuss should remain private ‘???

      Yes, of course Hancock was naive and stupid if he thought the public would never find out the truth. Especially when he shared his Whatsapp messages with a political journalist who years ago forced the resignation of a British ambassador thanks to leaked information she received. She had form, after all.

      But in the end, the fact is that she’s helped the Covid inquiry to hold this man to account, if it wants to. Let’s see if it does.

    6. glen cullen
      March 5, 2023

      I’m starting to think he released the whatsapp messages on purpose ….I mean, how else to explain his crass stupidity

  18. Sir Joe Soap
    March 5, 2023

    This IS one of today’s issues.

    The “kids” running the country then and now haven’t the gravitas or experience to look at things in a rounded way. Hysteria was omnipresent amongst these folk, and most of us then and now see through it.
    Of course there was some sort of a virus, but frankly after a couple of weeks the complete absence of bodies laying in the streets of Wokingham was persuasive evidence of the absence of the Black Death scenario which was being promulgated. False graphs and figures as you pointed out extended our scepticism.

    It’s relevant today when hysteria about climate change is leading to stupid decisions by these kids in Government and. of course, amplified by the Left.

    1. a-tracy
      March 5, 2023

      It makes you wonder why Boris actually selected Sunak and Hancock as his right hand men. Sunak got Hunt foisted on him by whom?

      Who actually knowing Matt Hancock and his self-obsessed personality thought he was the best choice for Health? A leaders first task is to try to surround themselves with people with more capability and integrity. That is the thing completely lacking not just in MH but in his Civil service advisor and boy has he been shown up too, by his own words, in text, in an unofficial messaging system.

  19. agricola
    March 5, 2023

    Now we are able to give a verdict on what we got right and where we over reacted. That we did both is undeniably true. All we can draw from it is perhaps a better way to respond to the next pandemic crisis, but be aware, like war, the next one will not be the same as the last one. For all those getting excited by detail, such as Nightingale Hospitals not being viable through lack of nurses to man them, remember, hindsight is a wonderful tool, but only when it can be applied before and during the event. Afterwards it is only analysis of fact and then becomes arguable opinion.

    1. Bill B.
      March 5, 2023

      No, Agricola, it isn’t just hindsight. Any competent manager planning on opening a new outlet plans at the same time for where the personnel to staff it will come from. But as you say the Nightingale hospitals were set up without enough nurses. Never mind hindsight, that was lack of foresight. The only thing ‘we’ got right (by which I think you mean the government got right) was the decision, belatedly, to stop resorting to lockdowns.

      The right way to respond to the next pandemic (if it’s a real one, not just a disease outbreak re-defined as a pandemic) will be the opposite of what was done this last time.

  20. fedupsoutherner
    March 5, 2023

    The figures for deaths were completely manipulated to scare everyone into staying at home and believing we were all going to die if so much as breathed in the same air as another person. The media and the BBC were as much to blame for this scaremongering. My daughter knows a coroner who told her that death certificates were coming in for people who had died of heart attacks, road accidents etc but had the cause of death put on them as Covid as they may have had Covid weeks before. Many were really elderly or obese or had diabetes and many had underlying health problems that would have led to their death if they had picked up a bad cold or flu. We have been had big time. As for masks….everyone knows that a thin layer of cloth will not stop a virus. It’s like putting up chicken wire and expecting it to stop the mosquitos coming through. We have ruined our economy and our politicians are making an excellent job of mucking it up completely with their insane taxes and net zero. All the while they were carrying on with their lives while making ours hell. Who trusts a politician? As for mandatory vaccination, good luck with that one. My daugher and her husband had the first vaccine and no more. They have both had Covid twice and not been ill. My son and his girlfriend have not been innoculated at all and have both had Covid and been fine. Making people have a vaccination is not right.

    1. Mark
      March 5, 2023

      On the topic of deaths: I was able to show the damage being done by shutting the health service on non covid deaths and funnelling covid infection into care homes before the complete obfuscation of with covid deaths came to prevail.

      I just reviewed the statistics on deaths to try to form an up to date view. We are given rafts of largely irrelevant data on covid linked deaths these days, but many of the analyses we used to get have been suspended. Deaths by age used to be published weekly. There has been no update on deaths by cause and age for a considerable time. I can deduce that we are suffering from an ongoing high level of excess deaths, but I cannot begin to investigate how much of that is due to an increase in cancer deaths that was forecast by Prof Karol Sikora for example, or the extent to which the excess is popping up in unusually young cohorts. We are being treated like mushrooms, and you have to wonder what they are trying to hide.

    2. rose
      March 5, 2023

      My nonegenarian mother refused to be vaccinated. She may or may not have had the Wuhan virus. No-one is quite sure. But she is still with us and looking good. Just one anecdote for you FUS.

  21. Javelin
    March 5, 2023

    The Government has undermined their own credibility through a long series of validated own-goals.

    Government 0 – Conspiracy Theorists 24

    Truth will out.

  22. The Meissen Bison
    March 5, 2023

    “…some of us wanted to question and scrutinise government and experts more”.
    If that’s the case, it’s a shame that you weren’t rather more vocal and effective in opposing the enormity of what has been done.

    The job of government is to protect people’s liberties rather than to aim to protect the people. It is the confusion between the two roles that has lead to massive overreach across the range of human activity and the infatilisation of the population.

  23. Richard1
    March 5, 2023

    The telegraph revelations expose an abysmal mentality and methodology at the heart of government. I was never impressed by Mr Hancock, and he comes over particularly badly here. He should leave public life, preferably immediately. Boris Johnson is revealed to have had instincts against the absurd hysteria and authoritarianism but he was PM and didn’t stop it. So that shows he wasn’t the right person to be PM. In the same circs if we’d had eg thatcher or Churchill and they thought the policy was wrong they would have stopped it, that’s what’s being PM is about.

    Rishi Sunak comes out as the only one in the cabinet putting up serious opposition to the disastrous lockdown policy, and it was he above all who stopped the 4th lockdown (which sir John reminds us Starmer and the left were loudly shrieking for).

    Hysterical exaggeration of the problem, spurious and often mendacious invocations of ‘the Science’, loud clamour for highly damaging collectivist policies, denigration and cancellation of anyone, however well qualified, who dissents. That’s the way it went for 2 or more years with covid lockdown. And where do we see exactly the same thing played out again but over a much longer timescale? Net zero of course.

  24. Richard1
    March 5, 2023

    During much of the covid crisis there were 2 ‘right wing’ positions which were denigrated as ‘conspiracy theory’ in one case and ‘denial’ in the other. The first was that the most likely origin of the virus was a lab leak in Wuhan, China. And the second was that lockdown was a useless and very damaging policy. Both have now been proved to be correct. Apologies all round from the left and the blob please.

    1. rose
      March 5, 2023

      Yes, please.

      And the same on Co2 finishing us off some years ago.

  25. turboterrier
    March 5, 2023

    Yet another leg of the stool being kicked away with the abilities of our parliamentarians standing on it with the noose around its neck.
    It is generally perceived that there is only 15% maximum of the present entry of members worthy of the position they hold. If this present fiasco does not sound the alarm bells in all the parties central offices we are in very serious trouble. People put forward for selection have got to be qualified and experienced in the professional and life skills that Westminster and the public demands for successful government.
    No more can we have the benches filled with career politicians, lawyers and other “professions” We need science, engineering, industrial, commercial, utilities based candidates. If to attract such people means paying them more money so be it , partially addressed by the removal of some of the massive expenses loopholes and perks.
    You get what we pay for and at the moment we ain’t got a very good return on the investment.
    More common sense, down to earth candidates could possibly slow down or stop the assault on our liberties by the globalist disciples.

    1. formula57
      March 5, 2023

      @ turboterrier “People put forward for selection have got to be qualified and experienced…” – yes, but who serious would want to offer themselves nowadays? Would you want a job where it is prudent to don a stab vest before meeting customers, where one misunderstood utterance can bring “cancellation”, where receiving unjust abuse is normal, where questioning Ministers brings forth not answers but exculpatory waffle?

      1. formula57
        March 5, 2023

        For clarity I add that I am grateful that the serious people who are now in Parliament are willing to remain there. Where we will find replacements of the high calibre of Sir John and his like colleagues is unclear and a worry.

    2. rose
      March 5, 2023

      What is the point when the permanent officials are so lacking in merit? It is they who have dragged us down.

  26. Ian B
    March 5, 2023

    Sir John

    Your Diary today is in some ways amusing and demonstrates how out of touch Parliament and Government is with the realities of what we now call life.

    Where to start without boring every one to death. The Telegraph just as with other so called media outlets, no longer has what we used to call journalists, they have ‘story writers’. Then to developed the ‘clickbait’ operation further they have separate ‘Headline writers’. The objective of theses stories is to engage the viewer so they get exposed to advertiser content.

    In a similar vein the quoted source of the content is via the so-called free ‘WhatsApp’ messaging service. It is not ‘free’ it is their for them to farm of human data. Meta the owner of the application gives anyone that is paying them all the data they want from all its users. These obscure entities can then sell it on to who ever they wish. The emphasis is on ‘anyone’ and the user never gets to know if it is some benign entity or the Chinese State Spy network. So MP’s, the Establishment, are in fact having a chat with Foreign Spy agencies. That’s not to suggest GCHQ isn’t doing the same.

    Then in a similar fashion to demonstrate how out of touch with what what they say we have in the Telegraph Michelle Donelan MP – the Science Minister suggesting that ChatGPT be used to run Government. It demonstrates the lack of knowledge of the minister own brief and what they are talking about. ChatGPT is easy to fool, and is easy to manipulate, what it does do is write in neater prose the I and my predictive text manage. But just as with ‘WhatsApp’ it is involved in aggressive human data farming that they provide to anyone with a chequebook.

    Pandemic Track and Trace App, who owned the data, who was it sold to. It had nothing to do with anyone in the UK.

    The overriding concern is all this activity with all our personal data, along with the Governments staff data, even the Pandemic Track and Trace App, is a way out side of UK Government jurisdiction.

  27. Christine
    March 5, 2023

    The government and media scared the population into accepting that lockdowns, vaccinations, and masks were the answer to stopping the pandemic. They introduced ridiculous rules and policed them in an aggressive totalitarian manner. They only allowed their message and their scientists to be heard and shut down debate and the voices of other eminent doctors who opposed their policies.

    They leave behind in their wake a seriously damaged country. My own family is damaged beyond repair because of their actions. You may have no comment on Hancock’s actions but in not investigating you are condemning us to a repeat of history.

    Has anything improved? No. We now have alarming excess deaths that are not being investigated. Politicians like Andrew Bridgen who speak out are treated with contempt to keep others in line.

    Our Government is on the verge of signing up to the WHO Pandemic treaty & International Health regulation amendments. The unelected will decide what makes us safe to be in society.

    The madness of net zero trundles on. It is our new pandemic with all the same tried and tested propaganda to keep us in our place. To make people believe that getting rid of their cars, eating insects, and stopping foreign holidays will save the planet. The world elites are laughing at you all. It’s about money and power; it always has been.

    1. Donna
      March 5, 2023

      Well said.

      Don’t forget the House of Frauds recently specifically called for the Covid PsyOps fear-mongering techniques to be used to promote the Net Zero lunacy and scare the population into complying.

  28. a-tracy
    March 5, 2023

    My colleagues and I didn’t lockdown during working hours, we worked throughout as did all the supermarket workers, it was terrifying at first reading all the first reports in the papers, especially as a lot of them were over 55 and thought if they caught it that would be it – curtains down – your last moments on a ventilator, separated from your loved ones whilst dying. When you worked together every day during those first three months, people did order treats in for colleagues but I wouldn’t call that organising a party. Our people on the front line our nurses had deliveries of cakes and pizzas but no-one called that a party even though they were working on TikTok dance routines and having what seemed like a ball. But Boris can’t have a beverage organised by a deceitful, traitorous civil service working against him and taking photographs of meetings they arranged. It’s all a load of ********.

    A short sharp circuit breaker we were told it was going to be, a couple of weeks became months because all the flights in with infected people continued arriving and there were flare ups in those communities. August people tentatively started going out again in limited group numbers.

    1. Berkshire Alan
      March 6, 2023

      a-tracy

      Agree, these people in Downing street were at a WORK Place, and yes of course they had meetings, just like most businesses did at the time, yes they also had refreshments, again used by most businesses, but would you call that anything like a Party, (where was the disco) were people invited in from outside ?
      Of course workers sometimes celebrate the odd employees birthday, many also bring in cakes for the staff, but that is not a party, it is a self bonding of employees, again encouraged by most sensible businesses.
      The FAILURE was not to clearly explain this clearly by those in charge at the start.
      Would people have preferred that all Downing street’s offices should have been closed for the duration, and no meetings held at all ?
      The media have stoked all this up and it has been added to by the pathetic opposition Party !.

  29. Original Richard
    March 5, 2023

    The lesson to be learned is that our policymakers and media (aka BBC) were prepared to “deploy” a new virus variant to ‘frighten the pants off everyone’ in order to encourage total compliance with their lockdown policies.

    Consequently we had policy led “science”.

    This is precisely the tactic being used by our policymakers and media (aka BBC) in using the false narrative of climate emergency/crisis in order to change our behaviour into accepting impoverishment and control through a transition from cheap, reliable and abundant fossil fuels and nuclear to expensive, intermittent renewables coupled with forcing us to use less practical evs and heat pumps whilst we are all controlled by smart meters with surge pricing and rationing.

    There is no climate emergency/crisis and we are again seeing policy led “science”. We have benign warming of 0.13 degrees C per decade. The science shows CO2 levels following temperature, not vice versa (Vostok Ice Core Data) and that increasing levels of CO2 have negligible warming effect because of IR saturation (Happer & Wijngaarden). We need more CO2 in the atmosphere to promote plant gowth and prevent famines.

  30. Ian B
    March 5, 2023

    Sir John

    You could say the Covid Pandemic was the Government giving itself permission to carry out the WEF instruction of ‘the great reset’. It also permitted Government to take on what was supposed to be a warning about the ‘Left’ – 1984, and treat it as their Bible for their imposed future.

    The only concern coming out of the HoC was what may have been a lie over the junk phrase ‘party-gate’. There should have been a greater concern that Boris Johnson denying knowing about the laws and restriction ‘he’ placed on a whole population, with its fines and impositions etc. Then when he transgressed his own dictate the defence was, no one told him – ‘he created the Law’

    The Conservative Party, and I am sure there are still Conservatives as we have seen with our kind host still in it, need to get this once great party back from the left wing zealots that now inhibit the top table. Some advocate voting reform etc. I understand that but it is far simpler than that, the real actual Conservative Party (the bit away from Westminster) is Conservative. Therefore the rot must be at Conservative Central Office the part that is doing the manipulating, it needs itself to become Conservative. While I agree with everyone that the last thing the Conservative Party needs is an election for a new leader, but until there is a clear-out of any one connected with recent administrations(the collective cabinet left wing monologue) there is no Conservative Party.

    Then again, those that have hijacked this once great political party are far removed from being a legitimate leadership – the Conservative Party was denied their right to vote for a leader.

  31. Delphine Gray-Fisk
    March 5, 2023

    Agreed, and well done. But do we not need to learn from the past mistakes and ensure that the same are not perpetrated again with (God help us) another Pandemic?

    1. glen cullen
      March 5, 2023

      They forgotten who won the referendum and they’ve already forgotten all their mistakes during covid …..they’ve moved on to bigger things – net-zero, Ukraine, net-zero, the next election and net-zero

  32. Bert Young
    March 5, 2023

    Little was known about Covid at the outset except that it could cause death and was easily transferred from one person to another . Caution and protection were the key words and the public were urged by key medics to restrict public contact . The advice was sensible and everyone in my social circle behaved accordingly . Those countries that behaved in a more cavalier manner did not prove that our restrictions were wrong . The discipline standards here in the UK were not kept to 100% and those who infringed and were caught were punished . Our leadership at the time seemed to think that the very restrictions they imposed on us – the public , did not apply to them ; they have since been exposed ; they must now be called to account and suitably punished .

  33. glen cullen
    March 5, 2023

    Tories announce on the BBC & Sky this morning that illegal’s crossing the channel will ‘not’ be allowed to claim asylum …..however look to the small-print – unless you’re female, claim to be under 18, claim to be LGBT, claim religious persecution, claim political persecution, fugitive from law, have family in UK, can speak English, have someone that everyone calls uncle in the UK, owe lots of money to traffickers, have medical issues, …..but no one else

    1. turboterrier
      March 5, 2023

      Glen Cullen
      Well said. Your right it is a farce.
      Sky News are showing an interview with a people smuggler who claims over 70% of the gang masters of the smugglers actually live and invest their ill gotten gains into the UK economy. You cannot make it up.

    2. fedupsoutherner
      March 6, 2023

      Glen. Once again our government shows how deceitful it is. I hope Farage and co manage to open the public eyes to this farce.

  34. Mark Thomas
    March 5, 2023

    Sir John,
    I signed the Great Barrington Declaration in 2021. If you tried to look it up online using google the first thing that popped up was an article from the Observer attacking and trying to undermine it. Curiously any other search engine showed the declaration at the top of the page. It seems Big Tech also played a role in encouraging government lockdown policies.

    1. Mark
      March 5, 2023

      Search engines are now part of the propaganda effort. Trying to find an honest one is very hard. It is clearly highly profitable to rig search results, whether to promote a particular commercial offering, or a policy or opinion.

  35. RichardP
    March 5, 2023

    “I have no comments on what Mr Hancock was saying or doing. I need to concentrate on today’s issues”.

    The problem is that many of today’s issues are largely based on recent events and lack of opposition to an authoritarian takeover of our ‘democratic’ government. Apart from a very few honourable exceptions the British people have no representation in parliament as the Globalist Uni-Party continues in power. Vaccine injuries, zero carbon, immigration, Digital ID, Ukraine, the WHO Pandemic Treaty, 15 minute cities and many other topics in need of urgent and open debate are tiptoed around or ignored altogether.

    If we are to be saddled with the disastrous Digital ID system then perhaps it could be turned to some good by adopting a more Swiss style of government. Power could be removed from ministers and their ‘expert’ advisers by requiring important decisions to be confirmed by referendum. Digital ID would enable online referendums to be regularly carried out and, perhaps, democracy restored. I suspect if confirmatory referendums became a condition of Digital ID then government enthusiasm for it would be lost.

  36. BOF
    March 5, 2023

    For all those who still think that ‘they’ should have clamped down harder and more quickly, I say this. I have a brother in WA, sealed off from the World with even state borders closed. My comment to him was that Covid denied was only Covid delayed. And so it proved. But, they also have the unacceptable excess deaths that we have, and almost every country with high ‘vaccination’ rates corresponding with roll out and boosters.

    Why the complete lack of curiosity by our government and all the msm?

  37. Sea_Warrior
    March 5, 2023

    Could we please have an early discussion on future UK participation in the EU’s Horizon programme? I have a worry that we will be expected to pay into Horizon and then have to bid to get some money out of it – so, a continuation of the money-laundering operation previously known as our membership of the EU. And I’m worried that HMT seems to want to reduce tax-credits for R&D expenses.

    1. glen cullen
      March 5, 2023

      Didn’t we vote to leave the EU and all its institutions …ALL ITS INSTITUTIONS

  38. MARTIN GRIFFITHS
    March 5, 2023

    Thanks for your efforts through the Covid panicdemic. The most important lessons for all of us are;
    1. That our press must be allowed to question government without fear or favour. The MSM acted and is still, 3 years later, largely acting as the approved narrative propaganda arm of government.
    2. That the Nudge unit/Spi-B must be disbanded, and all its deliberations must be publicly published.
    3. That all Government ministers need some scientific, statistics and mathematics training.
    4. That there must be a “Red Team” at the heart of Government to minimise the chance of Groupthink which proved so deleterious in the management of Covid.
    5. That the Public Enquiry must report before Xmas, and there should be no redacted names or data.
    6. That decision makes need ‘Skin in the game”
    7. Public Health doctors have joined politicians, estate agents, second hand car salesmen, and journalists in the untrusted professions.

  39. agricola
    March 5, 2023

    While it can be constructive to pick over the way the Covid crisis was handled, lets not lose sight of or be distracted or deceived by the Windsor Protocol. Essentially an easing of trading proceedures between the UK and NI. However, as it stands, it is much easier for a UK manufacturer in Slough to send product to Manchester than to send it to Belfast. To Manchester goods have a delivery note and invoice to follow, but to Belfast there must be additional information for EU sources. WHY.
    We must continue to ask why NI , a sovereign part of a sovereign UK, should be subjected to any rules from the EU adjudicated by the ECJ, a foreign court in a foreign jurisdiction. Understandable if trading with the EU, but otherwise not.
    As the UK Parliament is the ultimate authority in the UK, of which NI is a part, any EU law existing in the UK and especially EU law that has floated into NI since Brexit, by report approx 670 examples, should be removed forthwith. The UK has suffered many years of injected unscrutinised EU law arriving on our statute book. It must stop, even when it arrives by the servants entrance in NI. Brexit must mean Brexit.

    1. Pauline Baxter
      March 5, 2023

      Quite right agricola. The best that can be said about Sunak’s handling of Northern Ireland is that he has kicked the can down the road.
      Now he is hoping to do the same with the cross channel small boats invasion.
      (Meanwhile we are in danger of having digital I.D. forced on us.)

      1. rose
        March 5, 2023

        It seems to me, Agricola and Pauline, that we are being deliberately distracted from the Sunak Swindle. The media are all puffing it in the most nauseating way and Boris is being publicly bullied into supporting it. Meanwhile, more and more nonsense is dragged up about smeargate. Thank goodness for the few who are reading the documents. But surely this is a serious case of misleading Parliament.

        It seems to me it is rather worse than kicking the can because the Usurper has elevated the NIP to a higher level and we don’t appear to have an exit clause. (We had one in the Treaty of Lisbon and in the Withdrawal Agreement. The NIP had its temporary nature written into it.) Perhaps Sir John can confirm that.

        The new intitiative on the borders makes one ask what was wrong with Priti Patel’s Borders Bill? (Just as what was wrong with Boris’s NIP Bill?) It also makes one fear the Usurper may tie us up in some new high flown treaty in favour of France and the EU.

        Anyway, no legislation is of any use if the Civil Service and the Courts sabotage it by refusing to implement it.

  40. forthurst
    March 5, 2023

    How many people died because they were unable to get urgent medical treatment for serious illnesses
    whilst the hospitals were empty, the GPs were refusing to see patients and the numpties clapped the NHS?

  41. formula57
    March 5, 2023

    Of all the stupid and evil things done, failure to heed your (and others’) warning where “I pressed for better protection of care homes, drawing attention to the discharged patients from hospitals as possible carriers of infection” was likely the worst. A criminal act by those responsible.

  42. J.A. Burdon-Cooper
    March 5, 2023

    Hear hear! The Lockdown Diaries may be interesting and relevant at some time in the future, but the PRIORITY at the moment (in my view) is the difference between Rishi Sunak’s explanation of the draft agreement on the Northern Ireland Protocol, and the EUs explanation. As Bill Cash pointed out in the Telegraph today. I can’t see how the DUP can accept it. Sunak needs to explain his different interpretation. The future of UK as an independent state passing its own laws is at stake.

  43. Pauline Baxter
    March 5, 2023

    Yes Sir John what you say today is quite true. Who cares anyway about Matt Hancock? He is out of politics isn’t he?
    However, you are not facing up to the important questions.
    The W.H.O. are known to be aiming to increase their powers over the whole world.
    The W.H.O. and the media are already pushing horror stories about bird flu. They are now saying that has mutated so it can kill humans.
    Clearly they are hoping that may be the next so called pandemic, with which to attack us and other developed economies.

    1. glen cullen
      March 5, 2023

      W.H.O. is wildly known as being funded & influenced by China

  44. Bryan Harris
    March 5, 2023

    Most of us, those that can think for ourselves, see the lockdowns as totally pointless, except that it demonstrated how easily the government could bend us to their will.

    Lockdowns were dismissed over a decade ago as being harmful in many ways, but the procedures , that had been developed to handle a pandemic were thrown away with no justification whatsoever, and the powers that be insisted we follow their new orders, or else. They totally rewrote the rules, ignoring science when they wanted to.

    I’m not expecting the official inquiry to say anything like this – it will all be whitewashed over — well OK, some people might get a gentle slap on the wrist.
    I cannot see anything useful coming out of this forthcoming report. After all, HMG is very keen to keep us indoctrinated on the dangers of a virus that was harmful to less than 3% of the population, and they still have orders for the vaccines at huge cost to us, and it is that control mechanism they do not want to let go of.

    1. rose
      March 5, 2023

      But, Bryan, who were the powers that be? I want to know whose idea it was to depart from the flu pandemic plan just on the ground that flu wasn’t a coronavirus.

      1. Bryan Harris
        March 6, 2023

        Just like the way the EU works, with so many presidents and no real point of responsibility, the technocrats have learned that lesson, that you spread the responsibility very thinly by having a great many people seemingly making decisions.

        Without a focus on who is in charge, they imagine we cannot recognize the cogs that do the damage. Those cogs should be wary, because when the reckoning comes they will be first in line.

  45. Geoffrey Berg
    March 5, 2023

    I agree with the points made by John Redwood on Covid.
    However I would make other points as well.
    First and foremost Britain under Boris Johnson dealed with Covid better than almost any other country. In particular the vaccine procurement procedure was better than anywhere else apart from Israel who were even cleverer. Boris Johnson also took us out of lockdown (despite Labour and quasi-expert opposition) quicker than elsewhere. We were also the only major country to publish quite accurate figures at the time for deaths from Covid instead of a gross underestimate. Where we weren’t that good was in wasting a lot of money on extra NHS spending and in excessive and usually naive ‘bounce-back loans’ (Sunak’s department!).
    So on the whole Britain was well and perspicaciously led personally by Boris Johnson and did relatively (relative to other countries) well.

  46. Geoffrey Berg
    March 5, 2023

    Concerning the fallout from Covid, may I comment on the Standards Committee’s interim report concerning Boris Johnson.
    If indeed it was ‘obvious’ to Boris Johnson (and therefore them) that some events at Downing Street were illegal, then why have the Standards Committee which should have reported last November taken so very long (at considerable public expense) to come to their conclusion? Also, if it was so obvious it was illegal, why didn’t the Cabinet Secretary whose staff were involved prevent it and why didn’t the Police guarding the Prime Minister put a stop to it at that time?
    I dispute it was ‘obvious’. It isn’t ‘obvious’ to me (a mere Cambridge University graduate) because the line between what was a legitimate work event and what was not is far from obvious (for instance I’d say it was legitimate within the context of work to keep staff morale up, to give the boss a birthday cake and to have staff leaving ‘parties/events’). Furthermore I don’t accept Starmer’s out of office beer and curry reception 20 miles from a by-election at 10-00 p.m. was legitimate but Johnson’s staff events at their Downing Street workplace were not!

  47. outsider
    March 5, 2023

    Dear Sir John,
    Personally, I am ashamed that I cravenly obeyed the lockdown laws to the letter, even when it was against my better judgment . That is partly because this has cost me upwards of a quarter of a million financially and much more besides. Many others suffered far more than me, including the late Queen.

    Most of the high officials, media folk and celebrities pilloried for breaching rules were exercising their own judgment in a sensible, rational way. But government, egged on by nearly all the media , did not think that other citizens could be trusted to do so. That is the key difference between the UK and Sweden and, I think, Japan.

    This basic distinction between the few who can be trusted and the many who cannot is at the heart of the UK’s political and moral problems, whether in health, finance, taxation, the legal system, the environment and much else. The top-down principle is that we decide and you do what you are told. Sadly, it is also self-fulfilling. If people are trusted and fully informed, they are much more likely to take responsibility – and vice versa.

  48. James Freeman
    March 5, 2023

    The government should have offered public health advice instead of introducing lockdown rules and trusted people to act responsibly.

    The politicians were unable to follow the rules themselves. The head of the resulting enquiry was a person who also broke the rules. They then replaced them with an ethics expert with integrity. She was unable to follow the rules when applying for a new job.

    It has nothing to do with dodgy or stupid leaders; a rules-heavy approach doesn’t work!

  49. margaret
    March 6, 2023

    You lot never stop do you? All vaccinations are not totally 100% safe. You talk about loss of lives in numbers.. you should be ashamed :-every single life is as important as any other. Many other countries in lockdown . but you all think you know better. Big headed know all’s. I am glad to be alive despite the fact that many of my colleagues died while looking after the likes of you.

  50. APL
    March 8, 2023

    JR: “The Telegraph is writing the history of the pandemic lockdowns before the official enquiry gets underway. ”

    I agree with the Telegraph

    Members of the government, and the senior ranks of the civil service should be charged with wilful misconduct in public office. Not least for their attempts to circumvent the law and regulations around intragovernment communications, by using alternative private communications systems.

Comments are closed.