THE topic of the year so far has been Covid-19 and the rollout of experimental vaccines to ever-younger age groups. TCW Defending Freedom has been at the forefront of critiquing Government policy, notably by our writers Neville Hodgkinson and Sally Beck. From today until Bank Holiday Monday, we are re-running our top ten most-read articles from the end of 2020 in reverse order. Today is No 5, by James Delingpole, which was first published on January 29 2021.
BRITAIN has just passed the ‘grim milestone’ (copyright the BBC, Channel 4 and every newspaper) of 100,000 Covid deaths.
But I really wouldn’t worry if I were you. The technical term for this fake statisticoid begins with ‘b’ and ends with ‘ollocks’.
The best and easiest way to understand why it’s nonsense is to look at it in the context of overall annual mortality rates. This enables you to find the answer to the only question that really matters: ‘Is the Covid-19 “pandemic” so uniquely, unprecedentedly deadly that it justifies the suspension of civil liberties, the destruction of the world’s sixth largest economy, the crushing of children’s education, the needless deaths of thousands of people with problems other than Covid and the suppression of free speech by the state and its agencies?’
Looking at, say, the ONS figures for ‘Age-standardised mortality rates, deaths per 100,000 of population, England and Wales, 1942-2020’, that answer becomes painfully obvious. Last year, 2020, saw about the same number of deaths per 100,000 people as 2008. But there’s one key difference between those two years. Can you guess what it is?
To help jog your memory, 2008 was the year Britney Spears was stretchered to rehab, Prince Harry was pulled out early from Afghanistan, Beijing hosted the summer Olympics, Wall Street crashed and Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, Barack Obama was elected US president, and terrorists launched that hideous attack on a hotel in Mumbai.
In none of that year’s stories, however, was anyone wearing a face mask (except possibly the terrorists); nor were they held under house arrest known as ‘lockdown’; nor were they forced to quarantine for a fortnight when travelling on holiday; nor were they denied routine surgery, treatment for cancer, or, indeed, their school or university education; nor was the entire media utterly obsessed with any of the viral respiratory bugs going round, killing off old people, as viral respiratory bugs tend to do.
This wasn’t just true of the year 2008, by the way. It was also the case with every year preceding it right back to 1942, which is the earliest one in that particular dataset. Every one of those years before 2008 – every single one – recorded a significantly higher death toll than we experienced in 2020. Yet in every one of those years – even during the Hong Kong flu pandemic of 1968, whose death toll per capita exceeded that of Covid-19 – life carried on as normal. No lockdowns; no compulsory masks; no quarantines; no hysterical briefings from medical apparatchiks; no closed pubs and restaurants; no destroyed businesses or lost jobs. Right until the beginning of 2020 everyone lived in a world which with nostalgic hindsight we might now call ‘the old normal’.
Sorry if I appear to be labouring a fairly obvious point. But the tragedy is that for many if not most people, it isn’t at all obvious. They read in the papers or they see on TV that Britain has passed that ‘grim milestone’ of 100,000 Covid deaths, and they think: ‘This is serious. Maybe I should wear two masks next time I go into Waitrose. Maybe I should relax my principled opposition to informing on my neighbours whom I witnessed having drinks with people outside their household bubble. Maybe I should say “No. Not nearly!” to all those surveys asking me whether Boris Johnson’s anti-coronavirus strategy has gone far enough . . .” Which is one reason we’re in the massive mess we’re in: people just aren’t doing their basic due diligence with regard to the government’s deliberately scaremongering – and frankly mendacious – Covid death statistics.
‘Ah!’ say the true believers – some of them ‘libertarians’ from free market think tanks whose job it supposedly is to look under the bonnet rather than blithely accept the used car salesman’s patter – ‘But blah, blah, blah blah!’
I’m not trying to evade the argument here by refusing to engage with their scintillating points. I’m saying that their points are irrelevant, a distraction, noise not signal. It comes down to this: either lots and lots of extra people are dying as a result of this deadly new disease or they’re not. And if they’re not, as I’ve just demonstrated the case to be, then why the hell are we still kidding ourselves that they are?
There are loads more fascinating details I could invoke in support of my argument. If you want to read further, I heartily recommend this most excellent deep-dive by Simon Elmer of Architects for Social Housing. (Which is where you’ll find those ONS charts I mentioned near the beginning). It covers things like the dubious way the government calculates its Covid deaths (such as the fact that even if you die of cancer or Alzheimer’s or anything else, it still gets whacked down as Covid if it’s within 28 days of one of those dodgy, oversensitive PCR tests); and the way influenza, historically a reliable annual culler of the old and infirm, has mysteriously vanished from the statistics, almost as if – imagine! – thousands of flu deaths are now being misrepresented as Covid deaths.
But though interesting – and damning – these details are red herrings. They’re the kind of red herring with which I’m all too familiar, having spent more than ten years studying the similarly dishonest sleights of hand used to scare the public into believing that ‘climate change’ is a deadly, unprecedented, man-made threat rather than a natural process to which we can all adapt easily and inexpensively. Their purpose is to blind you with fake science – ‘scientism’ as it’s known – and discourage you from looking at the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is this: Covid-19 is not a deadly and unprecedented threat to our civilisation. But the overreaction to it is, most definitely.