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Who will make the case for liberty? Our spineless response to Covid restrictions is an embarrassment

The lads (Photo by Hollie Adams - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The lads (Photo by Hollie Adams - WPA Pool/Getty Images)


May 20, 2021   5 mins

There are few dark enjoyments to be had in the present era, but perhaps the greatest is hearing politicians who have spent their lives dismissing immigration restrictions suddenly berating their opponents for not keeping the entire world at bay. For the position of such politicians appears to be that while you can’t prevent the movement of people over your borders — something that is just “inevitable” — you can somehow prevent a virus carried by humans.

Such is the position of the British Labour Party, which in both its Blair and Corbyn incarnations gave the impression that all moves towards immigration restrictionism constituted some form of racism; even if it wasn’t spelled out, it was heavily implied. Yet here we are in 2021, with the Leader of the Opposition and the Shadow Home Secretary repeatedly berating the Government for not sealing our borders more comprehensively.

This week Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds, joining the rush to turn Britain into a hermit kingdom, criticised the Government for failing to shut down flights from India, and the position of the official opposition now appears to be that Britain should be entirely quarantined from the rest of the world. Keir Starmer used the opportunity of Prime MinisterŽs Questions to again complain that there are too many people coming into the country and that the hotel quarantine system was not brought in early enough and is not widespread. It is all quite a turnaround.

And yet what else could they do? The job of an official opposition is to oppose, after all. And the Labour Party has decided to do its opposing by portraying the present Government as lax about our borders. As with all areas of Covid policy, its position — and that of our country’s other, semi-official opposition, the SNP – is not that the Government is doing the wrong thing, but that whatever it’s doing, it should be doing more.

It is a stance, at least. But it is interesting that the Labour Opposition (or indeed any opposition) continuously comes at the Government from the direction of greater caution and rarely if ever presents the opposite line of attack.

In the whole political debate over Covid and Britain’s response to it, it is striking that there has been almost no counter-pressure from the other side of the debate. While there is plenty of pressure on the Government to be more cautious, there is none at a party-political level urging the Government to be more favourable towards the case for liberty.

Here the comparison with the Covid debate in the United States is striking. While Dr Anthony Fauci enjoyed a reign of near-complete reverence for a time, politicians and pundits now routinely pour scorn on the chief medical officer for urging people to wear masks in an empty room even after being vaccinated, for people to double and triple mask, to wear a mask outside, to wear a mask alone in a forest.

In the UK, by contrast, the mask debate seems to remain where it always has been, with Members of Parliament and other leading figures sticking religiously to the wearing of masks at all point. In contrast to the United States, no one seems to have in any way questioned whether post-vaccine mask-wearing has any point to it other than theatre.

While Dr Fauci’s wisdom is questioned openly, Britain is haunted by the presence of Prof Neil Ferguson, who repeatedly returns to our screens like a bad horror movie. Rarely has any expert in British life been more wrong about so many major things, and yet still he crops up, where he is given a respectful audience at government level and by most of the media. His latest appearance has seen him warning — with the Prime Minister following suit — that the Indian variant of Covid might necessitate delaying the end of lockdown. But what is striking is not just that Ferguson gets away with repeatedly being wrong, but that his constant urges for greater caution are not balanced by any force urging the opposite.

In the US the dispute over masks and reopening has followed largely along predictable Red State/Blue State lines. Republican-run Florida has barely shut down and the rest of the United States has been watching with interest, concern and envy to see whether the Floridians suffer an excess mortality rate, benefit from keeping their economy alive, or both. You may say that in America the issue has been over-politicised, and indeed it has, with mask-wearing having become a sign of tribal affiliation among Democrat voters while a type of blitheness towards Covid has been a badge of honour among large swathes of Republican voters. But at least the argument is occurring; in Britain there is almost nothing.

Without the political pressure coming from organised pro-liberty forces, the British Government has throughout the pandemic had an unhindered ability to be as cautious as it likes about reopening the economy and allowing the general public to get back to our lives. We have had a constant drip-feed of warnings from Boris, the BBC and others that if we are not careful then the right to drink a pint of beer inside a pub, a right only just recently returned to us, might once again be taken away. And all this is accepted mildly without political complaint.

Having spent a portion of the past year in the US, I am by no means certain that the British approach is the healthier one. For instance, is it especially healthy that when the Prime Minister ponders whether lockdown-easing will remain on track that there is no significant political pressure on him to stick to the timeline he has laid out?

Is it healthy for British politics that when the Government and BBC tell us how, where and when we might hug our loved ones, which direction to face, how often to do it and what settings one might do it in, there is only the sound of dull acceptance or audible gratitude from grateful subjects? I am not certain that it is.

And what about the Government briefings to the media that, because some people have chosen not to get vaccinated, therefore the lifting of lockdown could be delayed? Doubtless this provides some pressure on members of the public to get their jabs, but why is there no political pressure on the Government telling them about their obligations? Why is no one telling them: “You told us yourselves that the vaccine is the way out of lockdown. Those who have chosen not to get vaccinated have chosen to take their own risks, and we cannot allow them to keep the rest of us back.” Instead there is a competition to be more cautious than the next politician.

It is the same with the question of foreign travel. As Freddie Sayers argued here yesterday, the Government’s latest quandary is over the question of international travel. While it is legal to travel to so-called “amber” countries, members of the Government now say that we should not do so.

Health Minister James Bethell said on Times Radio that “Travelling is dangerous. Travelling is not for this year. Please stay in the country.” And once again this advice landed into a political vacuum. Doubtless Labour, the SNP and others will seek to find a moment to berate the Government for not having made travel to amber countries illegal, or for not imprisoning everybody who returns from such a country.

But there will be no organised political opposition pointing out that the whole point of the amber part of the traffic-light system is that these are countries which people can visit.

Perhaps it was understandable this time last year that there was a degree of unity in British politics. Perhaps it was also understandable that non-scientists and others deferred to the pandemic experts for a period. But it seems unhealthy that at this stage of the pandemic, with all that we know about the virus and vaccine, that the British political scene still lacks any organised force pressuring the Government to restore our liberties as soon as possible. In the to-and-fro of British politics it seems as though the cause of freedom is having trouble finding defenders. It is about time she got them again.


Douglas Murray is an author and journalist.

DouglasKMurray

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Dave Smith
Dave Smith
3 years ago

I am amazed at how meek some of my fellow citizens are now. Perhaps it is tribute to the success of the propaganda unit under the control of Johnson . Some of us are immune judging by the attitudes I see around me. What makes some of us immune is a story for another day.
My family have not watched TV news for a year or listened to the radio Not listened to the nightly wailing of the reporters and certainly never listened to Johnson and his pet advisers. That is a necessity if you are to stay sane.
The US is used to greater public argument. But where I live there have always been a very large number who have ignored the rules they did not like and behaved sensibly and got on with their lives. Seen their children and grandchildren and their friends. They have not let fear rule their lives.
In my part of the world there are few if any informers.
This nudge unit and the use of propaganda by Number 10 is dangerous. It means that people like me and my family have just disengaged for the duration. This is my country under a sort of occupation and the more they blather on ,threaten and whine the more we shut our ears to them. I know it does not bode well for the future but I am responding not initiating and it is their fault not mine.
I have a distinct feeling this is the way the English react to abusers in power. That we have behaved like this before and that we know we will see them off in the end.

Looney Leftie
Looney Leftie
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

Spot on, I don’t listen to any msm now, it stinks of propaganda. It seems so obvious to me, and its the reason – I believe – why Johnson has u-turned on scrapping the BBC licence. He knows, when push comes to shove, he can use the BBC to further the government’s ends. However, if half the country is not listening like us, is it backfiring??

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

I’m not sure it’s propaganda as such – it’s arguably more insidious because it is done with “good” intentions. Both genuinely believe they are doing a service.
The media luvvies dance in circles trying to catch out politicians whilst our spineless elected try and dodge each and every worse case scenario for their public image and votes.

Andy Paul
Andy Paul
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Nothing worse than good intentions for as CS Lewis observed “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

It is propaganda. There are no good intentions when it comes to the MSM.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Telescreen operated 24 hours a day, No one including Winston could turn it off…..Ministry of Truth modelled on Wartime BBC! so Orwell was 70 years ahead of his era?..

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

People always seem to have this really stubborn blind spot when it comes to ‘media’, wherever it comes from.

Yes, of course it’s capable of disseminating cross-verifiable truth and facts, but it will just as easily disseminate lies and obfuscation if the money’s good or better and it knows that’s what its paying punters really want.

‘Media’ is, first and foremost a product for public consumption, in that sense it is largely ‘market led’ in some form, but to expect it to be forever and consistently objective, apparently in its uncompromising zeal to inform us with the ‘ unvarnished truth’ we all like to imagine we all apparently crave, is naĂŻve in the extreme.

If more people came to see it for what it is, a business much like any other pimping a product for its own self-serving gain then, I feel, the world would be a much better, more centred place.

Last edited 3 years ago by G Harris
steveroylance2012
steveroylance2012
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Good reply Fraser… any idea how to get rid of the MSM browser on my laptop…keep trying to replace it but it keeps coming back !!!!!

steveroylance2012
steveroylance2012
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Nope, the Gates foundation sponsors the BBC world service and the guardian… i will never forget when my good friend Wayne retired from his GP practice in 2006.. he showed me an A5 book and said ‘that’s why I am happy to be out of here’ .. what he showed me was his book of treatments provided to the medical schools including all the drugs he head to deal out.. Wayne confessed he stopped being a doctor now the drug companies agents and salespersons ruled the roost…

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

There was an episode of The Avengers where John Steed switched off the loudspeaker and so was able to rescue Emma Peel who had been hypnotized by the message. The message which to my eyes looks ridiculous the way it is presented in the photo above.

David Platzer
David Platzer
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Odysseus putting wax in the ears of his sailors.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  David Platzer

In my case just a broken TV aerial-feel so much better without television, I think it has a strange affect on people

steveroylance2012
steveroylance2012
3 years ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

And us.. we turned the propaganda box off April 2020… It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.

an infamous phrase from 1940… very true though…

People seemed scared witless by the virus… get a grip everyone ,

Barry Coombes
Barry Coombes
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

The Stasi generally didn’t try to keep most of the population under house arrest – they needed them to go out and work, so no, in that sense, it isn’t Stasi-like oppression. However, it is oppression of some sort.
Concerning the law of the land, I think there are some things, basic liberties, that no law of the land should be interfering with outside of a truly existential threat to the country (i.e. Nazi Germany, not Wuflu). If the law in question chimed with those principles, that law wouldn’t exist. If our liberties can be taken away at a meeting of the Privy Council or the stroke of Matt Hancock’s pen, they were never really liberties, just temporary permissions, now revoked.

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
3 years ago
Reply to  Barry Coombes

A point well made by Thomas Paine many years ago, that if you accept that rights can be granted by a state, you must accept that a state has the right and power to remove those rights.
Things like being able to go for a walk, to shop for food, and to see family and friends should not be something that any government anywhere has the power to limit. (I realise that the first 2 were permitted but only because we were given SPECIAL dispensation to break the rules for these reasons).

Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

There is plenty of opposition to the current measures, alternatives to the measures the government have instituted have been proposed and a phalanx of eminent scientists have given other interpretations of data. The problem is, if it’s not exactly stifled in the MSM & Social Media it’s certainly muffled. The government and the opposition together have pretty much got all their ducks in a row and quacking in unison. You tube videos are taken down, Social Media commentators suspended or banned, warnings slapped on any dissent from the lockdown narrative. Did anyone else hear of the thousands of protesters marching through our principal cities in recent weekends. Thousands outside the BBC in London & Salford? Not a squeak.

Debate, dissent & discussion – the engines of healthy democracy – have been switched off.

Andrew Frame
Andrew Frame
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Smith

I agree with your comments. Identifying whether it is the Government alone, the MSM or some other (global) controlling entity is what puzzles me. I’m still very uncomfortable with the global Build Back Better nonsense.

Fennie Strange
Fennie Strange
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Smith

In this and in other cases, conversion therapy for example, or manmade climate change.

steveroylance2012
steveroylance2012
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Smith

Jonathan – well said

Block book a week on the TV and let them go at each other….dont reckon Peter Daszak, Prof Ferguson and Fauci would fair very well though against Sherri and Robert

Cant see TV lot would like that though and there is too much money involved now for the vaccine stuff to fail………….

Barbara Bone
Barbara Bone
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Smith

Next stop – diverting planes with Covid sceptics on & arresting them? Our government is not in a position where it can accuse others of being dictators. At least you know where you stand with the Russians & don’t expect anything else.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

I’m reminded of the film “they live”. Put on the sunglasses and everywhere you look there are stark messages that say “obey”. There’s been a 14 month psyops campaign against us, its no wonder people are meek and under control.

James Slade
James Slade
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

You mean the country that accepted interment withou trial, suspension of habeas corpus and identity cards, in the time of national emergency takes a pragmatic view. I’m shocked

Last edited 3 years ago by James Slade
CL van Beek
CL van Beek
3 years ago
Reply to  James Slade

Indeed, and to answer the question raised by Douglas, who would dare to go against the official narrative, in a country like that.

David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  James Slade

I hope you mean internment. Otherwise it’s not a trial that precedes it, but an inquest.

Claire Dunnage
Claire Dunnage
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

I think the problem is whether we get all our liberties back or whether, once the state has gained greater powers of control, it will want to give them up.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

I agree in general with you, but Douglas asks the question – who will make the case for liberty. Ignoring it and hoping it will go away is not the answer. Douglas does not have an answer.
We have not had an effective opposition party in the UK for many years which is part of the problem. However, I believe the real issue is that the politicians are no longer in control. Eisenhower in his farewell address warned us about a military-industrial complex taking over policy through relationships with government bureaucrats, and of research being influenced by state funding leading to intellectuals gaining influence over policy. Global corporations now also influence government policies, and at the top of the list is big Pharma It is worth finding a transcript on the internet of Eisenhower’s address.
Now we also have an electorate who seem willing to go along with nonsense. Nothing demonstrates this more than the unshakable belief that we are creating a climate crisis. There is not one piece of scientific theory that supports this belief or any empirical evidence to link carbon dioxide to temperature increases. It is exactly the same with the pandemic, there is no evidence to show that any of the measures have any statistically significant effect.
At a time when we have a better education a majority have returned to superstition. Gad Saad has described this as if a mind virus has taken over and is preventing rational thought. Douglas described it as educated imbecility. Gad has said we are descending into an abyss of insanity. Considering the events in history it seems to me we stated the descent at the dawn of civilisation.

Last edited 3 years ago by Alan Thorpe
Jayne Lago
Jayne Lago
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

“A mind virus has taken over and is preventing rational thought”
It’s called Twitter, Facebook and any other banal media platform you may care to name. Unheard, the exception of course!

Fennie Strange
Fennie Strange
3 years ago
Reply to  Jayne Lago

Quote from my sister: “We don’t do any of that YouTwitFace nonsense’!

Last edited 3 years ago by Fennie Strange
David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Not “started the descent” but certainly a series of cycles or relapses. Now is worse because two or three are coinciding so those not caught up in one lunacy (man made climate crisis) may be swept up in another (Covidiocy)

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

At a time when we have a better education

What?! The level of education is at its worst since the passing of the 1944 Education Act

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

We are more generally educated than at any time in history.

David Platzer
David Platzer
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

That must explain why so few people now read books in comparison to the past.

Barbara Bone
Barbara Bone
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

The reason for this is simply that each generation is now being taught by the previous one. I was lucky enough to be taught by teachers almost old enough to be my grandparents.

Simon Burns
Simon Burns
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

The final point regarding “this is the way the English react to abusers in power” is one raised by Jonathan Sumption in the piece a few months ago (Lord Sumption: civil disobedience has begun); when people have had enough they will simply stop obeying the rules.
While this may be a long run effective and “British” way to go about things I fear precedents have been set and broken. The idea that people seem to think it is acceptable for a government to dictate who and where you can see and go would have been unthinkable 18 months ago yet I am astounded as to the number of the population who seem content to have this level of control over their lives.
I have heard many people over the last week pass comment on the news that easing may be pushed back in an almost matter of fact manner with no shock, upset or rage. At what point do people finally decide enough is enough? From where I’m standing I’m not sure that point exists.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

I wish someone would tell Boris , Matt Hancock et al how ridiculous they look with flagpoles either side of them. They look like something out of Dr Strangelove.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

? “I have a distinct feeling this is the way the English react to abusers in power. That we have behaved like this before and that we know we will see them off in the end.”

By hiding away your resistance? That is mere yielding and subservience. Refuse the mask if you think it wrong – you merely justify your cravenness by saying history is won by the few silent objectors when we know it is lost. When the good are full of self doubt but the worst full of passionate intensity, the good do not win.

Sean Booth
Sean Booth
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

So true Dave Smith. Congratulations for ignoring the nonsense and retaining your sanity. I just hope as the months go by people like Douglas Murray and Peter Hitchens get more and more support from the opponents of government insanity?

Sean Booth
Sean Booth
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

There is a huge shortage of public argument, especially from the places that hold influence like the opposition political parties and the media. Have you not noticed that social media is heavily censored and anyone disagreeing with the propaganda (and that is what it is) heavily censored and/or silenced?

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Sean Booth

I agree.

steveroylance2012
steveroylance2012
3 years ago
Reply to  Sean Booth

good reply Sean…

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

Each time I go shopping, or as today, have a meal in a pub, I am shocked at everyone meekly putting on a mask even just to move to the toilet from the table.
I stopped wearing a mask a few weeks ago, just take the thing off !

steveroylance2012
steveroylance2012
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

i fully agree…. but people generally cant think for them selves anymore ………… sad really but that’s where we are

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

Yes, One way through this is to blot it out. But then, it gives the bastards free rein, does it not – if nobody will engage with the monsters currently in charge?

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

The actions of politicians are in line with what the public clamoured for. Wasn’t something like 80% of the British public in favour of lockdown? Politicians could not have forced more liberal measures on a populace that wants to have their freedoms curtailed and controlled. The maintenance of a liberal democracy isn’t just the responsibility of those in power – it’s the responsibility of the governed too. A liberal democracy assumes that citizens want freedom to act in the way and take the risks they see fit with minimal intereference from the state. If citizens do not want freedom, it cannot be forced upon them by the state – as that force would itself destroy liberal democracy.
It seems many Britons are unsure of the basis for their social contract – because they are unsure of themselves.
Now, there does seem to be a portion of the population who are now getting sick and tired of being told what to do into the last minute detail and also a greater number of public commentators who are voicing that frustration. Liberal voices which were drowned out at the start of the pandemic are now getting louder – thank goodness. Anybody with any liberal sensibilities at all should be eternally thankful to Lord Sumption for speaking out from the outset. It shouldn’t have been down to him to play the role he did and the atmosphere in which discussions about lockdowns played out in 2020 should give everyone pause for thought.
As should the following: I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about Lord Sumption and recommending the talk with Freddie Sayers on UnHerd. My friend said “oh yes, Lord Sumption – an old liberal”. Said in the same sort of tone that you would usually use for the Victorians or Georgians or other eras past. Why are we talking about liberalism as if it is a fusty old antique? Surely there are a lot of people who still passionately believe in it? Where are the modern liberals? If there are any in the political establishment, they aren’t making themselves heard. Perhaps there is scope for a new British liberal party?
(Apologies for the slightly rambling nature of my writing today – bit too much wine last night)

Last edited 3 years ago by Katharine Eyre
Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Katharine – if this thoughtful post is the product of too much wine, drink some more. Re. “A liberal democracy assumes that citizens want freedom to act in the way and take the risks they see fit with minimal intereference from the state.” It is the failure of this assumption that China now predicates much of its expansionist foreign policy on – the inevitable failure of Western liberalism due to its inherent vulnerability to decadence, nihilism, societal fragmentation, and lack of political leadership – and the supposed superiority of their vision of these matters.
While I disagree with their proposed cure, I can’t help agreeing with their diagnosis.

Last edited 3 years ago by Richard Lyon
Mary McFarlane
Mary McFarlane
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Too much wine helps it all be bearable …

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago
Reply to  Mary McFarlane

Yes, it is often that way. But I am such a lightweight these days…I get up the day after a bit too much booze feeling like half the neuronal connections in my brain have been severed.

Last edited 3 years ago by Katharine Eyre
David B
David B
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Have you read”The Demon in Democracy” by Legutko? He survived communist Poland and his book discusses the inherent vulnerabilities in liberal democracy.
Also, with every passing week, Brecht’s line about getting a new electorate acquires new layers of grimly sarcastic relevance.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago
Reply to  David B

No, I haven’t read that – but I shall take a look and add it to my constantly expanding reading list! Thanks!

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
3 years ago
Reply to  David B

I have, David. I find his argument persuasive.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Though how do we know 80% want etc. They have cut off most people’s contact with the outside world & the media is controlled.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

The governed no longer want freedom. They have become addicted to welfare over the years and have been willing to give up their freedoms in return. Now a majority cannot even think for themselves.

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Correct. many great quotes over the years about how the people will vote for/agree to be enslaved.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

It is not so much that 80% of the British public were in favour of lockdown. It is more that distorted media coverage put large sections of the public in such a state of fear that it endorsed the lockdown without thinking through the seriousness of the implications.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

I can understand that argument, as people do rely on the media for information to form their own opinions. But there is so much (non-media) information out there today, it is then incumbent on citizens to seek out alternative viewpoints and then decide what to think. That certain media outlets write to produce clicks rather than well-informed citizens should not let those citizens off the hook when it comes to the responsibility for thinking for themselves.

Last edited 3 years ago by Katharine Eyre
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

The normal person is a vacuous, stupid, sheep who are 100% in thrall to Social Media, MSM, and the Liberal/Left subversive education system which made them so.

That we have no leaders anymore, just herders, is the reality. The sheep lives its life in terror of the wolves, but always ends up eaten by the shepherd.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

The term “liberal” no longer has any meaning. A bit like “oversight” which I use in the sense of omission/neglect and in corporate/bureaucratic lingo means supervision

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

“The actions of politicians are in line with what the public clamoured for.”
NO,NO,NO, the politicians created this fear, they managed it, nurtured it, grew it, and made it into an irrational insanity. A spark was there, so they blew on it, added kindling, more wood, and then poured the gas on it till it burnt down the house.

Now they try to explain how it had to be done, how it was 110% needed and any other action would have had irreparable harms. That the house MUST have been burned down to destroy the wasp nest, or someone could have gotten stung.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

Bowing to his vastly superior knowledge in this field I hope to God that, as retired Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption has been alluding to, for liberty’s sake a public inquiry, sooner rather than later, will look specifically at the actual legal acts this government has been (ab)using to enforce these barely scrutinized extreme covid measures during what he described as, “a monument of collective hysteria and governmental folly”.

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Agreed, remember only 75 of the whole HoC voted against extending the Coronavirus Act; only 35 of them were Conservative Party members. This is an absolute disgrace and shows how brain dead/inept our “representatives” are.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  David Owsley

If Every one of the Politicos who oversaw the covid response had their laptops and phones taken and examined it would prove the biggest and most monstrous conspiracy in history.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

I hope there is a series of small boats docking at Traitors Gate one day, and the ones who set out to destroy Britain with their Lockdowns are on them.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

And then to Tyburn with them, for the long, drawn out, excruciatingly painful and humiliating death of a traitor.

Sadly, women, as usual, got off lightly with burning at the stake!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Do you seriously still have any faith in the great British Public Enquiry? I have seen many, almost all are a charade of political correctness, lies, deceit, and sheer nonsense.

One of my favourites was the great Denning Inquiry into the Profumo Affair. It led to the suicide of a perfectly innocent man , and no mention of the fact that another Cabinet Member* paid to be stripped, spanked, and sodomised with a broom. It was just too much for puritanical old Denning!

(* Ernest Marples, Minister of Transport.)

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago

Where’s the source for the Marples info? Not that I care what he does in the privacy of somebody else’s bedroom, but am curious. BTW, Stephen Ward did not commit suicide due to any Denning Inquiry but due to his expected conviction as a procurer/keeping a house for immoral purposes. Ward died in the summer of ’63; the Denning report appeared in the Autumn.

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago

I do enjoy reading Douglas. I do not agree with him on everything by any means but we do need writers and commentators like him (and indeed Peter Hitchens, whom I used to regard with a degree of scorn but I now have some respect for) who challenge the dominant narrative we are fed by the MSM outlets. He is also the anti-Owen Jones and so performs an essential function.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

Who is the anti Owen Jones Hitchens or Murray? Murray is pretty similar to Jones a slyly dishonest activist journalist.

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim Jones

Was thinking of Murray. I find him much more agreeable than Jones and he is considerably brighter. Hitchens, for all his faults, has a refreshing honesty and integrity.

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim Jones

DM is not sly, not dishonest, sort of an activist and certainly a journalist.

Looney Leftie
Looney Leftie
3 years ago

I believe the reason that there is no real opposition is because, as Douglas suggests, all the main ‘opposition’ parties would have done exactly the same as the Tories, but more so. If Corbyn, God forbid, had been PM, he probably would have had armed guards at the end of your road to stop you leaving your house. I also think that the theory of all politics moving to the left also comes into play with the lefts preference for ‘big state’ politics.

The Tory Party under Cameron, May and Johnson has slowly started to resemble the old Lib Dem party, rather than a Conservative government. With this in mind, the only cheer leaders for more liberty, are traditional tory back benchers, or populists like Farage and Trump etc, who are the only people who seem to represent the old ‘right wing’ libertarians.

Last edited 3 years ago by Looney Leftie
Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

Agreed, this sort of thing really let’s the tories off the hook. I honestly don’t know how Corbyn could have been any worse than what we have now, what we currently have is probably identical to what he would have done.

Looney Leftie
Looney Leftie
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

Who’s let the tories off the hook? You people are so disingenuous, I thought you would get a better class of discussion on here, obviously not. I was merely saying that there has been no opposition and Labour wanted to go further, (which is true I’m afraid) and I believe under a big state which corbyn wanted it would have been a deeper more controlled lock down. Read what I wrote again, and don’t twist my words.

Last edited 3 years ago by Looney Leftie
crawfordwright
crawfordwright
3 years ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

You created a fictitious example which concluded that a Corbyn government would be worse than the present Tory one. No one is twisting your words.

Looney Leftie
Looney Leftie
3 years ago
Reply to  crawfordwright

OK, point taken on that aspect of my post. However, starmer has stated he wanted further deeper lockdowns, as did Khan. And Starmer and Khan are not as far left as Corbyn. Do you seriously think hard left Corbyn, the man who wanted the government to control the Internet in the UK wouldn’t have gone further??? You are deluded if you think he (Corbyn) wouldn’t of gone further. State control is at the heart of left wing politics, and if you don’t know that, I suggest you read a few history books.

Also do you think that comparing a government ELECTED as a right wing administration and now acting as a centrist lefty party is a good thing?? I think the tories have let a lot of voters down.

Grant Evans
Grant Evans
3 years ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

Woooooo

Malcolm Ripley
Malcolm Ripley
3 years ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

I think your obsession with Corbyn is not borne out by his voting record on Covid matters. He was one of the very few politicians voting against measures. In addition can I remind you to look at who attacked Corbyn whilst he was leader…..I think you will find it’s the same MSM that attacked Trump. The common factor is two leaders who were absolutely NOT “mainstream”.
Old politics no longer applies. The future will be about the intellectual “experts” who believe they know what the people want whether the people know it or not and thus impose solutions versus those who believe in de-centralised politics, economy, business and the absolute freedom of the individual, no excuses or conditions (as determined at Nuremberg years ago).

Looney Leftie
Looney Leftie
3 years ago
Reply to  Malcolm Ripley

Obsession??? I have no obsession with anyone. Corbyn may have voted against the tories, but i believe this could be party politics. Corbyn, by definition of his politics is a lover of the big state. If he was PM, I BELIEVE, the lockdown would have been deeper and longer.

Last edited 3 years ago by Looney Leftie
Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

Not the LibDems, but New Labour.

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

70s Labour almost

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

not the old Lib Dems but even further left.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  David Owsley

Lib-dems ”Yellow Tories” privatised the Post Office…not close to left,but trying to be All things &thankfully in permanent decline..SDP seem only sensible party left of Centre

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

Who initiated this outrageous plan to vaccinate the entire global population against a virus which currently isn’t a threat to most people? 
Bill Gates is right in the thick of it, as he has been for years, dominating international vaccination policy via his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and using his power via the World Health Organisation, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the BMGF-founded Gavi, along with vaccine producing countries such as the UK, US, Germany, etc.
Who knows what has been unleashed, with these fast-tracked ‘vaccine’ products pushed on a massive scale.
And now children and young people are at serious risk of being set up for lifetime Covid vaccination, to be exploited for the benefit of the vaccine industry, and others behind this medical tyranny.
We are currently in the process of a crime against humanity, with the Johnson Government leading the international push to interfere with people’s natural immune response to corona viruses, with the goal of making the global community dependent upon the vaccine industry for life.
This is the biggest scandal of all time, and it is way past time for investigation into what has brought us to this dire situation.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Douglas Murray, you need to check out Bill Gates influence over this international debacle.
See for example Karen Harradine’s articles on The Conservative Woman, a website that is way ahead of UnHerd in shining a bright light onto the disastrous Covid response.
For instance, see:
Bill Gates’s money and his influence on British universities | The Conservative Woman

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

The Bill&Melinda foundation, haha, and all the wile he was sleeping around on Melinda! I think that lights up the purity of his motives, and of his Foundation. If he was screwing around on her, just think how much he is screwing around on you!

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

The opposition parties’ response to the ongoing covid restrictions across the board has been absolutely woeful and amounted to little more than self-serving petty political posturing.

Basically condemning the government for never going far enough, hard enough or soon enough and, as Neil Oliver rightly noted about Sturgeon’s apparently miraculous covid response in Scotland, ‘variation for variation’s sake’.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Trillions of $ were printed around the world, 12 at least, to make up for covid ‘Lockdown’. 50% of it ended up in the pockets of the super wealthy elites, 30% into the pockets of the rich, and most of the rest was wasted or ended up in Corporations (and so to the rich). The little people got some money to spend, and so it soon migrated to the rich. Us normal people just got our stocks and bonds destroyed (Crash in equities coming soon, when they harvest your savings) and you will pay a TAX of 6% called Inflation to pay back that Trillions borrowed and given to the elites! (Inflation is a TAX on everyone not rich enough to have all their money in appreciating assets)

NEED a Conspiracy Theory? The above is true, so not a conspiracy theory, but the Why is one – one I have in abundance, it is to break the middle class and then to own you in an endless age of Neo-Feudalsim.

George Wells
George Wells
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I don’t know where you get 6%, but that’s the number I use. I’ve forgotten how I got to it too.

David Slade
David Slade
3 years ago

There will be a special place in hell for Whitty and co for what they’ve done to us; sadly there will be one next door for us for letting them.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  David Slade

Panderers and Seducers, Ring 8 according to Dante. There is no ring for sheep so you all will be fine.

Mark Preston
Mark Preston
3 years ago

I do like Douglas Murray and have read two of his books BUT he was very VERY quiet about the attack on our civil liberties at the start of the lockdown.

Armand L
Armand L
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

Because he’s a Tory and supports the Party. The subtext of his piece here is to attack the opposition, not the party in power. It’s win-win for ol Douglas.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

Looks as if both you and I have suffered ‘Damnatio Memoriae’ for mentioning Mr Murray’s Iraqi past!

Armand L
Armand L
3 years ago

Yup I noticed that. How peculiar, the champion of liberty and European values Douglas Murray needs to censor criticism of his warmongering. Sad.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

It used to be possible to find out (via google) precisely which MP’s voted for the Iraq War, but no longer.
Fortunately Mr Murray’s stance as a later day WSC is well known.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

I was for the Iraq war, Saddam was a beast on the level of Hitler – it was losing the Peace which was Inexcusable!!!!!!!!

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

Awaiting approval! so a * added to get it through, sigh, unherd has some bugs in its system,
* I was for the Iraq war, Saddam was a beast on the level of Hi*l er – it was losing the Peace which was Inexcusable!!!!!!!!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I disagree Saddam was a rank amateur compared to Mao, Stalin & Adolph in that order.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

He genocided Marsh Arabs (Shia) and some Kurds, used Gas on 3 different groups, tortured thousands, killed over 1 MILLION (the Iran war alone), was a tyrant Kleptomaniac, Raped Kuwait, planned to fallow by invading Saudi (Remember he had tried to take Iranian Gulf oil fields) and was out to amass WMDs.

He was out to control the world’s most important oil region, and not to do good. He was not a rank amateur. You liberals liked him because he was secular.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Genocide is a noun not a verb.The word you are probably searching for is massacre.

Yes Saddam killed perhaps a million Iranians in the ‘Perfect War’ supported by us!

We loathed the loony Ayatollahs more than we disliked Secular, Ba’ath Party, Saddam.

So he gassed people, so what, everybody did or used something nastier if they could afford it. I seem to recall you chaps sprayed Vietnam with Napalm. & Agent Orange, in industrial quantities .

The only WMD is the Nuke, as you know, and he was years from getting one.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

Genocide can be a verb if it is an action to be achieved. Like Stalin and his Kulaks, or the Turks and the Armenians, but what ever…

“A weapon of mass destruction is a nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological, or any other weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to numerous humans or cause great damage to human-made structures, natural structures, or the biosphere”

I spent quite a bit of time with a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear weapons Army Officer
“The threat of Chemical,Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) weapons requires the Army to have a corps of dedicated professionals capable of using the latest defense technology. During training at CBRN School, you will learn how to identify and detect hazards, and how to operate vehicles and equipment used in CBRN operations.”

And he said taking the course will leave you for ever terrified at what some of these weapons do.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

At the risk of being pedantic genocide is NOT a verb. You cannot ‘genocide’ somebody, but you can commit genocide, as in your two examples.

Stalin committed (verb)genocide (noun) against the Kulaks as did the Turks against the Armenians.

Perhaps the rules of basic grammar are different in the US regarding this emotive word genocide?

Your definition of WMD is one of those recent ‘catch all definitions’ invented to ‘sanitise’ an attack on an otherwise innocent party, such as Iraq.

I too have some experience of NBC, and there is no comparison to what a 1 megaton Nuclear weapon can do compared to say an Anthrax attack.
One kills in millions the other in thousands. To put it crudely gassing say the
Marsh Arabs is very inefficient method indeed compared to using but one nuclear airburst.

Incidentally what is so terrifying about death? As Seneca may/might of said,
“The man who is not afraid death will always be your master”.

Last edited 3 years ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago

Don’t be pompous. It is well known that Americans use nouns as verbs, and however much we may abhor the practice, “we” end up doing the same ourselves. (Well, I don’t, but the media and Establishment do)

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago

Telll that to the millions he killed.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

Lord Sumption was the man of the hour. I have a great deal of respect for his willingness to stand up and be counted when it mattered.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Yes indeed, Lord Sumption was amongst the very first to speak out about this nonsense back in March 2020, unlike, sad to say, Mr Murray.

However for many Lord Sumption will be remembered as one of the “dirty dozen”, who did their level best to prevent Brexit at almost any cost.
Some sins maybe forgiven, but never forgotten.

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
3 years ago

A little harsh there. The Government then didn’t have a majority in Parliament to enact the will of he people via the referendum. Because of this they tried to circumvent proper procedure.
First, they tried to leave the EU without a vote, which the Supreme Court said was not within their power to do so (their reasoning was impossible to argue against).
Second, when Boris prorogued Parliament for a few weeks, the SC said this was ‘not lawful’ explaining that there was not a law to cover this. Under British law this would have been fine, however under EU law it could not stand as it was outside the acquis communautaire (body of EU law). We were still members at the time so this was sufficient for it to be overturned. Much of the press reported ‘not lawful’ as illegal, a very different thing under British law.
I voted for leave myself and think that the problems were caused, not by the SC, but by MPs unwilling to do what their constituents mandated them to do.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  John Wilkes

I thought I heard JS say something like ‘51% of the vote doesn’t mean 100% of the prizes’

Yet that is precisely the system we have. Parliamentary Democracy, a contradiction in terms, but it’s the best we can do for now..

Either way “all’s well that ends well”, as they say

Last edited 3 years ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

The mother in ‘Arrested Development’ goes by the slogan, “you can forget, but never forgive”. This is the credo of the Liberal today as they trawl through youthful on-line indiscretions to destroy lives.

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

My first thought when reading this piece. Mr Murray’s entry on the field is welcome, but we have a lot of runs to make up for and it’s getting dark. I suspect he has prioritised hedging his reputation against the low probability of being wrong over the use of his reputation to stimulate opposition when it mattered.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Lyon

Yes, that’s what I think too. Good that Murray is speaking up now, but it does not really garner the admiration that taking a clear pro-liberty position a year ago would have done.

Burning Injustice
Burning Injustice
3 years ago

The response of the Government, Opposition, MSM, Ofcom, SAGE and other state actors to the pandemic illustrates how authoritarian the wider State had already become in recent years and how the population had become inured to its diktats.
We live in a country where the political elite know what is best for us, for example on healthy living, the EU, Net Zero, or even what we can say. Hence their horror at Brexit, unhealthy scepticism of democracy, and in some cases covert respect for the Chinese way of doing things.
Their pandemic policies were pushing at an open door.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

We are now in very serious danger with these rogue governments and politicians, who are enforcing medical tyranny and refusing to be accountable. 
These are not legitimate governments in my view.
People are being deliberately misled by fear-mongering propaganda initiated by these governments and their often seriously conflicted ‘advisers’. 
Alternative opinions are being censored everywhere, apparently at the behest of these rogue governments and the vested interests they serve.
Mainstream media is a propaganda machine – how much money is the mainstream media making from government to fear monger and promote the Covid vaccine products and vaccine passport agenda?
Again, we are in very serious danger. 
We must urgently seek effective representation and defence from this crime against humanity currently in process.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

“Effective representative” is certainly what we need. I believe we will only get that when we abolish political parties and have independent MPs, who must be elected by gaining more than 50% of the registered votes in a first past the post system. That way they will have to work hard to get elected and show that they can represent the views of their constituents. The other essential is to significantly reduce their numbers and to get rid of the Lords.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Yes Alan, this system isn’t working for the people in ‘liberal democracies’.
During this situation Members of Parliament have generally forsaken their constituents, whose rights have been usurped by arbitrary ‘emergency powers’.
This has been the most bewildering situation. I’m in Australia and have watched in horror as we have been locked into the country, and even denied freedom of movement within the country, with state borders being shut down on the back of a few ‘cases’.
The state of Victoria provides the most grotesque example, with Victorian Premier ‘Dictator Dan Andrews’, controlling the populace, and sooling black-clad Robo cops on people who dared to call for their freedom.
This entire situation is beyond sinister, with a virus that isn’t serious for most people being used to terrify and control people.
It’s been startling to see how easily this has been achieved, that we have no checks and balances to protect us.
We’ve been grossly ill-served by a mainstream media that has operated as a propaganda arm of government, particularly the licence payer-funded BBC, what a traitor to the people that organisation has proven to be, along with the taxpayer-funded ABC and SBS in Australia.

Last edited 3 years ago by Elizabeth Hart
Jayne Lago
Jayne Lago
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

And how did this ‘rogue government ‘ get here! You are dismissing the people of our country and suggesting that people are too stupid to realise they are ‘being misled’.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Jayne Lago

Spot on Jayne, I’m gobsmacked at how easily people in the UK have been cowed by the Johnson Government and SAGE, with the willing support of the Labour ‘opposition’…
You people seem to have no idea what the UK is responsible for, i.e. leading social and economic destruction around the world.
And much of it on the back of Neil Ferguson et al’s Imperial College Report 9, which set the scene for lockdowns, ‘until the vaccine is ready’.
Ferguson is another one on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s gravy train, which appears to rule global ‘health policy’.

Last edited 3 years ago by Elizabeth Hart
Jayne Lago
Jayne Lago
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

So you think you are the only one who understands the social and economic consequences of the governments actions. I suggest the fact that you believe in your superiority confirms my original thoughts.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

We voted for these politicians. And those in the previous rogue Parliament. It is only a minority who have their eyes open, and an even smaller one that tries to turn the tide. I fear the tidal wave of Big State will soon completely ovewhelm us.
When computers came in thirty years ago, I recall someone writing that they would give governments unprecedented control over our lives. I really thought Not in my Lifetime. I was wrong.

Jayne Lago
Jayne Lago
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

It’s the people using those computers not just the power brokers. The public have found considerable power through technology, including terrorist organisations, paedophiles, trolls etc

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Jayne Lago

True

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
3 years ago

Cognitive dissonance from the left? The people who sneer at Christians for receiving communion on Sunday but profoundly respect Muslim dietary restrictions during Ramadan? The people who claim to follow reason and rationality out of one side of their mouths but who have no trouble assuming a terminal point to history predetermined by some ineffable spirit of the ages out of the other? Really, Douglas, I don’t know how you could possibly think such a thing.

Bryan Dale
Bryan Dale
3 years ago

Around the world, right wing governments try to protect civil liberties while it’s the left, as always, that seeks to curtail them. What the pandemic has revealed is that there aren’t any right wing parties in Westminster.The only debate is how quickly should the country move to the left, and even there the Conservatives are in a rush to outdo Labour.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago

Let’s imagine that Theresa May had called a general election not for 8th June, 2017, but for June 22nd. Let’s suppose that her robotic response to the Grenfell Fire had proved sufficiently off-putting as to provoke a further collapse in the Tory vote. Let’s suppose that Labour had secured a small majority.
No doubt, two and a half years would have passed as Blairites and Corbynites fought with each other about how to deal with Brexit. Let’s suppose that the government’s popularity has collapsed as a result, so that there’s absolutely no desire to trigger an early election in 2019. Let’s assume we enter 2020 with Labour still limping along in power; it doesn’t really matter whether or not Brexit has been resolved. Then the pandemic starts.
If Corbyn’s Labour government had introduced the same kind of restrictions that have been imposed during the last fourteen months by Johnson’s Tory administration, I think it’s very likely indeed that the hypothetical Conservative opposition would have argued for a libertarian alternative.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago

Undoubtedly.

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago

100% agree

Al Johnson
Al Johnson
3 years ago

Good article. Is Douglas Murray starting to get that this is a huge problem? We’ve lost our liberties and noone seems to care! What is really going on here?

William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago

It is not just the political classes. It is the whole of civil society which had been put to the test and failed completely. Reminds me of that wise prayer: “Pray that ye not be put to the test”. The BBC, the rest of the media, the judiciary, charities, all religious bodies, nearly all businesses.

We are in a debate at my church as to whether we can sing a couple of hymns on Pentecost Sunday. In the spirit of Oliver Twist, I guess we should be grateful for one bowl of thin gruel. The church was shut last Pentecost.

Al Johnson
Al Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  William Murphy

We’ve been singing for months in my church. With masks on, but still.

G Matthews
G Matthews
3 years ago

I find that people who have experienced covid first hand or had a relative die generally have a different attitude to those who haven’t. Boris getting seriously ill from covid from his own idiotic behaviour made a big difference to his own attitude on the subject. Once you have your first “mortality shock” and realise you can die quite easily your point of view on any subject does change rather.

Fennie Strange
Fennie Strange
3 years ago
Reply to  G Matthews

Thank you, you put it very well.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  G Matthews

But most people have not experienced Covid or the death of family members possibly due to Covid.
Johnson is basing governance purely on his own experience then? He should see the bigger picture.

Edward De Beukelaer
Edward De Beukelaer
3 years ago
Reply to  G Matthews

….. although it is human to develop a view on matters in relation to a personal experience or story, it is another matter to make decisions for a whole country/society based on one story: that simplification of hearing one story only has taken us to the covid response mess

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

The biggest problem can be summed up in 3 words “following the science”. The problems are:

  1. Which Science – Neil Ferguson is an “epidemiologist”. What that means is he is a glorified mathematician who use a spreadsheet and a lot of assumptions to guess how the virus will spread. The results are completely dependent on his assumptions. His assumptions appear to be very pessimistic. Sage have a lot of epidemiologist and very few virologist who actually know about transmission of viruses
  2. Who advice do they follow – It is clear to anyone who even gives the subject a cursory glance that there is no one single agreed path. The scientific advice varies considerably. Sage appears to take a very pessimistic view on everything
  3. The media – one of the most interesting things has been how certain scientific papers have found their way into the media the second the government has even considered not following the Sage advice. I wonder what next will be leaked
  4. The non scientific advice – The BMA and the Royal College of Nurses has been very fast to make their opinion known that they think release from lockdown is all happening to quickly. These are the priests and bishops of the NHS and we are expected to bow down with religious deference. But the BMA and the Royal College of Nurses have no special knowledge in this area. They just get a hearing because of who they are!
Andrea X
Andrea X
3 years ago

The only opposition comes from within the Tory party, but alas it is ineffective as labour is one with the government.

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Have never taken Steve Baker very seriously but he deserves credit simply for trying.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Too true, but as a rule the main parties always seem to close ranks to shutdown debate and deny people any choice when it comes to the important political issues such as the Iraq war, immigration and Europe

Steve Craddock
Steve Craddock
3 years ago

The problem arises when the political classes lose complete touch with their electorate and have more in actual common with their fellow politicians of all stripes than the people they are meant to be serving.

This leads to a self reinforcing bubble and were only the needs of the political and administrative classes are heard and represented.

This in turn prepares society for the seeds of intolerance and political violence to take root leading to Authoritarianism, whether hard left or hard right.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Craddock

where you see “serving,” they read “ruling.”

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Craddock

Instead of calling them ‘Political Classes’ call them what they are our ‘Political Masters’, then it becomes more understandable.

Johanna Barry
Johanna Barry
3 years ago

There is opposition in government. The trouble is it is coming from the within the conservative party and there aren’t enough of them. I thank them everyday in my heart, for speaking out. They are the only ones who have the well-being of the people who elected them at heart. My own MP is sadly not one of them.

Sean Booth
Sean Booth
3 years ago

Could it possibly be that politicians of all sides have a natural inclination to order their subjects around? Could it be that they have grown to like, or even need the daily shot of being the boss, being in charge? Now some of them have that power they are totally unwilling to let it go. The lack of political opposition is sadly predictable, given the feebleness of our political leaders. However the lack of any media opposition is incredible. Surely this is the ideal story for proper investigative journalists given that the whole covid response has been built on massively incorrect predictions, panic, ineptitude, lies and propaganda.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

People in power have no use for individual liberty. Why would they? A free people where adults made adult decisions means there is little use for the nannies and micro managers who want to lord over every aspect of human activity. The covid episode is just the latest example of how the political class increasingly sees us not as citizens, but as subjects. All the rules they foist on everyone else have no impact on them.

pfdx749v67
pfdx749v67
3 years ago

In the USA we have many arguing for liberty, attempting to expose the hypocrisy and pseudo science of Faucism as well as highlight his connection to Wuhan’s virology lab. This is met by the Left with their standard play of loud name calling: racist, insurrectionist, radical, and the worst – Trump supporter. All while Marxist propaganda is promoted in our schools, our military, local government and by major corporations under the guise of racial inequity – BLM , CRT, 1619 and other segregating programs that define us as the MOST RACIST AND UNJUST society that has ever graced this earth. Yet, inner city kids can’t pass a standardized reading or math test, and this is due to racial bias and white privilege and not poor education quality or endless generations of welfare and dysfunctional family dynamics – a pitting of the Oppressor against the Oppressed in the Marxist tradition of lies with expert promotion by elite multi millionaires (Oprah, Sean Combs, BeYonce, Lebron James and a former President), while corrupt politicians and the “ever so trampled on” celebrities, suddenly afraid of their own shadow for fear of being shanked by “whitey”, line their pockets with money. In America, being a working, straight, white, male, conservative, vaccine skeptic is about as toxic as it comes.

Ah, to be British for a day – just one day of peace and quiet, of reserved elegance, stoic confidence, rich history and drama over a beloved sport. And a cup of tea.

Great writing Mr. Murray! Big fan.

Frank Finch
Frank Finch
3 years ago

Short answer: no-one. It’s not simply the contemporary obsession with “health and safety”, it’s also the simple fact that no-one dare be seen as cavalier with other people’s lives. We could reassure ourselves that the classic introduction of tyranny through fear is based on the unselfish fear we have on behalf of others… and that the tyranny is not so bad anyway. Does anyone really object to being told to stay at home and to not work ?
I share Douglas’s dismay at all of this submission but must admit that I am a bit more concerned about other questions and the longer term fall-out which may come from this. Amongst those questions is the “gain of function” debate and how people seem so willing to suspend their critical faculties as far as the “scientific community” are concerned. No-one has yet asked what it is… in our education systems, our belief systems… which has encouraged so many to participate in the invention of a new plague. Why has so much money been invested in these activities when the most basic “cost benefit” analysis reveals that the money would have been far better spent elsewhere. Could it be that those funding such idiotic activity have also been suckered by the same education and belief systems ? It may be that I am naive insofar as some are clearly making massive amounts of money as a result of the pandemic… but that’s another story.
It seems to me that it is particularly revealing that we still do not “know” how this virus came about, how it comes to mutate so readily and what the longer term implications actually are.
The fall-out, in the longer term, might save us from ourselves… or take us to a place that none would enjoy. It really depends on whether the “experts” can find some humility and acknowledge that they do not know everything and that there are some things best left alone. If they cannot then I suspect that many people will start to wonder how many “experts” will lead to a pandemic and how many they can safely tolerate.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago

You may say that in America the issue has been over-politicised …But at least the argument is occurring; in Britain there is almost nothing.”

Maybe not at the political level but there is plenty of disagreement at the local level. Some neighbours barely speak to us (and they keep their distance) and my sister has been effectively banned by her walking group (the pseudointellectuals of the U3A). Have to say that most seem to love the restrictions – sheer masochism rather than the Blitz spirit – and some will be extremely disappointed when (if) they go. They have given a new meaning to their miserable lives.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago

Good article Douglas.
The trouble is the way the media circus deals with all this also. Amid the current concerns about the Indian variant the minister doesn’t want to put his head on the block by dismissing caution, only to be pilloried two weeks later should cases and deaths ramp up again.

While it is legal to travel to so-called “amber” countries, members of the Government now say that we should not do so.

Health Minister James Bethell said on Times Radio that “Travelling is dangerous. Travelling is not for this year. Please stay in the country.”

This is not to let the politicians off lightly, they should have courage to stand by their policies, but it is indicative of calamitous relationship between politicians, the media and public perception.

andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

You allude to one of the central points in all this. Hardly anyone at the forefront of this, be they politician or “expert” wants anything to go wrong on their watch lest they be blamed.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

So we just remain in stasis because they are scared? A perfect excuse for doing nothing-I won’t drive a car as i might be involved in an accident. I won’t cook a meal as I might burn it. Could call it the Oblomov theory of life & in his story he has servants to make his food , just as people in supermarkets and delivery can’t just stay at home , safe from anything that might possibly happen,as they are needed so we can ‘stay safe’.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Easy Kathleen – I don’t think Andrew is saying that – just commenting on why it is.
Whether that’s correct or not is another discussion. For what it’s worth I agree with you, just see a tendency for people to jump on top of people in the comments for stating facts.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

No I agree with what he says-they are scared of being blamed.

Al Johnson
Al Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Blamed for what? The destruction of thousands of businesses and eventually the entire economy, the inevitable destruction of the NHS, the wrecking of our children’s education and their future? These are the things they should be blamed for. And I pray some day will.

Jayne Lago
Jayne Lago
3 years ago
Reply to  Al Johnson

How ridiculous! Why not add global warming mass immigration and huge levels of obesity for good measure. I am old enough to remember the miners strike, regular car factory down tools and the bin men strike. At the time I worked for a finance house and had to find a way to encourage people to continue to fund their HP commitments. Particularly the miners strike……..they were out of work for months and they had Nothing with a capital N. I became friends with many of them, ones who truly could not feed their children as they had nothing in their fridges. The ones who were lucky enough to have a car but couldn’t use it because they were living off thin air. These people were seriously in trouble. They had no furlough, no food bank, no supermarkets donating food, no footballers sharing advice on how to feed their kids and very little in terms of benefits. Most miners relied on the miners welfare fund. So forgive me if I say in comparison, love them or hate them the conservatives under Boris Johnson has done more to support people in their hour of need more than any other Tory party. Finally, like all the usual suspects, don’t you ask yourself why the present government is winning in most areas at the moment and Labour is losing seats, it has never lost before. Our current population at large agree with the government on the various measures they have taken. If you listen to the activists, those in the media and on social platforms, they cannot understand why. Perhaps they share your rage and anger.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Jayne Lago

The furlough schemes have doshed out huge amounts of money to some but many simply lost their source of income (the self employed, for example). This money has been conjured out of thin air. As it settles into the economy which has not produced the goods and services to match, it will just result in inflation – very high inflation, I suspect. That will destroy more parts of the economy and transfer wealth between groups. People who have saved will be the sufferers.

And surely you cannot deny that the educational sector is now a complete mess? I have a grandson who will shortly collect an “entry certificate” to university despite the fact he has barely attended school in the past 15 months, has taken no exams, and has shown no interest in any of his subjects. No doubt he will be given an A grade, in line with current standards. I also have a granddaughter who after a year at university has never attended a lecture, does not know her fellow students except those in the same accommodation block, and has racked up a huge debt for something she could have done at home with just a bit of part time reading.

No, the Johnson Government has presided over a disaster. I doubt that the country will ever recover from this. A few thousand more early deaths of the aged (of whom I am one) would have been a small price for the country to pay.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Al Johnson

Yes but even if there were the satisfaction of some people doing prison time , this won’t bring back people’s businesses , lives lost and no money to even pay compensation. Many universities are still taking fees for a basically non-existent service & even charging for accomodation, so it seems the public sector in which I also include health centres are quite happy to continue with the new normal

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

The author is spreading misinformation. I live in the US and Fauchi/the CDC have said vaccinated people do not need to wear masks, indoors or out, save for certain public transport hubs and other limited exceptions. Time for the culture warriors to move onto a new issue.

While Dr Anthony Fauci enjoyed a reign of near-complete reverence for a time, politicians and pundits now routinely pour scorn on the chief medical officer for urging people to wear masks in an empty room even after being vaccinated…

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

Dr Fauci job was to help get Trump out of office. I don’t think I have ever seen an official sharing a stage with a politician pull faces while the politician is speaking. His job is now done , nobody is interested in Fauci anymore. They have even dug up various anti-mask articles he wrote in the past , where he considered the wearing of masks contributed to people’s deaths.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Dr Deborah Birx while Trump suggested using light, or ultra violet light, to treat Covid.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that light destroys the Covid virus. And a form of light treatment was used in the 1950s to treat viruses or similar things. This would have been rather primitive but any such treatment today would be highly precise and infinitely more effective. I sometimes write for a successful company that develops these technologies for medical purposes.

David Jory
David Jory
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Ultraviolet light has been used for several years to treat severe eye infections.
As an ophthalmologist Senator Rand Paul would know about this, and is probably part of the reason he attacked Dr Fauci so strongly in the Senate hearing.

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

yes, the infamous news coverage (fake news but in fact blatant fraud by the BBC and all US main media) where they made it appear that Trump said inject disinfectant and she was making faces etc. 45 minutes of talking and images cut to about 30 seconds.

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Reading this comment is like being through the looking glass. Fauchi represents the scientific consensus, which is not set in stone. Covid policy was an iterative process based on the best available evidence, which changes over time. I suggest you read Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

Fauci does not represent any scientific consensus, plenty of scientists have and still do disagree with Fauci. In addition, he has been repeatedly wrong about nearly everything. Classic example of failing upwards.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

Douglas Murray rarely bothers himself or his readers with facts.

Andrea Noor
Andrea Noor
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

No the author is not spreading misinformation. Fauci and CDC only very recently (last week) changed the mask guidance to say unvaxxed people can stop wearing masks, without any new science to back up that position from their prior position that masks still needed to be worn because the vaccine doesn’t prevent transmission or acquiring the virus. That hasn’t changed, politics have.

Andrew Frame
Andrew Frame
3 years ago

Excellent article. There is simply no debate in the UK media. Whether this has been controlled by the Government or whether the media itself is part of the problem, there has simply been no debate. Google’s initial response to the Great Barrington Declaration was very telling.
Last August the EU effectively launched it’s first covid passport. It was developed in record quick time by an Irish company with one staff member. There was no analysis or investigation around this. Very strange. At the time we should’ve debated obvious questions around future vaccination discrimination. Nothing. The media is only now drip feeding it to us.
At this point in time we should be defining the multiple variant scenarios and debating our response to each. Again in the media there is nothing. Not a good sign in a liberal democracy.

Last edited 3 years ago by Andrew Frame
Richard Lewis
Richard Lewis
3 years ago

The supineness of our nation is an embarrassment of long making. We have allowed the Health & Safety agenda to grow in our society like Japanese knot-weed for more than 20 years. As a result we now suffer from extreme risk aversion. I recall that our society moved to shut down commercial activity before the government introduced lock-down policies. My impression is that Covid policy has followed or reflected majority public opinion ever since.
How to turn this around? I guess a start would be to make all distributors and propagators of opinion a). responsible for the accuracy of their posted content and b). properly disclose related interests on pain of serious penalty. If we are to be governed by popular opinion we need put up some defences to manipulation. Now that would be a job for a proper Supreme Court, led by Lord Sumption naturally!

Toby Josh
Toby Josh
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Lewis

Workplace deaths in Britain have fallen steadily from the 1970s, and are now only 1/6th of what they were in that decade – absolute values, not adjusted for population change. Now tell me again that we should not have allowed the health and safety agenda to grow.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Toby Josh

We should not have allowed the health and safety agenda to grow to the extent it has. Teach people to be careful but don’t prevent normal activities. Nobody can avoid death at some point.

Just speaking as an ex-window cleaner who used to shin up and down ladders and hang outside apartment and office windows six storeys up. Nowadays, nobody will do anything without expensive scaffolding which takes a day to set up and another day to take down. One reason why the cost of everything has shot up – and it’s never the rich who feel the impact.

Toby Josh
Toby Josh
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

Working from height is responsible for the greatest proportion of uk workplace deaths. In 2018-19, 40 people died this way – and there were over 40 thousand non-fatal falls. Maybe scaffolding is a nuisance, but with 4million working days lost to workplace injuries annually (ignoring the cost of compensation for these cases, and the deaths) your anecdotal evidence about not falling off a ladder is a weak argument indeed.

zmb2tzxbmd
zmb2tzxbmd
3 years ago

I have no idea why europe is gripped by politically exploited scientism. There is major scientific evidence against almost all the policies and fallacy arguments our governments and media have made. It does seem to be the go-to place of culture, lacking any foreseeable ‘better’ future where we are actually free again. A bigger pinpointer to meaning crisis and meta crisis than our reaction to a pandemic with an ifr of 0,15% is very hard to find. Surely taking into account the estimated 150 million people worldwide in famine because of these draconian and ill-advised ‘european’ policies which will have lasting consequences throughout this century.

Bella OConnell
Bella OConnell
3 years ago

The reasons for the lack of any mainstream opposition or journalistic courage is elegantly explained in a new book, ‘A State of Fear: How The UK Government Weaponised Fear During the COVID-19 Pandemic’ by Laura Dodsworth. Currently ‘out of stock’ though……some hope the people will eventually be sufficiently brave and numerous to oppose these draconian covid restrictions, or is this due to ongoing censorship?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

None of this is to do with ‘Public Safety’!

Julian Hartley
Julian Hartley
3 years ago

Pretty flaccid stuff, as usual. Mr Murray has been slow to the mark and weak in judgement on the destruction of liberty we have suffered in the last year.

Pagar Pagaris
Pagar Pagaris
3 years ago

Nothing to disagree with here, Douglas, but it is much too little and much too late.
There has been a concerted anti lockdown movement in the UK since the Covid hysteria began led by the likes of Peter Hitchens, Toby Young and James Delingpole but too many alleged libertarians and lovers of freedom have gone missing in action, you foremost among them.
I still don’t hear the incandescent outrage in your tone that there should be at the appalling totalitarian oppression we have endured.
You have failed the test.

Last edited 3 years ago by Pagar Pagaris
Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
3 years ago

We are at war with this government, whether we know it or not.
I will give you a concrete example of how this government is waging war against the people of this country.

On the government’s own site GOV.UK there is a whole section on the wearing of masks. I invite anyone to read through this and emerge with a clear understanding of what is what when it comes to wearing masks.
The page says it is mandatory to wear masks, and you can be fined for not wearing one. The fines can increase for the recalcitrant serial non mask wearers.

So far, so clear.

But then we get to exemptions.
The page clearly states you do not need to have a badge or label declaring you exempt, and states that the government will not supply these.

It then says you do not have to seek medical opinion or sanction to be declared exempt.

In short, you can declare yourself exempt and offer nobody in authority any proof of that exemption. You just need to say you are exempt on the grounds of health, physical or psychological
So that’s clear, isn’t it?

Except that the policeman can still fine you.

This, my dear friends, is wilful evil. It is the quite deliberate pursuit of a policy aimed at causing disorientation and susceptibility in the population.

Boris Johnson is to blame. Even if this is the province of behavioural psychologists, he signs off on it. he approves it. His colleagues in government are also to blame.

This is evil.

Last edited 3 years ago by Kremlington Swan
G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

Not that they’d come straight out and say it, but I wouldn’t mind betting that the government’s continued semi-threatening, mixed messaging about foreign travel has more to do with getting a lot of those lockdown related accumulated billions spent here in the UK economy rather than abroad.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

The only people who are advised not to travel are those whose income is less than ÂŁ100,000. This is because poor people are less green than rich people who can travel out of the country whenever they want as they leave a smaller footprint

William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Yes, and the really rich ones have their own airport, namely Farnborough. Which has been on a nice little earner from all the private jets.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago

I mean it’s fair to disagree with Douglas about the Iraq war – although not overly relevant 18+ years later…
But your tirade is just plain daft and gets in the way of any point you are trying to make, even in jest.

the most wrong man on the planet

On the whole planet? So he was the only man in favour? Or the most vocal?

got 500,000 civilians killed for no reason

Did he personally do that? Or you implying that Blair, Bush, Cheney et al only listen to Douglas Murray alone? Should we blame him for the credit crunch? Ebola? The Mediterranean migrant crisis?

Alyona Song
Alyona Song
3 years ago

Thank you Douglas Murray for spelling it out so succinctly. “Our spineless response to Covid restrictions is an embarrassment” says it all. Even though to date 60% of adult population in the province have already received at least 1 jab, the latest announcement from the government is that a “safe and careful” reopening plan can’t be unveiled quite yet. No real opposition. Apparently, the political class has no concerns about the continued damage inflicted upon the economy by utter mismanagement. Embarrassment indeed.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

It seems treatments have been suppressed to facilitate the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine products via emergency authorisations…

Check out this article: Why Covid-19 treatment has been ignored and banned.

This is an interview with Dr Peter McCullough, Professor of Medicine at the Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.

The information provided by Dr McCullough is absolutely shocking.

Consider for example this statement from Dr McCullough: “Have they helped people avoid hospitalisation and death, or have they just sat back and just received the cases as they’ve come in? I’m telling you, something is up, that the entire world has been on defence. Maybe it’s all driven out of fear, but we are not treating something that is a treatable problem early. We are making this so much harder than it should be.”

And…

“…National Institutes of Health guidelines say something else. They say, ‘Don’t treat it.’ They actually specifically say, ‘Don’t treat it.’ They go further than this. They say, ‘If you come in the hospital and you can’t breathe, don’t treat it, until somebody needs oxygen.’ That was the very first guidelines that was published October 8th, I showed that to my colleagues in Washington. I said this document will go down in history as the most nihilistic medical guidance, as Americans are suffering.”

This is the most grotesque situation…

Last edited 3 years ago by Elizabeth Hart
Michael Craig
Michael Craig
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Thanks for posting the article link. That is just deeply disturbing from such a senior medical person trying to treat covid patients. I thought it was weird when Pierre Kory’s successful treatments never seemed to reach the U.K. doctors to help our covid sufferers. Ivermectin obviously works, and could have kept people out of hospitals, away from ventilators, and quite simply, from not dying. All we’ve had is this obsession with experimental vaccines right from the start, with no attempt to use drugs which have been found to work. As the doctor said, “Something is up.”

delchriscrean
delchriscrean
3 years ago

I find myself, for the first time, not entirely convinced. In a time of crisis, surely there has to be one way forward, especially when outcomes for many can depend on actions of comparatively few.
I agree that alternatives should always be presented and considered but, in my mind, once a course is set there needs to be concensus for the end to be successfully reached. This government, new and inexperienced, has had to organise the fight against a pandemic whilst holding off a largely hostile MSM and an opposition that just muddies the water rather than contributing any form of inspired thinking. They are now attempting to slide down the razorblade of allowing people the freedom to use their judgement whilst needing them to exercise it carefully. And why should an individual accept restrictions on some of their freedoms? Well I would say that is what you do in a society when doing so for gratification rather than essential activities, potentially puts other members of society at high risk of losing not just their freedoms but their very existence.
We are not yet sure how effective the vaccine is in the field and we will not know that until we are all confident enough to return to the way of life before the pandemic took hold.

Jonathan Story
Jonathan Story
3 years ago

I would suggest that the reason for no push-back is written in the article: how come, we ask, that the nightmarish Prof Fergusson always turns up, pandemic after pandemic, regardless of his known track record? The answer, the public realises, is that “the state” is a great feeding trough. The public knows that if we don’t have our snouts in the trough, we might as well occupy ourselves otherwise.

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
3 years ago

For the love of God, will you stop calling him Boris?
Who will make the case for liberty? Nobody who continues to call our jailer in chief by his pet name, that is for sure.

His name is Boris Johnson, and he is the worst thing to happen to this country in over half a century.

In fact, so terrible is what has happened to us that Covid_19 pales into insignificance by comparison.

I fear the damage to our collective psyche may be permanent, that the most fundamental shift has occurred and that there is no going back.

We have shown ourselves to be a push-over for any authoritarian regime or individual who will grasp the nettle and subdue us.

If I thought anyone was listening, I might very well scream with horror.

Fred Dibnah
Fred Dibnah
3 years ago

“Britain is haunted by the presence of Prof Neil Ferguson, who repeatedly returns to our screens like a bad horror movie. Rarely has any expert in British life been more wrong about so many major things,”
Ferguson and his team make predictions. How do his predictions from 1 year ago compare to what has happened?

CL van Beek
CL van Beek
3 years ago
Reply to  Fred Dibnah

i know his models predicted 67.000 Covid deaths for Sweden until 1 June 2020, what was about the total of deaths by all causes in Sweden for the whole of 2020. It is like climate science, what models predict never happens.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

Imperial made no such prediction. Look it up.

Last edited 3 years ago by Paul Wright
Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

The statement that “his models predicted” and “Imperial predicted” are a difference without a distinction.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Lyon

No, since the choice of parameters for the models is crucial, otherwise it’s garbage in, garbage out.

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

A distinction Imperial declined to make when, in their report, they included a table of predictions for other countries based on their model. All of which were spectacularly wrong.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Lyon

I can’t see such a table in the famous Report 9. What are you referring to?

CL van Beek
CL van Beek
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

You are correct, my mistake, the prediction was 96,000 deaths by July. Maybe you have more luck using this number in your search engine of choice.
In May, modellers had said Sweden would experience more than 100,000 additional deaths from COVID this year, with 96,000 additional deaths by July if lockdowns were not imposed.”
This quote comes from an article on the ‘theaustralian’ website, but it is all over the internet.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

Could,Would,Should on ALL these models…We are having coldest Wettest may since May 1983….We were told by ”Climate Alarmists” we would never see Snow in England Again, and London would resemble Cote d’azur climate aint happening..These same Bozos never oppose crass building on Farmland,Overpopulation etc..

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek
Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Fred Dibnah

His modelling for the Foot and Mouth epidemic in the UK caused the needless slaughter of millions of livestock. He has always been a doomsayer, but he is the one that brings the doom.

Stephen Wikner
Stephen Wikner
3 years ago

Douglas Murray’s excellent article highlights the shift in British politics. What is desperately needed is a parliamentary opposition to the right of the present centre-left Conservative Party which is in essence now Tony Blair’s New Labour of a generation ago. It also suggests that he and one or two others – Toby Young comes to mind but there are others – might need to rethink their present strategy of opposing from the sidelines.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Wikner

Reform under Richard Tice are right of Centre , SDP left of centre no need to add to around 200 parties we have, 157 different parties stood in 2019

Gerry Bedford
Gerry Bedford
3 years ago

Douglas, you are a bit late to the party. Where were you when Peter Hichens was fighting this corner? You could have made a real difference.

Ian Standingford
Ian Standingford
3 years ago

Peter Hitchens and Lord Sumption have been fighting our corner. Where have you been, Douglas?

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

Both Peter Hitchens and Lord Sumption folded when it came to ‘the vaccine’. They were clueless about what the lockdowns were all about…which was facilitating the implementation of Covid vaccination for the entire global population, plus other controls, surveillance etc.
Hitchens and Sumption were both ready to accept a questionable coercive medical intervention for millions, indeed billions, of people, against a virus which isn’t serious for most people, if it meant people could go on holidays and back to the theatre.
Absolutely pathetic…what price freedom?

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Nobody is being forced to take a vaccine, although I suspect the non-vaccinated will become so discriminated against that they too will eventually succumb to peer pressure. But we are not yet at that point.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

Ostracism is underway, fostered by Tom Chivers and UnHerd: Who isn’t getting vaccinated? – UnHerd

Last edited 3 years ago by Elizabeth Hart
Marcus Allen
Marcus Allen
3 years ago

Amazing how risk assessments have groomed us all to be so risk averse. Infantile without the curiosity. I wonder how long before driving is banned.

Michael Craig
Michael Craig
3 years ago
Reply to  Marcus Allen

(Not THE Marcus Allen from “Nexus Mag”, by any chance??)

ggearreviews
ggearreviews
3 years ago

Where were you 12 months ago? Have you seen how utterly defeated and submissive the British public are now? Fear has driven them all mad. You’re a let down Douglas, I’m not interested in what you have to say on the matter.

Julian Rigg
Julian Rigg
3 years ago

There is the real world and SAGE world
SAGE world’s only job is to stop COVID. SAGE World is not interested in jobs, the economy, mental health, the future of our children etc etc. So in SAGE World freedom of speech is redundant so it’s pointless arguing the case.

David Shaw
David Shaw
3 years ago

To answer your question Douglas, who will make the case for Liberty? The Reform Party, The Reclaim Party. the small group of Conservative MPs, the nucleus of which was the old ERG, many businesses of Aviation and Hospitality and many demonstrators who have been bloodied for their efforts. So there are many however you are quite right with an opposition and the media establishment even ‘pathetically’ more risk averse than the Conservatives, we have lost the battle. However if Boris doesn’t believe this chronic risk aversion and restrictions to or freedom will bot come back to bite him he has another thing coming!

Trishia A
Trishia A
3 years ago

Politicians are not the bosses here, the Medical-Industrial Complex is. The Medical-Industrial Complex controls media, this controls the minds of the people, who then panic, and politicians are just doing what politicians do, listening to the hysterical masses, politicians are spineless and principal-less, they will say whatever they need to say to get re-elected, with no regard for truth.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago

An excellent observation Armand. I wonder if it will survive this afternoon’s censorship cull?
Yesterday, much of the Scotch debate didn’t.

Time now: 0746:BST.
.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago

Whilst I completely concur with your opinion of “Butcher” Murray, let’s not forget that Blair & Co, plus a huge tranche of ‘feather duster’ wielding Tories, to their eternal shame, also voted for that War.

As an Agnostic, it irritates me that I cannot, sadly, believe it retribution or divine punishment.

Euan Ballantyne
Euan Ballantyne
3 years ago

13.5 months after it might have helped, Douglas says something.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

because no one warned about this when it was being implemented? that’s quite the selective memory, augmented by hindsight.

Cynthia Neville
Cynthia Neville
3 years ago

You think you have it bad? The MSM in Canada repeatedly refuses to report anything at all about very, very large protests in several Cdn cities against our still-severe lockdowns, and has repeatedly done so since May 2020. If you want to find out about these you’ve got to dig deep. It’s as if the opposition to the minority Liberal government has vanished – entirely from our so-called rump parliament, but especially from news channels. Good luck to you.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Just ignore the lockdowns, plenty of Americans have done the same in blue states where democrats have tried to keep everyone locked up. They can’t arrest everyone.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

It’s really a shame. The UK did so well getting the vaccine out to so many people so quickly. It’s sad to blow the return to normal.
But I do believe that the return will not be government led in the UK just based on the fact that it has not been government led in the US. The government and medical “experts” have trailed the American public in recognizing the end of the pandemic as well as how critical it is to return to normal life as quickly as possible. The public actions of getting to normal precede any government announcements. Perhaps the public should lead the way in the UK as well and hope the government is not far behind.

Oldham Heart
Oldham Heart
3 years ago

Far worse are the actions and changes that fly under the radar or slight mention by the media.
The NHS App now being fed steroids to include bio-metric data, ethnicity, criminal records and your entire medical history along with proximity QR codes and subtle removal of cash from everyday life.
1984 was a work of fiction that has now become the operation manual of government. We are all fast becoming citizens of Oceania where truth is lies and hate is love, war is peace, etc etc
All wandering in single file to the path of least resistance and with a small skip and jump cross over bleating to the other side as we resume our lives, no longer people but sheeple!

Stephen Terry
Stephen Terry
3 years ago

No organised political opposition, but a substantial minority of ordinary citizens who are demonstrating peacefully but vociferously against lockdown, masks and vaccine passports. On 24 April an estimated 250,000 brought central London to a standstill. It’s about time established politicians had the courage to represent them.

Stephen Terry
Stephen Terry
3 years ago

No organised political opposition, but a substantial minority of ordinary citizens who are demonstrating peacefully but vociferously against lockdown, masks and vaccine passports. On 24 April an estimated 250,000 brought central London to a standstill. It’s about time established politicians had the courage to represent them.

Barbara Bone
Barbara Bone
3 years ago

Although I disagree with ‘cancel culture’ I would happily make an exception when it comes to Neil Ferguson.

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
3 years ago

Ad Hominem.

Zoran Stjepic
Zoran Stjepic
3 years ago

Mr. Murray seems to be ignorant of the fact that Mr. Peter Hitchens and Lord Sumptions, among others, were the most prominent torch bearers for freedom, ever since the Covid had struck. This essay of his, is an attempt to regurgitate original thoughts of some the most principled and foresighted people in the country. All the while, Mr. Murray was sitting on the fence, checking which way wind was blowing. Indeed, one can conclude that Mr. Murray is one of the crowd, as described in 1895 by Gustave Le Bon in ‘The Crowd. A Study of Popular Mind’.

David Smith
David Smith
3 years ago