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The great lockdown hypocrites Maybe politicians should stop preaching what they won't practise


November 20, 2020   5 mins

Many readers outside of California will not have heard of Governor Gavin Newsom. But if you need to summon up a mental image, imagine Marie Antoinette without that late Queen’s sense of self-awareness.

Newsom has been uniting opinion in California ever since he took over as Governor last year — against him. He had previously been Mayor of San Francisco and during his tenure there had helped to turn one of the world’s most beautifully-positioned cities into one of the first world’s most shameful slums. Since his election success last year, he appears to have tried to establish whether he could replicate this success on a state-wide level.

During his time as Governor, as during his tenure as Mayor, homelessness has skyrocketed. This isn’t accidental; it has been encouraged. The state’s subsidies mean that it has become a magnet for homeless people, so that in California, as in San Francisco, people can essentially live wherever they wish to pitch their tent or shopping cart. There are now over 150,000 people living homeless in the state, the highest such proportion anywhere in the US. This is now one of the major reasons why so many Californians are leaving and heading elsewhere.

But in recent days, Newsom has been making wider headlines because he has transgressed one of the cardinal rules of politics, specifically “Do as I say not as I do”. For many months, California’s Covid restrictions have been among the most stringent anywhere in the United States, and at present if you travel around the formerly great state you can see the results of the policies that Newsom and his colleagues have instituted.

Among the most visible trends is with the state’s restaurants, which can remain open only so long as they transfer to a sort-of open-air, vaguely tent-like structures in parking lots and other spaces adjacent to the state’s restaurants. The whole thing has the air of a permanent state-wide celebration of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. The diners of California now pay top whack to have the pleasure of eating out in a parking lot.

But Newsom has not been content with simply instituting that piece of communal inconvenience. Until the start of October, the state forced you to wear a face mask on entering a restaurant and heading to or from your table. But you were allowed to take your face-mask off (as on aeroplanes) when you were actually eating. Then, at the start of October, Newsom’s office issued updated guidance, so that diners in California would henceforth be required to keep their mask on at all times other than when they were actually taking bites. The governor’s office advised: “Don’t forget to keep your mask on in between bites”. So during a meal you would have your mask on throughout, whip it off to allow yourself a forkful of food, and then as soon as the food was in your mouth you would have to put the mask back on.

It was my experience, being in California during the days after this edict was issued, that people in the state did not follow this particular madness. Many treated themselves to chewing in an overheated parking lot without covering their faces, and so far as I could see neither restaurant staff nor the local police did anything to enforce that particular measure. But it was indicative of the overzealous insistences that were coming out of the Governor’s office.

Newsom had previously liked a tweet from Cory Booker which declared that “Wearing a mask is not a surrender of liberty. It is an affirmation of love.” His Twitter profile shows him wearing a mask and his pinned tweet declares: “CA, you are now REQUIRED to wear a mask in public spaces.”

So what a beautiful thing it is to now see that Newsom himself follows none of this advice. This week, footage emerged of him breaking every single piece of Covid regulation that he has attempted to foist upon the unhappy people over whom he rules. Earlier this month he had attended a dinner at an expensive French restaurant called French Laundry in Napa, the unmissable occasion being the birthday dinner of a lobbyist called Jason Kinney.

And during the course of the evening he followed absolutely none of the advice he himself had spent months doling out.

First off, the dinner appears to have been indoors. Second, everybody at the table was closely packed together, in a gathering of more than a dozen people — AND absolutely none of the them were wearing masks. In other words, it was the sort of dinner that was perfectly normal until 2020, but which people like Governor Newsom have insisted are a total health hazard this year.

As photos of the gathering emerged, it has further transpired that the Governor was joined by two high-level members of the California Medical Association. The $400 per person menu included a starter of “Oysters and Pearls” followed by “Sole aux Crevettes” and Braised Veal. All of which must have left a delightful taste in the mouth of the Californian leader, various medical authorities and assorted lobbyists, but leaves a rather less pleasant aftertaste with pretty much every other resident of California.

Since being outed for his hypocrisy Newsom has made a public apology of the predictable kind. He seems to be hoping that people will forgive his actions because of a miscalculation by him about the precise size of the gathering. He claimed that when sitting down at the table he realised that “it was a little larger group than I had anticipated. And I made a bad mistake. Instead of sitting down I should have stood up”. He acknowledged that the “spirit” of what he was telling everyone else to do had been broken.

And he also acknowledged that what he was “preaching” all the time had been contradicted “because I need to preach as well as practise”. It is questionable whether a politician should be into any sort of “preaching” at all, let alone preaching an ideal they then self-confessedly cannot live up to. But more than any other Covid scandal so far, Newsom’s lobbyist supper is deeply telling about a divide which is emerging between rulers and ruled.

In Britain, the biggest Covid-breaking scandal was that surrounding the Prime Minister’s then chief advisor, Dominic Cummings. When Cummings was criticised and made to explain his behaviour, the UK was in a state of feverish anger about a potential breaking of the rules. But through all of that there was no question of Cummings having done something frivolously. He stood accused of having perhaps ill-advisedly attempted to make alternative childcare arrangements to look after his young child while he and his wife were falling sick with Covid. People may have disagreed with his decision, or not, but he was acting in the best interests of his son.

Newsom by contrast broke the far more stringent rules of California, which he himself was extolling for the pleasure of having an exquisite dinner with a bunch of political lobbyists and healthcare professionals. Everything that is wrong with the American political class might be summed up in that fact — that of all the things one might have broken the Covid rules for (visiting a sick or dying relative, attending the funeral of a loved-one), the Governor of California did it to have a $400-per-head indoor dinner with lobbyists.

 


Douglas Murray is an author and journalist.

DouglasKMurray

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dhoughton1213
dhoughton1213
3 years ago

Is anyone remotely surprised? We see this hypocrisy all the time. The only real surprise to me is that he’s only been caught the once! One would imagine his ilk are up to this kind of thing all the time. Another one thats only sorry he was caught.

Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  dhoughton1213

The NZ health minister was caught twice breaking lockdown. It’s no wonder people ignore them. “Your actions speak so loudly, I cannot hear what you say”

David George
David George
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Mitchell

Thanks to the tiny puddle of talent in NZ Labour the hapless and hopeless David Clark is still there – minister of commerce now.
Jacinda likes to encourage dishonesty and incompetence, it’s all part of her wet, dysfunctional “Be Kind” philosophy.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  David George

New Zealand’s Covid deaths under Jacinda Ardern: 25

UK’s Covid deaths under Boris Johnson: 50,000 and counting

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

the largely homogeneous population of an island nation that is not economically and otherwise tied to a larger continent is just like the UK. What is the NZ equivalent to, say, Belgium? Its closest neighbor is another island. Odd, too, how no one called travel restrictions to NZ racist or xenophobic. Why is that?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Boris delayed the March lockdown for a week after the medical experts advised it. Scientific estimate of the effect of that is 20,000 extra deaths.

Boris condemned Keir Starmer’s call in September for a two week lockdown, urged by scientists, as “ridiculous”. After six weeks of business as usual, the virus was out of control. Boris then instituted a lockdown of a month, rather than two weeks, the doubling necessitated by the greater number of cases due to his delay.

I’d call that a record of failure, wouldn’t you?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I’d call that a record of failure, wouldn’t you?
Perhaps, IF one assumes that shuttering society would have prevented the deaths of already old and sick people, and if one assumes there would be no other side effects.

The evidence remains clear: this virus mostly impacts those who are elderly and those who are sick with other conditions, exacerbating what is already in place. Pretending it is a universal killer is disingenuous at a weapons grade level.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

They’d have some years of life left by taking appropriate precautions and using better health habits, too, all of which is beside the point. The virus is NOT the equal opportunity killer that you imply it is. For most people who come up positive, nothing else happens. Stoking fear is not a persuasive strategy.

tom j
tom j
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

“They’d still have some years of life left – I seem to recall that for someone who has survived to 82, it averages 7 years.”

Possibly on average, but it is very unlikely that the people dying of Covid at 82 are average, they are almost certain to have co-morbidities. Those who died in the nursing homes, which was a good proportion, have very low life expectancies, regardless of covid, something like 6 months on average.

50,000 can seem like a big number, but we don’t talk about how 30,000 people died of flu a couple of years ago, or whatever the figure was. We accept that there are viruses, that they kill people, particularly older people, and we need to manage that fact along with everything else. We also understand that “lockdown” is not cost free, either in economic terms, but also in health terms! Missed diagnoses of cancer, mental health, etc.

Insanely shutting down the economy and gloating over some small number of covid deaths is, well, insane.

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
3 years ago
Reply to  tom j

Here in Oregon we are in TOTAL lockdown -everything is shut – indoor/outdoor dining, gyms, etc – the only places still able to function are beauty parlors, barbers, nail salons and massage parlors. They are considered, according to our gov, “essential to the mental and physical health of Oregonians”. Good to know I can go get my nails done instead of going to the gym.

Even our Gov has admitted that this current lockdown – which in my area – will last at least four weeks and maybe more – is going to decimate the economy in Oregon which has already been decimated by weeks of protests . It is doubtful businesses will choose to locate here – the symphony and all the museums are closed – the homeless situation is out of control – we have no money to help those who are once again out of work. Evictions are coming and un-employment checks are not. I would happily support a lockdown if the money was there to support everyone. But we are asking those who can least afford it, to sacrifice so that I in my nice apartment that I can pay for – with health insurance – with a pension that will continue can be relatively risk free.

What is the most troubling to this “vulnerable” oldster, is that it is my retired friends, comfortable in their paid for homes, their large pensions, their families whom they can still legitimately see, who are the most rabid about lockdowns.

According to them, I am a denier who wants everyone to die . I see them as people who refuse to even contemplate the long-term effects of what our gov is doing and who will endure weeks and months – if not years – harmful after effects – if not early deaths.

I do check the deaths every day on the Oregonian health site. Without fail, they are older people – some in their 90’s – who have “underlying medical conditions”. But then, what 80 or 90 year old doesn’t especially in this state where poor diet and obesity are ubiquitous.

kev.ingram61
kev.ingram61
3 years ago
Reply to  tom j

Tom according to the ONS it was over 68,000 in the 2017/18 flu season, the highest since the 75/76 winter season

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  kev.ingram61

According the ONS 2017/2018 report I have open excess deaths that winter were 50,100 of which 34.7% were attributable to respiratory conditions.

Steven James
Steven James
3 years ago
Reply to  tom j

Let it go Chris,you’ll look silly when this is all over…..500,000?..sigh

Suze Burtenshaw
Suze Burtenshaw
3 years ago
Reply to  tom j

Why does the number 77 keep coming to me when I read your posts, I wonder?

David Stuckey
David Stuckey
3 years ago

Perhaps because you have mental health issues?

Philip Perkins
Philip Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  tom j

500,000 dead – this is an absurd statement. Check the paper on MedRxiv by Chin, Joannides et al. which shows that the first lockdown in the U.K. had no effect on deaths, transmission etc.

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Chris, I can see by your posts that you haven’t a clue what’s going on. There is no such thing as long covid, (or short covid), there are only deficiencies in immune system function in the initial stages, and this malfunction dictates how that immune system responds to a viral infection. It revolves around the C-proteins and T-cells, which decide whether a patient reaches the cytokine storm stage or not, but once that occurs, the virus then begins to attack (inflame) other organs. This would be completely preventable in most cases if the infection was treated at the first consultation by a GP, but instead,the patient is told to “isolate” for ten days,(with no treatment) which in turn allows the virus to replicate within the body. Every single instruction and guideline issued to doctors by the CDC is completely juxt opposed to established science and biology, and in my view, is designed to maximise fatalities. If you wanted to kill as many people as possible, you would do everything the government and scientific advisors are telling us to do.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

You are claiming that not only are Governments across the world, advised by their own individual medical/scientific expert organisations, wrong to do what they are doing, but also that in the US the CDC advice “in my [your] view, is designed to maximise fatalities. If you wanted to kill as many people as possible, you would do everything the government and scientific advisors are telling us to do.”

Really???

There has been plenty of research on palliatives. Suppressing the cytokine storm with drugs has certainly been shown to work for severe cases and is helping to reduce the death rate to infection rate ratio, compared to what was going on in March. I suspect (can’t be sure) that it was reported that it had little effect in less severe cases. Maybe my memory is incorrect, or what you have written above is different in detail from what those researchers tested? But if there were an obvious palliative out there, connected with the well-known cytokine storm effect, wouldn’t it have been discovered and brought glory on the researchers by this point in November?

I’m trying to be fair-minded, but the idea that all the independent Government plus medical/scientific structures, including CDC and its analogues in other countries, have got it wrong, takes some believing.

Julie S
Julie S
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

You might watch this. I’d seriously be curious if you can process the information contained within it.

https://www.youtube.com/wat

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

No, I didn’t say they got it wrong. They are doing exactly what they set out to do, which was to take the Wuhan released corona virus, and turn it into a world wide pandemic by amplifying the severity of it by “wrong” diagnosis, “wrong” treatment, suppression of effective treatment, and falsified reporting of death methods.

sallyglover
sallyglover
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

Hear hear!

ian k
ian k
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

This is all interesting. Perhaps you could provide details as to what is happening to the patients who are suffering some severe respiratory, cardiac, renal, gastrointestinal or neurological effects long after infection with covid. I know one such person myself. Is he imagining this, or is it a conspiracy amongst the medical staff as a job creation programme or something else?

Secondly, perhaps you could tell all of us what this treatment is that GPs could use to treat covid infection at first presentation. None of the worlds’ health services seem to know this, and there is no known effective treatment in the community for this. Steroids and remdesivir are proven in hospital patients only. This would be a major help if you could release this information.

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago
Reply to  ian k

Well, let us just start at the very beginning. (A) Do any of these patients actually have Covid-19? Why do I say this? Well, the method used to verify it,(by the WHO) was designated to be the RT-PCR test, which “cannot”, and I’ll repeat that, “cannot” identify, or isolate covid-19 in human beings, and no such study has ever been undertaken or published. All the PCR test can do, is look at Strands of a virus, (under extreme magnification, up to x 45) What it sees could be any one of some ten thousands virus RNA strands within the body) It cannot identify, or Isolate any particular one, so as of this moment, we cannot confirm that any of these patients had covid-19, we are just “told” that’s what they have.This has been confirmed by the inventor of the PCR test himself (Kerry Mullice.).
(B) However let us assume, that the patient does indeed have “something”, so it could be a corana virus (flu), or it could be some other pre-existing condition, which is being registered as covid. (we may never get to the full truth, because Doctors have been coerced by the CDC, and Hospital managers to list all deaths as Covid, with no autopsy’s to be done.), and this is done for monetary gain on the part of the hospitals. (they receive extra government funding for any covid patient.) The key factor in the cause of this cytokine storm effect is the delay in treatment (up to 13 days (10 to isolate, and a further 3 for the results of the PCR test) By this time, the viral load is so great within the cells, that the bodies own immune system (exosomes/T-helper1 cells) are attacking other vital organs, and causing them to break down. To make matters worse, these patients are subjected to ventilators, which simply increase the inflammation,and that in turn prevents the red blood cells from getting the oxygen the body needs. In answer to your last comment, there are several early intervention treatments, but these have all been banned, censored, and discredited with “fake” big Pharma funded studies to discredit them, but the doctors themselves who have undertaken their own trials (across the globe) all swear to the efficacy of the treatment. It very much appears that the last thing the WHO, CDC, and FDA, want is a cheap, low-cost effective treatment, because it negates the need for their expensive vaccine program. There is no point in me showing you the evidence of what those treatments are, so I will leave that evidence for the court cases and trails, which will occur later. (and they will)

David Stuckey
David Stuckey
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

Oh dear-another rampant conspiracy theorist. What reason do you posit to explain this behaviour on the behalf of all governments in the World, or do you exclude NZ, Sth Korea and maybe most Asian governments and Oz? Maybe the Western World is trying to eliminate itself so Asia can take over?? Are really a virologist-they can shut down a cytokine storm with targeted steroids, and do this at the moment-easy to measure, but not quite so easy to control without laying the patient open to other infections.

SUSAN GRAHAM
SUSAN GRAHAM
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Interesting that according to the ONS listing the figures for total deaths from any cause – only 8 more deaths this October against the same month 2019. The top causes being dementia – then cardiac – then no3 Covid. We all know of deaths being recorded as Covid whatever the true cause but is this confirmation from the ONS?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  SUSAN GRAHAM

ONS lists tens of thousands of excess deaths in April and May. Your quotation of data for October, when we were still benefitting from the lull in the virus (since deaths lag weeks behind infection), is highly selective.

As for deaths being recorded as Covid because they occur within 28 days of a positive Covid test, it’s true that that will include some people who die of something else, but it’s also true that people die of Covid without having been tested for it – presumably, particularly when the UK Government was lagging so far behind other countries in testing for Covid in the Spring. That’s why the figure of 61,000 deaths from Covid has been suggested, rather than the 50,000 headline.

glenda.cdl
glenda.cdl
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

“England update on 22 November: The SAGE scenarios presented to the UK government were out by a mile”.
https://www.facebook.com/ma

Julie S
Julie S
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

When the MSM has a much wider reach, how do you not see the irony in talking about an “echo chamber?” Everything out in the world is promoting the echo chamber of the Left. Conservatives are well aware of what MSM is promoting. If the Left is not willing to have truly open discussions on these topics and suggest de-programming camps and death to those they disagree with, we will never come to a peaceful coexistence.

Julie S
Julie S
3 years ago
Reply to  Julie S

Not to mention, no one has stopped anyone from joining free speech platforms to the best of my knowledge.

jamessykes3011
jamessykes3011
3 years ago
Reply to  Julie S

Give it time.

Rosemary Southwood
Rosemary Southwood
3 years ago
Reply to  Julie S

Not yet but they’re working on changing the First Amendment so we’ll see.

David Stuckey
David Stuckey
3 years ago
Reply to  Julie S

Honestly, I had not noticed an “open discussion” on these pages, more like a Party line. Is the MSM perfect-absolutely not, BUT in general it tends to be more right wing than left wing (Guardian etc). why DO PEOPLE ON THIS SITE CONSTANTLY TALK ABOUT THE msm BEING ON THE LEFT?(caps lock cannot be bothered correcting). By general agreement most UK media are more right of centre than left.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I have read that on previous vaccinations for Covid type diseases there were detrimental effects much later on because of the vaccination. In the rush to produce this vaccination the testing time of four years has been cut right down. I just hope there are not going to be detrimental effects later on and that the government can give some assurance about this.

John Ottaway
John Ottaway
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Just keep on hoping Tony as it will be too late when , if any side effects become apparent.

Suze Burtenshaw
Suze Burtenshaw
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

The only assurances they have given are to the drug companies: they have indemnified them against future law suits arising from side effects relating to the vaccines. Doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, does it?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Someone who has survived to 82 may on average have another 7 years. But what keeps the average down is the number of people who reach the age of 82 who have only weeks or months left to live, and it is largely these people that covid is killing. Counterintuitively you will find that covid will increase average life expectancy for 82 year olds. Anyone reaching the age of 82 now will live on average slightly longer because, counting from today, covid has killed already killed a large number of those who would otherwise live only long enough to drag the average down. But that is statistics for you.

Anyway what is so different about covid. On average we can expect !7,000 excess deaths in any year as a result of flu. in fact, according to Public health England, the number of flu deaths in 2014/15 was 28,330. Indeed I am old enough (only just) to remember the 1968 flu epidemic when on some figures UK excess deaths were 70,000 and, guess what, it never really made the headlines.

As for long covid that is just a scare story invented when it looked like the population might be loosing its fear of the virus. Any virus, even the common cold, can have long lasting effects.

Dan Martin
Dan Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Hindsight is 20/20, my friend.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Dan Martin

Keir Starmer was showing foresight, not hindsight.

Dan Martin
Dan Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

But yet, you are making the call on Starmer and Johnson based on hindsight. No one knew how it would play out. Starmer took a stab and may have been right, although it should be pointed out that there is no way to know how it would have played out if Johnson had gone another way, and there is no way of determining what Starmer would have actually done if he had been Prime Minister. And furthermore, maybe we should all wait until we truly have that perfect hindsight before passing judgment. That’s the liberal thing to do, is it not?

John McCarthy
John McCarthy
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I agree that Bojo has failed in his handling of the Covid 19 affair. However, to believe the ‘scientific estimate’ of
20,000 deaths caused by his delay in locking down by a week really stretches my credulity. Was this ‘scientific estimate’ from the same source as the ‘scientific estimate’ of 500,000 deaths made at the beginning of this fiasco, or the more recent non-prediction of a 1000 deaths a day. Bojo hasn’t got a clue nor has SAGE.
They all failed to understand that Public Health Policy Making is about more than just making knee jerk decisions to assuage the public and political fears driven by the Main Stream and Social media. For example: Why has there been no impact assessments of the decisions made to ensure that those decisions were focussed, effective and thus most likely to produce good outcomes.

Martin D
Martin D
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Neil Ferguson, the man who “forecast” 500,000 deaths. the 20K was not a scientific estimate – it was another one of his fantastical guesstimates. The same man who was part of SAGE that unanimously voted for a delay in lockdown.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Those same “medical experts” wrongly predicted deaths in the millions, and one of them broke lockdown rules to hook up with his married mistress. The spike in cases prior to the current lockdown should have been expected during the winter months, when far more people always get sick with viral illnesses.

ard10027
ard10027
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Johnson is an absolute clown, but even HE could have kept Covid out of an island as remote as NZ. Behave yourself.

optocarol
optocarol
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Ridiculous comparison – apart from the points in Alex’s post below, the populations are hugely different. I am a New Zealander.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  optocarol

They are different by a factor of 13. So if you scale up to equalise population, you get:

New Zealand’s Covid deaths under Jacinda Ardern: 25×13 = 325

UK’s Covid deaths under Boris Johnson: 50,000 and counting

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

It is not just the relative populations. You are comparing a country with high density population with a considerably larger one with less than half the population of London dispersed over the two islands.

diana_holder
diana_holder
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

UK population per square mile: 1010.
NZ population per square mile: 46.

alex bachel
alex bachel
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

NZ is a small number of island far away from everything and with a population less than Yorkshire. It is not difficult to shut down such a country. It’s a different story for countries having integrated economies.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

You can’t be that thick?
What happened, Comprehensive Education perchance ?

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

What’s the population of NZ, compared to the UK? Or its immigration rate? Or proximity to the COVID hotspots of the world? Or, for that matter, how does its climate compare?

NZ’s low rate of COVID may have very little to do with its sainted PM and her severe lockdown measures; correlation does not equal causation.

Nicholas Staveley STANLEY MBE
Nicholas Staveley STANLEY MBE
3 years ago
Reply to  David George

Hello David,
Please forgive me, but I have just a bit of trouble with people who make bland, and sweeping, derogatory statements.
If you fail to furnish real facts, in order to substantiate your claims, then your words are without substance!
However, if you are able to substantiate your claims, you will be believed!
You won’t have a problem doing that, will you?

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Mitchell

The reason they do this is because they know it’s all a complete scam, a hoax, of epic proportions, and a crime against humanity. They do not fear any virus, because the statistics show it is no more dangerous, or serious, than any other flu. The mortality rate from this virus is 0.13%, or 1 in every 300,000 people. The average age of death from this virus is 82.2 years old, and that 47% of all those who died were from care homes. It is time to bring all the politicians and “scientific advisors” into a court law to be tried by jury.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

What a lot of extreme assertions. Conspiracies, crimes against humanity, and politicians and scientists to be put on trial.

BTW, whether or not the mortality rate is 0.13% as you claim, 0.13% is not “1 in every 300,000 people” as you stated. 0.13% is 1 is every 769 people. It’s called maths (or math). You can do it by opening an Excel spreadsheet, and dividing 100 by 0.13. Yet you claim that you know better about medical matters than the doctors and scientists of the CDC, and you have discerned a global conspiracy.

Do you have any insight into why the kind of the claims you make are not taken seriously?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

Another point: your claim that “The mortality rate from this virus is 0.13%” is wildly wrong.

UK: 1.47million cases, 54000 deaths –> death rate 3.67% (plus a bit more when a few percent of the most recent of those 1.47m die over the next month).

US: 11.8m cases, 252000 deaths –> death rate 2.1%

Worldwide: 55.6m cases, 1.34m deaths –> death rate 2.4%

These death rates of course are a mixture of those from the first wave and the second wave (or local analogues). Death rate in the second wave is probably lower due to steroid dosing, but not so much that you can massage 3.7% or 2.1% down to the 0.13% you quoted. To get anywhere near 0.13%, you would also have to exclude a large proportion of the population and focus on only young people. There’s a figure here:

https://ourworldindata.org/

which suggests that you might just about be able to claim “0.13%” as the mortality rate for 30-39 year olds or possibly 20-29 year olds. But it climbs steeply for older groups.

Louise Henson
Louise Henson
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Mitchell

Who the hell cares what happens in the land of toothy? You have just had the chance to vote the besom out and look what happened instead.

Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  Louise Henson

Unfortunately so. Not through lack of trying on my part, though.

andrew.janiak
andrew.janiak
3 years ago

Just yesterday in South Australia a fool gave COVID tracers a false info. On this basis alone SA officials:

– declared that they have discovered a new, extremely contagious mutation of COVID,
– declared 6 days of stringent lockdown for the whole state, including isolated settlements 1000+ km from Adelaide,
– Victoria closed the border with SA.

This madness has no ends and no limits. The world went crazy with hysteria. We are all mad.

Adi Dule
Adi Dule
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew.janiak

Yes it shows the level of “science” that is behind all this mess

Mavka Rusalka
Mavka Rusalka
3 years ago
Reply to  Adi Dule

It is not “science”. It is “the science”. There is only ONE science.

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago
Reply to  Mavka Rusalka

..apparently not. There is empirically tested, peer reviewed science, and then there is this new psuedo science we get from the government and their advisors.

Charles Rense
Charles Rense
3 years ago
Reply to  Adi Dule

I knew science was going to be the last thing leading the way the moment the “trust the science” rhetoric started. Thats an inherently unscientific position. Scientific knowledge advances by questioning and challenging the science, not by trusting it.

Ian Ogden
Ian Ogden
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew.janiak

LOL,s….speak for yourself

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew.janiak

What has gone wrong in Australia? You seem even more bonkers than us, the plague ridden UK?

Michael Cowling
Michael Cowling
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

It appears that the UK economy is down about 10% and the Australian economy is down about 2%. China, where the lockdowns were tougher, is getting economic growth (if you believe the figures). So who is losing more jobs, creating more desperation, and generally doing more damage?

One of the difficult questions the people who run countries have to cope with is that they have to make decisions on incomplete or false information. In the South Australia case, the information appears to have been false.

Red Asp
Red Asp
3 years ago

The biggest scandal in the UK is the one most seem to have forgot: that Prof. N. Ferguson, the man who imposed the rules of the first lockdown, broke his own rules on households mixing by having some woman over. This proved he didn’t believe his own warnings. This tiny details actually reveals rather a lot.

namelsss me
namelsss me
3 years ago
Reply to  Red Asp

He resigned. Cummings didn’t.

Marcus Millgate
Marcus Millgate
3 years ago
Reply to  namelsss me

Your saying he should resign for doing what he thought is best to protect his 4 year old child!?

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

He cannot, nor will not answer you.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

The point is not whether it suited his own family; the point is whether is protected everyone else.

On your logic, Typhoid Mary should have been allowed to continue in catering, because it was only other people who got infected, not herself.

Ken Palmer
Ken Palmer
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

You distort the known facts just to score points.

Cummings and his family drove to Durham in their own car. They isolated themselves in separate family accommodation. They drove to Barnard Castle in their own car. Not one of the anti-Cummings media stories has come up with a single person who can show that they got within coughing distance of Cummings or his family during the whole period.

This was a complete non-story whose only purpose was to embarrass Johnson. Unfortunately the media’s attempt to wind up the public was so successful that it enabled those who were looking for a way to avoid complying with the restrictions to claim that they were just doing a Cummings. I wonder how many deaths that caused.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Ken Palmer

They were displaying symptoms of Covid, otherwise they wouldn’t have gone on this escapade. They claim that their car was full of fuel and didn’t need refuelling either way. What a happy coincidence that the less visually well-known of the couple didn’t need to pop out and fill it up the night before. They claim that their four year old didn’t need a service station loo between London and County Durham (first four year old in history to achieve that). They would definitely have had to have contact with other people if they had broken down. On the Barnard Castle trip, they sat beside the river, which is in the open air of course and therefore OK if you don’t have the virus, but since they were displaying symptoms, that hikes to risk to others who were adjacent. That risk, incidentally, can’t even be excused by solipsistic reasoning about “doing the best for their family” on childcare – it was a jaunt on Mrs Cummings birthday, pure and simple, laughably justified as “testing Dominic Cummings’ eyesight”. How naive do you have to be to believe that? And their actions were so innocent that Cummings’ wife wrote in her magazine column about emerging from lockdown into the London sunshine – no mention of Durham.

I don’t doubt that if you are determined to defend Cummings, you can slalom around the facts and ignore one or two of the most inconvenient. No-one else in the country believes that Cummings drove to Barnard Castle to test his eyesight, but of course they are not true believers in Dom and have therefore been misled by the MSM, Presumably you could do the same for Gavin Newsom – who is instead subjected to Douglas Murray’s spite and hatred in this essay because he is a liberal. Why not face facts that they BOTH broke the rules?

Peter Shaw
Peter Shaw
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Oh dear. Nurse! Get the sedatives. We have another terminally bitter Cummings obsessive .

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  namelsss me

But not from the university and his job. There were more of the modelling clowns on TV last night. Not one of them seemed to think they had to study the system they were modelling.

Brenda Sanderson
Brenda Sanderson
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Ferguson had airtime on Radio 4 a few days ago wanting ongoing restrictions. Why is he let out to pontificate?

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

He is, as they say, “a useful idiot”.

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

A dangerous idiot, more like – even when his pants weren’t down in lockdown. At least he’s consistent – see also his heroic forecasting on Foot & Mouth, SARS, Avian ‘Flu etc.

He is so regularly quoted in the press or on the radio, that it’s fair to assume he’s on an approved list. After all, didn’t our wonderful government issue “guidelines” (for which, read red lines or threats) to our insightfully analytical, sceptical and objective media on whose opinions should dominate? This is presumably why we don’t hear from Heneghan, Sikora, Yeadon, Ivor Cummings and others as much as we should. If that doesn’t work, a full-on trolling or trashing can be delivered on cue – witness the appalling treatment of the Gt. Barrington 3.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Hunter

I couldn’t agree more.

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Yes, it was an hour of exculpation and ex post facto justification. What a merry-go-round – the politicians hide behind “THE” science (including when there isn’t any – like facemasks, hospitality venues as infection hotspots, etc.) and scientists. The scientists then absolve themselves and each other when their modelling or dire predictions turn out to be wide of the mark.

And isn’t it just the case that many of these scientists are getting off on the power (over clueless, panicky politicians) and influence they now have? Witness the way they are already talking up the next Lockdown before the data on which any such decision should be based (even if Lockdowns are ruinously damaging to health in general and the economy: even the WHO says as much). As yesterday morning transitioned to afternoon, our scientific brethren made the quantum leap from a 2 day “punishment premium” for each day so graciously permitted us over Christmas to 5. WTF is going on?

I’ve just seen the ONS go public with a piece stating infection rates are coming down across the UK, but that won’t deter our sage (SAGE, PHE, etc.) experts from decreeing that we must be returned to subjugation in the new year. It only takes a few scientists with dodgy charts and cherrypicked data to open their traps like satraps and flounderer in chief Johnson will panic, Gove / Hancock will tip off the media and we’re back where we started, nothing learnt, nothing except devastation achieved.

And there are people who want to be locked down again? Are they all public sector employees?

Ian Ogden
Ian Ogden
3 years ago
Reply to  namelsss me

He resigned as his reason was unreasonale, Mr. Cummings I think had a good reason to do what he did and I would have done the same. I too would have ignored the entirely wrong critisism of his action. A lot of common sense has seem to have left this country

ian k
ian k
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Ogden

Cummings went home to visit his wife who had symptoms of Covid, He then went back to Downing Street to collect his stuff, thereby possible infecting a lot of other people. He then drove to Durham, and later took a 60 mile drive ” to test his eyesight”. I assume, being an educated person, he does not realistically think driving is an admirable method of testing vision, but that ordinary Joe Public will believe this twaddle. This if reckless arrogant behaviour of someone who thinks rules and guidelines are for little people, not like him.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  namelsss me

He buckled under pressure, Cummings didn’t.

Rui Ventura
Rui Ventura
3 years ago
Reply to  namelsss me

He resigned and yet is still advising the U.K government.

Red Asp
Red Asp
3 years ago
Reply to  namelsss me

So what? The scandal is that he imposed rules it was proved he didn’t believe. Why would he do that?

Hal Lives
Hal Lives
3 years ago
Reply to  Red Asp

“Prof. N. Ferguson… broke his own rules… This proved he didn’t believe his own warnings.”

I think he wanted a shag more than he was worried about contracting COVID-19.

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago
Reply to  Red Asp

It tells me his idea of social distancing is about 4 inches.

David C.
David C.
3 years ago

“…the Governor of California did it to have a $400-per-head indoor dinner with lobbyists.” The thing I absolutely love about Murray is how he ultimately makes stinging leftist arguments from a conservative viewpoint, and with such wit. It makes his writing exquisitely unconventional. And important in these times, in which the left is behaving like the right in too many regards.

craig albers
craig albers
3 years ago
Reply to  David C.

I take only one issue w/ Murray here. There is no way it was $400-per-head. With wine, a low estimate would be $1200-per. Prince Gavin and his Getty/Guggenheim/Fisher/Pritzker/Seibel ilk don’t bother with that kind of slumming. Gavin exemplifies an old joke about John Kerry (husband to Theresa Heinz). When GW Bush’s tax returns showed $600k in income, it was asked of Kerry what he called someone who made $600k per year?

“Not even worth dating.”

“ŠMarie Antoinette without that late Queen’s sense of self-awareness.
Indeed

stephensjpriest
stephensjpriest
3 years ago

Dear Douglas

Prof Carl Heneghan & Tom Jefferson
Landmark Danish study shows face masks have no significant effect
spectator article/do-masks-stop-the-spread-of-covid-19-
There was no statistically significant difference between those who wore masks and those who did not when it came to being infected by Covid-19.

nick harman
nick harman
3 years ago

Those two need taking away and locking up for a while. They’ve become drunk on right wing attention.

Toby Aldrich
Toby Aldrich
3 years ago
Reply to  nick harman

Brilliant rebuttal there.

Toby Aldrich
Toby Aldrich
3 years ago

Important study, but it would be worth quoting the study’s author before using this to defend a no mask policy

” I think the message should be that wearing a mask, in the correct way of course, would to some extent ” not a large extent but some extent ” protect you. But it’s your contribution to protect others, that we should take care of each other. All of us would hate the idea that I had a dangerous disease now I passed it on to you because I was not wearing a mask. So we have good reasons to recommend masks, I guess.

A Woodward
A Woodward
3 years ago

Bad example. They have already been called out for ignoring the real reason for wearing masks – to protect others, not yourself.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

‘Many readers outside of California will not have heard of Governor Gavin Newsom.’

Then they must have been living in a wardrobe with no internet access for the last few years. In our house we call him Gavin Nuisance.

‘Newsom has been making wider headlines because he has transgressed one of the cardinal rules of politics, specifically “Do as I say not as I do”.’

But he hasn’t transgressed that rule. He has followed it to the letter.

nick harman
nick harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I never heard of him, I thought Arnie was still in charge,

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Not that one should be vilified for his/her choice of a mate, but Newsom’s first wife was the now notorious Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox staffer, who is now the significant other of Donald Jr. Dressed all in red, she gave a speech at the Republican convention that went viral. Those of us who did not know her were amazed that she had for at least two years been the first lady of S.F.

She is now contemplating a run for Congress.

Carl Goulding
Carl Goulding
3 years ago

With his track record it is fascinating that he was elected as Governor in the first place. This phenomena is not limited to politics though. For example in industry it is not unusual for a CEO with a track record of failures to be “let go” only to turn up at the helm of another company after banking his golden hand shake and relaxing during his garden leave. Those misguided companies which decide to employ these incompetents eventually suffer the consequences as must the misguided people of California. However if the choice of candidates for the Governorship was anything like we have in British politics then I suppose it comes down to what degree of incompetence you end up with.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

An excellent polemic, supported a wonderful caption photograph that says it all. His physiognomy and excessive use of grease a must be warning?

With the exception of Nancy Pelosi, whose use of Botox must set a world record, and has been stretched and face-lifted so far that her fanny is almost on top of her head, I can think of no more odious contemporary image. Am I alone? Or are there other ‘candidates’?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of Michigan, is up there with Pelosi and Newsom in the competition for ‘Most Repulsive Hypocrite Of The Decade’ award.

Dennis Lewis
Dennis Lewis
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Saint Jacinda Ardern has to be close to the top of the list!

Ben
Ben
3 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Lewis

Along with child-saint Greta and Oscar winner Emma Thompson?!

talking of which I’d love to watch a Woke Oscar Awards ceremony! “And the nominations are….

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Ben

I guess denying the facts about Covid, and denying the facts about global warming, are close bed fellows.

But tell me, when you fall ill, do you want to be advised of the best medical and scientific advice? Or do you surf the net until you find something which conforms to your prejudices, with a lot of denunciations of “liberals” (after all, doctors are educated and are rarely right-wing hysterics, so they must be liberals) and claims that the MSM are part of a conspiracy?

Ian Moore
Ian Moore
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

It is not proven to be the best advice, nor is it the only advice. If I was seriously ill and the doctor’s prognosis was seemingly counterproductive or unproven then I would almost certainly speak with another, getting a second opinion as it’s known, quite common I’m sure you’ll admit. Not only are the government using discredited statistical models they are also ignoring the work of many other scientists to follow one set of opinions and guidelines, which are extremely convenient for them and their friends strangely enough.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Moore

It’s not in the least convenient for Governments to shut down the economy. Why on earth would you think it was?

Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

But it is convenient for them to take advantage of a crisis to inflate their polling – exhibit 1 Jacinda Ardern. Not to say the response wasn’t good on the whole, but it masked every one of her party’s (almost complete) policy failures in all other areas

optocarol
optocarol
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Mitchell

Completely agree and I live in NZ.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Lewis

Agreed.

ard10027
ard10027
3 years ago

People on the left — and the Left Coast — keep voting for Herberts like this in an ever more desperate attempt to find somebody who can actually make socialism work. I honestly believe we are at a point where we need to stop pouring buckets of abuse on lefties and actually try to help them find a way out of the trap they’ve walked into.

I’m not sure how we can do it, but let me start by pointing out that socialism is most emphatically NOT more virtuous, more moral or more humane than what the right has to offer. If it were, the Golden State would not be a cess pit and San Francisco, the cultural capital of that state, would not be the dirtiest pit in the state. It’s happening because of the policies of the left, not the right, because it’s the left that has the locked-in supermajority of California state government.

Like with alcoholism or drug abuse, you’re going the have to start simply by admitting there IS a problem.

Emperor Caligula
Emperor Caligula
3 years ago
Reply to  ard10027

The problem is that Californians now are leaving the cesspool they created through leftist voting, settle down in sane places, and instantly start voting their way into turning THOSE places into cesspool 2.0. House-hunting CA license plates are about as popular in the neighborhood as a gang of Hell’s Angels bikers.

ard10027
ard10027
3 years ago

I agree. It’s not the homeless that need medicalization, it’s the people who keep voting for idiots like Newsom, being dismayed at the results, moving somewhere else and then doing exactly the same thing again. We’re literally looking at the textbook definition of madness – doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Which is why these people need help more than the homeless. They’re mentally sick.

shinybeast1
shinybeast1
3 years ago
Reply to  ard10027

I’m not sure it’s that black and white. (It never is). homeless people have flocked to SF but they were not necessarily made homeless there. So shouldn’t we be looking at how they became homeless in the first place?

ard10027
ard10027
3 years ago
Reply to  shinybeast1

Well, maybe, but that risks finding that a significant number — I’ll admit, not all — are homeless through fecklessness and idleness. Basically, just deadbeats. A moment’s thought should tell you that, while there were always homeless people, the proportion relative to the rest of society appears to be growing exponentially. Will anybody dare say that maybe that’s because it’s a lot easier being homeless now than it used to be? Especially in a warm climate like California with abundant taxpayer handouts where once you had to rely on charity.

Which kind of brings me back to my original thought. We need to start daring to think these things, because what’s beyond any reasonable argument now is that sixty years of relentless medicalization and socialization of the problem has made it worse at every turn. Or, to put it another way, literally everything the left does makes everything worse.

shinybeast1
shinybeast1
3 years ago
Reply to  ard10027

If it’s easier to sleep rough than to afford accommodation then yes there is a problem. I don’t think it is a lifestyle people choose on a whim. Usually there have been a series of unfortunate events leading to the point of homelessness. Mental health has a part to play and often addictions too. In America there is an awful problem with people becoming addicted to opioids, prescribed for back pain etc, and they soon find themselves on heroine as it is cheaper and easily available. How do you suggest we help these people?
I don’t think it is the left that is creating homelessness. It’s more a symptom of capitalism.

ard10027
ard10027
3 years ago
Reply to  shinybeast1

I genuinely used to believe that too. And this is what I mean when I say we need to radically change our way of thinking about these issues. And the first unthinkable thought might be, “maybe we can’t help these people. Maybe everything we do — at least at the state or governmental level — makes it worse. Maybe we need to accept we’re going to lose a lot of them, the way the military calculate how many of their troops they’re going to lose in a battle.”

If you’d told me I’d be thinking like that twenty years ago, I’d have said you’re crazy. But here we are, and what’s brought me to this is the fact that nothing works. It gets worse every day, and the only reaction I’m seeing from the political and media class is, “we’re not doing enough of what hasn’t been working”. There were always homeless people, but it’s growing year by year. Why?

Could it be that intervention is making it happen? Or at least, making it happen more often than it used to? Remember, it doesn’t take fifty per cent plus one of the population of a given society to drop out to make it impossible for that society to function, it only takes a relatively small critical mass, and I seriously believe we’re nearing that point. Viscerally, I think our ancestors appreciated that, and so were always reluctant to inject the state into the lives of people near the bottom. They suspected that by so doing, they might sap the moral fibre of people who were struggling, but hanging on. It was a mentality which manifested itself in the really poor guy who couldn’t afford more than one pair of shoes, but who shined them up like mirrors before he went out the door, or who put his trousers under a board and walked up and down along it so they’d have a proper crease.

I think it’s people like that who have swelled the ranks of the homeless because every aspect and facet of the culture for the last sixty years has been telling them they’re mugs to make that much of a contribution to their societies. I think it’s time we got back to letting them know that, actually, yes, they were right all along. Unfortunately, the only way to do that is dump the rotten philosophy of “progressivism”, the idea that everything can be solved with science and politics, and start accepting that there is no arc of history, bending towards justice or anything else. There is only the daily grind, and being poor does not excuse you from it. That, in its turn, means we’re going to lose a lot who can’t struggle back even to that relatively low level of self-support. Just like the soldiers lost in battle. It’s grim, but is it really any worse than what we’ve been doing up to now?

jonathan.simon2020
jonathan.simon2020
3 years ago

It is the behaviour of the elites in society and their contempt for ordinary citizens. It is the behaviour that created populism and Trump.It is the arrogance of Marie Antoinette. In civil society there is a contract between the rulers and the ruled. Governor Gavin Newsom is acting in contempt and in breach of this contract

Jay Williamson
Jay Williamson
3 years ago

Douglas, if that really is a photograph of Mr Newsom then what he has done comes as no surprise and I love your quip about Marie Antoinette!
The thing is, though, until the voters rise up at the ballot box, he will get away with his ‘let them eat cake’ hypocrisy.
Over here, we still have Margaret Covid as an MP, but she doesn’t have the nerve to show her face on the video link to the HoC.
Scotland’s tinpot dictator has now banned travel into, and out of, Scotland from the other 3 nations of the UK. Is that even legal? Will flights be stopped? Will trains and buses be halted at Carlisle and Newcastle? Will Scotland’s porous land borders be policed and, if so, by whom? Who will be the first MSP or Scottish MP to break this new rule? The beauty of this latest assault is that some people are now turning against their former poster girl!

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Jay Williamson

Indeed. Nasty Nicola is so busy playing politics with coronavirus (a gift from China to her and her failing single issue party), that she hasn’t had the time to cooperate with the Salmond inquiry. Neither has the latter apparently.

Add this to her mysterious cum providential loss of memory and her autocratic disdain is ever plainer to behold.

Signs are there that her flush is bearing down on being busted…bring it on!

Adi Dule
Adi Dule
3 years ago

Anybody still thinking the covid nonsensical rules are to suppress the virus?!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago

The issue is what are other states going to do to stop Californians bring with them same political that they helped create and are now escaping.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

FYTW. That’s the real answer from the Newsom types who ignore the fundamental rules of rules:
1) rules have to make sense; otherwise, people are less likely to comply.
2) rules derive at least part of their moral authority from those passing them. When the anointed class flouts the rules, don’t be shocked when the rest of us also ignore them.

stephen archer
stephen archer
3 years ago

I’d like to suggest that Margaret Ferrier, Scottish SNP MP trumps all the others for her disregard for following guidelines during her Covid-infected round trip to Westminster a few weeks ago, knowingly putting fellow passengers at risk of infection on the 5 hour return train journey.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Agree.

Eileen Natuzzi
Eileen Natuzzi
3 years ago

The author fails to mention Nancy Pelosi’s private hair salon trip while Californians did not have that option. It was caught on tape.

California has been ruled by 4 families whose control over the state has allowed them to a mass big wealth. Brown, Newsom, Pelosi and Getty have steadily destroyed the state. The author rightfully points out the Newsom track record on homelessness.
As to the French Laundry (3 Michelin) dinner the 2 California Medical Association members who dined with Newsom are not physicians. They were the CMA CEO Dustin Corcoran, an overpaid Newsom sycophant and one of the CMA lobbiests. Not sure what value they bring for those of us physicians in the golden state. The cost and conditions to practice here are appalling, driving doctors to leave, retire early or succumb to being employed and ultimately controlled by the machine.
For those who see this pandemic as a political manipulation of the masses read the Shock Doctrine: Disaster Capitalism.

smiltebi
smiltebi
3 years ago

the great question: WHY and HOW was he elected as Governor after such a Mayorship? May be citizens also have to accept their part of guilt?

David Waring
David Waring
3 years ago

Here we again have the flaccid metropolitan intellects ignoring the fact Dominic Cummings and family were terrorized from their home by well funded so called liberals.

nick harman
nick harman
3 years ago
Reply to  David Waring

No one terrorises Dom.

Miriam UĂ­
Miriam UĂ­
3 years ago

In Ireland, our commissioner to the EU had to resign over just such a dinner… Ex-commissioner Phil Hogan. Does no one resign in the USA?

gumballsamurai
gumballsamurai
3 years ago
Reply to  Miriam UĂ­

No. Nobody ever resigns. Corruption and failure are a badge of honor among the “elite”. Most of the time they climb up the next rung of the ladder or receive a huge windfall. Newsome could be the next president.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Miriam UĂ­

Absolutely not! It is a badge of honor. You are supposed to flaunt your power and make empty speeches to the proles. Newsome is showing us he has presidential aspirations

Dan M
Dan M
3 years ago

At least we can say that Mr. Murray’s article has more heft than his intervention in the ‘controversy’ surrounding Adele’s corn rows, but only slightly so. The craven apologetics on behalf of Cummings and (in other media) Trump, at a time when the legitimacy of the American democratic process is hanging by a thread due to the latter’s paranoid and dangerous shenanigans, is massively disappointing.

I gravitated towards Unherd because of the promise it makes to challenge conventional thinking from different perspectives. Like so many others I am politically homeless and am looking for alternatives to the woke revolution from the left and the deeply immoral and intellectually barren politics (i.e. pursuit of power and money at all and any cost) from the right. In the past couple of months most of the people who seemed to be leading a general movement back to some kind of humane centrist politics (Peterson, Murray) seem to have gone off the rails. Rome is burning: put down your violins, stop trying to defend the indefensible, and write about something important.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  Dan M

Take a look at the SDP.

Paul Savage
Paul Savage
3 years ago
Reply to  Dan M

Are you serious or is this satire? You seriously think that he American democratic process is hanging by a thread because of Trump’s shenanigans? It is transparently clear to anyone with a rudimentary degree of knowledge of statistics that the “result” of the election as recorded in the four big cities in the key states is about as plausible as the entire population of the planet revealing themselves to be supernatural beings from the other side of the universe. As for ceasing the counts, sending observers home, closing for the night and then miraculously recording hundreds of thousands of votes for Biden that arrived by the back door and whose envelopes were “lost” so nobody can ever check their legitimacy, is that Trump’s shenanigans too? Oh and using an electronic voting system expressly designed by the manufacturer to rig elections (it’s in the user manual ffs! It’s a feature not a bug) is perfectly acceptable is it? And what’s even more breathtaking is that you imply that you wish to “challenge conventional thinking” whilst signing up for the entire conventional establishment narrative. Spare us!

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Savage

It is quite breathtaking. There has always been fraud elections in the USA but usually only when it is close. They had to really go out of their way this time. I think Trump did a terrible job. He largely left the swamp in charge so there was little change. He clearly isn’t on board with the “great reset” and “build back better” Davos nonsense like BoJo is. So the deep state is getting rid of him. In spite of all their efforts to demonize Trump and largely poor presidency he still has a lot of support. I think people realize the Biden administration is coming in with the Davos agenda. Living an austerity existence is going to be a very bitter pill to swallow for most Americans. Even the liberals who will be confused about what “went wrong”.

John Vaughan
John Vaughan
3 years ago

There are mystic Meg modellers and there are scientists. Bent politicians listen to the former as do uneducated sheeple. True scholars, however, look at the data along with true scientists.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  John Vaughan

Take realtime measurements and test their theories to reality. Modelers just create another model if people start noticing their model isn’t correct.

Nik Olsen
Nik Olsen
3 years ago

Mere humans are fallible & should not be trusted to make policy or dream up bizarre rules that only apply as and when it suits the rulemaker. Venerable citizens from diverse disciplines should make rules that refer to their core principles, which would remove the ability for posturing by self-important officials to make up arbitrary rules on the hoof.

nick harman
nick harman
3 years ago

It’s a very good restaurant, out of the price range of all but liberals.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  nick harman

Are the CEOs, whose remuneration packages have spiralled during recent decades while ordinary Americans are subjected to ‘outsourcing’, ‘benchmarking’ and the like, all liberals? I’d expect them to be Republicans, wouldn’t you?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I’d expect them to be Republicans, wouldn’t you?
CEO’s like Bezos, Dorsey, and Zuckerberg? They’re leftists in good standing, able and willing to grease the necessary politicians and shut down the appropriate voices who stand in their way.

shinybeast1
shinybeast1
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Why is everyone so obsessed with left and right and how do you have such conviction in defining who is left and who is right? It baffles me!

nick harman
nick harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Yes but they have poor taste in restaurants.

eloyacano
eloyacano
3 years ago
Reply to  nick harman

Very witty reply. 🙂

steve eaton
steve eaton
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

You are truly without an inkling…

vince porter
vince porter
3 years ago

A gathering of friends allergic to masks, discipline, and, sacrifice; fortunately, not shellfish.

Dave Lucas
Dave Lucas
3 years ago
Reply to  vince porter

You could argue their actions were shellfish..

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
3 years ago

Governor Newsom at least had the decency to apologize for not following his own government’s rules. PM Trudeau lectured Canadians sanctimoniously about not having large family get-togethers for Easter and having your Easter egg hunts inside, then violated his own rules to join his family for Easter at Harrington Lake when he was living by himself in Rideau Cottage. Worse than that, he was going to a secondary residence in a rural area, which was against the guideline, not to put pressure on health resources in rural areas. Worse than that, he crossed a provincial border to do so, for which there can be up to a $6,000 fine, but he was not stopped by provincial police or if he was they did not press charges. We will probably never know for sure. Of course, the great man could have voluntarily contributed $6,000 to the Quebec treasury to acknowledge his sin, but that’s not his style. The Trudeaus also had an Easter egg hunt on the Harrington Lake property, because rules are for the proles and not for them. When asked about all this, PM Trudeau put on one of his moronic grins, and brushed it off. Why would a family man not want to spend Easter with his family? No apology necessary when you have a mainstream media that is bought and paid for.

liz fedler
liz fedler
3 years ago

And this is the governor who’s children are also back in school in person, while the rest of the state struggles through with distance learning. Saddened by the state of our leadership

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

We’re all hypocrites, and some of us are more hypothetical than others, but hypocrisy in a politician, or any public figure for that matter, takes that hypocrisy to another level for obvious reasons when you effectively tell large numbers of people to do as you say and not as you do.

In terms of covid, given the life or death, ‘killer virus’ message that’s constantly attached to it, the option of observing the rules or not observing them is surely not open to interpretation if you’re in a position (or part of a political machine) to essentially insist that everyone should and does.

The covid debacle is positively littered with examples like the one seized upon by Mr Murray but general political persuasion, while it might be a good opportunity to score a few cheap political points by association, as in this case, is not really that important.

My real issue here then isn’t that there are people advocating these idiotic measures whilst they ‘quietly’ circumvent them, presumably because they don’t think they apply to the likes of them, it’s where are the mainstream, big political voices openly, regularly and loudly questioning the wisdom of these enduring, devastating Draconian headline grabbing measures that so obviously aren’t working, won’t ever work and which are causing so much social and economic damage in the longer-term?

To me, those who privately vehemently disagree and yet then publicly support this madness, they are the real hypocrites.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

True. I am quite open about not agreeing with this nonsense. I live as old normal as possible. Needless to say I don’t avoid socializing in large groups. I’m not at all sure that the friends I have that support these measures follow the rules any better than the friends that don’t. In the US it is nearly down political lines. Democrats are rather quick to insult people who openly flaunt the rules. Calling them covidiots but they themselves don’t follow the rules very well. They just talk like they do

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

And, as of yesterday, according to the BBC, America’s most populous state with 40m people, the above mentioned California, diligently run by illustrious Governor Newsom, 41 of its 58 counties will undergo a night-time curfew as covid rates apparently continue to rise inexorably there.

Given that it’s a Democratic-run state, it seems that yet again the coronavirus has failed to distinguish and mysteriously evaded the clearly defined political and geographical boundaries that apparently define the stark differences between a state run by an enduringly caring, compassionate and competent political party as opposed to one run by an expedient, reckless, heartless, selfish and incompetent one.

‘Go figure’ as Americans are wont to say.

Billy Fild
Billy Fild
3 years ago

Top pathologist Dr. Roger Hodkinson told government officials in Alberta during a zoom conference call that the current coronavirus crisis is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public.” https://www.zerohedge.com/m

Helen Wood
Helen Wood
3 years ago

Virtue signalling excuses. TBC.

1.I smoked (a joint) but I didnt inhale.
2.I never had sex with that woman
(But osmotically my semen stained her dress)
3.I unfortunately approved a building regs fire safety certificate cut and pasted from…somewhere…which has caused me great moral anguish since the conflagration.

Julie S
Julie S
3 years ago

The bigger question is, how do we help indoctrinated people see the truth? How many people who see this for the hypocrisy that it is, have connections, relationships with people who do not see through this much larger agenda? These are people who believe the Nuremberg trials support their beliefs. Wrap your brain around that.

Jessica Boncutter
Jessica Boncutter
3 years ago

The author is correct. I am born and raised San Franciscan now live in LA. Its worse than he describes. We are horrified by Governor Hair Gel .

C S
C S
3 years ago

“But through all of that there was no question of Cummings having done something frivolously. He stood accused of having perhaps ill-advisedly attempted to make alternative childcare arrangements to look after his young child while he and his wife were falling sick with Covid. People may have disagreed with his decision, or not, but he was acting in the best interests of his son.”

This is nonsense! I can’t believe the writer is based in London if this is all he has managed to pick up of the Cummings and goings debacle! What about Cummings’ claim that he drove to Barnard Castle to test his eyesight? Or that he had to drive the entire length of the country to ‘find’ someone to look after the sprog – there being nobody in the whole of London with that skill set…

J Roberts
J Roberts
3 years ago

Everyone is equal. Just some are more equal than others…

Martin Davis
Martin Davis
3 years ago

It’s such a shame that DM had to use an American example of ‘do as I say, not as I do’ to compare, and, by implication, mitigate the behaviour of the now governmental unperson Cummings. Surely he should have drawn on the example of our esteemed PM, who got himself into a pickle by doing precisely that earlier in the year.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago

We vote for them and then meekly follow their commands, but the threat of a fine makes a big difference.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

You could NOT vote for them. Just a thought.

Dalla Jenney
Dalla Jenney
3 years ago

Great article except for the point about Cummings: It is arguable that he did not act in the best interests of his little boy. He took him on a 4 hour plus journey in a car with an adult suffering from a confirmed active Covid19 infection. There can be few more effective ways to submit another human being to a high viral load of coronavirus. He should have worked that one out and found a different solution to his child care problem.

Deborah Short
Deborah Short
3 years ago

We are on a very slippery slope as far as I’m concerned

https://committees.parliame

alistarb
alistarb
3 years ago

So what is the point of this article? Some politician doesn’t practice what he preaches. There are alot of homeless people in SF. So how does that change whether we should all be wearing masks and social distancing? I mean take a look at Asia. They flattened the curve while the west with all its resources has a death count comparable to the results of a nuclear bomb. Or is this article trying to argue that there’s a big conspiracy behind any measures to control covid because those who are for stricter regulations are not practicing what they preach?

tkreider2030
tkreider2030
3 years ago
Reply to  alistarb

There is obviously a much higher degree of immunity in Asia compared to the West.

Michael Cowling
Michael Cowling
3 years ago
Reply to  tkreider2030

What is the justification for this? Lots of people have died in India, and if there were a higher degree of immunity this would not be the case.

gumballsamurai
gumballsamurai
3 years ago
Reply to  alistarb

Nuclear bombs kill everyone. The average age of covids deaths is higher than average life expectancy. It is incredible we shut down all of society for this.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago

A good point about homelessness. I live in a town where the homeless get a pretty good deal even being given old peoples bungalows to live in. However the problem gets worse because the word gets round that our town is the place to go. A problem of one of them in the bungalow is that a friend of mine in a bungalow couldn’t sleep because of banging and noise and also an incident from the same person regarding drugs and violence which caused more noise by banging on the door by the police. I know we cannot ignore them but putting disruptive people on drugs in old peoples bungalows is not the answer.

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
3 years ago

Governor Newsom at least had the decency to apologize for not following his own government’s rules. PM Trudeau lectured Canadians sanctimoniously about not having large family get-togethers for Easter and having your Easter egg hunts inside, then violated his own rules to join his family for Easter at Harrington Lake when he was living by himself in Rideau Cottage. Worse than that, he was going to a secondary residence in a rural area, which was against the guideline, not to put pressure on health resources in rural areas. Worse than that, he crossed a provincial border to do so, for which there can be up to a $6,000 fine, but he was not stopped by provincial police or if he was they did not press charges. We will probably never know for sure. Of course, the great man could have voluntarily contributed $6,000 to the Quebec treasury to acknowledge his sin, but that’s not his style. The Trudeaus also had an Easter egg hunt on the Harrington Lake property, because rules are for the proles and not for them. When asked about all this, PM Trudeau put on one of his moronic grins, and brushed it off. Why would a family man not want to spend Easter with his family? No apology necessary when you have a mainstream media that is bought and paid for.
https://tnc.news/2020/04/16

alex bachel
alex bachel
3 years ago

I am constantly surprised at the kind of people that become mayors and governors in the USA (and presumably in every other countries). I suppose that we notice this more in the USA as it is the centre of the world.

Michael Cowling
Michael Cowling
3 years ago
Reply to  alex bachel

Is it?

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago

Yes. Just ask Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and the rest of the tech billionaires. They own the politicians. It is all fun and games until they put that tracking chip in you so you are fully doxed and traceable. They’ll have you eating bugs if your social credit score is too low. Lol. Our coming tech utopia!

Mike Spoors
Mike Spoors
3 years ago

I have no particular view one way or the other about lockdowns or tier systems other than they are personally inconvenient and I don’t quite trust that what we, and everyone elsewhere, are being told about them containing the virus and helping us to ‘stay safe’ is actually the case. What I do find irksome is the latitude given to those like Cummings who is excused his breaking of the rules because the writer generally agrees with him on other issues. Whereas others are not because they don’t. Rather like this piece. I really don’t care whether Cummings or anyone else breaks the rules and a $400 dinner is neither here nor there in the squalid squillionaire world of american politics, or any other country’s for hat matter. But, if you break the rules, you break the rules, and that’s that. Whether the rules should be there at all is perhaps the more important question. If Newsom is a humbug then so was Cummings and his somewhat incredible round trip looking for childcare.

tomandclairemein
tomandclairemein
3 years ago

We can guarantee that very little of this will be mentioned in the MSM.

Nick Lyne
Nick Lyne
3 years ago

“The state’s subsidies mean that it has become a magnet for homeless
people, so that in California, as in San Francisco, people can
essentially live wherever they wish to pitch their tent or shopping
cart. There are now over 150,000 people living homeless in the state,
the highest such proportion anywhere in the US. This is now one of the
major reasons why so many Californians are leaving and heading
elsewhere.”And there was me thinking that homelessness in California had to do with poverty and the gentrification of cities like San Francisco. What a chump! Thanks Douglas. You’re a real eye-opener. Where would we be without your commitment to rooting out the truth?

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Lyne

Was Douglas the mayor of San Francisco? Whatever his politics he never exercised power in that city as a politician. Maybe save your socially acceptable buzzwords like “gentrification” for the politicians that did excercise power and did play an active role in creating that situation. They are probably too busy eating 400 dollar a plate meals and getting their hair done to listen to you but at least you can direct your righteousness at the correct people. “Liberals” who say all the right things in exactly the right way have a near monopoly on political power in California.

Nicholas Staveley STANLEY MBE
Nicholas Staveley STANLEY MBE
3 years ago

So, you think Cummings was acting in the best interests of his child?
You just slipped that one in, to make sure your readers are awake, didn’t you? I just cannot believe you are serious?
The facts are that Dominic, and his wife, both professed to having the symptoms of COVID-19! They then shoved their young child into the back of a small car and drove from London to Durham which is not a short journey (About 250 miles – I think), and on to Barnard Castle in order for Dominic to test his eyes!
Oh, hang on a minute, a Gloustershire Old Spot just flew by my window!
At least, I think it did, perhaps my eyes need testing! So, I must drive to Barnard Castle to find out. Of course, if my wife, myself, and my child, are all killed in a head-on RTA with a steamroller, I would, for a nano-second before the impact, realise that my eyes did need testing!
But that is actually a double-whammy because, under those Covid circumstances, had I genuinely cared about my child’s health, I would never have imprisoned my young child, inside a very small restricted space, my car, for a very short journey, let alone a long one!
Cummings’ hair-brained excuses were an insult to the intelligence of all who witnessed his cringeworthy press briefing – which he was allowed to hold in the garden of No.10!
But Cummngs is now goings – and not before time!
Arrogant, aggressive, ill-informed and clearly not as clever as he would like to think, “Yesterday’s Man” is gone – his career killed by his own hubris!
If he is to learn anything from this, he must learn the art of humility, or he will retain his label of “Nasty little man!” And he will discover what Trump is now having to face; Political oblivion! As the old truism states;“Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer!”

namelsss me
namelsss me
3 years ago

Sounds very like golfgate in Ireland. Did we have a piece by Douglas Murray on that? But of course the politicians concerned weren’t US Democrats.

Gerry Quinn
Gerry Quinn
3 years ago
Reply to  namelsss me

Golfgate did lead to resignations among politicians, followed by a major kerfuffle when a judge who was also in attendance refused to resign (in fairness, it was forthcoming rather than current law that was broken).

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  namelsss me

Does golfgate somehow mitigate the actions of US Dems? It’s not like Newsom is the first one, either, just the most recent. The governor of IL, the mayor of Philly, and St Andrew the Pious of NY have done similar things while demanding conformity from their subjects.

Andrea X
Andrea X
3 years ago

Yes, ok. And the point of the article is…?

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

“Death to the hypocrite” as said by Deuteronomy of Gath!

Andrea X
Andrea X
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

I thought he was trying to get Cummings canonised or something…

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

I agree, it does look like that!
Perhaps he is infected with virus of ‘Hollywood’?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

To remind us once gain of the evil hypocrisy practiced by more or less anyone who seeks power. We cannot be reminded of this too often.

On the issue of the repulsive Newsom, the Californian podcaster Jericho Green makes a very good point. Namely, that Newsom’s failure to observe social distancing etc is evidence that these people don’t actually take Covid seriously i.e. they do not think it is a danger to any more or less healthy person below the age of 70. Thus, as Jericho Green says, politicians and officials across the world are simply using Covid as a means to control us. That is how evil these people are.

Apparently there were only eight more deaths in October in the UK this year than in October last year. And that figure of eight will be accounted for by the increase in suicides caused by Covid restrictions. Again, that is how evil these people are.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Average of UK C-19 death, still, stubbornly stuck at 82.4.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

And the average age of those committing suicide as a consequence of restrictions and business closures etc is probably about 45. There is no end to the evil of those that rule us.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

No end to the hysteria of those on the fringe who won’t accept scientific evidence, more like.

Johnny Sutherland
Johnny Sutherland
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I’m very willing to accept scientific advice – can you please tell me what the science is. COMPUTER MODELS DO NOT COUNT!

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Computer models are why planes are designed with aerofoil wings. No-one ever manufactured a plane with square-cross-section wings and accelerated it down a runway to establish whether that was a good shape.

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Where is the science on hospitality venues? Repeatedly requested by those facing ruin in the sector but consistently withheld. There clearly isn’t any or it’d have been ladled out to the compliantly unquestioning media in all its glory.

In fact the chart Whitty & Vallance used to attempt to justify shutting pubs, restaurants etc in early October casually omitted schools and non-hospitality venues (42% of the overall data).

The last point demonstrates what emerged so clearly on U.K. TV last night. All these brilliant scientists and epidemiologist modellers admitting major errors after the fact, making major but error strewn assumptions and ending up with worthless predictive models.

Rubbish in, rubbish out. Alternatively start with desired answer and work backwards. Models are only as good as the quality of data and well researched assumptions that go into them, not to mention the honesty or integrity of those building them.

Your blind faith in them amply demonstrates the dangers of over reliance on them. As for your attempt at an analogy, why not consider the quality of the modelling that went into Coca Cola’s decision to change the ages-old recipe of regular Coke in the ’80s? That went well, didn’t it?!

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Hunter

Duncan, I have to laugh at your ignorance. I am not a “government stooge / plant / mole”. I am a recently retired scientist who has had a reasonably successful career based on examining evidence and justifying my conclusions to those above me, even when the news is unwelcome. Compare that with the people on this thread who are just recycling conspiracy babble from the unbalanced right-wing echo chamber.

As for the alternative option you suggest, that I am “contrarian”, look at your own post, which includes attacks on:

– the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Medical Officer

– what you sarcastically call “brilliant scientists and epidemiologist modellers admitting major errors after the fact, making major but error strewn assumptions”

– you imply that there are problems with “the honesty or integrity” of modellers

And since Governments around the world are making similar decisions, presumably their Government medical and scientific officers too are ignorant, and their modellers are incompetent and dishonest….. in your view.

And you think that **I** am the contrarian one! Think again.

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Chris,
My ignorance?! For someone with the background you claim, you consistently come across as someone who obediently swallows everything fed to you with little in the way of scepticism or analysis. Accusing others on this thread of espousing or endorsing conspiracy babble from unbalanced right wing echo chambers also reveals a lot about your approach to arguments, opinions Of others or evidence (or lack of it) as well as perhaps your political inclinations. So I don’t know what type of science you plied your trade in but it didn’t equip you with an open mind or willingness to consider anything outwith your private circle of dogma.
Vallance and Whitty May well be eminent figures in their sphere, but one more than one occasion they have selectively included the most pessimistic data (new cases per week, which even Cambridge University admitted was outdated and wrong, likewise the fatality estimates by a factor of 4x). On others, such as hospitality venues, they excluded non-hospitality workplaces and schools thereby making hospitality data distorted. The new cases and fatalities have yet to reach the apocalyptic levels they predicted and we hear today that infections are declining across all 4 UK regions. Is it any wonder they’re not so prominent any more?
We have clashed on modelling before. If you didn’t see last night’s documentary, then I recommend you do with the polite warning that scales might (should) fall from your one eye. Is Neil Ferguson someone in whom you blindly repose your faith? You are guilty of ignoring what you don’t like, a little like the UEA climate scientists.

And, since you were kind enough to enquire elsewhere, I do not have any connection to the hospitality sector other than as a customer. There is no evidence that bars, pubs, restaurants etc are major vectors for transmission. It has been requested and demanded on numerous occasions but has never been adduced – because it’s absence implies strongly that it doesn’t exist. I haven’t looked for it and failed – there is nothing to see. If it exists, then where is it? Why does Hancock become so arrogant and evasive when pushed on the matter?
I raise hospitality because it exemplifies the reckless, punitive and inconsistent approach of our clueless government. Owners and operators in the sector have bent over backwards and spent considerable sums to comply with regulations made on the hoof, only to be kicked in the face once more.
You obviously didn’t spend much of your career working with models, or you would know how easy they are to mislead or just be plain wrong. Blind faith in them is a form of self-willed confirmation bias – which seems to be your bailiwick.
Was it political science or just plain quackery? Your posts collectively and the responses they provoke suggest something approximating to the latter…
Being sceptical and wishing to see the widest spectrum of research, empirical data and both sides of a discussion or argument does not make contrarians of me or any others on UnHerd who have suspicions about what is being presented to us. On the other hand, your Panglossian approach to officialdom and its version of events puts you firmly in the useful idiot camp.

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Chris. Why are so you very sure that you – and only you – know the truth and that anyone who disagrees or seeks other information is not only wrong but dangerous to humanity. Open your mind just a bit. We have had enough of closed ones.

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

Dorothy,
It is pretty clear that Chris C is either a government stooge / plant / mole or simply has an agenda based on being contrarian for the sake of it.
He / she simply won’t answer when perfectly reasonable questions like yours are put to him / her.
As for being open-minded, his / her posts on any and all subjects across UnHerd combine to suggest this is, absent a suitable vaccine, not possible.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

I’m not setting myself up as an expert. It is the critics like you who are doing that.

I am perfectly happy to follow the advice of the scientists and doctors who advise Governments. In each country, they are looking at the evidence and coming to similar conclusions, which are implemented to a greater or lesser extent by national leaders even though they know it may make them unpopular. That is being done by Conservatives (Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel, the centrist Emanuel Macron …) and Social Democrats (Spain, New Zealand….) across the world.

It is the other side, YOUR side, which comes out with nonsense about Covid being a hoax, international conspiracies to enslave the global population, claims that the globally-respected US Centre (sorry, Center…) for Disease Control is giving advice to maximise (sic) the death toll, comes out with mathematical errors which are so elementary that they would be spotted by an eleven year old etc etc.

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

So what / where is the evidence on hospitality venues?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Hunter

I have no idea I’m afraid. You will have to ask someone else. As I gather you are doing and not getting an answer?

I gather that you have an economic interest in that sector. Which must be unpleasant, I genuinely commiserate. But those who have to make decisions in the national interest, based on expert professional advice, and will be well aware both of the interests of those working in the hospitality sector and the rest of us who want a drink, will not be making those decisions lightly. They might of course be making a mistake. This is, after all, a Government which has made a lot of mistakes in the last ten months.

But that’s a very different question from the nonsense which most people on this thread are spouting, about international conspiracies to suppress freedom, there being no need to take action at all because it’s just like the common cold, etc. I guess you can see the difference.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Careful selection of your evidence, Fraser. What about the other months of the year? Tens of thousands of excess deaths in April and May. Didn’t that evidence suit your argument?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Actually I don’t think there were tens of thousands of excess deaths given that many of the so-called Covid deaths were ‘with Covid’. Moreover, this followed a couple of very quiet flu winters, and many of those who died would probably have died later this year anyway.

To the extent that there were excessive deaths, they were pretty much inevitable in the first wave of a new virus. And there were a large number of avoidable ‘excessive deaths’ caused by putting Covid-infected people nursing homes and contamination within NHS hospitals.

For some months now, the only excessive deaths have been in the home. Those dying are those who have been reluctant to go to hospital with chest pains etc, or those who can’t get a GP appointment, or those whose cancers weren’t picked up at an early stage. (Only a few cases so far, but there will be many, many more).

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

The issue is not whether or not one politician is hypocritical – whether it’s Dominic Cummings (tendentiously supported by Douglas Murray – can’t accept any criticism of an uncouth hard right winger, can we, whatever the evidence?) or Gavin Newsom (hated by Murray, so no justification in his case).

The issue is what will happen if we allow this killer virus to spread. The answer is that a lot of people will die whose lives would be permanently protected by a vaccine in 2021. Unless of course the fringe hysteria favoured by many Unherd commenters extends to anti-vax as well.

The rest is just rhetoric.

Johnny Sutherland
Johnny Sutherland
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

The issue is what will happen if we allow this killer virus to spread

Any virus can kill – even the common cold. Have you tried working the statistics out in terms of percentage of the population it kills and then comparing that with other causes of death?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Have you?

Only the highly infectious ones (like the common cold) are relevant, of course. You can’t catch heart disease or cancer.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

By the end of 2020 we will probably have had about 13 months worth of deaths. Most of those excess deaths have simply been advanced by a few month, so would be paid back in 2021 if it were not for the other killer disease, like cancer, timebombs that have been set ticking by the totally disproportionate mishandling and fear mongering by clueless politicians of all flavours, amplified by a mainstream media who have totally forgotten what the role of journalist is supposed to be.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

The lives of the ‘young’ have been trashed for the sake of a handful of Baby Boomers (BB’s) and Coffin Dodgers (CD’s) of which I am happily one.

Having gleefully plundered the planet for nearly eighty years, it astounds me that all this nonsense is being executed in my name. Nothing lasts for ever, so let this C-19 nonsense ‘rip’, and allow the ” young” to start to live again, before it’s too late.

The BB’s & CD’s are quite capable of assessing the risks and acting accordingly. It’s one of the reasons we are still here.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

The answer is that a lot of people will die whose lives would be permanently protected by a vaccine in 2021.
There is no permanent protection against death, not from this vaccine or any other. As it is, the bulk of the victims are 1) elderly and 2) already sick with multiple other conditions. At best, you’re arguing to lock down all of society – and no one has any clue what the appropriate timetable should be – for the sake of extending the lives of a small group of people. That’s it. As you say, the rest is rhetoric.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

50,000 dead in the UK.

A quarter of a million in the US. Compared with how many deaths on 911? Did you laugh that off too? Or is it one of the seminal events for you guys?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

How does any of that refute what I said? 9/11 was an outside attack, not a Chinese virus. Will there be more straw men?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

My point was that the War of Civilisations hysteria on the US right and all the rest of the hostility towards Moslems and the outside world from 2001 onwards gave a big boost to the extremist right fringe which is so strongly represented on this thread – and was created by the killing of 3000. Each of them a tragedy to be avenged and protected against repetition of, I agree.

But when 250,000 die because of ideologically-driven mismanagement and a hysterical opposition to Government action, particularly in States with Republican Governors, that’s apparently no problem. “They were old.” “They had pre-existing health conditions.” Actually, the number who satisfy neither criterion greatly exceeds the number who died in the 911 attack. But there’s no “other” to be monstered, unlike 911, since Trump’s early attempts with “Chinese flu” and “Kung flu” didn’t have legs. It’s a pity, because if you had persuaded yourselves that this was an attack by the wicked Chinese on the freedom-loving USA, there would have been more action and therefore more people alive today. Ignorance and stupidity kill.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

So there will be more straw men. Like this one:
But when 250,000 die because of ideologically-driven mismanagement and a hysterical opposition to Government action
There was plenty of govt action in states like NY, NJ, and MA, which combined for roughly 40% of all Covid deaths. Add in PA and it’s a literal murderers’ row of Dem governors doing exactly the wrong things. Other states took different approaches because some governors understood that Wyoming is not identical to California.

That most of the victims WERE old and had other conditions is a fact, perhaps a malicious fact for those who wish to paint this virus as something it is not. A responsible strategy would have been to safeguard places like nursing homes, not fill them with people who were infected with the virus. Just how many deaths rest on Cuomo’s head. Or Wolf’s in PA.