Saturday, December 4, 2021
HomeCOVID-19By-election candidates answer crucial Covid policy questions – 2

By-election candidates answer crucial Covid policy questions – 2

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LAST week TCW Defending Freedom published a questionnaire that I sent to all 11 candidates standing in the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election to be held next Thursday, December 2. 

I wanted to learn their positions on lockdown, social distancing rules, masks, vaccination, informed consent, mandatory vaccine, vaccine injury compensation and vaccine passports or ‘covid passes’. The constituents and the country have a right to know. TCW agreed to publish their answers in full, and to say if they do not reply. We published two yesterday and here are another three. (Note: these are in random order.)

These candidates did not respond to my request (in alphabetical order):

Daniel Francis, Labour                              

Louie French, Conservative                   

Richard Hewison, Rejoin EU                         

Simone Reynolds, Liberal Democrats          

Jonathan Rooks, Green

Mad Mike Young, Monster Raving Loony   

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Elaine Cheeseman, English Democrats

1 (a) Do you believe lockdowns were the correct response to the pandemic? No.

(b) Were you aware they were not the tried and tested WHO approved pandemic response? Yes.

(c) Has the collateral cost (national debt, NHS queues, domestic violence, mental health, education disruption, supply chain disruption) been worth it? No.

(d) Have children born the worst brunt of the Government’s covid policies suffering negative health, mental health and education effects? Yes, more than any other sector of the population. I have long believed that the Government’s response was not in the best interests of the wider public or the economy. They refused to listen to anyone but the small group of Sage scientists with their worst-case scenario (and, in my view, exaggerated) predictions on how the pandemic would develop and should be handled. There were many other scientists who argued that only the elderly and vulnerable needed protecting as the rest of the population with healthy immune systems would not suffer Covid severely and would naturally develop heard immunity.

2 (a) Do you believe in mass Covid-19 testing and tracing? No.

(b)  Do you believe PCR and LFT tests are reliable enough? Yes, as indicators of who might be infected but not necessarily in preventing the spread.

(c) Would resources have been better spent manning fever or isolation hospitals? Yes. The Government spent millions setting up the Nightingale hospitals at the start of the pandemic and then made hardly any use of them. They should have been utilised for people coming out of hospital to convalesce until they were fully recovered or for those who were in the early stages of the disease but not yet critical enough to require intensive care but needed to be isolated.

 3 (a) Do you believe in the restrictions imposed on foreign travel? Yes, to a point.

(b)  Should these restrictions have come in earlier? Probably.

(c) Are restrictions any longer justified now we know that Covid has a much lower infection fatality ratio than earlier predictions and is negligible in under 65s, and a mean age of Covid-attributed death of over 80? No. If the Government believed that the risks of allowing people into the UK were high, they should have closed our borders sooner and prevented people from coming into the UK (even our own citizens who were still abroad) as did other countries. The response was too late which meant that we were trying to shut the stable door after the horse had bolted.

 4 (a) Do you believe the current travel quarantine regulations are reasonable? No, they are still overly cautious.

(b) Do you believe the current domestic self-isolation rules are acceptable? No, I think they are increasingly unnecessary. I fail to understand why people are being forced to undergo private tests to prove they do not have Covid. If the NHS tests are good enough, they should be sufficient proof for airlines. I believe this is just another money-making scheme to bolster the income of the travel companies who have lost out during the pandemic. Those who have been double-vaccinated should be allowed to travel freely.

 5) With regard to the Covid-19 mass vaccination programme:

(a)  Are you aware that the vaccines have not been shown in clinical trials to reduce transmission, hospitalisation or death and that they were not designed for this purpose? Yes. 

(b) Are you aware that the phase 3 trials are not over, that the safety data is not complete and that the earliest trials will run into 2023? Yes.

(c) Are you aware the Covid-19 vaccines are not due to be officially considered for MHRA licensing until 2023? I wasn’t but these things should take time and not be rushed through.

(d) Do you agree with the Government’s child vaccination programme? No, children are least at risk.

(e) Do you believe that school facilities should be used for Covid-19 vaccinations? No.

(f) Do you agree with the Government’s policy of mandatory vaccinations for care home staff? No.

(g) Do you agree with the Government’s policy of mandatory vaccinations for NHS front-line staff? No.

(h) Do you agree with mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policies for any other group? No.

(i) Do you agree with Covid passes and restriction of access to travel and facilities for those who refuse the vaccination for whatever reason? No.

(j) Do you believe the Government’s Covid-19 vaccination policy is coercive? Yes.

(k) Do you believe there has been properly informed consent for vaccination? No. I resisted having the vaccines myself initially as I was suspicious of the speed at which they were produced/rolled out. I only agreed to them once I had seen the potential side effects experienced by others and because I would be prevented from travelling abroad if I didn’t. I still feel that we have all been coerced into having the vaccines when little is known about the long-term impact, or about the impact of Covid generally.

 6 (a) Do you believe the Yellow Card reporting scheme for covid vaccine adverse reactions and fatalities is fit for purpose? Not sure.

(b) Should the MHRA (the regulatory body that runs the Yellow Card Scheme) be mandated to follow up every vaccine death and report them as it does Covid deaths? Yes. 

(c) Do you believe the Government is spending too much of taxpayers’ money on Covid-19 vaccines and not enough on improving the health and immune systems of the population? Yes.

(d) Do you believe that the £120,000 cap on compensation for Covid-19 damage or death  is adequate? No.

(e) Do you think the Government was right to indemnify the vaccine manufacturers against vaccine injury? No. I believe there has been hand-in-glove exploitation of government funding ie taxpayers’ money, poured into the coffers of Big Pharma on the pretext of ‘protecting’ everyone from Covid. 

 7 (a) Do you believe that freedom of speech and assembly have been adversely affected by the Government’s Covid restrictions? Yes.

(b) Do you agree with Covid regulation breaching fines or punishments? No.

(c) Have Covid regulation breaches/rules been fairly applied? No. Has there been one rule for politicians and another for the people? Yes. Westminster has long been quick to defend MPs when they breach rules/regulations that the rest of the population would be swiftly prosecuted for.

8  Do you believe it should be compulsory to wear face masks in any setting? No. I believe individuals should be allowed to take that decision for themselves.

9  Will you commit to signing the petition for a referendum on the UK Coronavirus Act to put pressure on the government to abolish it? Yes.

 10 Will you commit to reviewing the Public Health Act 1984 as to its use during the Covid crisis? Yes.

11 Should all Covid-19 restrictions end and all freedoms be restored immediately? Yes.

12 Do you believe the conduct of Government ministers, MPs, civil and public servants, senior NHS and media personnel involved in the promotion of the Government’s Covid-19 policies should be investigated criminally? Yes. The Government has used the media as a propaganda machine firstly, to promote its agenda of coercing the public into believing that COVID measures were necessary and then to create a climate of fear to force the public into submission without sufficient evidence or grounds that the pandemic was as deadly as they actively encouraged everyone to believe.

Please write any further comment you may wish to make: Subsequent events/research/information have largely shown that the youngest/healthiest in society are not in fact at great risk from COVID and the elderly/vulnerable are (as with most infections/diseases) most at risk.  We would have done better to allow the majority of the population to carry on life as normal and advise those most at risk to shield themselves, rather than force the whole population into damaging lockdowns.  Our freedoms have been hugely curbed as a result.

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Carol Valinejad, of Christian People’s Alliance Party 

1 (a) Do you believe lockdowns were the correct response to the pandemic? No.

(b) Were you aware they were not the tried and tested WHO approved pandemic response? Yes.

(c) Has the collateral cost (national debt, NHS queues, domestic violence, mental health, education disruption, supply chain disruption) been worth it? No.

(d) Have children born the worst brunt of the Government’s covid policies suffering negative health, mental health and education effects? No. What is very clear to us is that children do not need the vaccine and certainly should not be put under any pressure to have it because evidence shows that 3 times as many children have died from the vaccine as have died from the disease. As for lockdowns there is evidence many children have benefited from spending more time with their parents and learning at home. It is essential to look at education progress during the lockdown and family life. There have been fewer divorces and fewer family breakups as couples have spent more time together which are of great benefit to children. Obesity has been a problem across the board with everyone taking less exercise but the fact an extra 1,100 children across the country maybe suffering obesity does not counter other benefits.

2 (a) Do you believe in mass Covid-19 testing and tracing? No. 

(b) Do you believe PCR and LFT tests are reliable enough? Yes. 

They give a good enough indication even if not 100 per cent.

(c) Would resources have been better spent manning fever or isolation hospitals? Test and Trace has been an utter waste of money so that money could have better been spent on anything. In our opinion cancer treatment is the most important health treatment to have lost out as it has to be done very quickly and when other things take precedence many people suffer. 

3 (a) Do you believe in the restrictions imposed on foreign travel?

I’m afraid a lot of that is not up to us, it’s up to other countries but restrictions generally have been far too rigid. Having said that, the pandemic has meant that far more people now do Zoom meetings or Microsoft Teams meetings which has meant less travel is needed which we believe will be a long term change in the way business is done to the benefit of everyone.

(b) Should these restrictions have come in earlier? China should have been isolated earlier and the WHO should have been honest about where Covid was coming from. It is utterly disgraceful that China banned all internal flights from Wuhan but allowed international flights and the WHO said nothing until far too late, which spread the disease round the world.

(c) Are restrictions any longer justified now we know that Covid has a much lower Infection fatality ratio than earlier predictions and is negligible in under 65s, and a mean age of Covid-attributed death of over 80? No. There are now effective treatments for the disease and these should be the focus, not anything else.

4 (a) Do you believe the current travel quarantine regulations are reasonable? No. There is serious discrimination against anyone who is unvaccinated in a totally unreasonable way. It is proven face masks don’t stop the disease unless thick material is used. Vaccinated people can still spread the disease. Unvaccinated should be forced to take tests but with a test should always be allowed to travel. This also applies to people who had one shot and had an adverse reaction so didn’t have any more. Government figures show that in the UK 1,759 people have died from the vaccine and 1.2million have had adverse reactions. That reality has to be faced, especially for children.

(b) Do you believe the current domestic self isolation rules are acceptable? No. There should be no requirement to self isolate following 2 negative tests if a person has no Covid symptoms (that is despite being told they’ve been in contact with a Covid sufferer. Contact may be being in the same train which is not real contact).

5) With regard to the Covid-19 mass vaccination programme:

(a) Are you aware that the vaccines have not been shown in clinical trials to reduce transmission, hospitalisation or death, that they were not designed for this purpose? Yes.

(b) Are you aware that the phase 3 trials are not over, that the safety data is not complete and that the earliest trials will run into 2023? Yes.

(c) Are you aware the Covid-19 vaccines are not due to be officially considered for MHRA licensing until 2023? Yes.

(d) Do you agree with the Government’s child vaccination programme? Strongly No.

(e) Do you believe that school facilities should be used for Covid-19 vaccinations? No.

(f) Do you agree with the Government’s policy of mandatory vaccinations for care home staff? No. Though regular testing for such staff is a good thing which is necessary if they’ve been vaccinated or not.

(g) Do you agree with the Government’s policy of mandatory vaccinations for NHS front-line staff?  No, same as (f).

(h) Do you agree with mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policies for any other group? No. It should be a free choice.

(i) Do you agree with Covid passes and restriction of access to travel and facilities for those who refuse the vaccination for whatever reason? See answer above.

(j) Do you believe the Government’s Covid-19 vaccinations policy is coercive? Yes.

(k) Do you believe there has been properly informed consent for vaccination? No. The biggest issue is that there are good treatments for Covid which have not been used. It seems as though everyone has been pushed towards vaccination for no good health reason. 

6 (a) Do you believe the Yellow Card reporting scheme for covid vaccine adverse reactions and fatalities is fit for purpose?Yes, as far as I know. If there is evidence it isn’t, then we’ve not yet seen it but the figures gained thereby are not being publicised.

(b) Should the MHRA (the regulatory body that runs the Yellow Card Scheme) be mandated to follow up every vaccine death and report them as it does Covid deaths?Yes, of course.

(c) Do you believe the Government is spending too much of taxpayers’ money on Covid-19 vaccines and not enough on improving the health and immune systems of the population? Yes.

(d) Do you believe that the £120,000 cap on compensation for Covid-19 damage or death  is adequate? Yes. It’s easy to say more should be given but the reality is that focus should be more on doing the right thing which includes making the correct treatments available than paying compensation.

(e) Do you think the Government was right to indemnify the vaccine manufacturers against vaccine injury? No. Pfizer have been making massive profits from this vaccine so they should accept the risk.

7 (a) Do you believe that freedom of speech and assembly have been adversely affected by the government’s Covid restrictions? Yes. Forcing churches into lockdown has been wrong.

(b) Do you agree with Covid regulation breaching fines or punishments? No. They should only be applied in the most extreme situations where it is proven proper safeguards have been ignored after warnings.

(c) Have Covid regulation breaches rules been fairly applied? Has there been one rule for politicians and another for the people? Parliament applied quite strict rules. I fear this is a cheap shot at politicians.

8 Do you believe it should be compulsory to wear face masks in any setting? No. They’re proven not to be effective. Compulsory testing is much better.

9 Will you commit to signing the petition for a referendum on the UK Coronavirus Act to put pressure on the Government to abolish it? No. We don’t need a referendum on this. It will serve no purpose. We just need the proper medicines to cure Covid to be made widely available. 

10 Will you commit to reviewing the Public Health Act 1984 as to its use during the Covid crisis? Yes.

11 Should all Covid-19 restrictions end and all freedoms be restored immediately? The Government has done quite well on this, far better than parts of the USA and Australia among other countries. It makes sense to have some restrictions for large gatherings such as sporting events and pop concerts. 

12 Do you believe the conduct of Government ministers, MPs, civil and public servants, senior NHS and media personnel involved in the promotion of the Government’s covid-19 policies should be investigated criminally? No. This disease in my view was a bio weapon launched by China on the world. The real culprits are the WHO which followed China’s advice so did not give the correct advice early enough to everyone else. The rest of the world had to fly by the seat of their pants not really knowing what was going on. It is very strange though that treatments like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine which it was known from early on effectively treated the disease were banned in favour of an untested and untried vaccine. 

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Richard Tice, Reform UK

Mr Tice wrote to us yesterday apologising that he hadn’t had time to complete the questionnaire but wanted to take the opportunity to make his and his party’s position absolutely clear on the following: They are againstmandatory vaccines for anyone, against vaccine passports and they are against vaccinating children under 18. 

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Anthony Webber
Anthony Webber is an independent political commentator and founder of the umbrella body, the National Alliance for Freedom from Lockdowns. anthonywebber@cwgsy.net

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