The Sage committee is well-known, particularly in view of its meetings and decisions relating to the Coronavirus pandemic. What is less well known is that there is also a group called
Independent Sage, chaired by former Government Chief Scientific Advisor Anthony King. Its committee includes specialists in epidemiology, virology, primary care, operational research, mathematical modelling, and more. But no spinners are present.
Behold the arbiter of taste and decency
Their mission statement is put directly: “Independent SAGE believes that the UK government must fundamentally change its approach and we propose a new overarching strategic objective of achieving a Zero COVID UK, i.e. the elimination of the virus from the UK. We believe this should be informed by science and debated in public, and a proper coordinated strategy for its achievement developed with the public
This openness and forthright expression of purpose has clearly incurred the displeasure of those in the orbit of chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings, who knows even less about epidemiology than how to run the Civil Service, but sits in on Sage meetings. So a crude hatchet job on Independent Sage has begun.
What time is it Eccles?
To no surprise at all, this has principally been down to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who also have an understanding of the science not unadjacent to zero, and so have taken to playing the man and not the ball. They take no issue with Independent Sage’s findings - they just smear them as lefty activists.
In May, we were told
“Among its membership are actual communists, Labour Party donors, activists, Corbynistas, ‘anti-Zionists’, Brexit conspiracy theorists and even a former Greek MP
”. This has now mutated into
“Political Activist Group Behind ‘Independent Sage’
”, where replacement Fawkes teaboy Tom Harwood claims he “spotted something fishy in [sic] buried in the description of their official crowdfunder
”. Do tell us more.
Shahmir Sanni - guilty of whistleblowing
“The fund is being run not by Independent SAGE, but by a political organisation called All the Citizens … ‘We, the Citizens’, also known as ‘All the Citizens’ is an activist group that campaign [sic] against the government
”. Yes? Yes yes? Yes yes yes? “The people behind All The Citizens … include failed Brexit whistle blower Shahmir Sanni, his lawyer Tamsin Allen, and conspiracist Carole Cadwalladr
”. Why single out those three?
Ah well. Staines is known to be singularly vindictive, hence the selection. Shahmir Sanni exposed the depths to which Downing Street was prepared to sink in order to smear its opponents - by outing him openly, without giving him chance to even tell his family. Ms Cadwalladr has to be smeared at every opportunity because she exposed Cambridge Analytica - and shed light on Staines’ own creative contributions to data gathering.
Carole Cadwalladr - investigation being warned off
And Tamsin Allen is the lawyer who was instructed by this blog after Staines threatened to sue over a post in early 2015. She was the one who told The Great Guido, in considered and diplomatic tones, where he got off
. Whether it is calling out the Tories for bad behaviour, revealing the dark underside of data manipulation, or exposing Staines as an impotent bully, no-one can go unpunished in the vindictive world of Paul Staines.
Meanwhile, the Fawkes rabble fails to address Independent Sage’s evidence. Because they haven’t got a Scooby Doo what it’s all about. Another fine mess, once again
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