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The dangerous naivety of Green anti-vaxxers Today's activists display a disturbing scepticism towards science

Extinction rebellion in London. Credit: Brais G. Rouco / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Extinction rebellion in London. Credit: Brais G. Rouco / Barcroft Media via Getty Images


March 15, 2021   5 mins

When I was at university more than three decades ago, the environment began to take off as a fashionable cause. Acid rain was the big fear, Chernobyl showed the dangers of nuclear power and Greenpeace was grabbing headlines with its bold confrontations against seal clubbing. I sympathised with the cause, even joining a couple of campaign groups, yet also noticed a troubling streak of anti-scientism at the heart of the environmental movement.

There is still a faded Friends of the Earth “Nuclear Power— No Thanks” logo painted on a property near my home, a slogan that exemplified this sentiment. I also struggled to share their concern with genetically modified crops, particularly if they could help feed impoverished people on our planet.

Now climate change has pushed Green issues firmly back up the political agenda. Yet a new poll has revealed a strange quirk: some people inspired by scientific evidence to fight against climate change do not seem to trust Covid-19 vaccines created by other scientists to save society in a pandemic.

This curio comes from a new Oxford University survey that found a sharp rise in the number of Britons saying they are “very likely” to be vaccinated, with about nine in ten willing to have the jab. There are, however, still some pockets of concern, driven by age, ethnicity, income — and political affiliation. It is hardly surprising there was most hesitancy among supporters of the antediluvian anti-lockdown Reform Party founded by Nigel Farage. But the study also detected significant scepticism among voters backing the Green Party, who are at least 14% less likely to accept the jab than people supporting the Tories, Labour, Liberal Democrats or Scottish National Party.

Such scepticism is another depressing indication of the breakdown in trust between citizens and the institutions that shape lives. And this matters since a successful vaccination policy — and escape from this dystopian nightmare — relies on mass inoculation to minimise the potential host bodies for the wretched virus to infect. So why would nearly one in four people identifying with Green politics be so mistrustful — and what does this mean for the environmental lobby?

Perhaps the findings merely prove that there is some truth to that hoary old stereotype of hippy environmentalists, besotted with their healing crystals and hooked on the absurdity of homeopathy. Such folk clearly still lurk in the undergrowth of the Green movement. These are the sort of people fixated by “natural” remedies, forgetting that Mother Nature can be such a deadly force; bear in mind that measles was the biggest killer of children under five in Africa until the arrival of vaccinations. One Green MP in New Zealand even advocated use of homeopathic medicines in the 2014 West African ebola epidemic.

In Britain, the Green Party has long been dogged by anti-science views. Its solitary MP Caroline Lucas has admitted using homeopathy and once signed a parliamentary motion in support of such treatments, while Natalie Bennett, her successor as leader, insisted the bogus medicines had a place in the NHS. Meanwhile, its 2019 election manifesto argued rightly that the science is clear on climate change, yet dismissed nuclear power as a “distraction” from renewable energies. It also demanded a moratorium on production and import of GM foods. So while misguidedly saying Britain should ramp up aid spending under a “moral imperative” to “alleviate suffering”, they ignored how science ensures rising global populations have fed themselves through advances in farming.

Crucially, Green voters are more likely to be young — another group showing greater hesitancy over Covid injections since the virus is more lethal to older people — and sceptical of a capitalist system they see as destroying the planet.

Ben Ansell, the professor of Comparative Democratic Institutions at Oxford who led the study, told me he found that Greens responded in a similar style to other opposition party voters in their verdicts on government performance, rollout of vaccines and in deference to scientists (unlike Farage’s fan club, who are suspicious of experts). But they had less faith in government scientific advisers and were more wary of the regulatory system. “This may be down to mistrust of Big Pharma rather than scientists in general,” he said.

It is all too easy for lack of trust — in the authorities, in capitalism, in experts — to tip over into scepticism over vaccines. Jill Stein, the US Green Party’s presidential candidate in 2016, sparked worry over her ambivalent vaccine stance after saying people had “real questions” over side-effects. Michùle Rivasi, deputy leader of the French Greens and a former Greenpeace chief, attracted controversy after issuing an invitation to Andrew Wakefield, the British doctor struck off for his discredited paper linking the MMR jab to autism. She has called also for an end to the “quasi-religious” cult of vaccination.

During the pandemic, there have been concerns in Australia over anti-vaxxers infecting the Greens after data found an overlap between low immunisation rates and high levels of party support. “There certainly are people who hold concerning views about vaccination,” said Sarah Hanson-Young, a senator for the party. “To those people I say we are a party of science, we are a party of evidence, and we are a party of making sure the community is looked after. The public health response needs to be underscored by science.”

She is right. One leading British activist argued to me there is a generational divide between younger supporters — who have strong faith in science since it has informed their deep-held views on importance of climate issues — and the remaining vestiges of an old guard who were alarmed by issues such as GM crops and nuclear power. Yet both sides seem to coalesce around antipathy to capitalism, evidenced by their shock troops of Extinction Rebellion, despite its crucial importance in the climate change battle.

Behind these issues of scepticism over science and capitalism lies a profound question for the party, one which I first came across in my post-graduate study days. My journalism thesis pondered if Green politics might take off in Britain, which felt prescient when the Green Party surged to 15% vote share in the 1989 European elections. Yet my conclusion was negative. First, I thought the party unlikely to thrive in our two-party system, since mainstream rivals would simply shift positions if Green issues became embedded in the electorate. Second, behind the media-friendly face of Sir Jonathon Porritt, the Green Party’s best-known figure at the time, I saw too many hardliners and obsessives to permit the sort of compromises needed to gain or even influence power.

Sure enough, the impressive surge soon turned out to be a blip as the party slid back in polls. It still struggles with this internal conflict: is it serious about changing the world or content to remain a fringe force, stuffed with too many cranks, conspiracy theorists and loopy ideas to be taken very seriously? Only last week, one of the party’s two peers called for a curfew on men after 6pm in response to Sarah Everard’s death. Baroness Jenny Jones told the Lords that this “will make women much safer, and discrimination of all kinds would be lessened”. Perhaps she may be right. But her draconian solution is not likely to be an election-winning proposal with at least half the electorate, let alone underline their credentials as serious political players amid the soul-searching over women’s safety.

Ultimately this is a party divided between “watermelons” (green skins but red in the middle) and the more pragmatic “mangoes” (green exteriors but yellow, like Liberal Democrats, in the middle) — as seen so disastrously in the splits when it won its first big local authority in Brighton. This has long been the problem for Green politics, even in Europe where it has made more advances by capturing major cities and participating in governments. Charismatic German leaders claim to have reshaped politics by transcending the left-right divide. But Winnifred Kretschmann, branded the world’s most powerful green politician after running Baden-WĂŒrttemberg for a decade, had to see off fresh challenge at the weekend from a new party founded by activists who deem him too cosy with big business.

It might feel a long way from an Oxford study on vaccination scepticism to ructions in the politics of a German powerhouse state, but they are linked by a common thread — the difficulty of reconciling people with conflicting outlooks who are united only by their concern for the environment. Climate change has become the third most important issue in this country after health and the economy as Brexit fades in importance, yet the Green Party remains a largely irrelevant force in Britain. Yes, its leading lights have stood firmly in favour of vaccination. But the level of hesitancy in their ranks shows the pressing need for a sharp injection of reality if they really want to shape our nation’s future.


Ian Birrell is an award-winning foreign reporter and columnist. He is also the founder, with Damon Albarn, of Africa Express.

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Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago

There is a difference between being sceptical about a vaccine rushed out to cure a disease which kills only a tiny fraction of the population, Iess than 1% and then mostly only those who are older than the average age at which people die, and scepticism about tried and trusted vaccinations for diseases which killed or permanently harmed huge numbers of children.

It is unscientific to have blind faith in scientists and science which is what is required of the general population in order to accept scientific advice, since they cannot test out scientific theory themselves. Your argument is no different from that of Jesus Christ to ‘Doubting Thomas’ “blessed is he who believes and does not see”. Only because your own faith in scientists and expertise is so absolute you think that because scientists can prove their theories to each other they are therefore true and what you experience when you accept their ideas is not akin to religious faith, but an acceptance of objective truth.

It is possible to argue that scientists on the whole have got at the truth and brought many benefits to mankind and driven progress. So that having blind faith in science and scientists is a relatively safe bet. But it is also true that there have been dreadful errors with vaccination programmes and many other scientific endeavours. Polio vaccines under Bill and Melinda Gates caused harm. Thalidomide caused harm. The blood transfusion service caused harm, and death, spreading HIV and Hepatitis.

When it comes to our own bodies we must weigh up evidence and advice as we see fit. The parents of sons who had haemophilia in the 70s and 80s who died as a result of their blind faith in science and the medical profession and the competence, honesty and good intentions of government health programs and politicians have some interesting lessons to teach you. But perhaps their wisdom and experience are ‘antediluvian’.

Last edited 3 years ago by Alison Houston
R JJ
R JJ
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Very well said.

K Sheedy
K Sheedy
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

1% is a small fraction? it is relative. 1/100 of the people with the disease is a big number with a UK population of 65m – if the whole population get it.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  K Sheedy

‘Iess than 1% and then mostly only those who are older than the average age at which people die’

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Or put another way, hardly anybody and even then, predominantly those with “one foot in the grave” already.

cererean
cererean
3 years ago
Reply to  K Sheedy

However, the age skew is massive, to the point where vaccinating a quarter of the population cuts the death rate to 0.01-0.1% if everyone gets it.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  cererean

Who says it cuts the death rate? The number-crunching modellers who have consistently been totally wrong?

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

The hospital admission numbers since the start of the vaccination program do prove this point fairly conclusively.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  K Sheedy

One per cent is a small fraction whatever the size of the population. Get a perspective!

waynemapp
waynemapp
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

One percent of the population dying from an a widespread illness is not a trivial thing. In any event the covid death rate is much higher than 1%, more like to 2.5% in the UK, and much, much higher among those over 70

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago
Reply to  waynemapp

Am I understanding you to say that 2.5% of the UK population has died of Covid?

David Platzer
David Platzer
3 years ago

We don’t really know who has died of Covid and who has died from other maladies which have wrongly been attibuted to Covid.

Marilyn Shepherd
Marilyn Shepherd
3 years ago

Try .18% over 2 full flu seasons, and the average age is over 80, most died in locked down and abandoned care homes last year and the normal annual death rate for the UK is .93% of the population. too many people unable to read. And the UK and others claim people with a so called PCR positive who die withing 28-60 days of any cause die of covid. It’s ridiculous when the NHS have the figures proving 95% died of other causes.

Richard Powell
Richard Powell
3 years ago

No, he’s saying that the death rate among those who have contracted Covid in the UK has been 2.5%.

David Hartlin
David Hartlin
3 years ago
Reply to  waynemapp

Would you take the same approach to other diseases?

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 years ago
Reply to  waynemapp

That is nonsense, sorry. The fatality rate for those infected is presently 0.2% and falling. The reason it’s falling is that the first wave killed those that happened to be most susceptible so the remainder are by definition less so, and the fact that we have got better at treating those who develop severe symptoms (eg oxygen assistance works well, but ventilators not so much).

James Clander
James Clander
3 years ago
Reply to  waynemapp

BS

Peter Beard
Peter Beard
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

1% of the Uk population in 650,000. You are going to need a big graveyard or burn a lot of gas in the crematoriums . Think of the CO2 that will be created!

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago
Reply to  K Sheedy

The correct figure is 99.97% of all those who catch it, not of the entire population (most of whom already have natural herd immunity). The average age of death for it is 82.2 years old. I can see you have not researched this covid crud at all.

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

“ It is possible to argue that scientists on the whole have got at the truth and brought many benefits to mankind and driven progress. ”

To argue otherwise would simply be wrong. You only have to look at statistics for infant mortality, deaths of women in pregnancy, life expectancy, the real benefits gained by vaccination programmes with regards polio, measles, hooping cough etc, to see the real benefits gained by science.

“ Iess than 1% and then mostly only those who are older than the average age at which people die,”
Amazing how people are so willing to take a callous disregard to approximately 650,000 people’s lives.

“But it is also true that there have been dreadful errors with vaccination programmes”
Like what?

“ The parents of sons who had haemophilia in the 70s and 80s who died as a result of their blind faith in science and the medical profession and the competence honesty and good intentions of government health programs and politicians,”

The problem wasn’t the science. The problem was politicians and bureaucrats. The science was clear. Blood transfusions saved lives if properly administered. The stupidity of allowing infected blood to be used wasn’t a problem of science.

Science and engineering have bought massive benefits to our lives both in terms of life expectancy and in terms of life quality. The list is too long to write here.

Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

Yes, you are right to point out that literal flaw in my argument, but since we are discussing the vaccination how are vaccination programmes commissioned, paid for, set up, administered? When people object to vaccinations the author of the article assumes their objections are naive and probably unscientific. But a great deal of faith is required in all kinds of people and disciplines Matt Hancock, the SAGE group, whose scientists are often experts in fields totally unrelated to epidemiology, Neil Ferguson who doesn’t have a biology A level and has a history of getting everything wrong. GP practices and hospitals’ storage facilities, nurses and doctors being incorruptible, non psychopathic, clean. Each link in the chain from the well intentioned, but still fallible scientists to the person sticking the needle in has to be trusted.

When the operation has been running for many years there are issues around carelessness, when it is new there are issues around unforeseen consequences. Being sceptical rather than having blind faith or absolute trust is natural, intelligent and healthy. It is an evolutionary instinct that has saved lives over thousands of years.

Last edited 3 years ago by Alison Houston
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Unfortunately ‘our evolutionary instinct’ will play no part in this.

It will become axiomatic that one has been vaccinated if you wish to work in many ‘professions’, travel outside this Sceptered Isle or perhaps even inside it.

To be unvaccinated will result in being treated like a Medieval Leper, crying “ unclean, unclean”.

Johanna Barry
Johanna Barry
3 years ago

Yep. It is totally unethical. We should be allowed to make an informed decision, after weighing the risks and benefits, knowing that there would not be any repercusions for not providing consent. This was until March 2020 is standard procedure.

Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Alison, it seems to me your scepticism is very one-sided – a lot of questioning around the lockdown and vaccination programme, no questioning of your own assumptions about the virus. You’re not alone. Charles Stanhope on this thread is a much worse offender.
Specifically, you claim that relatively few people have died of the virus. To the extent this is true, the number would have been a lot higher without lockdowns and restrictions – or people behaving in a far more cautious way of their own accord, even without any legal restrictions, which is actually what would have happened. In such a scenario, the NHS would have been unable to treat a large number of serious cases and many people would have died, painfully. A lot of these would be well under 60 years old. For some weeks or months, it would be difficult to see how civil society could work in anything like a normal fashion. I’ve not cited numbers here, as that would be guesswork, but the so called forecast by Imperial College of 500,000 deaths absent any intervention probably now looks optimistic.
In that context, the vaccination programme becomes a lot more compelling and criticisms of the speed in testing the vaccine look positively bizarre.

Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Dawson

Covid is a serious disease affecting the elderly and ill. It is right that people in those categories who have not had it should put themselves forward to be vaccinated against it. But it is also right and natural that young, healthy people should not be asked to participate in experimental programmes of untested drugs in order to prevent the already ill and elderly from contracting a disease and dying. Would you approve of babes in arms and toddlers being experimented on in this way, in order to safeguard the very elderly and ill? If not would your only concern be their inability to give their informed consent? Or would something else strike you as unethical about such a thing? I think most people would think it immoral to ask children with their whole lives before them to take that risk, it would seem immoral, even to people without religious views. The question of whether other healthy, young people should be experimented on, becomes one of a balance of risks. Some people will see it as their duty to help get the country back on its feet and the economy working again and see that herd immunity achieved by vaccination is necessary to prevent further lockdowns. But locking down is a political decision made by government. The trashing of the economy was a political decision, however much you think it was worth it to prevent further deaths. So people are made to choose to put their long term health at risk from an untried drug in order to prevent the government making similar, foolish decisions in the future. And of course since other strains of the virus are more likely to arise when vaccination programmes are in place there is no guarantee that anyone making the decision to have the vaccine will be able to prevent future governments locking down again, because herd immunity for one variant may not be herd immunity for another. Therefore people will be asked to participate in further experimental drugs trials. On the whole it is better to let nature take its course, nobody has the right to eternal life, and drugs companies do not have the right to an endless supply of experimental subjects and tax payers’ money.

If you think the state is always benign in its experimentation on the British public, I suggest you read Norman Baker’s research on the way they experimented on us with Anthrax, among other things, at Porton Down in the 20th Century.

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

very well said

Johanna Barry
Johanna Barry
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Excellent! Thank you!

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Well put. I understand the first vaccines (emergency use approved) have two more years of clinical testing planned. By then new strains will emerge. Then new vaccines ad nauseum? Cost of each vaccine purportedly could solve world hunger. What am I missing? Plus there are many scientists who admit they don’t know what is going on with this latest coronavirus. And others, pro-vaccine, who say there are dangers using vaccines during a pandemic, that they are best used as prophylactics. I’m just a dumb applied scientist myself, humbled and disappointed by the confusing mess we are in. I remind myself it could have been worse, now one year later.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

You are not me.
And you appear not to know much about vaccines or viruses.

Kelly Mitchell
Kelly Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Dawson

“the number would have been a lot higher without lockdowns and restrictions”
MUCH evidence against this assertion. Virtually none supporting it. See
Super Strict Military Quarantine shows negative effect – more quarantined soldiers tested C-19 positive in the quarantine group than in the control group.
and this
and Lockdowns do not control the virus – meta-study

Last edited 3 years ago by Kelly Mitchell
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

Over the last 80 years there has been a massive increase in scientists so standards have declined. If one looked at Physics in 1920, there were a few universities but with top quality people publishing in a few journals basically in Britain, USA, Germany , France, Switzerland and perhaps Italy. In 1920 every physicist and chemist of note knew of each other. Scientists could spend time thinking and analysing data, publishing was not that important. Also being a professor was well paid as there were few of them.
We have now thousands of scientists competing for reserach grant and tenure; publish or perish. feuds between academics arre well known.Improve quality, close down bottom fifty percent of scientific research institutes and spend the money on the remainder. Wakefield should never have been allowed to publish as he had inadequate data. Fewer research projects, far better statistical design and using vastly more data; over longer time periods, and larger geographic spreads; better statistical analysis and closure of 70% of journals. Quality not quantity and it is vital papers produce clear cut results; if not, no publication. The tree of knowledge has to be watered and pruned. We have forgot to prune.
Vitamin and protein rich food, potable water for drinking and washing, soap, sanitation and light airy sleeping quarters has done more to improve peoples lives than medicine.

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

“ Vitamin and protein rich food, potable water for drinking and washing, soap, sanitation and light airy sleeping quarters has done more to improve peoples lives than medicine.”

Most of what you said was unsupported by any back up evidence. However on the above this is true. But we aren’t simply limiting the benefits of science to medicine. It was science that underpinned our understanding as to why these things were needed and what benefits they gave. It was science that has helped identify what caused typhoid and cholera and has saved millions of lives.

Without science and the understandings it has given us, our lives would in the main be brutal, painful and short.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

My post criticised mediocre science whose main function is to keep scientists and journal editors employed.
Wakefield should never have been allowed to publish. As the numbers of journals increase, there is the problem of filling them. In Sampson’s Changing Anatomy Britain 1982, there are university Vice Chancellors who admit employing people in the late 1960s, who a few years down the line prove to be inadequate but cannot be sacked.
My father’s Consultant eye surgeon who had a doctorate in microbiology as well, told me clean water and sanitation had more more for health than medicine.
The breakthrough in disease comes in the 1860s with the discovery of bacteria.
I suggest you read about the reforms of Jervis in the RN who greatly improved health of sailors and Nightingale whose work on sanitation on British soldiers in India reduced deaths from about 68 to 18 per 100,000.
C Northcote Parkinson, the naval historian first wrote mockingly about the proliferation of academics and their jounals in the 1950s and Eisenhower warned of the danger as well.
In fact, I suggest a main failure of Western Society is the lack of discernment to define what is vital and what is of the highest quality and what is of little importance and mediocre.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

In fairness to the Lancet, my understanding was that Wakefield did not disclose the full facts of his work. It is tough for editors to see through subterfuge…

Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Light airy sleeping quarters? Where did that come from? Any controlled trials? Having said that, you do have a point. However, immunisation has defeated the scourges of smallpox, polio, and diphtheria – don’t dismiss science completely.

Christopher Kendrick
Christopher Kendrick
3 years ago

My hens and rabbits like a nice dry, well-ventilated sleeping area. They are not bothered about light so much. Humans are much the same, with the addition of a bedside lamp, if they still read actual books that is. Plenty of space, a clean toilet area, a supply of fresh, clean drinking water and nutritious food and you have usually healthy animals. Humans are not so different really.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

As well as your last statement, I definitely add homeopathy. It has saved many lives and especially noted before modern medicine. Modern medicine has also evolved, remember the bloodletting days. If you have not tried homeopathy, then the author and others can have no input into whether it is helpful or not. As for trusting the scientists, tread lightly. Many universities and scientists are backed by big corporations and more often than not the pharmaceutical companies. I want a place for ‘natural’ medicine and I fully support it. There is also a place for modern medicine.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

If you truly believed that putting on a yellow jumper and shouting “roundabout” five times will cure you of something, we know (scientifically) that it can sometimes help you.
Just because homeopathy is basically nonsense, doesn’t mean it can’t achieve things.
Its gullibility that does the trick – not infinitesimal dilution.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Barton
Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Again, if you haven’t had the good fortune of using homeopathy, your voice is only an opinion.

jmskennedy9
jmskennedy9
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

That was the point! Placebos work 30% of the time.

Hilary LW
Hilary LW
3 years ago
Reply to  jmskennedy9

And what exactly is the placebo effect? What is its scientific basis? If, as you say, it works 30% of the time, that’s pretty impressive. The mind/body connection is clearly powerful, yet I’m not aware of many mainstream scientific studies as to how it operates in practice.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

Elizabeth – clearly, you like to think homeopathy is useful. That’s your prerogative. However, it is not reasonable to disseminate fiction on the subject.
Study after study after study has shown it to be at best useless. Your claim that …homeopathy…has saved many lives…” is simply wrong.
I challenge you to cite a single valid, sound study that shows any useful therapeutic effect from homeopathy. Though, I will save you any further effort – you can’t, because there are none.

jmskennedy9
jmskennedy9
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

Sorry, homeopathy cannot possible work. Placebo perhaps, but the law of physical chemistry are clear. If you take a set number of molecules of any substance,a dn dilute them 1000 times, you are left with maybe a few molecules diluted in water. Any vial of the remedy, would therefore contain maybe 10 molecules in 10 cc of water. Every time you take a drop your odds of getting even one molecule of the remedy is 1/1,000,000 or so. Paying a great deal for spirit water.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

As I suspect I’ve told you before, even though you probably encountered it in your extensive Youtube “research”, this film is not a documentary.

jmskennedy9
jmskennedy9
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

What you say is true, about research . It is true that public health measures have done more for longevity than medicine. The Dean of our Medical School told us that on our first day in 1972. There are also many recent articles about the data “errors” in research these days; including falsified data and outright bias. Vaccines are somewhat different, and I believe totally safe. With any vaccine, there are independent oversight committees, and of course the FDA, etc., to be sure that there is safety. Of course, there will always be a few with side effects or bad outcomes, but from a public health standpoint, the good will far outway the bad. The one thing we do not know, is how long the immunity will last, “It is hard to make predictions, especially about the future.”

Colin Colquhoun
Colin Colquhoun
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

” is vital papers produce clear cut results; if not, no publication.”

I’m a scientist.

I think that’s not quite right, it’s important to publish findings that arent so clear. One problem is that there is so much pressure to publish important “breakthrough” findings that everyone tries to dress up everything they do as a breakthrough. Its very useful to publish something that isn’t a major finding as long the publication is clear about what the work shows.

But in general I agree with you. Get rid of about 50%, In my own field there is a lot of crap. It’s very competitive though, and someone has to decide which 50%. If you leave that up to administrators and bureaucrats you might cut the wrong people.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

Ann On, I agree. No more than one clerk per faculty. Results are usually not clear because there is not enough data aquired, over enough time to detect subtle relationships.
The best comment on British science on why it won so many Nobels with so little resources was by Huxley ( Nobel for Physiology ) in a Radio 4 programme. Basically he said selection at 11 or 13 years of age, with intensive and rigorous training meant one could obtain a degree at 20 years of age and doctorate at 22 years of age; Bill Penney of IC being a good example. Huxley, said most scientists innovative work was done during their first post doc so the younger the age of person the better.
I would suggest that a country the size of the UK can support 10 to 12 top class science and engineering research institutes/universities. The remainder should combine the best attributes of pre WW2 Polys, Fraunhofer Institutes with Birkbeck College, Council of Engineering Exams( Pt 2 is a degree ) and University of London Extra Mural degrees. Worked for Mitchell- Spitfire;Camm- Hurricane; Chadwick- Lancaster; Hives – Merlin, Wallis – Wellington and Bouncing Bomb. de Havilland – Mosquito.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

“Amazing how people are so willing to take a callous disregard to approximately 650,000 people’s lives”.

It’s not callous it is pragmatic. I’m fortunate to be of ‘that happy breed “ of the 650K, and am frankly disgusted that the future of my g-g children has been comprised by the infantile response of HMG to this somewhat feeble virus.
God help us indeed if anything really serious occurs, because it will undoubtedly be ‘game over’.

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
3 years ago

Have you any idea of the impact on society of letting this ‘feeble’ virus run unchecked? The 650k won’t die in an orderly, controlled manner designed to enable an orderly controlled response.
At the peak many thousands will die each day, far beyond the resources of the state to safely manage the disposal of the dead and far beyond the ability of our health system to allow as pain free and dignified death as possible.
This ‘feeble’ virus doesn’t kill kindly.
In addition to the many thousands dying each day, you’d have tens of thousands needing, but not getting hospital treatment, ensuring that the 650k figure, which is based on people accessing the required treatment, will be greatly exceeded.

And what sort of damage will this cause our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren? What impact do you think the chaos of allowing the virus to run unchecked will have? Do you think schools won’t still be severely impacted? Do you think that seeing 100’s of thousands of people dying miserable deaths and the fear this will cause, won’t have an impact on the mental health of our young?

The issues aren’t simple they are complicated.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

You’ve obviously been reading too many John Wyndham novels.

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
3 years ago

I’m glad you didn’t respond with a ad hominem response.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

You sound like a male hysteric, but I was taught not to mock the afflicted, so will stop here.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago

Do you really not have the capacity to imagine what is would look like, if thousands of people were suffocating in understaffed wards, unable to receive adequate oxygen and certainly unable to get to an ICU bed?
Can you imagine the impact on nurses given a checklist and told that if the patient doesn’t score above 77 out of 100 points, they should just be given opiates and left to die alone?
This is not fiction or melodrama. It is what will happen if a respiratory virus runs rampant.

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

all wrong. You are missing natural immunity, acquired immunity, virus depletion (usual in all the trillions of viruses known) etc. You are perfect for the job of being Ferguson the dodgy model-maker’s spokesperson.

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  David Owsley

The virus has been with us for over a year now. The Spanish flu pandemic lasted four years. Yes these things happen, but an awful lot of people can die in the meantime time.

Natural immunity hasn’t stopped over a 120k dying in U.K. alone. Virus depletion doesn’t happen over night, as I’ve explained above. Acquired immunity still allows for an awful lot of people to die first. Spanish flu killed up to a 100 million before it fizzled out.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

LOL. It is still with us. Yet life goes on. Who would have thought we’d still be alive 100 years later without wearing masks and hiding in our basement.

Last edited 3 years ago by Dennis Boylon
David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

the virus has been with us for at least TWO years and will NEVER be gone. Please understand this and you see the reality of SAGE’s ‘expert’ advice.
To bring up the 120K figure shows how little you have read and tried to find out about this whole saga. Deaths FROM Covid probably aren’t even 25% of that figure.
Virus depletion happens almost immediately depending on the host/s.
People will die, they do every day. Do a simple piece of homework: take any year and treat flu in the same way as they have treated COVID (obviously I do mean ‘treat’ in the “handle sense, not the medical care sense)…

Last edited 3 years ago by David Owsley
Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  David Owsley

…the 120K figure…Deaths FROM Covid probably aren’t even 25% of that figure.”
What is the basis for that assertion? Is it an imaginary scenario of a healthy person who had covid having a car accident? While that can happen, the covid-death stats are more thoughtfully compiled than that.
Do you really think that the people who put the definitions together, and the doctors certifying death somehow never thought of your idea?
ï»ż

Hilary LW
Hilary LW
3 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

This particular coronavirus is not Spanish flu!

Malcolm Ripley
Malcolm Ripley
3 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

When that science is funded by an industry that makes billions if not trillions you have to be utterly naive to believe that money will not influence results with the science “manipulated” to fit a profitable agenda.

Note how the biggest gains in the past with vaccines were decades before Big pharma became this monster today that funds everybody so nobody dare speaks out. My wife, a retired research nurse, trusts big pharma a massive 0%.

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  Malcolm Ripley

I don’t understand how this is a response to the point I was making? Are you suggesting the big pharma created this crisis?

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

Did the scientists of old lockdown society in order to achieve these great benefits? I don’t think they did. Did our new totalitarian fascist scientists force people to stay in their homes, force people to wear masks when they are allowed to come out, force vaccinate them at the chance to travel and work, force people out of work and into poverty, fill psychiatric care facilities forcing the unwell into living on the streets? This is your science? This is your great benefit to society? You people who support this nonsense are pure evil.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

It is unscientific to have blind faith in scientists and science which is what is required of the general population in order to accept scientific advice, since they cannot test out scientific theory themselves.”
It is rational to question scientific process – indeed, it is the essence of scientific process to do so. Scientists publish their work, and it is there for all to see and to pick holes in.
ï»ż

Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

Do you think the average person with an IQ of 100 is qualified to pick holes in the scientific data and experiments of epidemiologists, even if they were ever provided with the material or given text books on the subject? I made the point that we accept the findings as true because we know the work of scientists is reviewed by their peers. And we tell ourselves we are accepting it as objective truth because others can review it and
find its flaws and improve it. But that is not the same as being able to judge it ourselves using our own intellect and reason. What we have instead are instincts and prejudice and wisdom and we use these to gamble and place our faith and trust. Honest people know this is what they are doing, deluded people pretend they are using intellect and reason on subjects of which they are entirely ignorant and data they are hopelessly unqualified to question because they are arrogant and wish to show allegiance to their intellectual superiors.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

The scientific process is not a giant conspiracy. It is a large number of people who work diligently to enhance knowledge.
If a flawed paper is submitted, usually, the review process kicks it out (though some grievance studies journals are wonderful exceptions, like the “feminist studies” journal publishing the rewritten chapter of Mein Kampf where “white male” was used in place of “Jew”). If not, it will either be picked up later and corrected, or supplanted by new research.
Papers published are frequently overturned later, as new work is done.
Of course I do not expect the local hairdresser to be able to read, interpret and critique the scientific papers that I might read or write. We make judgements – who is the most likely source of good guidance on this?
In the case of (say) vaccines, do we believe the great swathes of scientists, epidemiologists and doctors who study vaccines and their effects? Or do we believe the astrologer who thinks homeopathy is useful?

Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

Why do you imagine people make a choice between scientists and astrologers? The choices people make when they are unable to evaluate information properly are based on their
instincts with regard to whether all the actors in a given chain are to be completely trusted. It is not that we imagine scientists are corrupt or anything extreme, it is simply more rational to believe that other humans are fallible and that their ideas and theories are better when tested over longer periods and subject to greater scrutiny, than when rushed through. These instincts have served their evolutionary purpose very well for millennia. Things designed and invented in a rush where different companies are in competition for huge shares of
public money are worthy of our
scepticism.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Why do you imagine people make a choice between scientists and astrologers?”
When people break a leg, or develop diabetes, or get cancer, they absolutely make that choice.
Of course humans are fallible. No scientist – or thoughtful advocate for scientific method – would deny that. It is for this reason that we have institutions and methods – to get above the flaws of individuals. It is why pilots and anaesthetists use checklists. It is why we have separation of powers in political systems.
The reasons for believing that vaccines are safe and effective are not derived from a long chain of “Chinese whispers” message passing. It is because we have effective, public and thorough systems, processes, methods and institutions that assure the risk to be considered and vanishingly low.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

It is because we have effective, public and thorough systems, processes, methods and institutions that assure the risk to be considered and vanishingly low.
You have an astounding faith in our institutions. No one knows how effective these vaccines will be or how frequently revaccination will be required. But Big Brother is always right!

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

Do people choose to lockdown, wear masks, lose their jobs, not help care for family members, denied travel, etc? This isn’t science. This is fascist totalitarianism.

Johanna Barry
Johanna Barry
3 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

Exactly and I am appalled by how few, apparently intelligent, well-educated people enthusiastically support it, and worse put it in moral terms. ‘Short-term pain’ as they tell me ‘is worth it for saving lives’. ‘Covid ueber alles’

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

This is fascist totalitarianism”
Godwin alert. Godwin alert.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

Now your arrogance is showing. You have no clue about homeopathy which I can determine from your last sentence and if you have never tried it, you have no knowledge to make such a wisecrack.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

No, my education is showing. I studied medicine, and have made a career in evidence-based medicine and epidemiology. I happen to have a particular interest in quackery, and have studied the research on homeopathy.
Invented in the late 18th century by Samuel Hahnemann, it has now been studied extensively. It is useless.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

We will agree to disagree.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

The difference between our positions is that I can point to published and methodologically sound research that has been repeated, again and again, to support my conclusions.
You cannot.

Philip Burrell
Philip Burrell
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

He is absolutely correct to treat homeopathy with the contempt it deserves. There is no credible scientific evidence to support its use in any medical condition unless the cure for the ailment is simply drinking water. There might conceivably be a placebo effect but a lucky charm would work as well and most likely cost less money

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Philip Burrell

Homeopathy never locked people in their homes, forced people to wear masks, forced people out of work, denied people medical care, filled psych care homes to the brim forcing others onto the street, denied families from advocating and subsidizing care for the sick and elderly. Big Pharma did this. Big Pharma is evil. They took away any freedom of choice you had no matter what risk or circumstance you were in. It is a complete joke.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

The “lived experience” position does not carry much weight in these debates I’m afraid.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

When totalitarian fascists take people’s lives away everybody needs to question everything. This is not a joke. They have restricted freedom of movement, forced people to wear masks, forced people to isolate, not allowed family members to care for their sick, not allowed family members to care for their elderly. God only knows how many of these elderly have died because of poor care, DNR orders, denial of care to free up resources for the younger, etc. We don’t know. It is also a good thing to note that lockdowns have been used for centuries to maintain power. North Korea does that today. People aren’t allowed freedom of travel. This was done in the Soviet Union for decades also. Less know is the Edo era of Japan 1600-1867 where people were only allowed to stay in their own towns. They could only travel to get rare resources with permission from the local lords. The lords would travel once every 2 years to Tokyo to show their loyalty to the Shogun. The emphasis was on order and control. Knowing your place and limiting use of resources. The arrival of US naval steam ships in 1853 slowly ended this practice as Japan realized the outside threat it was facing. Korea largely from 1616-1853 was the same way, Vietnam and Cambodia from 1975 until the early 90s when trade with the US opened those societies up again. Virtually all countries in the entire world were this way during World War 2. Largely only militaries traveled. Is this virus related or is this World War 3? How about that for a conspiracy theory? Reading about the “Great Reset” and the new “climate change caused pandemic era”. I have little doubt this isn’t WW3. They are forcing our hands. For our own good of course. This isn’t going away. They keep telling you that but you don’t want to believe your own ears. Even with the vaccine they are telling you restrictions will remain in place. This is for your own good of course. Welcome to new normal. Enjoy the lockdown era. https://www.cell.com/cell/pdf/S0092-8674(20)31012-6.pdf

John Glover
John Glover
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

You are mistaken about the polio vaccine.
https://fullfact.org/online/gates-polio-vaccine/

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  John Glover

I don’t know about Gates, but I do recall as a child a polio vaccine which gave a lot of children polio. My parents refused the vaccine for me and my siblings on that basis.

jmskennedy9
jmskennedy9
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

You are correct. The oral polio vaccine was not perfect since it was a live attenuated vaccine. When we stopped using it, it was the only cause of polio in the US. Fortunately, the cases where not huge, and it is not used anymore. We are back to the killed injection form.

jenni
jenni
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

My sentiments exactly
 very well said, thank you.

David Bottomley
David Bottomley
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Isn’t that a rather terrible and callous and highly disrespectful thing to say: it only kills 1% and mostly only older people! In addition, you are dismissing the many who face long Covid and those who spend weeks in hospital!

as for blind faith, I am pretty sure you put your personal blind faith in the construction and engineering industries , or do you refuse to cross a new bridge, enter a new office block, get on a new bus, train, ship etc etc

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

it may be terrible and callous, but life is full of malicious truths. The victims ARE mostly elderly and people with other health issues. Here we are in an article about science and the covid debate has been driven by the most unscientific claim going, that the virus is an existential threat to society. No, it’s not. It is potentially harsh for a clearly defined set of people.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago

As someone in that “vulnerable” (how I hate that word) age group, let me say I have had a good life and I don’t expect younger generations to sacrifice their economic prospects and social life for the likes of me. The aged can adapt their lives better to a virus containment strategy than the young who have to go to work.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Absolutely correct.
As WSC put it so eloquently, “Scientists should be on hand not on top”.

William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago

Wasn’t WSC’ comment: “Scientists should be on tap, not on top”? Either way, it is true. Politicians have the responsibility to put the scientific advice in context and gauge the impact of any decisions across society – economy, education, the people being treated for non-COVID problems, etc.

Simon S
Simon S
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this Alison. I was too shocked at Unherd publishing this ill-informed bilge to muster up the energy. Lockdown sceptics appear to be acceptable, Covid vaccine sceptics not so.

Jake Prior
Jake Prior
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Absolutely. Eugenics was accepted and mainstream science for a long time. Scientists must always be questioned, both scientifically and spiritually.

isabella surpless
isabella surpless
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

I 100% agree with you Alison. I find this article badly thought out and typically dismissive of those intelligent people who fail to fall into line with the herd. How ironic that this article is written in ‘unherd’. Let me remind you of the opioid crisis that has killed thousands and continues to kill thousands, created by pharmaceuticals who peddle them as ‘safe and effective’. Should we blindly trust that other medications they produce are as safe as these? I think not and I shall not. I am not a green hippy as you so disparagingly call those who question one version of science. There are many doctors and scientists who are warning against taking these new experimental medicines (they are not vaccines in the traditional sense of the word.) They are a new technology that has been previously untried in a human population. Please Unherd un-herd yourselves and look at this subject in greater depth. Most of those who urge caution have been deplatformed from Facebook and Twitter so you will have to go to other places to find the information like Telegram. See what Dr.Mercola, Dr.Tenpenny, Dr Kelly Brogan, Dr.Coleman have to say before you right any dissenters off as hippy environmentalists. In a week when we are grieving for the loss of yet another young British woman and a week when police have behaved unfairly to women at peaceful vigils, I ask you to google vaccine damage and see what many mothers say about the vaccine damage that their children have sustained. Most of the time they are not believed by their doctors and their concerns are pushed under the carpet. Another example of harmful patriarchy in our society. Why should mothers be disbelieved? Because they are women? The HPV vaccine scandal in Ireland is a good place to start. Un-herd yourself from the view that science is science and to question it make you stupid or uneducated. The reverse that is true.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago

Absolutely well written!

David Platzer
David Platzer
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

I have had homeopathic treatments since 1998 or so. Something they have seemed efficacious and sometimes not. Once I hurt my back and was in pain until a homeopath gave me arnica which made me feel better. I have refused the covid vaccine because I too find it is too fast food, not tested enough and also because I have not been living in fear this last year as so many people appear to be.When I see headlines boasting that every adult Briton will be vaccinated by July. I am suspicious rather than reassured. If I am forced to have the vaccine, I should consult an homeopath in the hope of being given something that would mitigate any possible noxious elements in this too-quickly cooked up potion. I may had that I am a doubter about the Climate Change hysteria and not in any way a Green tho’ I have worn green on occasion.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  David Platzer

I used arnica during childbirth. That is the only time I have used homeopathic medicines but digitalis is used by regular doctors so I think it is easy to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
I can’t imagine having homeopathy as my first call but wouldn’t reject it if everything else had failed.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Very true. I have declined the vaccine, not because I am against vaccinations in principle, but because I don’t believe it has been sufficiently tested and the so-called experts don’t know whether the dose is correct, whether a second vaccination is necessary, or when, or whether it prevents transmission. I am not volunteering to be a guinea pig. If I lived in an area of high infections or deaths then my attitude might be different – the vaccine risk might be less than the coronavirus risk – but the virus is scarcer than hen’s teeth in my region and the risks from my decision are minimal. I am waiting until the scientists understand their vaccine better.
Is this irrational or anti-science? Am I to be grouped in with the irrational Greens? However, I probably do have some common political thinking with the Reform Party since I am one of the lepers that voted for Brexit. And that probably is the key. Some of us can think for ourselves. We are not led by vacuous NHS and Government slogans. And those of us that have studied some science and been closely involved with policy development and decision-making at government level know how bias and political expediency creep in at every level.

vince porter
vince porter
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Your militant ignorance is on display

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

You’ve got this back to front, Alison. The vaccines have been exhaustively tested using randomised double-blind trials. The science of climate change, or perhaps more accurately, the policy proposals that have flowed from the science, have not been tested at all. Instead they have been based on worst-case projections of unvalidated models, claiming to be able to predict the planetary climate decades hence.
One might have thought, given that modelling has been the least successful arm of science in the Covid crisis, that climate alarmists would be having second thoughts on the degree to which climate models can be trusted. But apparently not: it’s not really about “the science”, it’s really a new religion.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

You write, of the public, ” they cannot test out scientific theory themselves, “and later, “we must weigh up evidence and advice as we see fit.” These seem contradictory. How do those who cannot test out scientific theory weigh up the evidence in any meaningful way?

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

It is the blind faith which is so troubling. Blind faith in any system is dangerous and never more so than when it is an industry whose focus is profit and power.
Science-medicine gets a lot wrong and you only have to read its history to know that. The tragedy of getting the vaccine theory wrong is that we will have sacrificed generations of children in the name of an unnecessary, dangerous and poorly tested medical treatment.
No system is perfect, ever, and when those who ask valid questions are forcibly silenced, it is certain, the system being so ‘protected’ will become increasingly imperfect and increasingly dangerous.
It beggars belief that anyone could possibly believe a human being needs to be vaccinated dozens of times in the first five years of life, and beyond, in order to survive. It is utterly ridiculous.
What makes it even more ridiculous is that vaccination involves a process of confusing, tricking, manipulating immune function to act unnaturally, i.e. react to a non-threat. How can that ever lead to healthy or robust immune function?

Patrick Langan
Patrick Langan
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

This vaccine unlike most other vaccines is experimental, both in its testing regime and it’s rDNA make up. and unlike others it is in reality being tested on humans not animals! I have never refused any previous vaccine but I do have real concerns regarding this one for various reasons, as stated by many other who have commented! The use of the term ‘antivaxer’ like other such ‘anti’ labels is lazy journalism!

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

There’s this weird thing around the ‘science’ as if you are in any way sceptical of its conclusions then you must be some sort of flat earther to be pitied. Resolutely in denial of the unassailable, generally accepted facts.

‘Science’ so obviously is rarely if ever the last word on anything. Opinions differ, often wildly, within the scientific fields themselves hence the reason that scientific papers are put forward for peer review where methodologies and conclusions can be constantly scrutinized and rightly questioned.

Can we please get over this arrogant, fallacious mindset referenced in this article above that there must be one true, unshakable answer to everything and to begin to even question current wisdom isn’t an act driven by intellectual curiosity and to further inform debate, but an inciteful, dangerous act driven by wilful ignorance.

Last edited 3 years ago by G Harris
Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Can we please get over this arrogant, fallacious mindset referenced in this article above that there must be one true, unshakable answer to everything?”
Nobody with the slightest grasp of scientific process has that mindset. But, there are good and bad reasons for disputing any given ‘scientific’ conclusion. Disputing a scientific conclusion because it represents Jewish or White science is ignorant and dangerous. Disputing a conclusion because you argue that the wrong statistical method was used, or because the conclusion drawn fails to account for important and relevant data is the very essence of scientific method.
We also have to make rational choices as to where to look for answers, given that neither time nor resources is limitless. There is, for example, no longer any excuse for wasting money investigating the nonsense that is homeopathy. We know, beyond all reasonable doubt, that it is an ineffective therapeutic approach.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

Nobody with the slightest grasp of scientific process has that mindset. 
While that may be true, those with the biggest megaphones – the politicians, the activists, and the media – very much have that mindset. They have elevated science to religion and behave much like the most frothing of zealots – thou shalt not question the high priests in the white coats, skepticism is tantamount to heresy, and so forth.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

Again Joe, you are so mistaken. But you have made up your ‘scientific’ mind. Just because you don’t understand it, doesn’t make it less real or helpful. I have seen people like you over the years and then when they had the good fortune to use homeopathy, had to swallow their words. If you don’t want to use it, leave it to those who do.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

I have never tried cyanide either. I believe the research on cyanide to be as valid as the research on homeopathy.
To be clear: I wish you no harm, so just because you are willing to dismiss the evidence and use homeopathy, please do not similarly dismiss the science on cyanide. It interferes with respiration in a really bad way. Unlike homeopathy, it has real biological effects.

Last edited 3 years ago by Joe Blow
claire.orush123
claire.orush123
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

I think you’re the one dismissing the evidence here!

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago

As I have said elsewhere in this “discussion,” I am completely open-minded about the subject. If you can point me to good evidence of the effectiveness of homeopathy, I will happily reconsider.
Note that “I took it once for my really bad cold” or “it cured my daughter’s allergies” is not “good evidence”.

Michael Cowling
Michael Cowling
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

If you dilute cyanide enough, you get bitter almonds. My Mum’s jam had a little bit of it and I quite enjoy the taste.

ian k
ian k
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

Homeopathy can at best only have a placebo effect, and anything can serve as a placebo if you believe in it. Voodoo is probably the most powerful placebo. Have you tried it? I suggest you do, it will work much better than homeopathy.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  ian k

Again, if you have had the good fortune of successful homeopathic treatment, you would come to see the validity of it. I am not here to convince you. I am telling you my experience and those around me. You do not need to be a bully about your opinion. Do as you like but I for one, love homeopathy and will continue to ‘trust’ it.

Hilary LW
Hilary LW
3 years ago
Reply to  ian k

Can you explain, in scientific terms, exactly how the ‘placebo effect’ works?

claire.orush123
claire.orush123
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

It would be a waste of money to further investigate the efficacy of homeopathy using the methods that are currently employed. But I have seen homeopathy produce excellent breakthrough results time after time after time, and have benefited myself very significantly on several occasions. The royal family swear by it, for instance. If you wish to denounce all the cured patients produced by its effects throughout many decades as silly idiots, that is up to you, but it is a conclusion which sounds extremely bigoted to me. Beyond all reasonable doubt, homeopathy is a highly effective therapeutic approach. The fact that the science employed to investigate it says it isn’t is not due to any defect in science, but to the limits of our own knowledge and grasp of science. The science is there, because the reality is there. One day, we will understand how the science behind it works.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago

Beyond all reasonable doubt, homeopathy is a highly effective therapeutic approach.”
With all due respect, this is nonsense. The utter failure of any clinical trial ever to show effectiveness is a very good basis for reasonable doubt.
“The fact that the science employed to investigate it says it isn’t is not due to any defect in science, but to the limits of our own knowledge and grasp of science. The science is there, because the reality is there.”
Utter rubbish. Clinical trials do not require there to be an associated understanding of therapeutic mechanism. You can do a clinical trial on “Potion A”, where the ingredients are completely unknown, and where there is not the slightest available science on proposed biological mechanisms involved (in principle, though it is not really sound to do so).
We’ve done the research. Over and over again. It is a waste of resources to keep looking at this question. Homeopathy has no therapeutic value. Full stop. It is sheer snake-oil, quackery, bunk, nonsense.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

‘It is hardly surprising there was most hesitancy among supporters of the antediluvian anti-lockdown Reform Party founded by Nigel Farage.’
I did not read further than this. The severity and length of the lockdowns have been a demented, power-crazed response to a virus that is of no danger to any healthy person below the age of 70. As countries/states like Sweden, Florida and the Dakotas have demonstrated, those places that did not lockdown often experience lower death rates than those that did. This is not surprising given that the virus spreads most effectively in enclosed spaces such as homes and apartments.
As for the Reform Party, they are anything but antediluvian. In fact, they are almost certainly the most forward looking option available, not least because they want to reform the House of Lords, abolish the BBC license fee, strengthen animal health standards, and further distance the UK from the undemocratic and protectionist EU.

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

me neither!

Michael Cowling
Michael Cowling
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Death rate in Sweden: 1,296 per million. In Denmark: 412. In Norway: 117. So Sweden has a higher death rate than its neighbours (which are reasonable comparisons, as they have similar climates, health systems, populations, …)
It seems to me that you have not got your facts right.

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago

Take the 3 or 5 year average of those countries. Sweden in 2019 had very low death figures, look up the ‘dry tinder’ papers

Alan T
Alan T
3 years ago

There’s a bit of a conflict between this and Ian Birrell’s excellent work on the Covid lab leak hypothesis, which shows a deep resistance among the leaders of the scientific community and media to an open investigation into the origins of Covid. I’m not anti-vax, but we need to recognise that people sometimes have good reason to be sceptical about what scientists tell us, and, sadly, this has never been more true than now.
Also, he’s right to point the finger at crackpot beliefs in the Green Party, but won’t extend this to their uncritical embrace of every kind of unscientific gender identity twaddle. He won’t criticise this because, unfortunately, he goes along with it himself.

Robin Taylor
Robin Taylor
3 years ago

“a successful vaccination policy — and escape from this dystopian nightmare — relies on mass inoculation”
Does it? Where’s the science to support this statement? If those who are at high risk of adverse outcomes from Covid are inoculated, why is it necessary to inoculate healthy children and young people when they are overwhelmingly unaffected by Covid?
“These are the sort of people fixated by “natural” remedies”
Like healthy lifestyle and good food for example? Apart from age, adverse Covid outcomes are particularly associated with Western lifestyle diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Good health does not come from the end of a needle. The most significant improvements to health over the decades have come from improvements to living conditions including shelter and reduced overcrowding, easy access to clean water, sewage and waste management, good food, etc. While the West and those with power are pushing for the remedy of mass Covid inoculation of the world, aid is being cut to the poorest countries. The approach of the West is both selfish and bordering on obscene.
“supporters of the antediluvian anti-lockdown”
Lockdowns are not based on science. It is for this reason, on 13 March 2020, the government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, warned against lockdown stating that “all the evidence from previous epidemics suggests that when you do that, when you release it, then it all comes back again. So, the other part of this is to make sure that we don’t end up with a sudden peak again in the Winter which is even larger and causes even more problems”. How prophetic he was. Lockdown has been extremely costly and those costs will continue to rise into the future, and as Dr John Lee keeps reminding us: “you don’t improve the health of a nation by making it poorer”.
Unfortunately, the only thing I’ve got from this article was an insight into Ian Birrell’s own biases and antediluvian ideas.

Last edited 3 years ago by Robin Taylor
Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Taylor

Although hygiene and better nutrition have played a large part in reducing mortality, it would be a mistake to ignore the effects of immunisations against diseases like polio, smallpox and diphtheria. The reason for the lockdowns was not to stop the epidemic, but to ‘flatten the curve’ and ensure that hospitals were not overwhelmed. In the absence of immunisation, you are correct that all that the lockdowns would achieve is prolong the epidemic by giving us several waves. It is therefore not correct to say that the lockdowns are not based on science.

Christopher Kendrick
Christopher Kendrick
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Taylor

I agree. The people who signed the Great Barrington Declaration, advocating protection of the vulnerable but not total lockdown, were for the most part extremely well qualified to defend their ‘antediluvian’ view.

Robin Taylor
Robin Taylor
3 years ago

Yep, as Sir Patrick Vallance said on 13 March 2020: “we’ve got a panel of world leading scientists” advising Gov’t and all agree that “we must protect the elderly and vulnerable” and aim “not to get rid of it completely, which you can’t do anyway” but “allow enough of us, who are going to get mild illness, to become immune to this”. His comments were based on science, but there was uproar in MSM leading to the advice becoming politically unacceptable and ever since then ‘the science’ has followed the politics.

jmskennedy9
jmskennedy9
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Taylor

Of course we immunize children against the flu! Where did this come from?

Robin Taylor
Robin Taylor
3 years ago
Reply to  jmskennedy9

Ha,ha, I’m showing my age – duly edited

claire.orush123
claire.orush123
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Taylor

Yes, I would much prefer that the article be re-titled ‘The Dangerous Naivety of Ian Birrell’, although I fear that the mentality of it expresses nothing so innocent as naivety. As for the self-interest of the West, it’s worth examining the huge personal financial benefit that will accrue to Hancock et al from the vaccines due to business interests.

Hilary LW
Hilary LW
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Taylor

Excellent and measured response Robin. I was shocked at the bigotry and invective of Birrel’s piece. It struck me as a misinformed and emotionally biased diatribe. It was poorly written too. I am used to reading Unherd articles that I don’t agree with, and welcome the opportunity to test and challenge my own thinking. But this piece was no better than a rant. I’m disappointed in Unherd for letting it through.

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Taylor

Sweden didn’t lock down and it still came back.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

The most dangerous words in the English language are “the science is settled”. It has been used for years by the greens to stop debate and silence alternative views.
Unfortunately the greens have taken this process into other areas such as power generation, GM crops and now vaccines because they believe they have a monopoly on which scientific research is defined as “the view”. Until greens enter into the mainstream of political debate and accept nothing is ever truly “settled” then they will only ever remain on the fringe of politics.

Last edited 3 years ago by David Bell
David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Indeed, certainly any ‘scientist’ who has anything to do with those words is not a scientist at all.

Thomas Laird
Thomas Laird
3 years ago

No. The scepticism is about Scientists. Not science. Scientists are human with human biases egos and frailties. There are countless examples of where scientists have been co-opted by authoritarian regimes and wealthy business interests to promote an agenda.

Graff von Frankenheim
Graff von Frankenheim
3 years ago

It is the height of scientific maturity not to trust this vaccine or the motives of those promoting it. I am a research scientist with three advanced degrees, have never been a hippy (while being an adolescent in the 60’s and 70’s) or an enthusiast for environmentalism, and a conservative from age 12. I fully support those who for reasons other than mine distrust the Covid vaccines and hope they will find the strength to keep resisting.

David Bottomley
David Bottomley
3 years ago

Why?

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago

because there is no evidence they work yet! Phase 3 trials are still a year from full results and what we are seeing is in reality a live challenge trial with millions of willing victims volunteers. Unbelievable that it has been allowed.

Graff von Frankenheim
Graff von Frankenheim
3 years ago
Reply to  David Owsley

Exactly, plus all the producers have agreed immunity from liability with our governments (how that could possibly be binding on us is a mystery) so that we must basically sue our governments in case of adverse health effects or death caused by the vaccine down the line (and those claims are subject to a maximum amount). Basically that means we will need to sue the IRS (i.e. ourselves and our children) in case the collective gamble on these vaccines turns out to be a colossal mistake. The profits have been privatized (Big Pharma wins) and the losses socialized (the community bleeds).

jmskennedy9
jmskennedy9
3 years ago

If people do not want to get vaccines, that is fine. We will get to herd immunity as those people continue to get infected and are immune anyway.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

I make this point more generally with no particular axe to grind in either case, but surely this article indirectly but logically posits the uncomfortable question that how can these antivaxxer Greens be unswervingly ‘right’ about the irrefutable science that supports climate change/anti-nuclear power/anti-GM foods, but so completely wrong about the irrefutable science that apparently supports the mass deployment of the covid vaccine?

This is where the whole ‘science’ argument, much like the expert argument, breaks down as if there is somehow a polarised, contradictory dynamic at play here and that these Green antivaxxers/climate change advocates are choosing to believe and use the ‘evidence based’ science that suits their own beliefs as appropriate and cheerfully discarding it when it doesn’t.

If nothing else it goes to prove the one thing that I’ve long believed, ultimately, nobody really knows anything.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

nobody really knows anything. which leads to the author pounding the table with the sophomoric “anti-vaxxers” pejorative as if skepticism is now a thought crime.

Geoff H
Geoff H
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

You mean it isn’t?

Alexandra Stonor
Alexandra Stonor
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Or that all knowledge is relative to ones status, income and unconscious prejudices.

Geoff H
Geoff H
3 years ago

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.- Upton Sinclair
Comes to mind, suitably re-arranged to suit the argument debated.

Paul K
Paul K
3 years ago

I think the key line in this piece may be ‘admitted using homeopathy’. As if someone were admitting to a drug problem or some sexual deviance. This is a screed, not an argument, built on the assumption that ‘science’ is a neutral way of distilling truth, ignoring the reality that scientism, not science, is the problem here, equating capitalism with an unequestioned ‘progress’ and effectively ignoring the smart green critiques of that progress which have been written and propounded for fifty years.
Why would people not be concerned or cautious about a vaccine which has been developed in record time by companies with a long record of dishonest conduct, and since when has uncomplicated commitment to the demands of governments and drugs companies been the hallmark of grown up, ‘rational’ politics? The curious effect of this piece is that it sounds like an argument for blindly trusting authority.
As for ‘the science’ – well, as people below have pointed out, people tend to pick and choose their scientific findings depending on their cultural prejudices. Science is just a method for examining how some things work, not a guide to how to live, or what values a society should be based on. The modern worship of ‘the science’ is a sign of a culture that is empty of anything deeper to base its values on.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul K

Using homeopathy is an indicator that you do not care about the fact (FACT) that the potion you have chosen to swallow is known (KNOWN) to be useless.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

Homeopathy is amazing Joe – open up your mind.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

Oh, it is open – just not so much that my brains fell out.
I can tell you – in all open-mindedness – what it would take to persuade me that homeopathy is effective. A good, decent-sized randomised double-blind controlled trial.
Are you open-minded enough to tell us what would dissuade you of its utility?

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

I have witnessed first hand of homeopathy’s success.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

I look forward to seeing your research published. If it is, I will consider re-evaluating my position. But using homeopathy to treat a sore throat that has been present for 4 days already doesn’t count.

Vasiliki Farmaki
Vasiliki Farmaki
3 years ago

To die with covid or from a covid vaccine?  I read: Norway investigates 23 deaths in frail elderly patients after vaccination. The media-science propaganda though.. goes on and plays with words such as that: there is no evidence that the vaccine caused these deaths, covid vaccines are safe etc.. Is not the same class who also deny the fact that most died with covid and not from covid? And what is the evidence that the deaths assigned to covid is true?  Is it not the same class when data is handy to them.. then data is good but is bad once otherwise, and then again playing with words and even manipulate facts and data? The question to be yet answered is: has there been a pandemic at all? So.. what is more dangerous? Corona or vaccines? As for the ‘institutions shape lives’.. that is one more lie. We shape life and the world. If it looks otherwise, it is because they have snatched our free will, freedoms and authorship of all we have created in our thousands of years journey. There is indeed a shift, people are awakening and realizing of the theft of all that belongs to us. And by no means is ‘depressing’ but the spark for celebration and liberation. What corona is after all? An eye opener! ..We can see the enemies. Vaccines is a weapon: chains-sword-bullets & bombs- TV & mobile phones-Vaccination
 For how long? How many vaccines?.. who can imagine what is next? Why my lifelong commitment to keep myself healthy, could ever be compromised with shots of dirt!!.. there is no longer distinction between science and dogma.. we see the collapse of the science metanarrative in front of our very eyes..the political one is happening for sometime  and the next collapse will be that we know as education. If one only sees what is happening in the schools.. no need to be a prophet. Finally, why there is so much need to give names to anyone who disagrees with you?.. green hippies.. covidiots..? why I only feel sorry in my heart, for those align their lives with the propaganda.. what sort of life is this?
 
 

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Great post! Every word true. The vaccine should be given to the old and the vulnerable, if they want it. As you say, a whole bunch of elderly Norwegians died very shortly after receiving it, so even the old might choose to forgo it.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fraser Bailey
Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Given the age and frailty of most vaccinees, a substantial number will be expected to die at any time. The question is are more than expected dying? The answer appears to be no.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago

You nailed it perfectly. To see the back and forth talk of public health, the absolute avoidance of real journalism in the mainstream media, the suppressing of things that can help you potentially ward off this virus or healing you when you do get it, watching the politicians pander for votes (they are thinking ahead to election) etc etc. The list goes on as to why we shouldn’t blindly trust them which include the scientists and doctors. Not all are created equal. And there are many doctors and scientists all over the world saying, the brakes should be heavily applied in regard to these experimental jabs.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago

One of the features of this vaccine campaign is that there is a coercive element behind it. I think it’s putting a lot of people off. A deep failing of mine is that if I feel pressured into doing something, I will dig my heels in and do the exact opposite. I’ve discovered this trait to be both a blessing and a curse. I hate the moralistic messaging of the media, I distrust the medical establishment, I have faith in my own abilities.
At the end of the day, I would rather suffer the consequences of my own actions than someone else’s.

Matt Whitby
Matt Whitby
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

It isn’t a failing, it’s a failing to be a sheep

K Sheedy
K Sheedy
3 years ago

The trouble is Belief.
To believe in something is to say it is true beyond any doubt. That makes you a priest, or a convert. To know something can only ever be true ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ makes you a reasonable person, or a Scientist.
Always beware the ‘true believers’ they gave up reason and doubt because it is easier that way.

Last edited 3 years ago by K Sheedy
Well Noted
Well Noted
3 years ago
Reply to  K Sheedy

There seems an oxymoronic quality in your comment, an either/or element with a hard line between you and the simple-minded villagers. You might consider that we are all born little, godless communists awaiting domestication, housebreaking, and humanization through the administration of traditional family values. This latter expression, TFV, is viewed by many, if not you, as a transgenerational curse upon the world, the cause of deep-seated psychological problems, poverty, war, even head lice in some conversations. The problem is that families aren’t capable of reasoning with children for the lack of juvenile gray matter, and without an external source of moral authoirty, such as in a loving deity that admonishes our animal (sinful) nature. TFV is the foundation of human civilization. Science is the foundation of cultural Marxism, lowercase and uppercase Communism, Naziism, and other tyrannies devoid of a culturally based moral code that is not governmental, but in the ancestral heritage of each, individual family. Thus sayeth the Founders, the Framers, of the United States Constitution ©1791. All rights reserved.  

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  K Sheedy

To believe something is to say it is true beyond reasonable doubt. It is not reasonable to believe that the rising of the sun tomorrow morning is just as unlikely as likely. This does not push me into the realm of priesthood.
It is reasonable to believe that for that kind of bacterial infection, this kind of antibiotic is more likely than not to be effective. It is not reasonable to believe that reiki will cure bone cancer.
We should also take account of the fundamental scientific notion that a particular theory is the best we have for now, even though we know it to be incomplete, and that we know where it breaks down. A good example is Newtonian mechanics.

J Bryant
J Bryant
3 years ago

Much as it pains me to cite to a Guardian article, I think it might benefit anti-vaxxers (Green or otherwise) to read this article about the last person in the US still kept alive by an iron lung because of childhood polio. He is now in his seventies and provides some needed insight into life before polio vaccines were developed.
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/may/26/last-iron-lung-paul-alexander-polio-coronavirus

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Thanks for that – it’s great article, and a reminder of what the G used to be. Every now and then they still print a really good article, truthful & thought-provoking.

Richard Lord
Richard Lord
3 years ago

The one thing missing from the Greens, Socialist Worker, BLM and many others is pragmatism. What is the perfect human being, human response, course of action? The reality is that we all assess situations and our feelings before deciding what we should do, whether it be right or wrong. Organisations focusing on limited ideas or actions will never get anywhere, everything is interrelated. As for the covid vaccine, I am no supporter of the draconian restrictions we have faced. In many cases these have been inhumane and deeply damaging eg expectant mothers being forced to give birth without their partners, elderly abandoned in care homes and kept apart from loved ones, relatives dying alone in hospitals, young people being completely socially isolated. The effects of these will be felt for years in terms of mental health and general wellbeing. To be pragmatic, if the way out of this is the rapidly developed vaccine then so be it. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about. Sometimes we must trust. Scientists throughout the world have worked on these vaccines, millions have already been vaccinated. They have no interest in killing us all. As with every intervention some will have side effects (as I did) and some may die. This is what being human is all about.

Last edited 3 years ago by Richard Lord
C P
C P
3 years ago

I’m not interested in the vaccine argument right now. What I’m interested in is why passionate vaccine man is putting his pro vaccine career/reputation at risk by issuing a warning about the current vaccine plan….
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJZxiNxYLpc&t=2128s
“Geert Vanden Bossche PhD, is an internationally recognised vaccine developer having worked as the head of the Vaccine Development Office at the German Centre for Infection Research.
Coordinated Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation’s Ebola Vaccine Program and contributed to the implementation of an integrated vaccine work plan in collaboration with Global Health Partners (WHO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CDC, UNICEF), regulators (FDA) and vaccine manufacturers to enable timely deployment or stockpiling of Ebola vaccine candidates.
Highlighting the principle of using a prophylactic vaccine in the midst of a pandemic. Likely to create more more viral variants in the process.”

David Hartlin
David Hartlin
3 years ago
Reply to  C P

Sucharit Bhakdi raised similar concerns.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  C P

I have watched his interview. If he is scared, we should all be taking notes.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago
Reply to  C P

I was waiting for someone to mention this. A truly terrifying observation about the dangers of these vaccines from a mainstream vaccine expert with decades of international experience.

Hilary LW
Hilary LW
3 years ago

Yes, very disturbing interview considering Bossche’s credentials. What I found even more disturbing though was his fearful expression as he made his closing comments. This was clearly genuine. If this man is scared, then for God’s sake we need to take notice.

frederique.warnerallen
frederique.warnerallen
3 years ago

Dear Ian,
Your article is well written and seems to be on the side of science, or at least what science should be: “pragmatic, respectful of life”.
However, it lacks a massive amount of exploration and up to date scientific data. Your opinions are from the past.
The cream of the scientists are coming to the conclusion that, as well said by Zach Bush MD, called by many the Einstein of our generation:
“We need to shift our vision to a new scientific paradigm in which we are in constant relationship with the microbiome at every level. (…/…). We must trust that the microbiome makes us more resilient, intelligent and more adaptive. If not, we need to build bigger and bigger nuclear weapons to protect us from the microbiome until we will have eradicate all life on Earth. That is what “we” are doing right now.”
Take the time to watch this presentation:
https://zachbushmd.com/what-happened-last-year-replay/
It’s 3 hours. The best investment for anybody who writes about science, nature and life.
Take care. Kind regards,

sharon johnson
sharon johnson
3 years ago

We in the US have something called The Bill of Rights which guarantees us freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion. For the past year our government has shelved those rights in favor of frantic whinings from a slew of ‘scientists’ eager to conquer the populace with lock-downs, masks, isolation, and mindless destruction of livelihoods. Out of mindless fear our government has gone along with every new ‘scientific’ diktat. But, in the meantime, the statistics – see Worldometers – continued to show a static 3% dead either from, or with, Covid. The Great Barrington Declaration, an ode to rationality in these times of insanity, was ignored. (read it, if you haven’t already) And then yesterday news was released that statistics show Covid death rates in the severely locked down states don’t vary much from the rates in the barely locked down states. No surprise.

Carl Goulding
Carl Goulding
3 years ago

The author obviously has blind trust in authority and the “science” and is therefore uninformed. I recommend he reads the recently published Virus Mania for an alternative view. Even in 1918 there were people who refused to be vaccinated and survived. I wonder what their politics were?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Carl Goulding

Yes, it is astonishing that this writer, who has now spent some decades witnessing and writing about authority’s disastrous polices and their consequences, around the world, can still have so much faith in any form of authority.

K Sheedy
K Sheedy
3 years ago
Reply to  Carl Goulding

There were no Vaccines for the 1918 ‘Spanish’ Flu. Therefore nobody refused a vaccine, and yes many people survived. There is no logical point being made here.

Carl Goulding
Carl Goulding
3 years ago
Reply to  K Sheedy

Apologies I could have been more clear on the vaccination front but my main point was why should this matter be politicised. Also American and presumably all other soldiers in World War 1 were given live smallpox and whole cell typhoid inoculations as well as therapeutic tetanus and diphtheria antitoxins. The incidence of disease has been reported to be seven times higher among vaccinated soldiers (young & healthy) than among the unvaccinated civilians. Therefore the question I am asking myself is apart from recognised short term side effects do vaccines suppress the immune system and if so for how long and what are the consequences. Is that an unreasonable question to be asking?

jmskennedy9
jmskennedy9
3 years ago
Reply to  Carl Goulding

Quite the contrary, vaccines stimulate the immune system, selectively. Just like exposure to any antigen, the body sees the intruder, and creates immunity. That is the purpose, whether you are exposed playing in the dirt, or putting your finger in your own nose. The old live vaccines were bad actors, as some people’s immune system could not fight off the live virus. The CV vaccine does not even have a remote possibility of creating the infection

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

Most people were not sceptical of vaccines until they ramped them up from 2-3 at older ages in the early Seventies to more than 50 vaccinations in the first five years of life, beginning within hours of birth, for a disease common to prostitutes and drug addicts, if not in utero.
And only a fool would not question the Covid vaccines and genetic treatments given how unnecessary they are, for a virus which is no threat to the vast majority and how rushed, poorly tested and experimental they are.
The greater the pressure the greater the resistance. The more force used in the name of vaccines the more cult-like they appear, particularly when those who question anything about them, regardless of how well qualified they are in science or medicine, are pilloried and burned at metaphorical stakes. That bothers many people more than any vaccine risk.
And the more the vaccine cult pushes the public, the more people ask questions and it is not hard to find out that historical facts make it very clear that, by the time vaccines appeared they were not needed.
Anyone bothering to find out how vaccines are made, what they contain and what they are designed to do would not drink the stuff, let alone allow it to be injected into their body or that of their child.
In the max-vax age people have poorer health than ever before and worse in children. And yet, the powers that be refuse to do the one study which could settle this matter – looking at health and disease rates in fully, partially and non-vaccinated children.
All of which makes people rightly suspicious.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

Climate change has become the third most important issue in this country after health and the economy as Brexit fades in importance,
What a fascinating statement. This board is full of commentary critical of the NHS. Not that many people want the govt meddling with the economy; we’ve seen how the lockdown mandates have impacted. Yet, I’m to believe that the same govt struggling with the other two issues is the only remedy for climate? No; that fails the logic test on a massive scale. Agencies that can barely manage potholes and have made a hash of public education do not need even more power than they already have.

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago

It is not science it is technology and it could go wrong. This lot of products using entirely new techniques, in development less than a year and then rolled out for the entire population pose a particular risk. But what will really defy science and ensure their lack of safety is gaslighting criticism of them, or their possible victims – a priori view that that they are always alright. Characterising vaccine critics as hippies or something is absurd too – most often they are just the witnesses to the damage.
Like others here I am grateful to Ian Birrell for much of his reporting but this is a serious blind spot.

Jonathan Gibbs
Jonathan Gibbs
3 years ago
Reply to  John Stone

Thats not quite right, although the reality is even less appealing, and is one of the reason I am CV “vaccine” hesitant. The technique has been tried out over at least 10 years, and maybe more (not certain about the timeline).Every time it has been tried ALL the animals subjects have died on exposure to the wild virus the technique was designed for. They claim that they’ve got it right this time – but we won’t know this for some time to come – probably this coming winter.

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Gibbs

Yes, that is also an issue but I am talking about the gene technologies.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago

There are still a few die-hards willing to serve science with rigour and falsification within the Mertonian norms. However the broad mass of western science is hostage to the anti-scientific extremism of the left, and the green movement is at the extreme end of that. The voices of Finnish and Italian climate scientists who say we cannot predict the weather but the record shows no significant waring in the last 200 years are supressed. The fake data and ad-hominen attacks of climate activists like Michael Mann are endorsed by scientifically illiterate politicos and tech sales men. So for the moment dangerous disregard for testable knowledge is the norm. Once this mania causes the inevitable mass casualties questions will be asked and we’ll all get back on the cautionary principle bandwagon – until the next time.

Tony Warren
Tony Warren
3 years ago

There is too much of an negative tone with the words “anti-vaxxer,” I prefer “pro-plaguer.”

Samir Zulfiquar
Samir Zulfiquar
3 years ago

The white coats where the ones pushing eugenics and lobotomies back in the day.
That’s what happens when you mindlessly “have faith in science” and don’t question them.
Science in modern times has become more about adherence to dogma than actual evidence.
The white coats are the new clergy.
Welcome to the new secular inquisition.
science denier = heathen
fringe theory = heresy
alternative treatment = witchcraft
skepticism = blasphemy
vaccination = baptism
asymptomatic transmission = original sin
social distancing and masks = penence
Bill Gates = messiah
Fauci, Ferguson, Birx, Tedros = the apostles
WHO = the church

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago

Well said Samir. 🙂

Chris Eaton
Chris Eaton
3 years ago

Ian…what science? Please, by all means, provide some links to the ‘science’ you seem to hold so dear while using that ‘science’ to excoriate those who disagree with you. You have an opinion…and, without providing a shred of actual scientific evidence, that’s all you have. So, please, continue your chatterbox….you are unconvincing in the highest degree. I’m from across the pond in the former colonies so I don’t know what euphemism is in the UK, but over here I would just give my own unscientific opinion…you are full of it.

Last edited 3 years ago by Chris Eaton
crawfordwright
crawfordwright
3 years ago

Are these the same scientists who said that face masks were useless until politicians changed their minds for them? The same ones who then said they had conspired to keep the mask efficacy secret to save on PPE?

Last edited 3 years ago by crawfordwright
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

People in the US frequently refer to an old Eisenhower speech warning of the military-industrial complex. They tend to leave out a second warning – that of a nexus between scientific research and govt funding. Any industry-funded project can expect to be called out for being, well, industry-funded, but for some reason, those same skeptics see no similarity in research that is govt-funded.

Michael Hanson
Michael Hanson
3 years ago

I am reassured that many Greens question vaccines. After all they look for less damaging and more sustainable ways of managing the Earth. Keeping our body’s immune system naturally healthy, I would suggest, goes along with keeping the planet’s ecosystem healthy.

Iain McCausland
Iain McCausland
3 years ago

The question is not why ‘greens’ may be more sceptical of taking a jab for Covid-19, but why anybody would take an experimental vaccine for a disease with a global IFR of 0.2-0.3% a similar lethality to Influenza?

Bits Nibbles
Bits Nibbles
3 years ago

I think this article is misstating lots of issues, and severely conflating others.
“Such skepticism is another depressing indication of the breakdown in trust between citizens and the institutions that shape lives.”
Skepticism is the only scientific reaction to all of the deferral to authority and “experts” that we are seeing. Most “institutions that shape lives” do so out of the profit motive. Most scientists I know that work for Unilever or GSK for example, will never wear deodorant, or allow their children to wear deodorant (because they specifically work with links to cancer which are very real and significant). Are they conspiracy theorists or just insightful practitioners? Likewise, I know one scientist who’s sole work for Novavax on the Covid19 vaccine, was to show due diligence for the government audits, regarding a required compound that *everybody* in the industry knows for a fact, cannot be removed from the human body, once it has been injected. There has been no longitudinal study regarding the safety of this compound, as it only has been an ingredient in the new mRNA vaccine types. He and his family will not be getting the vaccine *ever*. Is he a conspiracy theorist and anti-vaxxer, or an insightful insider?
Most of the parents in our homeschool group, are either teachers, ex-teachers, or children of teachers. Why do you believe that is?
I can tell you as a tech worker in the mobile phone and RF space, when leaving companies at which I’ve worked extensively on proprietary and classified technology specs often shared between companies under non-disclosure agreements, for example chips that won’t be sold or shipped for another 1-2 years, I’ve only been asked to sign an ‘exit-contract’ stating that I would not disclose any research results regarding effects of radio frequency on the human physiology. Ask yourself, why would that be?

Julia Waugh
Julia Waugh
3 years ago

Even proponents of vaccination recognise that there will be “collateral” damage. This from a report released by Harvard University:
“A physician cannot predict whether a particular child will suffer an adverse reaction to a vaccine and, therefore, vaccine-related injuries or death are extremely difficult to prevent. Because vaccines must be administered in order to protect the general population from disease and because some children will definitely be injured as a result of mandatory vaccination, the question arises as to how vaccine-injured children should be compensated for their adverse reactions to vaccines.” (Page 16 of:
https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/9453695/Davenport%2C_Katherine_NVICP.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y&fbclid=IwAR3XAZtax8F43YZKfWqbPWrZvPSVHQhCNkmD4DObJvitvY2epLGylU8RhZo
This is enough to make any parent hesitate.

raymond.morace
raymond.morace
3 years ago

The Global Warming Religion doesn’t believe in science. If they did, then they would understand that the single greatest cause of global warming, and the only cause of any real significance for life on this planet, is the sun. Any kindergarten student knows that. A secondary major effect on climate is the tilt of the earth on it’s access: hence, the four seasons as we move further from the equator. This phenomenon occurs every year, like clockwork (or calendarwork, if you prefer).
Also, human beings have survived on this planet in temperatures ranging from -20 degrees Fahrenheit and below, to 120 degrees and higher. The idea that a 1 or 2 degree change over the next 100 years will destroy life as we know it is not science, it’s the apocalyptic vision of the Global Warming faithful, that they will save us from. Most religions have that as well. Meanwhile, the temperature changed over 25 degrees today, in just one day! We all survived.
Finally, I’ve plotted the 10 day forecast with my grandchildren to show them the absurdity and arrogance of anyone that believes they can predict the average temperature of the planet 100 years from now, within a degree or two. I showed them clearly on the graph that we can’t even predict the high and low temperature in the next ten days with certainty in our neighborhood, within a degree or two. That’s science.

Last edited 3 years ago by raymond.morace
John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago
Reply to  raymond.morace

We know from reliable proxy measurements that the planet was hotter in the recent past without any dangerous runaway effects occurring; in fact, it was a better place for both humans and life in general. There is this silly idea that life was better off during the glacial periods that have been the default condition of the planet for the past 2.8million years, but this is of course nonsense.

Iain McCausland
Iain McCausland
3 years ago

In the US Republicans are less likely to take the vaccine and here Mr Birrell you claim Green Party people are less likely to take a jab for Covid19. Maybe we can say that independently minded people who tend not to swallow government fear mongering and media hype will not take an experimental vaccine for a disease with a global IFR of 0.2-0.3% because it is irrational to do so.

Jacques Rossat
Jacques Rossat
3 years ago

Talking about the Green Party, they seem to show the same skeptisism about the vaccines over here, Switzerland, the same love of science when talking about global warming and the same hate of science when talking about nuclear power.
But, and apart from the obstacle the British two-party system represents to their coming to power, how do we explain that the Greens are now a formidable force in Germany as they are in Switzerland, a decisive segment in Parliament with their Watermelon (“Les Verts”) and Mango varieties (“Les Verts libĂ©raux”), whereas they are almost extinct in the UK and in France (not to speak about other Southern European countries) ?

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Jacques Rossat

I think such a question requires more time than most of us here have to spare.

M Spahn
M Spahn
3 years ago

I wonder if the former residents of Fukushima have silly “anti-science” attitudes about nuclear power. I suppose we could ask them if we could track them down wherever they’ve been scattered to.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  M Spahn

You conveniently ignored the earthquake and tsunami in your desperate search to make a point.

Pauline Shimell
Pauline Shimell
3 years ago

Thanks to a friend I was signposted to this government site. Out of interest I have looked through the adverse reactions reported for the Pfizer vaccine
I am only listing the adverse effects that could have brought about fatalities or serious disabilities, such as blindness and deafness.
There were 227 deaths over 3 months (9/12/20and 28/02/21)which is very much less than the CoVid ones. These include the oldest people in the population, whose deaths could have been expected at any time. 
The disabilities require more information and analysis. How bad and how permanent was the blindness/visual impairment or deafness, tinnitus or loss of balance? How disabling and permanent were the 12,823 muscle tissue disorders or the 18,059 nervous system disorders reported?
It is so interesting to see how much widespread disturbance the vaccine can cause to the body. I think it is bad practice to insist that every body except the extremely allergic have the vaccine at the allotted time regardless of their current state of health but I get the impression this is happening. 
Elderly people often have several conditions, which they have adapted to with much fine tuning of their systems with one thing compensating for another and so on. Anything that disturbs the balance of these mechanisms can throw them into potentially lethal pathology and it seems to me that this has probably occurred in many instances. 
The predominant ideology seems to be that the only thing you can die of is CoVid, which overrides the common sense and the experience of the health care workers, who know better but dare not say so. Such are the times we live in where it is increasingly difficult to swim against the tide.
The underlying assumption is that the few should suffer for the many and it is all right so long as it is not me or my loved one, whose health or life is sacrificed. Individual sacrifice for the sake of the greater good is considered acceptable in the Communist societies, whose value systems we distance ourselves from.
Meanwhile the coercion involved in the endorsement of “no jab no job” employment policies together with the continued speculation about introducing domestic vaccine passports are examples of “ends justifying means” rationales for cruelties and injustices, which characterise  the regimes of the far right.
It can’t be right to make life less free and even in some cases impoverished for those, who refuse to have an intervention that may cause them suffering.
The attached Vaccine Analysis Profile contains a complete listing of all suspected adverse reactions or that have been reported to the MHRA via the Yellow Card scheme for the COVID-19 mRNA Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. This includes all reports received from healthcare professionals, members of the public, and pharmaceutical companies.
Report Run Date:09-Mar-2021
Data Lock Date:08-Mar-2021 19:00:03
All UK spontaneous reports received between 9/12/20and 28/02/21 for mRNA Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine analysis print
Blood
Thrombocytopenia ( bleeding disorder)fatal 1
Heart
Cardiac Disorders fatal 26
Cardiac Arrest 39 fatal 15
Cardio respiratory arrest fatal 1
Pericarditis fatal 1
Eyes
Eye disorders 72 visual impairment blindness 15
Ears
Ear disorders deafness 20
Gut
GI tract fatal total 12 (fatalities from diarrhoea 4, gastric haemhorrhage 2, vomiting blood 2, vomiting 2, perforation of gut 2, nausea 1)
General
Asthenia fatal 1
Fatigue fatal 1
Clinical death1
Death 95
Sudden death 14
Illness fatal 1
Multiple organ dysfunction fatal 1
Sepsis fatal 1
Viral pneumonia fatal1
Brain and Nervous System
Fall fatal 1
Guillane Barre syndrome fatal 1
Brain Stem infarction fatal 1
Cerebral haemhorrhage fatal 3
Cerebro vascular accident fatal 3
Haemhorrhagic stroke fatal 1
Ischaemic stroke fatal 1
Subarachnoid haemhorrhage fatal 1
hypokinesia fatal 1
unresponsive to stimuli fatal 1
Diplegia fatal 1
Seizure fatal 1
Brain injury fatal 2
Premature baby died 1
Respiratory system
Breathlessness fatal 2
Breathlessness from exertion fatal 2
Lack of oxygen fatal 1
Cough fatal 1
Aspirational pneumonia fatal 2
Pneumonitis fatal 3
Pulmonary embolism fatal 1
Acute respiratory failure fatal 1
Aspiration disorders fatal 1
Choking fatal 1
Skin
Toxic dermal necrolysis fatal 1
I am a retired lecturer in health sciences.

jmskennedy9
jmskennedy9
3 years ago

I am a retired academic physician, coroner, and professor, so have some knowledge here. As I look at this list above, it is obvious that it makes no sense. To believe that this list of symptoms is related to death and COVID is not comprehensible. Fatal cough? That is not an accepted death certificate diagnosis, come on man. How about lack of oxygen-deceased could have place a bag over his head. These are self reported symptoms and many do not pass serious muster. Patients reporting any untowrd feeling does not make it related to the shot. Coincidence does not prove causality. Secondly, most of the deaths are in us older folks, and many of these causes of death, would have occurred anyway. It does appear that clotting may be associated with the COVID itself, and perhaps with the Pfizer vaccine, and so some of these could have been vaccine related, or maybe they had the virus?

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago

The trouble with all this is that you have no control sample. Many (most/all) of these events would have happened anyway.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago

I am a retired lecturer in health sciences.”
And I am a non-retired doctor who has held a chair in epidemiology and done extensive work in evidence-based medicine. If you actually held a position in an academic health-related subject, you should be ashamed for posting such nonsense.
If you actually knew anything about phase 3 trials or postmarketing surveillance or pharmacovigilance, you would know that it is customary for any clinically significant event that occurs after an agent has been released to be recorded in order that it can be investigated.
Is it seriously your contention that the laundry list you cite above are all consequences of vaccination?

Pauline Shimell
Pauline Shimell
3 years ago

Thanks to a friend I was signposted to this government site. Out of interest I have looked through the adverse reactions reported for the Pfizer vaccine
I only listed the adverse effects that could have brought about fatalities or serious disabilities, such as blindness and deafness.
227 deaths over 3 months (9/12/20and 28/02/21)which is very much less than the CoVid ones. These include the oldest people in the population, whose deaths could have been expected at any time. 
The disabilities require more information and analysis. How bad and how permanent was the blindness/visual impairment or deafness, tinnitus or loss of balance? How disabling and permanent were the 12,823 muscle tissue disorders or the 18,059 nervous system disorders reported?
It is so interesting to see how much widespread disturbance the vaccine can cause to the body. I think it is bad practice to insist that every body except the extremely allergic have the vaccine at the allotted time regardless of their current state of health but I get the impression this is happening. 
Elderly people often have several conditions, which they have adapted to with much fine tuning of their systems with one thing compensating for another and so on. Anything that disturbs the balance of these mechanisms can throw them into potentially lethal pathology and it seems to me that this has probably occurred in many instances. 
The predominant ideology seems to be that the only thing you can die of is CoVid, which overrides the common sense and the experience of the health care workers, who know better but dare not say so. Such are the times we live in where it is increasingly difficult to swim against the tide.
The underlying assumption is that the few should suffer for the many and it is all right so long as it is not me or my loved one, whose health or life is sacrificed. Individual sacrifice for the sake of the greater good is considered acceptable in the Communist societies, whose value systems we distance ourselves from.
Meanwhile the coercion involved in the endorsement of “no jab no job” employment policies together with the continued speculation about introducing domestic vaccine passports are examples of “ends justifying means” rationales for cruelties and injustices, which characterise  the regimes of the far right.
It can’t be right to make life less free and even in some cases impoverished for those, who refuse to have an intervention that may cause them suffering.
The Vaccine Analysis Profile contains a complete listing of all suspected adverse reactions or that have been reported to the MHRA via the Yellow Card scheme for the COVID-19 mRNA Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. This includes all reports received from healthcare professionals, members of the public, and pharmaceutical companies.
Report Run Date:09-Mar-2021
Data Lock Date:08-Mar-2021 19:00:03
All UK spontaneous reports received between 9/12/20and 28/02/21 for mRNA Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine analysis print
This is worth a look
I am a retired lecturer in Health Sciences

Andre Lower
Andre Lower
3 years ago

One wonders how long it will take for Covid-deniers and anti-vaxxers to realize that nobody bothers answering to their posts anymore.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago

The only way out of a dystopian state is to rebel against the totalitarians and force them out of power. That has nothing to do with a vaccine. The virus was just an opportunity to implement a fascist state. Never let a crises go to waste.

Last edited 3 years ago by Dennis Boylon
Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago

“It is hardly surprising there was most hesitancy among supporters of the antediluvian anti-lockdown Reform Party founded by Nigel Farage.”
I don’t understand their rationale. If you don’t like lockdown – as I don’t – surely you should support vaccination as a way out of lockdown???

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

You’d think, but in fact many anti-lockdown people see any action which looks like admiting COVID19 is serious as cheering for the other team, even if that action would mean we needed lockdown less. For example, anti-maskers are also anti-lockdown.

Caroline Tinney
Caroline Tinney
3 years ago

It’s either Science or it’s Political Correctness. Guess which one this article is?

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
3 years ago

I wonder how far the rise of conspiracy theories and the wish to act outside the normal parties is related to Peter Turchin’s theory of over-production of elites. As Janan Ganesh asked in the FT, “What is woke culture if not the howl of a generation of underemployed humanities graduates?”

Pauline Shimell
Pauline Shimell
3 years ago

Thanks to a friend I was signposted to this government site annex1 which contains the following:
“The attached Vaccine Analysis Profile contains a complete listing of all suspected adverse reactions or that have been reported to the MHRA via the Yellow Card scheme for the COVID-19 mRNA Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. This includes all reports received from healthcare professionals, members of the public, and pharmaceutical companies.”
Out of interest I have looked through the adverse reactions reported for the Pfizer vaccine. There were 227 deaths over 3 months (9/12/20and 28/02/21)which is very much less than the CoVid ones. These include the oldest people in the population, whose deaths could have been expected at any time. 
The disabilities require more information and analysis. How bad and how permanent was the blindness/visual impairment or deafness, tinnitus or loss of balance? How disabling and permanent were the 12,823 muscle tissue disorders or the 18,059 nervous system disorders reported?It is so interesting to see the widespread disturbance the vaccine can cause to the body. 
I think it is bad practice to insist that every body except the extremely allergic have the vaccine at the allotted time regardless of their current state of health but I get the impression this is happening. Elderly people often have several conditions, which they have adapted to with much fine tuning of their systems with one thing compensating for another and so on. Anything that disturbs the balance of these mechanisms can throw them into potentially lethal pathology and it seems to me that this has occurred in many instances. 
The predominant ideology seems to be that the only thing you can die of is CoVid, which overrides the common sense and the experience of the health care workers, who know better but dare not say so. Such are the times we live in where it is increasingly difficult to swim against the tide.
The underlying assumption is that the few should suffer for the many and it is all right so long as it is not me or my loved one, whose health or life is sacrificed. Individual sacrifice for the sake of the greater good is considered acceptable in the Communist societies, whose value systems we distance ourselves from.
Meanwhile the coercion involved in the endorsement of “no jab no job” employment policies together with the continued speculation about introducing domestic vaccine passports are examples of “ends justifying means” rationales for cruelties and injustices, which characterise  the regimes of the far right.
It can’t be right to make life less free and even in some cases impoverished for those, who refuse to have an intervention that may cause them suffering.
I am a retired health sciences lecturer and I wonder why it is me studying these lists of adverse reactions and not a professional journalist.

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 years ago

I don’t understand why anyone is surprised that people adhering to Green ideals, or I should say ideology, are resistant to science. The popularised so-called science around climate change politics, for instance, is itself scientifically illiterate – it is as ignorant as the denialism on the same subject on the opposite side of the debate. It is one thing to state that we are presently taking risks by putting so much CO2 in the atmosphere and that doing so amounts to an uncontrolled experiment on the only planet we have. It is quite another to say that the IPCC is not strident enough on the subject and that it is near-certain that schoolchildren alive now will die mid-century from a global conflagration brought on by runaway atmospheric heating.

The first statement is reasonable and scientifically defensible, while the second is completely baseless and dishonest. It is quite easy for most people with a basic grounding in science to distinguish between the two statements, if they are willing to examine the evidence. Doing this is a fair bit less easy for the sort of person who is easily persuaded on April 1st that it is, say, possible to power your home by sticking a couple of electrodes in a potato, and people such as this do seem to be the same sort of people who think that going on protest marches and blocking traffic is a helpful contribution to a challenge which in actuality can only be resolved through immense technological progress delivered by the sort of people who can tell scientific truth from political fiction.

Even without people who are genuinely scientifically illiterate however, there are lots of perfectly intelligent people who have radically reduced the extent to which they are prepared to accept the authority of scientific institutions. This, too, is unsurprising, and it is not the fault of the growing number of sceptics, it is also the fault of the scientific establishment itself, for having permitted the growth of political influence in science and having tolerated a commensurate decline in the discipline, objectivity and neutrality that are the foundations for public trust in the scientific method.

Last edited 3 years ago by John Riordan
Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
3 years ago

Climate change has become the third most important issue in this country 

The link for this statement says nothing of the sort.
Just support for a vague statement about “the environment”.
As if we ourselves , and all our works, aren’t part of “the environment”.

Last edited 3 years ago by Brendan O'Leary
John Lewis
John Lewis
3 years ago

Was it really necessary to use the word Antediluvian when referring to the Reform Party? I note that you managed to resist the temptation to attach similar derogatory terms to any of the other parties mentioned.

A pity in what was otherwise an excellent article.

Nirav Smythson
Nirav Smythson
3 years ago

Good piece. To add to the equation is the Steiner Crew. That is devotees of Rudolf Steiner. Wherever there is a Steiner (Waldorf) school you will find anti science sentiment as well as hordes of unvaccinated kids. This is a global phenomena with increased measles cases in catchment areas of Steiner schools. Rudolf Steiner (died 1925) claimed that the function of the heart was not to pump blood around the body and other bizarre observations (homeopathy can function as well as MMR). I read all about BAME and Green groups refusing the vax but have never read a scholarly piece on the followers of Steiner, which also includes those who attend the Christian Science Community church. Could you write on this? You will be amazed how many people support Steiner’s claims

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
3 years ago

Third most cooked up issue. If we turned off everything in UK now and lived in knitted yurts the rest of the world would laugh at our pitiful protest. Climate may be changing but it’s not proven anthropogenic. If you don’t want a jab, fine, but don’t cry when your holiday ambitions are curtailed. As for disparaging Farage why doesn’t he go full Guardian and praise Biden to the hilt?

eugene power
eugene power
3 years ago

I am one of those anti dilugians. I dont know anyone of my age who has not been vaxxed. We grew up in the shadow of polio and are pissed off with illegal useless lockdown being maintained by crap statistricks with the help of idiot refusers Where did anyone from Oxford find a Brexiter??
Leave your insults where they belong.. pre referendum

Matt Whitby
Matt Whitby
3 years ago

I’m not taking it because of the coercive authoritarian attitude behind it, not because I deny it’s effectiveness or think of some conspiracy to sterilise the population or whatever

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago

“I also struggled to share their concern with genetically modified crops, particularly if they could help feed impoverished people on our planet.”
I actively hate Greenpeace for this very reason. Their opposition to GM Golden Rice has facilitated the needless blinding and deaths from Vitamin A deficiency of hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of children. My nickname for them is the Vert Rouge.

queensrycherule
queensrycherule
3 years ago

Environmentalism is anti-scientific, by nature.

Athena Jones