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Tuesday 29 December 2020

Toby Young’s Guantánamo Goof

While the Coronavirus pandemic grows ever more deadly, fired up by new mutations which are apparently more easily transmitted between people, it is matched at every turn by the equally deadly tsunami of misinformation coming from those who call themselves lockdown sceptics, but as with Eurosceptics and Climate Change sceptics, these people are flat-out denialists. For them, it’s not really happening.

And, as befits the sick nature of today’s Pundit Establishment, much of this contrarian grandstanding is being suitably monetised, ensuring a ready supply of claims that whatever the Government does is wrong, that the UK should be more like Sweden (although that one is now in abeyance, following news that Sweden was not in as good a shape as previously thought), and that lockdowns are A Very Bad Thing.

In the vanguard of the denial, oops, sorry, lockdown sceptic brigade has been the loathsome Toby Young, telling his adoring followers yesterday “Surging Covid cases, ambulances not answering calls, NHS in crisis ... but percentage of ICU beds occupied in England on December 20th was lower than this time last year in every region of NHS England”. Pink News CEO Benjamin Cohen was not impressed.

I know maths is your weak point Toby, but there have been more ICU beds added, so using a percentage of current/ past capacity is a meaningless statistic. Why has [ICU] capacity been increased? Because of a pandemic”. Well, quite. Also, the medical student known simply as Ron M had yet worse news for Tobes.

Had you gone back to the source, rather than crudely copying and pasting a couple of graphs from The Spectator, you might have heeded the attached ‘Note on beds data’”. This read “caution should be exercised in comparing overall occupancy rates between this year and previous years. In general hospitals will experience capacity pressures at lower overall occupancy rates than would previously have been the case”.

This is because “Hospital capacity has had to be organised in new ways as a result of the pandemic to treat COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients separately and safely in meeting the enhanced Infection Prevention Control measures”. Or, to put it directly, Tobes is sounding off without bothering to acquaint himself with inconvenient things like facts.

Moreover, the photo Tobes had used to illustrate his fateful Tweet was clearly not of an Intensive Care Unit. So Ron M began digging. “And I mean ... come on mate, get some up-to-date photos. EXIF suggests it's dated no later than 2012, doesn't even look like the UK and it's certainly not an ICU”. So if it wasn’t from the UK, where was it taken?

You’ll love this. “LOL guess what … It’s Guantanamo … Literally. Guantanamo Bay. This twatwaffle is using pictures of GUANTANAMO BAY to illustrate how ‘empty’ wards are in the UK … You could not make this up”. Except Toby Young just did. And an increasing number of wackos, bots and bad faith actors will be on hand to amplify it.

The issue for Toby Young and his pals is not their freedom of speech. It is their inability to understand that that freedom can have consequences. And that, like Brexit, it is not for them to shift blame on to anyone else. It’s about time Tobes owned his misinformation.

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R Ifmatik said...

An extra-ordinary rendition from the ranting pillock.

Anonymous said...

Got to ask the question, who is protecting the triumvirate of disinformation artists - Pearson, Tobes & Hartley-Brewer? They're not contrarians in any sense, they're in reality pushing a very specific ultra-right propaganda message and wilfully distorting science. Yet they're not getting fired or thrown off social media and the rest of the press is completely ignoring the disinformation campaign. Well, not ignoring more pretending that its a matter of a few crazies on Facebook rather than a planned campaign using some of the most well-known, ummm, journalists as fronts.

Its been months now and sure as night follows day any article on Covid in the Daily Mail (another massive offender) still has crazy denialist drivel as all the top comments. Is hard to believe the DM's core readers are behind these comments and clearly is another part of the campaign.

What can we do? Well ideally the scumbags funding all this should be exposed but it seems the big media corps don't want to go there.

Would recommend not buying these rags and sending a letter to the editor with clear examples explaining why you cannot countenance spending money on liars endangering fellow British people. All the better if you are a medical or science person. Slam them with thousands of letters and make them lose enough sales so that they start to panic. Sure they might still be kept afloat via dark money but propaganda everyone ignores doesn't work very well as propaganda.

PK said...

Didn't the Murdoch machine try something similar in Australia.
Even calling Australia's current PM a ruthless dictator when he kept people under strict lockdown.
Australia's PM stood his ground and got control of the virus, but alas not here.

The rabid right wingers have decided it's their divine right to have all the freedoms of when not in the midst of a deadly pandemic, and if people die they die.
Aslong as it's not any of their loved ones, they are fine with it.
But then they also kept quiet and pushed for yet more austerity when we know at least 150,000 have died as a direct result of austerity and Tory cuts. Many say the true figure is far higher.

There isn't a wall long enough for all these right wingers.

Johnspartacusanonymous said...

An ultra sized Tyburn Tree. Turned off the back of a cart.

Sam said...

PK- the pandemic in Ausralia was managed by State premiers of both left and right wing persuasion and they all did a pretty good job despite mishaps and mistakes. The Murdoch media has been hideous-attacking the left-wing Victorian & QLD premiers for their strict but successful lockdowns and border closures whilst heaping praise upon the right wing NSW Premier for basically the same actions. Typical Murdoch.

rob said...

Just Toby trying to get his pet theory of herd immunity strategy to get working by directing his comments to a certain section of the populace that will energise a eugenics movement?

As long as it doesn’t affect The Exceptionals, I.e. those Little Englanders who reckon they are above the law, he and others like JulIa HB, will accept a “few” losses along the way?

2020 getting more like the 1930s Germany day by day thanks to Der PfefferLump.

Anonymous said...

Unlike Toby the Twat, I've spent more than my fair share of time in an ICU. And that photo is a fucking insult.

rmacd said...

Ron M here, just came across your blog. Glad I could help shed a little light on Mr Young's antics. Keep up the good work.