SARS cov2 and Covid 19

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  • #52978

    SA: “What is your problem exactly?”

    Clark keeps calling me a psychopath and a liar, and not only do the Mods let him off with it, they delete my replies.

    [ Mod: FYI, your single deleted reply included these sentences, e.g.:

    Your “poor little sensitive me” act might be more convincing if it wasn’t accompanied by vicious insults.

    If you want sympathy stop being an arsehole.

    Taunting and personal abuse are clear breaches of the moderation rules for commenters. ]

    michael norton

    A scientist has pointed out that, the Government/NHS need to put their thinking caps on.
    When they have fitted their thinking caps, they will find that the ill health of the nation is largely caused by highly processed factory food.
    The average low paid U.K. person consumes 50% of their intake,
    by consuming kebabs, bread, cakes, biscuits, t.v. microwave foods.
    Pasta, processed puddings and so forth.

    If they only ate real food, that can be recognisable as something that has recently been alive, fish, shellfish, meat, eggs, carrots, cabbage, plums, turnips, fowl, they would loose visceral fat, start to reverse their type two diabetes
    and start to lose weight, their brains would limber up and they might take up exercise, such as swimming, cycling , canoeing or walking.
    Onward to a healthier life.
    This change in what they eat will also reduce the amount of inflammations experienced and would deliver a longer healthier life.


    Mod: FYI, your single deleted reply included these sentences, e.g …

    Not true. I also had a reply deleted yesterday in which I simply said “You got what you asked for” when Clark lamented contact tracing. If that’s not fair comment what is?

    Plus how is this not playing the man : “Maybe all this death and suffering is just a game to you.”

    Plus He’s calling me a liar here : “Angry that commenters including you are attempting to undermine public understanding of science, trying to mislead readers into believing that SARS-CoV-2 is not a major threat, despite clear and unambiguous evidence that it is. Oppose the stay-at-home laws by all honest means, but not by deception, because readers deserve respect. Readers have a right to make their own decisions, but misleading and confusing them undermines that right.”

    Whatever my other faults, it ought to be plain to anybody that I am sincere in my belief that Covid-19 is being used by sinister powers to extend control over the world. But Clark can call me a liar with impunity. I understand why Clark gets special leniency from the Mods but you are not doing Craig;’s blog any favours letting him have the run of it like a spoiled child.

    I remind you of his accusations towards other posters:

    John Goss is “actually campaigning to maximise death and suffering”
    Rhys Jaggar wants to “effectively waterboard half a million people for between a week and a month each, many of them to death,”
    Loony is “trying to increase the death rate.”

    You wouldn’t let anyone make the same accusations about Clark. Let’s have a level playing firld.


    Michael, I can think of some problems with your suggestion:

    * Little is known about the effects of covid-19. There have been cases of lasting lung damage, organ damage and neurological damage, all also seen in younger and healthier people who have suffered covid-19. We won’t know how prevalent this is until hospital load is reduced and these ex-sufferers can be followed up, and that won’t be until after the crisis.

    * Little is known about immunity imparted by covid-19; whether it is imparted to all who recover, how long it might last, and even whether reinfection leads to worse illness the next time. This can’t be known until there is more medical experience with covid-19 – only time can tell.

    “The answer should have been to shield the most at risk and let the rest take their chances”

    * But the “most at risk” are the elderly and the infirm, so who is going to look after them, if everyone else is permitted to get infected?


    Node, I haven’t asked for personal data to be sent to Mossad via Matthew Gould’s company and app, so your personal accusation was dishonest.

    It doesn’t matter how sincere anyone’s beliefs are, they should respect facts, because doing so is a vital aspect of intellectual honesty.

    It also doesn’t matter how sincere anyone’s beliefs are because, for instance, many Nazis beliefs were sincere, but just as objectionable nonetheless.


    And Node, when I wrote “Maybe all this death and suffering is just a game to you”; I was and am genuinely wondering. You placed your importance of honesty at 85% but you seem to be attempting to undermine readers understanding of science, and contradicting logic itself, in order to further a quasi-political-economic argument about the UK’s stay-at-home laws. Your arguments seem reversed; you know the outcome you want, removal of restrictions, so to that end you seem to be toying, playing with facts and logic. But facts have logical consequences.


    Node: “Covid-19 is being used by sinister powers to extend control over the world”

    I agree.

    But that doesn’t alter the facts that covid-19 is often a very bad illness with a high mortality rate, that it’s not a type of flu, that it multiplies very fast and thus overwhelms healthcare systems, that it kills slowly with immense suffering, etc.

    You seem to me to believe that the end of preventing extended control justifies the means of permitting vast preventable suffering, in turn achieved through the means of misleading readers that covid-19 is less serious than the facts indicate.


    And this is the crux of the matter. Because covid-19 is a threat we must focus on this fact irrespective of how the government mishandled the crisis and how they may be using it for nefarious purposes. That is what we should concentrate on. The first part is mostly science and undermining it only serves the other agendas. Of course we know that the neoliberal capitalist system will exploit any disaster for their own purposes. Witness how the crash of 2007-2008 ended up generated many more billionaires whilst millions suffered austerity. But arguing against the science just plays into the hands of those who want to exploit the disaster.


    It is very important to realise what this is about. Individualism and individual freedom in this very interconnected world impinges on other people’s freedom. In this case irresponsible actions by individuals (including stupid advice like go and hug everyone: John Goss) or ignoring the social distancing does not only lead to more danger to yourself but also to many others.


    Michael, I agree that good diet and exercise would be good things.

    Many people are too tired after long hours doing shit work; they don’t get time to cook and exercise. Reduction in working hours and increase in hourly pay would help a lot. People would have more time and resources to engage in their communities, educate themselves, research the news in depth, engage politically, make and repair things, practice music, art and drama… Things could be much better than they are.


    If only. Hope it turns up that way.

    The Comedy Vines – Coronavirus story By Tom Foolery 2020 (YouTube)

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by modbot.

    Clark: Node, I haven’t asked for personal data to be sent to Mossad via Matthew Gould’s company and app, so your personal accusation was dishonest.

    Thank you. That statement nicely demonstrates the difference between us. My meaning was clear : for weeks you have demanded ever stricter measures to control covid19, including tracking, and now you’ve got what you asked for. But you pretend to understand a different meaning because that suits your argument right now. You casually lie to win a trivial argument. Whereas I visit these comment sections to share my opinions and test my arguments. It would defeat my purpose to lie and I don’t. Ever. I’ve challenged you before and I do it again now: point to a single example ever where you think I’m trying to deceive.

    So now it dawns on me, could the reason my innocuous remark was deleted be because you made the mods delete the whole conversation? You’ve done it to me before and you’ve boasted of doing it to others. Did you use personal abuse and force the mods to delete all related comments?

    [ Mod: Node, you seem to imply that moderators are not exercising our own judgement about the acceptability of comments, but are instead acting in league with Clark to delete your contributions. In so doing, you are impugning the motives of the blog team.

    Your comments were deleted for good reasons. Unfortunately we cannot elaborate on moderation decisions in an ongoing topical discussion, but you can post your complaint to the blog support forum instead. ]


    Why do you think Clark is lying? Most European countries want to introduce a non centralised app that is very transparent, whereas our government wants to introduce one that is the onsite. There is nothing hypocritical about accepting one but not the other.
    It is not necessary to lie to obscure the truth. You can also do it by being selective about what you chose to post and what you deliberately chose to ignore.
    Why for example do you keep using limited sources that agree with your preconception and not believe many others that outnumber them. And I genuinely hope you have stopped believing that OffGuardian is the go-to site for information about Covid-19


    I have two concerns
    The government has been intent on continuing to enforce their herd immunity approach despite denying it.
    Hence the supposed delay in PPE, testing and so on.

    The government with its huge stolen majority will not allow an investigation into failures of dealing with


    It is not necessary to lie to obscure the truth. You can also do it by being selective about what you chose to post and what you deliberately chose to ignore.

    Then why do you not include both sides of the argument every time you post on the covid subject? Are you obscuring the truth? Or could it just possibly be that you interpret the evidence differently to me? Oh, but of course you are right and I am wrong, therefore you are just asserting the truth whereas I am obscuring it.

    If you ever pause to reflect on your unassailable certainty, you might consider that your and Clark’s POV has been steadily drifting towards mine ever since we started arguing about it. From a blanket denial that the figures were being manipulated, there is now an acceptance that they are but that it doesn’t matter because the excess death rate trumps all*. And from a position that civil liberties were of secondary importance to the need to control covid19, now you accept there’s a serious threat.

    *even though we don’t have a clue what constitutes that figure. For ‘scientists’ you are remarkably vague … it doesn’t matter whether we count those who die with or of the virus … it doesn’t matter if we include those who die of or despite the lockdown.


    And my final words for the Mods, because this isn’t worth opening a new topic for:
    No, I’m not implying that you can’t excercise your own judgement. I am asserting that Clark manipulates you. On the 9/11 thread he repeatedly achieved his stated intention of forcing conversations to be deleted for abusive language, before the mods closed the whole thread because he made it impossible to moderate. He’s done it to me on other threads too, but and HERE‘s just one example of him boasting about manipulating you. Look, you’ve got a difficult job and I am aware I’m just one more whinger with an exaggerated sense of miscarriage of justice. This outburst has been prompted by my innocuous statement “You got what you asked for” being deleted and I’m trying to understand why. But OK, I’ll leave it there and I’ll try to avoid these situations in future. Case closed as far as I’m concerned.


    … I should have said “just one example of him boasting about trying and failing on this occasion to manipulate you” 🙂


    “why do you not include both sides of the argument”

    Ever heard of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Pastafarianism?

    See, I really shouldn’t talk about covid-19 unless I’m prepared to be fair to the “other side of the argument” (which is the binary choice fallacy in itself). So maybe SARS-CoV-2 causes covid-19 which makes people ill and kills people, and maybe there are no such thing as viruses, and people get ill and die because the FSM (pesto be upon him) does it with His noodly appendage.


    Node, you’re really being so partisan that you’re not making sense. Have you considered that you might be losing your mind?


    That‘s a “boast”


    That‘s a “boast”? It’s the opposite! A lament, and a declaration of failure. Here; the quote:

    “I posted a load of insults at Pb; I was trying to prompt the moderators to suppress the anti-scientific denialism, but they just deleted my abuse, along with Pb’s ludicrous threat of suing me for libel(!); Pb’s fatal advise was permitted to remain. Free speech is valuable, but no one in their right mind would insist that it extends to, say, encouraging children to run out into motorway traffic.”

    Yeah, I sometimes respond to covert or disguised abuse with explicit abuse, and sometimes the some moderator has the sense to delete both. You accusing me of having got what I wanted was imputation of motive. It was offensive, so I posted abuse and the mods deleted both. Good!

    A huge amount of time and effort is being wasted, just on defending facts on my side, and trying to deny facts on your side Node. If we could get past that there’d be more time to discuss ways of restricting cross-infection while protecting civil liberties. But no; you and those your position converges with keep trying to undermine the facts themselves, and you seem to think that’s not just acceptable, but actually honourable.


    And Node, I want to point out to you an instance of you being dishonest. My motivation is that I think you are unaware of it being proactive dishonesty. From my point of view it is indistinguishable from deliberate dishonesty, but charitably, I think you’re less than fully conscious of what you did.

    A couple of days ago you claimed in a comment that Ben Goldacre extensively cited John Ioannidis in Bad Science. You presented that as if it were a fact. But you haven’t actually read Bad Science, have you? You can’t have done, or you’d know that it doesn’t cite Ioannidis at all.

    You just made that up, but then posted it as if it were factual, right? Node, that’s lying. I suppose you thought it didn’t matter, or it might be right so it was worth a try, so from your perspective it was more bullshitting than lying, but from an external perspective without access to the thoughts that motivated you it is indistinguishable from lying.

    So I wonder how many others of the “facts” you post this applies to. “It’s worth it to protect civil liberties, and it might be true, and there is no such thing as fact, there are only differing opinions anyway”. Am I on the right track?


    You really can’t give equal credibility to each argument equally when you are dealing with science. You start by examining scientific findings and weigh the balance of argument. You can’t give equal weight to Dr Mikovits, who has not had a single peer reviewed publication for 8 years, with those actively engaged in the field with an actual new virus. You spent a lot of time at the outset arguing that it was just another flu virus, based on no facts at all.

    Since some of what you quoted comes from OffGuardian, written by non-scientists trying to interpret science in a political way, it is difficult to give it credibility equal to others discussing scientific findings. You posted a rather offensive article from OffGuardian that implied that far from many front line staff dying disproportionately, that in fact they seem to be protected, when in fact OG used the completely wrong comparator. OG has engaged in cherry picking from the start on this subject and ‘amassed’ as someone put it, a total of 30 ‘experts’ to contradict the thousands of experts who reached the opposite conclusion. Even in the case of Ioannides, there are both flaws in his methodology of the one study he published, but also in your and OG interpretation of what he was saying as Clark pointed out.
    There is no objection to healthy skepticism and questioning policies but you were questioning science which is different. We can all agree that not only did the government mishandle the whole crisis from beginning to end, and are now manipulating it to their own ends given the huge majority they have and are likely to come out of this pretending that they heroically conquered the virus because parliament will probably declare that this is the case. So let us not waste time on disagreeing with the science and instead attack this incompetent government we ended up with through some very dubious practices.

    michael norton

    My local to me Urgent Care Center,
    has very recently closed, yesterday have they given a reason.
    They claim there is no call for it.
    However, I expect it is because the main hospital twelve miles away that had the first hospital death in the U.K. from covid-19 and the first consultant die of covid-19 needs more staff as many are ill.
    A local to me doctors surgery is now a covid-19 reception point, no more G.P.

    We don’t seem to be calming down in the U.K. but we have been social distancing for two month and in Lock-Down
    for six and a half weeks.

    Why do they not tell us at the Downing Street Briefing,
    where and how people are still being infected?
    I expect it is shame.
    Most are contracting covid-19 in their “care” homes.


    Node, 11:33 – “From a blanket denial that the figures were being manipulated, there is now an acceptance that they are”

    The opposite is the case. The figure from Worldometers for covid-19 deaths is 31,241. The figure for overall excess deaths from Chris Giles of the Financial Times, based on work by the Continuous Mortality Investigation of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries suggests total excess deaths of 51,000 to 59,000. Even the lower figure presented earlier was 43,000 (from memory). It seems that covid-19 deaths are being underreported.

    “And from a position that civil liberties were of secondary importance to the need to control covid19, now you accept there’s a serious threat”

    It’s Gould’s app I’m objecting to. But I’ve always said that the restrictions were worrying, but that it was a matter of lesser evils.

    “… it doesn’t matter whether we count those who die with or of the virus … it doesn’t matter if we include those who die of or despite the lockdown.”

    I have answered both these points repeatedly. The “of or with the virus” argument is invalid, because the five year average already included ongoing deaths due to other conditions, and “excess deaths” are the deaths over and above the five year average*.

    As for those dying of the lockdown, this, like covid-19, is another new cause of death that didn’t exist previously, so unlike co-morbidities it does need to be considered. But it looks to be fairly low because the death rate is falling even though the lockdown remains, so the rate of death due to the lockdown also remains, and it appears to be small. The big rise and fall is therefore due to something other than the lockdown itself, so it’s probably covid-19.

    Additionally, that rise and fall follows the curve seen for covid-19 in other countries, so again it is probably due to covid-19.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Node, I have answered you. You probably don’t understand, but in a scientific discussion you should now accept that your points have been considered and discounted; they are not valid, and they never were. They were merely mistaken. They can now be consigned to history, with an “OK, those ideas were wrong”, permitting the investigation to move forward.

    That’s how things work in science. It isn’t a matter of opinion. It isn’t one “POV” versus another. Those points were shown to be wrong. They no longer have any relevance to the investigation, and if you were to raise them again you’d just be wasting everyone’s time.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    * – There may be a point here, but I’m ending up doing your thinking for you. If we now consider “those who died with covid-19 rather than those who died of covid-19″, yes, some people’s deaths will have been hastened by covid-19, and this may show up as a lower death rate in the future. Or it may prove impossible to tell, because long term averages vary anyway.

    Compare with another scenario. Say in a very cold winter the Langeled pipeline failed and wasn’t repaired for a month. Electricity and heating went off, and twenty thousand people froze to death. Of course, most of those would have been old and frail, or have had other health problems. Did they die from or with the gas failure? Many were going to die fairly soon anyway, no? So we can let the energy companies off the hook for most of those deaths, right?


    Michael, the lockdown has reduced the death rate enormously; it has worked, and it continues to prevent infections.

    Chris Giles FT

    ICL model

    But that doesn’t mean the restrictions can just go. Scroll down on the second link to Total Infected. It’s only between 4.2% and 6.9%, probably 5.38%. That means that around 94% of the population are still susceptible. If the restrictions were removed the infections, and subsequently deaths, would start going up like a rocket again.

    We could replace the blanket lockdown with more intelligent interventions, such as millions of boxes of free masks everywhere, working four days on then ten days off, and lighter restrictions where there’s a lower infection rate. Here’s an interesting map for England and Wales:

    michael norton

    I still do not think our government have a handle on this, mostly they have a mantra, that they spout daily
    but they do not say what the plan is to stop old people ceasing to be alive in nursing homes, care homes and sheltered accommodations. Old, frail people rarely go out.
    So, it would seem people come in with covid-19 then pass it to the residents.
    This is not care.They have discharged elderly people with covid-19 back in to their care homes, where the infections are spread.
    It is like a circle of madness.
    Perhaps, when this pandemic calms down lessons will be learnt.
    I don’t think the world could stand this again, for a long time.
    When the Black Death hit in the 1300’s it took hundreds of years until world populations were back to pre-Black Death numbers. In Britain the Black Death led on to the Hundred Year War.

    The Hundred Years War was a series of conflicts from 1337 to 1453

    michael norton

    I should have said that primarily
    The Hundred Year War was between France and England.
    We went in to it at the end of The Black Death as Medieval societies, came out of it to engage in Enlightenment ( for a few) it must have been a hell of a ride.


    I think you’re right that there has been no good plan for care homes. Presumably covid-19 is brought in by visitors, staff and visiting workers. Have you seen this idea: I’ve been calling it temporal quarantine.

    Still, the death rate should keep falling, so long as the government don’t take all the restrictions off over the weekend.


    The new cases are coming from people with milder disease self-isolating at home with their families who then continue the infection. The problem lies with the fact that we got the worse of both worlds, we got a half hearted ‘lockdown, where we should have had an initial total curfew, as they did in France for example, and also we should have had proper quarantine for the mildly affected (in hotels or in the underused nightingale hospitals) rather than self isolation at home which is more likely to continue the spread. Notice that Hancock says, test, track and trace, sort of meaningless really. So you test and you track and you trace. You should be test, quarantine and trace, the meaning of track in this context is vague.
    This government is incompetent, They have never handled this properly from day one. There is no proper scrutiny as they stole a majority in parliament and I bet you they will get away without an enquiry and say that is unnecessary, after all it will take Tories to dissent and rebel against the government in parliament to vote for an enquiry. And the danger is that the whitewash has already started. Boris now having survived his own folly, with a young child, is already painting himself as the beacon of how to deal with covid-19, from personal experience.
    But I am rambling, sorry.

    michael norton

    Chaps, the negligence on Nursing homes has been criminal.
    To free up NHS beds, they have discharged covid-19 old people back to the nursing homes, thereby chancing many more catch it, with deadly outcomes.
    This must of been understood, before they were discharged.
    It almost seems like a plan?


    I think most doctors and nurses are conscientious and would ensure that patients are not infectious before discharging them back to a care home. Medical staff work hard; why bother making that effort if it’s just going to increase the work load?

    If it’s the government’s intention it’s very stupid; the older folk are the the ones that predominantly vote conservative.

    No, I think it’s the lack of any plan. That would fit with the whole sorry mess; late response, no PPE, not enough ventilators. Too busy celebrating and sniffing coke with Boris.


    We repeatedly hear on this blog that the lockdown is based on science, and that the opinions of those who challenge it, including world-renowned experts in epidemiology, infectious diseases, virology, etc., can be discounted because they have not been published in scientific journals or peer-reviewed. I’ve only recently learned that the paper by Neil Ferguson on which lockdown was based was never published or peer reviewed, and is in fact just an internal departmental report from Imperial College. His computer model was based on undocumented, 13-year-old computer code, that was intended to be used for a feared influenza pandemic and “some of the major assumptions and estimates that are built in the calculations seem to be substantially inflated,” according to John Ioannidis, professor in disease prevention at Stanford University.

    Ferguson has a track record for dreadful predictions based on his computer models. In the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic millions of cows and other livestock were killed based on his models which were later condemned by experts as “not fit for purpose” and seriously flawed.” In the aftermath, mega-farming conglomerates bought up bankrupt farms on the cheap, cost to the UK economy £10 billion. During the 2009 Swine Flu Ferguson predicted it would kill 65,000 people in the UK, but in fact 457 people died. Fortunes were made by the vaccine industry. He predicted 200 million would die of bird flu but only 282 did. More fortunes for vaccine makers. though.

    Given Ferguson’s track record for making spectacularly inaccurate predictions which make fortunes for big business, and given that the paper which justified lockdown on the basis of 500,000 deaths was never scientifically published or peer reviewed, and given that big companies are now making fortunes from lockdown, and given that Ferguson’s latest prediction has again turned out to be spectacularly inaccurate, is anybody here beginning to have reservations about their support for lockdown?


    “We repeatedly hear on this blog that the lockdown is based on science”

    Not from me you haven’t. The restrictions are a political decision. I say they’re better than nothing, but a far more targetted approach would be much better.

    “the opinions of those who challenge it, including world-renowned experts in epidemiology, infectious diseases, virology, etc., can be discounted because they have not been published in scientific journals or peer-reviewed”

    No, that’s not what I’ve said. If you’re interested in my opinion, ask, and pay attention, because so far you seem to have ignored nearly everything I have written, making it feel like a WOMBAT – Waste Of My Brains And Time.

    “the paper by Neil Ferguson on which lockdown was based was never published or peer reviewed, and is in fact just an internal departmental report from Imperial College”


    “His computer model was based on undocumented, 13-year-old computer code”

    So it was undocumented 13 years ago; so what? It’s all on-line now.

    “some of the major assumptions and estimates that are built in the calculations seem to be substantially inflated,” according to John Ioannidis

    The ICL model is making better predictions than the flawed Stanford paper. Stanford came out at 0.1% IFR. The New York outbreak is proving out empirically at between 0.5% and 1.2%.

    “his models which were later condemned by experts as “not fit for purpose” and seriously flawed.””

    Link to the discussion in the scientific literature please.

    “In the aftermath, mega-farming conglomerates bought up bankrupt farms on the cheap, cost to the UK economy £10 billion.”

    This is a political matter.

    “During the 2009 Swine Flu Ferguson predicted it would kill 65,000 people in the UK, but in fact 457 people died”

    Link to the discussion in the scientific literature please.

    “Fortunes were made by the vaccine industry”

    This is a political matter.

    “He predicted 200 million would die of bird flu but only 282 did”

    Link to the discussion in the scientific literature please.

    “More fortunes for vaccine makers. though”

    This is a political matter.

    There are far more intelligent options than the current restrictions. If you want a discussion, stop fighting and start discussing. And you have a lot of retracting to do, too.


    Node, all that stuff you just reeled off; you can get it almost identically at UK Column. You seem to be merely repeating some Brexit CT website, just like you merely repeat Twin Tower demolition CT sites. Raise your game, or discussion isn’t worth the candle.


    “Not even wrong”. Seriously Node, you don’t yet know enough to hold a proper discussion with. You won’t like this, and I’m sorry, but so far you’re just a sheeple. If we can sort out some of the earlier points, and after that if you’ll let me help you learn some of the real issues around the politicisation of science, then maybe we could make some progress. But the path you’re currently permitting yourself to be led down is not even wrong. Oh, and it leads to the slaughterhouse.


    SA, I have at last got round to reading the link you posted May 3, 11:20 #52860 about falling vaccination uptake and a fall in the anti-vax movement. Interesting and informative article. Overworked parents, a large drop in the number of health visitors, and yet another counterproductive reorganisation of the health service – my dad was an NHS administrator and government mandated reorganisations were the bane of his working life.

    One criticism; the article lays the blame for the MMR-autism conspiracy theory entirely with Andrew Wakefield and his case series paper of a dozen subjects. It completely omits the the legal firm sponsoring Wakefield’s work, and more importantly the corporate media journalistic amplification and their obsession with the Blairs and Leo. The corporate media in the form of Prospect Magazine have painted their own influence completely out of the picture. Sad and predictable really.


    Thanks for pointing this out. I have to say I did not realise this but the general Blairite bias by Prospect was also pointed out to me by my brother in law.
    Yes I can now see how Wakefield has become the focus .
    Similarly the MSM is now criticising the incompetence of the Tory government in dealing with Covid19 but firstly not enough, and secondly not reflecting on their role as to why they got it so wrong in the general elections in not holding the government to account. We now have an arrogant and incompetent government with a huge majority that can bluster its way through anything.


    Blair was virtually installed by the corporate media.

    The corporate media is capital’s conduit for conditioning and controlling the public, including the politicians. The typical alternative outlook is that government controls the media, but that reverses the power relationship; capital dominates government, which is why government so consistently serves capital.

    (“typical alternative” – is that oxymoronic?)

    Sure, the corporate media serve government occasionally – on those matters in which government is doing what capital demands, such as moving towards war in places with oil.

    The corporate media forever dumbs-down the public. It typically depicts science as a battle of incomprehensibly complex opinions between white-coated authority figures. Look at the stupid graphic heading this Guardian article; they look like gladiators! Then there’s this:

    “Report on face masks’ effectiveness for Covid-19 divides scientists”
    – “Experts clash…” – “A row has erupted…”

    Was there any “clash” or “eruption”, or did the Guardian ‘phone around and garner some conflicting “opinions”? We don’t know, because like TV camera operators, the journalists and their actions don’t appear in the article; the media has again painted itself out of the picture. By contrast, the systematic review this concocted drama is based on is very clear; it sets out all the research and finds that masks help:

    “Face masks could offer an important tool for contributing to the management of community transmission of Covid19 within the general population. […] If correctly used… face masks, including homemade cloth masks, can contribute to reducing viral transmission.”

    The corporate media is most people’s window onto science; it’s obvious why most people think of science as merely a battle of opinions. The corporate media subjugates any sort of objectivity beneath its own authority, and routinely deprives the public of the objective understanding needed for critical assessment of the advertising that funds it. It is currently very aggressively shifting anger away from the government’s abject failure to prepare, and onto the ‘lockdown’ (that very word is a negative propaganda term) and actively demonising the scientific community.

    It is tragic to see so many commenters at Craig’s supposedly enlightened blog meekly falling into line without even realising it. UK Column and the UK papers, unanimous that Ferguson should be skewered, never mind that the UK is just one country in this global pandemic.


    Michael, this might interest you:

    – [Exercise Cygnus] contained 26 key recommendations, including boosting the capacity of care homes and the numbers of staff available to work in them. It also warned of the challenge facing homes asked to take in patients from hospitals.

    – Asked recently about the report on Exercise Cygnus, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, said he had been assured by officials at the Department of Health that “everything that was recommended was done”.

    – However, Martin Green, the chief executive of Care England, which represents the largest independent care home providers, said concerns raised by the exercise about the social care system’s ability to handle patients discharged from hospitals and the need for the largest private care providers to increase capacity were not raised by government agencies with his members.

    The Wikipedia article has quite a few links in its references / citations.

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