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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  • ricardo2000

    Excellent juxtaposition of the costs of warfare and this pandemic. Health care investment would have made friends of the Middle East and cost far less than a single aircraft carrier.

  • Clark

    If anyone reading the previous page has seen my efforts and thinks I might have a point; that science is about evidence rather than which expert has the most impressive qualifications, that any reader can apply scientific reasoning for themselves and don’t have to be at the mercy some media’s selection of scientists, be it the Guardian’s or the Off-Guardian’s…

    I recommend Bad Science by Ben Goldacre. Not so much a book as a toolkit, and the best laugh you’ll have had all year.

    • Clark

      Mental Health Warning:

      Conspiracy theorists – don’t read Goldacre’s book! It contains special word arrangements that will trigger genetic sequences programmed into your ancestors brains centuries or millennia ago by the Elite, subverting your mind and forcing you to believe everything you read in the Daily Mail.

      Do not read it!

      You. Have. Been. Warned!!!

    • Loony

      Sure science is about evidence.

      With regard to the response to Covid-19 then it would be interesting to know the fatality rate. Since no-one anywhere has a clue as to how many people are or have been infected by this virus then it is impossible to calculate a fatality rate.

      Even determining the number of fatalities is impossible since fatality figures are a blend of people that died from Covid-19 and people who died with Covid-19. If you were to report deaths of people that died with ears then based on that evidence you may conclude that chopping off peoples ears would be a life extending treatment.

      The EU has a vast swathe of regulations including regulations intended to define what is and is not a banana. Strangely it has no regulations governing how causes of death are to be classified. This means that there is no consistency within Europe (or indeed anywhere else) regarding a Covid-19 attribution of death. This in turn means that it is impossible to compare the severity of the virus on a country by country basis.

      The virus is extremely contagious so populations have to be locked down. In South Africa that means you cannot leave your house to walk your dog. In Spain it means that you can leave your house to visit the tobacconist to buy tobacco. What is the exact science that indicates that dog walking exposes you to the virus but entering a shop to purchase cigarettes does not expose you to the virus.

      Pennsylvania has cancelled routine operations like knee replacements but they are continuing to offer a full abortion service. Where is the scientific evidence that concludes that knee replacement operations expose you or your physician to Covid-19 but abortions carry no risk of exposure.

      The response to Covid-19 is as far from being science based as it is possible to imagine. Not even a devoted cargo cultist would believe some of the things that western populations are being asked to believe.

      • Clark

        Only your first paragraph is about science. IFR and CFR are different (look them up). Neither can be calculated until the pandemic is over – you’ll find explanations as to why when you look up IFR and CFR, but it’s to do with spread, and therefore numbers that change over time. Try this link:

        https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-rate/

        For everything else, ask the relevant government; those are political decisions, not scientific ones. The scientific community reports: “the reproduction rate Rt is about 4. For current infections to decrease rather than increase, it has to be less than 1. Therefore, if you reduce social contacts to a fifth of current levels, Rt will go from 4 to 4/5 = 0.8, and current infections will start decreasing”.

        It is then up to the politicians to frame restrictions that decrease social contacts to a fifth. But guess what? They’re politicians, so they’re inconsistent, unfair, and just generally stupid. Except a few.

        • Clark

          I gave you a link to the covid-19 propagation model. Here it is again:

          https://mrc-ide.github.io/covid19estimates/#/details/United_Kingdom

          Total Infected

          Posterior model estimates of percentage of total population infected as of 2020-04-30:
          6.40% [4.73%-8.79%] (mean [95% credible interval]).

          The model has been predicting death rates rather accurately for multiple countries, so it’s probably about right. If you think it’s faked, download it and run it on your own computer, see if it gives the same output as shown on line.

        • Loony

          Yes my first sentence was about science – and you respond with a sentence about the construction of the English language, which is somewhat separate to science.

          It is true that an overall Case Fatality Rate can only be calculated post hoc. It is also true that a running average Case Fatality Rate can be calculated on on an ongoing basis – naturally this rate will change as more data is added. Given that policies have been enacted that are likely to lead to significant consequential deaths then it would be useful to know the running average Case Fatality Rate.

          Without knowing the number of cases then you cannot know the reproduction rate. Therefore your comments regarding the reproduction rate have been derived from applying some kind of process commonly known as guesswork. The reproduction rate (whatever it may be) derives its relevance solely from the fatality rate. There is no shortage of viruses, most of them harmless and consequently no-one cares as to their reproduction rate,

          You are arguing in favor of a course of action that could lead to the complete destruction of the economy based on a guess which you try to disguise as science. When inconsistencies in response are highlighted you run for cover by blaming politicians and yet contemporaneously claim that political responses are determined by science. The physical world is governed by scientific laws – one effect of these laws is that you cannot simultaneously move both forward and backward – and yet you seem to want to claim that ability for your own thought processes.

          Like I said not even a cargo cultist would believe this.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          Clark, those Rt calculations are not necessarily accurate because in most places, the healthy population (large swathes of which will have been infected) have simply not been tested en masse. There are very contradictory stories about ‘death rates’ based on ‘infection rates’ carried out in different places globally.

          The chances are very good that either you or I have been infected with SARS-CoV2 without even realising it. I have had a few minor colds the past three months, but thought nothing of it. I get a few colds each and every year.

          • SA

            Rhys and Loony
            It really does not matter what the fatality rate is, we all agree that it is very inaccurate in a fast moving situation especially as we do not have a denominator. We all accept that. If it is 1% and everyone gets infected 640000 people will die of the disease, if it is 0.1% then 64000 will die and these are excess deaths. The first figure is about one and a half times the annual death rate in UK so is highly significant. But the other facts we have to accept to continue a rational discussion is:
            Amongst cases that present and are admitted, 20% are serious, 5% need ITU admission and half of those die.
            Until now all recorded covid-19 cases in UK have only been verified on hospital admission.
            We have figures for those and cumulatively they are as of today 178,685 cases and 27,583 deaths.
            UK figures do not include those that die at home, so the mortality figures above may be underestimates.
            The ONS figures confirm that that there is an increased mortality in UK and that this is incremental over time.
            So people are dying in excess in UK.
            There is a known pandemic that is causing the clinical picture that is associated with the observed deaths.
            We know that this virus has a high rate of infectivity and contagiousness, even if it has an overall low MR.
            It kills mainly the elderly and those with co-morbidities, but it also kills some young and healthy individuals.
            We do not know yet who might get mild disease and who might die.
            We understand very little about long term immunity to this virus.
            In several countries, we have seen that this rise of cases can lead to near collapse of healthcare.

            Do we all agree that the above statements are true? If not please tell me which ones are not and why? So to engage on an argument about inaccuracies of mortality rates to me appears to be missing the point.

          • Clark

            Until restrictions were applied, the death rate was rising exponentially. That would not happen in a population in which a significant proportion had antibodies. Therefore, the vast majority have not yet encountered SARS-CoV-2.

      • Clark

        Oh, your second paragraph too. Sorry.

        “determining the number of fatalities is impossible since fatality figures are a blend of people that died from Covid-19 and people who died with Covid-19”

        This is a bit of a red herring; we never worried about that with regard to the flu figures, did we? Until covid-19 came along and someone wanted to maximise the death rate via propaganda, this “of or with” argument had never been heard. If flu finished off uncle Albert, well, it was flu, despite his diabetes and dodgy heart.

        But you can get a pretty good estimate of the fatality figures from the excess deaths, ie. how much the curve has suddenly risen by, compared with the long term average and where you expected it to head this year. While this would be hopelessly inaccurate for 500 deaths or so, it’s not a big accuracy problem with the tens of thousands of deaths we’ve seen in the UK.

        • Loony

          You appear to be engaging in transference by accusing me of introducing red herrings when it is fact you that introduce red herrings – so red that they likely glow in the dark.

          I have no idea as to how flu figures are composed. To my knowledge no-one has ever sought to respond to an outbreak of influenza by enacting policies that could lead to complete economic destruction and widespread famine. Without wishing to be unkind to victims of influenza they are supremely irrelevant to the topic under discussion.

          What is not irrelevant is this case

          https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/03/27/chloe-middleton-the-coronavirus-death-that-wasnt/

          Excess deaths tell you much less than they should with regard to Covid-19. Many aspects of the health service have been effectively closed down so as to more fully concentrate on Covid-19. No-one knows how many people have died as a consequence of delays in treatment for such things as heart attacks and strokes. We do know that Professor Karol Sikora is estimating that the UK will ultimately suffer from 50,000 excess cancer deaths as a direct consequence of the Covid-19 response.

          • pretzelattack

            loony this isn’t the flu, though it has often been asserted that it’s just like the flu when arguing against the shelter and place policies. we don’t know that much about the virus yet; it certainly isn’t settled science, as the science of anthropogenic climate change is, but we have to go with past experience with pandemics, and the experience limited as it is of china and other countries in dealing with it.

          • Clark

            It is worth looking at Karol Sikora’s Twitter feed; conspicuous that you didn’t link it:

            https://mobile.twitter.com/ProfKarolSikora

            He clearly understands that the restrictions are working, though he is critical that it is so damaging to small businesses. And he got the changes to cancer treatment that he lobbied for:

            https://mobile.twitter.com/ProfKarolSikora/status/1255900999342002176?p=p

            Conspicuous too that you link to an article concerning one single case and deem it more relevant that the comparable epidemiology of flu – surely the ultimate in cherry-picking.

            And I accused you of nothing. The red herring was in the argument you presented, troll 🙂

          • Mary

            Doing well. It’s big business.

            ‘Revenues up 70% to £2.5m versus the prior year total and almost doubling of turnover compared with the previous six months, with further growth projected through H2 2019;

            · Revenues in H2 will be further boosted by the broadening of the indications for Proton Beam Therapy (“PBT”) treatment to support lung, liver and pancreatic cancers;

            · NHS contracts won for imaging and systemic anti-cancer therapy (“SACT”) in England & Wales;

            · 3 proton therapy centres fully operational with strong pipelines developing;

            · During the period under review, received £35m equity injection, repaid £25m debt and negotiated a £20m facility with a new provider on more attractive terms which was agreed on 17 October 2019;

            The information contained within this announcement is deemed to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014. Upon the publication of this announcement, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.

            The directors of Rutherford Health plc accept responsibility for this announcement.’. (Investigate website)

          • Mary

            Rutherford adverts for ‘cancer centres’ are appearing on Sky News today.

            Business not so good in the pandemic?

    • N_

      “Appeal to science” is a fallacy.

      The idea that inductive logic, the at last discovered True Method of Reaching Understanding, was discovered at Trinity College, Cambridge [1], and that it then replaced deductive logic as well as all other previous ways of looking at and investigating the world, which were of course all Wrong, is frankly ludicrous, even if some of its ideologues were standing on the shoulders of Aristotle and looking a bit further than he did. What will you do when “science” itself is replaced in the future? Or will “artificial (scientific) intelligence” ensure it never is? Is that the plan? Science is a method of investigation which is quite effective for investigating certain kinds of question. That’s all. That’s ALL it is. You can put it up against your chosen straw man and it doesn’t become anything more than that. Believe it does and you are straightaway in the territory of religion.

      I have noticed that the idiotic introductory phrase “experts say” has been told to give up some of its ground in the media to the even more idiotic phrase “science says” or “the science says”. Science doesn’t say shee-yit.

      Note

      1) The term “scientist” came from Willam Whewell at the same (and then still all-male) institution a long time after the days of Francis Bacon, in the mid-19th century.

    • Lev Ke

      Not to worry Clark! We have all immediately recognised your efforts, not only on the last page but on all pages of this comment section, to monopolize the discussion and dictate what is allowed, scientific, valid, rational and expert opinion, and what is not.

      Thank you for that. Time for the ignore button now as your utterances are filling an enormous part of the comments by now.

  • Minority Of One

    Covid-19’s Third Shock Wave: The Global Food Crisis
    https://www.thenation.com/article/society/coronavirus-global-food-crisis/
    Many people are already going hungry in the United States; many more will face hunger or starvation in other parts of the world.

    …These, in turn, are producing a third wave, possibly even more catastrophic in its outcome: the collapse of global food-supply systems and widespread human starvation.

    …So far, Russia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, and Cambodia have banned the export of processed grains, and Vietnam has put a moratorium on new export contracts for rice.

    …The curbs on international trade and travel imposed by governments around the world in response to the pandemic have also played havoc with global supply lines.

    …In Italy, additional troops were sent into the south and to Sicily amid fears of assaults on supermarkets sparked by impoverished residents.

      • douglas clark

        Craig,

        I wonder why you don’t have a constantly updated post at the top of this web site telling us all how your fund raiser is doing?

        For it is good news. Why does anyone have to dig deep into your other media to find out that you have raised a lot more than your initial target?

        We are on your side, and need to know that on at least one measure, we are winning!

        I am fairly confident that revealling the support that you have would only increase that support, rather than diminish it.

        Best wishes.

        douglas clark.

        • Hove Actually

          I wondered if he had been served with one of those gagging orders so beloved by the footballer types to cover their extra marital activities. Not only aren’t the press allowed to refer to the matter, but they are not permitted to even mention the existence of said order.

          • Clark

            “not permitted to even mention the existence of said order”

            I call that meta-secrecy. Secrecy about secrecy. Similar to the terms of many Non-Disclosure Agreements NDAs, under which many scientists work.

            I think meta-secrecy should be illegal.

            Meta-secrecy is a mental health hazard. Anyone bound under meta-secrecy has to maintain a continual guard against even straying towards the matters that it covers, to avoid being asked any questions about it, since any answer they give might be construed as revealing the existence of the secrecy.

        • Mary

          Ever been to SA Loony? It would do you good to see the divisions between the rich and the poor, the haves and the have nots and the remaining relics of the colour bar system.

      • nevermind

        It is real alright when som 1.6 billion earthlibgs depend on a daily wage to feed themselves with sparse or non existing safety.nets and or sufficient health/ nutritional support. Add to that the families depending on their daily wage and you have the fourth horseman, famine, in full flow, some 3 billion people which charities around the world can’t feed because food will be rationed everywhere.
        I say it again, buy seeds and hoard as much muck, compost, leafmould as you can gather or buy, revert your lawn into producing food and start NOW. If you can get a safe allotment, take it, well worth to have a little space to grow food for yourself and the wider family. Food will get expensive and a recession comes with inflation of vital goods.

    • Giyane

      Minority of one

      Like those shopping malls where the lifts are in glass, people can see countries like China which are going up, through working together, and like ours going down, where a malicious elite is determined to grab ownership of all property and leave the drones barely able to survive.

      War has no purpose except to debilitate some and enrich others. As Corbyn rightly said, there has been no just war for this country since ww2 ended. The awfulness of war convinced British politicians to stop persecution during their own population and the populations of other countries but 40 years later Mrs thatcher reversed that policy and decided to turn against her own, Blair turning against the world.

      In simple terms , all of the creative energy in British politics for the next 40 years has been in pursuing the policies that led to 2 world wars. No political energy has been put into making a greener world, nor a medically better world. Our seas are highly polluted with nuclear and heavy metal poisons. Our fields are trashed by militias and weapons. What this means is that democracy has been perverted and we are no longer able to curtail the greed of politicians.

      The biggest problem facing us right now is how to take back control of democracy from the stupidity of politicians and their paid prostitutes the MSM. If we don’t get an investigation into the use of algorithms to rig elections our world is not worth living in, for any of us. Politicians have no right to subvert their opponents with bribery and corruption.

      Ping. MIND THE DOORS. We have reached rock bottom.
      We are ruled by a mega bus lookalike. If only. At least megabus drivers are safe and conscientious, unlike Bojo Haram who is completely mad.

      • Minority Of One

        Hello Giyane,

        >>The biggest problem facing us right now is how to take back control of democracy
        >>from the stupidity of politicians and their paid prostitutes the MSM

        I could not agree more, as the saying goes for ‘paid prostitutes’, presstitutes.

        I wish I could offer a word or two of optimism, but I look at the people around me, all of them in my daily life, and I am thinking – we got the politicians we deserve.

        We look back at the people of Germany early 1930s with contempt – but I think we are repeating their mistakes.

        I don’t think though that politicians are in charge. When you get to the very top, you know who the piper is.

        • Giyane

          Minority of One

          Hi. How can any society succeed , that so divided? And how can anybody trust a leader who consistently ignores the open divisions?
          The PM is beginning to crack under the strain.
          Imho that is because he is under the thumb of unelected Tory intellectuals who are piping the tunes to him. Tory intellect meaning, if Thatcherism doesn’t work , force them to accept it by other means.

          It doesn’t matter if ordinary people are not interested in politics. What matters is between politicians. Right now I see that Bojo isn’t having fun. Cameron deliberately caused the Brexit referendum when the pressure from his right wing got unbearable. Imho johnson will do something similar before the lazer beam reaches his crotch.
          Just another Bullingdon prank gone wrong.

        • nevermind

          Have you ever heard of the opposition that was crushed in Germany? Or are you fed on partiality and red top nonsense, minority of one?
          Stauffenberg and his co helpers to name but one. Not all people supported a murderous regime, they soon realised that Gypsies, homosexuals, jews and communists were disappeared. Painting history in a black and white manner, rewriting it to neatify and obtuse does not represent history at all. Facts matter!

          • Minority Of One

            >>Have you ever heard of the opposition that was crushed in Germany?

            The opposition got crushed here as well, by the MSM controlled by the powers that be.

            It has been a recurring theme in this blog for months if not years, that persistent lies and propaganda ensured the electorate would not vote for Corbyn. Especially re Corbyn’s so-called antisemitism which was nothing of the sort, but it did the trick.

            >>Not all people supported a murderous regime

            And not all people support our regime, which currently is doing its best to murder Julian Assange for no reason other than telling the truth. That I believe is what fascist governments do, silence people that do not agree with them.

            And now those in charge want everyone in the country to stay at home, while the economy collapses.
            As was pointed out above, the UK imports almost half its food requirements. This cannot end well for us.
            Are they truly incompetent, or is there another agenda? I don’t know but I am beginning to think the latter given the constant stay-at-home, stay-at-home, stay-at

      • Rhys Jaggar

        I agree with you about the politicians, disagree with you that nothing is being done at ground level, independent of government.

        There is a rapidly growing grass-roots movement dedicated to growing local, healthy, non-GM food. Seed companies have emerged with UK family- or cooperative ownership and their seeds are truly excellent (I have been using them for 3+ years). Online growing gurus have emerged and they have upward of 250,000 YouTube subscribers and a global reach in terms of teaching, spreading the word and mentoring. More and more people are taking up such methods and find that they work in terms of improving soil health, growing yields and growing quality, both in terms of final output but also in terms of resistance to pests.

        You would be amazed how much food you can grow on just a well maintained 50sqm growing area. I can provide 10 months a year of soups, every day, using fresh vegetables grown at home, plus plenty of other summer sustenance (including daily salad leaves from mid May to mid November). I have taken on an allotment and that should make us self-sufficient if it can be tended to successfully.

        Schemes like ‘Trees for Life’ in Scotland engage in buying up land for returning to nature. They have planted 2 million plus trees the past thirty years and if you wish to support them, they have sold wonderful calendars and diaries with pictures of their beautiful trees for decades now (I first bought them in 1990). There are many other groups now actively replanting trees all over Britain: the evidence is that if nature is allowed to thrive for 15-20 years on a site, the site becomes self-sustaining and does not need much more human intervention to remain healthy.

        Having been speaking recently with my sister (who is a consultant doctor in London), it appears that the NHS has embraced the realisation that fruit smoothies are one of the best ways of giving a rapid mineral and vitamin boost to sick patients (particularly those whose illnesses are associated with inadequate diet prior to the illness). I have known this truism for decades and have proven it again recently when my aged mother went off her food. One broken up banana, some berries (like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries) or an apple chopped up, then add some fruit juice (like orange juice) whisk it to a liquid froth using a hand held device and Robert is your mother’s brother.

        These are the sort of simple practical improvements which can make more difference than billions spent on some esoteric new therapy theory. For the Scots with global outlooks amongst you, go try a Scottish oatcake with guacamole spread on top and a single cherry tomato on top of that. It is by a mile the best power snack I have ever come across: rapid energy in the tomato juice and guacomole, sustained energy release in the oatcake. I guarantee that you will not put on a pound of weight eating one of those at 10am and one at 2pm (if you had breakfast at 7.30am and lunch at 12 noon).

        One of the ways to rid the world of heavy metal poisons is to stop calling biodynamic spraying ‘witchcraft’ and read the evidence of biodynamic farmers exposed to the Chernobyl disaster. They returned their farms within a few weeks to normal spraying their land with what are ‘magic potions’ (read Karl-Ernst Osthaus’ ‘The Biodynamic Farm’). The inspectors could not believe what had happened so independently tested the sprays and confirmed the result. This happened 35 years ago, so I am not talking ‘new untested therapy’. I am just referring to things which work but are not controlled by big business.

        How they work, I do not totally know, but what will likely happen is that certain microbial activity will be stimulated in the soil surface, causing internalisation of heavy metals and then likely worms will take those microrganisms to a greater depth where they will expel them, leaving the heavy metals buried at greater depth and quite possibly having been converted into a contained, more inert form. The point is: you do not need to understand the exact mechanism of something which works. How many of us truly understand how a combustion engine works? We do not care about that, we know how to drive a car and we drive them.

        What I am saying to you, Giyane, is that you might do well to change your mindset from ‘the Government ought to do something about it’ into ‘the Government should only even get involved in matters which require national-level finance and leverage’. All the things I have described came from private initiatives supported by members of the general public.

        Wars is the only one where governments need to be brought to heel.

        Greening the world can be done by us lot. So can healing the soil. So can growing healthy food.

        If you do not want to do those things, fine.

        But do not complain about governments not doing it when you could be getting on with it yourself in partnership with other motivated souls.

        • Clark

          This is by far the most positive and encouraging thing I have ever seen you post.

          I’m no farmer or gardener; working on the ground makes my head spin. More of a climber, me. But I take a very similar attitude to technology. Why buy new stuff from some usually unethical and filthy megacorp when we can make stuff and renovate and repurpose old stuff for ourselves? My computers are all cast-offs and ancient by retail standards, but I install Free Software on them and they run just fine. I dismantle the domestic appliances etc. that can’t be repaired and save any components and fixings, stack the sheet metal in the shed.

          Absolutely, we need to start doing stuff for ourselves, break the cycle of dependency and disempowerment. You might be surprised how much of this goes on within Extinction Rebellion; it’s one of the reasons I love it so much. Tending the wood stove and keeping the kettle boiling for Arrestee Support in a teepee on Marble Arch was a wonderful experience.

      • Mary

        As if Branson has not already ‘acquired’ enough of the world’s riches, he fancied owning the National Lottery too but was thwarted by the virus which is bringing his airline down.

        Sir Richard Branson withdraws his bid for lottery
        Sir Richard is trying to secure external funding to keep Virgin Atlantic alive amid the hit from the coronavirus crisis
        May 01
        https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/sir-richard-branson-withdraws-his-bid-for-lottery-zzd6mzrrv

        Warning. There’s a photo of him on that link, white plastic teeth and hair included.

        • wiggins

          Branson and Bill Gates are going into a joint venture in the synthetic meats market. I believe the company or lab producing this stuff is called Memphis Meats….probably not as lucrative as the Lotto, but…..

    • bevin

      People have been going hungry in the United States for a long time. It is not because there have been food shortages-in fact there are surpluses- but because the US ruling class hews to the ancient verity that people would not work unless the alternative was starvation.
      In immediate terms the increasing hunger in the States can be traced back to legislative changes to the SNAP, Food Stamp, programme. A million or more families have been removed from SNAP. And they are going hungry instead.

      • Giyane

        bevin

        I D – S, possibly the foamingest of all Tories ever, got knighted , as did Kier Starmer. Universal credit punishes those who need flexibility in employment to do other important things like caring for family. This the exact opposite of Cameton’s Big Society. It penalises people who do social work themselves. The lady who knighted him obviously hasn’t got a clue and she has her own family problems because the loyalty she inculcated in her son left him loyal to gangsters.

        Gongs should not be given to wreckers of society.
        Starmer wrecked the Labour Party by demanding a second referendum. In the light of the leaked report, that was a deliberate act of sabotage.

        Food shortages will come , directly because of the actions of these two criminals. First the removal of basic support for people doing casual work, and second , the crashing of EU trade integration.

        I have never felt so betrayed by any politicians apart from Thatcher, as by these two alt right knights.
        When famine gets to the UK, I will know who to blame.

    • N_

      Thanks for this, @Minority of One.

      Have you looked at the case of Britain? The combination of Brexit and the C19 upheaval are likely to cause mass food shortages and famine in that country (which imports around 50% of its food) within a few months’ time…

      … to Tory rejoicing that their god Thomas Malthus’s day has come at last.

      BOTH of the following two sources of food will break down:
      1) imports
      2) the domestic harvest.

      Some will doubtless shout “conspiracy loony” and “next you’ll be saying that Elvis Presley lives with Princess Diana on the Moon”, but sufficient material to establish the truth of what is being asserted has been published in the MSM within the past few weeks.

      The list of groups that the British government has talked about using to bring in this year’s harvest already includes

      * “furloughed” “hospitality” workers
      * university students
      * the unemployed
      * army reservists

      and…oh wait…they did a little piece about flying in 150 workers from Romania. Wowie! The actual number of pairs of hands that would be needed to gather the domestic harvest is more like 90000, or six hundred times as many as 150.

      DEFRA and the DWP are talking about conscripting the unemployed for forced labour on the farms. The term “Land Army” has been used. The labourers will basically be under army instructions and living in camps. Some of the posher university students who attend officer training courses will doubtless have a field day, rather as they did nearly 100 years ago in 1926.

      The question arises as to how the labourers will be captured in the first place. Methods will probably include

      * the stopping of benefits
      * the removal of food-purchasing rights with Google and Apple assistance using smartphones, and
      * good ol’ sending the army into the estates to round people up.

      (One can almost hear the Daily Mail readers, drunk with the thought of the “chavs” getting what they’ve always deserved, shouting “NHS”, “Hygiene” and “Ugh – they don’t wash their hands”.)

      There needs to be some kind of general strike. That’s easy to call for but doesn’t exactly seem on the cards. Nonetheless, one remembers the “Argentinazo” in 1999 in Buenos Aires which began with people simply banging pots and pans, first in their houses and then out on the streets. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was one of the most beautiful and powerful popular movements of recent times and it stopped the “austerity” bourgeoisie in its dirty thieving tracks. We need something like that to start us off. The following is stating the obvious, but we need it to be outside of government and “NHS” control. I imagine the “behavioural psychologists” at the Downing Street nudge unit and elsewhere know that this is the case, which is precisely why they have introduced the weekly “clap along with Boris” f*ckwittery, promoted by the ENTIRE mainstream media including the CIA’s Facebook and Twitter.

      • Minority Of One

        Hello N_,

        Nice to read that others understand where we are headed.

        You hit the nail on the head for the UK. As you say and it is worth repeating, we import almost half our food requirements, and that combined with issues with the domestic harvests, the writing is on the wall. This is going to be a very turbulent year.

        I agree that we need people action at the national level, but at the moment, most people have no idea about the coming economic / food crisis, just how bad it is going to get, because of the propaganda they are fed incessantly by the MSM. They are too content at the moment to do as they are told, i.e. stay-at-home and clap on Thursday nights.

  • Minority Of One

    Coronavirus: Seven million Afghan children risk hunger – report
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-52488792

    More than seven million children in Afghanistan are at risk of hunger as food prices soar due to the coronavirus pandemic, a report warns.

    A Save the Children spokesman said the country faced a “perfect storm of hunger, disease and death” unless the international community took action.

    The charity said a third of the population, which includes 7.3 million children, was facing food shortages.

    The UN recently included Afghanistan in a list of countries at risk of famine…

    • douglas clark

      Minority of One,

      That is pretty disgusting.

      Make that a minority of two. And I’d expect many more.

  • Minority Of One

    “A $5tn [USA] central bank prop can keep credit flowing. But it cannot conjure up economic demand or turn bad loans into good credits. The risk stalking both markets and the Fed is that many companies are quietly becoming insolvent, as their debts overwhelm their collapsing revenues.”

    https://www.ft.com/content/cc31fe38-8adb-11ea-9dcb-fe6871f4145a (paywall)

    Lockdown? Bring it on.

    • bevin

      Nothing would be easier than to conjure up or even maintain demand. And public pressure will eventually force governments to make funds available to consumers who will thus increase demand. This is not the fault of a ‘lockdown’ but of governments desperately trying to subvert the lockdowns we all know are needed. In the States workers are being forced to risk their lives by returning to work in unsafe conditions. They are being forced to choose between hunger and danger. It will not work. The simple and inhumane calculus of capitalism is going to be swept away because governments have not taken the power of the public seriously.
      Those calling for an end to quarantines are lining up with the extreme neo-liberals, the crypto fascist militias storming State legislatures and a capitalist class that no longer has the sense to bend to necessity.

      • min

        Those calling for an end to quarantines can see that the economy is collapsing.
        On the other hand, so far it looks like the virus is killing about 0.1 -1 % of those infected, and in some countries, oddly, almost no-one.
        Meanwhile, half the planet have or are about to lose their job. Famine is on the way.
        Most of those in the travel industry in this country will not get their job back. And I can’t see how restaurants or pubs can survive social distancing.
        All you have to say is – stay at home, stay at home, stay at home. And clap on a Thursday night.
        By associating me and others here with “extreme neo-liberals, the crypto fascist militias storming State legislatures and a capitalist class that no longer has the sense to bend to necessity”, that is exactly the sort of claptrap that Corbyn, Assange and Craig have had to put up with.

      • John Goss

        bevin, I think governments have “taken the power of the people seriously”. I think that is what the lockdown is all about. Unions no longer have any clout. Social intercourse is conducted electronically so they know exactly what each of us is up to, which way we are likely to vote, what we eat for breakfast, whether we are in debt, where we go for our holidays (or perhaps that should be where we used to go), what work we do, when we do it, what leisure activities we pursue given the chance.

        So they’ve done away with sport and any other social interactions that they cannot easily monitor. What is coming, unless the people unite on tackling this, looks very bad to me. Some are already feeling the pinch. And while our masters, who also control the sickeningly nauseating 24/7 MSM coverage of coronavirus ID-19 and continue preventing us from getting together we are powerless. That is what they have done over this latest epidemic. They have further taken away our civil liberties and promised that “things will never be the sane again”. I would have thought somebody with your intellect would have seen this straight away.

        • wiggins

          You have described Patrick Goldrings – “The Broilerhouse Society” (1969) to a tee…the book is outdated now with all the new Hi -Tech equipment, but, most of it holds true….

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      “many companies are quietly becoming insolvent, as their debts overwhelm their collapsing revenues”
      Then their assets can be bought cheap by the main beneficiaries of the new, bigger than ever QE bailout.

  • John Goss

    Today I queued at Wickes carefully keeping my distance. I got speaking to a couple of Rastas in the queue behind me and they agreed that this social segregation is a load of tosh. Like me they knew nobody who had COVID-19 or anybody who knew anybody. “What can we do about it?” one of them asked. I said we could all start by giving one another a big hug. They laughed. “Better if you can find a woman to hug.” We all laughed.

    I stood talking for some fifteen minutes before being asked what I had ordered. Apparently Wickes’ outlets have gone into some kind of ‘click and collect’ mode. I did not laugh. So I drove about four miles to B&Q (the emphasis being on Q). 30 minutes I was told it would take to get to the door. Again I did not laugh. I only wanted some self-tapping screws.

    On the previous page I was reminded with Tony M being hospitalised of an incident about two Sundays back when on a ride I was cycling through Small Heath and there was a man lying face down motionless on the ground by some traffic lights with blood which had apparently come from his head and a few people social distancing from him. So I did what I would do for anyone any time. I went to him kneeled beside him, put my hand on his shoulder and told him my name was John. I asked him his name. His name was Tom and when I inquired where he was hurting he said everywhere. Someone had phoned for an ambulance and I stayed talking to him until the ambulance came. I hope I brought him a little comfort. I hope knowing somebody was there beside him made him aware he was not alone.

    The mass media owned by those who would have us enslaved have done a good job brainwashing people into alienating one another. And it is a nonsense. It is more of a nonsense since it has cocked up our normal way of living and made us wary of getting too close. This strain of coronavirus which has peaked almost everywhere in the world has given birth to the mantra that things will never be the same again. That of course is what our enslavers would like. Wake up world.

    • Watt

      I hear you John Goss…

      Some will continue to parrot the propagandist euphemism ‘social distance’. This merely serves to internalise and normalise the phrase. What we have here is more like ‘aquired mutual repulsion zone syndrome'(for humans, as opposed to dangerous beasts etc.) We are being trained to fear and suspect each other. We are on the cusp of total enslavement. Not long to go. Less than a generation, possibly.

      Dare I say….Cheers!

      • John Goss

        You’re right Watt about this social distancing nonsense.

        One lady, you should have heard her sing “Can’t help Lovin’ dat man of mine”, died in March and I could not go to her funeral. She was from a Romany Gypsy family, which had connections with Charlie Chaplin who, whatever Wikipedia says, was born in a Gypsy encampment in Smethwick, West Midlands. I have seen photos of Vicky Pownall with Chaplin’s son (who is the spitting image of his father) on a visit from Switzerland. She was an entertaining Christian lady who I visited a few times during her last illnesses. But I could not go to her funeral because of this nonsense. This is Ava Gardner’s version from Showboat. Miss you Vicky!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGOyycNqiWA

        Then there was cousin Pam died the next month, daughter of my mother’s sister, Rene. That was cousin Pam who used to childmind us on the odd occasion when mum and dad went out. The last time I spoke to Pam on the phone she was full of optimism. But cancer has no sentiment. I could not say goodbye to a family member who I had known for 75 years. RIP Pam.

        That’s what “social distancing” has done for me (someone who believes in herd immunity). Get out there and give one another a hug. While you still can.

        • Clark

          John, you’re actually encouraging people to spread covid-19.

          OK, if that’s your personal choice, fine; find someone you can catch it from. But consider this.

          If covid-19 runs unrestricted through the UK population, anything up to half a million people may need critical hospital care at the same time, in the UK where there are only a few thousand places. This means that 99% will not receive the care they need. Whether they live or die, their suffering will go untreated. Covid-19 can take between five days and five weeks to kill. Meanwhile, the patient struggles for breath, that is, the patient experiences continuous suffocation, inducing the same mortal fear as waterboarding.

          Your personal choice is one thing. Your social responsibility is another.

          • John Goss

            No i’m not Clark. Apart from care homes and hospitals most people will get it and hardly notice it. You’ve just bought into the propaganda. No alternative views are presented. Soon there will be no debate on anything and you, and those like you, will be to blame. There is a small number of people with COVID-19. The figures are manipulated to make it seem bigger. So anybody with any strain of coronavirus goes down as COVID-19. Some coronaviruses have been around for more than a decade.

            Your social responsibility is another thing. You just can’t see it. And not for the first time in my opinion.

          • N_

            Most people aren’t at risk of suffering much if they do catch C19. As for those who are at risk, the government has been deliberately giving many of them the virus by discharging known C19-positive patients into elderly care homes.

            And we’re only at an early stage of the cull.

          • Clark

            John Goss, what an incredibly insulting comment. “You’ve just bought into the propaganda”. I don’t use the corporate media. You’ve just bought into alternative propaganda; you link to it all the time. “Soon there will be no debate on anything”. Assembling quotes from people just because they have letters after their name is the lowest form of debate; science isn’t about authority. I cite evidence and I present reasoning. All I get back in return is links to quote-mining sites.

            It seems most callous to disregard the vulnerable. I know a 30 year old who has had covid-19; he was severely ill and I still haven’t heard from him. A friend of mine in his mid 40s with two children has a lung condition. He is brilliant, an amateur astronomer, an educator, a Quaker and a peace activist. His wife works in healthcare, placing him in grave danger. But I suppose as one of the vulnerable, he is expendable, so that you can get back to football matches?

            Why has the death rate tripled, John? In multiple countries. Is it even possible that misclassification can triple the death rate? Those are scientific questions, because the answers help illuminate what we’re dealing with.

          • Clark

            My friend can suffocate at home for five days until he dies, with his family watching, can he?

            Inform yourself. Read some accounts from people who have survived, and medical staff who have treated sufferers.

          • Clark

            Try this search:

            https://www.google.com/search?q=personal+accounts+of+covid-19

            Many are from the corporate media, but many are not. Take your pick. If you think Google has prioritised the worst ones, try a different search engine. But don’t just spout from ignorance. Software engineers built this wonderful tool for you called the Internet, and now anyone can publish. Use it.

    • Clark

      Good on you for helping the injured man John, but don’t break the restrictions for the sake of it. Order self tapping screws on-line. If the mass media is influencing you, switch it off or don’t buy it. I don’t; I’ve rejected it almost completely.

      The need for restrictions is coming from the scientific community, not the mass media. The government weren’t going to have any restrictions; they wanted a “nice big epidemic”. Here’s John Horton of the Lancet, covered by anti-war, pro Corbyn Media Lens:

      https://www.medialens.org/2020/for-unknown-reasons-they-waited-and-watched-lancet-editor-exposes-devastating-government-failure-on-coronavirus/

    • Giyane

      John Goss

      How many do you need? I live in that corner of birmingham where HS2 will arrive and where scrap yards drop concrete blocks onto their black workers with impunity and self combust by accident from barrel bonfires. Today was like Bhopal.
      A scrap yard that previously burned in 2016 was in full meltdown and not even reported in the news.
      They reported as being in another location , so presumably they didn’t check where it was, blowing molten plastic fumes on ourselves.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Giyane May 1, 2020 at 22:05
        They may well have been burning off the insulation from scrap wiring. I’ve often seen them doing that.

    • Giyane

      John

      Sorry I didn’t read your full post. In Birmingham and also on the motorways boy / girl? racers are breaking every rule.
      They do it normally, but we can hear them doing it now.
      If you remonstrate with them, you’re only saved from getting beaten up by a camera at the traffic lights. Hopefully there was one where this man had been hit.

      • John Goss

        Did the four people you know die from Covid-19 or with it Loony?

        From what I’ve read like other viruses it nearly always only kills people with damaged immune systems usually through underlying illness and it becomes a contributory factor. Only one person I know knows of someone with COVID-19 and that person is quite distant, that is she does not know the person herself.

        Of course there are victims of all viruses. Anyway I do have the right to express my views based on my experience. Everybody is behaving just how their enslavers want them to behave. Newsreaders sit two yards apart. Its a nonsense. They should put a good movie on in the space between them and turn them off.

        • Clark

          John, ask yourself where this “of or with” argument suddenly appeared from. We never used to hear it about the flu statistics, did we? Check the comment sequence starting here:

          https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/04/backing-the-wrong-horseman/comment-page-4/#comment-939156

          Certain sites seem to be spreading disinformation that would maximise the death rate. Remember that other countries have their own disinformation operations; it isn’t only the US/UK that do it. This is information war John, and all sides are using weapons.

          • Ivan+Sharkov

            We never used to hear about the flu statistics because it was serving no one’s agenda at the time.
            Here are some figures with regards to the way flu has been reported in past years.

            Number of deaths in England where Influenza or Pneumonia was the underlying clause:
            2015 – 27544
            2016 – 25310
            2017 – 25448

            Number of deaths in England where Influenza or Pneumonia was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate:
            2015 – 98477
            2016 – 91999
            2017 – 90877

            Translated into the current situation it is with or of flu.

            https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/adhocs/008999numberofdeathsfrominfluenzaorpneumoniaclinicalcommissioninggroupsinenglandregisteredbetween2015to2017

          • Clark

            “…because it was serving no one’s agenda at the time.”

            Precisely. Whose agenda is it serving now, with over 40,000 excess deaths since February? Whose agenda might include maximising excess deaths, by encouraging people to disregard restrictions?

            It’s a dirty game.

          • John Goss

            Of course certain sites (MSM) are spreading disinformation to artificially inflate figures and scare people but Clark I think you missed Ivan+Sharkov’s point or deliberately obfuscated it. You can do the maths.

            2015 – 27544
            2016 – 25310
            2017 – 25448

            Number of deaths in England where Influenza or Pneumonia was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate:
            2015 – 98477 meaning 70933 people having flu or pneumonia were not recorded as having died from or with it. That’s 3.58 times more than were actually recorded.
            2016 – 91999 meaning 66689 people having flu or pneumonia were not recorded as having died from or with it. That’s 3.63 times more than were actually recorded.3.58 times more than were actually recorded.
            2017 – 90877 meaning 65429 people having flu or pneumonia were not recorded as having died from or with it. That’s 3.57 times more than were actually recorded.

            In essence the figures presented are exaggerated at least three and a half times. Total deaths in the UK at 1.32 pm today is 27583. Divided by 3.5. Equating with recorded flu figures for the three years given it would not exceed 7,881. And it is peaking or has peaked.

            South Korea, which never had a lockdown, has peaked with 10780 cases and 250 deaths. That’s 250 deaths. Get out there. Give one another a hug and don’t get bogged down in the brainwashing. Only people-power will save us from total enslavement. Open the football terraces. Get on the ball.

      • John Goss

        Giyanne, not sure the man was hit. The wound to his head was a nasty gash in his nose from which there had been a substantial blood loss. He had his house key in his hand.

    • Loony

      I am not sure that it is sensible to critique policy based on whether you personally know anyone with Covid-19.

      I guess I am rather unlucky in that I know at least 4 people who have died from Covid-19 (possibly a 5th but that death predated by days the obsession with raising the death rate).

      I do not consider my personal experiences a qualification for opining on policy

    • George+McI

      “This strain of coronavirus which has peaked almost everywhere in the world has given birth to the mantra that things will never be the same again. That of course is what our enslavers would like. Wake up world.”

      This mantra has been trotted out at various times (cf. Dick Cheney’s “The war on terror will not end in our lifetimes”) and is always a giveaway i.e. when someone says something they cannot possibly know, they are giving you an example of wishful thinking or, in the case of Cheney and our wondrously prophetic COVID visionaries, they are telling you govt/corporate policy.

    • Lev Ke

      Thank you John for your testimony of how someone can keep his humanity in this whole disgusting affair.

      Craig’s blog can in the meantime be renamed to Clark’s blog. His way of contaminating this comment section with himself is sickening.

  • N_

    In England and Wales the poor are dying “with” coronavirus at more than twice the rate of the rich. (Source: BBC: “Coronavirus: Higher death rate in poorer areas, ONS figures suggest” – using the middle class terminology of “people living in more deprived areas” and “those in more affluent places” rather than the unstuck-up words “poor” and “rich”.)

    But never fear! “Health” secretary Matt Hancock says “This is something that we are worried about and looking at”.

    How long will it be until the “vaccine vans” with “NHS” written on them roll into the ex-council estates?

    • Watt

      N_
      Those vans will be for the second wave vaccines/chips. The first wave will have voluntarily presented themselves at the vaccine stations at locations aroud towns and country. The third wave will snatch the refusniks and dissidents off the street or out of their homes and….. take it from there.

      • Clark

        If you get chipped (?), get some cocaine and a scalpel and cut it out again. You’re not a dog

        PS, the cocaine goes where you’re going to cut, not up your nose!

        • Giyane

          Clark

          Good to see you’re keeping your sense of humour after wrestling all day on here. The incredible lack of understanding about this virus is testament to the fact that compliance to government thinking is what gets people paid. No original thought has been allowed in the official government thinktanks to prepare us for this calamity.
          We are not to blame for the confusion. It is the system of reward under Tory dogma that has failed us. Really we should not have to argue about things that other people are vastly overpaid to think about. Thank goodness for CM blog.
          We survive in spite of politicians, by communication and respect, while the PTB thieve community resources for brown nosing politicians.

          • Clark

            Giyane, good to chat to you again.

            “The incredible lack of understanding about this virus is testament to the fact that compliance to government thinking is what gets people paid”

            That, and the incredible stupidity that’s promoted by the corporate media. Why should I have to tell so many people that science is about evidence, not letters after someone’s name? That we can all assess scientific claims for ourselves, rationally, without having to choose which “expert” to trust? Do people not realise that when they pick up the cornflakes packet and shake it to hear how much is in it, that they are doing an experiment? Who on Earth convinced them that science was complicated, and beyond their own understanding?

            It’s our darling newspapers that rob people of their God-given brains; people get to thinking that science is all about men in white coats. Well I’m determined to give them back their freedom!

    • Tatyana

      N_
      I found an article that may be of your personal interest. It covers an interesting opinion on managing the virus in different countries. It was written by a man who considers himself a Marxist, and the headline is “Inverted Postulate, or How the Chief Marxist of the Planet Refuted Marxism”
      It is written in Russian, I know you can read it (I’m happy to help with translation, in case you need it)
      https://snob.ru/profile/16372/blog/166573/

  • Stevie Boy

    The UK Police State is never one to let a good pandemic go to waste.
    > GCHQ has been given access to NHS records because of CV-19.
    > An App, supposedly, tracking CV-19 infection and potential contacts is being developed by companies with ties to the UK and US security services – this will enable the state to know who you are, where you are and who you’re with.
    > If you undergo CV-19 testing you will be required to provide personal details including close contacts, these will be retained.
    Like lemmings the British public are sleep walking into a global surveillance nightmare from which there is no turning back..

    • Giyane

      Stevie Boy

      What else is 5G for? This is not a surprise.
      My next door neighbour is paid to run a bluetooth connection to talk with cameras in my house. The cameras were placed by people coming to view the house when it was for sale.
      Sponsored by political Islam. Big business selling your Muslim brothers under British Divide and Rule

  • Minority Of One

    99.9% either get very ill and recover, get ill a little bit, or don’t get ill at all, looks like.
    Died from virus so far: 250,000
    Leave early if virus universal and affects 0.1%: 7.5 M This seems realistic
    Total deaths in an average year: 120,000,000
    Leave early if we don’t get out act together (the 4 horsemen): A hell of a lot more than 7.5 M

  • Tatyana

    Some very interesting information in the interview of Paul Robert Vogt, professor from Switzerland.

    here are some excerpts:
    – The heap of numbers that the media broadcast today is an approximate biased reflection of current events. Sensation is not what we need.
    – Claims that „influenza“ is equally dangerous and costs the same number of victims every year are wrong.
    – The average age of the deceased patients is said to be 83, which many – too many in our society – probably dismiss as negligible. The casual generosity when others die cannot be overlooked in our society.
    – Was a pandemic known to spread worldwide? Yes, it was predicted back in March 2019.
    – … what disinfectants kill the virus in 1 (!) minute. This is primarily ethanol from 62% to 71%. But the pandemic storage facility where ethanol was to be stored was eliminated in 2018.
    -Two things are clear: the pandemic has been announced at least 8 times since 2003. And after their outbreak was reported to WHO on December 31, 2019, they would have had two months to study the right data and draw the right conclusions.
    – The measures of Asian countries were classified as impossible for us for political, ethical, democratic and other reasons. And one of them is tracking infected people. That’s just funny! In a society that easily transfers their personal data to iCloud and Facebook. Tracking? No, we are not like that! When I leave the ramp in Tashkent, Beijing or Yangon, it does not take 10 seconds for Swisscom (Swiss telephone provider) to greet me in this country. Tracking? No, this does not happen with us!

    And many more scientific data and reasonable views, with a conclusion at the end:
    “With a budget of 85 billion, Switzerland – in terms of the number of corona patients per 1 million population – made it to second place worldwide. Congratulations! What a shame! Basic and cheap material is missing in Switzerland after 14 days. That comes when self-proclaimed „health politicians“, „health economists“ and IT experts spending billions on projects such as e-health, electronic health cards, overpriced clinic information systems (ask the Lucerne Cantonal Hospital!), invest into tons of computers and „Big Data“ and thus withdraw billions from the healthcare system, billions that are completely misused.”

    rather good English translation
    https://cooptv.wordpress.com/2020/04/14/covid-19-prof-dr-med-dr-hc-paul-robert-vogt-considerations-of-a-concerned-swiss-citizen/
    good Russian translation
    https://swisshealthmagazine.ch/ru/paul-fogt-analiziruet-situaciju-s-covid-19
    the original source at http://www.mittellaendische.ch is indicated under the russian article, but at the moment it is unawailable. Perhaps they repair it. Or bury it for ever, as Mr. Vogt criticises authorities.

  • Phil Smith

    One of the most common sense , honest, and humanist pieces I’ve read in a while. Thankyou Craig. At some future time I may subscribe.At the moment my meagre wage is zero. So, manana mate. And once again thankyou. Your work is of great import.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Any one who believes Joe Biden’s denial of sexually assaulting staffer Tara Reade in 1993 is just being stubborn over the truth..

    Documents exist but they can also be lying. Biden has made his case on documents so claiming do not exist instead of talking about her motives instead stressing her right to say whatever she want.

    THey don’t exist in the national archives because Biden destroyed them, like Pierre Salinger did a few years back regarding Bubba Clinton i some way.

    The coming and going of David Harker being confused for his brother Patrick on the Phlly Federal Reserve Board is part of the problem. Patrick became its chairman under Obama while David was appointed by Trump in 2017. Seems David may have told Trump about Biden’s deeds after he failed to get Obunner to appoint David along with his brother.

    Almost nothing is ever what it seems in the USA.

    • Tatyana

      When I look at the photo of Joe and Tara
      https://miro.medium.com/max/1164/1*aeSTh-kGiWs2979diuBtSQ.png
      I think it has been a long time since they were at the zenith of sexual activity. It is ridiculous to watch as two matured people publicly discuss the alleged touch under a skirt many years ago. Disgusting, as for me.
      I don’t understand how an adult man can live to his age and succeed in his career, but at the same time he’s not at all able to correctly resolve such conflicts with women.

      • lysias

        The U.S. oligarchy does not allow anyone to achieve high and powerful office unless they have some way to blackmail him.

  • Gav

    @ Stevie Boy

    I strongly suspect GCHQ has had full access to NHS records for a long time before CV-19.

    @ Craig Murray

    In answer to your last question: no I did not; I did nothing.

  • Clark

    Do you suppose actuaries understand death statistics?

    “An actuary is a business professional who deals with the measurement and management of risk and uncertainty. The name of the corresponding field is actuarial science”

    https://henrytapper.com/2020/04/30/should-the-government-be-levelling-with-us-or-not/

    When an actuary is compiling a mortality table, he/she looks for outliers – excess deaths. The latest number of excess deaths in Britain this year is 46,000. In a year when mortality was below average in the first quarter, it is clear that these excess deaths relate to the period from the end of February when the impact of COVID-19 took place.

    – The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, who have professional standards akin to those in the medical profession are responsible for working out the 46,000 number and if you follow the links to the CMI page, you can see the working

    – The Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) has published its analysis of today’s ONS release.

    Key points:
    – death rates 2.5 times the same week last year
    – total excess deaths 1.5 times COVID-19 deaths
    – They estimate there have been 45,000 excess deaths in the UK! pic.twitter.com/XDvHYsPVQR

    — COVID-19 Actuaries Response Group (@COVID19actuary) April 28, 2020

  • Ian T-W

    COVID-19 certainly seems to be a very contagious disease and there are certainly enough vulnerable people in society to make for quite alarming numbers of dead. Not too many doctors would want to shoulder the blame for sending such vast numbers of people to an early grave.

    Some epidemiologists believe lockdown to be the most sensible approach to this unfortunate situation. Other epidemiologists disagree. Presumably, both groups of epidemiologists are basing their opinions on science. So which is the correct approach?

    Seems that it’s still too early to conclusively say.

    In the short term, countries which imposed strict lockdowns might seem to have things under better control. But will that hold true in the long term? Might they experience another more debilitating round of the disease when they eventually attempt to emerge from the lockdown? And then there’s the other societal harm and deaths which a long term lockdown will cause and which must be factored in to any equation.

    On the other hand, countries which encouraged social distancing, but which did not impose lockdowns might initially experience a greater number of deaths. However, their long term results might prove better if they are able to avoid a second bout of the disease. They might also avoid much of the collateral harm imposed by a lockdown.

    We really won’t know the best approach until the dust settles. And even then, the best approach for one country might not be the same for another country. A lot would depend on the health of a country’s healthcare system, the general health of its population as well as their willingness to practice voluntary social distancing.

    • Clark

      “Some epidemiologists […] Other epidemiologists […]. So which is the correct approach?

      Not really. A consensus has existed for a long time. First, contain it. If infection numbers are low enough, use contact tracing and individual quarantine (eg. South Korea, New Zealand). But if you’ve acted too late and numbers are already high (UK, Spain, etc.), hit it hard with social restrictions (the hammer). The harder you hit it, the sooner you can relax restrictions and go back to Plan A, contact tracing and quarantine. By these measures, you buy time to prepare and face your enemy:

      https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-the-hammer-and-the-dance-be9337092b56

      “We really won’t know the best approach until the dust settles”

      Wuhan is the example. Here’s first-hand experience. My link drops you in at my reply, because Stonky described the dance, until I reminded him of the hammer:

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/04/backing-the-wrong-horseman/comment-page-2/#comment-938858

      Compare different country’s hammering and dancing skills from the drop-down at the top of this page:

      https://mrc-ide.github.io/covid19estimates/#/details/United_Kingdom

      • Ian T-W

        The Wuhan approach is one approach and it seems to have worked well for China. So far.

        Does that mean that it’s the best or only approach?

        It might very well prove to be so, but it is still very early days in this pandemic. A clearer will emerge once countries ease their various lockdown measures and reopen their borders.

  • Brianfujisan

    The Navajo Nation are in Grave danger of being wiped out with CV-19

    Valentina Blackhorse, Navajo Pageant Winner With Dreams, Dies at 28

    She nurtured political aspirations while raising her 1-year-old daughter. Then she tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The next day she was dead.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/30/obituaries/valentina-blackhorse-dead-coronavirus.html?

    And Here is How the First Nations Are Treated –
    Tribes Were Supposed To Get $8 Billion In COVID-19 Aid. They’ve Gotten $0.

    • Alex

      She died for she had been nurturing political aspirations if you are so stupid not to see the trees for the forest.

  • Stonky

    China yesterday:
    Number of new cases of domestic origin: zero
    Number of imported cases: one

    A fifth of the world’s population have managed to get the virus under control in a matter of weeks. How did they do it?
    (Hint – it wasn’t by trying to destroy their economy with an idiotic and pointless lockdown…)

      • Stonky

        There was a severe lockdown in Wuhan for months.

        Yes. I’m aware of that. I’m also aware (as Tatyana has pointed out to you) that Wuhan represents less than 1% of China. The equivalent in Scotland would be Newton Stewart in lockdown, and the rest of Scotland not in lockdown.

        Picking up on the other half of Craig’s point, I would like to think that the net effect of Western countries taking a wrecking ball to their economies is that we will have less capacity for destroying other countries around the globe. Sadly, that’s not the case. The MIC will always be there. And as starving mobs begin to take to the streets, and it looks like they might be thinking about redistributing a portion of the 99% of the wealth that’s in the hands of the 1%, what better way to distract them than to explain that all this is really the fault of China/Russia/Syria/Iran/Venezuela etc. and it’s really important that we go off and bomb the shit out of these evil regimes.

        • Clark

          Stonky, when you recount the current situation in China, you should also describe the Wuhan lockdown and the widespread general travel restrictions that applied across China, because those are how the current situation was achieved. You wrote:

          “it wasn’t by trying to destroy their economy with an idiotic and pointless lockdown”

          but that’s the opposite of the truth, forcing other commenters to correct you. The Chinese restrictions and Wuhan lockdown worked, which is why they are no longer needed.

          China struck fast and hard with the hammer, so now China has the luxury to dance.

          • Stonky

            There weren’t “widespread general travel restrictions across China”. People who traveled went into a two-week quarantine once they arrived. Two weeks. Not two months or three months or however long we say so and there’s no end in sight. Two weeks. There were several levels of restricitive measures – ranging from full lockdown (which only ever applied to Wuhan and a few other localities in Hubei) to nothing – and responsibility for deciding on the necessary level was delegated to local authorities, who were best placed to judge the situation in their jurisdiction. By the beginning of February, without taking any unnecessaary risks, China was already acting to get as many people as possible back to work, as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

            And like the rest of the lockdown obsessives, carry on ignoring the one measure that made the most difference – as of 23rd January, the day afterr the Wuhan lockdown was announced, everybody who went out in public was wearing a mask (mostly PP2s). Everybody is still wearing a mask in Beijing, but as the risk of infection is now minimal, mostly they are simply surgical masks.

          • Clark

            OK, that’s informative, and it looks about right, but you really ought to mention it, because there are all sorts of people on this site saying there should be no restrictions at all, and making out that covid-19 is trivial. Consider your readership; we have some commenters actually encouraging people to spread covid-19 deliberately, and we don’t want horrendous scenes here like there were in Wuhan.

            And I’d still say you’re understating it a bit. 59 million people in 17 cities were under restrictions in Hubei, and more elsewhere:

            https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/15/business/china-coronavirus-lockdown.html

            “Residential lockdowns of varying strictness — from checkpoints at building entrances to hard limits on going outdoors — now cover at least 760 million people in China, or more than half the country’s population, according to a New York Times analysis of government announcements in provinces and major cities. Many of these people live far from the city of Wuhan, where the virus was first reported and which the government sealed off last month.”

            OK, that’s the New York Times who probably have an agenda, but the air pollution data confirms it to some extent:

            https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/146362/airborne-nitrogen-dioxide-plummets-over-china

            Yes, masks should be made widely available and compulsory in public.

    • Tatyana

      Stonky, they locked Wuhan city, it is 12 million population, twice the population of my region, or twice the population of whole Scotland.
      China had about 20 deceased people when locked the city for 76 days. Should we follow the China’s pattern?

      If we say that China did well without destroying their economy, please note that one lockdowned city must have less impact to the whole China’s economy, than lockdowned 1 region of Russia for the whole russian economy, or totally lockdowned all Scotland’s population.

      In other words, China locks 1/125th of people and the rest functions more or less normally, Russia locks 1/30th, and Scotland have to lock all 100%.

    • DoctorK

      Nonsense. Everywhere was locked down in China. I was in Shenzhen during January and February.
      If a case was discovered in an apartment block the entire block was sealed off for two weeks. It happened to the neighbouring block to my apartment.

      • Stonky

        Nonsense. Everywhere was locked down in China. I was in Shenzhen during January and February.
        If a case was discovered in an apartment block the entire block was sealed off for two weeks. It happened to the neighbouring block to my apartment…”

        Okay Doc this might be hard for you to understand so I’m going to say it very slowly in italics. The neighbouring block to your apartment in Shenzhen isn’t everywhere in China.

          • Stonky

            I appreciate that. I just find myself getting rather irritated when told I’m talking “nonsense” by someone who doesn’t understand the difference between “everywhere in China” and “the neighbouring block to my apartment”.

  • Nick

    This is scary reading
    The most recent articles on this show how could be 2 years before critical mass is reached in terms of herd immunity under lockdown restrictions.
    And further down un report how 1.6 billion globally could lose jobs due to lockdown restrictions.
    I am not calling it…merely asking the question. Has the research been done? What will kill more people globally? Lockdown for a pandemic that could take 2 years to pass….causing starvation and famine through poverty,complete breakdown down of supply network,lack of exporting due to countries requirying their own yields. Or the actual covid 19 virus itself?

      • Clark

        There are choices beyond those two, but they require political changes. It’s the neoliberal hegemony that leaves the world only two bad options, and similar applies for climate and ecological destruction. Covid-19 is humanity’s practice run; resources are not threatened, there’s just a problem with the way money is allocated – far too much to too few, and thus far too many with too little. But with climate and ecological collapse, resources themselves will be diminishing.

        • Nick

          What real changes can be implemented in 2 years? There is a real treat of severe famine this winter. South Korea and China have merely bought themselves more time. They will not be immune to any further waves. Seems to me need to pick one or other at this moment in…otherwise all four horseman will hit at one time.

          • Clark

            Money can be rerouted by a stroke of the pen, or tapping some keyboards these days. It was done for WWII so it can be done now. Redistributing money and work could be done in a fortnight; it just takes a bit of thinking.

            And the harder we lock down, the sooner we can get to contact tracing and individual quarantine, and be rid of the blanket restrictions.

            And would the politicians please distribute a few million boxes of masks? Surely the beloved economy is worth that. If they could prop up the banks with a trillion quid in 2008, they could give the whole population masks, easy.

          • Nick

            Clark
            What use is money when you can’t import food?
            With the few strokes of a pen the wealth has been assigned to the already mega rich
            I must add i’m not arguing against lockdown(had lockdown happened 2 months prior and had been our borders,airports etc)
            But the long term ramifications at the moment of continued lockdown look to be capable of killing more than covid 19 globally. Its has become a numbers game…the lockdown might save my parents from being one of the unlucky .5%. But might be ruining my childrens future.

  • Tatyana

    There is more and more evidence that coronavirus is not similar to the flu. Presumably, it “tears off” iron from hemoglobin, thereby provoking oxygen starvation of tissues. Also, I saw a message from an intensive care doctor that treatment became more effective because they started heparin therapy and thus support hypocoagulation in the patient.
    The virus came from bats, folks, this is the beginning of exciting new theories about vampires!

      • wiggins

        YES! There is actually a “bridge” in Cornwall across a busy motorway, specifically for bats……

    • Alex

      Нет никаких “больше и больше свидетельств” что коронавирус не похож на обычный грипп.Нет вообще никаких доказательств его существования.Читай http://911tm.9bb.ru/ ,просвещайся,и забей на идиота Кларка.

      There is zero evidence of the viruses’ existence. It is a global hoax and you will do yourself a lot of good not listening to folks like Clark. Enlighten yourself at better places ( http://911tm.9bb.ru).

  • TomJoad

    A friend in Canada sent us a video with the most outragious Trumpian views – on it was “The Epoch Times”. I must confess I never heard of it. Today a copy landed in my post box in Vienna. We are in for very difficult times in terms of information and truth.

    • frankywiggles

      The Epoch tTmes now accounts for over 70% of the advertising on youtube. It is a CIA-funded operation under the cover of the Falun Gong. Not a journal one should turn to if in pursuit of truth.

      • wiggins

        Falun Gong have got an interesting logo……I’m surprised certain parties haven’t noticed it yet.

  • Coldish

    Thank you; Craig, for the picture reminding us of the effects of Nato’s unprovoked attack on Libya, which, like Britain not so long ago, had an education system (of which I had once been part) which was free to all up to university level and an effective national health service also free to all residents. Some of the equipment in universities and hospitals may at times have become antiquated on account of the prolonged sanctions regimes, but was kept in good order by well-qualified and highly committed technical wizards. For the destruction of this exemplary functioning secular state, which subsequently and predictably became a battleground for competing gangs of sadistic islamo-fascists, we have to thank, among others, the verminous UK Tory government and its despicable leader David Cameron.

    • John O'Dowd

      Please don’t forget the grotesquely appalling Killary Clinton “We came, we saw, he died, haha,ha” and the equally obnoxious Sarkozy.

      We rightly denounce Bliar as a war criminal, but we should not forget these grotesques!

      • frankywiggles

        Don’t forget Barack. Too often gets left out of war criminal conversations .

        • John O'Dowd

          Indeed so.

          I’ve come to think of him as Wall St’s little joke: “Yeah, let’s give it to the black guy this time. He’ll do as he’s told”

          But of course, he was Mr Drone par excellence. Killed many thousands, including the extrajudicial murder of his own citizens.

          Really confused the ‘liberals’.

  • Jack

    New Zealand is interesting, 20 deaths to this date.

    How New Zealand ‘eliminated’ Covid-19 after weeks of lockdown
    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/28/asia/new-zealand-coronavirus-outbreak-elimination-intl-hnk/index.html

    Some might say death will soar when they do open up but they are nontheless in a better position if it comes to that, they have learnt what to do and what not do by looking at other countries failures/successful attempts to stop the disease.

    I am also impressed with Japan, a nation close to 130 million ppl, they have 455 deaths at the moment.

  • Tatyana

    Russian media describe the situation in London:

    “The optimization of English health care, begun under Thatcher, has gone so far that the number of beds has decreased three times since the late 1970s, amid a growing population and millions of new migrants.

    … Metropolises such as London are particularly affected by the pandemic, where authorities were forced to urgently deploy a field hospital with 500 beds right at the rugby stadium, but there were still not enough places in intensive care units.

    … London doctors have explained to the public how they will “sort” patients with coronavirus.

    … Initially, senior citizens … were asked to sign a paper refusing reanimation in case of a crisis. But many patients rebelled against such a decision.

    … Now … the patient receives from 0 to 10 points … even healthy old people cannot survive in this system. The age of 75 years already gives a fatal 5 points. The same sentence is given to a 50-year-old person with a serious concomitant illness – asthma or diabetes. High scores are assigned to mentally retarded patients.

    … The public digested this with purely English restraint. Londoners continue to applaud the doctors, despite even this essentially terrible decision.”

    source in russian
    https://vz.ru/world/2020/4/15/1034404.html

    • Loony

      Russian media paints a sobering picture of the situation in the UK.

      Not many countries find themselves equipped to deal with the sudden onset of a pandemic. Equally not many countries are set up to deal the sudden onset of widespread famine. Russia is the worlds largest exporter of grain but has acted to suspend all exports of processed grain.

      How do you think Russian media will report on the soon to be introduced food shortages?

      • Tatyana

        Loony, I see, it’s horrendous picture. All I need to know – is it a lie? Can you please tell me, is it true or false?
        As to food shortages, I don’t know yet. We will see later.
        BTW, grain is not the only edible product, you may like rice from Asia, corn from USA, your local vegetables, milk, chicken or fish after all. As to Russia, we have quite a lot cheap sugar this year, perhaps we will sell it abroad.

        • Clark

          The bits about reduction in care facilities is true. Yes, extra hospital facilities provided is true, but many were in place before they were needed. Yes, people come out on the streets and applaud the NHS, and there are home-made signs of support in windows everywhere; we know the pressure the staff must be under because we we know of all the cutbacks since Thatcher. Yes, the infection rate in London is the highest in the country.

          I don’t know the triage situation in London, but with 27,000 to 48,000 excess deaths, and only 3000 to 5000 critical care places nationally, I expect it’s true.

          If there are food shortages it will be a political and economic failure. Covid-19 doesn’t threaten the crops, and there is plenty of spare workforce because non-essential businesses have been ordered to close.

      • Bramble

        For years, we knew that a pandemic was the likeliest catastrophe to strike and we were urged to make proper preparations. The Tories have ignored this. They have also starved the NHS of funds, driving it to the precipice where the a mere increase in seasonal flu (as predictable as the arrival of winter) can topple it over the edge. Trying to claim this was unforeseen and unprecedented just does not wash. It is Tory party propaganda used to excuse a useless bunch of Establishment tossers playing at being a Government. Please don’t indulge them.

  • James+Charles

    “Western Europe, which consists of 10 countries (Worldometer’s definition) if you include U.K. and exclude Scandinavia, has a population of 260mil. The 3 countries of North America has about 500 mil. Combined, they represent 9.6% of the global population. This 9.6% of the global population has 67% of total Covid cases and about 80% of global Covid deaths.
    East Asia (China, Taiwan, The Korea’s and Japan) and SE Asia (excluding the Philippines and Indonesia) have 2 billion people (1.7 bil is population of what is called East Asia by Worldometer) or 25% of the global population. They together have 4.1% of all cases and 2.5% of all deaths.
    On a per million basis, the “West” has 2930 cases per million. The ‘West” has 253 deaths per million. “Asia” has 68 cases per million (about 1/50th of “West” and 3 deaths per million (1/85th of West.)
    Putting aside any one of the 5 million theories that can explain this, one that we can safely exclude is “randomness”. Having never looked at these numbers before, it had never occurred to me that this magnitude of difference was remotely plausible.”
    A comment by Michael Rulle at:
    https://www.themoneyillusion.com/priorities/#comments

    Unbelieveably? there were ‘only’ 9 reported deaths in Beijing and 7 in Shanghai?
    https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

    • Tatyana

      Of this amount, 1.5 billion is China, they get new infection offen, SARS, MERS, pigs, birds …
      The epidemiological preparedness should be very high. This is +1.
      The population of the country understands the danger much better than the population of European countries, so it is more willing to obey the orders of the government. This is +2.
      The Chinese government knows what works effectively – quarantine and contact tracing. This is +3.
      I also think that if one of the Chinese officials decides to spend billions of money on ‘whistles and bells’ rather than on disinfectants and protective equipment, then he/she is likely to be executed. Very motivating. +4.
      And finally, a free virus test, free treatment in hospitals, free accommodation and meals at the observatories. This is +5.

      BTW, no one yet told how much is the test or treatment in the UK.

      • Clark

        Test and treatment are both without charge, but only certain minorities can get tested.

        • Clark

          Tatyana, my comment above is in reply to your query about cost of tests and treatment in the UK.

    • Clark

      The key to understanding is to examine timing, because covid-19 spreads so fast. The countries that restrict movement soonest are the ones that limit infection numbers most effectively. The counties that delay are the ones that get overrun.

      Apart from Germany, all Europe and the US treated covid-19 as “something happening in distant foreign lands”, but a virus knows no borders, so now we pay the price.

      • Node

        James Charles’s figures say that you are 85 times more likely to die of covid-19 in Europe and N. America than in the rest of the world, and you say the key to understanding this is … er … something about timing. Please elaborate.

        • Clark

          MODS thanks for tidying up for me, but have you forgotten to release my new version from the moderation queue? And the reason I posted it beneath an earlier comment was to get a wider comment box to avoid text wrapping, but it seems to work under Node’s rather than my May 2, 2020 at 11:47.

        • Node

          But the take-home message is clearly that locking down sooner in your outbreak leads to fewer deaths.

          85 times fewer deaths, Clark? I don’t see anything in your figures, even giving you very generous margins of error, that approaches explaining why people are statistically 85 times more likely to die of covid-19 in Europe and N. America than in the rest of the world.

      • Clark

        I should have said timing, severity of lockdown, and suppression of true figures.

        China’s fast and hard response:

        When the Chinese authorities eventually accepted that there really was a problem and started dealing with it rather than persecuting the doctors who were raising the alarm, they imposed a very severe lockdown. In Wuhan, one person was allowed out of each dwelling every three days to get food, and that was all. Each residential street had a barrier and checkpoint at the end; everyone had to justify being out. Teams of four in biohazard suits were knocking on doors, taking temperatures, and literally carrying people off to quarantine, not even asking if they’d walk voluntarily.

        Outside Wuhan, pedestrian blocks were established, and the temperature was taken of everyone passing. Thermal imaging was installed in public places. There were vehicle checkpoints on roads. This really was a lockdown, and you really don’t understand how mild the European measures are that you’re complaining about.

        Covid-19 can be eliminated in a few weeks if it’s suppressed that vigorously. Now that restrictions have been relaxed, everyone has a smartphone app that tracks them and reports to local police. Each person has a QR code and a green, amber or red covid-19 code; access to places and facilities requires a green code. And as Stonky points out, everyone wears a mask in public.

        Preparedness:

        Taiwan and South Korea saw what was coming and prepared. Extensive testing and contact tracing kept numbers down from the start. I don’t know about Japan.

        Suppression of figures:

        It is widely believed that China had many more confirmed infections and deaths than ever published. The Chinese government stopped publishing the regular mortality figures. A lawyer who was filming the backlog of corpses at a crematorium and posting it on-line was arrested, disappeared for a fortnight and didn’t do it again. What may have been a data leak suggested about five times as many confirmed infections and deaths than published. Other estimates among epidemiologists suggested between ten and a hundred times as many as the official totals.

        North Korea was claiming no deaths or cases at all for a long time, which is obvious bullshit. I haven’t heard if that has changed; it may have done.
        – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

        Now let’s look at Europe, where all the figures are at least published. Obviously, we know that the death figures are subject to lots of error – misclassification either way. To attempt to even things up a bit, I’ve taken cumulative deaths at date of lockdown, and cumulative deaths one month later. Apologies in advance for any transcription errors; it’s taken me ages to compile and I’m not going to check it any further than I have already. The columns are:

         

         Country

         Date of lockdown

         Deaths at lockdown

         Deaths one month later

         Factor increase

        UK

        Mar 23

        359 deaths

        Apr 23

        21,787 deaths

        Fctr 61

        Austria

        Mar 16

        3 deaths

        Apr 16

        420 deaths

        Fctr 140

        Belgium

        Mar 18

        14 deaths

        Apr 18

        5,453 deaths

        Fctr 390

        Denmark

        Mar 18

        4 deaths

        Apr 18

        346 deaths

        Fctr 87

        France

        Mar 17

        175 deaths

        Apr 17

        19,323 deaths

        Fctr 110

        Germany

        Mar 22

        94 deaths

        Apr 22

        5,315 deaths

        Fctr 57

        Greece.

        Mar 23

        17 deaths

        Apr 23

        125 deaths

        Fctr 7

        Italy

        Mar 11

        827 deaths

        Apr 11

        19,468 deaths

        Fctr 23

        Netherlands

        Mar 23

        213 deaths

        Apr 23

        4,177 deaths

        Fctr 20

        Norway

        Mar 24

        12 deaths

        Apr 24

        199 deaths

        Fctr 17

        Portugal

        Mar 22

        14 deaths

        Apr 22

        785 deaths

        Fctr 56

        Spain

        Mar 14

        196 deaths

        Apr 14

        18,255 deaths

        Fctr 93

        Sweden

        Mar 29

        110 deaths

        Apr 29

        2,462 deaths

        Fctr 22

        Switzerland

        Mar 20

        56 deaths

        Apr 20

        1,429 deaths

        Fctr 25

         

        Generally, three figure deaths at lockdown leads to five figure deaths one month on.

        The sooner into the rise lockdown is imposed, the less deaths one month later.

        The UK factor should be higher as we have 48,000 excess deaths but our covid-19 deaths stand at just 28,131; scaling for that would give a factor of 104. Greece looks to have done very well, but with such low numbers containment is much easier, or maybe it’s just an inaccurate denominator. Belgium looks particularly bad, but with such a small denominator maybe some covid-19 deaths by lockdown had been counted as heart attacks, strokes or flu etc.

        But the take-home message is clearly that locking down sooner in your outbreak leads to fewer deaths.

        • Clark

          Plus what Tatyana said above, May 2, at 11:12. Her comments also apply to South Korea and Taiwan. Covid-19 is the first SARS we’ve seen in Europe; SARS was brutal, but easier to contain due to it having no asymptomatic period, the infected were easy to identify.

          We’ve all seen the pictures of everyone wearing masks during outbreaks in Asia We should be doing the same here. The more seriously we take SARS-CoV-2, the faster we can suppress it and be rid of these restrictions, though we may need a more imaginative and caring government too; not sure how we do that though, we’ve no way of getting rid of this lot.

        • Node

          Clark, nothing in your reply comes close to explaining why people are 85 times more likely to die of covid-19 in Europe and N. America than in the rest of the world, not even if I allow you huge margins of error.

          Funnily enough, the figure 85 came up in another context recently. Addressing the finding that infection rates in Califoirnia were 50 – 85 times higher than previously reported, Prof John Ioannidis said : “immediately we see that the probability of dying if you are infected diminishes by 50 – 85 fold because the denominator in the calculation becomes 50-85 fold bigger.”

          Two explanations. One works, the other doesn’t.

          • Clark

            You’re not comparing like with like. Check the figures for Wuhan, or Hubei Province. Factor in that once the situation in Wuhan / Hubei was realised, covid-19 was suppressed throughout China by subjecting 760 million people to quarantine of various severity – that’s 10% of the entire global population Node, nothing remotely comparable occurred in Europe and the US.

            And remove North Korea from the figures because they didn’t admit to any deaths at the time your spurious number was “calculated”, and factor in the true number for China, which also suppressed figures – let’s guess at 250,000 confirmed cases (as one possible leak suggested) which would imply 250,000 / 84,000 x 4,000 = ~12,000 deaths. What does your “50 to 85 times” figure look like now?

            Superficial plausibility – lazy, but conspiracy theorists love it.

          • Clark

            But even if you were right, it would only show that Asia has controlled infection 50 to 85 times better than the West. And here you are arguing for no restrictions, to make that number even worse!

  • michael norton

    I’d like to know in the U.K.
    how many people who have been tested positive for covid-19,
    induced into a coma and intubated and put on ventilation, have come off ventilation and been allowed to go home?

    • Loony

      There are a great deal of things that it would be useful to know in relation to Covid-19. The fact that no-one knows the answers to relatively straightforward questions is of itself a cause for concern.

      Surprisingly we know a lot more about a range of issues tangentially connected to Covid-19. We know for example that the US billionaire class (something less than 600 people) have in the past month seen their aggregate wealth increase by over $200 billion. All of this wealth increase is directly attributable to the monetary response to closing the economy as a consequence of Covid-19.

      We also know that US beef prices are coming in 62% higher than they were in February. We know that the Chairman of Tyson Foods has warned that the US food supply system is breaking, We know that there have been food riots in South Africa and Venezuela. We know that the UN is warning of the risk of famine of “Biblical proportions”

      We know that Governments have a history of routinely lying about all manner of things. Saddam Hussein claimed to be in possession of WMD’s, the need to bomb Libya to improve the life of its population etc etc. Today it is important to believe that the Government is telling the truth with regard to Covid-19, and the absence of basic facts relating to the incidence of this pandemic should in no way be used to infer that the government may be lying.

      After all the Government has access to computer models developed by people with very impressive academic qualifications. The fact that these same people using these same models predicted that 200 million people would die of bird flu when in fact only 282 people died is completely irrelevant.

      The people with these models are real smart people, Much smarter people than the people behind the models utilized by LTCM for example.

      • michael norton

        It might be useful to understand the early complacency of our U.K. rulers.
        Were they misled by the ( now) unrealistic figures coming out from China, less than 4,000 dead from a population of one and a half billion?

        • Stonky

          The figures from China are only unrealistic if you believe the statistics scientifically compiled by a bunch of random Joe Publics by means of shouting on social media, as diligently reported by “Radio Free Asia” (generously brought to you courtesy of the CIA.).

          Once they realised that they might be dealing with a serious health risk, whose infectiousness and morbidity were unknown, the Chinese locked down Wuhan and cut off travel into and out of Hubei. They built two new hospitals and sent 40,000 doctors and nurses to Wuhan to fight the epidemic. From January 23rd, everybody who went outdoors in China was wearing a mask.

          Given that there is no exact definition of what constitutes a “COVID-19 death”, and given the difficulty of compiling accurate statistics in a very fluid situation, it’s possible that the death toll in China might have been 10,000, or even 20,000, rather than the 6000 or so they have reported to date.

          If they had a per capita death toll comparable to the UK it would be well north of a million by now.

  • Tom

    A journalist nearly caused Alex Salmond’s trial to collapse on its second day after tweeting the name of one of his accusers.
    The revelation has been published following Mr Salmond’s acquittal on 12 sexual assault charges facing him, along with another which was found not proven.According to the i, the journalist in question swiftly deleted the post, but not before it was seen by prosecutors in the case.
    Alex Prentice QC pointed out to trial judge Lady Dorrian that the “very large following” of the journalist involved, who had more than 30,000 followers on the social media site, meant it presented a significant risk to the woman’s anonymity.
    https://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/2020/news/journalists-tweet-almost-caused-salmond-trials-collapse/

    Whys this journalist not charged with contempt of court ?

    • Stonky

      What is really interesting about this issue is how utterly specious it is. The jurors already knew the real identities of the complainants. So why on earth should it “prejudice the trial” if their names leaked into the public domain? What difference would that make to the jurors? So why on earth should it cause the trial to collapse?

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Have been tracking the mortality rate in Scotland & Wales on a pro rata basis against the UK figure since the start. Cumulative mortality rate in Scotland & Wales was out by a factor of 1.9 at the start. Surprisingly steady trend towards parity with the current off set for Scotland & Wales at 1.2.
    Conclusion; the fire has a fixed amount of fuel, it’s going to burn all available fuel, all we can do is mediate the rate of burn.
    There is an argument for matching the degree of lockdown to the availability of ventilators for people who could benefit from being intubated. Lockdown would be substantially relaxed from its current position.
    There is a valid counter argument that lockdown should remain tight ’till adequate (volume and quality) PPE is available for the NHS and nursing home staff.

    • michael norton

      Over half of people put on ventilators die.

      Perhaps earlier interventions might be beneficial.
      What I am suggesting is we have all these Nightingale units that are essentially unused, instead of leaving people at home until
      they are almost dead, why not bring them in and ease their symptoms at an earlier, less critical stage?

      • Bob+Smith

        There is a grim irony in the fact that the largely unused Nightingale unit in East London is housed in Newham which has the worse infection and death rate in the UK. I speak from experience when I say it is no coincidence it has some of the most useless local authority councillors I have ever met. The elected Mayor, rather than keep whining to government and looking for photo opportunities needs to reach out more to the NHS and secure improved care for the 350+k residents.

        • michael norton

          A member of the public asked Matt Hancock,
          as the Nightingale units are vastly underused, could they be repurposed for routine procedures, like false knees.
          Handcock answered that they would not be repurposed.

          • Stonky

            In China they used the new pop-up hospitals for the most serious Coronavirus cases, so they could concentrate resources as efficiently as possible, and they used the temporary facilities they set up for less serious coronavirus cases. That meant the other hospitals were available to deal with the rest of the healthcare need.

            Having worked in large organisations for many years, I have a strong suspicion that the situation in London has everything to do with egos and turf wars, and nothing at all to do with healthcare and the public interest.

          • Stonky

            No I’m not Loony. But I spent many long years working as an external consultant to large organisations, and I developed a very clear understanding that the higher you rise up the hierarchy of any bureaucracy, the more of your attention you devote to ego trips, turf wars, status squabbles, revenge vendettas, and everything else that falls under the heading of “internal politics”. Actually making sure that your job is being done properly becomes an insignificance. Ultimately it becomes an rather exasperating distraction from “the stuff that really matters”.

            The recent Labour Party shenanigans are a perfect example of this phenomenon.

        • Watt

          Hi Bob..
          You mention that..
          ‘Newham – which has the worse infection and death rate in the UK.’

          Perhaps check your sources for that info. Never the ‘news’papers, or TV of course.

          There have been in total 5 reported cases in Newham up till week 17. Not all will have died.

          See here:
          https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/880949/NOIDS-weekly-report-week16-2020.pdf

          Newham figures on page 15.

          All weekly reports are available online from Public Health England.
          here
          https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notifiable-diseases-weekly-reports-for-2020

          We are in the process of being shafted big style.
          cheers.

          • Bob+Smith

            Happy with my sources. Lots of different interpretations. I am sure we can at least agree that Newham has one of the worst C19 infection rates in the UK?

    • SA

      The conventional way to fight a fire is to try and extinguish the flames. In the case of wildfires out of control, you contain it and try to limit it until it consumes the available fuel. But if the fuel that has to be consumed is 20% of the population, you are going to have an awful numbers of deaths. BTW this was originally Boris’ brilliant idea about herd immunity.

      • Nick

        20 percent of population
        With respect I haven’t seen any predictions set at 14 million dead in UK. Or have I missed something?

        • SA

          Nick
          20% is not the number of deaths in the population but the number who is vulnerable, those above 65 and those who have co-morbidities, of course not all will die. Sorry for the ambiguity.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    If Joe Biden had come clean about his sexual relation with staffer Tara Reade years ago instead of making up a set of incredible lies about it, I would be wlling to support him as a mature adult.

    As it is, I suspect him of making up more important lies, like setting up FBI agent Steve Ivens in Burbank as a Russian assassin of Obama with the help of campaigner manager Jim Messsina, the POTUS chief of staff Denis McDonough, FBI Director Robert Mueller, actor George Clooney et al. to make sure that he stayed on the 2012 presidential ticket instead of Hillary Clinton.

    Then there is the unsolved murder of John P. Wheeler, III in his back yard, Wilmington, Delaware, to keep on track Obama’s plan to solve the problems with Iran’s regime and its nuclear program.

    Then there is the problem of what happened to ace hacker Gareth Williams after the solution of the Manhaten 11 sleepers as Russian, not CIA, spies.

    I still will not vote for him unless the human race is facing annihilation..

    • zoot

      no need for elaborate conspiracies to justify not voting for him. just look at his political career or at who he has advising him on economic policy.

    • Tatyana

      As long as readers are interested in Trump and his porn actress, or Salmond and his curly colleagues, the media will come up with more and more horror stories about a young man who had, oh my God, forbidden terrible desires for , just think about it, young women.
      Come on, Biden and Tara, 27 years have passed since. Is she still suffering? Did he touch her so hard that the bruises still haven’t healed? Or what?

      If it continues this way, the next will be an amazing story about a politician so poisonous that after his accidental farting, the victim has been suffering asthma for 27 years!

      I’m sorry. All these stories are just the same disgusting sort.

      • Courtenay+Barnett

        Tatyana,

        On certain crimes – no statute of limitations. True – or – not?

        That is the law – just ask Bill Cosby if you doubt me.

        • Tatyana

          Courtenay,
          I don’t see Tara blaming Biden for doing anything remotely similar to Cosby’s.
          There is no one in the Biden case to whom I sympathize. I dislike Biden and I don’t respect him. Tara’s motives are implausible. Journalists, reporting the story in a certain way, exaggerating the gravity of the alleged act – are manipulators.

          I sympathize with those who are outside of the case, the real victims of sexual crimes. When they see how this happens, how society gossips with excitment about the details, what is the outcome of such cases, what kind of contempt goes to a woman – all this dissuades the real victims from bringing their own problem to the public.

          • Courtenay+Barnett

            Tatyana,

            I have no horse in this race.

            My conscience simply tells me that if something like this as alleged, did happen:-

            ” In recent interviews, she has said that in 1993 her former boss forced her against a wall and put his hands under her shirt and skirt after she delivered him his gym bag.
            “There was no exchange, really, he just had me up against the wall,” she said to podcast host Katie Halper in March 2020.
            “I remember it happened all at once… his hands were on me and underneath my clothes.” He then penetrated her with his fingers, she said. ( QUOTED FROM A BBC REPORT)

            then the allegation in and of itself is serious enough to merit further investigation.

            In these sexual assault matters, sometimes, as in the case of Jimmy Saville and his victims, takes years to surface. Does not mean in the least that the lapse of time makes the allegations untrue.

            As I said, I do not have a horse in the race.

            Let the truth prevail!

            P.S. The link to the BBC report:-

            https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52462113

          • Tatyana

            Courtenay, why do you compare Biden to Cosby? Cosby used drugs in women’s drink, they say. Why comparing Biden to Saville? I learned that Saville had something with under age children.
            Just I say Ms. Tara Reade was about 30 years old woman. Pretty adult woman to report the assault back in 1993. Or in 2003. Or in 2013. She decided to bring the story to the public when Biden became Trump’s enemy. And I suppose, her memory was enhanced by something that we don’t know yet.

          • zoot

            tatyana

            she reported what happened to her bosses at the senate at the time and was demoted, then fired for it. her mother then called larry king live on tv to ask how her daughter, assaulted by a powerful politician, should proceed in order to get justice even a former neighbor emerged last week, a trump-hating biden supporter, to say tara reade confided to her the details of the rape to her at the time.

            that’s tara reade this is joe biden, even in full glare of the tv cameras ..
            . https://mobile.twitter.com/vicbergeriv/status/1222688896145747969
            Watch from 6 min mark

          • Courtenay+Barnett

            Tatyana,

            ” Or in 2003. Or in 2013. She decided to bring the story to the public when Biden became Trump’s enemy. And I suppose, her memory was enhanced by something that we don’t know yet.”

            Not the point at all.

            The real and germane issues are:-

            1. Did Biden do what was alleged?
            N.B. On point is my previous proven point that as in the Saville or Cosby cases – sexual assault cases and/or complaints occupy a unique place in the criminal law – where time lags do in fact occur for reasons of – a personal sense of shame/fear – or maybe just outright caution with a haunting and real recognition of what the complaint would actually mean for the complainant’s case against the accused – and many other reasons of which psychiatrists and psychologists have a detailed understanding of.

            2. She did bring the story to light when her Mom called Larry King ( which is fully verified and substantiated) about the attack within then a very recent time frame. And that same call confirms that she did make an internal complaint.
            N.B. What more do you want of the young lady ( then to do)?

            3. It is her lawful uninhibited right to say that she was sexually assaulted.

            As I said to you previously – I have no horse in the race – just permit the truth to emerge. That ultimately is the real arbiter. Strange situation where me a man – seems to be in support of the woman’s right to complain – and you the woman – seem to be in defence of the man complained about…huh?

            Kind regards and thanks for having shared your thoughts.

            Respectfully,
            Courtenay

          • Tatyana

            Yes you are right, Courtenay. Thank you.
            My error, I didn’t have all the information. Only fragments of news reached me and the whole story looked as if Tara jumped out with accusations only when Biden became a candidate.
            Miss Tara, if you accidentally read this, I apologize!

    • Courtenay+Barnett

      While not originating with Joe Biden – there is the killing of Seth Rich. Thanks Hillary.

      Then several years before that there was the airline death of the Secretary of Commerce, Ron Brown, under the Bill Clinton administration.

      And on and on and on….

      Welcome to the real world.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Not sure that Hillary had Seth Rich killed. Could have been Trump’s people.

        Another suspicious killing is that of ali Resa Pahlavi, reminiscent of how the Israelis had driven neoNazi Jorg Hader off the road in his indestructible Audi and killed. The woman who called, probably a member of a Mossad

        on was ever seen, and forced to explain what happened.

        The same thing happened in Resa’s alleged suicide. He is alleged to have blown his head off, and the woman who made the call to the police was in the house in the middle of the night when he died was never identified, and forced to explain what happened.

        He was killed shortly after Wheeler’s murder which was only known because
        his body

        fell out of the dumpster on its way to the Wilmington land fill.

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