Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Are you sitting comfortably? Then Dame Sarah will talk down to you


ONE of the more insufferable facets of the last 20 months (and there have been many) has been the infantilisation of the public, and the condescending tone of the United Kindergarten’s new puerile lexicon of pandemic newspeak.

On Sunday the BBC published excerpts from a Radio 4 interview with Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, the woman credited with the miraculously speedy design of the Oxford vaccine.

Deeply troubling is the misleadingly childish language of Professor Gilbert, who would no doubt have been fully briefed to word responses as if to toddlers. The piece reads as if it were for the CBeebies audience and not the adult population; although there appears little distinction between the two demographics since March 2020.

According to Gilbert, the production of this new generation of vaccines is ‘like decorating a cake’. She goes on to describe how it is simply too much work these days to start from scratch with flour, sugar, eggs and butter with every disease, and too much can go wrong: ‘You can end up with the vaccine-equivalent of a soggy bottom.’

Tragically, the only bottoms soggy as a result of the Covid-19 vaccines are those of the neglected elderly suffering the staff shortages created by Government’s vaccine mandate for care-home workers.

Stating that most of the work on the vaccine had already been accomplished some years ago, Gilbert continues with her Blue Peter-esque description of the world of ‘plug-and-play’ vaccines: ‘We’ve got the cake and we can put a cherry on top, or we can put some pistachios on top if we want a different vaccine, we just add the last bit and then we’re ready to go.’

Professor Gilbert appears to be totally disregarding the fact of the rapidly waning efficacy of the UK rollout. Perhaps the cake could have done with a symbolic candle atop it to celebrate unequivocally completed safety trials, but such trivial protocol no longer seems to apply in the age of the disposable citizen.

Aside from a damehood, Professor Gilbert has had a Barbie doll made in her image. Speaking to the Guardian in August, she said her wish was that the doll would ‘show children careers they may not be aware of, like a vaccinologist’. Children want to play with dolls, Dame Sarah: it’s called childhood. They certainly won’t see yours and feel compelled to work towards a career in biological manslaughter.

In the same piece, the ‘global head of Barbie and dolls’ at manufacturer Mattel said: ‘Barbie recognises that all frontline workers have made tremendous sacrifices when confronting the pandemic’, a line that must have resonated with Professor Gilbert who in the BBC interview joked that she was thinking of sending her Barbie as an occasional stand-in for interviews. For all the dame’s acknowledgement of her vaccine-cake’s dubious performance record, it may just as well have been her mannequin at the mic. Where is Action Man and his tank when you need him?

‘Vaccines are a bit like Goldilocks,’ she continues in talking-down-to-the-simpletons mode, ‘they need to be kept at just the right temperature from the moment they’re made to the moment they’re given.’

The original Story of The Three Bears, by Eleanor Mure 1831, was set in London, and there was no Goldilocks but a meddlesome old woman. When the three bears discovered her they first tossed her into the fire, then tried drowning her, and when all else failed they threw her on to the steeple of St Paul’s Cathedral.

In the post-Covid international order version, the three bears are the UK Health Security Agency’s vaccine surveillance reports, the MHRA’s Yellow Card Reporting Scheme, and the lawful application of Gillick competence.

Parents, listen to the bears: stop savouring the BBC’s porridge, and impale the child vaccination programme on the steeple of St Paul’s for all in Westminster to see. We’re all sick and tired of their nursery rhymes.

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