UK

More Thoughts on BLM & current protests

So earlier I wrote a post about the protests in response to the death of George Floyd and some thoughts and feelings that I had relating to these. Here are some further reflections based on what I’ve seen. I want to make clear that these reflections are based on what I have seen through the Twitterverse and the like (so may be imperfect as a reflection). I have not actually attended any protests, there have been a couple in my city but I did not know about them until afterwards. If I had, I would have gone along in the capacity of someone having a look in order to get a better idea.

I follow a fair mix of people on Twitter now so I have seen views ranging from condemning BLM as Marxist terrorists to full support. You’ve probably figured this out by now, but I don’t fall into either category. I don’t disagree with BLM that police brutality and racism are (at least somewhat) connected and are a legitimate problem. I don’t disagree with trying to change that.

Here’s where I start to have my doubts. It seems a lot of the current actions have started to focus on the “statue wars”, beginning with the removal of the statue of Colston, a slave owner, in Bristol. As well as a movement to get rid of the statue of Cecil Rhodes in Oxford. Now I do not wish to sit here and defend statues venerating slave owners in the twenty first century, nor do I wish to defend the imperialist Cecil Rhodes having a statue. But statues are symbolism. That is all they are. In the last analysis symbols don’t matter very much. Symbols are not food on the table and they’re not an end to the bombings. Same with the vandalism of the statue of Winston Churchill, so it read ‘Churchill was a racist’ (which I agree, he was.)

Nor do I think stuff like chanting at Peter Hitchens for being in the general vicinity of one of your Cecil Rhodes protests is a particularly good look.

But the nub of this issue comes down to: essentially talking about these statues is talking about and condemning something that no longer exists (the British Empire). And while talking about something that does not exist (the British Empire) we are ignoring something that does exist (British Imperialism).

Now I’m sure BLM formally oppose bombing of countries abroad, but at the moment, I don’t see any really coherent messaging coming out of these protests condemning how Black Lives have been destroyed in Libya by the West, including Britain, turning the richest country in Africa into a place with open slave markets. We can’t talk about racism without talking about that. Nor can we talk about it without talking about the racism of the Iraq war and the anti-Palestinian racism endemic at every level of the British establishment. BLM is either not doing this, or not doing it very effectively.

A couple of other points that are key for me. First are the question marks about funding. They get funding from a lot of people that are not particularly trustworthy. Admittedly, this is regarding the US group and not the UK to avoid anything being misleading. The above article says:

The Ford Foundation, one of the most powerful private foundations in the world, with close ties to Wall Street and the US government, recently announced that it is overseeing the funneling of $100 million over six years to several organizations that play leading roles in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Gabriel Black, Billionaires Back “Black Lives Matter”

Billionaires generally don’t back stuff that’s against their interests. I think that is pretty clear.

One further point, and that is that I don’t see any criticism of lockdown from BLM. Any movement that seeks to get rid of police brutality and arbitrariness must criticise the expansion of police powers entailed by lockdown and their use. After all, if the police are racist, then it follows logically that any new powers they get will be wielded in a racist manner. And lockdown has done nothing but give the police new powers.

Assange and Manning

Who is Vanessa Baraitser, Part 2

So I did a post on Vanessa Baraitser, psychopath judge in the Julian Assange case a while ago. This is late but someone posted this interesting thing on Twitter a bit ago:

From the story:

A Russian airline boss accused of a £2.3 million fraud should not be extradited because jails in her homeland are unsafe, a court heard today.

Alevtina Kalashnikova, 46, stole 212,325,636 Russian rubles by fiddling statements while working at VIM Airlines in between 2014 and 2017, prosecutors claim.

[…]

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser released Kalashnikova on bail.

Now in my previous piece about Baraitser, i highlighted that she had been the judge in the extradition case of Alexandre Djouhri who was a businessman wanted for extradition to France in connection with Sarkozy and alleged funding of Sarkozy by the Libyan government. So from this further information it looks as if Vanessa Baraitser is the extradition judge they put on cases that could be in any way politically controversial (Anything, of course, involving Russia being politically controversial given the Russiagate/Skripals/etc. situation) in order to get the result that they want.

Media · US

Thoughts on George Floyd Protests and Media Narratives

I have gained a lot of followers on twitter (Okay, ‘a lot’ by the standard of my small account) because of my scepticism regarding the Covid narrative which was very firm and clear from the start. In the case of the covid narrative, I felt very confident in my conclusions which I believe have been vindicated. In the case of the current protests, I feel a lot more uncertain as to what is actually going on (that is, to what extent is this manufactured) and what the agenda is.

So, here are some thoughts.

Police brutality in America is obviously a very real problem. Not denying that at all. And it is equally obviously, related to race to an extent (I say that because poor whites have also been brutalised & murdered by police, but there is a genuine disparity as to what extent it happens with different racial groups). Angry responses on the part of the American population to police brutality are also common and seem to flare up occasionally. I want to say that many of the people in the streets are people who have seen the video of the George Floyd murder and are horrified by it and are rightfully angry.

But I don’t think that the legitimate anger on the part of the population means that we can ignore deeper questions about what precisely is going on and what agenda is being pushed. Think back to a week ago. What were outlets like The Guardian saying (I know I slag the Guardian non stop, but it really is very handy once you stop reading it as a news outlet and start reading it as ‘what the liberal narrative managers want you to believe’)? They were promoting the idea of an ever harsher lockdown, criticising Boris Johnson for even weak measures ‘relaxing lockdown’, everything on the front page was ‘corona, corona, corona’ and you had to scroll for half-an-hour to read anything non-corona related. (It is very important to have a memory when it comes to the MSM. It’s one of the most vital factors when understanding how they function. They rely on you not remembering what they said last week because if you did, it would be a lot easier to expose them.)

So, 5 minutes ago we were all going to die of this virus and now the MSM is supporting mass protests against the killing of George Floyd. Hm. If there really was a killer virus on the loose, then surely all these protests would be spreading it about non stop. Protests for a cause you believe in don’t magically not spread viruses. The whiplash in the narrative is pretty shocking once you stop and think about it. Even a few weeks ago, the ‘End Lockdown’ protesters were called selfish, just wanting a haircut, wanting to cause murder of old people etc. ad nauseam. Heck there are even individuals promoting the protests AND pushing the corona fear porn at the same time without even seeing the obvious contradiction (or pretending not to see it). This is a random twitter account called ‘Tory Fibs’ (whom, shockingly, hasn’t blocked me yet):

(I just highlighted this because I found it amusing.)

So, why the whiplash here? Why, one minute, if you simply want to do ordinary activities you’re the worst monster in the world, and now the next minute you have to protest for black lives and even smashing stuff up is perfectly fine (I have thoughts on rioting but I won’t get into it here?)

Here’s two possible agendas:

  1. This is been put forward now as an alternative agenda to the covid19 pandemic narrative. The public are beginning to tire of the fear porn and want to ‘get back to normal’ in terms of their jobs and socialising. So there needs to be a new form of disorder to justify the martial law, cue agents provocateurs and the like creating/encouraging rioting;
  2. This has been put forward now and will soon operate in tandem with the covid19 pandemic narrative. The mass protests will be blamed for a manufactured ‘second wave’ of coronavirus deaths which will then justify more lockdowns, martial law, forced vaccines, or whatever else they want to justify.

Either could happen. Which I don’t know, but I think it depends on how hard the establishment are determined to push the biological aspects of the new normal at this particular stage, or whether they will wait for Pandemic II to push the immunity passports, forced vaccines, etc. Pandemic I could be used to try and push these things, but it also could be used as a seeding device – making the public get used to these ideas – for eventually pushing those things with Pandemic II. There may still be too much distrust among the public to accept forced vaccines, etc for now, so they are ditching covid and moving on, or maybe not, maybe they really want their immunity passports now. I don’t know, so I am raising the possibility of both options. [there may of course be other agendas].

I would also like to highlight one more aspect of these protests and that is a phenomenon I find rather strange – the proliferation of protests about the George Floyd killing in countries that have nothing to do with it. In the UK, for example, there have been protests in London and Manchester about his death. Generally Twitter has been saying that this is about ‘solidarity’ but I still find it an odd phenomenon worthy of at least asking questions about.

People in the UK throughout this whole lockdown saga have not really protested much against anything, and the protesters against lockdown have been arrested (most notably Piers Corbyn). No other protests that I have been aware of other than the sporadic anti-lockdown ones, except for the Assange court hearing protest with 12 people that got shut down by the police. Over the past few days before the George Floyd protests in the UK there was some random Extinction Rebellion stuff going on so maybe this time is when they are going to ‘allow us’ to protest things.

Before we get too off topic lets return to the Floyd protests. It is strange and almost absurd the way that people in the UK are sitting here protesting an example of American police brutality that we have no control over. Perhaps that is the point. The elite here in the UK can channel anger – and again, I understand people watching the video and being horrified – into something that is by definition harmless to them. Rather than the anger and energy going into something the UK government has played a role in such as the Julian Assange case or the Harry Dunn injustice.

Don’t get me wrong, I am glad people are going outside. Hopefully people will now begin seeing through lockdown. But we have to ask critical questions.

See also: “The George Floyd Protests – 20 unanswered questions” by offguardian.

UK

Guardian Idiocy on Lockdown

Let’s take the piss out of the Guardian again. Since I don’t have anything better to do.

They’ve got a new article out called ‘The ‘lockdown sceptics’ want a culture war, with experts as the enemy’. Oh yeah, this going to be fun.

The dismissal of coronavirus expertise, the pitting of ‘elites’ against ‘the people’ – it’s Brexit all over again for the high-profile contrarians

Of course this article MUST mention Brexit because these people STILL can’t get over the fact that they lost. the. damn. referendum.

within days of Boris Johnson announcing lockdown restrictions in late March, Toby Young – self-appointed general secretary of the Free Speech Union – had his own take on the government’s tripartite slogan. “Stay sceptical. End the lockdown. Save lives.”

Why is he incorrect? Lockdown kills. Isolation kills, suicide kills, domestic violence kills, unemployment kills, stress related illnesses kill – all of which are increased by lockdown. The Guardian writers live in a bizarro world where the only thing people are dying of is Covid19. This article has a wealth of evidence for this position.

It then says something like ‘well of course scepticism is good and all that’ before they toot their own horn.

Journalists are inheritors of this fine intellectual tradition.

Actual jounalists? Absolutely. Like Julian Assange, who has been smeared by your publication non stop. You still haven’t fucking retracted the Manafort bullshit. Like Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett who the likes of George Monbiot at your esteemed organ think are Assad apologists for pointing out facts about fake gas attacks.

In the pages of the Daily Telegraph, the Spectator and other outlets, Britain’s contemporary “lockdown sceptics” have dedicated themselves to a singular cause: proving that the UK response to coronavirus has been a massive, hysterical overreaction. “Lift the lockdown” is their cogito ergo sum; Sweden their promised land.

This article does not discuss the relevance of Sweden though. The reason Sweden is raised is: UK has far more deaths per capita than Sweden, and a lockdown. Sweden has fewer deaths per capita and no lockdown. If we were all going to die without lockdown why hasn’t half the population of Sweden dropped dead at this point? It is an absolutely fair question. Just mentioning Sweden and not addressing the actual argument does not make your point correct.

Even as the coronavirus death toll has skyrocketed, the serried ranks of Britain’s lockdown sceptics have swelled. 

The problem with this argument is that it assumes lockdown works and the UK would have far more deaths if there had been no lockdown but there is no evidence for this position. See: Sweden above.

What was once largely the preserve of libertarians and professional contrarians now has supporters on the government benches and even, it appears, round the cabinet table.

I mean I don’t agree w/ libertarians on economics but complaining that libertarians care about civil liberties? Seriously. Also I have been anti-lockdown from the start and I am not a ‘libertarian’ nor a ‘professional contrarian’ [for one I don’t get paid for writing this]. I am a left winger who, at this point, wants a more localised version of leftism with more local control precisely to try and prevent the kind of overbearing state we are seeing now.

Britain’s self-appointed sceptics often look more like US-style culture warriors than critical thinkers.

No evidence is offered for this view. The lockdown sceptics I have read including the ones I disagree with ideologically like Peter Hitchens have written much more erudite pieces than this acknowledges.

“Coronavirus has turned us into a nation of scaredy-cats,” [Toby Young]

I agree. Guess I’m a monster and should go whip myself now or something.

(Young’s Lockdown Sceptics website even carries adverts from solicitors promising to advise anyone who “might have a legal case or claim over the government’s ‘lockdown’ regulations”.) 

Perfectly reasonable. Do you really think the police won’t get heavy handed if you give them all these new powers? Do you really think they won’t go after some groups more than others? We all know the police are breaking up poor people’s gatherings and smashing their shit, but when Ferguson sticks his cock up another man’s wife, well…

Young is not alone. Newspaper columnists such as Allison Pearson blithely equate asking schoolchildren to wear face masks with child abuse. 

I think she has a point. It is inculcating a completely unnecessary fear into children and will cause issues down the line, likely to have a negative effect on the child’s mental development such as increasing their anxiety. There’s also the fact that there is no evidence that wearing masks outside of a clinical setting is a good idea.

Particular ire is reserved for a group of people whose profession is based on scepticism: scientists. The team at Imperial College London – whose modelling predicted as many as half a million coronavirus deaths in Britain without lockdown measures – have been accused of “crude mathematical guesswork”. (By, er, Matt Ridley who presided over the crash at Northern Rock.)

Neil Ferguson, the modeller behind the predictions also said thousands and thousands would die of Mad Cow Disease and of Swine Flu. In neither case did this happen. Therefore, when a scientist makes an absurd prediction and has a track record of being wrong about fucking everything, we are entitled to ignore it and consider it junk science. Ridley is correct on this point, and not because he is saying it. In fact, the authors probably mentioned Ridley [instead of another scientist who thinks Ferguson’s predictions are BS] so they could bring up Northern Rock and then dismiss the argument that Ferguson’s models are junk by associating them with Ridley rather than another scientist who didn’t crash a bank.

When the Telegraph caught Neil Ferguson in breach of lockdown guidance

That’s one way of describing ‘sticking his dick up another man’s wife’, I suppose.

few were as cock-a-hoop as the paper’s columnists. On social media, anti-lockdown outriders presented the professor’s misdemeanours as evidence that his work was flawed.

You are missing the point. The value of a man’s advice is shown by how well he follows it himself. If he doesn’t follow it, it rather suggests he doesn’t believe in it.

Also the hypocrisy of that odious man telling me I am banned from having social interaction white he has, er, ‘social interaction’ with another man’s wife pisses me off.

Imperial boffins had ruined the economy.

Are you going to argue that lockdown hasn’t trashed the economy? I mean I would say the economy was due a crash anyway because capitalism means every 10 years you get a crash but the lockdown has made that crash exponentially worse.

It is no surprise that so many professional contrarians are paid-up lockdown sceptics. They are products of our distorted media ecosystem, which invariably privileges heat over light. For them, the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about – even if what you are talking about amounts to social Darwinism.

This article presents no evidence that lockdown has saved a single life, it just assumes it works because their beloved Neil Ferguson said so. So if lockdown does not work ending it cannot be ‘social Darwinism’. The author also ignores the deaths from lockdown, which again, they assume don’t exist. Because their beloved ‘experts’ don’t give a shit about 17 year olds killing themselves because of lockdown. If either is ‘social Darwinism’ it’s preventing people from working & feeding their family, which will have much more of a negative effect on the poor. All the lockdown diseases will primarily affect them. But hey so long as I, guardian writer, have my nice posh house and my nice wine and my nice Netflix subscription who cares about some poor ‘straight white male’ who wants to put food on his child’s table?

The former cabinet minister Steve Baker has called on his prime minister to end the “absurd, dystopian and tyrannical lockdown”. 

Please explain why it isn’t absurd, dystopian and tyrannical? It’s absurd to wreck the economy over a disease with ~0.2% CFR that largely affects elderly people, who, and I know the Guardian writers don’t like to hear it – will die within the next few years anyway. Sounds blunt but at some point, people, you have to face the reality of your own death.

It’s dystopian because it is full control by the government of what you can and can’t do with a good dollop of mass surveillance (these apps) tossed in. That’s literally what a dystopian novel is like. I have read a lot of them, okay. I know.

It’s tyrannical because it involves police breaking up peaceful protests and mandating that we cannot see loved ones, arresting people for doing perfectly normal activities. That’s tyranny.

How long before a British parliamentarian goes full “plandemic” and wonders aloud if Covid-19 is all a conspiracy?

this is a very vague sentence. there’s more than one position. The probably ‘least conspiratorial’ is that a natural virus was blown up out of all proportion in order to take away your rights during the panic whipped up by the MSM. There is a lot of evidence to support the rights grab, it’s called the ‘Coronavirus act’ and it allows arbitrary detention and destroys your right to protest. The fact that the MSM whips up panic rather than fact is shown by the gulf between the ‘we’re all gonna die’ rhetoric and the reality of the virus. I think (at a minimum) this ‘least conspiratorial’ position is highly plausible (not ruling out deeper possibilities, of course). But no evidence against this position is presented. All the ‘conspiracy theories’ are lumped in together as bad.

“I’m going to stick my neck out here. You’re unlikely to be killed by the coronavirus.” [Daniel Hannan]

He is correct. If you think he is wrong, you don’t understand statistics. Anyone who is not elderly and/or does not have a preexisting condition or both has a low chance of dying. I have a much higher chance of dying from being hit by a car than I do of dying of corona. That is a statistical fact. Of course, an elderly/vulnerable person has a higher risk of death from covid, but they also have a higher risk of death from almost anything else.

The echoes of Brexit in all this aren’t hard to spot. The disavowal of expertise. The pitting of “the elite” against “the people”. It is striking that while by no means all Brexiters are lockdown sceptics, almost all lockdown sceptics are Brexiters. 

You got me. You got me. I voted Brexit. My arguments have been destroyed.

We may come to a point where there is almost no “expertise” that cannot be somehow discredited by this brand of “scepticism”

There are plenty of experts that are anti lockdown like Dr Knut Wittowski. Just because the Guardian pretends they don’t exist doesn’t mean anything.

And given the platform and power many of the people peddling it possess, they can attempt to make anyone look like a hypocrite or a useful idiot, undermining any sense of truth.

If Neil Ferguson didn’t want to get accused of hypocrisy, he shouldn’t have been a hypocrite.

Carl Sagan would take one look at these contemporary sceptics and declare “baloney”. It is high time we did likewise.

How do you know? Got your ouija board out and asked him, have you?

Media · UK · US

Coronavirus is the Left’s 9/11

Think about this for a moment. Both of these events were used (created?) in order to destroy your civil liberties and take away your rights. But one side of the political spectrum was more influenced that another in both cases. In the 9/11 case it was generally ‘right wing patriots’ that agreed with Bush and in the case of corona its generally ‘left wing socialists’ that agreed with lockdown. [Yes I fully acknowledge this is an overgeneralisation.]

A quick glance at the logic.

If you don’t support taking away our freedoms you are letting the terrorists kill innocent people/letting the virus kill innocent people.

If you don’t support surveillance, it’s because you have something to hide/If you don’t support ‘contact tracing’ (mass surveillance) its because you don’t care about people.

If you don’t trust the government narrative on 9/11 and Iraq, you’re a conspiracy theorist’/if you don’t trust the government line on Covid, you’re a ‘conspiracy theorist’.

+

I’m sure there are more comparisons to be made here but I’m tired right now.

UK

What are we even supposed to do in this hellscape?

Full, total, loss of control.

This is what lockdown means.

These are some thoughts.

Lockdown is meant to be easing on Monday here in the UK. What that means exactly I don’t know, but in terms of taking back power or control over our lives, it doesn’t mean very much, most likely. The economy is still going to be destroyed regardless, and even being allowed to go back and do things most likely will have a million restrictions such as being forced to wear masks. And we are still going to be pulled apart from each other – not allowed to even touch another human being without fear.

I’m more thinking of the implications for any form of political activity. Mass gatherings have been banned and will likely remain banned for a long time. I am sitting right here in the country of the Magna Carta writing the sentence “mass gatherings have been banned”. Think about that for a moment.

Without mass gatherings of any sort (whether through a march or through pickets, etc.) we don’t have any power or control as a collective. Without the ability to work and the ability to socialise we don’t have any power as individuals. What has shocked me is how quickly the elite have managed to get away with this. How supine we have been. I mean, I always knew that the vast majority of people care more about Love Island than they do about Julian Assange being tortured to death, but it is still shocking to watch how quickly and easily they have us all skirting round each other like we’re all monsters.

So what are we supposed to do? If we care about things and we want change? Or even, being my cynical self, we don’t really believe that change is possible but we believe in standing up for a moral principle, no matter how futile? here’s the new reality of Britain. This video.

Police forcing Julian Assange supporters to disperse on Monday 4th May

If this video would have come from Russia, the MSM would be screaming about the big bad Putin, in the UK though and no-one except some indie media has even commented. [and I want to make clear as I have in previous posts that a lot of indie media is buying into the fear porn and/or has been exposed as controlled opposition, depending on how charitable a view you want to take].

So we cannot even peacefully protest the government any more. No control, no way of advocating for a political cause any more. Sit on your hands and watch Netflix. Go on. Maybe we will let you post on social media, but you might get banned if we think what you write is a ‘conspiracy theory’.

One thing this lockdown has really made me realise is this: At some point, if I want to remain true to my principles, I am probably going to have to get arrested. I have only recently began getting involved in political causes and I really feel like this has escalated extremely quickly. I thought I would have the luxury of getting involved for a while so I could build myself up to the psychological and general preparation level for my arrest if I felt an act of civil disobedience became necessary or warranted. But now even a dozen people standing outside a courtroom is considered illegal behaviour.

In theory, I am willing to get arrested for what I believe so long as I can see that there is some sort of alternative benefit e.g. enhanced publicity for what I believe. In practice, it always becomes a matter of when that will be and under what circumstances, because getting arrested for no benefit is just counterproductive and prevents one doing other things.

You know what? At the moment, I’m scared as hell. Because I know in the past I have been terrible at living up to my principles, and the choice just got a whole lot more daunting.

[I want to make clear, in this piece, I’m not talking about deliberately trying to get arrested. I’m talking about doing something morally correct and as a consequence getting arrested. The two aren’t really the same.]

UK

Reflections on Lockdown

This is just a short post to put up some reflections about the lockdown.

Some people have reported a fraying of the lockdown where they live. Personally I haven’t seen that much evidence of that here. As far as I can tell, everything that was shut at the beginning of the lockdown is still shut. There are a few more people about on balance I think, and not a massive amount of mask wearing [that seems to be a small minority]. I don’t know about town [city centre] because I have had no reason to go there.

A thing I have noticed though is the ‘Clap for the NHS’ weekly propaganda stunt seems to be declining in popularity just going on the noise levels and glances out of my window on 8pm on a Thursday. [I always find it so weird. If the USSR in the 1930’s had suggested a ‘Clap for Stakhanovite workers’ campaign it would be derided today as obvious state propaganda and control].

Now, the media keeps pushing the idea that there are these big dastardly rule breakers everywhere. I have seen even less evidence of this. The only ‘rule’ I have seen being broken is there is a sign up in the park saying don’t take your dog off the lead. I have seen people play catch with their dog off a lead (the evildoers! and murderers!).

One thing I’d also like to talk about is how social interaction just got very, very strange. Now I’m a socially awkward person who is not very good with normal social things. But it just got some weird new rules.

I had a strange yet completely banal interaction with a woman at the park the other day. This woman had taken her kids to get some exercise etc. She was carrying a baby and the baby’s hat flew off and landed at my feet. Now of course I bent down to pick up the hat so I could return it, because that’s what you do. Then the thought ran through my head ‘argh what if this woman thinks I’m dangerous and bad because I touched her baby’s hat and maybe she thinks I’m trying to poison her kid with covid 19.’ Fortunately this ended up being a completely normal social interaction where she thanked me for picking up the hat and put it back on the baby’s head.

Trying to avoid people is also very strange. I don’t know the other person’s intentions or feelings. I don’t care if a person happens to come near me, but I don’t know if the other person in the interaction is a fear porn believer. So when I’m in a shop I find myself having to avoid people in spaces where we will inevitably be closer than 2m because of size of aisle, etc. It is really clunky, but I find myself going to do it because I don’t want to be screamed at. I have also had interactions where people stand out of the way when walking down the road when there is enough space for me and them to pass at once. It’s also strange because you wonder whether the other individual is a fear porn believer or whether they are doing it because they think you are a fear porn believer.

So there are my reflections on lockdown and this ‘new normal’ they keep talking about.

Assange and Manning

Who Is Vanessa Baraitser?

Everyone reading this is probably already familiar with the fact that Vanessa Baraitser is the judge in Julian Assange’s extradition case and that she happens to be a particularly sadistic individual. On the 7th April she made a ruling stating that the names of Assange’s partner and children can be published in the media, forcing his fiancee to go public. Not her first decision that can be reasonably considered unfair:

Image by Somerset Bean on Twitter.

Which brings us to the question: who is Vanessa Baraitser? Several people have said, that if you search for Vanessa Baraitser’s name you don’t get anything. That it has disappeared. And that there are a dearth of photographs – only one claiming to show her face, apparently. Weird. Especially for a judge in an extremely high profile case that will essentially determine the future of press freedom. Doubly weird. So who is she?

[This post is subject to further updates]

Baraitser is a District Judge in Magistrates’ Court. She is present on the list of these on the judiciary website. Interesting to note date of appointment is in 2011.

Someone on Twitter directed me to this draft Wikipedia page, which was written concerning Baraitser back in October 2019 and rejected as a full article to be published on their page. In case this happens to disappear at some point here is a screenshot of it.

That’s all for the actual text, here’s the sources they included.

the submission was rejected because

She is probably notable through being a judge, however this article only describes two of her notable cases/decisions. Needs more details on her general notability, and biographical information such as where she studied, any awards/special achievements would be useful too.

Here’s a screenshot from the euronews link above about the other extradition case Baraitser was involved in.

More info on the case from France 24:

French investigators are examining his alleged involvement in the 2008 sale of a villa in the French Alps valued at 1.3 million euros ($1.4 million) at the “inflated price” of about 10 million euros.

A Libyan investment fund managed by Bashir Saleh, the ex-chief of staff of Libya’s deposed leader Moamer Kadhafi, bought the property, and Djouhri is suspected of being its true owner, according to a London court ruling last year that ordered his extradition to France.

He is also accused of paying 500,000 euros to Sarkozy aide Claude Gueant “so that he would use his position to make various interventions to assist Mr Djouhri in his business affairs”.

This article does not mention Baraitser by name simply referring to British court.

This other France 24 article mentions this:

Hm. Interesting. Did Baraitser grant the release?

He was extradited this year to France.

Claimed for years by French justice, he was handed over Thursday evening to the authorities at Roissy airport from London, where he was arrested in January 2018 under European arrest warrants.

After a long legal battle, a British court had confirmed on January 22 the decision, made in February 2019 by the Westminster court [i.e. Baraitser], to hand it over to France.

So far, I haven’t been able to get to the bottom of who this woman is, and it seems no one else has either.

What I do find kinda interesting though, is the only other case she has been supposedly involved in is also a extradition case that is also very political and has possible political implications. Make of this what you will. It’s hard to know what to make of it to be honest. But I’m certain, somewhere, somewhere there is something in this whole bizarre story of the almost non-existent district judge.

UK

What is the value of writing to your MP? Is there any?

So, in the wake of this police state and full imposition of authoritarian power, writing to your MP seems like a pretty stupid idea, doesn’t it? I mean they are rolling out horrific authoritarian control. Writing to your MP isn’t going to change anything, is it?

You’re right. It isn’t.

But if that was all there is to say on this issue, that would be the end of the post, wouldn’t it? In fact, I do think there is more to say about it, so let’s press on.

When I talk about ‘writing to your MP’ in this context, I am referring to issues that are of national political importance. I’m not talking about either local matters or personal problems in which an MP may get involved in solving. Those are rather different.

Instead, let’s talk about an example. My MP as I have said before is Preet Kaur Gill, Labour representative for Birmingham Edgbaston, who was first elected in 2017 as a replacement for the outgoing Gisela Stuart (whom you may be familiar with as one of the few Labour Brexiteers). She was then comfortably re-elected in 2019 despite the wipeout of the Labour Party in much of the Midlands and North.

Now the main issue which I have talked to my MP about is the Julian Assange case (of course). Now I want to make it very clear that my MP, either before or after I had written to her, does not seem to have done anything positive for Assange whatsoever.

Did I expect that as a result of me writing to her, she would have a Damascene conversion and become a staunch Assange defender? No.

So why do it? I have laid out all the evidence of the horrific treatment of Assange in HMP Belmarsh and the fact that his extradition is a threat to free speech and freedom of the press. I have written about his poor state of health and how it is possible he could die in prison.

Why?

Because it is not possible for her, after my actions, to plead ignorance of Julian Assange’s plight, because I told her about it.

If you – as an individual in position of power – know about a man’s torture in your own country and you do nothing about it, you are complicit in it.

You can use whatever words you like. My MP is rather fond of saying it is up to the courts. The courts denied him bail so nothing to see here. Or in other words, she is trying to say, if he dies in that prison, it isn’t up to me, his blood isn’t on my hands. Psychologically, that is what is going on here.

I believe that this nexus between morality and complicity is where any value of writing to your MP lies. It is moral to protect a man from torture. It it complicity to ignore a man’s torture when you could speak out. Writing to your MP helps expose their complicity, and their reasons for it.

Media

Mass Scale Death Denial

To avoid any misconceptions or deliberate strawmanning of this article, I am going to say that: this article is not saying that there are zero risks from the coronavirus, and I accept that some individuals, particularly in at risk groups, such as the elderly and people with lung conditions, have died or are at risk of death because of this virus. What I am questioning in this article is what is known as ‘fear porn’: the massive over exaggeration of risk and the constant pushing of the ‘we’re all going to die’ narrative. I have already in a previous post criticised what I believe to be the real agenda behind this fear porn, namely, creation of an authoritarian police state. This article is going to focus on a different issue as to why people are acting uncritically when it comes to the fear porn and why they are supporting the government.

One thing that is the most notable about human nature (or whatever other term you would like to use) is that we are terrified of dying. Our own death is one of those events that is always pushed to the sidelines and ignored (at least by the vast majority of people): Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. This fear is often used by atheists to explain why people believe in religion, but the truth is neither most atheists nor most religious people have accepted their own death. Through a series of events which I will not outline for this blog, but that led me to look deep in the abyss, I will say that one of the positive benefits of those experiences was fully accepting that I will die and that is fine, to put it in the post straightforward way possible.

When human beings are reminded of their own death, that is very uncomfortable for them. “Me? I’m going to die? Really? Surely not!” we think. And this of course, is very much known by our elites – who of course, are also in denial of their own death – they hoard their wealth and power almost as if they believe they can take it with them! (One is rather reminded of Ecclesiastes.) But of course the elite know a little bit of this plausible fear goes a long way when dealing with ordinary people.

A guy called Ernest Becker came up with something which came to be known as ‘Terror Management Theory.’ He wrote a book called the Denial of Death which came to be the basis of this theory. Basically, we’re afraid of death, so what do we do about it?

This is what Psychology Today says:

According to TMT, death anxiety drives people to adopt worldviews that protect their sense of self-esteem, worthiness, and sustainability and allow them to believe that they play an important role in a meaningful world. Human survival instincts, and the need to reinforce cultural significance in the face of death, often result in displays of prejudice, or the belief that the group with which one identifies is superior to other groups. In this way, people confirm their self-importance and insulate themselves from their deep fear of merely living an insignificant life permanently eradicated by death.

Psychology Today article

In other words this theory suggests that the idea and fear of death can influence human beings in many ways and of course it follows from this that elites can invoke many of the same psychological tricks in order to get people in line.

But what is going on with the coronavirus fear porn is just the straightforward suggestion: you are going to die of this virus. Coronavirus crisis. Death death death. Look at these numbers. We won’t give you any context but look at them. See. Death. You. You’re next. Death. You’re. Going. To. Die.

The human response to all these reminders is: argh, no panic, going to die, going to die? No please please don’t let me die. I can’t think about that. I can’t handle it.

Ah, but then nice benevolent governments can say: Well, there are some things we can do to help, all you need to do is give up x, y, z, civil liberties.

Us: yes please, please please don’t let me die.

Now of course, it is completely irrational to think that the government can protect you from a virus. A virus is a biological organism that has no capacity to obey a government directive and will simply spread because that is its programming as a entity. Whatever the government does it is likely that some vulnerable individuals will die of this virus. That is a shame but that is also reality – people die every day of all sorts of various causes, many preventable (Paul Embery on Twitter recently pointed out the high levels of death from smoking for instance).

What we are seeing then is a phenomenon called Mass Scale Death Denial. People spend their lives in denial that they will die. Introduce a bit of fear, a bit of drawing people’s attention to the fact that they will die and that they might die right now. But say you have the solution if the person will just agree to x y & z & if they just follow orders. Then the person can go right back to their denial because the government is protecting them.

And I want to note that many on the left or progressives or whatever I would be called (I don’t even know or care any more since I only tend to focus on anti-war & free Assange stuff) are just as guilty at cheering this on. There are so many people who have correctly criticised the MSM on everything: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Syria, Russiagate, Ukrainegate, Assange, anti-Semitism smears on Corbyn, to name a few. But a lot of them are falling in line behind the MSM – who they know better than anyone lie – on this issue. Why? Just a little bit of fear shaking them out of their death denial.

So here’s my advice dear reader: do the necessary psychological work on yourself and really face up to your fear of death. If you don’t fear death, it’s harder for them to control you.