Professor Neil Ferguson ((c) Imperial College, London)
Now, as the Guardian has reported, “Scientists who advise the government on its coronavirus strategy have warned they are being drawn into politics after the leading infectious disease modeller Prof Neil Ferguson stepped down … One scientific adviser to the government said Ferguson’s resignation had created ‘an awful lot of concern’ and that the mood in the community was ‘very depressed’”. And there was more.
That advisor told “He’s an academic researcher. He doesn’t make decisions. He’s not paid for any of this. We are being drawn into a political situation which is very unpleasant”. Just how unpleasant that situation is can be seen from the slew of abusive hatchet jobs on Ferguson, his profession, and his reputation by the Daily Mail today.
The headlines show a consistency that means they were coordinated, with Ferguson’s reputation under the cosh as the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker sneer “Can public trust ANYTHING Professor Lockdown said? Calls to re-examine virus research after shamed expert quit over trysts with his married lover”. And who is cited in evidence?
It gets worse: under the by-line of Paul Bracchi, we are told “He was entertaining a guest who was, how shall we say, not a ‘member of his household’ during lockdown - girlfriend, Antonia Staats, 38, and married”. Clutch those pearls! “‘Lockdown, Pants Down, Steps Down,’ is how the Guido Fawkes website headlined the revelation”. Because when you’ve been ordered to perform a hit job, even a fake news site can go into the mix.
We even get Ross Clark pontificating “Neil Ferguson's lockdown predictions are so dodgy that you wouldn't even ask him what day Christmas is on”. A Rothermere goon lecturing the public about trust. We are truly through the looking glass.
Many have seen friends and relatives having to endure infection with Covid-19. Many more have lost friends and relatives, unable to even say goodbye. For them, Neil Ferguson is a hero, not a villain. And that will remain the case, whatever the Mail says.
Hence the venom and desperation of the hit jobs. It’s going to be the scientists’ fault.Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at