Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Friday 29 January 2021

So Farewell Then Gary Matthews

Few knew of Gary Matthews while he was alive, apart from his family and friends. But now that he has become another sad statistic in the mounting UK Covid-19 death toll, his name, and his story, is becoming rather better known, to the clear discomfort to some among our media class who would rather not discuss the matter.

Gary Matthews

Matthews’ friend Peter Roscoe told the Observer’s Nick Cohen “He was a gentle guy. He wanted a better world. I am so sorry in recent times he became convinced that Covid was some kind of hoax”. Cohen went on to explain “Matthews’s cousin Tristan Copeland said he had begged him to wear a mask and maintain social distance. ‘But he and his friends had the mindset that they needed to go out and meet people to show they didn’t believe the government.’ Perhaps his posturing killed him”. Matthews was just 46 years old.

Hang on, there's been a Hitch

The result of those contacts? “He had a positive Covid-19 test and went home to isolate. He died, aged 46, alone in his flat in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, on 13 January”. He didn’t go to hospital, where he could have been effectively treated. Cohen added “His creepy conspiracy sites are not so far from the newspaper columns and radio shows of the London right. Not far at all”. And that is what is making some pundits uncomfortable.

Peter Jukes of Byline Media had confronted contrarian Peter Hitchens, noting “When asked when he had an ounce of remorse for the death of Gary Matthews, who died from Covid having keenly admired Mr Hitchens’ Covid sceptical tweets, [Hitchens] did the typical thing, and doubted whether he had died from Covid”. What say The Great Man?

Some readers may not be aware here of the low technique you are using, demanding that I show remorse for an action of which you do not dare accuse me, which you cannot prove, and which you cannot show I am responsible for … This disreputable approach is just the sort of thing we might expect to find in a People's Court in some banana dictatorship. In *this* country we have spent 1,000 years developing proper justice, which is plainly not safe in the hands of fanatics such as you”. There had been no accusation.

Dooda Alert!

One of the last things Matthews Retweeted before he died was from self-promoting TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Brewer, which asserts “Most people in the UK don’t know someone who’s died from Covid … Most people in the UK probably don’t know someone who’s been very ill with the virus”. This was pointed out to her this morning.

As a result, Ms Hartley Dooda immediately assumed victim status, although not in quite the same righteous manner as Hitchens. To Jay Rayner, she frothed “This man retweeted this tweet. Could you please explain where in this tweet I express ‘Covid-diminishing’ content? I have never once downplayed the threat of Covid or encouraged anyone to break the law or not to socially distance. Your tweet is repulsive. Shame on you”.

And to Brian Moore, there was “Ooh, and another one blaming me personally for a man's sad death. A man dies. A man who has retweeted my tweet. Ergo, I am responsible for his death. These people are cynically exploiting a man's death to score points against people they despise over Brexit & lockdowns. Sick”. Two things here. Moore did not blame her for Matthews’ death. And nor does he “despise” her. Someone is protesting too much.

Indeed, Ms Hartley Dooda has shown that she is of less than perfect courage by deleting the Tweet. It therefore no longer shows up in Matthews’ Twitter feed, which is still extant. But her fellow TalkRADIO host Mark Dolan, shown cutting up a face covering, is still there. As it Hitchens being his customary contrarian self.

This one is particularly damning

And what none of these less than august individuals can bring themselves to accept is this: they did not say the pandemic did not exist, but what they did say, and the way in which they expressed their view, fitted in with the view of the world that Matthews, and those with whom he agreed, shared. It was what he wanted to hear. It was casting doubt on what the Government and its scientific experts were saying. It told him he was right.

Gary Matthews was not alone in deciding that he didn’t need to distance, wear a face covering, or be concerned enough about Covid-19 to admit himself to hospital. There are plenty more such individuals in the UK and elsewhere who inhabit a similar mindset. And that is why those who enjoy the platform that the media class has given them bear a responsibility not to mislead, encourage distrust, or present a loaded or slanted debate.

It is this that Hitchens and Ms Hartley Dooda cannot, or will not, take on board. No-one is trying to silence them or otherwise circumscribe their freedom of expression. What is being made crystal clear is that actions can, and do, have consequences. No one person radicalised Gary Matthews. No one person can have his death laid at their door. But there has clearly been a cumulative effect on someone susceptible to persuasion.

The result of that effect is that Gary Matthews is now dead. I’ll just leave that one there.

Enjoy your visit to 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



Anonymous said...

Having personally known people who have died from COVID (including family members), these idiots make my blood boil. What's worse is the fact you have an irresponsible media that is allowed to exist to promote these morons who mislead the public with lies. If I had my way, I'd have them injected with COVID.

Hitchins, Ms Hartley Doodoo, etc, can all go to hell!

Anonymous said...

Hitchens, Hartley Spewer and their ilk: corporate media equivalents of "It wasn't me guv."

Disgusting, cowardly people.

Rosie said...

Brilliant. Long overdue these charlatans. Of course they are responsible. Hartley Brewer encouraged all people under 60 to resist lockdown. She pointed people to faux data and misread data herself. She mislead along woth Hitchens and Pearson. Appalling woman.

James said...

The more prominence these shitstain 'journalists' are given in our culture, the more likely I think one day an incident will occur where a grieving person will attack them and blood will be spilt...irresponsible actions will always result in a chain of events, one which the perpetrators have no control and learn the hard way what it is like to be vulnerable.

Anonymous said...

Am getting the bad vibes that the Tory press is going to mount one final fuck you to the populace before covid is controlled.

Here's my thought... once the over 60s are mainly vaccinated (no problem there, is much needed) that means the core of the Tory base is vaccinated. The Telegraph/Mail etc. will then demand 'back to normal', kids get shoved in schools, offices filled up, vaccine numbers slow right down and we'll have another Rona blowup.

However, as deaths will be lower due to vaccination & age the media will effectively ignore the pain caused and be filled with cheery tales of pensioners having a ball on their staycations. Not just ignore but there's a good chance they'll be actively hostile to younger covid sufferers calling them lazy or workshy and demanding sickness benefit cuts.

In short they'll be doing the herd immunity plan on the under 60s and care not one jot how many lives it wrecks.

The Tories have already got away with 100k+ deaths. Another few thousand won't phase them at all.

Terrifying but that's apparently what passes for British democracy these days.