Our free and fearless press can’t help itself: on the one hand, the right-leaning part of it, which means most titles, is so heavily invested in The Adoration Of The Boris that they are duty bound to tell readers whatever the Government wants them to, but on the other, they cannot break the habit of peddling a little contrarianism. For every genuine SAGE member, there has to be a place for the likes of Karol Sikora.
So it was with the Daily Mail this morning: shock readers into paying attention with the screaming front page headlines telling “PM: work from home if you can … Pubs will be hit by 10pm curfew … Police to crack down hard … UK SLAMMED INTO REVERSE” before sowing seeds of doubt with “Boris to impose new diktats among fears of soaring infections - as row breaks out over doom-laden experts’ projections”.
As with the BBC and its doomed attempts at faux “balance”, so it is now with the press - here’s a carefully argued and painstakingly researched analysis showing why the new measures will be needed, and here’s a contrarian wacko looking to score a little attention and, if possible, More And Bigger Paycheques For Themselves Personally Now.
Thus readers are told “Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove confirmed the U-turn this morning as he told Sky News 'there is going to be a shift in emphasis and one of the things that we are going to emphasise is if it is possible for people to work from home then we would encourage them to do so’”. But then comes an injection of doubt.
“The restrictions have divided the Cabinet, with Mr Sunak and Business Secretary Alok Sharma both warning about the potential impact on the economy … The prospect of a 10pm curfew has sparked anger from the hospitality sector with the UKHospitality group describing it as 'another crushing blow’”. Followed by the contrarian stuff.
Karol Sikora - the bad penny turns up once more
First it’s “Do Whitty and Vallance's numbers add up? NEITHER France or Spain are showing cases doubling every week like they warned … Experts today poured scorn over questionable claims the UK's Covid-19 outbreak is doubling in size every seven days … Critics accused Number 10 of trying to 'scare' people … scientists today pointed out that the claim of 50,000 cases a day … is based on … cases doubling every seven days”.
And with the inevitability of night following day comes “Thirty-two academics urge Boris Johnson to think twice about plunging Britain into a second lockdown - as critics question advisors' suggestion that UK cases could DOUBLE every week without action … More than 30 health experts yesterday criticised 'harmful' plans to impose blanket lockdown measures in an open letter to Boris Johnson”. And which “experts” would those be?
Yes, there in the list of “Authors” is Professor Karol Sikora, “Consultant oncologist and Professor of medicine, University of Buckingham”. At least he isn’t claiming to represent Imperial College, London. But he still gets himself into the papers, and so the seeds of doubt are sowed. Then, when the real fringe conspiracy stuff comes along, the Mail can act all shocked and outraged. At something their own reporting sparked off.
Meanwhile, infections continue to rise and hospital admissions are increasing. And no amount of dismissing SAGE as “scaremongering” will stop that. Boring but true.
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Aside from a short period where Boris was sick/everyone was worried about Prince Chuck, the right-wing press have been regularly playing this down while attacking the medical people. Not 100% sure of the figures, but recall that Ferguson's 'inaccurate' model forecasting half a million dead was if there was no lockdown and we went for herd immunity. He had lower figures for a lockdown of (I think) around 50,000. Pretty much consistent with the 1% death estimates coming from other countries. The press shredded Ferguson but at the same time Sikora was promoting estimates of around 7000 dead and the government themselves insisted they would have done a good job if they kept the death toll below 20,000 (Remember the old days way back in March when the idea of 20,000 people dying of a virus that had only been around three months was greeted with horror by the population?)
As for the predictions, you don't have to be a super-brain to take a guess at what's going to happen, so here's my prognostications...
The daily number won't quite hit 50,000. Will be about 40,000 which allows the papers to once again run daily 'so-called experts who can't do maths' stories.
However the death toll will hit 200 a day and may exceed it. Covid treatment has improved but there's likely to be a lot of patients who also catch a dose of the flu or are weakened by winter bugs.
How will the hacks explain this? They'll blame all the deaths on flu, insist Covid isn't a real thing and thousands are dead because of... flu vaccines messing up your immune system.
"Is just the flu, bro but has been made worse by those scientists and their evil injections. Meanwhile the lazy lefty NHS spent all their cash on flu jabs and now your grandma is dead." pieces will be as common as articles whining about Brexit being some foreigner's fault.
So expect to see a certain amount of anti flu jab stuff - taking a flu shot makes you more likely to get Covid sort of crap - in the coming days and watch that ramp up as we head into Ronageddon in a few months.
British media. Reliably evil, predictably shit, working hard to make all our lives that little bit worse.
All of the far right seedy "academics" in the world can't hide a straightforward fact:
The terrible human and economic cost would have been substantially less had the immediate warnings from China and the WHO been heeded, and IMMEDIATE STRINGENCY implemented. Yes, there still would have been immense pain, but as John McDonnell pointed out, "You can restore an economy. You can't restore lives."
Instead, what we've had is a pack of lies from yet another corrupt tory government and equal wickedness from a quisling opposition "led" by a shifty poltroon.
This particular episode also proves just how deep rooted is the immorality infesting British acacdemia. These people are sheer poison to our culture, or what's left of it.
Make no mistake where this is leading. CV-19 is but one symptom of a terminal affliction.
You should come down to the mailwatch forum again Tim, we'll set you straight on a few things the Professor deals with.
We have a more favourable opinion of him dear boy
Gove, eh? What an appalling little lying pimple of a man:
'there's going to be a shift in emphasis and one of the things that we are going to emphasise is if it is possible for people to work from home then we would encourage them to do so’
As in the 'shift of emphasis' in:
“Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia.”
Come to the mailwatch forum? Where you call Owen Jones 'Squealer' knowing its homophobic context whilst claiming that you only use it in reference to Animal Farm?
Where you make shallow and awful comments about anyone who doesn't think like you do?
Where you yourself Malcolm bully and hound good posters off the site?
I can't speak for Tim, but you can count me out.
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