Long-term loyalty to a brand can blind the customer to its faults because the customer doesn’t see it for what it is now but what it used to be then. It’s like a favourite band whose albums have got progressively worse, but you still buy them because you own all the others – or when it belatedly hits you that the TV series you’ve been watching most of your life is actually bloody terrible and you only stick with it because it’s part of the furniture; were it a new show, you’d recoil from it, so why are you still watching – just because it used to be great? Well, yeah. That happened to me with ‘Coronation Street’ a few years ago, and if I ever catch a snatch of it now it looks like every bad Aussie soap ever made rolled into one – and ‘Hollyoaks’. Likewise, when the mainstream media ceases to be the go-to source when you want to know what’s happening out there, coming back to it after an absence will probably vindicate your decision to abandon it. I wouldn’t know that personally, however, on account of not having gone back.

If this year’s events have done anything for the MSM, they could well have broken the back of the camel with a hefty bale of straw. 20-odd million tuned in to Boris’ lockdown announcement back in March – perhaps the final swansong moment of the nation turning to television for such information. I don’t know the viewing figures for TV news since then, but I should imagine ratings are falling with the same speed at which coronavirus cases are allegedly rising. From everything I can gather – and from my own personal perspective too – trust in the traditional providers of info has tumbled the longer this situation has gone on. People either seem to feel the BBC, Sky, ITV and Fleet Street are nothing more than mouthpieces for the Ministry of Truth, broadcasting the official line and failing to do their journalistic duty by questioning or challenging it – or people simply don’t believe a word of what they’re being told anymore because they can’t relate the media message to what they’re seeing with their own eyes when they’re out and about. And who can blame them? Real life and media life are living in parallel dimensions to each other.

There certainly appears to be a narrative in place where Covid-19 is concerned, and we’re not being exposed to any other when it comes to traditional mediums of communication. Part of that is probably down to the so-called ‘Westminster Bubble’ whereby journalists and broadcasters are wholly ignorant of the real damage being done by on-off lockdowns in the midlands and the north, let alone Scotland. Indeed, the First Minister’s popularity amongst them undoubtedly reflects an absolute ignorance of the Covid disaster the SNP has presided over in Scotland; all the London media wants from north of the border is the anti-Boris who can do no wrong as long as she pitches herself against the Tories and bigs up her own performance without anyone bothering to issue any counterclaims. Overlook the fact that the Scottish Government are proving to be the most authoritarian and reactionary administration ever to hold power in these islands since the abolition of Absolute Monarchy; at least they’re not useless Boris and his dim chums.

No longer buying a paper or watching news bulletins, ‘Newsnight’ or ‘Question Time’ means there’s one alternative. Okay, the internet can be something of a Wild West when it comes to information, with every crackpot conspiracy theory to be found if you want it. But balancing that out are numerous sites offering reasoned, sensible and questioning debate and discussion on the topic none of us can escape – like TV used to do and no longer does. Having said that, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have their own methods of policing the narrative, only they do so in a sneaky manner, ‘shadow banning’ anything they feel contradicts the policy they’ve chosen to impose upon users – and ‘shadow banning’ effectively means users aren’t alerted to a particular opinion contrary to the consensus; it might still be there, but you have to embark upon a lengthy needle/haystack search for it. There was an instance of this early on in the pandemic when a couple of reputable medical men dared to air an alternative viewpoint on YouTube and were rapidly removed, presumably because their dangerous opinions didn’t adhere to the established emotional blackmail of ‘save the NHS’. Now I read that some providers have attempted to similarly hide the words of wisdom emanating from a trio of professors who have issued their own manifesto for dealing with Covid-19 – one that doesn’t involve lockdowns. Largely shunned by a MSM lacking all self-awareness of its own irrelevance, this has been an entirely online announcement, so shadow banning it is something we should all be concerned about.

On paper, the Great Barrington Declaration makes a lot of sense and it comes from people who know what they’re talking about. Dr Sunetra Gupta is an Oxford University professor and an epidemiologist whose specialist subjects on ‘Mastermind’ would include infectious diseases, immunology and vaccine development; Dr Jay Bhattacharya is a professor at Stanford University Medical School – also an epidemiologist as well as a physician, health economist and public health policy expert; and biostatistician Dr Martin Kulldorff is another professor – this time of medicine at Harvard University, with expertise in infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety. In other words, this trio with impressive credentials aren’t Neil Ferguson, the worst ‘do as I say, not as I do’ expert who commands inexplicable attention, a man whose accuracy in predicting the future is up there with Mystic Meg.

The Great Barrington Declaration was kindly forwarded to me by a friend last week and I was thankful due to the fact that I might otherwise have missed it. Just having someone with unimpeachable expertise in the relevant field actually say out loud that lockdowns aren’t working is such a refreshing change from everything we receive on a daily basis from the usual suspects. In political terminology, the Declaration could be regarded as a ‘cross-party’ affair, stating as it does from the first line, ‘Coming from both left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating results…with the working-class and the younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden.’ As it goes on to say, ‘Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.’

This breif, concise statement recites an entirely logical check-list of how our glorious leaders are sowing the seeds for future disaster and offers up sensible, well-thought out ways and means of dealing with the virus far better than we’ve managed so far – in other words, herd immunity . In fact, one could come away from the Declaration and view it as simply stating the bleedin’ obvious, and in many respects that’s exactly what it does. The difference is it’s been said by the actual experts for once, albeit the kind of experts governments aren’t listening to as they become increasingly sozzled on the power they never imagined they’d have over the people. The people made the necessary sacrifices because they bought into the narrative; but now they’re being told that’s not enough and they need to make more and more and more. And this will simply go on forever unless the propositions put forward in the Great Barrington Declaration are acted upon. Mercifully, it would appear the World Health Organisation has finally admitted lockdowns aren’t the answer and has spoken positively of the Declaration. Not before time too. Anyway, read it for yourself before your local closes its doors again…

© The Editor


  1. I saw the GBD a few days ago via another link and, as a statement of the bleedin’ obvious, it would seem to have few equals along with papal Catholicism and ursine sylvan bowel movements.

    Although belated, whilst such an approach would provide Boris & Co the necessary ‘ladder’ they urgently need to clamber out of the hole they have spent the last six months enthusiastically digging, it seems that tomorrow all we will be offered is a newly-forged three-bladed spade, almost certain to increase only the rate and depth of excavation.

    The future is always an uncertain beast and even when highly expert ‘scientists’ opine on its likely course, they are still only speculating, albeit from a position of some greater implied validity through their experience. But that doesn’t mean they will always be right or that they will always agree, but it seems that our leaders, having chosen one particular channel of scientific speculation, then find themselves blinded to any alternatives thereafter – not a face-mask, more a blindfold.

    Concern is escalated when key media channels actively decline to give coverage to alternative options, thus confirming that any claims of independence of influence can no longer hold water. The consequential losses of faith and revenue will be a penalty for them to pay as the audience seeks out channels it may trust, as they also will with their elected rulers.

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    1. It’s interesting that, whereas newspapers have more or less traditionally been partisan and reflect the political perspective of the magnates who own them, broadcast media – at least in this country – always appeared to be above that. Even if the BBC has tended to lean to the left in the corridors of power, it generally stuck rigidly to its impartiality remit for most of its existence as a broadcaster. I don’t know at what point this changed, but the fact that awareness of this change has spread way beyond the usual career BBC-bashers and has become perceived wisdom should be of concern to the Beeb, or one would like to think so. That trust in the Corporation, which stood it in good stead for generations, is being whittled away before our eyes, but the BBC isn’t alone; it’s happened to all of them as this current crisis has progressed from bad to worse. And they only have themselves to blame.


  2. Yes I heard about this as I happened to have radio 4 on. There was a most extraordinary interview with one of the signees. It went something like this…
    Interviewer: So you are saying that the government has got it wrong?
    Reply: No
    Interviewer: So you agree with the governments response?
    Reply: If you want to get the infections to the lowest possible level at any cost then the governments response is absolutely correct.
    and it went on without really getting anywhere.
    Anyway the main proponents of this new strategy have strange foreign names unlike Ferguson so I suspect Boris will press on.
    Another thing are the numbers for London being “massaged” as I find it had to believe that Bolton is outstripping them for cases. Where do they get the numbers from? OK hospital admissions and deaths have got to be close, but infections? If I got symptoms the one of the last things on my mind would be to go to a testing centre.

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    1. Yes, it is concerning how the stats appear to be massaged to fit the narrative – perhaps a trick picked up from Mr Ferguson? – and how the rise in cases is still reported as though we’re talking fatalities rather than infections. I presume the practice remains that anyone who’d tested positive for symptoms and then died of something completely unrelated is marked as a ‘Covid death’. At this rate, I doubt we’ll ever know the true scale of the pandemic as a killer, and trust in MSM sources has been so eroded that whatever we’re told won’t be believed, anyway.

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      1. It would be illuminating if the ‘recovered’ data was published, as well as the infected/hospitalised/dead rates. That would demonstrate how unfatal this virus really is – trouble is, that would then immediately emasculate Project Fear and all the outrageous restraints of freedom it enables, so we’ll not be allowed to see that rapidly escalating graph-line and make our own adult decisions.

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