Backing the Wrong Horseman 1597

Nobody knows how many people died as a result of the UK/US Coalition of Death led destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and, by proxy, Syria and Yemen. Nobody even knows how many people western forces themselves killed directly. That is a huge number, but still under 10% of the total. To add to that you have to add those who died in subsequent conflict engendered by the forced dismantling of the state the West disapproved of. Some were killed by western proxies, some by anti-western forces, and some just by those reverting to ancient tribal hostility and battle for resources into which the country had been regressed by bombing.

You then have to add all those who died directly as a result of the destruction of national infrastructure. Iraq lost in the destruction 60% of its potable drinking water, 75% of its medical facilities and 80% of its electricity. This caused millions of deaths, as did displacement. We are only of course talking about deaths, not maiming. This very sober analysis from Salon makes a stab at 2.4 million for Iraqi deaths caused by the war.

The number of Iraqi casualties is not just a historical dispute, because the killing is still going on today. Since several major cities in Iraq and Syria fell to Islamic State in 2014, the U.S. has led the heaviest bombing campaign since the American War in Vietnam, dropping 105,000 bombs and missiles and reducing most of Mosul and other contested Iraqi and Syrian cities to rubble.

An Iraqi Kurdish intelligence report estimated that at least 40,000 civilians were killed in the bombardment of Mosul alone, with many more bodies still buried in the rubble. A recent project to remove rubble and recover bodies in just one neighborhood found 3,353 more bodies, of whom only 20% were identified as ISIS fighters and 80% as civilians. Another 11,000 people in Mosul are still reported missing by their families.

For a vivid illustration, here is a photo of Sirte, Libya, after it was kindly “liberated” by NATO aerial bombardment. NATO carried out 14,000 bombing sorties on Libya.

Sirte, Libya, after NATO bombing

The neo-con drive to dominate the Middle East, in alliance with Saudi Arabia and Israel, has caused an apocalyptic level of death and destruction. It really is very difficult indeed to quantify the number of people killed as a direct result of the policy of “liberal intervention” in these countries. Bombing people into freedom has collateral damage. There are also the vast unintended consequences. The destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria launched a wave of refugee migration which led to politicial instability throughout Europe and contributed to, among many other consequences, Brexit.

For the purposes of argument, I am going to put an extremely conservative figure of 5 million on the number of people who died as a result of Western military intervention, direct or proxy, in the Middle East.

Now compare that to the worldwide death toll from coronavirus: 220,000. Let me say that again.
Western aggressive wars to coronavirus: 5,000,000 : 220,000.

Or put it another way. The total number of deaths from coronavirus in the UK so far is about half the number of civilians killed directly by the US military in the single city of Mosul.

Makes you think, doesn’t it? There are four horsemen of the apocalypse, and while of course I do not blame people for focusing on the one which is riding at them personally, do not forget the others. Coronavirus has not finished killing. But then nor have western wars.

The sight which I cannot stand is the mainstream media which cheered on the horseman of war as they argued for the invasion Iraq on the basis of lies – and still defend it as a “liberation” – who now pretend massive concern for human life. The hypocrites are disgusting.

I was wrong when I initially wrote about the coronavirus.

Before I detail where I was wrong, let me say where I believe I was right. Large general population sampling antibody studies are now just beginning to emerge, and I feel reasonably confident that I was in fact correct that the mortality rate of coronavirus is under 1%, and probably not too different from the 0.5% generally quoted for Hong Kong flu. The term “infection fatality rate” is now being used to describe this true mortality rate. The “infection fatality rate” is the percentage of those who get the disease who die.

These are very early days for whole population sampling antibody studies, and the true picture should become more plain over the next month or two. I must say I have found it alarmingly difficult to explain to people the rather simple concept that you cannot infer a mortality rate among everybody who catches the disease, from the results you get when by definition you have only been offering tests to the most acute cases presenting as needing serious treatment. Of course a fair proportion of the worst cases don’t make it through the disease. But there is a population of millions in the UK (and nobody has a serious idea how many) who have had the disease with no or mild symptoms, and who do not figure in the statistics.

The very large majority of people in the UK who have had coronavirus have never been tested. That is simply true. How many, nobody knows. That is also true.

I do not endorse the extrapolation from New York to the UK, in this Daily Mail piece, to try to calculate how many people may have had coronavirus in the UK. But buried in there is the best collection I can find anywhere of what sampling antibody studies are indicating for the “infection fatality rate” across various US and European locations, and there is a strong clustering under 1%. Now these are preliminary studies, though almost all from reputable institutions. Proper, large scale, antibody testing programmes to produce peer reviewed and authoritatively published studies are on the way, but not here yet. I repeat, though, that I think the infection mortality rate is somewhere below 1%.

Where I was wrong, was in not realising that what is different about this disease from a flu is that it is really very, very contagious. So a far higher percentage of the population get it, all at once. Over two seasons, only about 30% of the UK population got the Hong Kong flu. Unchecked, it seems this coronavirus can spread very much quicker than that. I do not know why, but it appears that it can. So the lockdown policies to prevent health services being overwhelmed are needed and do have my support.

I do not however support the level of alarmism and panic. Of course the disease is really appalling for those who get it badly. It is a painful, protracted and terrifying experience. But a similar level of scrutiny of extreme illnesses of other kinds would bring similar stories. I have had three brushes with death in my own life.

In 2003 I had multiple pulmonary emboli (bloodclots in both lungs), which left me in a coma for days, was incredibly painful and I understand very similar in terms of experience to the end phase of this coronavirus. In 1986 I was actually declared dead in a hospital in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria (salmonella paratyphoid B), and was woken up on a morgue trolley by a cockroach eating my nostril. In 1974 I had emergency surgery for peritonitis, and was in hospital for 5 weeks and then a convalescent home. Retailing the experience or images of any of these illnesses would be as capable or more of generating the terror being created by the detailed coverage of extreme cases of coronavirus.

Yes the coronavirus is horrible if you get it badly. Almost all severe disease is horrible and death very seldom consists of peacefully stopping breathing, despite Hollywood. I wonder if having lived so much in Africa has changed my attitude to death. We do not see death much in the UK. Did you know the British have a 350% higher propensity than the Italians to put their elderly into care homes? That is why the deaths in Italy were so much more visible, even though the truth is that the UK government is doing not significantly better, and quite probably worse, than the Italian government, at containing the virus. It is only now making a start at adding English care home deaths to the official statistics (Scotland has for weeks).

I do support lockdown, I do support every sensible precaution being taken because the virus is so contagious. I utterly deplore the vast quantities being spent on war, the $220 billion being squandered on Trident missiles while the most basic precautions stockpiling against the much more real threat of a pandemic were not undertaken, because Tories begrudged spending a few millions on the NHS. I get all of that and I repeat it. But we must not be panicked into believing that the threat is greater than it is. You have approximately a 99% chance, (still nobody knows for certain) of surviving this disease if you catch it. If you are under 60, your chance of death is almost certainly at worst 1 in 500 if you catch it. If you are older or like me have heart and lung issues, it looks a bit bleak. But we are not immortal, nor would I wish to be.

But remember this. Your odds of survival are massively better than were those of a civilian in a country that your country chose to invade in recent years. Did you, personally, do enough to try to stop that?

Remember, there are other horsemen.


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1,597 thoughts on “Backing the Wrong Horseman

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  • Angus

    I’m sure it’s a good article, you make a good point, but I can’t support the blanket lockdown policy, no way. I’m with Hitchens on that one.

    • Anthony

      And Bolsonaro, Cummings, and the governor of Georgia. Fascists, eugenicists, libertarians … but not an epidemiologist among them.

      • Loony

        In the unlikely event that you are actually looking for an epidemiologist who has grave reservations regarding blanket lockdown policies then why not check out Dr. John Ioannidis.

        • Clark

          I have heard Ioannidis support the lockdown. I believe it was his latest video.

  • J+R+Tomlin

    Craig, I think you are making an invalid comparison. Saying that one thing was immoral and caused a horrific death toll does not make another thing any less horrific in possibly a different way.

    If we want to talk about governments killing people, let me point out that THIRTY-FIVE MILLION people died in the AIDS pandemic, in large part because governments decided that many of the people who were dying were not worth saving. Does that horrific, heartbreaking, stomach-turning death toll make what the UK/US and other governments did in Iraq and Libya (although AIDS may have killed more people) any less wrong? Of course not.

    • jazza

      well said – it seems it’s also okay to ignore the murder of disabled people since 2010 – a good practice for what this current regime of nobodies is enacting – end the lockdown now

      • jazza

        no doubt all the happy clappers on here will be out in force at 8.0pm tonight – applauding the NHS that is complicit in the killing – writing death certificates to keep the covid numbers up – FFS

        • Clark

          Here are the overall death figures, showing more than a doubling of the five year average:

          I repeat, these are the overall figures, so it makes no difference whether covid-19 was on the death certificate or not. Deaths by the usual causes are down – road accidents, deaths at work etc. – because of the lockdown.

          Swiss Propaganda Research is a misleading site.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            One thing being a conspiracy theory doesn’t make some other thing science.
            Both the conspiracy theory and the ‘science’ could be true at the same time.

          • Clark

            Science isn’t about who pronounces; that’s my point. Science is about evidence.

            Address evidence; there’s no shortage. When you find yourself going on about people and their (presumed) motives, you’re doing conspiracy theory not science.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Clark April 30, 2020 at 23:42
            ‘Six month coronavirus lockdown ‘could lead to 50,000 more Brits dying of cancer’ Daily Mirror. Then there are the suicides because of mental health problems associated with the Lockdown, and with people who have lost their income, and prisoners banged up 23 1/2 hours having visits stopped. And broken hearts can kill – old people who look forward to their relatives coming to see them, to see their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, told they can’t see them ‘for their own safety’. Yet old people are transferred from hospital to Care Homes after ‘stabilising’ after allegedly catching the virus.
            Will NHS staff kick up a fuss if they see wrong stuff going on? A few brave ones, but most stay shtumn, afraid for their jobs. Look at Jimmy Savile’s abominations in NHS hospitals. They only came out after he was dead.

          • Clark

            So far, the Mirror’s prediction is unlikely to happen. Lockdown was imposed soon enough, and although load upon hospitals is high, at a national level they are not overwhelmed and important medical treatment is continuing.

            Yes, lockdown has negative consequences; I’m hating it myself. But it’s a “lesser of evils” choice; the alternative is that hundreds of thousands will get seriously or critically ill over the course of just a month, exceeding hospital capacity by a factor of 100. That means there will be no capacity for 99% of those serious and critical cases; far more will die, and countless numbers will die with no palliative care. There will be far more death, and far, far more suffering.

            Lockdown is a bad option, but due to government delays it’s the best we’re left with, while we buy ourselves time and get the infections back down to manageable numbers:


          • Steve+Hayes

            Clark, the deaths above the five yearly average coincide precisely with the government’s introduction of its “lockdown” measures. Prior to the introduction of those measures there were fewer deaths than the five yearly average. And as Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, admitted at the Coronavirus Daily Update on 10 April 2020, the government had made no attempt to assess how many people its “lockdown” measures would kill.

          • Clark

            The data shows between 26,000 and 48,000 extra deaths:



            The death rate is now falling. However, the lockdown continues, so if the cause were the lockdown, the death rate would have stabilised.

            The extra deaths are recorded and categorised by countless health workers in hundreds of hospitals across scores of local authorities. Unless these are all “in on some scam”, and likewise in other countries all over the world, covid-19 is the most likely explanation. That’s what best explains the data.

          • Steve+Hayes

            Clark. The Office for National Statistics weekly deaths figures clearly show that the above the five yearly average deaths precisely coincide with the introduction of the government’s “lockdown” measures: weeks ending 3, 10 & 17 April. They also show, even taking the inflated coronavirus related deaths at face value, that there are thousands of above average non-coronavirus related deaths. The only logical inference from these data is that the “lockdown” measures are killing people. And this is hardly a cause for surprise, as it was entirely predictable. What would you expect to happen when the NHS virtually shuts down for anything and everything but one virus? People are being denied access to GPs, surgery, cancer treatment, heart attacks are being ignored. Having told everyone to stay home to protect the NHS, they have health facilities that are virtually empty.

          • Ivan+Sharkov

            @ Clark – Why do you think around 50% of the total deaths in Europe occur in Care Homes? Are they not relatively locked down at all times?
            How would you explain that, according to ICNARC, the number of people who died in ICUs up to 22 April were 2067 compared to the figure over 18k for the period declared by the government. Why do people keep dying in their hospital beds and are not taken to Intensive care units? Could it be because they suffer from other terminal illnesses and no help would save them?

          • Bob Dee

            as a pathologist I take exception to the claim below:

            clark – “The extra deaths are recorded and categorised by countless health workers in hundreds of hospitals across scores of local authorities. Unless these are all “in on some scam”, and likewise in other countries all over the world, covid-19 is the most likely explanation. That’s what best explains the data.”

            you are deliberately conflating a number of issues, the main one of which is that the ‘extra deaths’ as you call them may well be the result of the inhumane lockdown presided over the UK by an apparently ‘not-in-control’ regime – where people are not going to A&E, where services have been stopped, where there is little community support -additionally, it has been noted that too many deaths are being labelled as ‘covid’ when there is absolutely no evidence that that is the case – indeed Patrick Vallance (exGSK) has said that deaths can be labelled ‘covid’ without any test (which is useless and not specific) – you are not correct in your summation

            Maybe also, you could tell us who exactly is running the country at the moment – a man of your intelligence ought to know that??

            [ Mod: ‘Bob Dee’ also posted a comment last year, referring people to blog site – “The Slog”, which is hosting an array of CT articles about the Covid-19 lockdown.

            This comment, and an exact duplicate, have been posted via blacklisted proxy servers formerly used by a small group of identities that were banned for xenophobia.

            Strange behaviour for a pathologist, no? ]

          • Clark

            Steve Hayes – “…the above the five yearly average deaths precisely coincide with the introduction of the government’s “lockdown” measures”

            This is a very odd claim to make, as the excess deaths figures clearly increase ie. they ramp up, so they can’t be said to “precisely coincide”; you’d have to pick some arbitrary threshold. The death figures are also now falling, yet the lockdown remains. So the death rate fits the predictions for covid-19 much better than it fits side effects of the lockdown. Also, the numbers are simply much too high to be caused by the lockdown.

            “the NHS virtually shuts down for anything and everything but one virus? People are being denied access to GPs, surgery, cancer treatment, heart attacks are being ignored. Having told everyone to stay home to protect the NHS, they have health facilities that are virtually empty”

            This is simply untrue. We have a commenter on this very post (Tony M) who was treated for broken bones just yesterday. I just spoke to someone whose relative continues to receive cancer treatment. I can get a GP appointment, but consultation over the ‘phone is strongly preferred.

            Load on health facilities presumably varies across the country, but the lockdown is uniform. Covid-19 rates are much higher in London, so I expect hospital load varies geographically. Instead of making bald statements (probably just repeated from some dodgy website) why not find and present some data? Reliable sources only please 🙂

          • N_


            Here are the overall death figures, showing more than a doubling of the five year average (…) (T)hese are the overall figures, so it makes no difference whether covid-19 was on the death certificate or not.

            The figures prompt the question “What’s causing the deaths?” though.

            If that question can’t be answered by looking at death certificates written by recently statutorily indemnified medics, it may not be able to be answered by listening to what other types in government, “$cience” and positions of authority are saying either.

          • Clark

            Ivan+Sharkov – “Why do you think around 50% of the total deaths in Europe occur in Care Homes?”

            Because care homes are occupied by the oldest members of society, and covid-19 has greatly increasing fatality rates with increasing age.

            “How would you explain that, according to ICNARC, the number of people who died in ICUs up to 22 April were 2067 compared to the figure over 18k for the period declared by the government.”

            I have absolutely no idea, but instead of presenting it as an “anomaly” to add to the “hoax” arsenal, you could try to work it out. I’d start with a visit to ICNARC and the government websites to see how each collate their figures; what they include and what they don’t.

          • Clark

            ‘The figures prompt the question “What’s causing the deaths?”’

            Only to conspiracy theorists. I’ve been watching this coming since January. What is causing the deaths here is exactly the same as that which caused the deaths in Wuhan, and then the Diamond Princess cruise ship, and then Taiwan, Iran, South Korea, etc. etc. etc. Covid-19 has unfolded exactly as those paying attention expected it to. Countries that imposed restrictions or did contact tracing kept it to a minimum. Irresponsible governments let it get out of control, and thus needed stronger lockdowns. The pattern is completely consistent, and the public record exists for anyone who cares to look.

            You say you’re a Marxist N_, so stop letting this incompetent, uncaring Tory government off the hook with this silly conspiracy theory.

          • Clark

            Bob Dee –“you are deliberately conflating a number of issues…

            Really? I’m an evil agent of the conspiracy am I Mr sock puppet? Clark Killick, 12 Writtle Park Cottages, Chelmsford, long time associate of Craig Murray and former moderator at this site.

            “Maybe also, you could tell us who exactly is running the country at the moment”

            The Tory cabinet is supposedly in charge (I thought that was public knowledge?), which means that most of the actual work will be being done by the Civil Service. But this is a political matter, and as such has zero bearing upon the nature of the pandemic. It certainly doesn’t make covid-19 a hoax, which seems to be what you’re suggesting, since covid-19 follows the models of its spread just the same in every country of the world.

      • JR Tomlin

        If you had read my post more carefully, you would see that I do not agree. Government inaction killed millions in the AIDS pandemic. Government inaction over COVID has killed although fewer for which I am grateful.

        Shutdowns save lives when completely enforced as we can see in New Zealand. In the UK, the government’s delays and waffling over the shutdown cost lives. It has never been complete as they are still allowing crowds of untested people to go through Heathrow. The fault was in not acting soon enough or firmly enough because it would only be people they don’t value who died as Dominic Cummings remarks clearly showed.

        That the NHS is somehow complicit in ‘keeping the COVID19 numbers up is untrue. What is being done is keep them down by not counting deaths in Care Homes and not counting deaths by strokes that are caused by the virus.

        • jazza

          there is no evidence that lockdowns are useful for anything except state authority – show me the science for lockdowns?? there is NONE – the lockdown is a political decision made by a lacklustre government without a clue guided by the false science of Ferguson, standing behind whom is the WHO and Bill Gates

          • Clark

            Jazza makes claims about individuals’ motives.

            I see graphs of predictions against data.

            Which is science and which is conspiracy theory?

          • Node

            Clark, here is a retired chief EU epidemiologist who disagrees with you on the science behind lockdown :

            “And when you start looking around for the [basis for the] measures that are being taken now by different countries, you find that very few of them have a shred of evidence base. One we know, that’s been known for 150 years or more, is that washing your hands is good for you and good for others when you’re in an epidemic. But the rest — like border closures, school closures, “social distancing” — there’s almost no science behind most of these.”

            Why should I trust ‘your’ science over ‘his’ science? He’s the one with the impressive credentials. And how about the following exchange? Surely he is in a better position than you to understand these matters?

            Q: So you don’t think that the severity of these intervening measures is going to make that much difference?

            A: No, I don’t think so. Should I tell you what I really think? I almost never do this. I think what we’re seeing is a tsunami of a usually quite mild disease which is sweeping over Europe. And some countries do this and some countries do that, and some countries don’t do that, and in the end there is very, very little difference.

            Q: When you say it’s a usually quite mild disease, what do you mean by that?

            A: That most people who get it will never even notice they were infected.

            Q: So does that mean that you think the actual fatality rate of this disease is much lower than the numbers that have been talked about?

            A: Much, much lower.

            Q: Have you made any speculations as to what sort of zone the real fatality rate might be in?

            A: I think it will be like a severe influenza season. The same as that, which would be in the order of 0.1 per cent, maybe.


          • Clark

            It’s not about “his science versus mine”; that’s a personal argument not a scientific one.

            The overall death rate was climbing faster and faster until lockdown was imposed. The same pattern can be observed in country after country. Those countries that restricted soonest arrested the climb soonest. A very few countries listened to the science and anticipated. They have the lowest death rates, and thereby needed the lightest social restrictions.

            Stop trashing science by cherry-picking, because science is our only ally in this.

          • Node

            As usual, you are evading the question Clark:

            “Why should we trust the opinion of a pontificating layman over a trained professional epidemiologist?”

            And here’s the hard part … please try to answer without using the words “conspiracy theorist,” “denialist” or “cherry picking.”

          • Clark

            Again, science isn’t about “choosing opinions”. It’s about examining evidence.

            Of the three terms you object to, the only one I used in reply to you is a scientific term. Choosing opinions is cherry-picking.

            The evidence from multiple countries shows death-from-all-causes going through the roof, as the majority scientific consensus predicted before it happened. You made the opposite prediction and were proven wrong. Admit your error to yourself and learn from it so you may do better in future; that’s the scientific approach.

          • Node

            Still evading the question. Persistence is futile. Let the record show that Clark would like us to believe he knows more than a top epidemiologist but rightly fears ridicule if he says so, so blusters instead.

          • Clark

            Node, I have answered you. Science is about examining evidence. It is NOT about choosing an authority to trust.

          • Clark

            Nullius in verba

            “Take no ones word”, ie. examine evidence instead.

          • SA

            You have described the opinion of one retired epidemiologist, who self confessed that he is doing it for fun. He has therefore no first hand experience of dealing with SARS-cov-2 or covid 19, at least he does not claim to have done. He bases his opinion on what he says is evidence base, and that is fine. But the first thing I say is this, how can you have an extensive evidence base when you have a new virus, with so many unknowns, for which you have no treatment and do not even know much about immunity? It is like someone standing on a railway line with a fast approaching train standing his ground and waiting to look for evidence that if he does not move, the train will hit him. In conditions of urgency it is only fools who rely on a complete evidence base before acting. He advises the Swedish government, and according to graphs produced by Clark above, Sweden is not really doing very well, presumably they are waiting for the evidence for the death of thousands before they can do something more radical.
            Now when you have no evidence you have to rely on past experience and past practice, things tried and tested, sometimes not formally tested, because they are axiomatic, and sometimes things that have been tested and proven. In the case of respiratory viruses there are agreed methods of dealing with an epidemic in order to reduce the number of cases. To reduce this to only handwashing, exhibits a certain degree of ignorance in a self styled retired hobby ‘expert’. Other known measures in limiting epidemics, which he omits are, isolation and testing of suspected cases (quarantine) and yes exactly limiting travel from areas of high incidence, and also contact tracing. Coughs and sneezes spread diseases, is a well known slogan from the 1918 Flu epidemic. This is the bread and butter of stopping epidemics. The fact that this medical crisis has been politicised, and the fact that governments interfere with medical and scientific advice, and introducing financial considerations about dealing with epidemics, does not mean that we should all abandon long term practice and declare Trump and Johnson Gurus in epidemiology.
            You then go on to berate Clark about one expert’s evidence against another. Which one do we chose and how does one do so? You seem to chose the experts you believe purely on the basis that they agree with a preconceived idea, If you dispute this you will surely acknowledge that for the one retired Swedish epidemiologist to express an opinion on a subject he has not directly worked on, does not really carry as much weight as the detailed scientific evidence provided by hundreds working directly, day and night on the subject. But then if you do not see this, there is no hope in any rational discussion.

          • Node

            SA, he’s an epidemiologist. He is an expert in controlling epidemics. He says “there’s almost no science behind most of these” lockdown measures.
            You claim to know more than him about this epidemic but you are not an epidemiologist.

          • Clark

            Node writes: “He… He… He…, You… You… You…”. Etc. No data at all.

            You’d think science was about choosing which white coat to trust, wouldn’t you?

            Node, you claim to reject the “MSM”, but battles between white coats is exactly how the “MSM” treats science.

          • SA

            “SA, he’s an epidemiologist. ”
            OK let us grant he is an epidemiologist, even though he is retired. There are many others who have expressed completely different views and they are in the majority. Why do we believe him and not hundreds of other epidemiologists who are currently practising and working on this particular virus. Why listen to him and not all the others? And I do not care if he is the god of epidemiology, but that does not entitle him to express a view that is nonsensical. Do you really believe that the only measure to contain a respiratory virus is washing your hands? Go and breath aerosols from infected people and no need to distance yourself from them as long as you wash your hands!

        • SA

          I would add to your list of omissions, early diagnosis of mild cases, effective quarantine and contact tracing.

          • Ken Kenn

            As an expert in nothing I can only go off the fact that China South Korea and many more countries who acted fast and early have knocked the number of deaths down.

            The one’s that didn’t act early haven’t.

            Unless you are Dr Trump who thinks things are going great or his apprentice Dr Johnson who also thinks things are going/gone great.

            A lot of dead bodies ( a scientific term for Trump supporters or Daily Mail readers ) appear to have stacked up in both countries and is allegedly decreasing.

            Whichever way we scientist look at it – this is China’s fault.

            Or possibly Jeremy Corbyn.

            A Fox Fact right there.

          • Clark

            Ken, thanks for demonstrating that a bit of thinking outdoes following some expert, no matter how many letters after his name.

    • Steve

      Hello. I would argue that Corona AND Middle East Military Adventurism for control of resources AND AIDS deaths are comparable. The connection is that the majority of deaths are political decisions. The decision is action or inaction. In all instances the timely or untimely decision taken was contrary to the best advice (legal/scientific). Morals are doing the right thing. For whom? You would hope for majority in your charge or nexus. Ignoring professional advice in all instances to the detriment of the majority of the population seems to me to be immoral. Corruption even.

  • N_

    PM’s baby can help ease coronavirus pregnancy fears, says top doctor“, according to the Guardian, doing an impersonation of Radio Tirana under Albanian leader Enver Hoxha.

    I guess if you’re a “top” medic, then getting your name in the press as a gobber off, as a man who understands the prole mind and how to control it, and who has sufficient “respect” to be quoted in that role, is great for getting contracts with pharmaceutical companies…

    So the girlfriend of a fat boozer of a Tory prime minister has had a baby. So what? Poor child…

    • Forthestate

      You may have missed it, but at the last briefing the government were forced to clarify that figures they had been citing referred only to the number of children that Boris Johnson has had *in hospitals*; the real figure could very well be much higher.

    • Bramble

      Wasn’t the baby premature? I assumed that was because of his mother’s exposure to the virus.

    • Tatyana

      Thank you, Jack. It’s for the first time that I learn news from Russia here, earlier than in Russian news.
      Sorry for our new PM, I hope he will easily go through the virus. I have no personal liking for the dude, because he is tax collector dude, and I’m sort of an entrepreneur. But we must sincerely give him due respect, he is a professional with some brilliant management decisions.

      • Giyane


        In our capitalist country tax collectors love entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs love tax collectors.
        As a result I have to be an entrepreneur in order to claim back costs to my work. If Labour came to power, who traditionally hate entrepreneurs, I would have to stop being one.

  • Tatyana

    By the way, have you noticed that I didn’t comment on Mr. Murray’s awakening in Nigeria?
    Just imagine, a naked man wakes up in the darkness of a morgue to discover a cockroach eating his nostril … absolutely impressive horror picture! Like the beginning of my favorite zombi apocalypse genre!
    So, you see, I was able to firmly keep myself in control for the whole day long. It’s a good reason to be proud of myself, eh? Yet I didn’t write humorous remarks like … ha ha, no, too indecent, sorry.
    I just want make sure you’ve noticed I’m not THAT childish 🙂

    • michael norton

      Nigeria is soon going to be in very, very, deep poo.
      Most of their foreign exchange comes from exporting crude.
      The arse has fallen out of crude and probably will never come back.
      They are rife with ethic struggles, they also have Boko Haram, who kidnap girls for ransom.
      A lid can just be kept on troubles in Nigeria, while people can work and eat.
      Soon, many millions will not be eating, this is before covid-19 wipes them to the floor.

      • Tatyana

        I’m sorry, Michael, but I know almost nothing about Nigeria. I’ll put it on the to-do list after I find out paramount questions that torment me. Mostly about the hero Mr. Murray, because like every fan I’m interested in facts about him
        1. Is it true that Mr. Murray knits jumpers himself?
        2. If the answer is “yes”, was it the experience of waking up naked in the morgue that pushed him to a clothes-making hobby?
        3. Does Mr. Murray plan to sell his autographed books?
        4. If I print a portrait of Mr. Murray from his blog and hang it on the wall, will I infringe on any copyrights?
        5. If I make my face in Photoshop next to Mr. Murray’s face, and then print it and hang on the wall in my studio, will I break the law?
        6. Were jokes about Salmond and Sturgeon alluding to fish popular in Scotland?
        7. Does Corbyn have a cat?

        • Brianfujisan


          Thank you a much needed Chuckle.. Very good humour indeed

          My Dad was an Expert boat builder – wood / steel – and was a great Knitter at one time.

          Take the Posters and books to ‘ Doune The Rabbit Hole ‘ next year, and Craig will sign them
          Stay saye

        • michael norton

          The Biafran War of the late sixties,
          followed shortly after Nigeria gained Independence from the British Empire.
          The Igbo and other Biafran people actively took to Western education, and they overwhelmingly came to adopt Christianity.
          To put it bluntly they more easily fitted in with the British, probably for them the departure of the British could be seen as a disaster.
          The Muslims from the North, decided to starve and kill them.
          There are hundreds of different tribes in Nigeria, all trying to get one over on each other.
          It is a vipers next of inhumanity which will blow up again.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Tatyana April 30, 2020 at 22:35
          ‘Jeremy Corbyn won’t name his cat and instead simply calls it ‘the cat’ (The Telegraph).
          Doesn’t mean he’s not fond of it.

          • Dave

            It sounds like a name in English as “The Cat” is spoken in Spanish, El Gato.

            el (male) la (female),

          • Bayard

            What’s the point of naming a cat, it’s not as if they answer to it.

  • Minority Of One

    The BBC have posted a video that hints at pending famine on a biblical scale:

    ‘We’ll starve to death if this continues’
    Half of the world’s workers could lose their jobs because of this pandemic, the International Labour Organisation has said.
    That’s 1.6 billion people but who are they?
    The BBC’s population reporter Stephanie Hegarty heard from people in four countries who used to get by on a daily wage, but whose lives have been torn apart by the lockdown.

    Note that 1.6 billion workers is about 4 billion people including dependants.

    • Doug Scorgie

      No political party it seems

      On the 50th anniversary of the end of the Biafran war, the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in the late 1960s, declassified British files show that Harold Wilson’s government secretly armed and backed Nigeria’s aggression against the secessionist region.
      The then Labour government secretly provided large quantities of arms to the Nigerian federal government which, by early 1970, had crushed an attempt by the country’s eastern region of Biafra to gain independence, which it had declared in May 1967.
      During the three years of war, up to three million people died, as Nigeria enforced a blockade on Biafra, causing widespread starvation amid considerable international opposition to the conflict.

      During the three years of war, up to three million people died, as Nigeria enforced a blockade on Biafra, causing widespread starvation amid considerable international opposition to the conflict.

  • Tony M

    Some, I would guess many NHS staff are working 12 and a half hour shifts (I was hospitalised today with broken bones), this is unsustainable, it is torture which even superhumans cannot endure without breakdown and guarantees their being more likely to succumb to this Covid-19 and other ailments, as well as of course for all working such long hours, lack of sleep, rushed meals, and little or no free, leisure or family time. With the lockdown, the NHS are already at breaking point, have too to train new staff working alongside, shadowing them. Some may notice this unreserved wholesale support is a complete reversal of my previous cynicism and position, long pre-dating this new and deadly dangerous virus, having had past negative experiences with a bad apple or two. I was in tears today not just of pain, but of love and appreciation for the people who patched me up after a still-vivid near-death experience

    • Brianfujisan


      I second Clark… Sounds like a real bad one for you.. Take it slow, and get well.

    • wendy

      Wish you a speedy recovery Tony. 12 1/2 hr shifts have always ben the case for nhs nurses, this is nothing new. There’s the day shift from 7.30 till 8 and then the night shift. It’s generally a four day week though so 2 days on, a day or 2 off and then another 2 days but this varies and you often get 5 days of night shifts and then 3 or 4 days off.

    • SA

      Thank you for writing this and best wishes for a speedy recovery. Sometimes people underestimate what sacrifices others make for society to run smoothly until they are faced with a hard situation and experience the dedication of those who continue to work in a difficult situation. During this lockdown I have had to call on the services of a plumber and to have an overflowing soakaway emptied. I also observe the delivery company staff, the postman and the rubbish collection staff, working in these difficult situations, and I now wave and thank them all for their dedication, something we take for granted normally. I hope that this is one aspect of the epidemic that will make us realise that we are all part of a great communion called humankind.

    • John Goss

      Like everyone else Tony M I hope you are soon back in the swing of things. More importantly I hope you are soon back home with your loved ones.

  • Spike

    I don’t think you’ve grasped the meaning of the figures, Craig. This virus would be that much more contagious than the the viruses attributed to the flu precisely because it is that much less lethal, that much less severe. Because the vast majority (at least 80%, and possibly well into the 90+%) of infections are asymptomatic and yet still contagious, the contagious individuals are out and about rather than flat on their back with the flu. This would bode well for herd immunity if only it were allowed to proceed.

    Even with those who do exhibit disease symptoms it is usually much less severe than those symptoms associated with the flu. I would like to ask any medical doctor or medical researcher who might be reading these comments whether they can think of any disease where the mortality rate rate isn’t directly proportional to the severity of symptoms of the average or typical case. It stands to reason that an infectious disease that typically doesn’t pack as powerful a punch is less apt to knock out any given opponent, regardless of age.

    • Clark

      That’s not the reason covid-19 spreads so fast. It spreads fast because it’s brand new, therefore no one’s immune system is primed for it.

      The proportionality you mention can’t develop until later, because it develops through adaptation; selective survival of different viral strains. Meanwhile, we have a deadly pandemic.

      • Spike

        When a new strain appears it typically at first spreads more rapidly among the young than among the old, because the old have a lifetime of acquired immunity to similar agents. Would suppressing the disease among the young yield a better outcome among the old and vulnerable than just suppressing it among the old? I know that a mathematical modeling study was done that came to that conclusion. But it was obvious from the beginning that the modeling didn’t take into consideration all the ramifications and consequences of that suppression, and the lockdown has been a terrible cruel disaster for the old and sick, because, in practicality, there’s no way to effectively protect people who need constant care and live in close quarters. The Red Death finds its way into the castle. And though this ordinary virus is not the mythical Red Death, it’s enough to be the straw that broke the back of the already dying. And the close-to-dying were sped along by being denied contact with their families, being neglected in depleted staffed facilities, and having no advocates to protect them from error, incompetence and malice.

        The lockdown has been the most misguided, catastrophic global event since WWII. The extent of the damage done becomes plainer every day, and the longer it goes on the more damage it will cause and the more people it will ultimately kill.

        • Clark

          “…because the old have a lifetime of acquired immunity to similar agents”

          No similar agents in this case. The closest is SARS, but that was stopped before it got very far.

          “Would suppressing the disease among the young yield a better outcome among the old and vulnerable than just suppressing it among the old?”

          I have no idea, but I’d go and look at epidemiology forums, and university blogs of epidemiologists.

          “The lockdown has been the most misguided, catastrophic global event since WWII”

          Eh? Each government has implemented different restrictions. The stricter ones are more effective, but they’re all blunt instruments. The governments that have done the very best started early, and did a lot of testing, contact tracing and individual quarantine. They have got away with lighter restrictions by keeping the number of infections much lower.

  • Jim

    During these hard times of fake and misleading news could Craig please list some of the websites he considers to be propaganda outlets or places that spread misinformation.


    • Clark

      I have grave reservations about Swiss Propaganda Research; they hide their identities fastidiously, and there’s no indication that they’re Swiss or anything to do with Switzerland. They’re cherry-picking experts and they seem to be trying to maximise the death rate by encouraging people to break the social restrictions.

      Off-Guardian and UK Column seem to be useful idiots in this, parroting the stuff from Swiss Propaganda Research without checking it against either the mortality statistics, or scientific sources.

      • SA

        I fully agree with you assessment of these three websites Clark. I wholeheartedly recommend Moon of Alabama.

      • David

        A short look at

        Virustotal rates it as OK, score 0/77 = no direct computer pandemic liability.
        Description: a wordpress blog “Das Medienforschungsprojekt”
        direct links to: multitude of historic NATO/atlanticist/PNAC stuff, potentially weaponised accurate/embarrassing info (as some links are pointed to cached materiel) much German language. A few English articles, as you say, shy about contributing – but they do mention Julian Assange.

        Served from IPv4: 192.0.78,24 (made ‘safe’)
        Virustotal rates the hosting server as NOK, score 2/77 = mild computer pandemic liability, hence disabling the IPv4 above
        Hosted in USA, owned by Automattic, Inc, San Fran (WP owner)
        https SSL cert from Comodo UK (*.wordpress)
        Co-hosted WWW sites/Passive DNS Replication (often highly revealing):
        some terrible sites, VT 69/77 malware, recent Ramadan attack websites etc, loads of junk, deffo a dark corner of the web. nothing in Cyrillic, but might just be typical of what is one leap away from a random WP blog.

        Summary, could plausibly be FSU KGB mild accurate/embarrassing nudge website, but could equally well be a bunch of Swiss German speaking academics who are comparing, and complaining about our current UKUSA “bought-media”.

        It’s important to have a range of views, on Pestilence, War, Famine & Death….not just UKUSA, thanks.

        • Clark

          Virustotal rates website for computer malware, not biological viruses. The website gets a bad score if it tries to install malware upon the visitor’s computer system.

          • Clark

            According to Virustotal: potentially weaponised accurate/embarrassing info […] deffo a dark corner of the web […] could plausibly be FSU KGB mild accurate/embarrassing nudge website.

            What did I just post about them trying to maximise the death rate? By “weaponised nudging”?

            I have no objection to them posting the opposite side to atlanticist propaganda, in fact I regard doing so as a useful service. But when they start pushing a perspective that would painfully suffocate predominantly old folk over the course of several days, I object!

        • SA

          Assange endorsed them, I am not aware that he has done so recently and I am not aware of his views on Covid-19. But here you show some sort of hero worship, you have expressed this view previously about UK column and Ben Goldacres’s view of Prof Ioannidis. I expect that we all are independent thinkers, we take one thing from here and another from there. I expect that Vanessa Bealey is an expert on Syria but not on covid-19. I expect the views of OffGuardian to be good in looking the politics of the empire, but not epidemiology, and I expect their to be higher authorities than Ben Goldacre for appointing godlike figures. I even sometimes disagree with our own generous host on this blog. So your comment I am afraid is somewhat out of context.

        • Clark

          How many times, Node? Science isn’t about ‘who’. It’s about what, where, and above all why and how.

      • KingofWelshNoir


        You portray yourself as a man of science, dispassionately and carefully weighing evidence and yet in the same breath accuse sites like Off-Guardian of being ‘useful idiots’ and ‘cherry-picking’ evidence.

        That’s exactly how non-scientists talk, they smear and play the man and not the ball. The plain fact is, the Off-Guardian amassed a list of 30 experts in the field who disagree with the Corona narratives being promulgated in the mainstream media and which are being used to justify the most draconian attacks on civil liberties ever known.

        That isn’t cherry-picking since there is no need to quote defenders of the official narrative – we are already saturated by it.

        I’m not a scientist, but even I know the only thing that matters is the credentials of the experts they cite, their expertise—if indeed it is— is completely undiminished by their appearing in the Off-Guardian.

        Here are a few of them and their credentials:

        Dr Sucharit Bhakdi is a specialist in microbiology. He was a professor at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and head of the Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hygiene and one of the most cited research scientists in German history.

        Dr Joel Kettner s professor of Community Health Sciences and Surgery at Manitoba University, former Chief Public Health Officer for Manitoba province and Medical Director of the International Centre for Infectious Diseases.

        Dr John Ioannidis Professor of Medicine, of Health Research and Policy and of Biomedical Data Science, at Stanford University School of Medicine and a Professor of Statistics at Stanford University School of Humanities and Sciences.

        Dr Pietro Vernazza is a Swiss physician specialising Infectious Diseases at the Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen and Professor of Health Policy.

        Prof. Hendrik Streeck is a German HIV researcher, epidemiologist and clinical trialist. He is professor of virology, and the director of the Institute of Virology and HIV Research, at Bonn University.

        There are another 24 in the same vein.

        Can you explain why the opinions of so many highly qualified experts should not be heard? Why they should be dismissed on the basis that they appear in a journal you don’t like?

        • Clark

          “Off-Guardian amassed a list of 30 experts in the field who disagree with the Corona narratives…”

          Yep, deliberately assembling a contrarian minority is the very definition of cherry-picking, except the “mainstream media” isn’t the benchmark by which to judge; it’s the scientific consensus. I barely use the corporate media myself.

          “even I know the only thing that matters is the credentials of the experts they cite, their expertise”

          No, that’s treating science as a matter of authority, which is exactly what the “mainstream media” does, year in, year out. It looks like you’ve “imbibed the habit with your mother’s milk” or whatever wording it was you insulted me with on that occasion.

          NO, science isn’t about credentials and authority, it’s about evidence, data, theory, prediction and disproof. The consensus predictions of increasing death rates have been confirmed. The predictions that social restrictions would reverse the rises are also confirmed.

          Don’t take my word; go check the data. I did.

          • Clark

            “even I know the only thing that matters is the credentials of the experts they cite”

            Einstein was a clerk in a patents office in 1905 when he submitted this:


            The special relativity paper; it transformed all the physical sciences. It’s simple, even I can understand it. He submitted four papers that year. He had only a teaching diploma; not even a PhD.

        • Clark

          Grief, KoWN, you got your comment so wrong.

          “Off-Guardian amassed a list of 30 experts in the field…”

          Off-Guardian have amassed nothing but a load of links. None of those thirty ave published at Off-Guardian, and they probably haven’t even heard of the site.

          And they’re far from all “experts in the field”. Some are, but we also have psychologists, an intern, various pathologists, assorted doctors… Off-Guardian seem to have quoted anyone they could find with any vaguely impressive-sounding medical connection.

          And the quotes Off-Guardian have picked aren’t from the academic literature, where their claims would be scrutinised and pulled apart by their colleagues in the field. They’re from the Spectator, PR journals, the corporate media, YouTube…

          And I’m not arguing that they be silenced, but the diverse things they’re saying shouldn’t be collated into an argument against restrictions – necessary restrictions, that are working. If they actually think that restrictions are wrong (which I know some of them don’t), they’d need to argue that in the epidemiology journals where it can receive competent expert argument; it shouldn’t be hidden or silenced, but it shouldn’t be presented directly to the public on a political website either. Politics isn’t science, and the two shouldn’t be conflated eg. some experts argue that radioactive substances are less dangerous than commonly thought, but what if Off-Guardian rounded them all up as an argument for tearing down the fences around Sellafield?

          • Pigeon English

            Some of those experts quotes!

            Dr Oxford predicts 8000 deaths.

            Dr Bhakdi; “We are afraid that 1 million infections with the new virus will lead to
            30 deaths per day over the next 100 days”
            Dr Levitt: “I will be surprised if number of deaths in Israel surpasses 10″ FYI 226
            Dr Lass: ” In USA about 40000 people die in regular flue season “. Already over 60000
            Dr Puschel:” I am convinced that Corona mortality rate will not even show up as peak in anual mortaliti”.
            It already showed for April
            Dr Mollini (Germany) would be worried if number reaches 20000. Ok in Germany number is low but we are over 20000.

          • Clark

            Yep, that’s why we have the scientific method, and scientific journals, and scientific consensus. Each individual scientist is merely human and just as prone to error as anyone else. But collectively, working cooperatively, according to the structure that has been refined over centuries, the scientific community can and does do much, much better.

        • Clark

          KingofWelshNoir, I have also posted a more detailed reply to your questions two pages back in the comments, about severity of lockdown versus number of infections:

          Maybe I shouldn’t have called UK Column and Off-Guardian “useful idiots”, but they certainly seem to have fallen for popular but misleading arguments without checking facts and data from scientific sources. Beware superficial plausibility!

          • Mary

            £80! to listen to the UK Column stuff over three days pf Livestream next weekend !!

        • Lev Ke

          Thank you, KingofWelshNoir.
          Clark here owns this comment section and will not leave any dissenting comment untouched by his enlightened knowledge and expert wisdom.

  • Alan Coovert

    The Fall of Saigon was 45 years ago. The USA has never come to terms or made amends for what we did to the Vietnamese. I believe the USA killed 6 million Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians during the American war in Vietnam. Like slavery and the genocide of the native people, the USA does not apologize for Vietnam. I also believe the the USA is responsible for the death of 20 million people around the planet since FDR died. The USA is the land where I was born and I am responsible for volunteering for the US Marines in 1969 and volunteering for Vietnam in 1970. Never married, I wake up alone in the most hated, evil and dangerous country on the planet. I would kill myself but I don’t have the fortitude.

    • Runner77

      Most of us have made huge mistakes when we were young, brainwashed, and incapable of critical thinking, Alan. Unlike the vast majority, you’ve come through it and seen the light, which in these days of rampant, state-sponsored misinformation, is a precious commodity. Your voice is enormously valuable. Don’t waste it! We need all the people we can get to fight for change and throw light on the darker corners of the world . . .

    • Rose

      Dear Alan – it is sad that you are bearing the guilt for choices you made all those years ago, but you are not the same person now . Who is? We all grow up (well most of us do) and normal people are not haters of those who happen to live under the governance of brutal and corrupt individuals who get to the top in political systems. Perhaps this latest affliction is a wake-up call to recognise that a powerful tool in the armoury of the malignant forces that would manipulate us, is to sow fear and despair and that is easier to do if folk feel isolated. I try and make a point of having at least three conversations a day in spite of being locked up – preferably with people I don’t know out on my state sanctioned walk. And if no-one is about, there is always the horse at the top of the lane who likes carrots but doesn’t say much 🙂

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Alan Coovert May 1, 2020 at 06:34
      Why don’t you join Veterans For Peace? There you will meet many who feel the same as you, who deeply regret their actions in the US Military, and who are doing something about stopping the continuing war-mongering and slaughter. Here is a video of a father who is in the group, telling what happened to his son in Iraq (and elsewhere). It shows the extremes the military will go to to silence dissidents in their own forces:
      ‘On The Dark Side in Al Doura – A Soldier in the Shadows’ (Maverick Media).
      We have a branch of Veterans For Peace in the UK.

    • Clark

      Alan Coovert – “I would kill myself but I don’t have the fortitude.”

      I often feel like that too. Fortitude to you; we all need each other. You carry a healthy conscience. Preserve it, and by doing so you will help me preserve mine, and help us all preserve each other’s.

      Love and Rage Alan:

      • Clark

        Alan Coovert, I apologise to you deeply. You used the word fortitude to mean a way of achieving suicide. In my haste countering misleading comments on this page, I used it too, forgetting the context in which you used it yourself. I just noticed on reviewing my comments. I am deeply sorry. I often use that word to wish people strength. Please, be strong, and I mean be strong for living.

    • joel

      The DC Vietnam memorial with the names of all US casualties is 492 feet long. Phillip Jones Griffiths calculated that if the Vietnamese had a wall it would be 9 miles long.
      That’s pretty much what you need to know about that war..

    • Spencer Eagle

      If you want to get some measure of how disgracefully the US military behaved in Vietnam, have a read of ‘Kill Anything That Moves’ by Nick Turse.

    • bj

      I like your avatar. And feel much empathy with what you write.
      Having the insight to look upon one’s past is an extremely valuable trait.
      Your comment here is an example.
      There’s purpose in it.

  • Muscleguy

    it seems that those of us with lung problems such as my asthma are not even in the top 10 of risk factors for Covid-19. This was in a very good article on last week. it seems that the virus is causing a strange sort of clotting syndrome. In some it prevents clotting, in others it causes lots of little clots. The lungs of those who have died are crippled by lots of little clots.

    I’m 99% sure I’ve had it and it pretty much left my lungs alone. I coughed occasionally when changing position. That was it. As a lifelong distance runner with a large athletic heart I’m at very low risk of cardiovascular disease. So I had it fairly mildly. The worst diarrhoea I’ve had for some time, the sorest muscle and joint pain, fever so high I was actually slightly delirious (I was in bed at night so I simply slept and it was better in the morning). So worse than flu for me.

    Swine flu knocked me flat, not enough energy to sit in a chair. But otherwise it was alright.

  • Mary

    Testing, testing, or not, as the case might be.

    Nicola Sturgeon to outline plans to ramp up coronavirus testing
    Target of having the capacity for 3,500 tests per day in Scotland has been met
    But there have been reports that far fewer than that are actually being carried out
    UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock reveal whether pledge of 100,000 tests a day has been met

    • Spencer Eagle

      “I’d rather questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned”….Richard Feynman.

  • Tatyana

    Today’s news in Russia report leaked memorandum by Pompeo to state governors, instructing them to blame the virus on China.
    As a sample of anti-China rethoric there’s an article by Brian Kennedy

    How do you like this sample of high quality crystal honest true journalism?
    “the demon was driven from the shadows of a lab in Wuhan, China, and made to travel the world—most notably to the United States, where the virus would ravage the bodies of Americans many of whom would die as a result.”

    • Clark

      Thanks for this Tatyana.

      Trump initially called covid-19 “their latest hoax”, meaning his US political opponents. Now his administration sees it as an attack by China. Some people just can’t rise above blaming and shaming, and usually such people are also bad at admitting their mistakes and taking their responsibility.

      • Dave

        @ Clark

        It is their latest hoax, but once the fake news MSM run with “people are dying” (as they always are) it inevitably becomes a political blame game (separate from the facts) as the facts are lost within MSM emotional manipulation, fear mongering and sophistry.

        Fakes like to blame him for wanting to lift the lockdown and for all the problems of the lockdown and as never enough can be done to placate the fake news, he has no choice but to blame China and the Democrats to at least share/deflect the blame.

        This is why apologists for the scam are a menace to humanity, as you are de facto inciting war, in the name of humanity.

        • Clark

          A hoax doesn’t send the death rate off the top of the chart in country after country, local authority after local authority, hospital after hospital, care home after care home.

          I don’t use the corporate media (“MSM”) precisely because it’s sensationalist, and continually promotes the public misunderstanding of science. It also promotes war. The corporate media makes me furious with its unrelenting distortion, so I barely use it. Sometimes it’s the easiest place to find a graph I need, and some reporters sometimes do good work, but I certainly don’t get a paper or switch on the telly or radio and just absorb its guff.

    • Tatyana

      this crashed yet another of my naive visions about the USA. We thought that America is a dream country, where people are truly free, they can express their opinions, and the law protects such a right of people.
      And now the US is turning into another USSR
      Партия сказала: надо. Комсомол ответил: есть! * the Party said “You must”, the Komsomol replied “Yes sir” *
      The same pattern as it was with us – follow the party line, and no other way.

    • Mary

      The first cases in this country were said to be a Chinese mother and son visiting York.
      Sorry it’s the Heil.

      A local paper carried a similar report.

      Then there were the cruise passengers taken to the Wirral for quarantine. Remember seeing the drivers of the three coaches without any protection against the virus?

      Coronavirus: Brits from virus-hit cruise ship arrive at quarantine hospital in Wirral
      Thirty British and two Irish evacuees will now spend two weeks in an accommodation block away from the main hospital building.

      Who knows. It’s a virus and a new one, apparently. 😉

  • Athanasius

    Light starting to dawn, Craig? You’ll have to go carefully, because pretty soon, you’ll start to wonder why those “human rights” you defend seem to extend only to named categories.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    North Korean levels of self delusion from James Jeffrey, the US Special Representative for Syria Engagement (surely cheerleader for the Jabhat Fatah al-Sham headchoppers?).

    “One consequence of the focus on Idlib by what’s left of Assad’s inept army, is that few forces are left to deal with [Daesh] in the southwest …”

    “what’s left of Assad’s inept army” had the headchoppers on the ropes and on the run ’till the second largest army in NATO stepped in to save them.

    • SA

      It was not an inept army when it liberated Aleppo from AQ and at that time all the western press lamented such liberation and forecast a humanitarian disaster which did not materialize. It also was not inept when it liberated Palmyra (twice, first time after DAESH air force bombed them to help DAESH) and the second time when the liberation extended to the whole of the rest of the province and into Dier Ezzor.
      At the time the US and Turkey scrambled their proxy to prevent further liberation east of the Euphrates.

    • Giyane

      Vivian O’ Blivion

      Empire 2 proxy warfare in the Muslim world is one horseman, and an election which uses metadata to swing the result is maybe the horse.

      Food availability, over population, Eugenics, biological and chemical weapons are all in that unthinkable area of the brain that paedophilia and mass slaughter occupy in our minds.

      Having been groomed for jihad and lectured about food insecurity, I know from personal experience that these two horsemen talk to each other, plan together, politic together.

      Only a fool would say that the neocons are not involved in covid 19. That does not mean that we ordinary mortals understand why , or what they want to achieve.

      Voltairenet has a theory that lock downs of civilians was first suggested by George Bush, as part of a strategy of attacking communism. Trump seems to be toying with that idea.

      The common thread to these two horsemen seems to be that they are prepared to risk the threat of destruction to their own populations as a consequence of destroying foreigners

      I’m afraid we are going to have to bring Eugenics and people culling into our conscious minds, because this is what pre occupying the psychopaths in power.

  • Dave

    Its described as a “pandemic” to make it sound worse than it is, to fool the public the virus is a world-wide problem, when the figures for almost everywhere are tiny. And are being inflated here to make them worthy of a lockdown, which ironically makes the death toil genuinely worse.

    • Node

      There are many here who support that censorship, Freddi. It is a mark of how effective the scare campaign has been that people who would normally be the first to protest at such an affront to free speech are now demanding the opposite.

      • nevermind

        Name them Node, this is not a court trial, you can name those you don’t agree with.
        Free speech here is not only partial to our departed pet H. It is here for you and here to stay.
        I thought that Craig made that perfectly clear.

        • Node

          Both Clark and SA have called for my views on coronavirus to be censored from this blog. Others have not explicitly stated it but from their tone I believe they would support such an action.

          • Loony

            Why would you care?

            There are only two possibilities. Either your assessment of the views of others is correct or it is incorrect.

            If it is incorrect then you have nothing to worry about. If it is correct then your argument is buttressed by the old saying “When you tear out a mans tongue you are not proving him a liar , you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say”

          • Clark

            “Both Clark and SA have called for my views on coronavirus to be censored from this blog”

            No. I’ve asked you to show self-restraint, consider both paths (ie. you being right and you being wrong), and consider consequences.

            You have been proven wrong repeatedly, but you have never once admitted it.
            You just push, push, push your error, never correcting.

            You said SARS-CoV-2 was a flu virus. They are of different virus families.
            You said there would be no excess deaths. There have been tens thousands in the UK alone.

            Covid-19 has barely even spread as far north as you live, yet you espouse the value of personal experience above all else. I call that hypocrisy.

          • Node

            No. I’ve asked you to show self-restraint, consider both paths
            No, you said my views shouldn’t be allowed on this blog because they endangered lives.

            You have been proven wrong repeatedly, but you have never once admitted it.
            Ha ha, you’re funny.

            I have been consistent about 2 main points
            (1) we cannot know the mortality rate until we know the infection rate.
            (2) the true test of the mortality rate will come in a year’s time when we can compare it to previous years. I stand by my prediction that it will be “nothing special.”
            Do you stand by your prediction that coronavirus will kill 2 million in Britain?

          • Watt

            Clask says ‘There have been tens thousands in the UK alone.’

            Not quite. Here are the figures for infection of covid-19 for the week 17, ending 26/04/20. These numbers are from the UK gold standard for infectious disease reporting. It is a mandatory, in fact statutory, duty for a Registered Medical Practicioner to report all or any patients showing symptons of an infectious disease i.e. including covid-19. They must report within 3 days latest. The numbers for week 17(just gone) are of cases, some of which will be suspected only and further, not all will have died.


            The propagandist distortion of such numbers is off the scale by almost an order of magnitude, perhaps two.

            Fear porn, whilst a relativel new term, becomes acutely apt right here.

          • Clark

            Here are the weekly death figures for the UK:


            Something has caused the conspicuous rise, and since similar has been happening all over the world, the most likely cause is covid-19.

            As I said last time, I don’t know why the covid-19 deaths aren’t showing up on the notifiable diseases list; maybe the requirement was waived after the numbers escalated. I did ask you to investigate, but you’d rather just post that same link again. Are you trying to maximise suffering?

          • Clark

            Node, no; my hope back in February that UK deaths could be kept below two million was based on the ~5% fatality rate we were getting from China at the time. I’m now hoping that it can be kept below 100,000. 500,000 is still easily possible, and it might still push 2,000,000 if you got your way and restrictions broke down entirely.

            You were betting that it wouldn’t exceed 1000 weren’t you? And you only went above 100 because you expected figures to be distorted, right? And ‘I stand by my prediction that it will be “nothing special.”’ – you have the graph I posted for Watt, below, to reckon with; it’s already extraordinary.

            Now, got any kids, or pets you’re fond of? Ah yes, a woman friend. My freedom of speech extends to tricking her into running in front of oncoming traffic, does it, or directing her off the edge of a cliff in the dark, right?

  • Dave

    The reason Libya was completely destroyed was because (US/UK/France) couldn’t find Gadhafi, but Obama was operating to a 6 months deadline before his (another mad) war order had to go for explanation before Congress.

    They had wanted to kill Gadhafi straight away (to avoid calls for a ceasefire) but as he couldn’t be found, they declared all Military Command Centres legitimate targets, but a MCC was a euphemism for anywhere they suspected Gadhafi to be. In other words all civilian targets became possible MCC’s and were bombed in the hope he was there.

    He was finally found and killed (in cold blood) just within the 6 months. And the devastation shown in the picture above was another “humanitarian destruction of a defenceless country to save lives” by the same deep state promoting the latest Pan-PANIC, which again will also cost lives in the name of saving lives.

    • Mary

      Gaddafi had a terrible death. Unconscionable that one human could do that to another.

      When the USUKIs axis operatives hung Saddam Hussein, that was available to see on video. Barbarism.

      The location. Such a terrible choice of name considering what was done to the Iraqi people and the country by the ‘Coalition.’

      ‘Dear Lord forgive us, for we know not what we do’ or similar.

      • Loony

        I am sure Gadaffi did suffer a terrible death. He was however the head of a sovereign country and he would have undoubtedly engaged in a variety of political machinations in order to obtain that role and to retain power. He had material influence in terms of forming and executing the policies of the Libyan state. Without doubt he knew that those policies were not popular with the Anglo-American self appointed rulers of the world.

        Yvonne Fletcher, by contrast was not a political figure, had no influence over the economic or political policies of any state and did absolutely nothing to spark the ire of powerful enemies. At the time of er death she was only 25 years old was afforded little opportunity to make her mark on the world.

        Did she suffer a terrible death? Is it, in her case, unconscionable that one human could do that to another? What exactly is it that makes the death of Gaddafi so much more interesting than the death of Yvonne Fletcher?

    • Republicofscotland

      The real reason Libya was destroyed was for profit. Hunting down Gaddafi, was just a side show.

      “The objective of the NATO bombings from the outset was to destroy the country’s standard of living, its health infrastructure, its schools and hospitals, its water distribution system.
      And then “rebuild” with the help of donors and creditors under the helm of the IMF and the World Bank.
      The diktats of the “free market” are a precondition for the instatement of a Western style “democratic dictatorship “.”

    • Republicofscotland


      Infact the the Great Satan (USA), and its compliant minions invaded Iraq and Afghanistan under the guise of removing nukes or huntung down terrorists. Their real goal was to asset strip, and install puppet governments, they honed their nefarious skills, on now to do this in Central and South America. Their Monroe Doctrine virtually says to old world powers, to keep out of our region of the world.

      Israel has powerful businessmen/women and extremely influential lobby groups in Washington, its safe from the Great Satans claws, as is Saudi Arabia, which bought its way into the good books, and its now an ally, thought it spreads Wahhabism through the back door.

      • michael norton

        RoS now Crude Oil is virtually worthless ( in terms of making a profit) do you expect the Great Satan to withdraw from the Middle East?

        • Kempe

          They have even more incentive now. Reducing output would push the price up.

          How’s the North Sea doing?

        • Republicofscotland

          “do you expect the Great Satan to withdraw from the Middle East?”


          No for the simple reasons that it must be heavily influenced by the Great Satan, or China, or another power could gain a bigger foothold, or regional forces might strike out on their own without U.S consent.

          As for the price of oil, after the glut has been used up the price will rise again. Probably even more so as people shun public transport for cars with the virus still fresh in their minds.

        • Laguerre

          No, it wasn’t oil. It was instructions from Israel, as RoS says. They don’t know or care much about Libya, but destroying Arab powers is written down in the policy.

  • Minority Of One

    Total deaths from the virus to date: about 250,000
    Total deaths if 0.1 % of humans die: 7.8 M
    Total deaths if 1 % of humans die: 78 M
    Number of people that die every year from other causes: 120 M
    Number of people born every year: 200 M

    Number of people who have lost their job, or likely to: 1.6 billion
    Number of people who have lost their job, or likely to, plus dependants: 4 billion
    Number likely to starve to death: a lot, more than are likely to get the virus by an order of magnitude or several.

    In the meantime, the global economy is in free fall, and food supplies the world over are becoming an issue.
    Does anyone else see a problem here?

    • Clark

      Yes, I agree those are major problems. The cause is that the global economy was centred around right-wing values of individualism, from which social support had been increasingly stripped out over the course of decades.

      But you left an important number off your list:

      Without restricting viral spread, number of people forced to suffocate, most of them to death, over the course of several days with no pain relief and no hospital care: at least 15 million and probably around 200 million.

      Social restrictions can be brief if they’re observed strictly:

      • Minority Of One

        Thanks for the feedback.
        I guess the point I am trying to make is that Lockdown is taking us to a very bad place, one from which we will not recover and the number of victims will potentially be measured in the billions.

  • Republicofscotland

    Radio news says that Trump has evidence that Covid-19 originated in a lab at Wuhan China. For now US scientists don’t seem to be on the same page as Trump when it comes that, nor were they pleased about his injecting disinfectant into the body remark.

    Meanwhile the Governor of New York, has hit back at the Federal government, and several state governors, the latter (other states) bemoaning that NY state Governor Andrew Cuomo, has railed over the lack of help for NY state in dealing with this virus.

    Cuomo, complains that NY state, generates billions of dollars for the Federal government, but when NY state really needs help in dealing with Covid-19 it isn’t forthcoming.

    This comes off the back of a New York funeral home that saw complaints after 50 bodies were stored in a truck outside it, that neighbours claimed gave off a foul stench.

  • Minority Of One

    Ten reasons why a ‘Greater Depression’ for the 2020s is inevitable

    …Worse, the loss of income for many households and firms means that private-sector debt levels will become unsustainable, too, potentially leading to mass defaults and bankruptcies.

    …The post-pandemic world will be marked by tighter restrictions on the movement of… This is already happening in the pharmaceutical, medical-equipment, and food sectors, where governments are imposing export restrictions and other protectionist measures in response to the crisis.

    • Clark

      Lessons in rebellion; no charge, gratis food on actions, make each other’s entertainment:

      I realise your cause isn’t quite the same, but check out our Ten Principles:

      – 1. We have a shared vision of change; making a world fit for generations to come.

      I think you’re with us on that one!

      – 6. We welcome everyone and every part of everyone.

      So we’ll be with you too.

      • Loony

        Does the definition of “non violent civil disobedience” include or exclude the destruction of the food chain thus levering the opportunities for widespread famine?

        Will the PR executives smear the starving as violent fanatics? Or do you expect people to starve quietly in their own homes without troubling the conscience of the enlightened?

        • Clark

          It excludes it. I have no objection to self defence, and I include reappropriating food sources among that. But it isn’t civil disobedience, it’s self defence.

          • Loony

            The problem with destroying the food chain is that anyone “reappropriating” food will likely be taking it out of the mouth of someone who is about to eat it.

            Right now the US animal slaughterhouses are only working at about 40% capacity. Not only does this mean a reduction in the supply of meat, it also means that animals that had been planned to be killed are still alive and still eating something.

            The closure of restaurants has materially impacted rigid but highly precise food distribution systems. Consequently large amounts of milk is being flushed down drains, vast quantities of eggs are being smashed and crops are being ploughed back into the soil.

            The US is by far and away the worlds largest exporter of food. There are nascent food riots in Venezuela and South Africa.

            I see neither civil disobedience nor self defense in deliberately destroying the food supply chan in order to respond to a virus whose actual fatality rate remains unknown – but certainly much lower than the fatality rate of famine.

          • Clark

            I don’t really know what you’re on about Loony. The supermarkets still have plenty of food, my local independent bakers are still trading though delivery-only now, and the tractors are busy in the field out the back tending crops to be harvested this summer. If the US is busily destroying food while Venezuela has food riots, there’s something politically wrong with the economic system, no? The hidden hand of the market a bit dysfunctional, perhaps? Well demanding better governance is what XR is all about, so I’ll see you at the next NVDA training 😉

        • michael norton

          There is going to be a reduction in foodstuff as traded world commodities.
          Some of course will starve.

          • Kempe

            Some people are already starving but there’s no need for anyone to starve. We in the west could safely afford to reduce our consumption, in fact it would be a good idea for a number or reasons, but I can’t see rationing being very popular.

    • Laguerre

      I have no doubt that things are going to be difficult in the post pandemic era. What seems to me uncertain, is quite how it is going to pan out. After all, people will go to the limit to offset the problems you mention. I wouldn’t like to guess which problems will prove insuperable.

  • Shatnersrug

    Today is the 200th anniversary of the Cato Street conspiracy executions. 5 men who chose to fight Westminster elite with force were sentenced to be hanged drawn and quartered for treason (later to be commuted to death by hanging followed By posthumous decapitation). The executioner could not bring himself to Cary out the beheadings and a barber-surgeon was recruited for the task.

    As usual, the confused and misinformed British crowd cheered on and relished the execution.

    Today, men who dare to defy the British state are permanently on remand, fitted up for a rape trial or facing jail for supposed contempt of court.

    Then as now there was no evidence that the rebellion planned to carry out these crimes, they were sent down by evidence from a man who later turned out to be a govt spy and agent provocateur.

    On world workers day it’s worth mulling over these events

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Thanks for mentioning the Cato Street plot, Shatnesrug which spy Arthur Thistlewood arranged for the Tory ministers intended to to rid the troublemaker Henry Brougham from Westmorland, Thomas Barnes’s support at The Times, and the Queen’s attorney general in her upcoming divorce from George IV. Only losing the seat in Lowther country worked for awhile.

      It could have led to his downfall but having been a Whig spy, he did not condemn their use, even of mad men.

      How are you doing now?

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      It was a key turning point in Henry Brougham’s political life, Shatnersrug. Either defend the mad conspirators which the Tory ministers wanted.or live to fight another day with instruments in the Crown and media which he would need in future.

  • N_

    BBC: “Coronavirus: Black African deaths three times higher than white Britons – study“. Note how in this article the state broadcaster and its “experts” ascribe Britishness only to white people. The idea that here on one side we have the category of “British” and here on the other side we have the category of “black” is shot through this entire article. Just in case anyone thought the far right would stop its onward march after winning the Brexit referendum and the 2019 general election… And oh how they looooove the NHS!

    • Loony

      Perhaps the BBC is merely seeking consistency with such luminaries as David Lammy. Sometimes he claims that he is British and at other times he claims he is not. Why this could be I have no idea – perhaps he is positioning himself to be a leading light in the far right, or then again maybe not. Soooo confusing.

      • michael norton

        Possibly one of the reasons why the West seems to be doing so badly and the East doing much better, will be down to obesity and diabetes and general sloth. If you live in Laos or Vietnam, you are less likely to be lazy or overweight, you have to physically work hard for your crust and you are less likely to be consumed 50% of your food intake as highly processed T.V. meals.

        • Republicofscotland

          I tend to agree with you there Michael, obesity, a bad diet and a lack of exercise that leads to underlying health conditions, is I think quite common in the UK and USA.

          Though Johnsons and Trumps abysmal first approach to tackling the virus hasn’t help the soaring death rates in both cases.

          However there have been cases of fit and healthy folk dying from the virus as well, it could be we just don’t know enough about this particular virus yet.

    • Kempe

      ” Note how in this article the state broadcaster and its “experts” ascribe Britishness only to white people. ”

      No, it doesn’t.

      ” Coronavirus patients from black African backgrounds in England and Wales are dying at more than triple the rate of white Britons, a study suggests. “

      • Republicofscotland

        Mitigating factors for this could be that black people could be more in the frontline as keyworkers, or that poverty in poor areas could be more associated with black people.

        The IFS clearly shows a disparity between black hospital workers on the frontline dying from Covid-19 in greater numbers due to more of them being exposed more frequently than their white counterparts.

        An interesting aspect though brought up by the IFS, is that diabetes my play a significant part, a quick check on the web, shows that black folk might be more susceptible to developing diabetes.

        • Loony

          A much more likely explanation would relate to Vitamin D deficiencies.

          Naturally this is not a popular explanation as it seems impossible to blame Donald Trump or fascists or institutional racism or Brexit voters for the position of the earth relative to the sun.

          • Republicofscotland


            Yes, I’m under the impression that we just don’t know enough about the virus yet. On the Vitamin D front, it had also be put forward that because we staying at home, and the most vulnerable are shielding totally, that we’re missing out on vital Vitamin D from sunshine, as Spring begins to move along into Summer.

            A proper diet and a quality Vitamin D supplement should help.

          • Loony

            @RoS – Vitamin D deficiency is an issue and is recognized as such by the NHS. They advise that people spend time in their gardens or on their balconies. If this is not possible then they advise taking Vitamin D supplements. There are reports of the the British police advising people that being in their gardens is, under current circumstances, an illegal activity.

            You can always rely on the government (any government) to make things worse

          • michael norton

            Asian people seem to love sugar.
            They often eat sweets and sweet foods.
            This might make them prone to diabetes, especially if they translocate to the West, where they have to physically work less hard but also have more disposable income.

      • N_


        What you quote does exactly what I’m saying.

        You sound inexperienced at assessing rhetoric and propaganda. Consider the following statement:

        “Mr Smith was recently appointed to the post. His predecessor was honest and a gentleman”.

        What do you think it says about Mr Smith? “Logically”, the only thing said about him is that he was recently appointed to the post. Rhetorically, obviously he is being called dishonest and ungentlemanly. And we’re talking about rhetoric here, not mathematics.

        Britishness is ascribed in that article ONLY to white people. Black people are described in terms of the geographical location of their ancestors, and in the sentence you quote in terms of where they reside. Not once in that article is blackness considered compatible with Britishness. If I were subscribing to a newspaper that came out with such racist sh*t, I would cancel my sub.

        • Kempe

          If it read ” Coronavirus patients from black African backgrounds in England and Wales are dying at more than triple the rate of Britons, a study suggests ” you might have a point but it’s distinguishing between white Brits and Brits of black African descent.

          If you’re that offended why not complain to Offcom or whoever, my guess is they’ll just say you’re reading it wrong.

        • Coldish

          N_: 1 May, 17.40: you’re right, the report is sloppily written. Not only does it make a gratuitous distinction between ‘Britons’ and people of African origin (which we all are), it conflates ‘Britons’ with ‘England and Wales’, as if Scotland did not exist.

          • Clark

            “…it conflates ‘Britons’ with ‘England and Wales’, as if Scotland did not exist.”

            If the BBC has given up on including Scotland in Britain, that’s a hopeful sign! Maybe that 200th anniversary was more significant than it looked 😀

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Think this is not true if former Delaware Senator and Obama’s Vice President Joe Biden gets away with Tara Reade’s allegations that he sexually assaulted her in 1993 which Biden relied upon University President David Harker to keep covered up.

    • Republicofscotland

      What do you think Trow, is it a smear campaign against Biden in order to get him removed as POTUS candidate, or has Biden got a selective memory. Trump had at least six women claim he sexually assaulted them yet he still managed to become POTUS. Of course Trump lied from day one claiming his inaguration ceremony had more spectators than his predecessor Obama. Maybe the DNC want their own candidate removed.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        I think Biden has a most focused memory about his sexual behavior, Republicofscotland. Just ask David Harker how he got legislation passed which created Delaware State University which removed all the poor Afro-American students from his University of Delaware, getting it all those grants, awards and donations which made it a most respected national institution

        When I was getting my Ph.D, my mentor promoting my chances at Holy Cross College was a former running back for its football Blue Hens. I never thought much of his academic abilities, just a checker of foot notes to get on the right side of convent asses, and it got worse when I was seeking a volunteer retirement from the Jesuitt hot box, claiming that nothing would convince him what I had written. Something absurd for any historian to ever claim. How about a signed confession from the subject of the biography?

        Anyway, Harker should be questioned under hath about his dealings with Biden. After Obama re-election, maybe the DNC prefers someone else now other than Joe.

    • Laguerre

      We’ve had a lot of experience on this blog with people being accused of sexual faults for political reasons.

    • joel

      No man who was arrested visiting Nelson Mandela would lie about assaulting someone.

    • Kempe

      “‘The “Kurdish war” drained Iraq’s treasury and hampered the country’s
      development as it strove to become a secular social-democratic mecca in
      the Middle East.’
      ‘What I did not know was that this disputed oil deposit in Iraqi Kurdistan
      once fed oil to Haifa, Israel, through the Kirkuk-Haifa pipeline—a fact I
      would discover only when I began to burrow into the causes of the US
      invasion of Iraq in 2003. It was then that I learned that energy-starved
      Israel had sought the pipeline’s reopening for years, but the Baathist
      regime had remained steadfastly opposed. Only regime change in Iraq
      would change that equation, or so the planners of the 2003 Iraq War
      believed.’ ”

      Joke. The Kirkuk-Haifa pipeline closed in 1948! It’s no longer operational, not least because scrap metal thieves have removed several kilometres. Although Israel might like to see it re-built it would be politically unacceptable to the Arab nations as the planners of the 2003 Iraq war would’ve realised from the start.

    • Laguerre

      I’m not sure that this text is relevant to the present discussion. More, there’s an illusion that if you conquer a country, you can possess its oil. Trump with his occupation of the Syrian oil-fields is only the latest example. There’s a long list of political leaders who wouldn’t say it openly, but for whom having the oil was a major factor. Saddam’s invasion of Iran supposedly to help the Khuzi Arabs. Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait. Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

      Oil company chiefs say it doesn’t matter to them very much who they pay the money to. The important factor is peace. If you build a pipeline, it is vulnerable to attack at any point. Anybody can put a bomb under the pipe. This is why the Kirkuk-Haifa pipeline died. It worked as long as the British Mandatory authority was in power over the Middle East. I remember well seeing the remains the first time I went to Iraq in 1977. There were plans to revive it after 2003, but they failed for obvious reasons.

      Otherwise, if you’re not near the sea, it’s road tanker, and that limits what you can export. i.e. for US in Syria, and for Kurdistan.

  • Doug

    Horseman and the knacker’s yard:

    “THE UK Government is changing the way it calculates the number of coronavirus tests carried out in an “obsessed” bid to reach its target of 100,000 tests per day by the end of April, according to a leading health news outlet.

    Previously, a test would be counted once the sample had been processed in laboratories.

    But a senior source told the Health Service Journal (HSJ) that the definition has been changed in the past few days.

    The journal said the Department of Health and Social Care is now including tests that have been posted or delivered to people’s homes in its figures, meaning tests which are sent to people are counted before the recipient has provided and returned their sample to a laboratory.

    The HSJ believes that up to 50,000 of the tests that will be reported as having taken place on April 30 will actually represent the mailing or the agreeing to mail a home testing kit.” Emer O’Toole

    • Laguerre

      I suspect that the UK government has gone to the limit to prove that 100,000 tests were conducted by 30th April, and that the figure will relax on future days..

    • Doug

      English/British nationalists will be cock-a-hoop at being world-beaters.

      Meanwhile there are still plenty of WWII films on telly.

  • Tony M

    According to the BBC (snort) the Sturgeon Government of North Britain is extending testing to care-homes where there is an outbreak. Problem is how do they know where there is an outbreak if they don’t test and tests anyway which are far from perfectly reliable. Care homes too will prefer to deny any cases at all, or then have to segregate residents, with red, orange and green zones as advised. Horse, stable-door, bolted and galloping across the fields towards the M8 at rush-hour.

    • Tatyana

      From news, care homes are in a very difficult situation all over the world. It is known that in people with non-ideal health conditions the virus is more severe, often lethal. Our attitude to precautionary measures is to some extent a mirror of our humanity. Roughly speaking, our attitude towards the virus shows whether we share the Spartan approach.
      Tony M, please consider posting at least once a day, so that we know you are well and your broken bones cured. I wish you speedy recovery.

  • Tony M

    See you all over at off-guardian. I hope we can make our own minds up there, not be shouted down for the mildest dissent from one individuals blinkered view on any and all topics.

    • Clark

      And how will Off-Guardian be helping you “make your own minds up”? By treating science as the opinion of experts, carefully selected to project a single opinion? I call that propaganda. Will they link for you sources of data, fatality figures from local authorities all over the world? Because I haven’t seen that there. Will they link to the epidemiology and medical journals, where their selected experts would be questioned by their peers? Will they be careful to keep separate the science of pandemic control from criticism of politicians, or will they conflate it all together as if they were one and the same?

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