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?