Civil Liberty Vanishes 548

The sinister potential of coronavirus lockdown to suppress dissent was on display on Monday as police broke up a small group of protestors outside Westminster Crown Court during a case management hearing for Julian Assange. The dozen protestors, who included Julian’s father John Shipton, were all social distancing at least 2 metres apart (except where living in the same household). The police did not observe social distancing as they broke up this small and peaceful protest.

This is a stark illustration of the use of the current emergency powers to suppress legitimate dissent.

For the first time, there was something of a court victory for Assange’s defence team, as they obtained their preferred date of September for resumption of the extradition hearing. Last week magistrate Baraitser had tried to impose a choice of July or November based on the availability of Woolwich Crown Court. As defence witnesses have to come from around the world, July was too early for the defence, while November would mean another lengthy period of incarceration for the unconvicted Assange. This is not the first time the defence have secured the agreement of the US-led prosecution to a procedural request, but it is the very first time Baraitser has acceded to anything proposed by the defence, throughout all the lengthy proceedings.

SO the Assange hearing will resume in September, and of course I intend to be there to report it, if not myself incarcerated. The exact date is not yet known nor the venue. It will not be Woolwich but another Crown Court which has availability. I suspect it may be at Kingston-upon-Thames, because the government will want to maintain the theatre of the peaceful Julian being an ultra-dangerous offender and that is the other purpose built “anti-terrorism court” in London.

It is well worth reading this excellent article from El Pais by Julian’s partner, Stella Morris. It says a great deal that in the state that is actually holding Europe’s most prominent political prisoner, no newspaper would publish it. It is a truism that the general public fail to notice the slide into authoritarianism before it is too late. I confess I never thought to witness the process first hand in the UK. The information on guns in the article is new to me:

After Julian was arrested a year ago, Spain’s High Court opened an investigation into the security company that had been operating inside the embassy. Several whistleblowers came forward and have informed law enforcement of unlawful activities against Julian and his lawyers, both inside and outside the embassy. They are cooperating with law enforcement and have provided investigators with large amounts of data.

The investigation has revealed that the company had been moonlighting for a US company closely associated with the current US administration and US intelligence agencies and that the increasingly disturbing instructions, such as following my mother or the baby DNA directive, had come from their US client, not Ecuador. Around the same time that I had been approached about the targeting of our baby, the company was thrashing out even more sinister plans concerning Julian’s life. Their alleged plots to poison or abduct Julian have been raised in UK extradition proceedings. A police raid at the security company director’s home turned up two handguns with their serial numbers filed off.

We are now to be expected to entrust ourselves to a new coronavirus tracing app, currently being trialed on the Isle of Wight, that allows the government to know precisely where we are and with whom. The results will be permanently stored in a central database – something that is not required for the ostensible purpose of the app. The UK is alone among European states in seeking to create a national centralised database containing traceable unique identifiers for individuals. Precisely to address civil liberties concerns, all other countries are using a devolved database approach with amalgamation only of research useful date which cannot identify individuals. The UK is also refusing to share code with the public, or even precise detail of developers. The US firm Palantir, which has developed the app for NHSX, is coy about where its development is carried out and by whom. So far nothing has been released on the architecture of the App.

I highly recommend this podcast by Matrix Chambers on the very alarming civil liberties implication of the approach to the tracing app by Boris Johnson’s government.

There is no organisation or group with an interest in data privacy which is not sounding the alarm. The Register reports:

Controversially, the NHSX app will beam that contact data back to government-controlled servers. The academics who signed today’s open letter fear that this data stockpile will become “a tool that enables data collection on the population, or on targeted sections of society, for surveillance.”

As we reported yesterday, Britain has abandoned the international consensus on how much data should be collected to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter said:

We hold that the usual data protection principles should apply: collect the minimum data necessary to achieve the objective of the application. We hold it is vital that if you are to build the necessary trust in the application the level of data being collected is justified publicly by the public health teams demonstrating why this is truly necessary rather than simply the easiest way, or a “nice to have”, given the dangers involved and invasive nature of the technology.

Then a further report in The Register emphasised still more the UK government’s rejection of the Apple-Google app being used by virtually every other country, which is specifically devised to make impossible centralised storing of information which identifies individuals:

Presumably the goal with this kind of explanation is to comfort the vast majority of UK folk who don’t understand how the entire internet economy works by connecting vast databases together.

So long as you can rely on one piece of per-user data – like a “big random number” – everything else can be connected. And if you also have a postcode, that becomes 100 times easier. Ever heard of Facebook? It’s worth billions solely because it is able to connect the dots between datasets.

Indeed, it may be possible to work out who is associating with whom from the app’s ID numbers. Bear in mind, the Apple-Google decentralized approach produces new ID numbers for each user each day, thwarting identification, especially with the ban on location tracking.

Levy also glossed over the fact that as soon as someone agrees to share their information with UK government – by claiming to feel unwell and hitting a big green button – 28 days of data from the app is given to a central server from where it can never be recovered. That data, featuring all the unique IDs you’ve encountered in that period and when and how far apart you were, becomes the property of NCSC – as its chief exec Matthew Gould was forced to admit to MPs on Monday. Gould also admitted that the data will not be deleted, UK citizens will not have the right to demand it is deleted, and it can or will be used for “research” in future.

Yes, that is Matthew Gould in charge of the whole project. Matthew Gould, who as Private Secretary to first David Miliband and then William Hague, and then as UK Ambassador to Israel, held an extraordinary total of eight secret meetings with Liam Fox and Adam Werritty together.

1) 8 September 2009 as Miliband’s Principal Private Secretary (omitted from O’Donnell report)
2) 16 June 2010 as Hague’s Principal Private Secretary (omitted from O’Donnell report)
3) A “social occasion” in summer 2010 as Ambassador designate to Israel with Gould, Fox and Werritty (omitted from O’Donnell report)
4) 1 September 2010 in London (only one September meeting in O’Donnell report)
5) 27 September 2010 in London (only one September meeting in O’Donnell report)
6) 4-6 February 2011 Herzilya Conference Israel (omitted from O’Donnell report)
7) 6 February 2011 Tel Aviv dinner with Mossad and Israeli military
8) 15 May 2011 “We believe in Israel” conference London (omitted from O’Donnell report)

Funnily enough, I was recalling Matthew Gould last week when the Cabinet Secretary, after his “investigation”, published his report “exonerating” Priti Patel of bullying. It reminded me of when then Gus O’Donnell as Cabinet Secretary published his “investigation” into the Fox-Werritty affair, in which Gus O’Donnell systematically lied and covered up the meetings between Fox, Werritty and Matthew Gould, claiming there had only been two such meetings when in fact there were eight. It is also a good moment perhaps to pay tribute to the redoubtable Paul Flynn MP, recently deceased, who after I briefed him attempted to question Gus O’Donnell on the Public Administration Committee about the meetings he was covering up. With admirable persistence, despite continual efforts to block him, Flynn did manage to get Gus O’Donnell to admit directly that one of the Fox/Werritty/Matthew Gould meetings was with Mossad.

Hansard Public Administration Committee 24/11/2011

Q<369> Paul Flynn: Okay. Matthew Gould has been the subject of a very serious complaint from two of my constituents, Pippa Bartolotti and Joyce Giblin. When they were briefly imprisoned in Israel, they met the ambassador, and they strongly believe—it is nothing to do with this case at all—that he was serving the interest of the Israeli Government, and not the interests of two British citizens. This has been the subject of correspondence.

In your report, you suggest that there were two meetings between the ambassador and Werritty and Liam Fox. Questions and letters have proved that, in fact, six such meetings took place. There are a number of issues around this. I do not normally fall for conspiracy theories, but the ambassador has proclaimed himself to be a Zionist and he has previously served in Iran, in the service. Werritty is a self-proclaimed—

Robert Halfon: Point of order, Chairman. What is the point of this?

Paul Flynn: Let me get to it. Werritty is a self-proclaimed expert on Iran.

Chair: I have to take a point of order.

Robert Halfon: Mr Flynn is implying that the British ambassador to Israel is working for a foreign power, which is out of order.

Paul Flynn: I quote the Daily Mail: “Mr Werritty is a self-proclaimed expert on Iran and has made several visits. He has also met senior Israeli officials, leading to accusations”—not from me, from the Daily Mail—“that he was close to the country’s secret service, Mossad.” There may be nothing in that, but that appeared in a national newspaper.

Chair: I am going to rule on a point of order. Mr Flynn has made it clear that there may be nothing in these allegations, but it is important to have put it on the record. Be careful how you phrase questions.

Paul Flynn: Indeed. The two worst decisions taken by Parliament in my 25 years were the invasion of Iraq—joining Bush’s war in Iraq—and the invasion of Helmand province. We know now that there were things going on in the background while that built up to these mistakes. The charge in this case is that Werritty was the servant of neo-con people in America, who take an aggressive view on Iran. They want to foment a war in Iran in the same way as in the early years, there was another—

Chair: Order. I must ask you to move to a question that is relevant to the inquiry.

Q<370> Paul Flynn: Okay. The question is, are you satisfied that you missed out on the extra four meetings that took place, and does this not mean that those meetings should have been investigated because of the nature of Mr Werritty’s interests?

Sir Gus O’Donnell: I think if you look at some of those meetings, some people are referring to meetings that took place before the election.

Q<371> Paul Flynn: Indeed, which is even more worrying.

Sir Gus O’Donnell: I am afraid they were not the subject—what members of the Opposition do is not something that the Cabinet Secretary should look into. It is not relevant.

But these meetings were held—
Chair: Mr Flynn, would you let him answer please?

Sir Gus O’Donnell: I really do not think that was within my context, because they were not Ministers of the Government and what they were up to was not something I should get into at all.

Chair: Final question, Mr Flynn.

Q<372> Paul Flynn: No, it is not a final question. I am not going to be silenced by you, Chairman; I have important things to raise. I have stayed silent throughout this meeting so far.

You state in the report—on the meeting held between Gould, Fox and Werritty, on 6 February, in Tel Aviv—that there was a general discussion of international affairs over a private dinner with senior Israelis. The UK ambassador was present…

Sir Gus O’Donnell: The important point here was that, when the Secretary of State had that meeting, he had an official with him—namely, in this case, the ambassador. That is very important, and I should stress that I would expect our ambassador in Israel to have contact with Mossad. That will be part of his job. It is totally natural, and I do not think that you should infer anything from that about the individual’s biases.

When I put in Freedom of Information requests for the minutes of the eight meetings involving all of Liam Fox, Adam Werritty and Matthew Gould, they came back as blank sheets of paper, with literally everything removed but the date, in the interests of “national security”. When I put in a Freedom of Information request for all correspondence between Adam Werritty and Matthew Gould, I received a refusal on the grounds it would be too expensive to collect it.

I should make my position perfectly plain. I think a coronavirus tracing app is an important tool in containing the virus. I would happily use the safeguarded one being developed by Google/Apple with decentralised data and daily changing identifiers, not linked to postcodes, being adopted by major European governments.

But I think serious questions have to be asked about why the UK government has developed its own unique app, universally criticised for its permanent central data collection and ability to identify individuals from their unique codes. That this is overseen not by a scientist or health professional, but by the man who held all those secret meetings with Fox and Werritty, including with Mossad as admitted to Parliament by the then Cabinet Secretary, frankly stinks.

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

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


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548 thoughts on “Civil Liberty Vanishes

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  • Clark

    That’s not an attack Tony M, that’s a questions – what evidence would convince you?

    And I left something for you on my “What is Conspiracy Theory” thread. Thanks for your contribution there.

    “There’s no such thing as untainted science, whoever pays the piper calls the tune.”

    How many books have you read about commercial corruption of science? I’ve read one; Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre. Know how scientific corruption is achieved? Know how to detect it? What could help fix it Interested?

    • Clark

      “There’s no such thing as untainted science, whoever pays the piper calls the tune.”

      OK, I accept that, better than you might imagine. But how do YOU know, Tony, in which direction the science might be tainted?

      “if RNA virii even exist”

      Ha! Yes, they’re all made up! Thousands upon thousands of scientists, just copying out fiction dictated by the “Elite”! Of course, how stupid of me not to recognise it!

      Tony, more scientific papers are released each day than a person can even read. What secret boiler room is writing all this fiction for “them”, for the “Elite”, to be signed by the compliant scientists and submitted to the scientific journals? And how do they get so much right? How do we get satellites in orbit, and new polymers? Haven’t you noticed any changes in technology since you were a lad? Funny, I don’t remember the Internet and colour touch screens when I was at school; only a few of us had calculators. Where do “they” get all these breakthroughs to put in front of the fake scientists?

    • Clark

      I started by finding that quite interesting, but by the end thought it was just a tease, bait to get people to pay to visit their very plush looking website. Twice they failed to produce any evidence just when they got to the interesting bit, and they had different excuses each time.

      He mentioned Dr Kyle-Sidell in New York, and searching on that name led me to an article that I think is very good and interesting, about treatment of covid-19:

      The Great Ventilator Fiasco of COVID-19 (MedPage Today)

  • Dave

    The redeeming thing about this hoax is there is already considerable debunking within the MSM, no doubt because there is growing push back as many people are clearly being affected and has to be acknowledged to retain some credibility. The problem is the wall to wall fear-porn works (for a while) and people have been manipulated to stay home (on paid gardening leave), but this can’t continue without the wrecking the economy agenda becoming transparent.

  • Clark

    A few fake, anonymous Internet identities would be a much easier hoax than a global pandemic.

  • OnlyHalfALooney

    Whitney Webb has written an article on how the intelligence services (“deep state”) is using the Covid-19 crisis to increase and enhance their mass surveillance of the general population.

    It is indeed striking how the coronavirus crisis has seemingly fulfilled the NSCAI’s entire wishlist and removed many of the obstacles to the mass adoption of AI technologies in the United States. Like major crises of the past, the national security state appears to be using the chaos and fear to promote and implement initiatives that would be normally rejected by Americans and, if history is any indicator, these new changes will remain long after the coronavirus crisis fades from the news cycle.

    This is about the US, but I think it is obvious by now that the NSA and GCHQ work hand in glove, just as MI5/6 do with the CIA. It is frightening how civil liberties have been eroded in the UK by successive governments, (New) Labour and Tory.

    Here, the Dutch government seems to have quietly binned any “coronavirus app” plans. Not that this particularly reassures me. Although there has been much more push-back from citizens in the Netherlands, including the government losing a referendum on a new surveillance and intelligence sharing law.

    I don’t know how others here feel, but my feeling is we will never go back to the world as we knew it in February 2020.

    One can only hope some positive things will come from this all: for example, an end to the ridiculous exercise of flying tourists 1000s of km to holiday resorts at a price that is often less than a tank of petrol. Perhaps people will also appreciate more what they actually have, rather than being suckered into wanting all kinds of crap that doesn’t actually make their lives any better. But perhaps I’m being naive. Capitalism always finds a way to exploit a situation, even if most of the world is headed for second Great Depression. The haves will increase their wealth (in the end), while the have-nots will just become poorer, more indebted and less well-off in general.

    • Greg Park

      The richest will continue to call the shots, with their essential aim unchanged: to get richer still at everybody else’s expense and at all costs.. They have already been allowed to reassert control here in the UK today despite the country’s death toll.

      • OnlyHalfALooney

        The death toll sounds horrific but it needs closer scrutiny.

        In the Netherlands there have been 5440 deaths attributed to coronavirus.

        Of these, NONE were younger than 45.

        147 were between 45 and 59.

        448 were between 60 and 69.

        All the rest (4845 = 89%) were 70 or older.

        Obviously we need to protect the elderly and people at high risk of serious symptoms. We also need to prevent the hospitals etc. from becoming overwhelmed.

        Most people over 70 are not really active participants in the productive and working economy. I am sure that we would be able to keep them isolated and protected as a group. Yet we have blanket restrictions that apply to the whole population and economy.

        We do have relatively less strict restrictions in the Netherlands compared to the UK, but they are still causing enormous harm to the economy, job losses and preventing people with other serious diseases and conditions (particularly psychiatric) from receiving the care they need.

        The Dutch figures are here:
        The UK figures are here:

        Note that the UK figures use very strange age brackets (why?) which suggest the death rate for over-45’s (“45 to 64”) is much higher than it probably is.

        This issue has generated some incidental discussion of this on Dutch TV, but not as much as it deserves.

        • Clark

          The Netherlands applied social restrictions at around 45,000 infections, compared with around 280,000 in the UK; that’s about 0.26% and 0.42% of the population respectively. The Netherlands’ restrictions also resulted in a lower value of Rt, causing infections to fall faster.

          Infections at lockdown UK / NL (ICL model)
          280,000 / 45,000 = 6.2

          UK deaths / NL deaths (Worldometers)
          32,065 / 5,456 = 5.8

          6.2 vs 5.8 – Pretty similar, as expected.

        • Clark

          It is also a mistake to focus exclusively upon deaths. There is suffering to be considered, and lasting health damage. We have less than six months’ experience with covid-19, but already there is much evidence of lasting lung damage, organ damage and neurological damage.

          To return to deaths, between ages 45 and 69 there have been 147 plus 448 = 595 so far (there are still another 498 critical cases of all ages). But only about 3.44% of the population have been infected so far, and thus a potential for it to get 20 to 25 times worse, so maybe 10,000 to 15,000 deaths in the 45 to 69 age group.

  • Node

    Nicola Sturgeon is signalling to the PTB : “Look at me, I get it, I’m staying on message, I’m a safe pair of hands, make me President of Europe when this is all over.”

    • michael norton

      Node, you make a good point.

      It does all have to be about her, in her mind.

  • Node

    The excess death rate is chanted like a mantra to justify lockdown but it is meaningless without knowing what it consists of. Yet there is no attempt to obtain data on the other factors which contribute to it.

    Is it doubled by including those who died with rather than of the virus? Tripled? More? Is it doubled again by including those who died because of lockdown measures rather than the virus? Tripled? More?

    What fraction of the excess death rate is actually caused by Covid-19? … 25%? … 10%? Nobody seems to want to know this crucial information. Why not? Why are supporters of science not outraged by this unscientific methodology?

    • Node

      To answer one of my own questions : “Is it doubled by including those who died with rather than ofthe virus? Tripled? More?

      The answer is definitely “More” according to information released by the Italian Health Board which estimated such practices were inflating the death toll by a factor of 8. Therefore including the other inflationary other factors I mentioned it is certain that Covid-19 deaths account for less than 10% of the total ‘excess deaths.

      • Clark

        “…according to information released by the Italian Health Board”

        OK, so if the Italian health board are aware of this "problem", use the figures they've released since then, right? But I bet you won't touch them with a barge pole, because your approach is essentially dishonest, denialist.

        Latest official total CoVID-19 deaths in Italy; 30,560

      • mods-cm-org

        The debates about science and policy concerning Covid-19 and public health policy are extending far beyond the scope of Craig’s article, and are obscuring his message. The discussion forum is better suited for this kind of debate, so ongoing conversations about Covid-19 responses and any related evidence should be posted there.


    • glenn_uk

      What do you put the excess death rate down to, Node – death rays from Mars?

      Or is this yet another of your tiresome, “Oh – this looks a little bit odd, don’t you think?” when in fact there’s nothing actually that odd there at all. Of course we have huge numbers of excess deaths, here and virtually every country. Now you want to pretend that this is nothing whatsoever to do with a worldwide pandemic, because you have a huge emotional investment into denying it.

      Have you considered talking with someone – on a professional basis, I mean – about this rather obsessive behaviour? I mean this kindly.

      • OnlyHalfALooney

        If elderly patients are already so weak that almost any serious infection would kill them, is the underlying condition or coronavirus the cause? Are tests for possible other simultaneous infections carried out? This is important because “co-infection” is a known complicating phenomenon with all coronaviruses.

        Would we be taking the same measures if a severe influenza epidemic was causing similar “excess deaths” among the elderly?

        • Clark

          “If elderly patients are already so weak that almost any serious infection would kill them, is the underlying condition or coronavirus the cause?”

          The criteria to judge by is whether the cause of death is new or not. Underlying conditions were killing people steadily anyway and would have continued to do so without covid-19. They are not new, so the five year average already included them.

          Covid-19 and side effects of social restrictions are both new, so both contribute to the deviation from the five year average. But side effects of restrictions cut both ways; extra deaths are caused, from missing hospital treatments, suicides etc, but other lives are also saved, from reduced road accidents and accidents at work etc.

      • Node

        Sorry Glenn, I didn’t realise you were around or I’d have explained it more slowly. First let me thank you for demonstrating my first point so clearly : “The excess death rate is chanted like a mantra to justify lockdown.”

        What I’m trying to explain to you is that the phrase “excess death rate” isn’t magic, in fact it is meaningless unless we know what that rate is composed of. Now we know for a certain fact that it includes people who died with the virus but not because of it. The Italian Institute of health were so alarmed that their death rate was being exaggerated that they issued this warning:

        The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus […] On re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity – many had two or three,”

        We know that UK covid deaths also include those who died with rather than of the virus, therefore we can assume a similar inflationary factor of 8.5-fold. Further, we know UK practices don’t even require a test to be done, the cause of death can be assumed to be covid, so this raises the inflationary factor even more, let’s conservatively estimate that the inflationary factor is raised to 10%.

        So listen carefully, Glenn because you missed this the first time. You say the excess death rate is higher than normal therefore covid must be the cause. Well I have demonstrated that actual covid-caused deaths constitute no more than 10% of deaths which are registered as covid-related,

        And on top of that, there are significant numbers of people dying from lockdown measures themselves – people dying for lack of routine care or medical procedures, suicides, domestic violence, etc – which are also included in the excess death rate.

        Therefore the number of deaths directly resulting from covid infection is a fairly minor portion of the total number of excess deaths, therefore something else must be responsible.

        Scream if you want to go slower?

        • Clark

          Node, it’s disappointing how easily you have been taken in by propaganda.

          “With or of” red herring – see above:

          That should be the end of it, but I know you love the sound of your own keyboard so much…

          [ Mod: Thanks for that clarification Clark.

          To all concerned: the Covid-19 issues being debated here extend far beyond the content of Craig’s article, and are obscuring his message. The discussion forum is better suited for this kind of debate, so ongoing conversations about Covid-19 responses and any related evidence should be posted there.

          Regards. ]

        • Clark

          And Node’s “listen carefully”, “scream if you want to go slower?”

          Just delete it he’s effectively maximising the death rate. The point he’s quoting has already been withdrawn by the Italian health authorities; the statement was made before Bergamo

        • Node

          … therefore something else must be responsible.
          Let me correct myself. That’s not the point I was trying to make.

          The more important point is why is there no attempt to identify covid deaths? If covid is the threat we are told, every effort should be made to accurately understand its effects in order to best deal with it. Instead the actual death toll is irretrievably buried in background noise, and this background noise is not unavoidable, it is a direct result of the instructions our government has issue on how to record covid deaths.

          • Clark

            “why is there no attempt to identify covid deaths?”

            1) There is. Doctors and nurses recognise this illness; they certainly have copious experience by now. Cause of death for the death certificate can be and is made by clinical judgement.

            2) There is a shortage of test kits. Don’t waste test kits on corpses, for whom nothing more can be done.

            3) Staff are overstretched. Don’t waste health professionals’ time and effort on corpses; tend for the living.

            “every effort should be made to accurately understand its effects in order to best deal with it”

            And every effort is being made, on living patients. Read this:


            “Instead the actual death toll is irretrievably buried in background noise”

            No, the covid-19 signal swamps the noise.

            [ Mod: Thanks again Clark. But – to reiterate – no further discussions about Covid-19 epidemiology or public health policy should be posted in the comment thread. Please take the debate to the discussion forum.

            Thank you. ]

        • glenn_uk

          As usual, you pepper your comments with insults, which makes you a bit of a hypocrite Node. Do you find this works, that you can insult a correspondent’s intelligence so they’re intimidated away from the discussion? If you had even a semblance of a good case, you would have no need to do so – and that is very obvious.

          You have come nowhere near demonstrating “that actual covid-caused deaths constitute no more than 10% of deaths which are registered as covid-related”. Just asserting it with some hand waving doesn’t make it so, no matter how much you might wish that to be the case.

          You don’t appear to understand the whole business of having another medical condition which – when combined with C-19 – causes the patient’s death. That doesn’t mean that C-19 doesn’t exist, nor that it had nothing to do with it.

          Now I could add some silly bitchy comments like “am I going too fast for you there, Node?” or “Should I use shorter words there node?” but I don’t need to, because unless someone is being deliberately obtuse, the case is obvious. So I’ll leave that to you. I would only say you shouldn’t make it so easy for your correspondent to take the high ground.

          Of course people are dying as a result of lack of medical care in this lock-down – I don’t think anyone is denying that, are they? And I don’t think anyone is saying we ought to have a lock-down for the fun of it.

          You might note, if you’re interested in the truth, that lots of Americans are dying even without a lock-down, and before it came into effect where they had one. Countries which imposed strict measures earlier have a much better result, and the opposite is true too.

          You might also note that large numbers have died almost certainly as a result of C-19. but it hasn’t been recorded as such. I suppose you want to ignore facts like that, just like you have on previous occasion.

          “U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Is Far Higher Than Reported, C.D.C. Data Suggests

          The link above shows a 5-year average for a number of states, plus the actual number for this year. The article goes on to explain in great detail about excess deaths – you would do well to read it.

          [ Mod: Thank you for this clarification. However, any further comments concerning the topic of Covid-19 epidemiology or public health policy should be directed to the ]

        • Clark

          “UK practices don’t even require a test to be done, the cause of death can be assumed to be covid […] I have demonstrated that actual covid-caused deaths constitute no more than 10% of deaths which are registered as covid-related […] there are significant numbers of people dying from lockdown measures themselves – people dying for lack of routine care or medical procedures, suicides, domestic violence, etc – which are also included in the excess death rate.”

          So what you’re effectively claiming is that of the 40,000 to 54,000 UK excess deaths so far, something like 80% to 90% are various results of the social restrictions, yet the entire medical staff of the UK are counting them as primarily covid-19. We have vast numbers of murders, suicides, and neglect – bruising, stabbings, fractures, hangings, overdoses – yet thousands of doctors and nurses are marking death certificates “covid-19”, and the local authorities are turning a blind eye.

          And they’re all doing this so that Bill Gates can sell vaccines, right? If one is ever developed. Because that is your underlying argument, yes?

          [ Mod: Thank you for this counter-argument. However, any further comments concerning the topic of Covid-19 epidemiology or public health policy should be directed to the ]

  • glenn_uk

    I’d like one of these C-19 denialists to outline exactly what it would take to fake a pandemic. Just seeing the sheer scale of it, the lists of people, organisations, governments, medics, scientists, authorities – on a worldwide basis – that would have to be “in on it” to produce this result.

    Not forgetting the huge interests being damaged here, ranging from economic collapse to personal ruin, government debt and healthcare costs, that would have to be somehow bought off in order to get this supposed hoax done.

    Never mind the trivial task of getting every government in the world to simultaneously buy in on the notion and not one of which has blown the whistle, of course.

    Let’s not even mention the _real_ reason the funeral homes have been so astonishingly busy these past few months. Jolly sporting of thousands a people a week to die just to keep the story going.

    At the moment, the denialists don’t have the courage to link all these necessary components. The lack the intellectual honesty to complete the picture. It’s just a little bit of this and that, references to some stooge of Trump who wants to play down the scale of the problem, the usual “merchants of doubt” at work. None of this is followed up or discussed with any rigour, but rather is quietly dropped and brought back – as if afresh! – time and time again. At least until the next dubious item for consideration appears on a conspiracy theory site.

    So how about it, Node, N, John Goss, Dave – are you up for the task? Give us the full picture. List the whole lot of them who are involved. Not names, just the complete list of organisations necessary to pull this off.

  • michael norton

    The U.K. government which is weaving through pulling out of Lock-Down, has now decided to cancell early prisoner release.

    Does anybody know, how many have caught covid-19 in Bellmarsh?

  • Dave

    The “Coronavirus Bill” cancelled all elections for 2 years (to be reviewed in 6 months). The social distancing and self-isolating rules should be viewed in this context, as they de facto ban political gatherings/protests under the guise of fighting a virus, as shown by police response to the Free Assange protest.

    • SA

      “It is important to say however that lockdowns must be introduced and applied lawfully, and that proportionality is always central to human rights law. ECHR Articles 5 and 8 would no doubt be infringed if proportionality were lost, for example if the lockdowns are persisted in after the disease has been suppressed, or are introduced or enforced in an arbitrary and inconsistent way without proper law or due process, or are being used for purposes other than “preventing the spreading of an infectious disease” and “protecting health”. However that does not seem to be the case at the moment.”

  • Clark

    Table 3 Deaths in Scotland by month of registration and NHS Board area, 1990 to 2020
    Table 4 Deaths in Scotland by month of registration and council area, 1996 to 2020

    These tables have entries up to March 2020 but none for April 2020, so I don’t know where you found that data for April. I expect what you’ve found is incomplete due to a delay in compilation.

    The most recent I see is for March –
    From either Table 3 or Table 4:

    For March 2019…. 4,637 deaths.
    For March 2020…. 5,478 deaths.

    This makes more sense, because the death statistics ends up looking like this:

  • michael norton

    The Chinese city of Jilin has imposed travel restrictions, closed off residential areas and banned gatherings after a number of coronavirus cases were confirmed.

    A city in North Korea has also been locked-down
    but as of yet, no cases of covid-19 have been officially admitted in N.K.
    More cases in South Korea have come to light in gay bars and LGBTI night clubs.

  • Fredi


    “I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole.”

    –Mike Pompeo, College Station, TX, April 15, 2019

    As the co-founder of a small security consulting firm called UC Global, David Morales spent years slogging through the minor leagues of the private mercenary world. A former Spanish special forces officer, Morales yearned to be the next Erik Prince, the Blackwater founder who leveraged his army-for-hire into high-level political connections across the globe. But by 2016, he had secured just one significant contract, to guard the children of Ecuador’s then-President Rafael Correa and his country’s embassy in the UK.

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