AN article in the Daily Sceptic by Dr David McGrogan, a law academic, described the arrogance and incompetence of that angry clown Matt Hancock, and how democracy can hand power to the wrong people.
He wrote: ‘What is truly strange about British democracy is that nobody ever reflects on whether it is a good idea for politicians to have much power in the first place. The position is always: “Well, Matt Hancock was bad, but we can appoint somebody else.” The same mentality prevails at the macro level: “We’ve had enough of the Tories, so maybe Labour will do better.” Isn’t it about time we asked ourselves whether the problem is politicians per se and what we can do to limit the damage they are able to inflict?’
However it is clear that Hancock behaved as he did only because the Johnson government – which became a regime – enabled him. Whitehall had a clear strategy to do whatever it wanted; naysayers would be ignored and cast as paranoid trouble-makers.
The Johnson Regime seized extraordinary powers and escaped all scrutiny, save for castigation by Labour, the BBC and Guardian for being ‘too slow to lock down’. They would not take their boots off the people’s throats for 18 months, nor would they seek to pacify their minds; they treated us like farm animals, and sadly many of us behaved like sheep.
Fifteen years earlier, even Tony Blair’s government acknowledged the need for parliamentary supervision of a government that had invoked emergency powers. When it updated the relevant legislation – Emergency Powers Act 1920 and Civil Defence Act 1948 – it passed the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (CCA), which imposed a ‘triple lock’ of conditions that would bind an ‘emergency government’ to submit its strategies and diktats to parliament every 30 days. Not the Johnson Regime: it swept the CAA aside, and introduced the Coronavirus Bill.
The Johnson government had an 80-seat majority. There would have been no piece of reasonable legislation that it could not have got through. Instead, it chose to avoid parliamentary scrutiny, and govern by ministerial decree for 18 months. What occurred in spring 2020 was a brazen, ultra vires coup.
The justification by Michael Gove and Penny Mordaunt was bizarre. They stated that C-19 was an emergency that demanded bespoke legislation, but since there was sufficient time for it to be drafted, it was not appropriate to use the CCA which applied to immediate emergencies. However, by the same token, the situation was so ‘urgent’ that only one day could be spared for debating the Coronavirus Bill. (How was a 350-page Bill drafted in five days?)
This is where the Covid-19 Inquiry should commence, with the following points thoroughly examined:
1. The Johnson government ignored the Cabinet Office convention that for ‘emergency powers’ to be invoked, the nation had to be faced with a ‘catastrophic emergency’. There was never any ‘catastrophe’, nor was there any ‘emergency’, nor any risk of such, only the semblance of such created by the government and MSM. Here is a link to ONS figures on C-19 fatalities in 2020. Deaths from C-19 with NO pre-existing condition (England) 4,169; (Wales) 294. That’s fewer than 4,500, with an average age of 82.5 years.
2. The same convention holds that ‘emergency powers’ must be relinquished as soon as the reason for invoking them diminishes. The Johnson Regime held these powers until autumn 2021. Almost certainly, the government desired to maintain the ‘emergency powers’ so that it could push through the untested jabs with an ‘emergency use authorisation’.
3. The government awarded itself £266billion of our money to spend as it saw fit, with no parliamentary scrutiny whatsoever. Matt Hancock was empowered to use our freedoms to promote his career and an unseen Cabinet Office agenda.
4. The government co-opted the MSM (with more than £500million of our money). They were told not to ask awkward questions at this ‘vital time’ and complied with enthusiasm.
5. In WWII it was a criminal offence to spread fear, negativity and a defeatist attitude. In 2020-21 it became government policy, one that was prosecuted with great intensity. I know of one person who was so alarmed in spring 2020 that she took her own life.
6. The Public Health Act 1984 (PHA) was utilised to contrive substantial emergency decrees. Legislators who drafted the Act 1984 had in mind quarantining individuals carrying genuinely deadly diseases such as smallpox, TB and plague, most certainly not colds and flu. The government proclaimed entirely falsely to have great legal powers over the population, when in fact they had few. The government had absolutely no authority to regulate healthy people, only ‘infectious’ people. (Of course the government, civil servants and Professor Ferguson didn’t believe that C-19 was that dangerous, and socialised normally while making fun of us).
7. The government went on to create huge armies of ‘infectious people’, or ‘cases’, to justify regulating them, by claiming that even without symptoms of illness a positive test meant that they were ‘infectious’. They achieved this initially with the PCR test, essentially a laboratory tool, dialled up to ludicrous levels of sensitivity.
8. Anything the government did in respect of executing its strategy had – by law – to be ‘proportional’ to the harms it wished to avoid. Nothing that was done was proportional to a virus with a 0.15 per cent IFR.
9. Then came the jabs. In browbeating, bullying and bribing the populace, the government behaved with contempt for medical ethics. It abandoned the principle of ‘informed consent’, and in mandating jabs for care workers (and attempting the same for NHS staff) the government acted illegally, contravening the Public Health Act 1984 s.45E.
10. Perhaps most worryingly, the government hobbled the courts. In 2020 Simon Dolan’s applications for a judicial review of the government’s actions were twice tossed out by our judges – the same judges who a year earlier had chastised Johnson’s proroguing of the Commons in order to uphold the ‘primacy of parliament’.
It is beyond debate that through constant sophistry and expedience the government bullied the British people, ruining their peace of mind, friendships, finances and education. The Johnson Regime stretched the law miles beyond what parliament intended, denied parliament its ancient right to scrutinise its actions, made oppressive decrees, played fast and loose with our money and unequivocally abused its authority to crush our rights and freedoms. What happened in 2020, 2021 and into 2022, can only be regarded as a coup, and it has been habit-forming, as Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng can attest.
Now, in spring 2023, Johnson has walked, never to be held accountable, while the jackass Matt Hancock is being set up as the patsy. The Cabinet Office goons are still pulling the strings. They are giving us Hancock in the hope that if the common man sees his public execution, the government, indeed the whole establishment that brought us a 30-month nightmare, will not be pursued.
What is being released seems carefully controlled with the intention of provoking ‘social outrage’. Hancock himself is clearly rattled, and has been demanding immunity from prosecution. However I doubt that anything that shows the Johnson Regime’s policies were grossly unscientific will be released. Unless we are shown internal messages or documents that admit that lockdowns didn’t work, masks were useless and vaccination was pointless because natural immunity trumped anything a jab could achieve, the ‘Hancock Files’ are essentially froth.
Unequivocally, though, they demonstrate that neither governments nor individual ministers can be trusted to eschew political and personal factors when making vital decisions that affect the wellbeing of individuals and society, and of course the nation’s finances. Hubris always brings down dictators, and we must give thanks for Hancock’s over-estimation of his own ability, but we have had to wait three years for this to emerge, and had he been a lot smarter, it may not have emerged at all. We need guarantees that our elected government can never go rogue again.
Hancock will get his comeuppance, I am sure, but the most pressing questions that need answering are: a) Why did the Johnson Regime execute a coup? b) Why was this consistently ultra vires conduct never scrutinised in parliament or by the press? If we do not insist on protecting our democracy, we will lose it – the World Health Organisation will see to that.