Lockdown lunatics

David Bullard on the release of UK Health Minister Matt Hancock's WhatsApp messaging during the Covid pandemic


The Daily Telegraph in the UK is currently running a series of articles under the title of “The Lockdown Files”. Fortunately I was given a subscription to the online Daily Telegraph as a birthday present last year so I am fully up to speed with what is going on and, I have to say, what happened in the UK bears an uncanny resemblance to what happened here in South Africa.

Although, I have to admit, our bunch of ‘follow the science’ political buffoons did manage to outdo most other nations by banning rotisserie chickens and open toed shoes on the basis that both helped transmit COVID.

Quite how they arrived at that decision we will never know but our grovelling main stream media never challenged what the government were decreeing at the time and very few, if any, have shown any remorse to date for gleefully supporting what can only be described as country-wide house arrests and a test run for an East German style police state.

Whenever I tuned into what I would have previously assumed to be liberal thinking ‘free speech’ radio stations (I’m looking at you Primedia) all I heard was that I must wear a mask at all times to protect the weak and vulnerable, must stand two metres away from my fellow shoppers, must not walk on a beach, must squirt all sorts of stuff masquerading as ‘sanitiser’ on my hands before entering a shop and must get vaccinated and boosted if I didn’t want to kill my granny.___STEADY_PAYWALL___

Since I no longer have a granny I didn’t take that too seriously and, as I have written before, I declined the jab on the sound premise that it had only been released under emergency conditions (conditions dreamed up by untrustworthy politicians incidentally) and its efficacy was unproven.

Besides, the mortality rate according to the official figures suggested that I had a 98%+ chance of surviving this killer pandemic should I be unfortunate enough to catch it.

I led as normal a life as possible between 2020 and mid-2022, despite the ludicrous restrictions and bans, managed to circumvent the booze ban by ordering wine served in a teapot in restaurants, socialised and never once got so much as a sniffle.

Meanwhile, vaxxed and boosted friends were lying around in bed for ten days with yet another dose of COVID. The height of the madness came when OMICRON appeared in November of 2021 and I wrote that it was an anagram of MORONIC which was surely was a hidden signal that we were all victims of a huge confidence trick.

Dear old John Maytham came on air on Cape Talk and said “there are some people saying OMICRON is an anagram of MORONIC which it isn’t”. I’m not a Times crossword expert but even I could explain that if you move the letters IC to the end of the word and switch the first two letters of the word then you get MORONIC.

As I recall, the vaxxed and boosted Maytham caught COVID a couple of times so let’s be generous and put this down to vaccine or virus induced brain fogging rather than an unappealing desire to support a completely random and unscientifically supported set of rules designed to restrict the movement, earning capacity and behaviour of law abiding South African citizens.

But back to the release of the Daily Telegraph ‘Lockdown Files’ which ought to end a few political careers with any luck. The journalist Isabel Oakeshott was the ghost writer of the former UK health secretary’s book ‘The Pandemic Diaries’ and is a former political editor of the UK Sunday Times.

When she was co-writing the book with Matt Hancock she was given access to over 100 000 confidential WhatsApp messages between various UK politicians and senior civil servants. Before the book was published in December of 2022 she signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) concerning the sensitive material and, in particular, the potentially career limiting WhatsApp messages. She has now decided to ignore that NDA and release the contents of those WhatsApp messages because she believes they are in the greater public interest.

It is an incredibly brave thing to have done because immediately her integrity as a trusted journalist was called into question. How can you sign an NDA and then renege on it? Did she do it for the money? Has she got a personal vendetta going against Matt Hancock?

Despite all the flak she has received from fellow journalists she has stuck to her guns and the WhatsApps continue to trickle out making a strong case for the fact that Boris Johnson’s government during the COVID pandemic were at best ill advised by so called ‘experts’ and, at worst, not too bothered by the poor quality of advice but rather keener on the opportunity to get a taste of what totalitarianism might be like in a future Britain run along North Korean lines.

Matt Hancock had to hastily resign as Health Secretary after he was caught passionately kissing his mistress Gina Coladangelo on a CCTV camera during a period when the UK government had severely restricted the movement of people between different households.

For example, a husband living apart from his wife would not have been allowed to visit his children. The Gina clinch didn’t do Matt Hancock’s marriage much good and he swiftly got booted out of the family home to move in with his brother.

After resigning as Health Secretary Hancock then appeared on ‘I’m a Celebrity, get me out of here’ for a fee rumoured to be around £400 000 (part of which would be donated to charity) in which he was subjected to various revolting indignities.

None though quite so embarrassing as the Lockdown Files. What comes across clearly in the various messages pinging and ponging between politicians and senior civil servants is that science played very little part in any decision making. Indeed, rather like here in SA, rational dissenting voices of reason like Nick Hudson of PANDA were deliberately under-reported if they were reported at all.

Medical professionals who dared to differ with the official narrative were threatened with being struck off the register and those who questioned the lockdown measures were dubbed ‘COVIDIOTS’ and ‘denialists’ by the mainstream media.

When the vaccines were hastily introduced you became an ‘anti-vaxxer’ if you expressed the slightest reluctance to have these injected into your body.

What does come across strongly in the ‘Lockdown Files’ is the use of what became known as the ‘nudge unit’ as opposed to boring old scientific reality.

“We frighten the pants off everyone” wrote Hancock to his media adviser. So it became permissible (for the greater good obviously) to put out nonsensical statements such as the deadly COVID virus being able to exist for up to 72 hours on stainless steel surfaces or the ‘fact’ that you could catch it from a non-sanitised packet of lemon creams.

The Daily Telegraph reported as long ago as May 2021:

Scientists on a committee that encouraged the use of fear to control people’s behaviour during the Covid pandemic have admitted its work was “unethical” and “totalitarian”.

Members of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviour (SPI-B) expressed regret about the tactics in a new book about the role of psychology in the Government’s Covid-19 response.

SPI-B warned in March last year that ministers needed to increase “the perceived level of personal threat” from Covid-19 because “a substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened”.

And yet ‘Project Fear’ still continued in various shapes and forms until well into 2022. This was done in part by treating those who held any opinions which departed from the official policy, such as Professor Carl Heneghan, a professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, as dangerous subversives.

Similarly, Sir Jeremy Farrar who at the time was a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) must have upset Hancock’s ‘project fear’ ambitions because he was branded by Hancock as “worse than useless” as he asked of his permanent secretary “Can we fire him?”

He was described as a “complete loudmouth” who “has little respect among the serious scientists” which doesn’t really ring true since Sir Jeremy took up the post of chief scientist at the World Health Organisation recently.

Whether it was the extended closure of schools, the need for young children (who were very low risk) to wear face masks, the muddled thinking over care homes, the mockery by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case over business class travellers arriving from Red Notice countries having to spend fourteen days at their own expense cooped up in a cheap hotel room, the forced closure of businesses, the heavy handed police bullying of those who dared to meet for a coffee on the village green or the ludicrous rule of six what becomes clear from reading the Lockdown Files is that members of the British government were loving the power while totally ignoring scientific reality.

That was happening in plenty of other countries, ours included. The difference is that in the UK some of the nastiest people in politics may soon be permanently out of a job.