Assange Bail Application Today 565

Unfortunately I am in lockdown at home in Edinburgh and cannot get down to Westminster Magistrates Court for Julian Assange’s urgent bail application today. Several hearings ago, Magistrate Baraitser stated pre-emptively that she would not grant bail, before any application had been made. Today’s application will argue that Assange’s ill health puts him at extreme danger from COVID-19, and that prison conditions make it impossible to avoid infection.

The government has stated that it is actively considering releasing some prisoners to reduce prison populations because of COVID-19. That a non-violent remand prisoner, whose current position is an innocent man facing charges in a foreign state, is in the fortress Belmarsh prison is already self-evidently ludicrous.

Both the British Government and Vanessa Baraitser personally came in for extreme criticism from the highly authoritative International Bar Association over both the conditions in which he is being held and over the conduct of his extradition hearing to date. This is from the International Bar Association’s own website:

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) condemns the reported mistreatment of Julian Assange during his United States extradition trial in February 2020, and urges the government of the United Kingdom to take action to protect him. According to his lawyers, Mr Assange was handcuffed 11 times; stripped naked twice and searched; his case files confiscated after the first day of the hearing; and had his request to sit with his lawyers during the trial, rather than in a dock surrounded by bulletproof glass, denied.

The UK hearing, which began on Monday 24 February 2020 at Woolwich Crown Court in London, UK, will decide whether the WikiLeaks founder, Mr Assange, will be extradited to the US, where he is wanted on 18 charges of attempted hacking and breaches of the 1917 Espionage Act. He faces allegations of collaborating with former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak classified documents, including exposing alleged war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. The hearing was adjourned after four days, with proceedings set to resume on 18 May 2020.

IBAHRI Co-Chair, the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, commented: ‘The IBAHRI is concerned that the mistreatment of Julian Assange constitutes breaches of his right to a fair trial and protections enshrined in the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to which the UK is party. It is deeply shocking that as a mature democracy in which the rule of law and the rights of individuals are preserved, the UK Government has been silent and has taken no action to terminate such gross and disproportionate conduct by Crown officials. As well, we are surprised that the presiding judge has reportedly said and done nothing to rebuke the officials and their superiors for such conduct in the case of an accused whose offence is not one of personal violence. Many countries in the world look to Britain as an example in such matters. On this occasion, the example is shocking and excessive. It is reminiscent of the Abu Grahib Prison Scandal which can happen when prison officials are not trained in the basic human rights of detainees and the Nelson Mandela Rules.’

In accordance with the Human Rights Act 1998, which came into force in the UK in October 2000, every person tried in the UK is entitled to a fair trial (Article 6) and freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment (Article 3). Similarly, Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights upholds an individual’s right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.

IBAHRI Co-Chair, Anne Ramberg Dr jur hc, commented: ‘The IBAHRI concurs with the widespread concern over the ill-treatment of Mr Assange. He must be afforded equality in access to effective legal representation. With this extradition trial we are witnessing the serious undermining of due process and the rule of law. It is troubling that Mr Assange has complained that he is unable to hear properly what is being said at his trial, and that because he is locked in a glass cage is prevented from communicating freely with his lawyers during the proceedings commensurate with the prosecution.’

A recent report from Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Inhumane Treatment, presented during the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council (24 February – 20 March 2020), argues that the cumulative effects of Mr Assange’s mistreatment over the past decade amount to psychological torture. If Mr Assange was viewed as a victim of psychological torture, his extradition would be illegal under international human rights law.

117 medical doctors, including several world prominent experts in the field, had published a letter in the Lancet warning that Assange’s treatment amounts to torture and that he could die in jail.

Should Assange die in a UK prison, as the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has warned, he will effectively have been tortured to death. Much of that torture will have taken place in a prison medical ward, on doctors’ watch. The medical profession cannot afford to stand silently by, on the wrong side of torture and the wrong side of history, while such a travesty unfolds.

You may recall that I myself concluded that the extraordinary and oppressive treatment of Assange, and the refusal of Baraitser to act to ameliorate it, could only be part of a deliberate policy to cause his death. I could, and can, think of no other possible explanation.

If the authorities now refuse to allow him out on bail during the Covid-19 outbreak, I do not see how anybody can possibly argue there is any intention other than to cause his death.

With grateful thanks to those who donated or subscribed to make this reporting possible.

This article is entirely free to reproduce and publish, including in translation, and I very much hope people will do so actively. Truth shall set us free.


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565 thoughts on “Assange Bail Application Today

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  • Tom Welsh

    Meanwhile, in China – where the virus is alleged to have started – 73,650 people have recovered (of a total 81,218 cases). So far 3,281 have died – about 4% of those identified as having caught the virus. New cases seem to be tapering off rapidly.

    • Forthestate

      I imagine that in China, unlike here in the UK, they were fully equipped to deal with this crisis, and I imagine that because the production of medical supplies has largely been outsourced to China. The problem here is not so much about how many will die, but how they will die.

    • Christopher Dale Rogers

      Yes Tom,

      How very informative, so, after the largest quarantine recorded in human history and stringent measures imposed on 50% of the nation, with four cities alone in Hubei Locked down with a population between them of 27.7 million persons, ten cities in total being Locked down in China, the country was able to stem the tide and reduce transmission substantially -these unprecedented figures actually gave many nations a minimum of 4-6 weeks to prepare for the coming storm, due to the fact that by 1 January the pathogen had been released globally, with the first outside China confirmed infection reported as 17 of January in Thailand, which of course, for those in the know, is actually a Gateway for global flights internationally, as is Hong Kong, as is Tokyo, as is Beijing and as is Shanghai, and, when we look at where the first infections pop up not long after 17 January, no surprise to learn it was in other nations with Gateway airports – the first infection in the HKSAR recorded on 23 January.

      Of course, China, Japan, HKSAR, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan’s sacrifices have been needless in your opinion, and we should have just remained as normal, which funnily enough was how the WHO reacted for many, many weeks having been informed by Beijing of a major health concern on 31 December.

      Indeed, and despite having an infectious diseases monitoring station based in Hong Kong, that is actually in China, the WHO did not organise a formal medical visit to Wuhan City until 16 February, a full three weeks after the HKSAR and Singapore placed their health services on an Emergency footing and rolled out Protocol’s established after the SARS outbreak – but of course nothing to worry about, its Influenza after all and people die anyway!!!!!!!

      • Nick

        Christopher dale roberts
        The problem is people do die
        It doesn’t make it ok..but people die of viruses every year…fact of life.
        The biggest factor in uk is not virus per se…but useless boffins…a government more interested in protecting their investors than the public and a shredded to the bone nhs. Which pre 2009 could have coped better with the numbers. For years the nhs has been choosing who lives or dies…liverpool care pathway anyone? This virus is merely exposing the gross ineptitude of the lunatics running the asylum.

  • SA

    I think you shouldn’t dump this garbage here. OG used to be a good site now it is infested with crackpots.

  • paul metcalf

    beraitser has denied the request for bail and is impervious to criticism whether national or inter israel shooting children.
    she should never be allowed in any court anywhere,not even as a line judge at wimbledon.

  • bob

    sadly, the british regime can’t even look after its own people nevermind Assange – we are being governed by the ‘unelected’ cabal of elites and bankers so there’s no hope, at the moment, for any of us!!

  • nevermind

    Here is this G seriously considering letting prisoners out of jail who not even have served half of their sentence, and this barefaced Apartheid judge is denying remand prisoner Julian Assange bail
    Come judgement day she will be hung drawn and quartered and entrails fed to the fishes. How can she sleep at night?

  • John Goss

    Baraitser is a really nasty piece of work. If I had any way of proving that she has been bought by the US and UK hierarchical cabals, I would do, but you cannot find anything (or very little) about her history and contacts. She would not doubt be proud to know I consider her every bit as much a torturer as Gina Haspel. Our judicial system is corrupt. Full stop!

    Off topic
    On the coronavirus issue (any virus issue) I recommend garlic. During the flu pandemic which followed the First World War Lelord Kordell wrote that all his large family had a garlic glove each night and none of them caught flu. I make no claims that it will protect you entirely but at least it will do you no harm.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ John Goss March 25, 2020 at 20:27
      They not only escaped the flu, none of them were savaged by werewolves. I swear by it.

        • Alisdair Mc

          Seriously though there is a small amount of scientific evidence to suggest that large amounts of vitamin C is beneficial for reducing URT infections.

          • Alisdair Mc

            In what way have these studies been discredited? If they had they would have withdrawn by now. I am certainly not suggesting it is a cure for Covid-19 that would be completely absurd but only that there small amount of evidence to suggest there is an effect on ADRS and pneumonia symptoms.


          • Deepgreenpuddock

            OK I jumped to a conclusion.I thought you were harking back to the seventies theory that colds could be cured by high doses of vitamin C. That has indeed been discredited.The only beneficiaries were the hucksters and snake oil (see below) salespersons who supplied industrial quantities through the ‘health food’ industry.
            Part of the problem is that it is quite difficult to be deficient in vit c. It is even found in chips. but anyone on even a remotely sensible diet would get more than enough. Chinese sailors of the 13th/14th centuries were able to avoid scurvy by the simple expedient of germinating a handful of bean seeds and eating the shoots every day, long before the British navy began issuing lime juice
            Large doses of vit c, it turns out, simply provide you with more expensive pee as after the levels of vit c are fully charged up by the eating of a few bits of fruit, any surplus is quickly excreted by the kidneys.So if there is to be some therapeutic effect it has to occur in the relatively short period of time between ingestion and excretion.The fact that our bodies excrete surplus suggests there may be adverse effects to high doses of vitamin c although it seems likely we can tolerate excess vit c.
            Also, animal models, where most of research is done, are notoriously unreliable. I sometimes refer to my wife as ‘my wee moosie’ when she is curled up on bed with me but that has little to do with her metabolism, which remarkably,has not much to with that of Mus mus.
            Another factor is that generally speaking vitamins are best absorbed as components of food and doses not complexed to other molecules have a very short half life in the body.
            I guess that increasing vit c intake does little or no harm. Not sure if g and t (with slice of lemon) qualifies as food although it can certainly raise the mood (briefly).
            At times like these there are always suggestions of miracle cures. The most recent miracle substance is CBD oil, although analysis suggest many commercial products have only traces of the oil. However I have a great ancient remedy for all ills. Go into the hills and shift loads of rocks and boulders. Underneath some you will find a viper. Don’t worry they are in a state of torpor at this time of year so wont bite. Dissect the snakes and extract the livers which are long and thin in snakes, boil the livers for about half an hour. A scummy liquid will form. Pour this into a tall narrow jar and leave to cool down. After it has cooled a dark coloured oil will be seen in the top layer. Using a pasteur pipette to suck up the oil, place it in a wee lightproof bottle. Place a sticky label on bottle saying ‘snake oil -covid cure’. Sell online at a price commensurate with your effort. I suggest £5000 a fluid ounce. I will happily accept a 50% commission/consultancy fee for my guidance through this process.
            All the very best
            Merlin the apothecary

          • Leonard Young

            It is actually quite easy to be deficient in Vitamin C, for 3 reasons. Any excess at a given moment is flushed in your pee (it is water soluble) and if you smoke, or drink, Vitamin C can be destroyed very quickly. Thus you need a drip-drip supply ideally, because it is important in so many functions, from metabolising other ingredients, to anti oxidation, to health of connective tissue, and a host of other benefits.

            It is true that if you take a very large dose in one go, a lot of it is likely to be flushed away, but if you take slow release Vitamin C, it can be beneficial, especially for those who don’t eat many vegetables or have poor fruit intake.

            Excess Vitamin C (1000 mg or more daily for more than a few weeks) can have side effects such as kidney stones, diarrhera, nausea. Nevertheless for those who don’t have a very healthy lifestyle the recommended dose, which is very low, might not be enough.

          • Mr V

            Vitamin C and garlic have (very mild) influence on BACTERIAL infections. Coronavirus, like its name should plainly tell you, is a virus. Meaning, effectiveness of both is close to zero. It’s as bad advice as taking antibiotics for it, though I suppose will do less harm to you in the long run…

          • Alisdair Mc


            Read my second post and the DOI attachments.These are reputable journals and peer reviewed papers. They describe the effect of vitamin C on reducing the symptoms and the length of stay of patients in ICUs.Nothing was said about garlic, though I do enjoy the flavour of garlic in my cooking.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ John Goss March 25, 2020 at 22:37
          It also assists in keeping people (at least) 2 metres apart…

          • Graham Ennis

            wrong specially treated 4gram does every two hours actually work. it has to be treated. this is done in an ultrasonic glass vessle, and it is heated. got hat?

        • Rhys Jaggar

          John, I recommend in addition: getting out in the spring sunshine (sunlight stimulates production of healthy compounds which make your immune system healthy); taking age-appropriate exercise; eating fresh fruit and vegetables as much as posisble.

          The advice to stay indoors, veg out, eat prepared meals from Tesco et al is guaranteed to depress immune function, so if any government is actually recommending that, they are actively promoting mass susceptibility to disease. During a ‘pandemic’!

          • Gerrard White

            you are right – isolation confinement social ‘distancing’: every panacea recommended by the gvmt is intended to weaken separate isolate and further condemn the population to weakness in health physical and mental ability let alone prohibit the practice of communal action or organisation

            next time around another bug another shutdown nobody any the wiser all a lot more feeble

            resistance against martial law and mentality can only start now

          • Christopher Dale Rogers


            There has been mention of vitamin D quite a fair bit of late, as too vitamin C, myself, always preferred an apple.

          • glenn_uk

            So Rhys – during a pandemic, and contrary to the WHO advice, you’re suggesting we do not stay indoors and go out doing what exactly? Susceptibility to disease isn’t going to suddenly befall one in just a few days of stopping at home, is it. But mixing with contaminated people most definitely will tend to make you more susceptible.

            The government tried its “social distancing” policy, people proved themselves too thick to follow it. So “stay indoors” is the only thing left instead of a complete curfew.

          • Rhys Jaggar

            No Glenn, I DO obey social distancing rules and have been doing so all along.

            I DO keep 4 metres and more away from the very few people I meet out walking.

            Your arguments are that you put the whole population in prison for a few criminals’ actions.

            A fine economy we would have with that sort of Justice System.

          • Alisdair Mc

            Christopher Dale Rogers

            Eat salmon, sardines, herrings, and other oily fish. That will give you Vit D2 and for D3 ten minutes in the sun exposing your arms and face will suffice. Here in Helsinki (we are also in lock-down) most of the flats have balconies so people can sit in the sun directly. But snow is forecast for Monday.

      • Stonky

        To be completely accurate I think a few of them might have been savaged by werewolves. But I’m positive that not a single one of them was bitten by a vampire.

    • Nelson

      The best one like that I heard was Nelson Mandela’s Health Minister telling people that AIDs can be cured by eating beetroot (unfortunately, that is not a joke).

  • Brianfujisan

    So Bail Denied, I think we all Knew it would be.. Because the establishment are a bunch of sadistic monsters
    and the MSM are every bit as guilty..I do think of Julian every day.. I’m in isolation too with bronchiostenosis
    But At Least I can go out in the garden, wander around the house, make art, eat what I like, communicate on social media.. Julian has none of this.. He is one remarkable man to have lasted this long.

    Last night I read that Julian had made a ten minute call to YANIS VAROUFAKIS on Monday night..Here is an excerpt –

    ” Will we succeed? Julian had a hopeful comment on this: At the very least, transnational organisations like Wikileaks and DiEM25 had honed the digital tools for online debates and campaigns well before Covid-19 came on the scene. In some measure, we are better prepared than others.
    Then we talked about his case. His prison conditions are deteriorating. Now that visits have stopped, his isolation is getting worse. His lawyers are about to petition the court for bail. If any prisoner’s health at Belmarsh High Security prison is in jeopardy from Covid-19 infection, it is Julian’s. Will the court grant him bail? Unlikely. Will the new crisis change the odds of his extradition? We agreed that the answer to the last question is: probably, but only a little – now that the national security complex in the US and in the UK have things to worry about that did not feature a few weeks ago.
    Our conversation lasted ten minutes and one second. Then the prison warden cut the line. The one man who knows the perils and pains of isolation better than all of us, had emerged from it to give me, us, a ten-minute lesson in how not to lose it while in confinement.
    Make no mistake dear reader: Julian is struggling to keep his faculties, not to lose his mind. For hours every day in solitary he fights the darkness and the despair. When he sounds lucid, funny even, on the phone it is so because he has worked for 20 hours in anticipation of the moment when he will have to communicate his side of the story, his thoughts, to the outside world. No one should have to live that way.

    the full item is here –

    • Mary

      Thanks for that update Brian. Sorry you are poorly but hope you will be better soon.

    • nevermind

      Dearest Brian, our best regards to you and those who ensure that you get better, enough food and whatever drugs you need. Keep positive and healthy.
      I find looking at a video/picture of my grandchildren pulls me through most gloom and doom.

      Advice to all of you, get seeds of what you eat usually, turn up a sunny spot on your lawn and get growing food. Countries are beginning to restrict exports and agrochems are in short supply due to this calamity.
      Help yourself a little. Shiny CDs of your most ignored performers make excellent birdscarers.

        • Tom Welsh

          Without even reading the Bloomberg article (sorry but I have to consider my own health) I can summarize what it says.

          “Those selfish foreigners are keeping the food they grow to feed their own people, instead of sending it all to us in the USA because we can pay higher prices, as dictated by the economic theory our paid economists have written”.

          That, by the way, is a horrible mistake made by the great and the good in the UK for the past 50 years. We are very far from self-sufficient in food – although, by great efforts the government attained that goal by 1945. The assumption that money will always buy whatever imports we need has never been remotely justified. You can’t eat money.

          • bevin

            “That, by the way, is a horrible mistake made by the great and the good in the UK for the past 50 years. ”
            It is the default position of liberal governments. It is the free trader’s bargain: you buy our industrial surpluses and we will take your food off your hands, provided it is cheaper than paying agricultural workers a living wage.
            It has been going on since the C18th: Britain almost starved in 1914-18. By 1939 agriculture had once again been run into the ground (see Henry Williamson) and once again almost starved to death, while devoting a major part of its war effort to keeping the Atlantic sea lanes open, to supply the country with the grain and meat the island is so capable of producing itself.
            It will be one of the lasting benefits of this crisis if the international reliance on long distance trade in foodstuffs- a trade which tears bread out of the mouths of the poorest children on the planet- is broken.
            On the other hand: seeds are not easy to get this year. They are being hoarded by speculators and their prices are rising.

      • Brianfujisan

        Thanks ..I hope you n the good Lady are keeping well, and vigilant in these crazy times.

        Yes Old photos light up the mood. I lost some old video when youtube deleted my first account.. Still smarting about that ..Dicks.

        Kirsty has been a wee gem getting food n stuff for me.. and wiping everything down before giving me it.. Good Girl.
        And indeed grow your own.. and a wee greenhouse too may be in order. Best wishes.. Cura ut Valeas.

    • Rhys Jaggar


      Solitary confinement is actually a state of being. The real question is what you are prepared to give up t adapt to it. If you truly adapt to it, there are some things you will be giving up forever.

      So you have to make a choice as to whether or when you decide to make such decisions, since if you ever make them, you can adapt far, far more easily to being in solitary.

      The need to communicate with others is obviously top of the list. Then there is maintaining optimism about how society organises itself. Then there is the retention of belief in the Rule of Law. Then there is a belief that enough people will stand up to the USA. Then there is the need for human validation, empathy and physical touch.

      I am not saying that Mr Assange should do anything to change, I am just saying that trying to change the unchangeable is a terrific waste of energy and will not help in maintaining spirits, realism and fortitude for the fights which can be fought.

      the last of the Human Freedoms is, after all, the freedom to choose how to react to your persecutors’ actions.

      • Brianfujisan


        Thanks for those wise thoughts.

        Too many of us say there needs to be changes, but never quite get round to it..

        and as you point out, those changes need to be permanent..

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      I understand that the iranian prisoners released had ankle devices giving out location information. I am astonished this is not suggested. It would be much more humane, and cheaper, to use such a system and simply underscores the spiteful nature of the incarceration at Belmarsh.

  • Christopher Dale Rogers

    I’ve been rather indulgent in utilising my own regional linguistic code to express my outrage, and this includes the buggers currently destroying the SNP, namely, most of these people are absolute swines – I prey that after this Covid-19 issue we get rid of the lot of them, we really don’t deserves most of those in Power presently – Assange ain’t done anything wrong, and like those brave souls manning our NHS, he’s a bloody hero.

  • Sheepshagger

    Having been a remand prisoner albeit in Scotland I was led to believe that when on remand one had many privileges on the basis of the presumption of innocence. One can have visits every day, one can have food sent in from restaurants, one’s own physician had 24 hour access as did one’s lawyers and one has access to all sorts of media (in my day if your friends or family could sort out a battery powered telly you could have one).
    Perhaps this has changed or maybe HMP Belmarsh is flouting the law.

    • Sheepshagger

      Similar notions have crossed my mind. Cycling banishes such thoughts but one must always park up for the night.
      Anyway it occurred to me as a science fiction fan that current events if viewed through a filmic lens might resemble a global hunt for an E.T. on the loose. I’m not a prankster and I’m aware of the power of a carefully (or carelessly) placed rumour so I’ve kept those thoughts to myself.

  • Giyane

    A left wing government in China has converted the challenge of the virus into what it knows best, a massive state intervention to help the people. China quickly set up hospitals and treated the virus fever with Chloquine and the respiratory problems with drugs not mentioned by our MSM. In 12 weeks flat, a left wing government defeated the new virus.

    In this country a self-selected right wing, lsissez fsire government converted the virus threat into a problem it could understand, a laissez fairer, lazy do nothing problem and they are now waiting for China to produce a vaccine for us very soon

    The Bible reading British culture is one of the most Left wing, submissive to authority cultures in the world, and very close to China in terms of obedience to government regulation.
    As with the Thatcher nightmare, we will survive , in spite of our laissez-faire government that has just plopped itself on our tummies like a rapist… We will survive, in spite of this right wing , lazy, do nothing, bunch of psychopaths.

    We will survive because China has traded with every nation on earth and knows that Ordinary British people are not the same as the Tory arseholes in power. They will extend their socialism to outside of their borders, even while Britain massacred and exiled the Scots, starved the Irish, and have continued all of my adult life to wage war against the Middle East and beyond.

    Check out for info on the drugs China used.
    You’ll be needing them sometime soon.

    • Giyane

      A close member of my family who is an expert on artificial intelligence working for the BBC is designated as a key worker.interesting that Tory institution thinks that too much human compassion is unproductive , and logic is the answer. ..
      For example a computer might be able to find the quickest way for a property company to buy up the unneeded houses of the deceased , or to pocket their pensions. Or the best way to safely turn corpses into animal feed.
      You never know what a Tory government’s might comeuppance with. Then they get Stephen Dorrell to tell us when it all goes pear-shaped that none of the problems could have been foreseen…

    • andic

      “Check out for info on the drugs China used.
      You’ll be needing them sometime soon.”

      Yeah,…. or not. I live in Anhui I had the virus in question at the end of January, I had been back to Blighty for a week, not sure if I caught it on the flight or the high speed train or on the way out or back. The wife and I left the baby with his grandma went out for dinner in Hefei and I started coughing in the car on the way home – we assumed it was the spicy food. I woke up in the night coughing like a bastard and didn’t get much sleep. Then the fever symptoms hit like a train the next day I spent about 4 days in bed. I am 36 and fairly healthy although having a baby I have let myself go a bit and I was very drained by the UK trip. The town where I live has had a lot of cases and I know people that have had it with almost no symptoms.

      And by the way the super hospitals which were built here were impressive but don’t get the idea that they were high tech emergency treatment centres – they were full of people like me who felt shit and needed to mong out for a few days to get better. The serious cases which are mainly old or already sick were treated in the main hospitals.

      An experimental treatment which didn’t kill me was based on the litre of duty free Laphroaig which I happened to have with me, probably the phenols helped

      • Stonky

        Interesting story, and I’m very glad to hear you made a full recovery. But you’re mistaken about the hospitals. The two new fast-build hospitals in Wuhan – Huoshenshan and Leishenshan – were for serious and emergency cases. For the less serious cases they built a whole lot of temporary treatment centres which were existing buildings converted for medical use.

    • giyane

      The Council of State therefore took matters into its own hands. It forced the population of Hubei’s capital, Wuhan, to remain confined to their homes. Within days, it built hospitals; sent teams to each house to take the temperature of each inhabitant; took all potentially infected people to hospitals for testing; treated those infected with chloroquine phosphate and sent others home; and treated the critically ill with recombinant interferon Alfa 2B (IFNrec) for resuscitation

      • Kempe

        Amazing that 3,200 people still died.

        Had the Chinese authorities not tried to initially cover up the outbreak it might’ve been confined early and not spread to the rest of us.

        • SA

          That’s rich. A new disease no treatment, nothing known about it and in very short time the Chinese did not only identify the agent and provided very important data but also provided the blueprint of how to deal with it: decisive lockdown and testing widely. It gave the others a two months lead to act accordingly but the dithering governments in some of the richest countries of the world, all the G7 are now mostly at the epicentre of the pandemic. There was actually no initial coverup by the Chinese government, I challenge you to produce proof of this baseless allegation.

        • Stonky

          Had the Chinese authorities not tried to initially cover up the outbreak…

          They didn’t. This is just a lie designed for stupid parrots like you to swallow and obediently regurgitate. Li Wenliang and his colleagues were reprimanded by overzealous authorities in Wuhan for setting up a Wechat group. As soon as the Chinese authorities found out about about the problem they did everything sensible to take action and to communicate accurately about what was going on. Later the Party Committee and local goverment in Wuhan were “adjusted”. That means anyone who failed in their duty was sacked or demoted. Unlike in the UK, where “lessons are learned” and “procedures are put in place”, and no civil servant ever suffers the slightest incovenience, no matter how useless they are or how many people died….

          • Kempe

            You’ve contradicted yourself. The cover up may have been at low level but it meant information was not passed up the command chain to those who had the power to take the necessary action.

          • Antonym

            The CCP has many apologists in the West, even under its billionaires (Bloomberg) – as they made big money from China connected stocks. The other 99.9% should see that some Chinese kept eating from wildlife “wet” markets and authorities covered up the initial find of the latest animal virus jump to humans.

            Sure there final lock down worked well, as they have already a totalitarian society -cutesy of the CCP.

            The dumping of industrial goods outside China has wiped out most competition over the last two decades; who can beat giant industry in bed with their own executive, legislative and judiciary?

            Last, Xi China is imperialistic: don’t get fooled by labels as Belt-and-Road or String-of-Pearls and check the ex-coral islands in the South china sea hundreds of miles from mainland’s coast example.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      If you have not read all the articles about how companies all over the US, Germany, Israel, UK, Russia and no doubt plenty of other places are ‘developing vaccines against Covid19’ then you need to start doing your research better.

      The UK is NOT waiting for China to develop a vaccine so stop trotting out tired mantras. Hat Boris Johnson all you like, but do not lie about who is developing vaccines.

      • Giyane

        Rhys Jaggar

        2 things

        1. Of course companies are looking for vaccines. I’m not a total idiot. But what motivates companies? Nothing more than profit because Thatcher said ‘ there is no other motivation than money’s. So companies can rot in hell so far as I’m concerned.

        2. I do not hate Boris Johnson. I seriously understand that he is a profiteerer, flogging London to foreigners when he was Msyor, a liar on high stakes, as per the Skripal lies against Russia, a man who has no morals , because his party prosecuted Alex Salmond and Julian Assange for rape knowing that Mr johnson was bonking and providing the cost of a house to a Israel business woman, and a fraud because he rigged the last election

        If l had been Dominic Grieve I would also have stated that Johnson is unfit to be a leader. He seems to think that statesmanship is knowing how to do an Orxford crawls, which he reinstated yesterday for his media chat show.

        Don’t worry the Market will save us Mr Mannering. Vaccines will be ready in spring 2021, while China will have the ready in a couple of months. Another little item Boris Wasre of Space committed to inform.

      • michael norton

        I still think Boris Johnson is thinking herd immunity
        is the only choice, this is why our efforts have been so late and so feeble.
        600,000 old and ill people die each year in the U.K.
        A professor on Radio Four said, the only question is do we extend their lives for a few months or let them die over the next two months. Or will we be putting the entire future economy down the plug-hole and with that, the future of millions of our young and poorest. There is not likely to be a vaccine for more than a year, we can’t stay on lock-down for another twelve months.
        Most people getting it and recovering at home, is all that is possible.

    • Rhys Jaggar


      You are very, very naive if you think that the Chinese are ‘socialist’. They have more billionaires than any other nation. They absolutely believe in capitalism.

      You really must distinguish between ‘functions of the State’ and ‘socialism’.

      • Stonky

        You are very, very naive if you think that the Chinese are ‘socialist’.

        They are socialists. They have a very clear understanding of Marxist economics, and they apply it in practice. But they are not doctrinaire Marxists,having seen for themselves that a planned and fully collectivised economy does not work. Two things they will never do, however, are allow the supply of critical goods and servies into private hands, and allow the financial sector to loot the real economy in the way that the West has done.

        They have more billionaires than any other nation…

        • Kempe

          ” they are not doctrinaire Marxists,having seen for themselves that a planned and fully collectivised economy does not work. ”

          If the means of production and distribution are not in state hands they are not socialist. End of.

          • Giyane


            Marxism is not socialism.
            Socialism means that the function of government is to benefit society.
            A concept Thatcher over-ruled.

          • Laguerre

            Funny definition of socialism, that only someone who viscerally hates the left could think up.

          • pete

            Re Kemp at 15.42
            You use the term totalitarian without understanding what it means. Here’s a website to help refine the concept:
            As you may be aware the term was invented by SP Huntingdon, the famous/notorious social philosopher.

            Although I suspect you mind was made up about the subject a long time ago, without subtlety and precision in your thinking you are never going to convince anyone by bandying about generalisations on the term. It has been seriously misused and thereby devalued for analytical purposes.
            I admit I lack the quality and precision in my thinking that I admire, it’s one of the reasons I plough obsessively through the comments section here to be entertained by the more obvious errors. Nevertheless I value your contributions as they make me laugh and such things are in short supply at the moment. Please don’t ever leave us, even though I suspect that my view in this matter is not popular.

      • Giyane

        Martin ned

        Why are you like a tin of sardines that always cuts you when you open it. Better not to try. I think the Chinese are socialist because they respect the state.
        In this country the state is respected by nobody except greasy pole climbers without brains.

        • Martinned

          Maybe once, but at this point China is just an oligarchy where a bunch of corrupt party members grift as much as they can get away with. It’s neither left, nor right, just autocratic.

          • Giyane

            Martin ned

            Ok so you resent middle class professionals being able to fly here, chill out and see their daughter in uni and read the papers. How dare those ghastly socialists get rich while our “””” non-autocratic “””” right wing government bled us to death, by crashing the banks in 2008?

            You are the same Brexit supporting xenophobe as before, yeah?

          • Martinned

            If you think I ever supported Brexit, your memory must not be very good…

            As for what I resent about China, I resent what is happening to the Uyghurs and the Tibetans, I resent all the restrictions on everyday life, I resent the lack of democracy, but I don’t resent at all that foreigners are allowed to visit China. Not sure why you’d think I would.

          • Giyane


            Oligarchy. Corruption. Remote region oppression. Chinese Britnats!

            I was talking about the middle class Chinese parents I have met here.
            They reminded me exactly of my own parents.

            What actual benefit do you get from demonising the other?

  • Gary Scott

    As we now know he has been, as expected, refused bail. Ultimately Baraitser DID accept his health conditions but said they did NOT constitute him as a high risk. This directly contradicts the Chief Medical Officer’s advice to the Government and statements by the PM made during the Coronavirus Updates. Seemingly she really is a law unto herself. Of course if anything DOES go wrong it won’t be a politician taking the blame, will it? She’d do well to remember that…

    • giyane

      Gary Scott

      The PM has not issued any medical advice, merely administrative advice as to how not to flood the hospitals.
      The medical wing of a high security prison will be full of psychosis as well as virus and he should be released on bail immediately. Baraitser is a very small pawn.

  • Ciaris

    I note the Australian government is happy to let an Australian citizen be tortured, then die. I’m not aware of any of the MP’s uttering so much as a peep. Former PM Rudd did say something once, and he didn’t last long. Possibly the odd Green MP may have piped up, but they are usually talking about dudes cutting off their dicks. Generally though, radio silence. Very odd.

    He could be kept under house arrest, or armed guard at a hospital, if they really must. But he’s no business being in jail. Truly he has pissed off the right people.

    • Robyn

      Ciaris, yes, the Australian government is a total disgrace. There is (or was) a handful of MPs who formed a Parliamentarians for Assange (or some such name) group, and two of them (one Green, one National Party) flew to London at their own expense to meet Julian and do some media appearances. Nothing came of it, of course. From personal experience I can add that emails about Julian to MPs, Senators, Ministers, Shadow Ministers, and the Prime Minister do not even receive a response.

  • Monster

    Re John Goss. The whole Baraitser family has a strange background. The father, an antique furniture dealer from Cape Town, was rapidly elevated to a senior medical genetics position within a year of his arrival in the UK from South Africa. Later, two of the daughters also effortlessly obtained very senior positions in the medical world, at King’s College Hospital and a chair at Birkbeck. One wonders what was the quid pro quo. The mother, a playwright, is involved in pro Israeli activism working in the arts fleld. The runt of the family, Vanessa, perhaps worked for Mi5, as did Gordon Winter, identifying SA troublemakers in UK. She probably has no legal qualifications, since anyone can become a magistrate, just fill in a few forms, and bob’s yer uncle.Incidentally, MI6 has, since Mandela’s release and presidency, taken a keen interest in South African affairs. The recent gold mine strikes and white farmer executions are not unconnected.

    • Paul Barbara

      I understand she was Called to the Bar, any number of times (and asked to settle her bill). but just mumbled something about her Uncle Sam settling it.

    • Bramble

      She is a District Judge, not a magistrate. For that you have to be a lawyer. Unlike JPs, whose work is entirely voluntary, DJs are paid by the state.

    • Stonky

      Thank you for this. It’s very interesting and useful. Where did you get this information? It’s quite bizarre in this day and age that Ms Baraiser seems to have attained her lofty position without leaving so much as a trace anywhere on the internet.

    • Patrick Roden

      Interesting that Jim Murphy also came to the UK from South Africa, and it is equally as difficult to find information about his family from their time there.


  • Toby

    Your principled support for Assange has been laudable, consistent and right. But recently you tweeted that when a vaccine for Covid-19 is developed, it should be made compulsory. This implies that in extremis, people will be hauled off by the police, held down and vaccinated without their consent.

    I am sad that you cannot see that a state that can do this to non-aggressive individuals, is all of a piece with a state that can silence its critics at will.

    Thus if you want a state so powerful that it that can force medication on people without their consent, you can hardly complain when it hauls off an awkward critic.

    Honestly, which sort of state do you really want?

    Because if you give a state draconian powers, I can guarantee that sooner or later it will use them in ways that you do not like. This is no trivial question and I would hope that you reflect on it carefully.

    • nevermind

      Isn’t it outrageous, compulsory vaccinations. It would be much better to shoot them, eh Toby, one wwould not want to waste an expensive trial and life prison sentence on those who wilfully infect others to death in ignorance.
      We note your opposition, but where is your solution?

      • JohnB

        Err, yes.

        “wilfully infect others to death in ignorance.” – sheesh. One can almost feel your blood pressure skyrocketing.

        The solution is to assess accurately the utter old pony the state comes up with from time to time.

    • Alisdair Mc


      Perhaps you think it is your inalienable right to drive on the wrong side of the motorway or to drop lumps of concrete from motorway bridges onto the paths of oncoming traffic.

      • Tom Welsh

        Er, Toby said nothing remotely comparable to what you suggest. Although apparently CIA employees are allowed to drive on the wrong side of the road, kill locals who are unaware of their privilege, and then flee back home to escape justice.

    • pete

      Re forced vaccination…

      The alternative to this is to allow potentially infectious persons to wander around free to infect others.

      One solution is to lock up the infectious person who does not want to be vaccinated. A case in point is that of ‘Typhoid Mary’. Ironically locked up in the land of the free. Her story is presented here:

      Typhoid Mary spent the last 23 years of her life alone in a Bungalow because she would not stop trying to pursue her trade as a cook when she was allowed to roam free.

      Yes, it is dangerous to argue for forced vaccination in the name of the greater good, but if the choice was to roam at large vaccinated or spend your remaining lifetime in isolation, which do you want?

      • Tom Welsh

        “The alternative to this is to allow potentially infectious persons to wander around free to infect others”.

        I see that you are not trained in thinking about the further consequences of your statements. If people were “wandering around” infecting others with Ebola, that would be serious. However nobody really knows how infectious Covid-19 is, or even what the main infection vectors are. Nor does anyone really know how lethal it is one caught. (Although we do know that it is far more dangerous to elderly people who are already seriously ill). How about keeping elderly people who are seriously ill in special treatment buildings – we might call them “hospitals” – and controlling who is allowed to enter those places?

        Looking a little further afield, would you extend your caution to people who might be hosting potentially infectious ideas? Maybe they, too, should be locked up to avoid the spread of those dangerous thoughts. Or “inoculated” with some suitable concoctions to prevent transmission, or perhaps even prevent them from thinking at all.

        • Giyane

          Tom Welsh

          China did all those sensible things as because they are not constrained by msm wonks from commonsense.

      • Bayard

        “The alternative to this is to allow potentially infectious persons to wander around free to infect others.”

        What others? All but the anti-vaccers will be immune to the disease, because they will have had their vaccinations.

    • Kempe

      Compulsory vaccination would require a change in the law but let’s keep it voluntary. That way all the dimwit anti-vaxxers will be removed from the gene pool.

      • Tom Welsh

        Sounds good to me, Kempe. As Mark Twain said, “It’s a difference of opinion that leads to horse races”.

        On the other hand, such an experiment would be unfair. Quite apart from the effects of infection or vaccination, the children and descendants of people who obediently do and think whatever they are told by people like Boris Johnson can be expected to be a lot less healthy and intelligent than those who are reasonably sceptical.

        • Kempe

          Nothing reasonable about anti-vaccinationists; at least none that I’ve ever encountered. It’s not about doing as your told by politicians but of understanding the science.

          • Tom Welsh

            Ah yes, Kempe, “the science”! As I have perhaps mentioned before, that phrase is a very reliable guide to authoritarians who don’t understand what science is about.

            Perhaps the following remarks of Richard Feynman might help. There are good reasons why the motto of the Royal Scoeity is “Nullius in Verba” and even the most fundamental hypotheses are called “theories”. Science always admits the possibility that the current state of belief may turn out to be incorrect. Real science is not a body of absolutely certain facts, but almost the opposite: a sceptical attitude of perpetual inquiry.

            “The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty — some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain.

            “Now, we scientists are used to this, and we take it for granted that it is perfectly consistent to be unsure, that it is possible to live and not know. But I don’t know whether everyone realizes this is true. Our freedom to doubt was born out of a struggle against authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle: permit us to question — to doubt — to not be sure. I think that it is important that we do not forget this struggle and thus perhaps lose what we have gained”.

            – Richard P Feynman, “The Value of Science,” public address at the National Academy of Sciences (Autumn 1955); published in What Do You Care What Other People Think (1988); republished in The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman (1999) edited by Jeffrey Robbins,

          • JohnB

            The science is manufactured by the pharmaceutical companies. If you haven’t encountered any reasonable ‘anti-vaccinationists’ on the interweb, you haven’t been trying that hard.

          • glenn_uk

            JohnB: You mean _otherwise_ reasonable people. Being an anti-vaxxer is not a reasonable position.

          • Tom Welsh

            JohnB, you are right. My take is that, for practical purposes, we should not talk about “science” in the abstract. The only acts and statements come from scientists.

            Now any specific scientist probably has sources of income. As with most othe human beings, those who control a scientist’s income more or less control what (s)he says.

            A scientist who works for a pharmaceutical company will say whatever suits that company.

            A scientist who works for a government will say whatever is that government’s official line.

            It’s often revealing to see what retired officials say compared to what they said before retirement.

            Most of the biggest scientific discoveries on which our “modern” technical society depends were made by scientists who were relatively independent. Either they were gentlemen of independent means, or they had sponsors who were enlightened enough to support them no matter what they discovered or said or wrote.

            Robert A Heinlain, in one of his books, imagined a “Long Range Foundation” with immense financial resources from enlightened sponsors. It had two rules when choosing projects to support.

            1. Must be very expensive indeed.

            2. Must not yield any practical results for many years to come.

            Someone wise (not Albert Einstein, though the saying is often misattributed to him) said, “It isn’t research if you know what you’re looking for”.

          • Tom Welsh

            “Being an anti-vaxxer is not a reasonable position”.

            Said glenn_uk, without citing any evidence for his assertion (an unreasonable thing to do). Of course, the very term “anti-vaxxer” is tendentious and prejudiced. Very few people are “anti-vaccination” unconditionally and in general. But many are unwilling to accept blanket assurances that vaccination confers benefits and does not cause harm.

          • Pooh

            Tom Welsh
            March 26, 2020 at 16:19

            Delightful comment, Sir Thank you so much.

            Might be of interest:
            “But what mortal will ever determine, for example, the number of diseases — these and other things depend upon causes completely hidden from us —“
            Jacob Bernoulli, Principle of Insufficient Reason, 1713 (as quoted by E T Jaynes)

          • glenn_uk

            Says Tom Welsh, who often boasts about his supposed superiority but doesn’t actually show it, and often runs off from a discussion.

            Of course there is a tiny risk from any vaccination, or indeed any medicine and pretty much everything in general. Some people are compromised in ways that make vaccines much too dangerous for them. The greater good is served by having a high level of immunity.

            Funny that – you pretended that I took one extreme (“every vaccine is always good for everybody!”) and argued against it, while taking a very rare point (_some_ vaccines can harm _some_ people) and pretending that was a general case.

          • Bayard

            “Being an anti-vaxxer is not a reasonable position”.

            Being pro-compulsory vaccination is not a reasonable position either, since compulsory vaccination protects no-one except those who do not wish to be protected.

    • SA

      I do agree that enforced vaccination is a little bit on the draconian side. In general terms it is sufficient to get high rates of immunity in a population so we do not aim for 100% vaccination rates, and there are models for what the minimal figure is to maintain herd immunity which means that the unvaccinated will also be protected but also will not infect those that are vaccinated. I think the figure may be 80-90%.
      The problem arises when you get lots of antivaxxers in which case education is the first line then in extreme cases enforced vaccination.
      Unlike Alisdair’s throwing bricks on motorways, a harmful criminal act, generally people who do not accept vaccinations are likely to harm themselves most so it most akin to legislating against self harm. But maybe Kempe has the right answer.

    • craig Post author

      I did not actually support enforced vaccination. I expressed the hope that the current crisis would cause the stupidity of the anti-vaccine lobby to abate. And I pointed out the extreme selfishness of the anti-vaccine lobby, who benefit from the general immunity while refusing personally to undertake the tiny personal risk of a bad vaccine reaction. It is a position of extreme and unprincipled selfishness. But I would tackle it through shaming rather than any more extreme compulsion.

      • Alisdair Mc

        Not only that but the premise for current anti-vaccine movement was based a paper by Andrew Wakefield, which had no controls, no blinding a tiny number of cases (variously reported to be 8 and 11) self-reporting AND deliberate falsification on conflicts of interest and funding. Needless to say the MSM promoted the ‘paper’. Although to their credit the Guardian did some investigative (don’t laugh) journalism but by then the lie had taken on a life of its own.

        • JohnB

          Wakefield was at least partly vindicated by the CDC whistleblower, Thompson (?), of course.

          They (the CDC) doctored the numbers, which showed increased autism among MMR recipients.

          • glenn_uk

            Wakefield was a quack, completely unethical, totally discredited, and now does the rounds in the US promoting Trump and right-wing causes. His motives were fame and money, and apparently he is quite satisfied with that.

            There is zero evidence for increased autism as a result of MMR. However, there is substantial evidence for increased measles outbreaks, which has damaged health and cost lives.

          • Stephen Rhodes

            Glenn_UK has clearly not bothered to acquaint himself with the truth of the Wakefield case before the General Medical Council (why break the habits of a lifetime?) but maybe if he wanted to he could read ’Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines— The Truth Behind A Tragedy’ only £12.99 on Amazon, a small price to pay for the facts.

          • glenn_uk

            Oh, it’s in a book is it Stephen? Well, it must be true then!

            The gullibility of some people knows no bounds – as you so ably prove.

          • Rhys Jaggar


            The first undeniable FACT of the Wakefield case was that the paper which was subsequently retracted NEVER said that MMR causes autism. It said precisely the opposite, namely that they found no association between MMR and autism.

            What that paper primarily concerned was children with autism presenting with bowel conditions. I promise you that there is nothing you can say or do to dispute that finding, the paper is still available to read on the internet and I suggest very strongly that you read it.

            In that retracted paper, Wakefield et al stated that ‘further work was necessary to determine if any llink exists between MMR and the bowel conditions presenting in autistic children’.

            Tbat is clear scientific speak for ‘we have proven nothing of the sort so far, but this is an open question well worthy of research’.

            Andrew Wakefield works in Texas because the UK will not let him work here. He would still be here if he had not been hounded out.

            Are you going to deny that autistic children often present with bowel conditions??

            If not, stop trying to say that the Wakefield paper was fraudulent: that data is not disputed 20+ years later.

          • SA

            It is true to say that the first paper should not have been accepted by the Lancet because of flawed science. Subsequently it was found that the data was manipulated and that the study was selective and not sequential as claimed. Again later it was found that the motive was that Wakefield was acting and receiving money from Lawyers trying to sue companies producing the MMR vaccine. This is why Wakefield was not allowed to continue to practice in UK.

      • Tom Welsh

        Actually, Craig, a moment’s thought will reveal that it is those who urge vaccination who form a “lobby” – because they may have powerful financial interests at stake.

        Universal compulsory vaccination is a pharmaceutical company’s wet dream. (As is universal statin administration).

        • Rhys Jaggar

          What ‘anti-vaxxers’ also abhor is those pharmaceutical companies being given complete immunity from prosecution if adverse outcomes occur, the very antithesis of capitalism. The taxpayer socialises the losses, the shareholders cream the risk-free profits.

          If you are going to enforce vaccination for all, the only conditions that can happen under is a non-profit-making vehicle owned by all the vaccinated.

          The principle of free markets always includes the right to withdraw from the market. Under enforced vaccination, that right has been removed, ergo the justification for ‘free markets’ in vaccines has to disappear.

      • Stephen Rhodes

        I find myself to be rather sad that someone I have, until now, thought to be open minded and careful to make an effort to understand the issue before leaping in with both feet.
        If you would bother to examine the issue carefully you would find that the majority, the great majority, of what are erroneously called anti vaccine or anti-vaxxers are people who were formerly very pro-vaccine until a child of theirs suffered traumatic injury following vaccination.
        And if you dig deeper into the issue of the Reagan Administration’s removal of liability for vaccine harm and all that has followed, you will find a Pandora’s Box to rival anything in the current scandals of the persecution through the Courts of Julian Assange and Alex Salmond.

        • Kempe

          Seeing as serious traumatic injury actually caused by a vaccination is very rare I find that hard to accept. How many have been frightened off by unfounded scare stories and what of the anti-vaxxers who have had to learn the hard way? I recall an anti-vaxx mother in Australia whose entire brood was struck with whooping cough.

      • Toby

        Thanks for your clarification Craig.

        I would suggest that rather than anti-vaccine campaigners, the major concern is the way that world ruling elites are massively extending state power and surveillance under the pretext of fighting this disease. Such “temporary” measures have a knack of becoming permanent and often end up being used in unexpected ways. Perhaps, at some point, against awkward political dissidents.

        It is also rather likely that this crisis will be a Godsend to favored corporate entities including large pharmaceutical companies, whose products will be mandated by world governments, probably with immunity from any product liability so that the contracts are sufficiently attractive. Ronald Reagan set a precedent for this with the National Chilldhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which provided just such immunity for the for the big drug companies.

        So by all means be concerned about this virus, which I had for Christmas and which made me pretty ill, but be more concerned about the elites’ response. Don’t think it’s just the virus that’s in their crosshairs.

    • Yarkob

      hear, hear Toby. i appear to be in a minority in my friend group about this, unbelievably crude, and Orwellian, development. absolutely expected by me. i went so far as to suggest this would be on the cards and was roundly ridiculed for suggesting it, then criticised for saying they’d have to arrest me and actually tie me to a gurney in order to administer it. this will not end well.

  • Bystander

    Mr. Assange may not have much to be worried about concerning infection.
    Just found this news update on the uk government website:
    “As of 19th of March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK. … in particular, more information is available about mortality rates (low overall)…”
    Quoted from here:

    • Mary

      So how come the thousands of cases and thousands of deaths. Maybe they are referring to just the UK.

      Why the large order to Mr Dyson for the ventilators and the creation of the 4,000 be hospital at the Excel centre?

      Gov.UK can’t even get the singular and plural correct in their message.
      ie ‘As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) in the UK.’

      • Bill Thomson

        The mortality rate for those on ventilators is such that statistically they are doing more harm than good.

        • Kempe

          That’s possibly because patients will only be put on a ventilator when they are very seriously ill.

          • Kempe

            FFS a medical ventilator is not a machine for simply wafting fresh air around. It replaces the actions of the lungs. The only reason a patient will be put on a ventilator is if they can’t breathe for themselves.

            In such a situation if the patient is not put on a ventilator they will suffocate and die.

      • Tom Welsh

        “Gov.UK can’t even get the singular and plural correct in their message.
        ie ‘As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) in the UK.’”

        Probably the effect of unthinking cut-and-paste. You see a lot of that nowadays, especially in people who have never been taught English grammar and so don’t notice what they have done.

      • Tom Welsh

        I prefer

        The columns, as is customary, can be used to sort the table just by clicking on a column header. The best views, I think, are those sorted by descending number of “Active Cases” and “Serious, Critical” as well as “Total Deaths” and “New Deaths”.

        If you sort by “Active Cases”, you will find China in 13th place after USA, Italy, Spain, Germany and France. Although China has seen over 80,000 cases in all, more than 74,000 have already recovered.

        It’s interesting that, while the numbers for “Total Cases” and”Total Deaths” continue to click upwards every day, the number of “Recovered” for the UK has been stuck at 135 for many days now. It’s as if no one has been recovering – yet of the 8,929 “Active Cases” only 163 or “Serious, Critical”. So many thousands are apparently stuck in some kind of limbo where they have been diagnosed, but have not been cured, recovered, or died.

        Worldwide “Total Deaths” are 21,367. Meanwhile this other useful page shows:

        3,041,621 Communicable disease deaths this year
        Sources and info:

        Global Burden of Disease (GBD) – World Health Organization (WHO)

        113,894 Seasonal flu deaths this year
        Quick facts:

        Every year an estimated 290,000 to 650,000 people die in the world due to complications from seasonal influenza (flu) viruses.
        This figure corresponds to 795 to 1,781 deaths per day due to the seasonal flu.

        Sources and info:

        Seasonal flu death estimate increases worldwide – CDC
        Up to 650 000 people die of respiratory diseases linked to seasonal flu each year – World Health Organization (WHO)

        • Forthestate

          “It’s interesting that, while the numbers for “Total Cases” and”Total Deaths” continue to click upwards every day, the number of “Recovered” for the UK has been stuck at 135 for many days now. It’s as if no one has been recovering – yet of the 8,929 “Active Cases” only 163 or “Serious, Critical”. So many thousands are apparently stuck in some kind of limbo where they have been diagnosed, but have not been cured, recovered, or died.”

          Yes, it has been observed for some time now that those in a critical condition take two to three weeks to show signs of recovery. Good to see you’ve finally noticed this feature of the disease. It’s why respirators are such a problem. Once they’re taken, they’re taken for a long time, whilst the numbers of those needing them builds up. It is pretty obvious, without exerting too much mental activity, that the crisis is one of a chronic lack of supplies and equipment in our health service to fight a disease which is highly infectious, with 50% of those infected asymptomatic but contagious, and which has a very long recovery time. The combination of those factors has created a breakdown in the ability to treat the dying.

          But hey ho, if we keep bombarding people with those comforting figures to convince them that there’s nothing out of the ordinary going on, we probably don’t need to think about the horror on the hospital floor, or those going through it, because the chances are that you’ll probably be ok.

          • lysias

            Are the asymptomatic counted among the cases? If so, when are they considered recovered?

            What about the moderate and mild cases who never require hospitalization? When are they considered recovered?

          • Tom Welsh

            C, J. Hopkins sums the situation up very well in his latest article “The War on Death”.

            “So, that’s the good news for you authoritarians! For the rest of us … yeah, not so good.

            “Oh, I almost forgot the bad news. The bad news is … well, the bad news is Death. The bad news is, you are going to die. I’m going to die. We are all going to die. All of us. We are going to die. We are going to die of … well, something. Cancer. A heart attack. A stroke. The flu. Diabetes. Alzheimer’s disease. Possibly a coronavirus. Maybe even this coronavirus.

            “In fact, a lot of us are dying right now, according to the Internet, around a hundred per minute … which, it goes without saying, is unacceptable, and a tragedy, and something we need to take drastic action to prevent at all costs. We can’t let these Russian dissension sowers, neo-Nazi accelerationists, and coronavirus-sympathizers confuse us. They want to convince us that Death is, yes, scary, and sad, but inevitable, and natural. How utterly heartless and insane is that?!

            “No, we need to close our minds to that nonsense. People are dying! This is not normal! Death is our enemy! We have to defeat it! We need to hunt down and neutralize Death! Root it out if its hidey hole and hang it like we did with Saddam!”

          • Tom Welsh

            Very intelligent questions, Lysias. I don’t know the answers.

            But my best guesses are:

            “Are the asymptomatic counted among the cases? If so, when are they considered recovered?”

            No, because nobody (except members of the Royal Family) is being tested in the UK. So how could they know? It follows that they never contribute to the “Recovered” total either.

            “What about the moderate and mild cases who never require hospitalization? When are they considered recovered?”

            Well, as I have pointed out, not very soon – as the total of “Recovered” hasn’t budged for quite a few days.

          • SA

            It is just a function of how far we are into the disease in this exponential phase of the disease. It takes 5 days for the number of cases to double but 3-4 weeks for patients to recover. The data from China shows this that most cases are now recovered.

        • nevermind

          Would it be helpful to find out how many of the fatalities had a flu jab last November and whether that has helped them in any way/or was detrimental to them?

          • SA

            Here is a sort of indirect answer to your question. The gist of what this says is that flu vaccine does not protect against SARS-Cov2 but it has an indirect effect by reducing numbers of people with flu and less clutter on health service, reduced presumptive cases. It also seems to say that it is rare to get the two together.

    • nevermind

      Yep its all about control of the masses by force fines and apprehension.
      These powers given to themselves can be used in any instance. ‘ oh he looks a little 8nsane, lets have him sectioned. What? He has fallen down the stairs and broken his neck? How unfortunate, now we can’t help him anymore.
      Ah well, we just sign the death certificate ourself.’

      • nevermind

        This the definition of HCID which has been downgraded on 19th.March

        In the UK, a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) is defined according to the following criteria:

        acute infectious disease
        typically has a high case-fatality rate
        may not have effective prophylaxis or treatment
        often difficult to recognise and detect rapidly
        ability to spread in the community and within healthcare settings
        requires an enhanced individual, population and system response to ensure it is managed effectively, efficiently and safely

        4 days later we went into lock down. was this definition changed to keep Julian in prison? not very likely
        was it changed as a helping hand as to keep business afloat? likely
        Or, was it changed to enable the application of long worked out emergency laws to be applied to other issues such as mental inabilities? debatable
        Or was it because a rectum with some flesh attached and a name sounding like Schmaritzer could deny Julian bail? most likely.

    • SA

      This declassification is for the purpose of designating treatment centres. For example Ebola or other viral haemarrhagic diseases can only be treated in certain high category units which will be impractical here. I think the key is the relatively low projected mortality rate.

      • Tom Welsh

        “I think the key is the relatively low projected mortality rate”.

        Compared to what? The bombing of Tokyo?

        Whenever I briefly expose myself to the BBC or other UK media (never for more than 20 seconds, for health reasons) all I hear is endless predictions of millions of deaths coming soon to an area near you.

        Although this morning someone on the Today Programme also said that “experts” thought the peak in UK would come in the next week or two.

        Which logically implies hundreds of thousands of deaths per day – starting, presumably, tomorrow.

        • SA

          Frivolous comment of the day
          “Compared to what? The bombing of Tokyo?”
          But the rest also comes close.
          The mortality from Lassa fever is about 15-20% and Ebola in the region of 90%, These are the diseases classified as HCID and have to be treated in specialised units of which there are a few in the country.
          The mortality of Covid-19 from published studies is either measured by country, so in China it was about 4%, Iran 8% or Italy 10%. Then there is age related mortality roughly from memory
          80+ years 15%
          70-79 years 10%
          60-69 5%
          40-59 0.04%
          Below that about .02% and no mortality below 10 years.
          Now as to hundreds of thousands dying look at my back of envelope calculations here:

          If say only 25% of the population have serious infections the total mortality will be about 300,000 and below 60 years of age of 60,000. I know these figures look scary but that is why social distancing is so important.
          Of course these figures may become better or worse according to many factors, the most important is the capacity of the NHS to deal with a large number of patients becoming ill in a short space of time. Also you have to remember that medical nursing and support staff may also become infected and therefore the capacity to treat may diminish leading to higher death rates. That is why it is so important to “flatten the curve”.

          • Kempe

            I think your last paragraph about hit the nail on the head. It’s not the death rate that’s the problem but those falling seriously ill and requiring hospital treatment. Even the worst season ‘flu outbreak didn’t see the NHS running out of ventilators.

          • Magic Robot

            “These are the diseases classified as HCID.”

            Covid-19 has not been an HCID (high consequence infectious disease) in the UK since the 19th March, when it was declassified by Public Health England (PHE) and NHS, and also by The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) who were also of the opinion that COVID-19 should no longer be classified as an HCID.

            An HCID is defined as:
            an acute infectious disease
            typically has a high case-fatality rate
            may not have effective prophylaxis or treatment
            often difficult to recognise and detect rapidly
            ability to spread in the community and within healthcare settings
            requires an enhanced individual, population and system response to ensure it is managed effectively, efficiently and safely.

            Do keep up, SA, you’re slowing up the class.

    • nevermind

      Once the implications of this move become apparent to those many who have lost loved family members, they will not understand the dichotomy of messages and get angry.

      How about it unions? haven’t heard a peep from your side of life, where is the concern for workers to get what they are already owned. That immigrant who is running Weatherspoon is refusing bonus payments to staff which they already owned. He should have his pub chain nationalized and be sent back to where he comes from.

      The eagerness to keep people in work should be resisted. How about a NATIONAL STRIKE NOW!?

      • Mary

        Wetherspoons boss forced into U-turn after telling staff to get a job at Tesco because he couldn’t afford to pay them
        I have never been in a Wetherspoons. They are dumps aren’t they?.

        Did you mean Tim Martin? I didn’t understand ‘immigrant’. Says British.
        Another barrister, or should I say barrista? Crikey. There’s another QC on board, Sir Richard Beckett and assorted others including accountants. One of them, Debra van Gene. was a commissioner on the Judicial Appointment Commission.

        Beckett is the third baronet and owns the Lochluichart Estate. Nice.

        You can go there and kill a stag or two and do some fishing.

        • Mary

          Wetherspoons plc
          Turnover £1,818.8 million (2019)
          Operating income £131.9 million (2019)
          Net income £72.8 million (2019)
          Number of employees 43,000 (2020)

          Martin’s ‘let them eat cake’ suggestion to his ex-employees to get a job at Tesco is all over the internet to much derision.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          The Wetherspoons near us was until the lock down an absolute cornerstone of village life, especially for pensioner.

          Why? They served cheap food in a reliably warm place.

          I have no comment on the ownership of Wetherspoons, just that its branch in NW London served a valuable social function, especially for the elderly.

          • John A

            I have never been in a ‘spoons. as their customers call them, but I do know they sell a very cheap breakfast. When Maison Valerie went bust or almost bust last year with many branches closely, I happened to walk past the local branch that was still open, and had a display of cakes in the window. An elderly couple were windowshopping and the husband turned to his wife and said ‘look at the price of that cake, you can get a whole meal at weatherspoons for that’.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          If Weatherspoons can’t pay them aren’t they then legaly unemployed and owed redudndancy money? Some sort of legal limbo seems to have been created, or just assumed because of a virus.

  • grafter

    Come on Craig time to spearhead the Coronavirus lies and disinformation being put about by our corrupt MSM. The same scum who endorse the torture of Julian Assange.

    • Xavi

      Indeed, time to point out what’s really going on: the government has shut down the economy and is paying 80% of wages just for a bit of a giggle. The story of a continuous tsunami of CV patients arriving in hospitals is clearly disinformation, cynically disseminated to justify the lark.

      • nevermind

        Did you get paid or anybody else you know? Xavi, or is it all talk. If you have, please spend some money on gowns for your local hospital.

        • Xavi

          I seem to be way out of the loop, nevermind. Please tell me what you believe this massive, economically-ruinous scam is intended to achieve.

          • nevermind

            to keep the same people in power status quo ueber alles, Xavi, keeping control when chaos reigns.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            The economy can be allowed to crash in a way which does not put the blame on the people running it. The crash was always comming because of bad/criminal decisions but now that its here its just an act of God.

      • Tom Welsh

        “…the government has shut down the economy and is paying 80% of wages just for a bit of a giggle”.

        With what new source of inexhaustible funds? I only ask because I want to know.

        Or will it just print bits of paper with hollow promises on them (“I promise to pay, in return for this bit of paper, another bit of paper”)? If so the consequence will be inflation: prices will rise in line with the larger supply of money, cancelling out the effct of the payments.

        • Martinned

          You’re forgetting the velocity of money in your naive application of Fisher’s quantity theory of money

          • Pooh

            March 26, 2020 at 12:56

            “You’re forgetting the velocity of money …”

            Not necessarily so:
            ” The main deficiency of the velocity of circulation concept is that it does not start from the actions of individuals but looks at the problem from the angle of the whole economic system. This concept in itself is a vicious mode of approaching the problem of prices and purchasing power. It is assumed that, other things being equal, prices must change in proportion to the changes occurring in the total supply of money available. This is not true.” Ludwig von Mises in a letter to Henry Hazlitt.

          • Martinned

            I guess Von Mises is as good an expert on monetary policy as on anything else. At least it’s a break from people quoting Zizek and Chomsky all the time.

          • Tom Welsh

            I was not applying anyone’s theory of anything. I was merely using common sense.

            In my experience, most of what passes for economics is contrary to common sense. And reality.

          • Pooh

            Tom Welsh
            March 26, 2020 at 15:12

            Thank you.

            “I was not applying anyone’s theory of anything. I was merely using common sense.”

            That’s what I thought you were doing. You were right, and so was I. 🙂


          • Martinned

            If economics was common sense, there wouldn’t be any reason to pay people to do it for a living. The whole point of economics (and anything else worthwhile in academia) is that it exposes truths that are not obvious. In this case, you were doing quantity theory of money, but doing it incorrectly.

          • Tom Welsh

            “If economics was common sense, there wouldn’t be any reason to pay people to do it for a living”.

            On the contrary: economics is mostly simple common sense (although it is harder if you are innumerate). The main reason why people are paid to do economics is to convince the people that “everything is for the best in this best of all possible world”.

            Whereas it very much isn’t. See Michael Hudson and Steve Keene (honest economists), passim.

        • Tom74

          They shut down the economy, blaming the virus, and then will blame the virus for the recession and bank bailouts that were going to happen anyway in some form. Meanwhile, they introduce fascism, saying it is because of the virus, so that people do not have the liberty to protest at the loss of those freedoms and their jobs.
          Unfortunately, this situation has always looked like the endgame since the Brexit referendum. The people baying for ‘Boris’, waving flags and ‘terrified’ of Corbyn are now many of the same people wearily queuing for basic necessities and unable to leave their homes when they want.
          We are living in what feels like a cross between 1970s Britain and Taliban takeover – and disappointingly there appears to be no meaningful political opposition.

          • Tom Welsh

            “They shut down the economy, blaming the virus, and then will blame the virus for the recession and bank bailouts that were going to happen anyway in some form. Meanwhile, they introduce fascism, saying it is because of the virus, so that people do not have the liberty to protest at the loss of those freedoms and their jobs”.

            Demagogy never changes much. As in the days of Alcibiades, so today.

            And the fate of those who are seduced by demagogues is still pitiable.

          • Xavi

            Why do you think there’s no opposition to efforts to contain the virus, even from people like Corbyn?

          • Giyane


            The purpose of a Tory Brexit was to repatriate UK Law and change it .
            2000 years of hard won freedoms are now to be cancelled, forgotten or outlawed.

            The reference point of UK Law going forward will how it was in 2020. The clue was in vast numbers of box pots who hated Corbyn. Pure MSM brainwashing.

            There will no longer be any correlation between people and reality, only the relation between manufactured news and policy.
            Once Corbyn’s manufactured detestability had gelled into parallel reality, rigging the election was acceptable EVEN TO LABOUR MPS.

            So tell me please, which virus is the more lethal, Tory recidivism, or bat germs?

    • David

      Finally the NHS has apparently announced the vital new coronavirus home testing kit criteria
      1) be at home, or one of your Scottish homes,
      2) have a frail mother who is still reigning,
      er… that’s it

  • Mary

    The BBC presenter spat out the words ‘sex offender’ when reporting the first death from Covid-19 in prison this morning. Who he was or what he was is irrelevant. He was another human who is dead. Can you imagine what they would say about Julian if the worst happens which I sincerely hope it won’t.

    She is Annita McVeigh and I once wrote in and asked them to tell her not to shout so loudly.
    There are dozens of them.

    ‘As of Wednesday, 19 inmates had tested positive for Covid-19 across 10 jails and four prison staff had tested positive for the disease across four jails Three prisoner escort and custody services staff have also tested positive for Covid-19.

    HM Prison Service said robust contingency plans had been put in place at its facilities in consultation with Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care. It added that prisons are well prepared to take immediate action wherever cases or suspected cases of Covid-19 are identified, including the isolation of individuals where necessary.’

        • Jay

          Foolish comment. The USA imprisons more of its citizens than any other nation on earth. Mass incarceration is perhaps the fundamental fact of modern American society.

          • Martinned

            Yes, but SA didn’t say “USA”, he/she said “liberal democracies”. The USA is arguably one of them, but only one among many.

          • Martinned

            More than “liberal democracies”, as should have been obvious by glancing up to the comment I was responding to.

          • SA

            I am sorry I am not allowed to call the USA a liberal democracy, I forgot it is a fascist state.

          • Martinned

            @SA: You are allowed to call the US a liberal democracy if you like, but you’re not allowed to treat it as being typical of all other liberal democracies.

          • SA

            Oh may I. Thanks. So if you add up the figures for England, Scotland, Wales and the US, they exceed by far the total for Syria and Iran. Is that OK with you?

          • Martinned

            @SA: No, because that still overweights the US. (And why would you count the constituent nations of the UK separately?) People usually take OECD members as a proxy for liberal democracies.

            Also, if you don’t mind, I’m not going to place much faith in the figures coming out of Syria. I don’t know if they are self-reported or not, but if they are they are almost certainly lies, and if they are not they seem very difficult to investigate.

          • SA

            “Also, if you don’t mind, I’m not going to place much faith in the figures coming out of Syria. “
            But you will continue to place faith in the libertarian governments of Britain and USA because their previous pronouncements about WMD in Iraq, nuclear capabilities of Iran, supporting freedom thug jihadist fighters of imported terrorists in Syria, faked gas attacks in Syria, Novichok fairy stories, I could go on.
            But the respectful veneer of being a ‘liberal democracy is sufficient to believe everything they say.

  • Willie

    Incarceration within a prison may we’ll be a death sentence for many of the inmates.

    That the first corona virus prisoner death was that of an 84 year old man the press were more than obliging to run out the line that he was a sex offender. Presumably that line, no doubt well though5 out by the authorities, serves to justify the loss of this man’s life.

    But if this man contracted this disease in a prison where the inmates are restricted in their contact with the outside world it strike me that prisons, like a cruise ship, could be a petrified dish for the inmates and the staff.

    For someone like a Julian Assange banged up for no good reason other than avoiding a warrant issued for a stitch up sex allegation now abandoned it could in his weakened stat3 be his death warrant – as it could have been for Alex Salmond had they managed to hold him on remand.

    How all of this will all turn out no one knows. This is a social experiment like never before. The old order, the old economics, the old way of working is gone. The planet is on pause. Who will prevail. The elites or the masses. Under what system of governance will people live. Will society break down. We are certainly not all in it together. Troops have guns, have weapons. But under whose direction do they operate. Who will run our country under the emergency legislation, who will make the decisions. Who will get treatment, who will not.

    Will the elites get treatment before everyone else. Will they need to abide by curfew. A 71 year old man, and his entourage of staff and minders just gave us the answer to that – and now the reports are that the entourage may have spread the disease. Well that’s what happens when you disregard public health curfews.

    No we are not all in it together. NHS Grampian diverted hard pressed medical resources to confirm our 71 year old plague carriers infection with the virus. Medical resources denied to frontline NHS staff.

    How long before internet sites like Wings, or this one, or Scot Goes Pop are taken down none of us know. But it will be quicker than we think. And how long before the Vichy government and the gaulieter in chief in Hollyrood are taken down having served their purpose.

    Keep up the good work while you can Craig. They’re watching, they’re waiting and they’re ready. You know it, we know it they know it. A new order is coming and we need good people in place to resist what may come over the coming weeks, months and years.

    • Tom Welsh

      “That the first corona virus prisoner death was that of an 84 year old man the press were more than obliging to run out the line that he was a sex offender”.

      Either his libido is in far better shape than mine will be past 80, or he must have been in prison for decades. Unless he is one of those “sex offenders” whose offence was taking a leak in a field while out for a walk.

      • Kempe

        He was imprisoned in 2016 for abusing two children in the 1970s.

        Whether there’s any point in imprisoning someone of that age is a fair question. As is should anybody guilty of such offences ever go unpunished

  • Tony M

    Worse more censorious humourless, partisan moderation than the Guardian in its heyday. Readers show be aware that only a portion of and those probably unrepresentative comments are being permitted, that comments are subject to retrospective deletion, even alteration, some time later. There’s a distinct smell of fish around here. The SNP stables aren’t the only ones in need of a bucket of disinfectant.

    • Watt

      here’s a clip,(innocuous, Mr. Mod), about the real dangers of enforced vaccines. Be aware that vaccine as well as pathogen manufacture has moved right on since the 1976 swine flu..


      I have been inoculated against flu regularly for a few years now so I don’t feel that I occupy ‘a position of extreme and unprincipled selfishness’. I warn only against what’s coming down the line.
      Vaccine producers are as a matter of course shielded against litigation from those who might be killed or paralysed as a result of a well-meaning vaccine. See above. At any rate, the manufacturers are well rewarded. I’ll wait my turn thanks, if only to reduce that ‘tiny personal risk of a bad vaccine reaction.’


      • Kempe

        A typical tactic of the anti-vaxx lobby is to talk up the side effects.

        Over 45 million doses of swine ‘flu vaccine were administered in the US during 1976; 450 cases of GBS were reported and it’s calculated that the vaccine may have increased the incidence of GBS from 1/100,000 to 2/100,000,. You can say it doubled or that a rare disease was made slightly less rare. Either way the risk was much less than death from a possible ‘flu pandemic.

        Seventy per cent of GBS sufferers make a full recovery.

  • Alisdair Mc


    Apologies for not being able respond in the nested thread.

    I agree with nearly all of your comment especially the bit about snake oil and very expensive pee. This is truly a multi-million dollar rip off. Eat fruit and vegetables instead. Far better for you!

    I would also emphasize that in research terms this is indeed scanty evidence. However, the reason why I cited these papers is that the research did not center around healthy individuals, it dealt with patients in ICUs suffering from ARDS and pneumonia, which is significant. ARDS and pneumonia are specific pathogenic conditions that arise in many URTs LRT,s and ARDS. Moreover, ARDS in particular has a high mortality rate. These conditions also occur in SARS and COVID-19. Therefore, this situation is quite different from ordinary healthy individuals eating a normal diet.

    On a personal note I literally died 14 months ago from ARDS! Well that’s a bit on an exaggeration. I went from ventricular fibrillation to full on cardiac arrest for 42 seconds and my right lung had collapsed so my lungs had stopped and so had my heart. Fortunately I was already in the ICU and bolt of lightening brought me back. And here I am on Craig’s blog.

      • Mary

        Get down to Specsavers Nevermind, if they are still open!

        s/be Alistair MC

        Just heard from the state broadcaster that the fire service is being brought in to help out.

        There is an old Yorkshire saying – ‘Trust in the Lord and keep your bowels open.’

  • Jo Dominich

    I think the name of the game is typical USA – where human life is cheap, dispensible and justice is a swear word – that the intention is to keep Julian Assange in prison for as long as possible even though he is a remand prisoner only – he is therefore serving a long prison-sentence by proxy except without trial and without justice.

    • James

      Yes – but he is being held in the UK – and even though it was superficial and paper thin, the British tried to look better than that.

    • SA

      Notice how closely we are trying to align ourselves in post Brexit Britain with the USA. Even in Covid-19 matters we are copying them. Now I believe we also want to distance ourselves from an EU consortium for ventilators. The alignment is also bound to be mirrored in legal matters. Even Boris’s flag draped lectern now resembles the US presidential podium from which daily wisdom is pronounced on either side of the Atlantic.

      • Tom Welsh

        ” Even in Covid-19 matters we are copying them”.

        Now there’s a really, really, really bad idea.

      • N_

        For further examples, see

        * the British “Supreme Court” (formerly known as the “law lords”),
        * the British “National Security Council” (a cabinet committee),
        * the way Britain is now referred to by idiots as “the UK” (e.g. in the phrase “the UK government”, and even in weather reports),
        * the reference to government “aides”, etc.

        When did fools start saying Britain had an “unwritten constitution”? It wouldn’t surprise me if that stupid phrase either arose in a US context or originally had a US connotation.

        Then there’s “lockdown”, a US phrase if ever I’ve heard one. The British English phrase is “24-hour curfew”. (The current curfew in Britain is of course limited, but it is still a curfew. “You must stay at home”, the message that the poshboy regime sent to millions of microwave tracker handheld TV sets on Tuesday … that’s a curfew. There are no two ways about that.

        • JohninMK

          Another US phrase that our new Chancellor uses ‘furloughed’ when referring to people in full time employment as opposed to self employed. What’s that about?

        • Rhys Jaggar

          I studied for an O Level in ‘British Constitution’ between 1978 and 1980 and our teacher told us that ‘Britain has an Unwritten Constitution’.

          So the answer to your question must be: ‘at least 40 years ago’….

  • Shardlake

    Has anyone read the piece in tonights Evening Glasgow Times by its political editor, Tom Gordon ? The headline : Defence witness brands Alex Salmond an insecure ‘creep’. It goes on to record (my paraphrase) that Mr Salmond had been cleared of sexual assault charges by effectively arguing “I’m sleazy, but not criminal”. Needless to say, the article delivers nothing to what is suggested in the headline. I’m not familiar with this publication – is this the sort of thing it normally produces ?

    • Giyane


      ‘ The alphabet sisters lied on oath ‘ would have been a more interesting story. Or even,,’ Local newspaper fined for publishing lies.’ Do they have to pay the legal costs of the case , or compensate Alex Salmond for libel? Do they face disciplinary action for unprofessional conduct?
      It smells time more like Dominic Cummings trying to blag his way out of the crown losing the case.

    • Cubby


      I am a weegie but I don’t buy the paper. It is now edited by the National’s editor. It remains to be seen where it will go.

      Alex Bell is the Britnat who wrote the article. He is a great admirer of Ruth Davidson. He is another scumbag. Happy to work for the Scotgov/SNP to advance his career and no doubt pretended to support independence but the ex BBC man has been showing his true colours for a long time now.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Salmond was cleared by saying he ‘was not criminal’, simple as that.

      Anything else was said was merely Counsel pointing out that his client was not Jesus Christ’s reincarnation.

      He was getting the jury to listen to him by not making any false claims about his client being a Gandhi or a Mandela, rather an imperfect man who had nonetheless pursued a calling he believed in for many years with no little success.

  • CJ

    No one truly believed liberty was coming for Julian. He brought global attention to the mass murder and genocide perpetrated by those democratic regimes. Horrific crimes in every nation on the planet, yet no actual prosecutions not even the pilots who carried out the atrocities. Nuremberg was very clear that “following orders” is not a defence. The powerful do as they please. That is our history.

    Stupid people continue to believe the endless lies. One can only weep at the upbringing they had, truly foul specimens. The SNP are bought and paid for. Anyone who supports the main do as you are told parties are not only bringing themselves endless tyranny but others. Stop voting for these criminals, not that you might do and I am clear that millions of people cannot see the light.

    Large politicos are like corporates. Setting out to destroy anything that gets in their way. Even though your cities become more and more like the worse third world countries many close their eyes. The same entities are responsible.

    I’ll maintain the position that the virus was released accidently, or maybe not as it is a bit odd that the swine fever hit Chinese pork production and the fall army worm. There are a lot of Chinese and attacking the food supply can bring China down or at least create multiple social disturbances for the leading class. No one will or could actually believe a scheme like COVID19 could exist, who would be sick enough. There is a massive wealth transfer going on right now. Many must realise humanity are in a massive crisis. Millions understand what is happening but cannot do anything. The system who many believed was designed to protect the people is clearly designed to protect “some people” and hurt anyone who has the audacity to protest.

    The worse things get the greater probability many will rise to fight the tyranny. When you have nothing to lose and can identify who is responsible your mission is clear. Anyone who has, or has prepared behind the lines will know something extremely important.
    In the coming days/weeks, I hope many of you will reconsider your relationship with a whole range of contacts, from corporates who rip you off endlessly, to the councils who magic new laws whenever they need more cash, or the courts and cops. All instruments of oppression.

    Rothschild was of course right when he said he did not care who made a countries laws. As long as he controls the monetary system lock stock and barrel everyone will do as they are told. You simply appoint representatives for the Rothschild corporation when you vote. Their purpose is to extract everything they can. Do it well and receive the rewards do it badly and end up in a bag or in court to face sexual deviancy charges. But, it’s a lot easier than that, simply, it’s always about the money. They want it, you have it and you can give it to them or they will just take it and you won’t be able to do anything about it.

    Some of you might have noticed how “they” have been turning your cities into open air prisons. CCTV everywhere, Ring, facial recognition, ANPR cameras. This was built up slowly over time. Little protests did little to slow the implementation of a system touted to reduce crime and deter terrorism. Throw money laundering in there as well. Only for the less well off. All will be used to monitor compliance. People will be arrested and treated harshly. How many times to you think you get scanned each day? Nothing to hide? What about your freedom? Remember the Labour party who were on a mission to obliterate freedom and did not care how they achieved that or who they had to murder to implement it. There are still people who would wish that tyranny on others. Blair was rewarded very well for that. We all must never forget those dark days. Remember David Cameron and that cryptic message, not to take freedom for granted. Tools of tyranny must be dismantled.

  • N_

    “117 medical doctors, including several world prominent experts in the field, had published a letter in the Lancet warning that Assange’s treatment amounts to torture and that he could die in jail. ‘Should Assange die in a UK prison, as the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has warned, he will effectively have been tortured to death. Much of that torture will have taken place in a prison medical ward, on doctors’ watch. The medical profession cannot afford to stand silently by, on the wrong side of torture and the wrong side of history, while such a travesty unfolds.’

    Funny, because “standing idly by” is pretty much the best that the medical fraternity has ever offered in respect of torture. More commonly, whether we are talking about Germany, Italy, Britain, the US, the USSR, Spain, France, China, Malaysia, etc. etc. etc., they have actively participated in torture with the drool of delight running down their faces.

    Is medics’ dishonesty ever worse than when they talk about the honour of their priesthood as a whole?

    (Don’t answer. Perhaps when they encourage the whole country to “clap” them, it is.)

    If medics are being paid to “watch” Julian Assange be tortured on a prison medical ward, let the c***s go on strike. Nobody f***ing makes them do what they do. I am not the first to make this point. Pecisely this point was once made by some suffragettes to a torturer medic near Holloway Prison – with a whip.

    Has the Foreign Office already done a deal in the Assange case with…well I don’t know who with – maybe with the White House, the State Department, the CIA, perhaps the Kremlin?

  • Hatuey

    Just popped on to wish all of you good health and wellness. I have huge admiration for you all as people to exchange ideas and argue with. And let’s not forget that people who aspire to be intellectual and principled are without doubt the best of people. And that’s why I think we are all here.

    On that score, Craig Murray has really stood out in the last few months. I put him up there with my all-time heroes. What a man he is…

  • Nelson

    There is always the possibility that Assage will not be bailed because he has a history of avoiding the courts by holing-up in an embassy. There is always the possibility that that is why he is being held on remand in the first place. Whatever the ins and outs, there is the possibility that to the court he is just a flight risk.

  • Nelson

    As for Covid-19, there has been a Typhoid pandemic across much of the world since the beginning of time, and it currently kills about 150,000 people every year. There has been a Malaria pandemic across much of the world since the beginning of time, and it currently kills another 435,000 people every year. Few people in the UK could care less. All of a sudden, the First World has discovered that similar things can happen to them. And my goodness they are thoroughly rattled.

    • Loony

      I struggle to see how the feelings of people in the UK toward Malaria and typhoid are related to the “thoroughly rattled” leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.

      Prior to the onset of the pandemic in the west there appeared to be a growing body of opinion that some form of reparations should be paid to the descendants of slaves. I wonder if those in favor of such a policy will be pursuing with vigor claims that China should pay reparations to those inflicted with its latest export disease.

      Where oh where are those who until recently were wailing against the evils of the patriarchy. Surely they should be in full celebratory mode now that Coronavirus appears to be killing far more men than women.

      Could it possibly be that this virus is the death knell for identity politics.

      • glenn_uk

        L: “Could it possibly be that this virus is the death knell for identity politics.

        Looks like you’re doing your best to keep it alive and well.

        How about your boy, that “stable genius”, the bloated moron in the White House (assuming that’s where he’s hiding at the moment)?

        Which is it, a hoax? A Chinese plot, a “Democrat plot”, or will it be gone by April? How you can continue to kiss the feet of this utter incompetent, this cheesy con-man, is something only you can explain. This ridiculous figure who has abandoned all responsibility that his office demands at a time like this.

        Your boy is going to cost the lives of a great many of your countrymen (and women). Hope you’re OK with that, because you’ll be living with it for quite some time.

        • Loony

          Do you really believe that an insult a day will keep the virus at bay?

          Alternatively why not share your thoughts as to whether China should pay reparations. Do you think that the fact Coronavirus is killing more men than women to be helpful in dismantling the patriarchy? Is it a price worth paying?

          Speaking, as you do, of kissing peoples feet consider the following:

          It is claimed that one reason that the outbreak is so virulent in Iran is a consequence of Iranian citizens kissing or licking religious icons so as to demonstrate their faith in Allah. Obviously nothing comparable would ever happen in the oh so enlightened UK. Or could it?

      • SA

        Nelson and Loony are indulging in making a baleful of straw men. But hey, why not make hay while the sun shines?

        • SA

          Let me rephrase that with the benefit of hindsight
          Nelson and Loony are indulging in making a baleful bale-full of straw men. But hey, why not make hay while the sun shines?

  • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh


    Blas sméara dubh’
    tréis báisteach
    ar bharr an tsléibhe.

    I dtost an phríosúin
    Feadaoil fhuar na traenach.

    Cogar gáire beirt leannán
    don aonarán.

    (Breandán Ó Beacháin / Brendan Behan 1923-64)


    The blackberries’ taste
    after rainfall
    on the hilltop.

    In the silence of prison
    the train’s cold whistle.

    The whisper of laughing lovers
    to the lonely.

    (Translated by Ulick O’Connor)]


    Tá cime romham
    Tá cime i o dhiaidh,
    Is mé féin ina lár
    I mo chime mar chách,
    Is ó d’fhágamar slán
    Ag talamh, ag trá,
    Bíodh ár n-aird
    Ar an Life chianda.

    (Máirtín Ó Direáin 1910-88)


    A prisoner before me,
    A prisoner behind,
    I stand between
    A prisoner like all,
    And since we said goodbye
    To field, to strand,
    Let us turn our minds
    To the ancient Liffey.

    (Translated by Tomás Mac Síomóin and Douglas Sealy)]

    (From ‘An Crann Faoi Bhláth / The Flowering Tree: Contemporary Irish Poetry with Verse Translations’, Editors Declan Kiberd & Gabriel Fitzmaurice, Wolfhound Press 1991, 1995)

    • Pooh

      “If Irish were to die completely, the standard of English here, both in the spoken and written word, would sink to a level probably as low as that obtaining in England and it would stop there only because it could go no lower.”
      Flann O’Brien

      “Cast a cold eye
      On life, on death.
      Horseman, pass by!”
      W B Yeats

      • Kerchée Kerch'ee Coup

        Both Boris Johnson and Michael D. Higgins sound better speaking the original Greek,.

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