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Monday 6 April 2020


And so the lockdown continues, with the more hopeful news that the number of UK deaths due at least partly to the Coronavirus has fallen to just over 400 for the past 24 hours. But as so many people are no longer at work, school, college or away enjoying some R’n’R, the appetite for conspiracy theories continues to grow. So the wacko 5G conspiracy has just got its second wind and has spread to cover the new £20 note.
(c) Getty Images

This even more wacko development has not been helped by the Daily Brexit, still called the Express, putting out an article last Friday telling readers “Coronavirus 5G: Why the new £20 note has the coronavirus symbol and 5G beacon”. Because the new £20 note has neither the Coronavirus symbol, nor a 5G beacon.
At least the Express goes on to put readers straight. “In fact, the symbol that resembles a cell tower is the Margate Lighthouse, while the symbol that apparently depicts the coronavirus protein is actually based on the staircase at the Tate Britain art Gallery. This is because the new £20 note is in honour of English Artist JMW Turner”. Do go on.
Turner was a regular visitor to Margate and is known to have been besotted by the seaside town. He remarked on the skies you can see for miles, ‘the loveliest in all Europe,’ he said. And, his self-portrait is currently on display at the Tate, perhaps explaining why the staircase is depicted on the note”. No 5G, no Coronavirus.
That has not stopped the idiocy, as the Guardian has today reported. “At least 20 mobile phone masts across the UK are believed to have been torched or otherwise vandalised since Thursday, according to government and industry sources who are increasingly concerned about the impact of baseless theories linking coronavirus to 5G networks … Owing to the slow rollout of 5G in the UK, many of the masts that have been vandalised did not contain the technology and the attacks merely damaged 3G and 4G equipment”.
So it should be no surprise to find the significant amounts of Twitter idiocy doing the rounds, from “Corona virus and 5G towers on the new £20 note!!!!!!!!” to “5G and Corona on the £20 note” and “You don’t have to like my opinions, but I'm no fool, I see through the lies of our government, the new £20 note has the logo of the coronavirus and the 5G Tower … Conspiracy theory is all I'm saying”. Yeah, right.
Fortunately, others have figured this one out, like Alistair Coleman: “There’s a ridiculous conspiracy theory going around that the government is advertising the fact that it’s using 5G towers to spread coronavirus on [checks notes] the new £20 note”. And Lee Johnson: “I'm supposed to take the UK seriously when there are people walking around thinking the new £20 note confirms Coronavirus and 5G are government conspiracies”.
And a man called Dean who concluded “Here is another one doing the rounds at the moment FFS … The new 20 pound note has a 5G tower … In fact the Margate lighthouse in with the Covid 19 symbol also … If anyone finds out what drugs these people are on can you let me know because they must be fuckin’ unbelievable”.

Sadly for the wackos, the staircase at Tate Britain and the lighthouse at Margate have Sweet FA to do with the Coronavirus. This train has now arrived at Upminster.
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Anonymous said...

Has the country run out of fucking tinfoil, Tim?

squizzler said...

Actually this strikes me as a less insidious form of (most likely Russian) agitprop than others we have seen. Mobile phone hardware can be replaced. Our social fabric less so.

Am I the only one to find it telling how the silicon valley firms have chosen to come down hard on 'fake news' when it threatens the infrastructure they need to keep us glued to their phones? They did sweet FA when it 'only' affected democracy.