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One week in, the Covid inquiry already looks biased and weak

The Covid inquiry opened with statements stressing the experience of bereaved families. Credit: Getty

June 18, 2023 - 5:06pm

Two years after its official announcement, Baroness Hallett opened what will become the most expensive UK public inquiry; by some accounts, running over ÂŁ500 million in the next three years.

The opening statements stressed the experience of bereaved families who lost loved ones to Covid. An emotionally charged film of their grief and suffering opened the inquiry. 

After acknowledging a vigil outside, Hallett stated that the inquiry was for the “millions who suffered and continue to suffer in different ways as a result of the pandemic,” leaving a lot of room for ambiguity. 

The inquiry is set to answer three hard questions: was the UK properly prepared for the pandemic? Were the measures taken appropriate? And what are the lessons for the future?

One would think these questions required a more balanced set of voices on the opening day. In the public consultation, it was the long-term impact of pandemic policies on children and young people that was most clearly emphasised. 

The term ‘public inquiry’ begs two other fundamental questions: which members of the public will be privileged over others? And what methods of inquiry will be used to support the claims they make? 

The first two public groups to take the stand were representatives of Scottish and Welsh bereaved families. Their respective governments also submitted opening statements that stressed their grief but made little reference to those “millions of others.” Nor, for that matter, the conclusions of the Scottish and Welsh government’s own health impact assessment that concluded lockdown harms were predictable and severe, especially for children. 

A review of decades of UK public inquiries noted they are “by their nature controversial.” One of these will be about the science of lockdown. The opening statement by the Association of Directors of Public Health declared that “full lockdown was never anticipated as a reasonable worst-case scenario.” This is also reflected in the WHO’s recommendations for respiratory pandemics, from late 2019.

Yet the inquiry seemed genuinely confused by this. In this first week very little was said about Sweden, despite the country already having concluded its own public assessment that largely supported its ‘no lockdown’ approach. Instead, the inquiry was told to learn from Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and New Zealand.

The opening statement of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), which represents the majority of UK unions, rightly pointed to the impact of austerity policies and the disproportionate impact of Covid on ethnic minorities. Yet no mention of ‘lockdown’ or its impacts on workers and minority groups. No consideration that the economic devastation of lockdown may itself further social programme austerity.

We may assume scientists will be more neutral and balanced. Yet these implicit biases have long crept into the scientific community. A series of articles commissioned by the BMJ for the inquiry were dominated by iSAGE members (think: Zero Covid) who will likely be over-represented in the months and years ahead. Yes, there are voices of critical appraisal, but will they be given sufficient attention?

In the 150 lockdown questions sent by Baroness Hallett to Boris Johnson, a number of them are leading questions, suggesting that he did not lockdown fast enough or hard enough. This appears to be the theme of the inquiry, which is continuing the same inversion of the precautionary principle that has dominated in the legal profession: the right to be protected from Covid stands above all other rights, even when scientific evidence is uncertain. 

This value judgement, and the central stage given to bereaved families, is probably why those attending have been asked to take Covid tests and other safety measures. This is no longer government policy.

We seem to be stuck in the same traps: over-emphasising the effectiveness of Covid interventions, under-estimating their evidence-base, and sidestepping their unintended consequences and harms. 

The inquiry can’t make everyone happy. But it should strive for balance, objectivity and a rigorous look at the totality of evidence. It is the least the British public deserves for a few £100 million. But from the opening week, I am unsure. 

Follow Kevin Bardosh on Twitter @KevinBardosh


Kevin Bardosh is a research professor and Director of Research for Collateral Global, a UK-based charity dedicated to understanding the collateral impacts of Covid policies worldwide.

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Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago

I think the author is being rather coy in his final assessment about being “unsure” whether or not the Inquiry might achieve a balanced view, when virtually every single point he makes prior to that indicates the opposite. He seems pretty sure that it won’t, and given the opening salvoes, the Inquiry very much seems to be starting from the wrong place – especially considering the “three questions” remit.
What a waste of time and public money.

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Turn to the great Court Trials and scenes of Justice in history to see how a proper inquire works.

And so you find the one this inquiry is modeled on Exactly:

””’Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.’No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first—verdict afterwards.’
‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of having the sentence first!’
‘Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.
‘I won’t!’ said Alice.
‘Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.””””

Oh, yes – British Justice WILL be served, in this very important matter…..In this Excellent manner….ï»ż

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

“The inquiry can’t make everyone happy.”
Except perhaps the lawyers who are able to board this ÂŁ500m gravy train 

Last edited 11 months ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
jane baker
jane baker
11 months ago

The lawyers ALWAYS win.

jane baker
jane baker
11 months ago

The lawyers ALWAYS win.

jane baker
jane baker
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

How can you say that? It will transfer a lot of money to posh people. Have sympathy please for the needy.

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Turn to the great Court Trials and scenes of Justice in history to see how a proper inquire works.

And so you find the one this inquiry is modeled on Exactly:

””’Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.’No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first—verdict afterwards.’
‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of having the sentence first!’
‘Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.
‘I won’t!’ said Alice.
‘Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.””””

Oh, yes – British Justice WILL be served, in this very important matter…..In this Excellent manner….ï»ż

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

“The inquiry can’t make everyone happy.”
Except perhaps the lawyers who are able to board this ÂŁ500m gravy train 

Last edited 11 months ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
jane baker
jane baker
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

How can you say that? It will transfer a lot of money to posh people. Have sympathy please for the needy.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago

I think the author is being rather coy in his final assessment about being “unsure” whether or not the Inquiry might achieve a balanced view, when virtually every single point he makes prior to that indicates the opposite. He seems pretty sure that it won’t, and given the opening salvoes, the Inquiry very much seems to be starting from the wrong place – especially considering the “three questions” remit.
What a waste of time and public money.

polidori redux
polidori redux
11 months ago

The purpose of the inquiry is to exculpate all of those responsible. It will succeed.
You can develop the most sophisticated form of constitutional government in the world, but if you people it with charlatans….

Last edited 11 months ago by polidori redux
Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
11 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Shameful but true. The problem is that every institution within the British State argued for lockdown. The Tories. Labour. Lib Dems. The NHS. PHE. The entire Civil Service. The Science/Health Complex. Teachers. Trade Unions. And the MSM and BBC instilled public terror and hysteria with the crudest propaganda. The sorry hapless lot united in a One Party State. Our law turned its back us as this Elite embarked on a catastrophic form of tyranny, from which 90% profitted personally. Do we expect Parliament to turn their attention from birthday cakes and Brexit derangement to ask why and how they torched our economy, ruined state finances sacrificed the welfare of children and caused simply thousands of ‘excess deaths’?? As if. All are guilty of heinous behaviour. The complicit BBC has zero interest in exposing this story. Ugly ugly stuff.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
11 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Shameful but true. The problem is that every institution within the British State argued for lockdown. The Tories. Labour. Lib Dems. The NHS. PHE. The entire Civil Service. The Science/Health Complex. Teachers. Trade Unions. And the MSM and BBC instilled public terror and hysteria with the crudest propaganda. The sorry hapless lot united in a One Party State. Our law turned its back us as this Elite embarked on a catastrophic form of tyranny, from which 90% profitted personally. Do we expect Parliament to turn their attention from birthday cakes and Brexit derangement to ask why and how they torched our economy, ruined state finances sacrificed the welfare of children and caused simply thousands of ‘excess deaths’?? As if. All are guilty of heinous behaviour. The complicit BBC has zero interest in exposing this story. Ugly ugly stuff.

polidori redux
polidori redux
11 months ago

The purpose of the inquiry is to exculpate all of those responsible. It will succeed.
You can develop the most sophisticated form of constitutional government in the world, but if you people it with charlatans….

Last edited 11 months ago by polidori redux
Albireo Double
Albireo Double
11 months ago

Lockdown was a disaster for the United Kingdom, its population and its economy. We all know this, and we all know why. But the Great and the Good don’t agree.

So they are now going to spend ÂŁ500 million further enriching wealthy, be-wigged lawyers, to get a woman who is called a “Baroness” to tell us that we are all wrong, and the Great and the Good were, after all, absolutely correct in shutting down the country, its health and education systems, and its economy – for a new strain of flu.

The fact that that amount of money, used well, could build between one and two thousand houses for those in real need, is irrelevant to the Great and the Good. For them, it is more important that their “Baroness” tells us that they were right.

I don’t know about anybody else. But I have now just about had enough. I wonder what it will take for the English people to rise up and put an end to this insanity.

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
11 months ago

Lockdown was a disaster for the United Kingdom, its population and its economy. We all know this, and we all know why. But the Great and the Good don’t agree.

So they are now going to spend ÂŁ500 million further enriching wealthy, be-wigged lawyers, to get a woman who is called a “Baroness” to tell us that we are all wrong, and the Great and the Good were, after all, absolutely correct in shutting down the country, its health and education systems, and its economy – for a new strain of flu.

The fact that that amount of money, used well, could build between one and two thousand houses for those in real need, is irrelevant to the Great and the Good. For them, it is more important that their “Baroness” tells us that they were right.

I don’t know about anybody else. But I have now just about had enough. I wonder what it will take for the English people to rise up and put an end to this insanity.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago

“ We may assume scientists will be more neutral and balanced.”

This made me chuckle.

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Well… they ‘Are The Science’, as was so ably told to us by Fauci…..

jane baker
jane baker
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

They OWN the science.

jane baker
jane baker
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

They OWN the science.

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Well… they ‘Are The Science’, as was so ably told to us by Fauci…..

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago

“ We may assume scientists will be more neutral and balanced.”

This made me chuckle.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
11 months ago

The opening statements stressed the experience of bereaved families who lost loved ones to Covid. An emotionally charged film of their grief and suffering opened the inquiry. 

After acknowledging a vigil outside, Hallett stated that the inquiry was for the “millions who suffered and continue to suffer in different ways as a result of the pandemic,”

Do people remember the start of the Grenfell Inquiry, when relatives were allowed – encouraged, even – to express their grief and anguish, before people buckled down to the business of reviewing policies and investigating facts? I don’t think it used to be like that. The main purpose of inquiries is a form of “speak bitterness” campaign, where people queue up to complain about the government and the systematic disadvantages they have experienced. Either this is a cynical ploy by the authorities, who know that allowing people to ventilate grievances will allow them to get away with doing little; or those authorities lack the fortitude to refuse victims and interested parties a role in a status-degradation ceremony.
Governments used to make sure things worked, and inquiries were about “Just the facts’ Ma’am!”. Now they are about undermining their own authority to make decisions.

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

In Victorian Court Trials a Poor wife, and starving urchins, could be hired to sit in in the public benches and sob at the disaster which will befall them if the man on trial is found guilty……

I feel this is exactly the strategy being used here…haha

working the Jury as it were….ï»ż

Professional Mourners would be hired to present loud and dramatic grief during the funeral processions to get the feeling right…..

In a ‘Post Truth’ World – The ‘Rule of Law’ is the first victim taken outside and garrotted….

which obviously is being seen here……

Last edited 11 months ago by Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

In Victorian Court Trials a Poor wife, and starving urchins, could be hired to sit in in the public benches and sob at the disaster which will befall them if the man on trial is found guilty……

I feel this is exactly the strategy being used here…haha

working the Jury as it were….ï»ż

Professional Mourners would be hired to present loud and dramatic grief during the funeral processions to get the feeling right…..

In a ‘Post Truth’ World – The ‘Rule of Law’ is the first victim taken outside and garrotted….

which obviously is being seen here……

Last edited 11 months ago by Emil Castelli
Simon Neale
Simon Neale
11 months ago

The opening statements stressed the experience of bereaved families who lost loved ones to Covid. An emotionally charged film of their grief and suffering opened the inquiry. 

After acknowledging a vigil outside, Hallett stated that the inquiry was for the “millions who suffered and continue to suffer in different ways as a result of the pandemic,”

Do people remember the start of the Grenfell Inquiry, when relatives were allowed – encouraged, even – to express their grief and anguish, before people buckled down to the business of reviewing policies and investigating facts? I don’t think it used to be like that. The main purpose of inquiries is a form of “speak bitterness” campaign, where people queue up to complain about the government and the systematic disadvantages they have experienced. Either this is a cynical ploy by the authorities, who know that allowing people to ventilate grievances will allow them to get away with doing little; or those authorities lack the fortitude to refuse victims and interested parties a role in a status-degradation ceremony.
Governments used to make sure things worked, and inquiries were about “Just the facts’ Ma’am!”. Now they are about undermining their own authority to make decisions.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago

An inquiry setup and staffed by elite technocrats is unable to consider any evidence that elite technocrats might have made mistakes. What a shocker.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago

An inquiry setup and staffed by elite technocrats is unable to consider any evidence that elite technocrats might have made mistakes. What a shocker.

Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
11 months ago

The outcome of the enquiry should be noted by anyone considering upping sticks. It will be the blueprint for the next government (Labour or Conservative) to point to. If a verdict of “not locking down quickly or harshly enough” is upheld it will give extra weight to the authoritarians when (not if) the same thing happens again .

Last edited 11 months ago by Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
11 months ago

The outcome of the enquiry should be noted by anyone considering upping sticks. It will be the blueprint for the next government (Labour or Conservative) to point to. If a verdict of “not locking down quickly or harshly enough” is upheld it will give extra weight to the authoritarians when (not if) the same thing happens again .

Last edited 11 months ago by Milton Gibbon
Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
11 months ago

It took the Hillsborough families three decades of hard work and persistence to get justice for their loved ones, and overcome the unwillingness of those in charge to admit errors and wrongdoing. This, time, though it wasn’t just a police force that got things wrong and lied to themselves and to the public; it was a large majority of the public themselves who demonstrably, publicly, and bought into the untruths pushed by our worse than useless, pliable politicians – who themselves were gulled and manipulated by corporations and political actors on the global stage, who stood to gain much power and treasure.

Collectivisation of guilt on this scale is, in this country, without precedent. Any public inquiry run by the guilty for the guilty can only return one verdict: not guilty.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
11 months ago

It took the Hillsborough families three decades of hard work and persistence to get justice for their loved ones, and overcome the unwillingness of those in charge to admit errors and wrongdoing. This, time, though it wasn’t just a police force that got things wrong and lied to themselves and to the public; it was a large majority of the public themselves who demonstrably, publicly, and bought into the untruths pushed by our worse than useless, pliable politicians – who themselves were gulled and manipulated by corporations and political actors on the global stage, who stood to gain much power and treasure.

Collectivisation of guilt on this scale is, in this country, without precedent. Any public inquiry run by the guilty for the guilty can only return one verdict: not guilty.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
11 months ago

Baroness Hallett may end up being one of the most damaging of Boris Johnson’s many disastrous appointments. This will be expensively dragged out for years to allow the media to drive home all the wrong lessons. A retired judge with a generous pension could hardly be more insulated from the financial, economic, educational, healthcare, and psychological damage caused by lockdown.

Last edited 11 months ago by Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
11 months ago

Baroness Hallett may end up being one of the most damaging of Boris Johnson’s many disastrous appointments. This will be expensively dragged out for years to allow the media to drive home all the wrong lessons. A retired judge with a generous pension could hardly be more insulated from the financial, economic, educational, healthcare, and psychological damage caused by lockdown.

Last edited 11 months ago by Stephen Walsh
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

This inquiry will be an expensive farce that will determine absolutely nothing of any consequence.
It has already got off to a completely unnecessary and embarrassingly ‘mawkish’ start.

Have we already forgotten the wretched Saville Inquiry* so soon? An Inquiry to overthrow a previous Inquiry**, that came to the wrong conclusion?

Saville’s effort ran for 12 long years, yes 12! The cost? Estimated at upwards of £200 million, a veritable Lawyers feast!

But absurdly it did overturn the previous Inquiry as planned, thus making a complete mockery of British Justice.

Is there even the remotest chance things will be any different this time? No!

(* Bloody or Good Sunday depending on your viewpoint.)
(** The Lord Widgery Inquiry Feb-April, 1972.)

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
11 months ago

I don’t think anyone could possibly refer to that horrible day as Good Sunday. Any validity to criticism of the Saville Inquiry is utterly nullified by that sort of language.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Look up a current BBC documentary entitled ‘Once upon a time in Northern Ireland’ and you will hear Loyalists expressing that very sentiment, using those exact words.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Your ‘research’ is flawed.

ps, As at 19.08 BST. What do you have to say Walsh? You’ve had 11 hours to consider your response. Or are you just another ‘Plastic Paddy’?

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

2nd Bn Coldm Gds withdrew as the shooting took place, and knew what had happened, reported back 4O mins post the event. Robert Ford was not shunted off to be Commandant at Sandhurst for naut, and what a ghastly useless man and Commandant he was.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

I Para’s shooting left much to be desired. 108 rounds fired for 26 hits.

Proportionately ‘worse’ than the Gurkhas, Sikhs and Sinde Rifles, at Amritsar* 53 years earlier.

(*1650 rounds fired for an estimated:-
379 to 1,500 or more killed and over 1,200 injured.)

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

I Para’s shooting left much to be desired. 108 rounds fired for 26 hits.

Proportionately ‘worse’ than the Gurkhas, Sikhs and Sinde Rifles, at Amritsar* 53 years earlier.

(*1650 rounds fired for an estimated:-
379 to 1,500 or more killed and over 1,200 injured.)

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Look up a current BBC documentary entitled ‘Once upon a time in Northern Ireland’ and you will hear Loyalists expressing that very sentiment, using those exact words.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Your ‘research’ is flawed.

ps, As at 19.08 BST. What do you have to say Walsh? You’ve had 11 hours to consider your response. Or are you just another ‘Plastic Paddy’?

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

2nd Bn Coldm Gds withdrew as the shooting took place, and knew what had happened, reported back 4O mins post the event. Robert Ford was not shunted off to be Commandant at Sandhurst for naut, and what a ghastly useless man and Commandant he was.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
11 months ago

I don’t think anyone could possibly refer to that horrible day as Good Sunday. Any validity to criticism of the Saville Inquiry is utterly nullified by that sort of language.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

This inquiry will be an expensive farce that will determine absolutely nothing of any consequence.
It has already got off to a completely unnecessary and embarrassingly ‘mawkish’ start.

Have we already forgotten the wretched Saville Inquiry* so soon? An Inquiry to overthrow a previous Inquiry**, that came to the wrong conclusion?

Saville’s effort ran for 12 long years, yes 12! The cost? Estimated at upwards of £200 million, a veritable Lawyers feast!

But absurdly it did overturn the previous Inquiry as planned, thus making a complete mockery of British Justice.

Is there even the remotest chance things will be any different this time? No!

(* Bloody or Good Sunday depending on your viewpoint.)
(** The Lord Widgery Inquiry Feb-April, 1972.)

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
11 months ago

Never fear, a way will be found to blame Boris for everything and let Fauci, Danszak, Michie, Ferguson et al off the hook.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
11 months ago

Never fear, a way will be found to blame Boris for everything and let Fauci, Danszak, Michie, Ferguson et al off the hook.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
11 months ago

Really… who cares. What can you possibly learn from this inquiry that you don’t already know thanks to the Hancock’s whatsapp message and today the video about the party at Tory HQ? What else do you REALLY need?

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
11 months ago

Really… who cares. What can you possibly learn from this inquiry that you don’t already know thanks to the Hancock’s whatsapp message and today the video about the party at Tory HQ? What else do you REALLY need?

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
11 months ago

To quote Philip J. Fry from Futurama:
“I am shocked! Shocked! Well, not that shocked.”

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
11 months ago

To quote Philip J. Fry from Futurama:
“I am shocked! Shocked! Well, not that shocked.”

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago

Quelle suprIse….

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago

Quelle suprIse….

jane baker
jane baker
11 months ago

Most of us intuited most of the facts at the start and soon proved right. This inquiry will keep a lot of poshies in knickers for a good long time and will conclude that no one was to blame and lessons have been learned.

jane baker
jane baker
11 months ago

Most of us intuited most of the facts at the start and soon proved right. This inquiry will keep a lot of poshies in knickers for a good long time and will conclude that no one was to blame and lessons have been learned.

j watson
j watson
11 months ago

For those who’s view is already fixed the mere existence of the Inquiry will generate anger and indignation. For rest of us I suspect as it picks up pace it’ll raise and provoke fundamental questions for how a Country prepares and manages something like this in the future. An open mind for a little longer doesn’t cost much.

O'Driscoll
O'Driscoll
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I’d keep an open mind if there was any chance of those running the inquiry keeping an open mind. But, my gut feeling is that I could save the taxpayer ÂŁ500m and give you the outcome right now:
The government wasn’t prepared despite being considered well prepared before Covid;
Boris ate some cake at work and that led to everyone’s granny dying;
We should have locked down completely in 2018 and not come out of lockdown until tomorrow and then Boris wouldn’t have killed everyone’s granny;
Nothing about Sweden;
The NHS is the envy of the world, and could only be improved by doubling its budget;
Brexit killed any grannies who weren’t killed by Boris

Last edited 11 months ago by O'Driscoll
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
11 months ago
Reply to  O'Driscoll

Yep.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
11 months ago
Reply to  O'Driscoll

Yep.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

You’re absolutely right, an open mind is essential. No-one, either the author or those who’ve commented thus far, have indicated anything other than they wish the Inquiry to be undertaken in the same spirit. There’s some evidence, as elucidated by the author, that it isn’t.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
O'Driscoll
O'Driscoll
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

But we were incredibly well prepared for a pandemic – unfortunately the wrong pandemic. How do we prepare better for a future pandemic, the nature of which we have no knowledge?
As for keeping an open mind, as others have said, the chances of the members of this inquiry keeping an open mind are close to zero. They will blame brexit, cake, and austerity.

j watson
j watson
11 months ago
Reply to  O'Driscoll

You’ve already judged it somewhat haven’t you.
I suspect it’ll raise significant issues about danger of Group-think amongst many things.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

You cannot be serious!
A useless and vastly expensive exercise to validate the very groupthink that took place for three long years…and apparently shows no sign of dissipating.

Last edited 11 months ago by Rocky Martiano
j watson
j watson
11 months ago
Reply to  Rocky Martiano

RM you are clearly a uniquely blessed individual with perfect insight and knowledge already. Allow the rest of us to listen inquisitively to how the Inquiry unfolds.

j watson
j watson
11 months ago
Reply to  Rocky Martiano

RM you are clearly a uniquely blessed individual with perfect insight and knowledge already. Allow the rest of us to listen inquisitively to how the Inquiry unfolds.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I don’t fully understand your comment. Are you saying that those who risked losing or actually lost their jobs to speak up against draconian lockdown measures, coerced jabbing, and fudged medical research are guilty of group-think?

j watson
j watson
11 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

They may be as guilty of Group-think too, but no wasn’t them I was referring to. It was Govt policy makers and leaders in this instance.
I don’t believe in a conspiratorial plot to how Govt behaved, but one can see how Group-think pushed out alternative voices and reinforced certain perspectives. It’s a more sub-conscious action, but with potentially dire consequences. As we already know from yesterday’s proceedings, Group-Think led to over focus on just influenza type pandemic.

j watson
j watson
11 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

They may be as guilty of Group-think too, but no wasn’t them I was referring to. It was Govt policy makers and leaders in this instance.
I don’t believe in a conspiratorial plot to how Govt behaved, but one can see how Group-think pushed out alternative voices and reinforced certain perspectives. It’s a more sub-conscious action, but with potentially dire consequences. As we already know from yesterday’s proceedings, Group-Think led to over focus on just influenza type pandemic.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

You cannot be serious!
A useless and vastly expensive exercise to validate the very groupthink that took place for three long years…and apparently shows no sign of dissipating.

Last edited 11 months ago by Rocky Martiano
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I don’t fully understand your comment. Are you saying that those who risked losing or actually lost their jobs to speak up against draconian lockdown measures, coerced jabbing, and fudged medical research are guilty of group-think?

j watson
j watson
11 months ago
Reply to  O'Driscoll

You’ve already judged it somewhat haven’t you.
I suspect it’ll raise significant issues about danger of Group-think amongst many things.

Alison Tyler
Alison Tyler
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I so hope that you are right. Currently I despair at the lack responsible reliable and expert practitioners in every area of public life. Also in the lack experience and expert knowledge in government or civil service, and the reality that without accurate knowledge no one can be held properly to account for anything at all.

j watson
j watson
11 months ago
Reply to  Alison Tyler

Of course that’s why we have to do this Inquiry. These themes need to be drawn out and the mere reflection and awareness that one can have to account in Public should drive better Policy in future. It’s not a guarantee, but doing nothing to review what happened much worse.

j watson
j watson
11 months ago
Reply to  Alison Tyler

Of course that’s why we have to do this Inquiry. These themes need to be drawn out and the mere reflection and awareness that one can have to account in Public should drive better Policy in future. It’s not a guarantee, but doing nothing to review what happened much worse.

O'Driscoll
O'Driscoll
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I’d keep an open mind if there was any chance of those running the inquiry keeping an open mind. But, my gut feeling is that I could save the taxpayer ÂŁ500m and give you the outcome right now:
The government wasn’t prepared despite being considered well prepared before Covid;
Boris ate some cake at work and that led to everyone’s granny dying;
We should have locked down completely in 2018 and not come out of lockdown until tomorrow and then Boris wouldn’t have killed everyone’s granny;
Nothing about Sweden;
The NHS is the envy of the world, and could only be improved by doubling its budget;
Brexit killed any grannies who weren’t killed by Boris

Last edited 11 months ago by O'Driscoll
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

You’re absolutely right, an open mind is essential. No-one, either the author or those who’ve commented thus far, have indicated anything other than they wish the Inquiry to be undertaken in the same spirit. There’s some evidence, as elucidated by the author, that it isn’t.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
O'Driscoll
O'Driscoll
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

But we were incredibly well prepared for a pandemic – unfortunately the wrong pandemic. How do we prepare better for a future pandemic, the nature of which we have no knowledge?
As for keeping an open mind, as others have said, the chances of the members of this inquiry keeping an open mind are close to zero. They will blame brexit, cake, and austerity.

Alison Tyler
Alison Tyler
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I so hope that you are right. Currently I despair at the lack responsible reliable and expert practitioners in every area of public life. Also in the lack experience and expert knowledge in government or civil service, and the reality that without accurate knowledge no one can be held properly to account for anything at all.

j watson
j watson
11 months ago

For those who’s view is already fixed the mere existence of the Inquiry will generate anger and indignation. For rest of us I suspect as it picks up pace it’ll raise and provoke fundamental questions for how a Country prepares and manages something like this in the future. An open mind for a little longer doesn’t cost much.