THE clear-sighted and courageous Sir Charles Walker, Conservative MP for Broxbourne, took to his feet yesterday in the House of Commons and delivered the most wonderful attack on Sage and the feather-bedded crony group on it (my description).
He came straight to the point of the huge control these unelected ‘experts’ have accrued over our lives – by contrast, you might say, with his zombified elected colleagues. Sage, he said, has power over whom we hug and hold, over which businesses open and which businesses close, over who keeps their job and who loses their job. Yet unlike elected MPs, they have no accountability at all.
He suggested some reforms to rectify this: –
- Greater financial transparency for Sage members, in line with MPs’ own declarations about their outside earnings, interests and pensions;
- An end to the current trend of advisers appearing on national television to give their opinions on the pandemic. (‘There should be no more “Here is Sir Mark Walport of Sage, but here in a personal capacity”,’ he said);
- Elections to Sage, to ensure that the security of Sir Mark Walport, Professor Susan Michie, John Edmunds et al can be challenged by the myriad dissenting excluded experts such as ‘Professor Karol Sikora, Professor Paul Dolan, who is an expert on human behaviour and quality of life, and Professor Ellen Townsend, who has a huge interest in the welfare of children and adolescents who are now being plagued by anxiety and eating disorders.’
Given that it seems highly unlikely that our certifiable Prime Minister will sack the lot, this last suggestion seems the best way forward. Hard to argue with, you’d think . . .
You can watch the full speech, and interventions, here.